Flew Mexicana for the first time. We liked it and will use them again. Nonstop out of Dulles, flights on time/early. Food pretty good, omelet/quesadilla choice for breakfast, chicken/rice or some kind of pasta for dinner.
First view of land
Strong cross winds, made for a bit of a rough landing.
Mexicana flies into Terminal 2, we took the long way to the terminal, hadn't been this way before. Bridge over 307
Approaching Terminal 2. There wasn't room for us, we parked away from the terminal and we were bused to the terminal. Immigration line was pretty short, luggage and customs took a while.
Used AGI Transfers for our ride down. Very happy with them. They offer a free 30 minute shopping stop. We tried Soriana this time and would shop there on a future trip. Prices comparable to Mega and it was a whole lot more convenient. Lunch options are Paco Taco right across from the Soriana access road, or Floresta on the way.
In the "only in Mexico" category, see the guy in the passenger seat? It's a chainsaw. A big one.
Also in that category, the ubiquitous military truck
Entrance of Villa 64 in the Riviera section, our home for the next 4 nights. We had a second floor junior suite, 6414, no view of the ocean but on the ocean side so we could hear the surf with the sliders open at night.
Path from villas 63/64 to the salt water pool
The surf was really high the whole time, high tide had the pool completely submerged.
On our exploratory walk, saw this gorgeous little butterfly near the Kantenah orquideria. Not a great shot.
First drink while checking email in the Colonial lobby on our exploratory walk
Gorgeous heron outside of Mare Nostrum or Sumptuori, I forget which.
Heron on the move
Friday morning breakfast on the Colonial side. Great omelets and fruit. Champagne, fresh juices, espresso...just fabulous.
Mark loves the hash browns and sausage. They had chorizo most mornings too, he loves it! (this was regular sausage)
This was the first time Mark got in the pool, he was very proud of himself (he is usually a pool wuss, water has to be warm). Pools were warm for January, he got in a couple times, reward being the swim up bar.
I forget what was in my bottle, either crystal light or perhaps one of the several rum and cokes I had over the trip.
Desserts at the lunch buffet. See those tiny fruit tarts on the right? Fantastic. They did a good job with chocolate, too. And always flan, which I could eat till I collapsed in a corner in a sugar coma.
Hands down the best part of the buffet, the Mexican antojitos. Today was tostadas, all types (chicken, shrimp, beef, vegetarian) and quesadillas. Other times you might find empanadas, flautas, other things.
Salad bar was great. They had a great homemade viniagrette dressing.
Back to the salt water pool that afternoon.
I think this was one of the party catamarans out of Puerto Aventuras or Akumal.
View from 2nd floor of villa 64
View from 3rd floor. You get a peek of the ocean.
Spa. The faucets are really high pressure and feel great on your neck and shoulders.
This was taken for Mark's dad who is in the pool business, so he could check out their equipment. I think this was behind the big pool on the Colonial side.
Cazadores reposado in Hemingway's before dinner on Friday
Beach BBQ on Friday.
There was a buffet with appetizers/side dishes and ribs, but the best part was the grills with chicken, steaks, burgers/hot dogs.
Great reggae band
Saturday morning, White Sands pool
Swim up bar and pool bar above
Koi ponds outside the buffet restaurant. The fish were seriously well fed!
Outside the Kabah (White Sands/Riviera) buffet. We ate breakfast and lunch here most days.
Looking across lagoon to Riviera lobby
Riviera lobby and theater
Saturday night dinner at Punta Emilia, the beach bar that becomes an a la carte restaurant in the evenings. Reservation only, you can make a day ahead. Forgot to take picture before we got into this, little appetizer plate they brought with our drinks.
My tikin xic fish, has an achiote/sour orange sauce. Fantastic.
Mark's mixed grill. It was seriously a lot of food, he barely managed his way through it.
Mark's chocolate cake
My Grand Marnier custard/cake.
Peoplewatching was crazy fun. This woman had impossibly high hair. I couldn't take my eyes off of it, I wanted to find out how she did it!
This really does not do it justice. I am dead serious when I say it was a foot off her head.
