We board and settle ourselves into our first row seats. I don’t like sitting in the first row because you have to put all your carry on stuff in the overhead bins, including my purse. They were the only good seats left when Zung called to get our seats together. I had a good view of the flight attendant playing Candy Crush on her iPad. Usually the flight attendants are helping people get settled as they board, but if you’ve ever played Candy Crush, then you understand. To be fair, I think this is when we were waiting to be de-iced.
The de-icing means we leave half an hour late. The pilot tells us that because we have a good tail wind we will arrive on time in spite of leaving late.
They charge for everything now, TV, drinks, snacks. I remember when not only did you get drinks free, but you got a full hot meal. You even had a couple of meals to choose from. That was before the days of individual TV’s though. I’m really dating myself now.
I order a rum and Pepsi and for some reason, they don’t charge me! Possibly because I am with Zung and he gets drinks free as a Summit member, a perk that will soon be ending. Works for me. So I have another.
It is a smooth flight (or maybe that’s because of the rum and Pepsi’s). We do in fact arrive on time. Being in the first row means we are the first ones off the plane and, hallelujah, there is NO line at Immigration. Our Immigration agent is cheerful and friendly, which almost never happens. Quick through Immigration always means a wait for luggage though. Fortunately it is not a long wait and Customs does not have any lines to speak of.
We get the red light. If you are not familiar with Customs in Mexico, you have to press a button and you get either a green light and are done or you get a red light and they go through your luggage. This is only the second time in 22 trips that we have gotten a red light. They used to X-ray everyone’s luggage. They have changed it so that now they only X-ray red light luggage. This is probably why Customs isn’t as backed up as it used to be. We haul our bags up on the X-ray conveyer and then up on the table for the Customs agents to go through. The male agent that goes through Zung’s bag does it quickly. The woman who is going through mine takes out one of my Betsy Johnson shoes and holds it up for the other female agent to see. They ARE super cute shoes. Then she takes out a bottle of my vitamins and looks at them and asks me if they are vitamins. I confirm that they are and she is satisfied that I am not trying to smuggle drugs into Mexico and she tells me we are done.
We go outside. The weather is cool and overcast. I look for someone holding a sign with my name and it is the same guy from Cancun Valet from our last several trips. I learn that his name is Carlos. He tells me that he saw a picture of him and I together on the internet. If you google Cancun Valet images, you will see it. Here’s another one!
Our van pulls up, we load up the luggage and ourselves and we are on our way.
Our driver tries to teach me some Spanish. I think I am hopeless. But I appreciate his effort.
The drive from the airport to Iberostar only takes about 25 minutes. I love that moment when we drive through the entrance gate. We pull up to the Grand and are greeted by Christian. He takes us to the bar while he checks on our room. Daniel is at the bar. It’s always so good to see him.
The bar is really busy. I tell him he doesn’t have to make us cucumber mojitos if it’s too busy but he says it’s no problem. I learn later in the trip that the bars now stock cucumbers for another drink they added to the menu so he doesn’t have to go cucumber hunting in preparation for my visits anymore.
Raul, the head of Public Relations, comes to greet us and welcome us back. He gives us a certificate for 10% off the (over-priced) gift shop and a certificate for a 30 minute couples massage. Eder comes by to say hello. We go to the lobby to pay for our room and then Christian is driving us in a cart to our room in Ocean Front building 71.
We are taken up to our room, 7155. I specifically asked for a room with an unobstructed view. When we were here in June we had a palm tree right in the middle of our view. I know, first world problems. I was quite happy with our view.
As soon as we arrived to the room I went out on the balcony and performed the CROTW. Also know as the ceremonial removal of the watch. I don’t wear a watch when I’m on vacation. Although, I’m secretly happy that Zung does.
There was a knock at our door. Who could it be?