Saturday, September 3, 2016

Cancun, Mexico Trip Report - August 26 - September 2, 2016

It's been three years since I've seen my friends from Nashville.   This would be our 3rd time together.  We met in 2012 on an Alaskan cruise.  They are married and 48 years old, I'm single and 51.  The stars finally aligned and they were able to vacation with me again!  I was so excited and so happy.  I truly have some of the best traveling memories with them.

They wanted to do All-Inclusive.  I was OK with this, because the trip was just to be about cocktails, beach/pool time, relaxation, good dinners and catching up with each other.  Their budget was generous, which meant we could go "upscale"!  I was happy about that, but really, if they couldn't have, I would have adjusted, I just wanted to spend time with them again.  It really didn't matter where we were...though, I like luxury if I can have it!  I spent more than I was hoping to ($2,800 CAD for 7 days all in), but I always remind myself that life is short and just do what feels right as you may never get another chance.  That gave us Ocean front rooms with Club Access which has its own perks, which you can see on the Hyatt site below in my link.

We ended up at the Hyatt Ziva.  The only negative when booking was that it wasn't "adults only", but other than that it sounded amazing.  Unlike my usual modus operandi, I engaged a travel agent for this, as I didn't have the time or desire to plan where to go or flights from two countries.  He did wonderful and had us meeting and leaving at the same time.  He also really sold us on this resort!  It was new too, so that was a bonus for me - I like new, shiny things.  It opened in January 2016.

The only other negative for me besides the long flight, was worrying about HUMIDITY!!!  I so hate it and I learned August was the most humid month in Cancun.  :(  Oh well, I decided I'd just suck it up in the ocean or one of the three infinity pools.  I LOVE infinity pools!  I now plan all my trips to be in the least amount of humidity as possible after horrible summer trips in Mexico, Florida, Louisiana & Texas, so it was probable, this would be an experience I wouldn't like...

Thursday, August 25th:

Red-eye flight to Toronto.  I don't do well on red eyes usually because I never sleep, try as I might...I managed a couple of hours on the first flight.  I arrived in Toronto at 6am.

Friday, August 26th:

I got about an hour of sleep on the flight to Cancun.  We arrived just before 11am.  Had to fill out their visitor forms on the plane and all they asked me was if I was bringing in "cigarillos"?  I said no and I was free with a green light to go...

Its been a while since I've been to Mexico so I let those "tourism" people distract me and realized it after he was trying to talk me into excursions, I just told him I was only here to drink and made my way outside.  Remember, once you clear customs, proceed outside - don't stop...I saw the Air Canada people and they directed me to my bus.

You can grab a beer while you wait if you want.  It was really warm, but not uncomfortably so, well not horribly uncomfortably so...There was only one stop before mine but we did wait a long time for people that apparently didn't show up.  I arrived at the hotel around noon.

I was greeted as I walked in and was advised to follow for a special check in.  I was given a glass of punch in a champagne glass and escorted to the "Turquoize Tower".

I sat down and began check in.  He advised me that my friends and I had side by side rooms and were upgraded to the Turquoize Tower!  I was ecstatic!  I wanted this tower which was "adult only" and had access to an "adult only" infinity pool only open to Turquoize tower guests.

He told me to come back at 2:30 and the rooms would be ready.  I went to the "24 Hour" lounge for a bite while I waited for my friends.  They made your drinks and you could serve yourself with appies, salad, etc.  Very much like a little cafe.  I had a drink and some "Campechana" which is like a shrimp/seafood cocktail.  It was delicious and is one of my favorite Mexican dishes.  My friends arrived and went by.  We greeted each other and I waited for them to come back from check in and join me.  All we wanted to do was get to the room but we had to wait.

My room was finally ready about 2:45 and they came up and waited for theirs to be done, and had been given their keys.  It was done by the time we got to my room.  We were assigned #816 and #817.  We were escorted in and given a room tour.  He was very clear in stating that we should use the safe for all valuables.  My laptop did not fit in the safe.  Our luggage arrived.

