Monday, February 14, 2011

Last Day

This is all we did today (left).
As far as large beach resorts in Mexico go, this place is fabulous. The staff couldn't be more friendly or accommodating. Frankly, they seem to love me here. Nearly everyone has commented on my name and felt the need to tell me that Fernando is a man's name here in Mexico; weirdly, nearly all the staff we've interacted with have commented on it. But because of that, they remember me and I'm getting rather fond of being addressed as "Miss Fernando" everywhere I go.

So, that's it. I told everyone at home we'd probably never leave the resort, and we didn't. And now it's time to go and we're ready. We spent every moment we could outside, caught up on some reading, got much needed doses of sunshine, spent an entire day in a beach cabana while our personal butler brought us whatever we wanted to eat or drink, and we saw whales frolicking in the Sea of Cortez. Done.

Copa Cabana

Today brought relaxing to a whole new level. Part of our package was the use of a cabana for the day. We saw the cabanas scattered around the beach and I was pretty psyched at the idea of spending the day outside, looking out to sea -- from a bed perched on the sand...while a "personal butler" attended to our every need. And that's how we spent today. We had breakfast around 8:30, worked out for an hour, then I took a dip in the pool and met Cheryl in our cabana. Jonathan, the pool manager whom I had met yesterday (and who told me that if anyone at the resort was causing me any displeasure, he would "take care of it," "I can make it look like an accident," he said), came by and introduced us to Carlos, who was going to be our butler, and would take care of bringing us anything we needed. Here's the list of things Carlos brought us: a banana-mango smoothie, Diet Coke, Perrier, a bowl of fruit (actually, Alejandro, the pool-boy from yesterday brought that to us), ice cream, and lunch. Most times when he came up to check on us, he addressed us as "princessas" (I don't speak any Spanish but the translation is pretty easy). It was a great way to spend the afternoon, especially when we realized that there were several whales hanging out in our direct sight-line. We kept seeing the spouty-spouts (I don't know the marine biology term for when they spit water up from their blow-holes, "spitty-spouting"?) and then once when I was looking past Cheryl, I saw a mighty splash and knew I was seeing a post-breach water show - I had just missed the main event; however, about half an hour later, I was staring straight out and I saw a grey whale come almost completely out of the water and flop over - it was in the distance, but I saw it clearly. There's a lifelong dream achieved.

View from our perch.

We left our domain, once again only because we were due at the spa, so off we went, Cheryl for a massage, me for a detoxifying (and anti-cellulite I was told, twice), moisturizing, marine algae, body-wrap. I love me a body-wrap, but the marine goo from this one was especially... authentic, and even though I've showered twice since having it done, my skin still smells like sushi. There are worse problems to have (although perhaps not for whomever is sitting next to me on the plane tomorrow).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

a Day of Doing Next to Nothing

Our time-share presentation was painless. We met our tour-guide-saleman, an affable guy from Brazil (with frosted hair) who had worked first in hotels in Cancun before moving to Cabo with his wife, a Canadian professional beach volleyball player. He took us to a very nice breakfast buffet which looked out over the Sea of Cortez (as the whole property does); we could see a whale in the distance, spouting and flipping its tail up. If we had to listen to a sales pitch for something we had no interest in buying, that was the place to do it. He asked us our travel habits and we were honest with him, telling him that staying at a big beach resort doesn't hold any special appeal for either of us, and that being tied to a vacation plan - regardless of the number of properties we could choose from around the world, just wasn't the way we want to travel. He asked us why we had signed up for the tour and we told him we did it for all the perks we had been offered; can't be the first time he'd heard that. He gave us his spiel anyway and showed us a couple of the condos, he ran down the cost (exhorbitant), we politely declined, and were on our way. We got all the cash promised to us back, we got a voucher for our taxi ride back to the airport, and we got the cash value of two hour-long massages credited to our room. We went directly to the fitness center/spa, worked out for an hour, made our spa appointment for the next day (we already had booked hour-long massages for today which were part of our package deal) and then we went to the pool. We found two empty loungers right nex to the infinity pool, went for a swim, and sat on the loungers for the next several hours. Our spa appointments were for 5:30pm which was the only reason we got off those chairs (we ate lunch pool-side).

The spa is beautiful. The treatments rooms, like all the hotel rooms, overlook the sea, and I had one of the best massages ever. Tomorrow, we do it all again, minus the sales-pitch.

If you have to work out, this is the gym to do it in.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"We Absolutely WILL NOT Listen to a Time-Share Presentation, No Matter What They Offer Us!!"

So we're going to a time-share sales presentation tomorrow morning at 8:30. Having visited resort towns in Mexico before, Cheryl and I agreed that this trip is too short to waste valuable pool time listenting to sales pitches we had no interest in. But we forgot how incredibly persuasive the airport touts could be. We were planning on taking a taxi from the airport to the resort but in order to get to the taxis, you have to pass through the gauntlet of pitch-men, and they are good at their jobs. A taxi would have cost us $80 for the 30 minute ride to the resort (which we were willing to pay [or we could have done a van-share for a lot cheaper, but it would have taken three times as long to get to our destination]) but the taxi-tout offered us a free taxi ride, breakfast at the hotel he wanted us to tour which was supposedly right next to the hotel we were heading to, a one-hour massage for each of us at the spa, and enough cash for us to take a taxi back to the airport at the end of our stay. He wore us down. We gave him $160 in cash for the RT taxi fare, all of which he was going to give us back the next day when we showed up for the tour, and vouchers for all the stuff he'd promised us, and having done this kind of thing before, we knew he was good for it. So we took our speedy taxi to the resort, checked in and then had a chat with our concierge-person, who proceeded to offer us a variety of extras and perks... if we listened to her time-share pitch. We told her we were covered and had already promised the taxi-guy, who had a bunch of our cash as incentive for us to show up, that we would go to the hotel he worked for (we had also promised him we wouldn't discuss the deal he gave us with our hotel staff, whom he knew would try and offer us their own deal); she proceeded to offer us everything taxi-guy had promised us (and we wouldn't have to leave the property), and she said she'd refund all the cash we had given him - DEAL.

So with all that behind us, we finally made it to our room, then directly out to the beach. The afternoon conisisted of reading on the beach, walking around the grounds, making all our spa appointments, dinner, and now TV/computer/books/magazines/bed. We don't need much to be happy.