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Old 05-28-2013   #1 (permalink)
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July 2012 at the GPR!

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO READ THE RESTARTED (AND MUCH BETTER) TR!

This is my first TR, and our first trip to Mexico. Try and be gentle, for we knew not what we were doing. Really.

This is copied from my travel journal, which was sometimes being written in real-time, so please forgive the changes in tense.

7/11/12, Wednesday
Got to the airport at 6:00 am for a 10:00 flight. What were we thinking? Guess we were just excited. After hanging around the airport for a while, we finally took off on time. Feature film: "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen." Really? Who chooses these movies? There is a wedding party on board, and there are 40 of them!Lots of kids, but they are pretty well-behaved, so the flight is actually pretty quiet. The flight attendant said that this flight is actually quite bumpy during the summer because of the heat, but it has not been bad so far. We are pretty excited, of course. J says he wants to check out our room first, but I want to go straight to the beach! Of course we will go to our room first, but only because it will be hard to pull our suitcases through the sand.

We are two hours into the flight right now. You know, drunk people annoy me when we are on the ground, but being trapped with 40 of them is enough to make me want to scream! When we got on the plane, someone asked if there was enough alcohol on board. I thought he was kidding, now I'm not so sure.

I'm pretty sure we are over the ocean now, and it is the most amazing shade of blue that I have ever seen! I can't wait to be swimming in it.

The Cancun airport wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, but I did get a little anxious when it took a really long time to get off of the plane. Once we finally DID make it off, we stood in line to get our passports stamped - that didn't take very long, only 10 or 15 minutes. Then we waited about 20 minutes for our luggage and headed to customs.

I've never traveled internationally before, so I really didn't know what to expect at customs. <insert long explanation of Mexican customs here.> We got a green light, and we were off!

The next part is the part I was most worried about: finding our ride. I pictured people coming at us from every direction, trying to sell us a timeshare or something, but it wasn't like that at all. Only one person tried to talk to us, and he left us alone after a polite "no gracias." We found our ride easily enough, and made it to the resort after about an hour. There were Corona signs EVERYWHERE, but the first billboard we saw when we came out of the airport was for Wal-Mart. J wants to check out Wal-Mart, but I can think of things I'd rather do on vacation.

The room is beautiful, and the people here are so nice! We ate at a restaurant included in our AI called Maria's, and it was wonderful. Dessert was fabulous! We wandered around the resort some, and now it is bedtime.

(I know I need to add pictures, I just don't know how to. Help, please?)
__________________
2012 -Gran Porto Real


2013 - 2nd stay at Gran Porto Real


July 9, 2015 Club Yebo and RPDC


Graduation Trip!

Last edited by MommyRie123; 01-27-2015 at 04:14 PM.. Reason: To fix minor spelling errors.
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Old 05-28-2013   #2 (permalink)
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Upload your photos to Photobucket.
Under options choose 800x 600
Copy the [IMG] code.
Paste the code into your post.
Done.
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Old 05-28-2013   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaloo View Post
Upload your photos to Photobucket.
Under options choose 800x 600
Copy the [IMG] code.
Paste the code into your post.
Done.
Thank you. Here we go!

Last edited by MommyRie123; 01-27-2015 at 05:26 PM.. Reason: Remove duplicate pictures
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Old 05-29-2013   #4 (permalink)
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Good start.
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Old 05-29-2013   #5 (permalink)
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I need to have this thread moved to the AI Trip Report board, please!
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Old 06-02-2013   #6 (permalink)
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Excellent start! Looking forward to the rest.

We're hoping to take the kids to the GPR next spring for our second visit.
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Old 01-27-2015   #7 (permalink)
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Now that I have read a few TR's, I'm going to go ahead and restart this one, from the beginning. I understand if you don't want to read a TR from our visit two and a half years ago, but I am going to post it anyway.
FWIW, I took really great notes this trip, so the information and photos will be accurate for the time.

July 2012 -- Cow and Penguin Visit the Gran Porto Real

My husband and I got married in July of 2011, but decided to postpone our honeymoon for a year so that I could finish school.

Wedding:


Graduation!!



Day 1 - 7/11/12
We arrived at DIA at 7:30 for our 10:15 flight. We got checked in easy enough, and went off in search of breakfast. I won't bore you with the details of our airport Sausage McMuffins.

Flight's on time!


Entertainment? (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - Jim ended up LOVING this movie!)


This is where I need to introduce you to Cow and Penguin. At the time of the trip, our kids were 11 (Penguin) and 14 (Cow). Since we didn't want to take the kids on our honeymoon, we agreed to take their favorite (small) stuffed animals.

Cow and Penguin waiting at the gate:


Jim and I waiting at the gate:






Clearly, Cow and Penguin were much more refined than the humans.