The T.V. was about 60 inches, in true HD with satellite cable.  The bathroom was HUGE with a gigantic walk in rain shower. There were 2 full sinks with a long vanity area separating them and private area with the toilet.  Below is looking down about mid way at one sink and the shower.  You could slide a wood wall around so you couldn't see from the shower into the living area, which I did.

The room had some tequila, snacks, and a "Nespresso" machine.  The fridge was stocked with pop, beer and water.

Below is looking out at the balcony which had a huge Jacuzzi tub.

Below are some views from the balcony.  We were really, really happy.  This is the most gorgeous room I have ever stayed in.

My travel agent had sent us champagne that was chilling on ice.  That was very nice.

We settled in and unpacked then went to check out the private infinity pool for a bit.  Security is at the elevator when you get off and you need to verify your room with them.

We left, went back to our rooms to clean up.  We both said that there had been no hot water in our shower.  Luckily it wasn't ice cold but it was not pleasant.  We decided to have dinner in the "El Mercado" which was the buffet. It was Friday so it was "Mexican theme night" at the resort and the buffet.  We were seated in front of the Mariachi Band.

My friend enjoyed this so much, she got up and danced with a waiter and then tipped all the band members.  (We think she put those tips in their belt buckles?)    ;)

There was some really great tasting items and some not so good, but really terrific variety. I tried small bites of everything I could and had a bowl of "Pozole" soup which I love.  It was great.  Below is the picture but trust me, it tasted better than it looked, I ate it all.

We went and wandered, looked at the "street fair". They had vendors selling stuff and a mechanical bull, lol.  No, we didn't ride it...

The evening show was obviously Mexican themed.

We stopped at the bar which was called "Tres Cervazas".  It has its own brewery inside.  There was a band.  We had some chicken wings and I tried some chili corn (both were just okay).  By that time we were pretty "pickled" and extremely tired from the excitement and travel day.  We called it a night and retired to our rooms.

Saturday, August 27th:

We agreed to meet at 10am for breakfast at the sit down restaurant called "Tradewinds".

It is very close to the Turquoize tower so was convenient.  This also becomes a steakhouse at night.  I ordered some chicken crepes with poblano chili sauce and corn.

They weren't bad and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere for a sit down meal.  Service was good.   Afterwards we went to the "excursion shop" in the resort and booked our return shuttles to the airport.  We then headed to the beach for the day.

The beach is lovely - there is some seaweed as above but that can be easily avoided.  We enjoyed our day here.  I was definitely turning a little red and crispy - even after SPF30 sunscreen.  We wandered over to "Habaneros" for lunch which is a nice little casual, beach restaurant.  It is adjacent to bar with a swings for seats.

They do tacos and ceviche.  This ended up being our favorite lunch place at the resort.  They bring chips with salsa and guacamole to start.  The guac was always good everywhere we had it, which is to be expected I guess.

My friend had tacos.  Below, I had a tuna tostada and Campechana - oyster, shrimp, scallops and crab.  It was sooo good!

After the beach, we agreed to meet a 6pm for pre-dinner cocktails.  The pool was having a "bubble party" (below) which looked like fun but we had had enough water and sun today.  I met the mini-bar fellow outside my room and he offered me any spirits I would like, so I took some Vodka (Finlandia - 375 ml) and another bottle of Reposado  tequila.  I tipped him and off he went.

Back in my room, it was clean and I saw some towel art to greet me.

Tonight we went to the "Sassil Bar".  This is a beautiful place, but dead.  We were basically the only people there.  The resort had all top shelf alcohol and you could order whatever you wanted.  I drank a lot of Grey Goose vodka while there.

This would become the theme of our week: breakfast with drinks, beach/pool time with lunch and drinks, clean up time, pre-dinner drinks, dinner with drinks, more drinks.  Unfortunately, again, both of us had no hot water for the shower.

Dinner tonight would be at my friend's favorite restaurant in Cancun.  She comes here every time she visits.  It is called La Habichuela. It means "string bean" in English.  They kindly treated me and I paid for the cab fare which after tip was 250 pesos each way (I tipped 50 pesos) or about $20.

