Join Date: Jun 2004
SKM And Her Entourage: A Trip Report To The IB* Maya
Well we made it back to Playa Del Carmen and stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya. We being me (Char, SKM, Sunk, whatever) accompanied by my entourage: my husband (Mike), my son (Ryan), my daughter (Riley), my brother (Pat), my niece (Lauren) and my nephew (Jason). This is our 3rd trip traveling as this particular septet and I think it was our best trip yet.
Over the course of our three trips, we have stayed at one condo and two different AI's and we have found that, with all the kids, the AI's work better for us, as there is always kid-friendly food at kid-friendly hours, as well as an abundance of adult-friendly drinks and Char-friendly dessert tables. Not having to worry about having cash on hand at the pool and beach for drinks and snacks is awesome. Plus we do venture into town at least once on every trip, so we get to eat and drink at some of the non-resort places too.
We had booked the trip with Pat and his kids, but we were on separate flights. Our flight left just a few minutes before theirs, but we were on different carriers in different terminals. We took Riley G all around the airport and on the plane, in this nifty thing that we bought:
That chair was seriously awesome. It was a carseat that converted to a stroller by popping out the wheels underneath and telescoping a handle out the top. We had more people comment on that thing as we rolled her around, then collapsed the wheels and handle, transforming it back into a carseat which we then strapped into her seat on the plane, as well as on buses and taxis.
My favorite comment came from a guy who touched the covering on it and said, "Oh, eet's like a leeetle sofa!" I guess because the material was like upholstery. Or maybe because it was slightly sticky and covered in food crumbs.
At any rate, we landed earlier than Pat and his crew, so we got to our transfer van and said we'd wait for Pat to come out with Lauren and Jason so that we could all ride to the resort together. We had had magic luck when we deplaned and got through customs quickly and found our bags already on the carousel when we walked over to baggage claim. We had apparently sucked all the magic and luck up, though, because Pat took FOREVER, or maybe 25 minutes, to get out to the van. But he did make it and we drove to the resort and checked into our adjoining rooms. The rooms weren't done, so we walked to one of the lunch buffets and ate a weird assortment of buffet food, because that's just what you do at buffets.
After lunch, Pat's room was still being cleaned, so we all sat in our room to rest. Ryan turned on the TV and **POW** the electricity went out. Uh oh.
Mike flagged someone down in the hallway, and he came in and flipped the breaker and the electricity came back on. Whew. Then Ryan turned the TV back on and **POW** the electricity went out again. Uh oh. No problem, we just won't watch TV the whole five days.
Seriously, I could do this, but Mike and Ryan would be pretty entertainment challenged if there was no TV for the downtime. So they got two maintenance guys in there who figured out what the problem was (TV wasn't plugged in right or something, I dunno) and we never had another issue with the electricity again. Yay.
Here are Lauren and Pat, using our couch while their room gets cleaned. Dude, you're on vacation: Put. The Blackberry. Down.
And here's Jason testing out our hammock swing on the balcony:
Their room got cleaned pretty quickly, so we all changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the pool and beach. First I sat on Mike, cuz I was too lazy to find my own chair:
Pat was lonely with no one to sit on him (with his hair like that, he looks so much like my dad when he was younger... weird):
The girls drinking their first fruity drinks:
Ryan LOVED the knock-you-on-your-ass wavepool. It was as powerful as it was 4 years ago when we first went there. Not that I thought time would decrease its power; Ryan was just worried it "wouldn't be the same." Here's the wavepool:
And here's Ryan sitting in the waves:
Then we wandered down to the beach. The waves were pretty decent that first day, so the kids had fun playing:
That night we ate at the Mexican restaurant. They put a burro out front so we'd know we were in the right place:
A group shot of everyone except me... it's apparently Male Stripes Night. Ignore Miss Fingers down there:
I had some really good tacos especiales, but I couldn't tell you what was in them, and I didn't take any food pics. Bad, bad me. After that we went back to the room and I think everyone was asleep by 10:30. Travel days always seem to be the most tiring.
Last edited by SunKneeMarie; 08-19-2008 at 12:40 AM..
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Join Date: Jun 2004
The next day we had to check in with the FunJet people to arrange our transportation back to the airport. We were SUPPOSED to have done that our first day there, but we had forgotten, so we had each gotten a fairly early wake up call to reprimand... er, remind, us.
