Thursday, January 24, 2013

Printer Pix

Made a photobook during all the rainy, cloudy weather over the past few days.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cancun Week 2 - Jan 20 - 26

Sunday, Jan 20 another beatiful sunny day, or so we thought.  Didn't go out for our morning walk but were going to go to the 9:00 English mass. Don't know if this is new but it was the first time I noticed purse holders in the pews.

We were out on the beach by 11:00 at the latest and took the tube with us and into the water.

It was amazing how warm the water felt and it was so much fun!  After we got out the clouds started to roll in and at 3:30 we finally lifted our bodies out of our lounge chairs on the beach (I was lying under my towel all afternoon to stay warm) and went up to Aviento for lunch and of course to take advantage of the 2-1 Happy Hour drink special.  We got the same sandwich as the first day and had nice poolside seats.

Then the sun came out again and it felt so-o-o-o good !!!

After eating we went back in the ocean again and again it was so much fun.  I didn't take the tube this time and just bobbed in the waves.

Monday, Jan 21 This was the most perfect weather day.  We took a walk and finally walked all the way to the Hyatt and once again Larry got a blister on his foot but not as bad as the last time we were here.
We spent the day on the beach enjoying the great weather for the whole day.  Around 5:00 pm we went to Fish Fratanga for dinner and got the same delicious seafood meal when we were here in 2011.

Tuesday, Jan 22 We thought today would be as nice as yesterday.  We went to the beach around 10:00 and practically as soon as we got there the clouds came.  We stayed until around 1:00 and then went to have lunch.  From our room I saw some shadows of people walking on the beach so we went back down but had about 10 minutes of total sun but nevertheless stayed down till around 4:00 when we went back to our room to finish our margaritas that were in the freezer.
We had some snacks and then went to La Europa for another bottle of Tequila for the rest of the week.
Reading through this you might get the impression that we're alcoholics, but it's rare that we have more than one drink a day, normally wine, but on vacation we have location appropriate beverages.  When we came back our dinner was a little less spectacular than the previous night.

Wednesday, Jan 23 We got our exercise today by walking around all the floors of the different villas and doing the stairs in between the flights.  The weather once again was far from perfect and we stayed in most of the day.  We did get out for another game of miniature golf amidst some little raindrops and this time Larry beat me.

Thursday, Jan 24 So far the excitement for today, in addition to watching the sun almost break through the clouds and then having a downpour instead was to have two men come and do the weekly/monthly?? bug spraying in our villa.
Finally went out to the pool hoping for the sun to come out and stay out.  Good thing Larry was on cloud patrol because we got inside the building just as the sky let loose again.

Next time the rain stops we have to go across the street to La Isla and Starbucks for another bag of coffee then to the local grocery store for milk and bananas.

Friday, January 18, 2013

United Airlines - on the ball?


Laura and I were Skyping last night and I asked her to call our messages at home to see if the taxi driver called.  He didn't, but at 10:00 AM on Sunday, United Airlines called to tell us that our 6:00 AM flight was cancelled and we were rescheduled for a Monday flight.

Thank you United for being so on top of things.  By that time we were in the air between Chicago and Cancun on an AA flight thanks to a very helpful United desk person in Rochester.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cancun Week 1 - Jan 13 - Jan 19

It's a good thing we're here for 2 weeks because if it was a one week vacation we'd be going home in 3 days and it doesn't seem like we've begun to relax.  I'm starting this on Wednesday but will be adding for the first week.

Monday, Jan 14 we decided to take Lucio's suggestion and take a taxi to Superama for our grocery shopping, the driver would wait while we shopped and bring us back for $300 pesos.  Last time we shopped at Walmart and really liked it.  The first time we went we took the bus there and a taxi back because we had too much to carry.  They had the best homemade tortillas and pico de gallo in addition to a huge selection of Mexican pastries.  He told us Superama would have that too.

Well, it turns out that Superama is an upscale Walmart grocery store, with higher prices, smaller selection and none of the good things we wanted.  It did have a lot more atmosphere than Walmart but that wasn't what we were after.  We were VERY disappointed.

We took our disappointed selves down to the beach and took a great 3.5 mile walk.  When we came back we went to the liquor store, made Margaritas (read about that here), made some queso that never quite melted and had egg sandwiches for dinner that were really good.

Tuesday, Jan 15 we took the bus to Walmart,  $34 pesos round trip for both of us, and bought all the things we really wanted including a watch to replace the one I lost at the airport and a 4 qt container for our Crystal Light Arnold Palmer (1 pkg lemonade and 1 pkg iced tea).  Then we could use the 2 qt container that came in our villa to make Margaritas that we could put in the freezer. 
Love the pico de gallo
And the pastries
Since we didn't walk on the beach, we decided to walk around the mall across the street for some exercise before going to Tequila tasting.  We saw this interesting sport??/ride?? - he reminded me of Ironman but it looked like fun.  He was moving all around and up and down using water as the force behind it.