It was a gorgeous setting.  I even braved sitting in the courtyard, in the humidity and it didn't kill me.  It was warm, but I've experienced a lot worse.  It filled up out here as it got a bit later.

We started with some appetizers and one was Caesar salad for three which was prepared table side.  And oh my, did our server ever work that!  He mixed for a very long time...

It was worth the time and effort and quite delectable.  Service here was amazing - so charming and with the utmost professionalism.  It was a real pleasure to dine here.  Below was my friend's coconut shrimp which she said was delicious.

Now, my other friend got the house specialty below, which he said was good albeit a little sweet for his tastes:

The Famous Cocobichuela
Chunks of lobster and shrimp cooked in curry sauce served in a coconut shell with rice and garnished with tropical fruits

I had a nightly special which was a "surf and turf" with Caribbean lobster, shrimp and filet mignon.  OMG, I love the Mexican dairy - the butter, the crema (sour cream) and cheeses (I know some expats don't like the dairy in Mexico, I've read).  The butter at this restaurant was garlicky and amazingly good.  The meal was tasty too, though I was full from our appies now so packed mine up to go for later.

We were told, right next to the this restaurant is a park and there was a family street fair going on, so we went to check it out.  It felt more humid to me now... It was definitely geared to kids with some food stands, shopping and kids activities.

We walked back to the restaurant, asked them to get us a cab and went back to the resort.  My friends said they thought the cab driver was flirting with me.  I thought his A/C was dripping on my toes and I was scrunched up in the front seat trying to keep it off my feet.

Sunday, August 28th:

Today we started with breakfast at "Tradewinds" again.  It also had a mini-buffet station which had your cheeses, sliced meats and condiments/sauces.  It had a fruit and pastry station as well.  I made a visit here and had a Mexican egg white dish from the menu that was very yummy though I forgot to take a picture.  It tasted much better than it looked anyway.

Below is my friend's "Eggs Benedictine":

We spent time at both the beach and pool today, starting with the beach.  But first, after breakfast we started by stopping at the concierge and reporting our lack of hot water in the showers.  They sent someone up immediately and after fiddling around in there, he basically told us we both had been turning the shower handles the wrong way.  We were skeptical as we had turned them both ways in desperation on both days, but nonetheless, both of us had plenty of heat now and would be able to have a satisfying shower.

Around the pool, they have food carts and grill burgers and have mango on a stick every day.  I got a chicken burger one day.

I saw burritos one day too.  He had chicken and beef.

I went to get a mango but the server was handing out his last one, so I never did end up getting my timing right to try it. He would coat them in a couple of different things, like coconut, if you desired.  They looked fantastic.

Below are some pool shots around the resort.

We went and got cleaned up and decided to have pre-dinner drinks at the Tequila bar.  This is open air, outside the Asian restaurant (Moongate) so it can get warm here.  The tequila drinks are the best, the best at the resort.  They have many different types and seem to use Don Julio in the drinks.  I had a fresh fruit margarita and fell in love with it.

We decided to eat at the Asian place tonight and try the Teppanyaki grill.  I noticed that others called it Hibachi grill but I've always called Teppanyaki.  No reservations are taken at this resort.  They claim you never have to wait.  I think the longest we did was about 10 - 15 minutes on any given night.  They did give us a buzzer here, but by the time we got a drink outside, it was buzzing us.

We had a really great server here.  One of us in our group was feeling "pretty damn good" at this point when we sat down.  (It wasn't me or my girlfriend).  :)  Neither of them had ever tried this type of dining before so I was excited for them.  He was loving it and it was fun to watch and see him enjoying himself.  It was very cute and he was as entertaining as our chef and server.  Our server kept bringing us shots of tequila so we were pouring them into our margaritas from the tequila bar and they were pretty potent at this point...we weren't ordering them, he was just bringing them.

We were started with a "shumai" dumpling and it was pretty standard and okay.  We got some beef broth next which was odd and tasted like a bouillon cube, to be honest.

Our chef arrived.

I felt kind of sorry for him.  He was a bit of a "hot mess".  It was obvious he was new, and he had a real hard time putting on the "show".  He dropped his eggs in the shell so many times on the grill by accident that eventually he just stopped and cracked them open and forgot about doing the show.  Below is the fried rice ingredients.

