It is always nice to get away from a Chicago winter. Utilizing our resort timeshare and traveling to a locale we have grown very familiar with over the past five years keeps the stress levels low and the expectations in line. But no matter how at home we are with the sprawling resort at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, there are things we learn on every trip. Here are a few, in no particular order.
- We were smart to bring along our own ground coffee, tea bags, and sweeteners. What I was not prepared for was how loooong it took the electric stovetop to boil water for my morning cup(s) of tea. I know I was down in Mexico to relax, and there was nothing more pressing on my schedule than "Lay at the pool," but I still get impatient when the minutes tick by and my first jolt of caffeine is on hold waiting for the tea kettle to whistle. Give me a gas stove any day...or at least a good electric kettle. Note to self--pack electric kettle next year.
- We are not automatic pushovers! On our first visit to the resort five years ago we were enticed by the "special promotions" to attend a timeshare sales pitch lunch. Despite plenty of expenses already on our plate--inconsequential things such as building the new house and planning and paying for our daughter's wedding--we succumbed to temptations and with visions of 6 bedroom deluxe vacation villas dancing in our heads, signed a contract that in reality gave us just an annual week of a one-bedroom suite.
This year resort management invited us to an "owners' luncheon" with promises of no hard sell and a chance to hear all the latest and greatest about the resort company. Since we had heard through the grapevine the company was planning on building in a few locales we are interested in visiting, and since there was an offer of $100 in resort credit on the table, we gambled that we could be strong and resist any new sales pitch that came along. Sure enough, our Chicken Caesar Salads and Tequila Sunrises (I know it was lunch, but we were on vacation so a bit of day-drinking was necessary) came with a one time offer to toss another $10,000 into our Mexican investment so that we could get better use out of our otherwise worthless Platinum Points. I am pleased to say, we resisted the salesman's pitch. Though to paraphrase Mario Puzo from the novel "The Godfather," I have to admit, he didn't try very hard.
- A steady stream of over-chlorinated pool water can bring with it a moderate level of eye discomfort and redness. A single drop of sweat tinged with sunblock can produce excruciating pain and near-instant --but fortunately temporary-- blindness. That's what I get for heeding the words of my dermatologist (and Barb about dedicated use of sunblock.
- "Farm-to-Table Restaurant" in Mexico means the same thing as "Farm-to-Table Restaurant" in the USA. Expensive.
- When finished snorkeling, it is best to return to the boat that brought you, not waste all your energy going to the wrong excursion. You don't want to have to tip the crew of two boats.
- I could save a ton of money on taxi rides if I would rent a car. However, I am still to chicken to drive in Mexico. Maybe if I took the trouble to learn Spanish...
- The next peso I spend in Cabo will be the first peso I spend in Cabo. Dollars, dollars, dollars.
- Chicago weather hype reaches for thousands of miles. We were bombarded for days with news about the monster storm headed to O'Hare. American Airlines warned us we should change our flight. They sure psyched me out. Barb remained level headed and resisted my pleas for us to come home two days early to avoid the 6-12 inches of imaginary snow that never fell. If a meteorologist replaced me in the lab, they would call every biopsy "possibly malignant," just in case!
- OK, I give in. A Kindle is easier to transport than 3 library books. Even if my carry-on now contains fourteen charges and three adapters.
- No matter how many discounts the management wants to give us, we will never pay for the all-inclusive meals/drinks package. But's it's not hard to tell which patrons do--and you don't have to look for their wrist bracelets to know who they are. Their girth usually gives them away.
All in all, a good trip. The only Corona we saw was the beer. The trip we were planning on taking to China in May? Canceled because of that other newsworthy Corona. You can't win 'em all.
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