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Old 06-02-2006   #1 (permalink)
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Trip Report - Luna Blue 5/27 - 5/31

We had a delightful flight leaving DFW at 5:45am…meaning we had to leave the house at 3:45am. I pulled an all-nighter and got everyone up at 3:30. Carrie won’t be rushed for anything short of free shoes, so we rolled out the door at 4:05. Parking at DFW was relatively painless (thought it ended up costing $85). We got to the Champion Air gate, filled out all the crap Worry Free Vacations requested and went to get our boarding passes.

This is the fun part! We have 4 people (2 are kids) and 3 different last names. I have a passport, Carrie has 2 drivers licenses, a birth certificate and who knows how many marriage licenses. Carlee has a birth certificate and a notarized travel letter from her dad. Austin only needed a birth certificate. We got our boarding passes without too much trouble and went through baggage check.

At the gate, Carrie went off in search of breakfast and I was looking for a book. Great news! NOTHING is open at 5am! They called for passengers w/ kids about 5 minutes after we got to the gate. Champion was nice enough to disperse us all over the plane and managed to put a 12 year old in the emergency aisle. The flight attendant did her best, but we ended up having Carrie next to Austin and Carlee in front of me, 3 rows back.

Yeah! I have a 2 year old sitting next to me. He kicked my thigh probably 80 times BEFORE takeoff. His mom just beamed at him as all those idiot clueless parents whose children can do no wrong are prone to do. She would occasionally tell him to “be careful” which he would promptly ignore.

Smooth takeoff. Screaming kids towards the front. My neighbor gives up trying to scrape all the skin off my thigh after 200 tries and crawls in mom’s lap. They both try to go to sleep. Sunrise and sweet revenge! The sun was coming through the window and directly into mom’s eyes. Should I close the window? Not on your life. Enjoy your 2 hour suntan, oblivious mother. With no reading material, I stare out the window for 2 hours.

Sunrise over the Gulf

Cool cloud formations


Approaching Cancun, time to fill out entry forms. Carlee needs her own forms to get in….like a 12 year old is traveling alone! The forms were a mess of cross outs and corrections. We land, shuttle to the gate and hit customs. More ID explanantions. We get through and grab our one check on. We had tried our best to get everything in our carry ons, but we had too much snorkelling gear.

On to the drug traffic light. As this is their 1st trip into Mexico, I explain not to worry about the light. Carlee swears it will be her. Yep, she gets a red light. Two minutes later, we are navigating the hordes of rental agents and Xcaret pimps. Outside, we immediately find our easyway car rental rep with my name on a sign. We chitchat while waiting for our pickup . He throws out all the restaurants we need to go to (none of which sounded familiar or recommended). He also informs me there is no such hotel as Luna Blue and we should ALWAYS refer to it as Luna AZUL. Whatever, zipperhead.

Our car approaches. It’s a white VW Pointer Stations wagon. Our 7 bags fit perfectly in the back and we are off to the easyway office. They are 5 minutes from the airport and this allows them to avoid charging the airport tax. Someone claimed a lion was chained up out front in the past, but I can assure them there is no lion, just a crushed rock parking lot with cars and a small office. We filled out all the paperwork and paid…with full coverage, the VW was about $50 a day…from my experience, this was a pretty good deal.

We are ready to leave and suddenly Mr Smooth Talker walks in the door. “You guys want some free tickets to XCaret?”. Me: “Please tell me you aren’t selling Moon Palace time shares!”. Smooth is instantly offended. He wants to know why I would think that and what I have against Moon Palace. I try to explain this has happened before, Moon Palace is notorious for time share attacks and I didn’t just fall off a turnip truck. Smooth wanted to know who told me all these lies and what “bad apples” had turned me against Moon Palace. Me: “I DON’T WANT A TIME SHARE. KEYS PLEASE!”. They made a few more half-hearted attempts, then went to check the car condition with me. I made him write down every little thing, so this was about 10 minutes worth. The VW wasn’t in bad shape, but it was obviously well ridden. It was about 2 years old, lots of little nicks, some cigarette burn holes and a broken air vent. I’m assuming past renters brought this car back, easyway charged them for repairs and never made them. Oh well. I’ve been in worse.

Time to head out. Stepping on the clutch is like stepping on a bag of cotton candy. Oh, and it won’t stay in reverse for more than 3 seconds. It just pops out, even if you hold the stick down.

U Turn on the highway and we are headed to Playa! I point out all the pretty AI resort entrances and remember why I like drivers in this area. If you need to pass, put on your blinker and do it. 90% of the time, the car in front of you will pull to the shoulder. If they don’t, you just drive into incoming traffic and they will (hopefully) move onto the shoulder.