Cow and Penguin strapped in and waiting for the safety demonstration and takeoff:


Prior to this trip, I had never been outside of the US. Jim had visited Ireland and Northern Mexico (Chihuahua?) in the 90's, but neither of us had ever been to a resort, so we really had no idea what to expect. On this trip, Jim was much, much braver than I was, but that eventually changed. Now, I am embarrassed to say that I was TERRIFIED of the Cancun airport, but it was fortunately not as bad as I was expecting. I found the MMUN ATC tower amusing:


I was VERY focused on finding our transfer without getting robbed (WTH was WRONG with me??) so I didn't get any pictures at the airport. We did get a green light, and found our transfer, and were sprinted to our hotel. Actually, "sprinted" isn't quite the right word, since we were on a shared transfer, it took us about an hour and a half to get there.

Coming up: More Day 1.

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Old 01-27-2015   #8 (permalink)
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I can't believe that I didn't write down what room we were in. It's probably in my scrapbook, so whenever I get around to pulling that down, I will let you know. It was on the third floor, and near the stairs. I want to say 326?? (It was 320, per my scrapbook)

Here is the view from the balcony. Yes, you do have to turn to the right to see the ocean, but it was really not a big deal at all.



Jim checking out the view. Darn sun was BRIGHT!


Happy honeymooners, crazy in love.


Cow and Penguin checking out the wine.


We hadn't eaten since breakfast, so we decided to head out to dinner at Maria's. I didn't take any food pics, but I did write down what we ate that first night.
Copied directly from my journal:

"Jim had steak that was marinated with mushrooms and was topped with jalapenos and onions. It was served with corn tortillas and guacamole & frijoles." For dessert, he had corn cake with fresh strawberry ice cream. I had fajitas and a fresh lime pie."

After that, we walked around the beach a bit, but we were exhausted, so we went to bed early.

Last edited by MommyRie123; 01-27-2015 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 01-27-2015   #9 (permalink)
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Day 2

Day 2 - 7/12/12
Our first full day!

My horoscope was eerily accurate that day.


We quickly discovered that the breakfast options were pretty limited: we could either order room service, or go down to Albatross.
One of the only food pics I got on this trip, Jim's chilaquiles.



Jim suffers from Plantar Fasciitis, and really needed to find some insoles for his shoes, so after breakfast, off he went to Walmart. Still feeling chicken, I wasn't having any of that, so I chose to stay at the hotel to read and drink.

Jim made a rookie mistake (I would have done the same thing at the time) and took a cab. He was mad at himself when he realized how close it was. Oh well, live and learn.

Impressed by Walmart, he took a picture (because EVERYONE wants to see pictures of Walmart when they are looking back at their vacation memories.)


We were unimpressed with the beach at the GPR, so we headed north toward the Royal, and eventually (GASP!!) The PUBLIC Beach. DUN-DUN-DUN!! It is fun to read back over my journal entry from that day and realize how ridiculous I was being. It is also fun to re-read my description of the beach (I had been to Huntington Beach once, but that was my only previous experience with them).

"The sand here is white and as fine as baby powder. Very hard to walk in. I've heard about how blue the Caribbean Sea is, but words can't describe it, and pictures don't do it justice."

We played in the ocean for a while, then headed back for lunch. No record of what it was, but probably nachos from the beach bar.

Beach pics!


It appears that my hair exploded.

After lunch, we decided to borrow one of the hotel's Hobie Cats, and head out on the ocean. Growing up in Chicago, Jim had sailed on Lake Michigan many times, but the ocean was a whole different ball game. As a result, we didn't stay out very long, but instead spent the rest of the afternoon being lazy.

Coming up: Dinner at Luna Maya

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Old 01-27-2015   #10 (permalink)
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Cow and Penguin also enjoyed the view from our balcony.





After Jim returned safely from Walmart, and nothing bad happened to us on the PUBLIC (DUN-DUN-DUN) Beach, I figured it would probably be safe to leave the resort and eat out. I had heard of this place called Luna Maya, and I really wanted to try it, so we got some directions from the front desk staff, and headed north on fifth.

I was instantly in love with the sights and sounds of La Quinta (and I hadn't even seen the south part yet!) and I chastised myself for being such a baby prior to this. We found Luna Maya pretty easily, although I wasn't expecting it to be upstairs. No big deal, it just made it a little hard to find. Jim had cochanitas, and I had a ribeye. I still contend that this was the best ribeye I have ever had, but he teased me about going to Mexico and eating steak.

Pictures from Luna Maya (please excuse the "crazy in love" pictures):







On the way back, we did some window shopping, and got some ideas. It was then that I decided that I would not leave Playa until I had found starfish earrings. We spent the next several days in pursuit of the perfect pair.

Back at the GPR, we started sucking down Pina Coladas, and enjoyed the nightly entertainment.







Bedtime was early again tonight, as we were going to have to be up early for Chichen Itza.

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Old 01-27-2015   #11 (permalink)
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Day 3 - 7/13/12
Chichen Itza, Cenote Dzitup, and Valladolid

We've all seen Chichen Itza and Valladolid. The cenote was your standard cenote, so I'll spare you most of the pictures. Lunch was chicken and pork with frijoles y arroz at the cenote.

Us at the pyramid


Cenote





No, we didn't buy it.

We returned to the GPR about 9:30 PM, and hadn't eaten dinner yet. They were closing Il Pescatore as we pulled up in the cab, but they kept it open so that we could grab a quick bite. This was the only time we ate here on this trip, and I didn't get any pictures.

