Days 1 & 2
Sunday January 20th
We all decided to stay over at the Ramada Inn park and fly the night before our flight. I finished up my last minute cranky client issues and we left around 3:30 PM with Mom and Sharon in tow. We were the first to get there so we signed up for the airport shuttle. We asked the front desk to inform the others as they signed in as I knew we would hit the sack early; I had been frantically trying to meet deadlines and see clients the two weeks before we left and I was exhausted- the shuttle was scheduled for 4:45 AM for a 6:45 AM flight. I had booked the usual Continental flight from Hartford/Bradley to Newark to Cancun. The 4 of us met at the bar but after two beers we left as the noise from the TV and all the football fans was more than I could take. We ordered room service and then it was sweet dreams, or as much as you can sleep before leaving for ISLA!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday January 21st
Everyone was up and actually ready for the shuttle. Jamqueen Ann and her husband Alan were on the same flight so we saw them as we were checking in- those sign-in computers where you just swipe your passport and punch buttons for your boarding pass are so cool! Makes things easy and the Continental staff was nice as usual. We had breakfast at McDonald’s as we did not expect any solid food until Isla. The flights were uneventful and on time [which is why we always take this particular flight] and we were in Cancun at 12:40 PM. Sharon and I had three suitcases full of medical supplies but ironically, we got the green light and Madelyn/Mom, Doug and Patty all hit the red light, 3 in a row! No problems and we were off- got our bags and we were soon on the Cancun Valet shuttle. We had also arranged for Ann/Alan to share our ride so there were 10 of us in the van…Alan bought the $5 beers [yikes] right outside Terminal 3 so we had our first cold ones as we left the airport. Thanks Alan!!! We then stopped at another store and got a few more 6 packs [hey, we were thirsty!]…Doug just kept smiling and saying “thank you for inviting us” and the rest of us took in the heat and the friendliness of our driver, Joaquin. Alan once again treated us to ferry tickets [thanks Alan!] and we headed to the Ultra Mar. The sky was overcast so the brilliance of the Bahia de Mujeres was not what I had hoped for the newbies….as we hit the pier I looked for Steve and Rosie- they are the official greeters but I was surprised not to see them…as we arranged for the tricicletas to take our bags up to the Roca Mar, Randy yelled out “Jorge!” and gave him a Boston Red Sox shirt. Randy took a liking to this maletera last year and I was touched that Randy “got” the whole essence of Isla….he loved that Jorge was so ecstatic about that shirt and every time we saw him that week, he either had on the BoSox shirt or the BoSox hat that Randy gave him last year. As we made our way to Rueda Medina, here came Rosie with her usual sign welcoming us all to Isla. She accompanied the entourage up to the Roca Mar where I arranged rooms [made sure I gave the newbies the room with the best view] and took a deep breath. It is tough to be the shepherd sometimes. Ann and Alan had already gone to their accommodations. The Roca Mar gang all agreed to settle in a bit then meet to hit the Supermercado. The rest of the day is a blur but I know that we all ended up at Velazquez- we had a great meal [I LOVE the breaded squid]. It started POURING rain and I kept promising the newbies that it would end. And it did…the next day was the beginning of 8 sun drenched days in paradise with perfect weather and perfect company….