Pulling into Playa, we are looking for 38th, as the kids are starving and the adults could eat. They don’t seem to put up street signs on the highway, aside from Const. and Juarez. We manage to find 38th and park in front of La Cueva del Chango. The kids can see the beach and are ready to go. No, you are going to eat.

We loved this place! Fresh OJ, good coffee and the food was great. We were afraid the kids would freak out over the menu, but there were several options for them. I had the scrambled eggs with chaya and cheese. Carrie had scrambled eggs with a bunch of other stuff. The kids had French toast, scrambled eggs and oatmeal. Several other locals were eating some dish that looked great and was not on the menu. We never figured it out.

The cats are very friendly here and will attack you for cream. These guys all love cats.







Austin

Carlee



More to come...

Last edited by horn34; 06-02-2006 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 06-02-2006   #2 (permalink)
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"I have a 2 year old sitting next to me. He kicked my thigh probably 80 times BEFORE takeoff. His mom just beamed at him as all those idiot clueless parents whose children can do no wrong are prone to do. She would occasional tell him to “be careful” which he would promptly ignore."

You're a better man than I am! Being "childless by choice" I would have tolerated this for about two seconds! Can't wait to hear your impressions on Luna Blue, as this will be our base camp for eight days in a few weeks!!! Keep it coming.
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Old 06-02-2006   #3 (permalink)
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After breakfast, we headed to Luna Blue. Those of you who plan on visiting here for the 1st time, its on a one way street headed north, so you will need to get familiar with the surrounding streets.

We found a spot right out front and I ran up to the front desk. As it was 11am, we needed an early check-in. We had 31-32 and luckily, 31 was unoccuppied. We met Toni and had a nice chat. Cheri showed the kids where the kitties were. That made them happy.




We tossed luggage in the room, checked the layout and headed out to 5th.

Carrie needed a wrap, so we shopped and people watched for a while. It was pretty hot and we didn't last more than an hour. Carrie found a nice euro wrap for 150p and we headed back. 32 was now ready, so we got situated and the girls took a nap.

Austin and I headed to Mega for supplies. I got some beer and Austin picked out a bunch of pastries for breakfast. About 15 pastries was 20p. Very nice. I also got limes, a cutting board, a knife, Grand Centenario tequila, a 2pack of Pepsi and Pepsi light and 2 egg crate pads for the beds. For those of you planning a 1st trip here, mexican beds are pretty hard. You can pick up egg crate pads for 160p...get the largest ones they have, as the queen size pads didn't completely cover the beds.

As we were checking out, I told Austin he could get some chips. He was bewildered by the choices, as they all "kind of" look like Lays chips, but in a different language and with different cover pics. We checked out and I tipped the bag girl...she must not get a lot of tips, as she acted surprised.

I love the locking carts on the escalators...is that magnetic? Very cool.

Back to the hotel and we unloaded. A cold Modelo Especial with lime and I am set. Austin and I explore the grounds and take some photos.

Toni and Cheri chatting with guests


The new deck and construction area



Front of 31-32

The Grounds





more later...

Last edited by horn34; 06-02-2006 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 06-02-2006   #4 (permalink)
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Cool report
Those arent just any ole guest that was us
Toni and Cheri chatting with guests
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Old 06-02-2006   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horn34
Austin and I headed to Mega for supplies. I got some beer and Austin picked out a bunch of pastries for breakfast. About 15 pastries was 20p. Very nice. I also got limes, a cutting board, a knife, Grand Centenario tequila, a 2pack of Pepsi and Pepsi light and 2 egg crate pads for the beds. For those of you planning a 1st trip here, mexican beds are pretty hard. You can pick up egg crate pads for 160p...get the largest ones they have, as the queen size pads didn't completely cover the beds.

As we were checking out, I told Austin he could get some chips. He was bewildered by the choices, as they all "kind of" look like Lays chips, but in a different language and with different cover pics. We checked out and I tipped the bag girl...she must not get a lot of tips, as she acted surprised.

I love the locking carts on the escalators...is that magnetic? Very cool.
Sabritas (yellow bag) are exactly Lays chips. It's the Pepsi-cola company.

Mexican beds are sold from soft to firm and anything in-between.

I doubt she was suprised by a tip, since they work ONLY for tips. The store doesn't pay them. Perhaps she was suprised that a gringo tipped her (since they don't usually know about this).

The wheels on the shopping carts at Mega and WalMart are specially designed to secure the cart within the grooves of the people-mover ramp, so that it does not run away.
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Old 06-02-2006   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by james
Sabritas (yellow bag) are exactly Lays chips. It's the Pepsi-cola company.

Mexican beds are sold from soft to firm and anything in-between.

