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Vacation Journal
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Isla Mujeres 2007 ~ Prelude

By: Doreese (View Profile)
Date: 4/19/2007

Isla Mujeres February 2007

Prelude

Saturday February 17

“What A Great Way To Start A Holiday!”


The morning dawns bright and sunny and by 9:30 we are on our way to the airport in Kelowna, BC. Our friends Ingrid and Rick drop us off….”See you in a week!” They will be joining us on Isla Mujeres for 10 days. But first, we get to enjoy a few days in Los Angeles where we have tickets for Maná. We can’t wait!

Our Horizon prop takes off at 11:34 and we enjoy a smooth, scenic flight across the mountains towards Seattle.



We land in Seattle at 12:20 and emerge onto the tarmac. Off to gather our luggage and go through Customs and then it takes us 4 different trains to get to Terminal C. Whew! We check in at Alaska Airlines for our flight to Los Angeles and then go in search of lunch. After going through security, Vince wants to go back to the main terminal for a salmon burger at Anthony’s Grill. We’ve eaten there a few times and it has always been great. No such luck though. As we get close, the terminal that we are in gets ‘locked down’ and we can’t leave. After waiting a few minutes we decide to turn around and end up settling for Wolfgang Puck Express. We share a smoked salmon and cream cheese pizza and water…$12. It was good but rich.

Our flight leaves a little late, at 3pm. Another awesome display….Mt.Ranier…



And the pilot tells us that this is Mt.Adams…



We land at Burbank Bob Hope Airport….a very nice little airport. Luggage arrives quickly and we get our car from Avis. After loading the luggage we spend a few minutes figuring out the car. We’ve only driven Honda vehicles for years, so this Buick Lucerne is very different. The headlights and windshield wipers came on all by themselves when needed! Anyway, we ask for directions as we leave the parking lot and promptly take a wrong turn and end up going in circles for a while. Oh well! Next stop, Marriott. I can see the sign right from the airport so it should be easy to get there. Vince parks outside the lobby and I go in…hmmmm, no reservation here. It turns out that we are at the wrong Marriott so the desk clerk gives us a map to the right hotel, about 5 miles away. He says it happens all the time! Back in the car and a few minutes later we are there.

A quick call home to let everyone know that we have arrived and then we walk to the huge outdoor mall next to the hotel, Empire Centre. Vince sees an Outback restaurant and can just taste a steak….40 minute wait! Ouch! But we get our little ‘your table is ready’ buzzer and sit outside in the warm breeze with everyone else and patiently wait. It is worth the wait though. Vince has a rib eye steak with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans, while I go light with a grilled chicken breast and salad. Jenny Craig would have been pleased with my choice! With beer and water the total came to $50. Delish!

By 10:30 we are back at the hotel. We’ve had a long day so it’s off to bed…the phone rings at 11:30….my mom calls to say that our son Jason as a temp of 103F. He wasn’t feeling well when we left this morning but I thought he was just getting a cold. They go to emergency and call back around 1am…the verdict…influenza. Poor Jason. I feel like such a bad mom that I’m not there to take care of him, but I know he’s in good hands. Now I just hope we all don’t end up getting sick too! Back to sleep!



Sunday February 18


The day of the concert is here! We wake up early after far too little sleep, eager to start the day. News from home is good…Jason is feeling better and has no temp…yippee! Time to get out and see the sights! We leave our hotel….



And drive straight to Starbucks for a ‘wake-up’. We decide to do a dry-run for tonight and see how long it takes us to get to Universal Studios. No problems with our planned route and it only takes about 30 minutes. Off to explore….how about Mulholland Drive. We’ve been to LA many times but it’s been a few years. There are such great views up here….



Vince enjoys driving the winding road…



A very cool swimming pool…



The Hollywood Bowl…



Hollywood!





I don’t think I’d like to be in this house during an earthquake!



If this is the gatehouse, I wonder what the House looks like!



I haven’t seen a plant like this before….it was huge!



We follow Mulholland until we get a great view of the Burbank and Universal area….



I almost step on this little fellow!...



After driving around and drooling over some of the houses, it’s time to head back to the hotel to get ready for the concert. We decide on an early dinner and walk over to the Olive Garden. It’s only 4pm and there is already a 60 minute wait! Huh! That’s crazy! Back home we groan if we have to wait more than 5 minutes for a table! We don’t have 60 minutes to spare so it’s back to the Outback….hope they don’t recognize us from last night!



Vince enjoys Aussie ribs with fries and apples with cinnamon. I drool over his choice but I’m good and have a grilled chicken breast with steamed veggies. It was all very good….$45. Back to the room to change and by 5:30 we are on the way to Universal Studios, arriving just after 6pm. We pay extra for preferred parking….we end up taking a wrong turn and Vince has to back up a few hundred feet with oncoming traffic. Gee, that was fun! Oops!

We finally park and then wander around Universal City Walk, finding our way to the Gibson Amphitheatre. There are about 20 people already in line so we join in. We have fun talking to some girls who can’t believe that we came all the way from Canada for Maná. As more and more people join the line, we begin to realize that we are a bit of an oddity….everyone else was Hispanic. It was fun to be surrounded by other fans….most were wearing t-shirts from previous concerts. At 7:30 the gates open and we are some of the first people in…woohoo!!! We quickly get in line for t-shirts…left a small fortune behind!

Off to find our seats…..they are awesome! The venue is small…only 6000 seats and the theatre has great acoustics. Vince goes back to get beer for the show…$12! Ouch! We meet Alexandra and Jack….very nice couple next to us who were so nice to translate often during the night. Sure wish I knew more Spanish!

At 8:45 the lights go down and Maná arrives. It is fantastic!!! Everyone stands and there is dancing, singing and arms in the air for the entire time. We’ve been to a lot of concerts over the years, but this was one of the very best ever!



Too soon, just after 11, the concert is over. It’s raining lightly as we leave. Back to the hotel just after midnight…happy with our purchases. Maná was the perfect start to our Mexico holiday…



With happy smiles, we hop into bed for our traditional ‘last night before our holiday’ picture….



One more sleep….we dream of Isla Mujeres….







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