We returned to the room, and realized that we could order room service!! Still a little hungry, we ordered dessert.



Cow and Penguin were very happy for dessert, but I think they overdid it just a little bit.





Random picture of the liquor cabinet and TV:


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Old 01-28-2015   #12 (permalink)
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Yay!!!!

a new report!! Thank you so much please keep it coming!!!
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Old 01-28-2015   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by policegirl View Post
a new report!! Thank you so much please keep it coming!!!
This is the trip that you and I were PMing about right before we went. I think that I was even PMing you from the airport.

Glad you are enjoying it.
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Old 01-28-2015   #14 (permalink)
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Day 4 – 7/14/12 (Saturday)
This was only the second chance we had to sleep in, and we took advantage of it. When we finally rolled out of bed, we went down to Albatross, and started our morning the way any morning on vacation should start:





[


A picture from the Lobby Bar:





We had nothing planned for today, so we explored the resort and the beach.


Looking out from the main pool:





From the snack bar on the beach (Parradilla)








Tide pools:









From the pier




In front of THE Royal, and the public beach, where the Hyatt is now located.












We wandered back to the hotel, and discovered the swim-up bar. OMG, this is really a THING?? They even sent up something from the kitchen for our lunch.

Being from Denver, we had had a hard time trying to catch a buzz at sea level. We explained this to David, the bartender at the swim-up bar, and he made Jim a drink. I still have no idea what was in it, but David called it “Mayan Humor” and it finally got to Jim. I didn’t know anyone could fall off the barstool in a swim-up bar. Turns out Mayan Humor is pretty funny. I was sticking to Riviera Mayas and Beachcombers, so when Jim decided to relax by the quiet pool after the Mayan Humors, Cow and Penguin felt that they needed to check on him.




I decided to take this opportunity to explore the resort a little bit more with Cow and Penguin:













After a while, we finally went back to the room to get ready for dinner. This was the first time we had towel art:







Earlier in the week, Jim had made another rookie mistake and not rinsed off when he got out of the ocean. We had to send his trunks to be cleaned because they were SMELLY!! They took good care of them and got them back to us quickly.








We ate dinner at Maria’s again, had a few drinks (ok, I had drinks, he had water) and went to bed.

Coming up: Our amazing first anniversary

Last edited by MommyRie123; 01-28-2015 at 04:36 PM.. Reason: Learned that you can't write a report in Word and cut and paste it.
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Old 01-28-2015   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyRie123 View Post
Day 4 – 7/14/12 (Saturday)
This was only the second chance we had to sleep in, and we took advantage of it. When we finally rolled out of bed, we went down to Albatross, and started our morning the way any morning on vacation should start:





[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/402.jpg.html][IMG][url="http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/402.jpg%5b/IMG%5d%5b/URL"]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/402.jpg[/IMG]


A picture from the Lobby Bar:


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/404.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/404.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


We had nothing planned for today, so we explored the resort and the beach.


Looking out from the main pool:


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/405.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/405.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


From the snack bar on the beach (Parradilla)


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/407.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/407.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/406.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/406.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


Tide pools:
[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/409.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/409.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/408.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/408.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/410.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/410.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


From the pier
[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/411.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/411.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


In front of THE Royal, and the public beach, where the Hyatt is now located.


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/412.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/412.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/414.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/414.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/415.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/415.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/416.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/416.jpg[/IMG][/URL]



We wandered back to the hotel, and discovered the swim-up bar. OMG, this is really a THING?? They even sent up something from the kitchen for our lunch.



Being from Denver, we had had a hard time trying to catch a buzz at sea level. We explained this to David, the bartender at the swim-up bar, and he made Jim a drink. I still have no idea what was in it, but David called it “Mayan Humor” and it finally got to Jim. I didn’t know anyone could fall off the barstool in a swim-up bar. Turns out Mayan Humor is pretty funny. I was sticking to Riviera Mayas and Beachcombers, so when Jim decided to relax by the quiet pool after the Mayan Humors, Cow and Penguin felt that they needed to check on him.


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/417.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/417.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


I decided to take this opportunity to explore the resort a little bit more with Cow and Penguin:


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/418.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/418.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/419.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/419.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/420.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/420.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/421.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/421.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


After a while, we finally went back to the room to get ready for dinner. This was the first time we had towel art:


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/422.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/422.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/423.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/423.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/424.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/424.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


Earlier in the week, Jim had made another rookie mistake and not rinsed off when he got out of the ocean. We had to send his trunks to be cleaned because they were SMELLY!! They took good care of them and got them back to us quickly.


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/IMG_0779.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/IMG_0779.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[url=http://s1124.photobucket.com/user/RkyMountainRose/media/660.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l579/RkyMountainRose/660.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


We ate dinner at Maria’s again, had a few drinks (ok, I had drinks, he had water) and went to bed.

Coming up: Our amazing first anniversary
I noticed that many of your photo links don't seem to be functioning properly...

Otherwise, we have many fond memories of watching Olympic hockey in that bar back in 2010. Great report!
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