15 January 2009

Mucho Gusto Cabo Azul

My cousin is turning 45 this year and she wanted to celebrate some place warm so I reserved my timeshare at Cabo Azul and we were off!

This is her first vacation since her accident. She flew to Ohio for her 25th reunion but that was one flight, stay with family, and only 2 days. This is 6 days, two flights, at a resort, in another country. She's very brave.

She only had one flight schedule to Cabo that worked for her. In order for me to meet her at the airport, I had to leave LA at 9:30am. For some unknown reason, the shuttle picked me up at 5am. We got to LAX and I was checked in, through security, and in line at Starbucks by 5:45am. Three hours until boarding!!!

Can I just pause for a moment here to say that I rarely have trouble with security lines? Is it because I travel frequently and am used to the system? Is it because I am always a little bit early for my flights so I don't have to panic, rush, etc.? I don't know. At least I always have a book or sudoku puzzle or my iPod to keep me company.

Most of the folks at my gate were going to Chicago. I felt sorry for them in their heavy winter coats and sensible shoes. I felt even sorrier when their flight originally scheduled to board at 6:30am was delayed for boarding until 8am and the gate agent said they would go out to the tarmac and wait for up to 90 more minutes for clearance to Chicago due to bad weather in the Midwest. They told people to use the bathroom and purchase food prior to boarding as the food and facilities would be limited on the aircraft. Some of the people complained vociferously as if the gate agent could control the weather in another part of the country. Seriously!

While I was waiting, I chatted with a very nice young man on his way to Basic Training in South Carolina who was waiting for a flight departing from the second gate. It's nice to know such polite and focused individuals still exist in our country. The military has always been a career path in my family and in this day and age, young people don't often consider it because the world is so dangerous. I wish him well and, even though I didn't get his name, I will remember him in my prayers.

The gate for my flight changed three times before we actually boarded. I didn't move the first time as the boarding area was still close by, but I moved for the second and third times. When I moved after the second gate change, the flight previously at that gate was going to Chicago and that flight was moved to another gate for our flight. So all of the people in heavy coats left, and the people in shorts and sandals showed up.

The final gate we moved to was kind of small, but there was a flight crew so I was optimistic. We boarded and took off quickly. The flight wasn't full so the aircraft was cold and so many people asked for blankets that the flight attendants asked the captain to blast the heat. I commented that since we weren't going to Chicago, some of us may not have dressed for a cold airplane. The flight attendants were amused.

We landed in Mexico about 20 minutes early which was great for me since K was already there. I got through customs "no Problem". We changed some money and then we headed off to face the onslaught.

If you have never been to Cabo San Lucas, there are many people in the airport exit area who try to get you to sign up for their timeshare presentations. Of course, they don't tell you that's what they are doing. They even impersonate the shuttle services! K was very glad that I was there with my firm "NO". We had been instructed by the hotel that our shuttle service would be wearing a certain colour shirt and would have our name on a list. So I was able to tell the most aggressive person he was wearing the wrong colour. They shouted that we needed to see them for our welcome package and I said that it was waiting for us at the hotel. Then we walked into the second arrivals hall where another man told us that we needed to have him call our driver and I said "I was told not to talk to you" and he said "That's rude". But I was starting to get that Tangier feeling so I just walked straight out the door. K was very happy that she could just follow in my wake. The best thing that our concierge told me was that our driver would be waiting right outside the door where I could see the blue sky over my head. And there was a young lady with a clipboard and a sign and the right colour shirt waiting in such a place. She had our names on the list, said we would need to wait for a few others to check in and so I fetched a couple of Cokes and we were set.

In the shuttle with us were a family from Chicago and were they glad to have left there! They are staying here so we may run into them.

We checked in with a tiny bit of drama. The resort front desk doesn't take debit cards which is what I had brought (you have to leave a security deposit). K thought she had brought a credit card but couldn't find it in her luggage (panic starting in). Fortunately, we had enough cash so we were able to do that. Of course, first thing K did after we got to the room (and paused to take in the luxuriant surroundings) was completely unpack everything and then phone home to see if she hadn't picked it up off her desk after all (she hadn't - it was lying right there - so at least it wasn't lost or stolen!)

And speaking of the room, it is GORGEOUS. Our villa is in the Tierra building. All of the buildings are named: Alta, Brisa, Arena, Mar, Sol, Tiera, Luna

The hallways are exterior and from our door, we can see the mountains and look down into a garden (we are on the 6th floor). When you walk into our suite, you enter into the kitchen which is quite large with full-size appliances. Just past that is the living/dining area and a veranda that goes across the whole unit. This great room is large enough that you could have a whole family here. The sofas sleep two adults or three children. There is a TV with a DVD player in an armoire.

Through a sliding door are the sleeping areas. There is a full bath with walk-in shower. Next to that is the "Romantic" room. It has a fake window which I think is kind of pointless. A view of the mountains from this room would have been nice. The ceiling is draped so that it feels as though you are sleeping under a canopy. There is a queen-size bed. There is no TV in this room. The master bedroom is the other side. It has a whirlpool jacuzzi tub, a walk-in closet, a full bathroom with walk-shower, a king-size bed, a sliding door to the veranda, and an armoire with TV.

K chose the romantic room because she wanted to be under the canopy, but she said she would like to switch tomorrow night for her birthday. She's the birthday girl so that's fine with me.

We popped downed to the market and deli to check things out and buy a few things to have in the room. K was excited when she found they had her Vitamin Water.

We changed and went out to the pool. K laid in the sun, but I went straight to the hot tub. After about 20 minutes, she got cold so we decided to order dinner from the bar (instead of eating there) and take it back to our room. K really wanted the veggie wrap and we hadn't seen that at the deli.

The meal was great. The guacamole was the best I have ever had in my entire life (and I've had a lot of guacamole). It was better than chocolate! The veggie wrap was delicious and K actually ate most of it and some chips and guac, which is great because she hadn't had a lot to eat.

Then we called it a night. Neither of us had had much sleep the night before. I was lying in my bed and my legs were aching and my back was aching and I thought "Jacuzzi tub" so I fill it up and turn it on and the water went EVERYWHERE! I kid you not! I think it was designed to be used by two people and if someone is not blocking one of the jets, they quirt up and out and all over the room. Not really a good plan. I mopped up the water with the two jacuzzi towels and one of the bathrobes. Thankfully, we agreed to the Owner VIP package which includes fitness center, Newspaper and daily linen refresh!

The last thing that I did before turning in was activate our Internet access so I can blog and tweet while we are here.

The best thing about this whole trip is that we only have two things that are scheduled. The first is the Welcome breakfast, which we are having on Friday since they don't offer it on Thursdays. And the sunset cruise to El Arco, which we are hoping to schedule for Friday or Saturday, but will do on Sunday if we have to. Other than those two things, we are doing nothing.

The best vacation of all.

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