Our chef did a flip of his bowl of rice with his spatula (below) and I held my breath, but he caught it!  (My "happy friend " kept asking him how he cut his finger, lol).

The rice was served and he went onto the meats.  The rice was not good at all.  I wasn't expecting it to taste that bad, but it did - a boring pile of bland starch.

He forgot the shrimp for the ones who had ordered it.  At this point the three beside us had had enough and one was pretty rude to him.  I didn't see the point since it is vacation but she was extremely upset.  They had a couple of bites when he finally served it to them and then threw their napkins on their plates and left mid-meal.  Chef had also forgot my friend's shrimp but her reaction was completely different and wasn't going to say anything, but I politely did as that is what she ordered.  She didn't care but I thought she should get what she ordered.

At this point, my other friend said this was the best meal he's had at the resort so far.  That cracked us up!  Oh my, we giggled.  We were glad he was having fun.  The meats were just as bad tasting.  Like a dry, tough salty mess, almost inedible...Not a memorable meal, probably not for my friend either who actually enjoyed his!  ;)  We tipped our server well, he deserved it.  I wished their first dining experience of this type of cuisine could have been better but at least they didn't know what they missed as they had nothing to compare it to...

We went to the "Tres Cervazas" brew pub for drinks.  Below are shots I took of the pub when it was day time and really quiet in there.  They have two pool tables in there as well.

We ended up getting freshly made muddled raspberry martinis which were delightful.  Our bartender even put chocolate covered strawberries in for us.  There was an 80's cover band playing and we really enjoyed ourselves and the band was good.  I left just after eleven to my friend telling me I should stay till midnight when it was his birthday.  I reminded them we were getting up up early to go shopping and told them I'd set wake up calls, which I did for 7:30am.

Monday, August 29th:

Ugh, I didn't feel very good when that wake up call came.  Those sugary drinks didn't agree with me and I was feeling nauseous.  I called their room hoping they felt the same but no, they seemed happy and fine and were ready to go.  Figures.  ;)  We agreed to go to the buffet this morning for breakfast at 8:30.  It was my friend's 48th birthday today.  I brought him a Romeo y Juliet Cuban cigar from home and some Canadian ice wine chocolates.

I brought this over to him when I picked them up for breakfast.  We both had noticed that water was leaking from our showers (the lights in the ceiling of it) so she called to report it and we told them they could go in without us being there.  When we got back, both leaks seemed to be fixed.

At breakfast, I had told them I didn't want to shop today as it was really humid outside and asked if they would mind waiting until tomorrow.  They agreed.  We went to the private infinity pool to enjoy the afternoon.  I had to wear a T-shirt by this time as my skin was burnt!  The view up here just never got tiring, ever.

I looked down at the Zumba water aerobics class.

We saw below there was a huge pot of paella being made so I had to go down and have a look at it.

It still wasn't ready and our server upstairs at the pool - Steve in English, Esteban in Mexican, told us not to worry and they he would bring us some when ready.  And he did!  For a little guy of about 5 feet, he carried a tray balancing a bunch of plates up to the pool.

That was a really nice treat!  I enjoyed that a lot.  I left my friends there saying I was going back to the room and would meet them for pre-dinner cocktails.

When I got back to the room, when I went to shower, I noticed it was leaking from the light again but much worse, it was loud that I could hear it outside of the bathroom.  I called and they sent someone again.

He stayed for quite some time and then passed the phone to me so someone could speak to me in English.  They told me I would have to switch rooms.  I told them about my friends and they would have to check their room too.  They agreed.  I got in touch with my friends and they said theirs was leaking again too.  I called the lady back who I had speaking too and asked that if it was not a danger, then we would just stay put.  She said she would call maintenance back and then let me know.

Soon after, two employees came knocking at my door with new room keys.  They had said it was indeed a dangerous electrical issue and we would have to change rooms.  (My girlfriend and I wondered after, if that was maybe why the hot water was off in the first place?)