Sunday morning was too windy for the beach. We found chairs by the pool that faced the lagoon. These are Riviera villas 61-62, I think.
I think this was a wave. Kind of looks like "what the hell are you doing, leave me to my magazine"
View from the lobby to the section of the pool where we hung out Sunday
Lunch buffet. Just some roasted vegetables.
Fruit was always great.
It's never a trip to Mexico till you see a picture of an iguana. We found this guy on our way to the spa.
High tide at the salt water pool. Today you could see the water had reached over the first set of steps/terrace.
Colonial lobby, the middle courtyard. Hard to get a pic at night, it was very pretty. We enjoyed some drinks waiting for our table at El Dorado. Bloody Mary not so great, too sweet. Tequila sunrises were a hit.
We were so into our dinner at El Dorado we totally forgot to take pictures. This was my dessert, there was chocolate mousse inside, really rich. Kiwi and strawberry on the side.
Mark's chocolate brownie. Also great.
Appetizer and salad bar at El Dorado. It was a cowboy theme, the waiters wore jeans and cowboy boots, they were cute.
After dinner we were in search of a shot we'd seen served at dinner, it was dark in color and on fire!
The cucaracha. Tequila and espresso. You can't really see the flames but trust me they were on fire. (as was the bar, where some of the liquor had spilled)
You drink it with a straw and when it's done, poof the flame goes out.
Colonial lobby/theater? I have no idea, I might have been a little drunk.
Monday morning, boo hoo, our last day. The nice part was we weren't being picked up till 2:30 pm so we had almost a full day. We took the path along Riviera past the salt water pool. Gotta have a palm tree shot!
Iron shore between Palladium and Grand Sirenis in the background. If you have time you can hike over there I think, but we didn't have the time.
Up off the iron shore, Royal villa in the background. Heard some really cool birds.
Best shot I could have at one of the singing birds.
Wider birdie shot, at the top if the dead tree.
Always fun looking for baby fish in the tidal pools
Small lizard in the middle
Punta Emilia beach bar menu. We never got here during the day or night, just dinner.
Punta Emilia seating. At night they pull the curtains (helped block the wind!) and have candles. It was so pretty.
White Sand beach
Volleyball court, Colonial beach. This is where the beach BBQ seating was.
Colonial beach/snack bar. Both this and Punta Emilia are open 24 hours.
Last walk north, Colonial beach
Flags at north end of Palladium
Looking back to Kantenah beach from the north
Neat fresh water/teeny tiny cenote bubbling up at ocean's edge
Abandoned resort north of Palladium
This was about as far north as you could get. The water was too high to walk past El Dorado Seaside Suites, and there was a guard on the beach.
3 sand crabs in this shot
Crane on the beach. One of the things we loved about Palladium was the variety of wildlife.
Hard to get a close shot.
Forgot to get room pics until we were leaving, forgive the unmade bed! View was of the jungle but you could hear the ocean. Pullout sofa would fit a third adult or a couple of kids.
Mini bar under the TV, people probably complained it wasn't cold, we saw that it was unplugged! It wasn't ice cold but did the trick. Was stocked with bottled water, soda, and bottled Superior and Sol.
Huge bathroom, the size of our bedroom at home. Stall shower to the left.
Jacuzzi tub, nice touch. Shower on the right.
Water fountain in villa courtyard. It was nice to hear the water, it was on during the day but off at night.
OK, back to crazy fun peoplewatching...this girl's hair was white. Not blonde. White. Except for the black on the underside.
This is where we parked for our last hours before lunch and being picked up.
Last lunch : ) Steak tostada, grilled fish, roasted vegetables, salad, and always pico de gallo and guacamole.
Empanadas, tostadas and today only, BURRITOS with steak and all kinds of good stuff in them. Mark couldn't resist.
One lonely empanada on the top right, and the much acclaimed burrito on top left.
Started sharing/eating dessert before we got the pic. Cake, a french toast kind of soaked cake, chocolate cake, and wine soaked pear.
Waiting to board at Terminal 2.
Right before we boarded.