Honeymoon Day 1: We Made It, And In One Piece Too!
Our flight was scheduled to leave Grand Rapids at 6AM on Friday, so we were up and out the door by 3:45AM to get going. Of course, when your alarm goes off at 3AM, it doesn’t matter how excited you were the night before for the trip, you get really confused. I woke up convinced I was heading in to work for another early shift until Geoff got out of bed too. Then I got really confused. Then I got super excited that I was not only not going to work but that I was heading to a place where the temperature in Celsius matched what we had in Fahrenheit.
FIL was kind enough to drive us to the airport, where we made it through check-in and security without a hitch. By this time, the light flurries we saw on our way in had upgraded themselves to a pretty steady stream of snow. But, our flight was still listed as on time, as well as the other flights around us, so we weren’t too worried. We hopped on the plane and took our places in the fabulous exit row (no crushed legs for these honeymooners!) and started making our way towards the runway before the captain came on to tell us they were shutting the runway down for 20 minutes to plow it. No matter, we had to de-ice the plane anyways. The runway got plowed, we got de-iced, and we took off, landing only about 10 minutes late despite our 30 minute late departure.
When we touched down in Baltimore, we found out we were the second to last flight to get out of the airport before they shut the whole thing down. Talk about cutting it close! 10 minutes before our next flight was supposed to depart, our plane still hadn’t shown up. Apparently there’s construction going on at BWI, so they can’t just drive the planes into the gates. They have to be towed in, and as the captain put it later “no one felt like bringing us our plane”. It eventually showed up, and we left about 40 minutes after our scheduled departure. Despite the flight being chock full of kids (I think we counted 12 under the age of 8), not a single one made a sound until we were on our descent. It was awesome.
Customs went fairly smoothly, although half the customs agents disappeared right when our plane showed up so it was a little slow. By the time we made it out, our bags had already been unloaded so we were able to just grab them and head outside. We ended up in a shuttle with only one other couple, a nice improvement over the last time we made this trip and were crammed into a van with 10 other people all destined for different hotels. This was the first time I’ve been through Cancun, and dear sweet 10 pound baby Jesus I will never complain about crazy drivers ever again (okay that’s probably not true, I’ll probably complain about someone tomorrow). They are nuts. That traffic circle was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Although we did see a truck with about 10 white tigers in it. That was cool.
We dropped the couple off at their stop, then made our way through the various gates to get to our hotel, the Excellence Playa Mujeres. When we arrived we were greeted by a concierge with champagne and a cool towel before being escorted with a second couple to the check-in area. We were a part of what they call the Excellence Club, so we had a different lobby area. The couple that arrived with us was there for a second time, which was a theme amongst many of the people we met on the trip. People go back to this place. A lot. Or go to other resorts in the Excellence chain. There was actually a couple there who was on their 13th visit to an Excellence resort. Apparently we chose well.
We got our keys and our little packet of info at the Excellence Club lobby before being escorted to our room: a beautiful second floor king bed room with an ocean view and an awesome jacuzzi tub located in the corner of the room with windows you could open to the balcony. There will be a full on review of the hotel coming later, but for now I will tell you this: this place is gorgeous. GORGEOUS. I’ve never been to a place that actually looks as nice in person as it does in the pictures on their website, but this nailed it.
Since we hadn’t really eaten since our breakfast in Baltimore and it was now 4PM, we ran over to one of the restaurants that was still serving lunch to get a bite to eat. I asked the waiter to bring me a fruity frozen drink, and I ended up with something called a Sexy Banana. If you ever end up with a Sexy Banana, the brown stuff in the bottom is straight rum. Just so you know. This may or may not have been a shocking discovery for me. So we didn’t end up too full for dinner, we split an appetizer and entrée, which were both a good introduction to the food quality we could expect for the week. As far as all-inclusive resorts go, this was pretty good. Not fabulous mind you, but definitely better than you would expect if you’ve been to an all-inclusive before. This was also my first introduction to ceviche. I’m sure it’s better in an actual restaurant, but it was actually pretty good!
For dinner that night they were hosting a Mexican event, where they set up a large buffet area and tables outside in a courtyard decorated with sculptures, masks, carts, sombreros, you name it. We were seated at a table with a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with their kids and their spouses. Despite being outsiders to the group, we seemed to fit in well, and we all had a great time together. A mariachi band came out, and our table was their first stop, which was quite a treat. After the band left to go serenade other tables, a tequila shot appeared in front of one of our comrades, with another guy at a different table yelling for him to take it while waving his own shot around in the air. Turns out our 50th anniversary group had made friends earlier in the day, and decided one of them (Dennis) needed to do a shot with him. When he came over to do the shot, Dennis insisted he shouldn’t have to take it, and pointed at us and said “they’re on their honeymoon!” So now the guy grabs the shot and yells “well then HE should do it!” and plops the shot down in front of Geoff. I think I’m going to get away without being dragged into this until the guy’s wife starts yelling “noooo! Give her your shot! Give her yours!” and thus the stranger’s shot was thrust into my hands.
We’ve been at the resort 3 hours and we’re already doing tequila shots. I should have known this was an indication of what was coming over the next 24 hours, but apparently when I go on vacation I stop thinking ahead. But that’s a story you’ll get later…for now, took the shots like champs. I still don’t know what kind of tequila was in there, but I’ll be honest it wasn’t that bad. It was huge though. Apparently they don’t have shot glasses (probably for good reason), so they just kind of poured some into a champagne glass. I’m not convinced that was shot sized, but we did it anyways.
Shortly after that we all called it a night and went back to the room to try to recoup from our long day. We were sort of party poopers and went to bed early, but considering the time change and the hour we woke up, I think it was totally acceptable. And we were on vacation! You can do whatever you want on vacation!
Posted on March 7, 2013, in Life, Misc. Topics (Wedding), Travel, Wedding Planning Isn't For Sissies and tagged All-inclusive resort, Cancun, Grand Rapids Michigan, Honeymoon, Mexico, Snow storm. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.