27 January 2010

Trek to Riviera Maya

We were dragged (kicking & screaming) to an all inclusive resort in Mexico.

Remember Ryan & (my one mention of) Kelsee? They got married this year in Riviera Maya. It was a small wedding & we made the guest list. Naturally we felt compelled to attend. We saved. We booked. We packed our bathing suits.

We left San Francisco on a chilly January night, leaving our jackets behind. They would only slow us down. We had a 20 minute walk to a 30 minute train ride to our red-eye flight from San Francisco to Houston. We had exit row seats, which gave us great leg room. But I think the extra space opened us up to an extra draft. We were freezing for the entire flight. And then we were cold and grumpy at the start of our 3 hour layover.

We didn't want to eat. I had a cup of tea and packaged lemon juice that literally made me gag. It was nearly too uncomfortable to sleep. The seats against the window let in a draft. The armrests weren't quite tall enough for comfortable leaning. Our bags weren't quite full enough to be comfortable pillows. The seats weren't quite close enough for me to put my feet up across the aisle. And suddenly the sun was up, and we surrounded by a bunch of Texans ready to let loose in Cancun.

Lesson: always bring a blanket & neck pillow for traveling.

Flight attendants checked our passports and we were Cancun bound. We filled out all our customs forms, raced to the customs counter as soon as we exited the plane, and got through the Mexican border without incident.

We found our travel coordinator(s) who put us into a van with two other couples heading to different resorts in Riviera Maya. It was a full service shuttle bus, featuring beer. Jesse bought two because it seemed like the right thing to do - until he remembered we were going to an all-inclusive resort where the beer was free. He didn't need to spend $6 on two Coronas. Still, it was an experience to be had and he had it.

I think the drive took 20 - 30 minutes. I'm not sure because there was no clock and we had not turned on our phones. We were just about to be on vacation! We checked in to the resort (no card needed for incidentals) but our room wasn't ready. We were taken to a changing area, where we took off our pants and put on our bathing suits. We handed most of our belongings to strangers and that was it. After a train ride, flight, layover, flight and shuttle, we were on vacation.