We played dress-up at the Tequila Tasting 
and on the walk back to our villa Larry couldn't decide which car should be his and which should be mine.
Once home we had a great dinner of appetizers - tortillas, cheese, pico de gallo and margaritas.  We were going to have a salad but somehow that never happened.

Wednesday, Jan 16 was the day for our owners update.  It was the day I got to voice my grievances about the Wifi that is pretty much non existent in the rooms (great on the beach), not that Craig could do anything about it but it felt good to gripe.  Next time I'm going to bring a router and see how that works because there is an ethernet connection and ethernet cable.  I'm so glad I brought my laptop so I could use it and not be totally frustrated.  We went to the beach in the afternoon where I kept falling asleep listening to my book - the weather was really nice.  I didn't feel like I had to wrap myself in a towel like I did the previous day.  At 3:30 we stopped for happy hour at Avieno, the pool restaurant and had pina coladas and Larry had a hamburger with sauteed onions, bacon, lettuce and maybe more stuff - forgot to take a picture even after I left the camera out after taking the drink pic.  Hopefully he'll have one again and I can add it,  I didn't have anything to eat (besides some of those chips) since I didn't eat breakfast till almost 1:00.

We were going to play miniature golf but it was almost closing time for getting the clubs so we took a walk over to the Starbucks and bought a bag of coffee to bring back to the room and just walked around for awhile.

Thursday, Jan 17 is the first day of just relaxing.  Our plan was to get up early and take a walk on the beach and we did just that.  It was a glorious morning, when we left at 7:00 and it was even nicer when we finished our 3 mile walk and came back for breakfast.  The wind was pretty peaceful, waves were quiet, just perfect for putting the tube in the water and drifting around.  While we were having breakfast we took turns blowing up the tube, the one we bought the last time we were here, and were so excited to get going.

AND THEN . . . all of a sudden the clouds started to roll in, the wind picked up and it even rained a little.  So it's almost 1:00 PM and we're sitting in our room, watching the water and waiting for the sun again.  Guess we'll have lunch.
At least we finally got to have the salad we kept not eating.  The weather never got any better today.  We went to play miniature golf and it started to rain so it was a day indoors with me on my computer.

But, we did get to have our own Happy Hour with our special recipe of Perfect Frozen Margaritas (the margarita recipe from here and put in the freezer for 24 hours).

Friday, Jan 18 is another cloudy day but we got up to go for a walk even though it looked like it would rain at any time.
A little repair work on the palapa.
It never rained all day in spite of the dark clouds.  After our walk we played 2 games of miniature golf and I beat Larry both times.  We each got a hole in 1 on the 11th hole the first game.  Then I got another one on the 13th hole.   During the 2nd game I got 2 more hole in ones but on different holes, 12 and 15.
 Then we played 3 games of ping pong and Larry won all of those.
I finally figured out the other day that the elevator pictures came out good with my iPhone rather than a camera.
 Later in the day the dark clouds changed to light ones and in the late afternoon some blue sky appeared. 
We were pretty lazy the rest of the afternoon, Larry read and I did stuff on the computer.
I was too lazy to get dressed to go get something to eat so we made a salad and ate most of whatever was left over.  I think we've had our fill of tortillas and pico de gallo.

Saturday, Jan 19 we decided we needed to make a run to Walmart.
We had a great bus ride and I had a perfect seat for a video.

I love the Cancun Walmart.  Unfortunately we spent 2 hours here and by the time we got back the sun was gone again.  Fortunately we got out for a good walk before we went.  Out goal was to get to the Hyatt at the end of the point but while we were walking I remembered that I never put any sunblock on Larry's back and it was pretty sunny out so we turned around before the last bend.  We did get 12,200+ steps in - no GPS so couldn't do miles but more than 3 round trip.

We went to Fish Fratanga - the taco take-out stand to get something to take back to the room at night.  Fortunately we met a woman, originally from Mexico who had just returned a year ago from 12 years in Michigan and her two kids who worked as our transaltors and told us what the items on our menu were and ordered for us.  They were great!!  We're going to go back and eat at the restaurant later this week.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our Perfect Margarita

When we went grocery shopping the other day we bought a dozen limes - for only $1.00 USD.  They would cost $8.00 at Wegmans.  The last time we were in Cancun and wanted to make Margaritas we shopped all over for Rose's Lime Juice and no one had it and we wondererd if they had even heard of it.  We had to buy limes and then couldn't find an inexpensive juicer so we used a spoon.

This time we came prepared.  We brought our little hand juicer from home and purchased the limes on our first trip to the grocery store on Monday.  Later that day we went to the liquor store, La Europa, just up the street.  Same store we went to last time.  As we were looking for the Triple Sec we saw a bunch of Rose's mixers and there were bottles of Rose's Lime Juice.  Our mouths were watering for Margaritas by this point so we bought the Lime Juice since we could make them a lot quicker.  We got back to the room ready to make a batch of frozen margaritas only to find that the blender cover didn't fit because the blender was mishapen.  EMERGENCY call to the front desk - "We need a new blender!!"

