I have never felt more relaxed and carefree in my life. The fact that we chose a luxury all-inclusive resort could be part of this. What a weird feeling to eat dinner and then get up and leave without asking for a bill or paying a tip. In addition, the people we met were so friendly and helped us with any and everything we needed. Well let's just get to the pictures...
When we checked in to our beautiful suite (one of the best on the resort as we’re told), we got a delicious welcome package and some of the best rum I’ve ever tasted.
The bottle lasted us about two days, but there was no shortage as Kristin won another one in a dance contest later in the week, and our new friend Luis (who we understood to be the head of the wait staff) hooked us up with a bottle for some Cuba Libre, well, libre (free), shortly thereafter.
Passing by the pool on our way to the lobby, we were greeted by some freshly-chopped coconuts filled with a delicious cocktail called Coco Loco (some variation of light and dark rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice, and liqueurs). We thought this would be a daily occurrence but it seems that they actually have someone who grabs a machete and chops down the coconuts right on the resort when they become ripe.
Notable moment: random [local?] guy walks by, looks at the three of us, and exclaims, “You women are beautiful. Congratulations!” I guess they don’t see too many attractive young trio’s at this mainly-honeymooners resort.
Anyway, my sinuses really don’t like flying and all the sugar was not helping, so later that evening, Trish and Kristin explored the resort while I caught some Zzzz. Something did not agree with Kristin’s stomach and she slept on our bathroom floor that night. It couldn’t have had anything to do with all the drinks we had consumed that day…
We all woke up bright and early to book some excursions through a guy named Miguel, who quickly became one of our favorites (and us his).
Of course, we also had to get an early start on hydration.
And Kristin became the first to complete an item on our officially unofficial scavenger hunt.
- “Take a picture with a guy with a big hat.”
We headed to the beach for some much-needed sunbathing and kayaking. We also watched a wedding take place right on the beach, and met a Russian couple who were on their honeymoon.
Then, we took a trip to the other resort, where families and kids are allowed, and where there are many more restaurant options and a bigger lunch buffet.
After lunch at the buffet, we walked around this other resort for a bit, dipped our feet in the pool, then took our time getting back while walking along the white sand beach.
We made dinner reservations at the fondue restaurant on our side, quickly stopped at the internet station to check e-mail and post annoying status messages on facebook to make all of our friends at home jealous, then headed back to the room to freshen up and relax.
When we arrived at La Petite Fondue for dinner, they upgraded us to a table for 5 and made us feel like VIPs. The fondue was delicious, not unlike the Melting Pot here in the States.
We stayed for a while just enjoying the ambience, then headed to the other side again for the evening events. While waiting for the shuttle we met our new favorite bartender Emilio. He likes to make up phrases like, “Humpty humpty, shaky shaky” which we found both lewd and hilarious.
We got to the other side of the resort with plenty of time to grab front-row seats for the show. Kristin and Trish got up on stage for the beginning, and eventually we all got up for the finale.
When that was over, we were ready to hit Areito Disco!
We heard mostly Latin music in the beginning but it quickly changed to American pop and standard club tracks as the night progressed, and we met some guys from Toronto, CA and another group from Miami, FL, USA. One of the guys was Kristin’s second win for the scavenger hunt.
- “Take a picture with a bearded man.”
Unfortunately we got kicked out because, as one Spanish interpreter pointed out to us, they were chlorinating the pools. Oops. We didn’t know if it was just for that night or for every night but needless to say we didn’t try again. Besides, the ocean is right there…
We woke up in time for the breakfast buffet on the third day and had a little time to kill before our first excursion. So, we all knocked out another item on our scavenger hunt.
- “Take a picture with a statue of an amphibian.”
I honestly don’t know how we came up with that one. Anyway, we each got a point for it and spent the rest of the morning wandering around the resort and hanging out by the pool.
By mid-afternoon, the heat was full blast and we stepped onto a hot school bus with the windows knocked out to get to the port. When we arrived, we had to listen to some boring safety stuff, grab our lifejackets, and head on the boat for a leisurely cruise to Stingray Bay where we would be meeting some stingrays and swimming with the sharks, then snorkeling around the coral reef and imbibing a bit while enjoying some on-board entertainment. Or so we thought.
The stingray part was tame enough. They were slimy, especially on your back – ick! Did not expect that at all, but it was fun.
When they hand-selected eight out of about a hundred people and asked them to volunteer for a new program, involving “interaction” with the sharks, my gut instinct said “HECK NO!”
But, my two girlfriends were already looking for the dotted line to sign the waiver, and I couldn’t be the only one of the three to chicken out.
So, I lived to tell the story (obviously) and after we swam with it for a while, we hopped back onto the boat for some entertainment before arriving at the coral reef.
The reefs were so close to us, Kristin actually scraped herself on it. Then the dancer guy put some reddish anti-bacterial on it, which actually made it look worse and hurt worse. Of course I snapped this flattering shot to commemorate the event.
After some of the infamous mamajuana shot and some brief entertainment, we arrived back at the port. Then it was a hot and sweaty bus ride back home in the mid-afternoon sun.
That evening, we ordered room service while getting ready to hit the second club, Imagine. The weird/cool thing about it is that it’s inside a natural cave. We didn’t know what to expect.
Trish didn’t make it that night - it was her turn to be sick. But, we liked it so much, Kristin and I decided to go back again the next night with her. Aren’t we good friends?
Stay tuned for part dos!