Here are the guys taking care of business:
And here are the kids waiting on them:
Lauren and I liked looking at the different art and artifacts they had around the place and I took some pictures of some of the things we liked. Here's the copper ceiling in the lobby:
And here's kind of a harp/pottery hanging thingamajigger... not quite sure how you'd say that in Spanish. See, there's pottery hanging on some of the harp strings:
After breakfast we stopped to see this enclosure full of birds and iguanas. Riley liked the birds ("Weet, Weet," she would say):
but when she got close enough to see this guy (rather immodest, isn't he?):
And then saw him behind Ryan's head:
Well, she got a little panicky. And when one of the birds shrieked and took a diving run at another bird, she burst into tears and I had to pick her up and thus ended Funtime at the Animal Enclosure.
So we went back to the room, changed and went down to the pool. Here Riley is showing Daddy some grass that she pulled from the sidewalk. She's learned how to be SUCH a good weeder, hasn't she? I kept reminding her that she was on vacation and no one expected her to do any landscaping:
Here we all are at a buffet lunch. For dessert we all had ice cream sundaes. Gee, could Ryan and Jason BE any more alike when it comes to posing for the camera?
Looky here: Lauren, Riley and I will show you how to do it... (sorry, no makeup on me since we're at the pool):
On our way to dinner that night, I snapped a few more pictures of some of the interesting designs around the place:
One of the tiled floors designs... but these were rocks, not tiles:
A light fixture (looked more impressive without the glary light behind it):
We had made reservations that night at the Japanese restaurant, much to the chagrin of the picky-eating boy kids and my brother, who said, "I hate Chinese food." Well, good, then don't order any of that at the Japanese restaurant, ya goober.
I told him I had heard it was like a Benihana type of restaurant, where they stir fry everything in front of you and throw the utensils around and set their sleeves on fire. If anyone (or everyone) absolutely hated it, they could politely eat some pieces of meat and then we'd stop at the buffet on the way back to the room. It was an All-Inclusive, remember, so NOBODY was gonna go to bed hungry!
On the way to the restaurant, we remembered it was customary in Japan to play a pre-Benihana game of pool. So we did. First Pat versus Mike. Mike was winning for most of the game and then Pat just kind of snuck up on him and won it. Recognize Pat's movie star shirt? Yeah, me neither:
Then Ryan and Jason played. Ryan was winning the whole game and then--OOOPS--sunk the 8 ball.
Then I played Lauren. I don't know where the picture of Lauren went. I know I took one. Look at the concentration on my face. I know I should be lower to the table. I was having wardrobe issues:
So then we got to the Benihana show.
Not to be paranoid, but the chef guy seemed to have a vendetta against our group. First he was doing all of the flippy things with his utensils, a la Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail, and he lost control and sent a spatula flying right onto Ryan's plate, knocking his silverware askew and flipping his straw out of his drink. Yikes!
Then he was doing a tricky thing where he'd flip a piece of broccoli into various people's mouths around the table. The cute girl next to Pat caught it in her mouth, then another kid, then another guy... then it was Lauren's turn. The chef sent a piece so high toward Lauren that it bounced off the top of her head and flew across the room. Ouch. She said that was fine, she didn't like broccoli anyway. There's my glass-half-full girl.
And after all that food worry, look at my family eating! Here's Mike eating sushi roll things. Love the expression on Ryan's face:
But then here's Ryan using chopsticks to eat like he's spent every weekend in Chinatown. Eating fried rice that has "STUFF" in it! My Ryan!! I had to photograph it:
And Lauren and Jason eating fried rice. Not as surprising or impressive, as Lauren is a pretty well rounded eater, and Jason will eat rice with practically any meal. I call him Carb Boy. He actually got both steamed rice AND fried rice with this meal... but still they were trying to work those chopsticks:
And not to be left out, Miss G alternated between doing the two-handed chopstick method, where she would try and scoop together whatever she could with a chopstick in each hand; and the one-handed Psycho method, where she would hold both chopsticks in one hand, going after whatever she could pierce with the utensils, also known as "viciously stab at things to see what sticks to my sticks." Quite a bit, actually:
After dinner we went up to change and then watched the Star Friends' night show. That night was Mexican Folklore, with a lot of old Mexican music and traditional dancing. Pat and Jason actually stayed to watch the whole thing... the rest of us left pretty quickly as we were kinda bored. No offense to you, you lovers of ancient Mexican lore.
We trooped upstairs to watch some TV. There were quite a few English speaking channels with movies playing, although for some reason two of the Charlie's Angels movies were playing over and OVER again that weekend. Ugh. That is some seriously bad acting. Although I'm thinking Pat wasn't watching it for its Academy award worthy performances. Maybe he was just reminiscing about his movie co-star days with Drew Barrymore. (I have a blog on this whole Pat-movie thing if anyone is confused...it's under the heading "A Legend In His Own Mind" in my blog)... another nice day in Mexico!
Last edited by SunKneeMarie; 08-19-2008 at 11:46 AM..
Join Date: Jun 2004
A Legend In His Own Mind « Rambling Is Therapeutic