The week before we left for Mexico we had the worst nights of sleep we have ever had. Our mattress had become an uncomfortably lump of bed with a huge depression right in the center, and it was downright miserable going to sleep no matter how much flipping we did. Initially we were going to wait until we got back from our trip but finally we realized that we needed to have at least one night of good sleep before we took a long flight.
Let me start by saying that the last time I called a 1-800 number (dentist) was a complete disaster (the dentist that I was referred to overdosed me on novocaine everywhere except on the tooth he was working on!). So I was a little apprehensive at the thought of using 1800mattress but I was desperate. I needed someone who could come on the same day and also would remove our old mattress. I also needed to get their damn jingle out of my head once and for all! They were actually really unbelievable- I called at 1pm, and they scheduled delivery of our new tempurpedic memory foam mattress between 7pm and 11pm. At precisely 2 minutes to 7pm our doorbell rang and the delivery people showed up. The 2 guys that came were very nice and did the swap in about 15 minutes (king sized).
So we now have a wonderfully comfortable bed that we cant wait to get into every night. Mmmmm. Goodnight!
Over the past couple of years I have been an avid collector of snowglobes, mainly from places that I or my friends and family have visited. I've kept my collection pretty small, preferring to have a few globes that are very symbolic to me, especially those that remind me of people who have been in my life at one point or the other. One of the things I have always wanted to do is to catalogue the snowglobes that I have, and today I finally decided to do it. Using Splashblog, which is my all-time favorite quick-fix solution for making lists with pictures. Now you can check out my snowglobe collection and maybe even help me properly list each in the right continent!
Day One (Monday)
We left home at 3:30 in the frigid morning to get to the airport...only a few hours to beautiful sunny and warm weather! After a swift and pretty uneventful connection in Memphis we arrived in Cancun. First impressions, I was pretty shocked at the number of guys wearing official looking 'tourist information' shirts pawing at us the moment we exited customs. We even directly asked one of the guys if he was from Best Day tours and he said yes. Turns out that these people are there to lure you into timeshare pitches. We made it out and finally found our shuttle service to our resort. The ride from Cancun to Tulum is about 2 hours including the stops along the way. The main highway is extremely well maintained although the concept of slow and fast lanes seems lost here in Mexico. There are 2 lanes, and it appears that the right lane is only used under severe duress (i.e. you have finally bullied the car in front of you which you want to overtake). Speed is also a problem and to combat this there are several pretty high speed bumps at random intervals. I’m not sure if the cure isn’t worse than the condition in this case as the speed bumps are so steep that they could cause their own problems. We arrived at the resort in the late afternoon and were surprised by the sight of so many damaged palm trees from the hurricane in 2005. Most of the palm trees were cut off on top and by the entrance of the resort there were many trees and shrubs that were still blown over. Our room was lovely and had a balcony with a view of the courtyard and fountains. We had dinner at the poolside grill and then, thankfully, hit the sack.
Front and back of the lobby building, the second pic shows the damaged palm trees.
Day Two (Tuesday)
We had a nice early start to the day and after breakfast met with one of the tour organizers to see what kind of activities were available. We had both pretty much decided that we did not want to do any group tours, especially those that would last for several hours. We decided to take the local transport to Playa del Carmen which we had heard was nice place for shopping and local cuisine. Playa del Carmen was very nice and was bustling with activity. There are certain areas that seem very targeted to the tourists-especially 5th Avenue which even has a McDonalds! It’s easy to see why it is Spring Break central...the tequila flows like water for those who choose to imbibe and as long as they believe you have money to spend the vendors treat you like royalty.
Shopping and the ferries at Playa del Carmen. Ferries take you across to Cozumel.
At this point I'll go a bit more into customer service and our general experience during our trip. While most staff and service people on the surface seemed to be friendly, it just felt exceedingly forced and stilted at times...and it was more than just the language, it just seemed to be the attitude. On two occasions we had to contact the front desk. The first was because the tap to fill the whirlpool was broken and when we tried to fill the tub it barely dribbled out. When we spoke to the front desk lady she seemed bored and disbelieving of our report. I wasn’t sure of the work involved in repairing the issue so I told her that if we needed to change rooms we would be amenable to that, and might prefer one on a lower floor as opposed to the top floor since the balcony is exposed on the highest floor and there were scattered showers. The next day when we went to follow up, there was no progress and to make matters worse the concierge said the only report they had in their log book was 'something about the balcony'. Meanwhile the concierge got the faucet fixed in a few hours while we were out on Wednesday and left a note to apologize for the delay.
Day Three (Wednesday)
You cannot visit Tulum without taking a trip to see the Mayan ruins. We took a quick taxi ride over and were entertained by some local acrobats who play instruments and the spin down from a 30 foot pole headfirst. They seem to do the show repeatedly as there are constantly people arriving and leaving. Dressed in heavy native wear in the brutal midday sun, these guys have a rough job!
There is a fun 'train' which takes you from the main entrance where all the little 'themed' storefronts are to the actual ruins. The ruins have a wall which blocks them from your immediate view so that once you walk through a walkway in the wall you almost have the sense of going through a time machine. There is a massive expanse of land with has huge pieces of buildings spread throughout some just a wall but others seem to be almost the entire structure intact. It’s a bit eerie to walk along almost able to feel the ancient Mayans strolling over to borrow some salt from a neighbor. The ruins go all the way to the tip at which point there is a sheer drop to the ocean. There are modern steps that you can walk down to enjoy the beach below...the water is so crisp and clear you can see the each grain of agitated sand.
Day Four (Thursday)
Or as I like to call it, lazy day. The weather was just perfect today and we lazed on the beach dipping alternately into the pool and the ocean. Then we luxuriated in our room...enough said.
Day Five (Friday)
Adios Mexico! Another long ride back to the airport and a mad dash to make the connection in Memphis.
Most sinks look like these and are absolutely stunning!
"Are we there yet?"
Its good to be home!
Dean just showed me this cute little site where you draw a line using your mouse, and an animated little man will then ride on the line that you drew. Fun little time-killer!
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If you've ever had the pleasure of using Dataviz's Documents to Go for the Palm, then you'll understand my excitement at hearing that its been released for the Smartphone now! Asides from the fact that this is one great piece of software, it also marks the release of the first method to edit Word documents on the Smartphone platform (I used pTab for excel files previously). Dataviz currently has a free 60 day trial so if you've got a Smartphone and you have an interest in being able to create and edit Word, Excel, Powerpoint or view PDF and Zip files then head on over to their site and grab the free preview!
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I love, love, love the holidays but boy there is so much to do! Christmas was wonderful and our New Year's eve was absolutely fantastic!!!! And its very nice having some down time to finally unwind...and a lot of time to enjoy SecondLife! I've got a few endeavors going on now, my pride and joy being an ode to Benin that I have created which simulates the experience of being in an African village (While in-world search places for "Benin" and Teleport to the location).
This is an exciting time for us...especially for me; as someone who has worked since I was 16 when I came to live in the US it is an unbelievable luxury to have a few months to relax. And I cannot express how amazingly lucky I feel to have a husband who would actually encourage me to take this time and decompress from years of stress!
Gadgetwise, my Blackjack remains the champion of all time. I have gotten used to everything about it and I can't remember not having it. In fact, I haven't picked up my XDA Exec (Universal) since I've been using it, which means that it may well be heading to Ebay!
Now that the holidays are over, I fully anticipate some more regular blogging...except of course for while we are in Mexico later this month! Ole!