Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Mastequilapf Y Susangria do Playa! 8/31-9/10 2007
Friday, August 31 – Travel Day
Due to a certain peep’s (who will remain nameless – unless, of course, she speaks up) disdain for those trip reports that start out with “We woke up to the sound of the alarm bright and early at 6:00am, yada yada yada.” I won’t start my report this way. I won’t even use fun sound effects like I did last year (while saying that we woke up to the alarm), technically NOT making it start in the manner above. I’m just going to list highlights of our travel experience, until our arrival in playa.
I did the whole weigh-the-suitcase-at-home-with-a-mediocre-bathroom-scale thing, and it said I had a few pounds to spare before crossing over the $50 fine limit of 50 pounds. And a good thing it was. See now, we had to buy this bag special for this trip because a couple of our other rollerboards has fallen apart, and Mom and Dad didn’t have one I could borrow. So, this was one of the largest rollerboards available. Necessary for all the tequila I was hoping to bring home. We named it Big Poppa.
I don’t know how many people go around naming their suitcases, but due to this one’s girth, I thought it necessary. Anyway, when we hoisted it onto the scale at the Delta ticket counter in Atlanta and let go of it, the scale was teetering between 49.5 and 50. Rapidly. The ticket guy just laughed, said we were really lucky, and tagged the Pop and tossed it on the belt. The people at the adjacent counter had a huge duffle bag, into which BP could have fit with EASE. They just shook their heads and said, “We’re so screwed.”
The plane was ready:
The ground crew was working hard:
No free upgrade this year, as our friend has Friday off.
The plane was appropriately dubbed a “No whining zone.”
I had nothing to do with making this sign.
The first officer on the flight was a wild man. I don’t know what he consumed or participated in the night before, but I don’t think I’ve ever been on a flight with a pilot so chipper so early in the morning.
We did the whole “landing” thing and “got green lighted” and caught up with Tito, the driver of our private transfer van to La Tortuga. Tito was really cool. After asking if we spoke any Spanish (to which we replied, “un pocito”), he spoke Spanish VERY slowly the entire way, and was really careful to make sure that we understood him. It was awesome. We had a great conversation and very few times did we have to ask him to repeat himself or try to translate. This was our first time taking a private transfer. In previous years, we had taken the “Major Internet Travel Agent’s” shuttle bus, which took us well over an hour. Tito got us there in less than 40 minutes, maybe less, we weren’t really keeping track. We were very eager to see La Tortuga in person, especially after having seen Jacko’s pictures from earlier this year. We checked in, and were offered our welcome drink. Since our room wasn’t ready, the concierge took Big Poppa and his two other minions away while we relaxed. And took pictures:
The grounds were absolutely breathtaking:
The rules here are very explicit.
Especially the one about being quiet. They had little plaques with the Mayan guy as shown (giving the quiet sign) plastered all over the hotel. If you DO yell and horse around, Anna Tortuga will come out of her office and beat you.
And just as we sat down to relax, I saw something in the distance…What on earth is that?
I think I see the Holy Grail!
OH MY GOSH! IT IS THE HOLY GRAIL! I began to have very devious thoughts.
After getting over the shock of finally closing my pursuit of the Holy Grail, we returned to the Lobby, in search of Anna, and promptly found her and introduced ourselves. I’m sorry to say that Anna was battling quite a cold, as were many of the locals while we were there. Funny that you’d get a cold in such a hot place.
Anna, Susan, and I chatted for 20 minutes or so until we were informed that our room was ready. We said goodbye to Anna and Benjamin, the delightful gentleman working the desk upon our arrival, escorted us to our room. Room 112, a swim up room, and what a room it was!
The steps down into the pool from our patio:
Susan promptly donned her bikini and took a dip:
This, folks, was a short swim, as we had a lot to get accomplished in our first few hours in playadise- eat lunch, buy the room tequila, and find Susan some Crocs flip flops.
Lunch was at an establishment that holds a special place in the hearts of may peeps- Carboncitos. We ordered the obligatory salsa wheel. My lunch was tacos al pastor, and Susan ordered up some juicy fried coconut shrimp. Sorry, we managed not to take any pictures here. I guess you can chalk this one up to our giddiness of having just arrived. Unfortunately, I’ll be saying that a lot this trip report. Not nearly as many of our pictures came out as well as we would have liked. Oh well. I guess we’ll have to go back!
Anyway, next stop on the tour was the Playa Mart across the street from the bus station. The Playa Mart is one of those stores that has just about anything a tourist could need- tee-shirts, drugs, all sorts of souvenirs, snacks, beer, and yes, tequila. I would like to say that while this store is a huge store and it is on 5th Avenue, it does have a decent selection for a store its size. It also has decent prices for being on 5th. Not quite the selection of the Casa Tequila, but not nearly as costly either. After partaking in the free samples, and my ever annoying inability to make up my mind, I finally chose a bottle of 1921 Reposado. What a fine choice it was. Too bad I didn’t get a shot of it before I polished off the whole bottle.
I’ll tell you later what the 2nd room tequila selection was. I think we took another quick dip in the pool before heading off to dinner.
Susan has a soft spot in her soul for Asian noodle bowls, much like how I have a soft spot in me for tequila. I know, go a head, roll those eyes (here are a few emoticons for you ). So, the most sensible choice as you may imagined was Babe’s Noodles on 10th Street. We were still officially Babe’s virgins, as we failed to eat their last year. We knew we were missing something.
Yes, we took pictures of all the babes in sight.
Hot damn! Look at this one:
Holy mackerel! OW! OW!
We ordered up a pair of mojitos to wet our whistle
And wet they made us!
Susan ordered something that was like Pad Thai, but not Pad Thai. I ordered one of my favorites, Pad Thai
I was more excited than a little boy on Christmas morning.
When we were sufficiently stuffed, we made the long, perilous journey to the Beer Bucket, where I spotted Tommy!
We relocated upstairs, where we met many new friends, several of whom are locals. Tommy took off to another party, and we promptly danced across the street to La Ranita. Susan and I both had a pretty good buzz going.
I didn’t get two inches into the place before I heard someone shout, “Hey are you Mastequila?!” Yes, I am. It was Steve (baked), Judy (JudyBlueEyes), Peter (I don’t believe he has a screen name). The esteemed Jez walked up shortly thereafter! We also ran into some people who live in our neighborhood in Atlanta! Cool!
Yours Truly, Steve, Judy
Susan and Peter
Sorry folks, no stories of excess to kick off our trip this year. Unfortunately, our long day was beginning to catch up to us, which was a shame because we both had great buzzes going, and it was a par-tay at La Ranita. We decided that since we had 10 more days here, we’d call it a night and catch up with everyone the following day.
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Join Date: Dec 2004
hooyah! I've been waiting for this report.....
We love La Tortuga......
love that Josef character......
and love that 1921 Tequila Reposado (sctx just turned us on to this here in NC)...
but what I REALLY love the most is this very cute young lady....Josef..you are a lucky, lucky dude...
Bring it on Josef!
I was just about to drop a PM in your direction to give you a sharp poke in the ribs to get started on your trip report, but alas.... you take the fun out of EVERYTHING!!
LOVE the first day, Josef and Susan!! Can't wait to read more and see more pics!!!