As a preface, I booked our week at Villa Vera IM in June 2007, using RCI Points exchange. Mark and I had been traveling to Cozumel for the past 9 years and decided this winter would be a good time to try someplace new. I had been to IM for a couple days in 2003, when I convinced my dear friend Alicia, (from Alicia’s B&B on Coz) to leave the B&B in Chuco’s hands and take a ‘mini-break.’ We had a great time and I left knowing that I would be back.
Roll forward to January 2008 – Mark takes a job with a new company and won’t be eligible for vacation in March. We are both disappointed, but he wants me to go anyway. “Take one of your girlfriends!” he says. So I casually ask Sue, who I shoot pool with, if she has a passport. Her response is “No, do I need one?” I tell her that she does if she wants to go to Mexico with me!
A few weeks later, Sue has a passport and new summer wardrobe, we have airline tickets, and we are ready to go! The countdown begins…
Saturday, March 8, 2008 - -2 degrees F in Zumbrota, MN.
Our flight on Champion Air is scheduled to depart MSP at 8:00 am. Sue arrives at my house about 4:45, and we are on the road by 5:00. Park the car, take the shuttle to the Humphrey terminal and we are checked in by 6:30. Beautiful…time for coffee before boarding.
The boarding call is right on time, we all are seated on the plane, the flight crew gives the safety instructions and then –our Captain announces that there is too much traffic over the gulf and that we cannot get cleared to land in Cancun at this time. Mind you, we have not yet even pushed back from the gate in MSP!! We are asked to de-plane and wait near the gate area. They hope to get clearance so that we can depart by 9:48.
So after a 2 hour delay, we finally are ‘wheels up!’ The flight is smooth and all is well...until we near Cancun and are then told that traffic is still heavy and we will have to circle for a bit before landing. After about 30 minutes in the holding pattern, we finally make that last approach and we are soon on the ground. There were virtually no lines for Immigrations and we sailed through to the baggage claim.
This is where we bog down again. The monitors say our bags will be coming on the same carousel as a flight from Havana and one from San Juan! We waited nearly an hour before our bags finally appear. Okay, grab the bags, get the green light and get to the Best Day van! The rep met us right outside, and while he was getting our voucher for our return transfer, we had time for our first Modelo Especiale. We are now about 2 ˝ hours behind the plan, but it doesn’t matter in the least…we’re in Mexico, its 72 degrees ABOVE zero, and we don’t have to do anything but relax and enjoy ourselves for the next 7 days.
The Best Day transfer to PJ was great…would go that way again in heart beat! We get there just in time to grab tickets and get on the ferry. I can feel the ‘I’m in Mexico’ grin settle on my face. Next thing you know, we on the island, in a cab and on the way to our next stop, Villa Vera!
Smooth easy check-in process and the bellboy shows us to our home for the week, room 1209. Sue and I decide that we want to unpack right away, put on shorts and wash our faces, and check out the hotel property a little. All of a sudden we realize that we are really hungry, so we catch a cab to Centro, stroll through some of the streets and end up at Jax, right at sunset. Sitting out on the upper deck, we raise a toast to the first day of our Isla vacation. “Salud!”
Needing to walk off the fish tacos and sopa de lima, we strolled through town and along Hidalgo. And where should we end up, but Miguels! Of course I've heard so much about the famous pom margs that we have to try them. Can you say 'additive?' And since we are pool players, we played a couple games on their table (which either has the most outrageous table roll I've ever seen or the margs were more potent than I thought!) We just laughed and decided that it was just designed to make it more challenging. Truth be told, I believe some of the local gentlemen watching us got a few chuckles out of it too!
The long day is catching up with us and we head back to Villa Vera for a good nights sleep.