While we were waiting, we decided to squeeze some of the limes and do a comparison test of margaritas made with limes and margaritas made with Rose's.  This is when we came up with our version of the perfect margarita.

Barb & Larry's Perfect Margarita
6 oz tequila
2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz Rose's lime juice
2 oz triple sec

The best way to serve these is make a large batch and put them in the freezer so they're ready whenever you are and no need to dilute with ice :-)

Can try other's favorites
 from here
or from here
6 oz tequila
4 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz cointreau (not triple sec)

Happy 94th to Aunt Harrie

I sent a birthday card through Shutterfly to Aunt Harrie who will be 94 on Sunday, unfortunately it won't get there in time.

Air Mail Greetings Birthday Card
Unique designs that are as unique as you. Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Off to Cancun - Jan 13th

We woke to the sound of an old fashioned telephone followed by some tweets as mine and Larry's iPhone alarms started their songs at 3:30 AM.  We were all packed and ready to go.  Larry had to have breakfast first, no matter what time he gets out of bed, breakfast has to happen.  Then we did all the last minute things like shutting off electonics and the water and moved our bags out to the garage to wait for our taxi driver at 4:30.  Larry had called him the day before to set up a pickup time for the return flight and to confirm our morning pickup.  We were standing in the stillness of the early morning eagerly awaiting a drive and drop off right in front of the terminal when I looked at the time and said "He's late, it's 4:30 and he's not here yet."  At 4:35 I called, but only got voicemail.  At 4:40 I called again and the same thing.  At 4:45 I said, "Let's just go, we'll take my car and drive to the airport."  So we threw our bags in the back, locked the door to the house and took off.  Thankfully there's not much traffic at that hour of the morning and we arrived at the Park and Fly not too much after 5:05.  We were dropped off in front of the United Terminal and made our way to a very short line where we were informed by one of the attendants that our flight to Dulles was cancelled because of mechanical problems.

When it was our turn, the woman at the counter asked us if we had received a phone call since our flight was rescheduled for the next day.  WHAT????  But she said she would see what she could do.  The first attempt at rebooking got us on a flight on American to Chicago and then a United flight that wouldn't get in until after 9:00 PM.  We were supposed to be there by noon.  Then she was able to get us the last two seats on an American flight from Chicago to Cancun that would arrive 10 minutes later than our original flight and we had to swiftly make it to the gate since that flight was leaving at 6:00 (same as our original).  It was a small plane 2 seats on one side, 1 on the other.  We were in the third row from the back and the back to rows had 2 girls each travelling with cats.  They didn't know each other, who cares??  I just thought it interesting to have 2 passengers with cats on the same small flight.  Almost forgot, going through security I took my watch off and threw it in the bin with shoes and jackets and somehow it vanished - my practically brand new really good deal watch that I got for $7!!

Amazing, amazing, our flight out of Chicago was on time.  The first plus of the day - our seats weren't together (that wasn't the plus) but in the same row and that row was the roomy Emergency Exit row (that was the plus) that would normally have cost extra.  Look at all that leg room!!

Flight went well as I said a little prayer before takeoff that we wouldn't have an emergency because taking that door out would certainly kill my bad shoulder.  We were met by our driver (YAY MEXICO) who took us directly to our hotel.  Fortunately we had the foresight to pack bathing suits and reading materials in our carry on so we could hang out by the pool and then the beach since our room wouldn't be ready that early.
That's Larry going for a swim
Now at the beach

At 3:00 we went to Happy Hour at the poolside restaurant and had 2 each, 2-1 margaritas and a delicious "healthy" wrap.

Went back to reception and checked in with Lucio, our Concierge, who gave us our welcome beach bag and information we would need.  Finally our room was ready and after standing in line one more time, we were finally there.

Our first venture out was to the mall across the street hoping we could find some milk and cereal - Larry needs his breakfast - but no such luck.  We stopped in the store of the Westin but weren't willing to pay the price for what they had when we knew we would go to the grocery store in the morning.  Back in the room, we didn't even unpack and were asleep by 9:00

Friday, January 4, 2013


These look like some good exercises to do when I'm away from the gym.

Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak has trained celebrities including Rihanna and Katy Perry and this morning he appeared on “Good Morning America” to show specific exercise moves to get you an all-star body.

Work the Body Parts
For Great Legs
Do sumo squats. You have to stand with your legs wide apart and toes turned out. Sink your buttocks down. You don’t even have to buy weights to do this. For added resistance, you can use jugs of laundry detergent.
For Abs of Steel
The key to amazing abs is to have a strong back. That means you have to strengthen the lower back by doing an alternating superman: lie face down and lift the left arm and right leg up simultaneously.
For a Shapely Rear End
For this it’s about a stiff dead left. Standing up and with your back straight, push your buttocks as far back as you can and come back to neutral.
For Sculpted Arms
To get toned arms you can do a close grip press-up. It’s like a push-up but instead you have your hands right under your shoulders and you press your chest up but leave your lower body on the ground.

This is the link to the video of the exercises.