They had 2 rooms in the same tower, almost side by side - #1110 and #1112 and they would send a bellman to take our luggage.  I had asked my friends to wait until I called them back, but they misunderstood and were in the shower while we were knocking.  I don't think the birthday boy was very happy - and neither was I.  However, in the end, all it was, was a temporary inconvenience, wasn't it?  Nothing to stress out about.  So we moved.  Our rooms were identical as before only their layout was opposite.  Mine was exactly the same as the first room.  The view was nicer as it was the highest floor in the tower.  AND everything worked properly, including the hot water.

We were going to the French restaurant for his birthday dinner.

I had planned this as I expected it to be the best dining experience in the resort.  The restaurant was empty but yet they told us we would have to wait a half hour.  So we said we'd wait at the bar in there and she seemed very shocked.  She said, "You're going to wait here?".  We nodded and moved to the bar and ordered a glass of wine.  Well, they called us in 10 minutes.  My friend said we were seated next to a young group and the men were wearing board shorts!  I had read that proper dress was required or you would be turned away.  That was closed toed shoes for men, pants and collared shirts.

The table beside us was also served bread, we got none.  We ordered.  Two of us ordered "French onion soup".  I'm sure most people know what they think they are getting when they order that but this was not it.  Immediately after, it came out.  The server dropped a bowl down in front of us and there was a couple of shreds of cheese in it.  Then he poured the soup in and put a crouton on top.  Well, this tasted like the beef bouillon soup from the Asian restaurant, there were a couple of slivers of onion throughout.  We only had a couple of spoons and left it.

The birthday boy did better with his asparagus soup below and it tasted good.

I ordered steak tartar and it was dreadful.  Inedible.  We all tried a small taste and that was left untouched as well.

Our entrees came out immediately.  We still had half of our first glass of wine left.  Only 10 minutes had passed since we sat down.  My friends ordered fish - salmon and seabass.  Both said theirs were WAY overcooked and tasted like they were done in a microwave - though they did look nice when presented.  One bite was enough...

Now I ordered the rack of lamb.  All our eyes opened wide when it was served.  Why was it bright green?  I asked it if was pistachio but he said no, it was "special seasoning"  :)

So, I took my steak knife and tried to slice through one chop.  I couldn't.  I sliced and carved and sliced and then the whole thing flew off my plate when I finally separated one chop.  It left a trail of green as it slid it across the white table cloth.  We all broke out in hysterical laughter.  It lightened the mood of the ominous dinner! I tried to eat the one chop that was left on the plate but it was so tough, I ended up spitting it out as I couldn't break it down with my teeth.  We agreed to leave right then and go get pizza!  We still tipped our server well as it wasn't his fault.  We did tell him the food was not good and he offered to get us something else but we had had enough in our short time there...

We had to wait about 15 minutes to get in at "Lorenzo's".  It was really busy in there.  It was full.  Dinner here was really good.  We were all happy and it worked out in the end.  This was probably the best sit down dinner establishment in the resort.

There was a great Antipasto bar that had full rounds of cheeses you could carve out like Parmesan Reggiano.

Below is the mussels appetizer.

The pizza was really good!  The bottom could have been a little crispier and blistered (higher heat) but there absolutely nothing to complain about.  They do not allow you to take any food "to go" so I wrapped it in a napkin.  They will give you plastic cups too where possible to take leftovers.

The birthday boy went to bed.  We went to the Sassil bar and had a glass of wine and then followed suit...

Tuesday, August 30th:

It was a cloudy day and not too humid which made it perfect to go shopping.  The club/shopping strip is only about 10 - 15 minute walk from the hotel.

Below, we entered a flea market and did some shopping.  I don't ever remember the hawkers as aggressive as they were here in any place in Mexico I have visited.  I mean, it was harassment.

I bought my usual fridge magnet and I bartered for a mortar and pestle.  He started at 750 pesos and I finally bargained him down to 300 as my final offer.  He kept telling me it was carved by a Mayan.  :)  My friends did well and bought lots of ornamental items.  It was an hour of constant bartering.  It was really humid in there and I was ready to leave.

