We had left to Atlanta last Saturday to spend the night. We found it's cheaper to fly out of Atlanta or Charlotte than Asheville. Plus, we found a direct flight from Atlanta to Mexico and that is so much better. So, we drove to Atlanta on Saturday and spent the night at the Airport Marriott. Sunday morning we caught the shuttle to the airport and everything went well. At the gate though before we got onto the plane there was some scary drama queen on her phone crying and making a scene. UGH, I hate people who make their personal business everyone's business. And it so happened she was flying with a couple who had two kids. I think because both of us dislike children, we always get stuck on a freaking plane with kids. I swear we have some scary airplane kid karma because if there is a kid onboard our flight, they will get seated right around us. So as we took our comfy Exit row seats these frightening people sat in front of us. So we had the drama queen and out of control children right in front of us. UGH!
Okay, don't get me wrong. I like kids if they are well behaved but these weren't. Part of the problem was the parents had brought NOTHING to entertain them. I have a lot of friends with kids and I see that they know to bring stuff for kids because they get bored and tired and hungry. These people didn't have anything for these kids. So, of course, they ran wild, cried and just made everyone's life miserable. At one point I turned to Tom and saw the guy in the aisle next to him was feeling the same way we were. And I have no idea WTF was wrong with these people but the next thing we see is they start changing the baby on the seat of the plane with no blanket or pad. Gross! They did this twice and we were all appalled. So the flight was okay. Luckily, we could listen to music and at one point I not only gave one of the kids "the Look" but the dad and the drama queen as well. I felt better being a bitch.
But anyway, besides the nonsense we made it in one piece. Once we got off the flight the Random Willy-Nillyness (RWN) began. We get off to go through customs and then we are stopped to fill out a form saying we aren't sick with the swine flu. The problem is they do this before the baggage claim which is downstairs. Other problem is that the forms are in Spanish. Well, no problem for me because I read Spanish but a big problem for the numerous gringos on the flight. I start filling out the form telling Tom what to write and all of a sudden I have an audience. So I had to translate the form for everyone. Luckily, because I knew Spanish we were finished before anyone else. So we get downstairs to get our bags and then before we are allowed to leave, they have a medical station where they need to take our temperature etc. So the doctor asks where is your form. I say the guy upstairs took it and she says nope we need it. So we had to fill out the form again but these were in English. OY! RWN at its finest!
I won't be mean and say it's Mexico because this RWN happens everywhere even in the States, as witnessed when we arrived back to the Atlanta airport - story later. Anyway we filled out another form, passed the medical exam and were on our way to the rental car place. Of course, getting the car took an hour or so because more RWN ensued. I hadn't seen so much RWN since my days in Santa Fe. To make a long story short, we finally got a car and an upgrade at that and were on our way to the Dreams Tulum resort. The ride was about 2 hours from Cancun but it's a straight shot down the same road. I have to say that the ride isn't pretty and there is a lot of RWN in terms of the speed limit but the signage is excellent so it is impossible to get lost.
Once at the resort, we were met with little fresh wash cloths to cool ourselves and everyone was very nice. We were welcomed and everyone at the front desk was very nice. We had gotten a room with a garden view but once we were there Tom decided to upgrade to a room closer to the pool and restaurant areas because our original room was far away from the common areas. They told us we could upgrade (probably because they had little or no guests) but we had to wait about an hour because the rooms were not ready at that time. So in the meantime, they held our luggage and we went to find some food! As you see from these pictures, the resort is quite large. We went to find a restaurant and found one right on the beach with a great view. Lunch was interesting. I got a steak sandwich and it was delish. Tom ordered a club sandwich and it was sort of demented. Usually a club is three layers with bacon, ham, cheese and other stuff. Tom was served three pieces of bread with a slice of cheese and some random ham and then like 2 tiny chicken pieces. It was ridiculous. So when Tom said something, the guy says he would fix it and then camed back with chicken pieces for Tom to put on the bread. It was strange. That didn't bode well because we got nervous the rest of the food would be just as weird.
Once we were done, we went back and they had actually upgraded us to an ocean view Junior suite and that was fantastic!! We were so glad. The room was lovely on the third floor with a view of the pool and the ocean from the balcony. That picture is from the balcony of the room. The picture doesn't do the view justice because the ocean was beautiful and clear and you can't see the gardens below our balcony either. The gardens extended to the main building and then beyond to the other areas of the hotel as well.
When we finally got to our room, we were greeted with slippers and robes and a full refrigerator. The bathroom was large with a jacuzzi bath that we never used. We also had a desk area and the room was beautiful and clean and roomy and we loved it. Ahh the vacation had begun. After unpacking and changing into our swimsuits, we hit the beach. Now I hadn't been in the ocean since my accident. Well, that's not true because I actually had gone into the ocean on our last trip to Costa Rica in December but there were NO waves on the beach we went to so I was okay just sitting in the water. But there were waves here. Now they weren't huge waves but that day because it was already late, they were getting bigger as time went on. I got in and was fine for a little while but once the waves got bigger, I sort of freaked out because I flashed back to the pummeling I took. So I had to get out. I never went back in the ocean for the whole trip. I stayed by the pools and I was totally fine with that.
After beach/pool time we went to dinner at the Italian restaurant. They had several restaurants but there were only a few open certain days. We found out that their resort was only about 25% full from what it should had been. A lot of rooms were empty and although there were people there, it was never crowded in the restaurants. So I think they probably decided not to have everything open. All and all our first day there was fantastic. After dinner, we came back to the room to be treated to turn down service and a bottle of wine and fruit. I loved that!!
Now the food there was good, not great but not horrible either. We had a few weird incidents. Besides the demented Club Sandwich, one night I ordered stuffed chicken at the Italian restaurant and it was raw. I sent it back. But they were very nice about it. They also had the World Cafe which was a buffet style place but we don't do buffets really except we did have breakfast there every day. They had a Mexican, French, Asian and a steakhouse place as well. Again the majority of the food was good and I loved that the portions were smaller than usual so you could have an appetizer, entree and dessert and we took full advantage of it! The service was excellent everywhere. Everyone was friendly and professional. I was very impressed.
The second day of our stay we awoke to the smell of fire. We looked out the window and it was hazy and you could tell there was a fire somewhere close. We went to breakfast and then realized we were in the Twilight Zone when I asked at least 3 employees (in Spanish no less)where the fire was and they totally denied it. They were like What fire? I was like hello!! Can't you smell it? It wasn't until I went to the front desk to get internets access that I got a straight answer. There were 2 fires going on close by. Luckily, by afternoon they were under control and we were able to enjoy the pool until a huge storm came and we went inside to nap and hang out. It was very relaxing.
Part 2 tomorrow - these pictures are on the balcony of the room