The wheels on the shopping carts at Mega and WalMart are specially designed to secure the cart within the grooves of the people-mover ramp, so that it does not run away.
Ya, but one thing that causes a hilarious show is when the power goes out like it did when we were there. People trying to hold back those carts
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Old 06-02-2006   #7 (permalink)
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Ya, but one thing that causes a hilarious show is when the power goes out like it did when we were there. People trying to hold back those carts
???

it's a mechanical lock, unaffected by electricity. I normally try to see how far I can get the cart to move without locking... how to trick it. They don't go far even if you try to subvert them.
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Old 06-02-2006   #8 (permalink)
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???

it's a mechanical lock, unaffected by electricity. I normally try to see how far I can get the cart to move without locking... how to trick it. They don't go far even if you try to subvert them.
Not really sure cause we didnt use them, but people were wrestling with their carts. Maybe they were just trying to get them loose cause the escalator wasnt moving.
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Old 06-02-2006   #9 (permalink)
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Sabritas (yellow bag) are exactly Lays chips. It's the Pepsi-cola company.
And let me tell you people, you have NOT truely shopped until you have shopped with James! Yes, believe it or not, I needed help shopping!
My Mega excursion with him was fabulous - and I didn't even have to reserve this tour in advance!

Great report BTW....always happy to see my friends Tony and Cheri as much as I can. I miss them.
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Old 06-02-2006   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james
Sabritas (yellow bag) are exactly Lays chips. It's the Pepsi-cola company.

Mexican beds are sold from soft to firm and anything in-between.

I doubt she was suprised by a tip, since they work ONLY for tips. The store doesn't pay them. Perhaps she was suprised that a gringo tipped her (since they don't usually know about this).

The wheels on the shopping carts at Mega and WalMart are specially designed to secure the cart within the grooves of the people-mover ramp, so that it does not run away.
I pretty much figured they were Lays, but convincing an 8 year old is another matter. He saw the worm in a Gusano Rojo bottle and started imagining all Mexican foods were filled with bizarre additives to make little kids sick.
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Old 06-02-2006   #11 (permalink)
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Cats on the tables ! That's not very hygenic, is it?
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Old 06-02-2006   #12 (permalink)
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Great report BTW....always happy to see my friends Tony and Cheri as much as I can. I miss them.
Same here..!
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Old 06-02-2006   #13 (permalink)
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Around 5pm, I attempt to rouse the girls. While they get up, I whip out the laptop to check email. I can connect to the Luna Blue Linksys router fine, but no internet. It keeps assigning me a local DNS server (192.168.1.1), which is wrong. The night front desk guy isn't much help (not that I blame him) so we go without. Picture time.







We headed off for dinner at Carboncitos. We parked right by it and managed to completely miss it. Karen's Pizza was close, so we grabbed a patio seat. After seeing the prices, we just grabbed drinks and some chips/salsa/guacamole. It's possible the food is great here, but it was very hot (right by the grille) and pretty loud. I wasn't going to chance blowing $50 on mediocre food. Drinks and apps were $250p! My son was falling asleep, so Carlee went and got him ice cream. The kid crack worked on him and he was bouncy after a few minutes.

I walked around and finally located Carboncitos. We grabbed a patio table (beach view?? right) and got some drinks. Carrie is a big Mojito fan and I dig Capirinhas. Service and drinks were pretty good. The salsa plate was good...we really dug the verde sauce. The pumpkin stuff was just kind of WTF??. The queso fundido was good, as was the arrachera and tacos al pastor. The kids are really getting exposed to good mexican food now...they are used to Taco Hell and it's ilk. They liked the arrechera and the homemade tortillas (maiz y harina). I don't remember the total, but it was pretty reasonable.



The kids were desperate for beach time, so we let them play for a while. We told Austin to keep it knee deep only, which in kidspeak translates to "pretend to fall in then just swim since you are already soaked".









We walked around a bit and Austin began cataloguing all the crap he felt he needed. Ukuleles, puppets (we later leaned they are called tateres, not marrionettes), knifes, slingshots, etc. Carrie wanted nice pearl jewelry, which she never found.

We gave Austin every bit of coin change we received during the trip and he became obsessive about counting it and getting the exchange rate from us. He is a CPA in the making!

We headed back to the room after 10 for some much needed sleep. The kids slept with Carrie (they all fall asleep to a movie on their portable DVD player). I passed out catching up with the 2nd season of Veronica Mars. Kristen Bell is VERY spicy!


Last edited by horn34; 06-02-2006 at 05:18 PM..
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Old 06-02-2006   #14 (permalink)
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Holy crap - small world!!!

Sorry we are gonna miss you guys this trip, by the way!

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Cool report
Those arent just any ole guest that was us
Toni and Cheri chatting with guests
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Old 06-02-2006   #15 (permalink)
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Great trip report - keep it up!

You have a beautiful family, by the way - very photogenic.

Carboncitos rocks, but not as much as Luna Blue. We love that place and we adore Tony and Cheri!
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