We made our way back to the hotel.

When we got back, my room was done beautifully and I liked the towel art today.

We went to the private infinity pool and it was nice.  I was able not to wear the T-shirt today which felt better.

When I went to get ready for the evenings, on my way back to the room, I always stopped at the coffee bar and got an espresso Americano.  Then I moved over to the "24 hour cafe" to spike it with Bailey's, 1921 Tequila Cream and/or brandy.

I really loved the snacks at the 24 hour bar.  They were some of the best food I ate at the resort.  I would get a plastic cup and take a couple to the room with my coffee as they won't let you take it out on plates.  I really liked the "beef strips", like chicken strips and I've never had anything like it before but they were crisp and tender.  I tried a little slice of lasagna one day and it was heaven.  They didn't have lasagna in the Italian restaurant on the menu.  Below are pictures of the "24 Hour Cafe", and just a note, even though it is open 24/7, they stop serving alcohol at 1am:

We decided to try "Tradewinds" for dinner.  This was okay, nothing great, nothing memorable, but we were able to eat most of it.  The highlight for me was the raw tuna appetizer in ponzu sauce.  It was sooo good.  It was melt in your mouth good!  That alone was enough to keep me happy.

I had a T-bone with asparagus and au-gratin potatoes.  I ordered it medium rare.  Our server seemed surprised and told us that would mean it was "bloody".  As we all ordered the same, we looked at each other and then reassured him that it was fine.

It was still really gristly and tough to be honest, though it was cooked properly but maybe even more rare than medium rare.  There was a gravy on one side and I'm not sure why they didn't serve that on the side.  This was on all our steaks and theirs are below - NY Strip and Rib Eye:

We went to the Sassil bar after dinner.  My girlfriend said she had "hit the wall" and was going to bed.  He only stayed to finish his drink.  They were turning it into a nightclub with go-go dancers tonight and it was loud and busy (we saw strollers in there!). 

Anyway - I was about to hit my wall soon too.  There is only so much eating and drinking to do before it becomes boring...I was close to being done...

Wednesday, August 31st:

We awoke and met for breakfast at Tradewinds.  I ordered this weird bagel with a hamburger on it, but I doctored it up.  I ditched the top of the bagel and then doused it with tomato and green Chimichurri sauces.  Then I added a hot  chili sauce and it was awesome!  My favorite breakfast so far!

My girlfriend got the "American breakfast" today (pancakes, hashbrown and ham).  It looked really good too, and even better after she doctored hers with fresh strawberries from the mini buffet bar which our server brought for her without telling her to go get them herself which was nice.

We went to the beach after and went for a walk on the opposite side - the quiet side.  The red flag was out today meaning it was not safe to swim.

We walked for about an hour then went back to the beach.  Below are the "swim-out suites" on property:

The ocean was cool when in the water and I just wasn't feeling like having sand in everything again, including me, so I left for the private infinity pool.  They said they wanted to stay at the beach so I moseyed on along...

I met some nice, friendly people from Ohio and we chatted and drank at the pool all day.  I was drinking double Grey Goose & soda drinks and I got really drunk.  I think I was swaying a little as I headed to the room to get ready for dinner.  I showered and then had a nap actually.  I also braved the dreaded scale that was in the closet.  I discovered I had gained 2 lbs which I guess was better than the 5 lbs that I guessed I put on.

We were booked to go to the sister property (Hyatt Zilara) and have dinner at the Mexican restaurant (Maria Maria) there.  I wasn't feeling it.  I had hit my wall and just wanted to go to bed.  I met them at the tequila bar, had a drink and then went on my way.  I went to the buffet (Asian theme night which I also wasn't feeling).  

I got a plate, nibbled, and then went right up to sleep.  I was in bed by 8pm and slept right through until morning.

Thursday, September 1st:

I awoke in a much better mood and up early too.  My friends were ready for breakfast at 9:30 and we went to the buffet.  They told me about dinner last night and said it was very good.  They did say that a lot of the Zilara resort - like the main bars were "open air" and I appreciated that all the restaurants/bars at this resort had your choice of A/C or open air for seating.  They knew I wouldn't have liked that.

We had a long, leisurely breakfast with my favorite server "David".  

We made our way to the private infinity pool and spent the day there.  The people from Ohio showed up so we all hung out and drank together.  I wanted to go have one final "Campechana" at Habaneros so we went there late afternoon.

It was grey outside today.  There had been spurts of rain off and on the last 3 or 4 days but nowhere near as bad as what I experienced in Puerto Vallarta in June one year.  I learned that the resort was at 50% capacity.  It looked pretty empty after the first weekend we got here.  It seemed it really emptied out by Sunday.

Below is my last dish of heaven...oh, campechena, campechena, campechena - I love you.  :)

I went to the room to get ready for dinner.  I got my usual coffee but I stopped at the candy shop.  I didn't eat anything, just took some pictures which are below.

They had a case with "gelato" and also a machine that makes cotton candy.  I'm sure anyone who likes sweets would have found something to make them happy here.

I had new towel art today:

We decided to have dinner at the Italian place for our final meal.  I was torn, because I actually liked the buffet and thought it was pretty solid.  I do find it sad that my favorite places to dine at the resort were a buffet, a taco stand and a 24 hour cafe for the best food.  Anyway, I decided I didn't want to eat alone and they reminded me about the beef and the buffet was featuring "prime rib" this evening.  I really wanted to enjoy our last day together too.

We met for pre-dinner drinks at the tequila bar.  I noticed that most of our favorites of the staff today when we told them it was our last day and tipped them extra, they also asked me to review them on "Trip Advisor".  I promised I would so I will do a brief report there.  I see the manager answers every review so maybe it helps renew their contracts if they're popular.  

Dinner was about 8pm.  Again it was full in this restaurant.  I enjoyed the Antipasto bar again.  

Below is octopus bruschetta.  

Below is spaghetti with bacon and mushrooms.  Perfect "al dente" and very, very good.

I had the pork chop and it was splendid!  It was tender and flavorful and downright pleasing.

My girlfriend had the Eggplant Parmesan and she said it was fabulous too.  In fact, we said that this was the best meal of the week here.  So it was wonderful to go out on a high note.  They shared some gelato for dessert.

We said our goodbyes after dinner and went to our rooms.  I went in and packed.

Friday, September 2nd:

So, I had put in a wake up call for 7:30am and that is when I awoke and got up.  I seemed to have forgotten that my shuttle was coming for me at 7:50am.  For some reason I had it in my head that it was 8:50 even though I looked at the ticket yesterday and reminded myself...

I got ready and checked out at 8:30 thinking I had made good time.  I took the ticket out as I sat at the hotel entrance and went, "oh shit".  I talked with Bell services and he told me that indeed I had missed my ride and would have to take a cab.  $30 USD or 400 pesos.  I still had pesos but was hoping to use them at duty free, so they ended up being used for that.  My driver was a maniac on the road.  He said his friends call him "Speedy Gonzales".  He asked if I was married. I told him no.  He asked if I was divorced.  I told him no.  He asked if I was single.  I told him yes.  He asked for my phone number.  I laughed.  He asked if we could be facebook friends then.  I laughed again.  I said goodbye to Speedy and checked in.  When all was said and done and I was done duty free, it was about 10:30 and I was starving now.  I looked for a sit down restaurant and all they had where I was, was "Guy Fieri's", lol.

I got a beef dip.  They had a guacamole stand too.  My meal was good and it hit the spot.

My flight was delayed leaving by an hour and then we were told we would have an alternate flight plan that took an extra hour and a half due to a storm in Florida.  I missed my connecting flight when landed in Toronto, but it was delayed so I actually didn't.  I literally ran through customs, ran to get my luggage, ran to drop it off, ran to security and ran to the gate.  It was just finishing boarding as I got on and the doors closed 5 minutes later.  Whew!  I got home about midnight Cancun time though it was 10pm here.  I was due at 7pm my time.  I hugged my son, ate and dropped into bed.  Ahhh, home sweet home... That being said, I'll have some nice memories of Cancun though and I highly recommend the resort despite the minor mishaps...