Trip Report 10/27 - 11/3

by Craig AKA the cruise ship guy @, Monday, November 05, 2018, 17:26 (77 days ago)

Flight from LAX was great, breezed thru immigration with our electronic forms. If you use electronic immigration forms be sure to use 2 sided printing. I also precut the form and kept it together with a paper clamp, officer was very happy with this. Baggage and customs was a joke just like last year, luckily we don't bring dogs as that was handled even worse. We were out in 2 hours, then the Azul Grand did not have a king or any room ready and it was already 5:30. Went around for a little bit with the clerk and just asked to pay for an upgrade to a suite with a king. Nice room second to the top floor but all you really get is a half bath in the living room and a double sized balcony with a nice size table to eat on, there is also a sauna but not our thing. The worst part is that my wife wants that room from now on.

As usual once you get past check in the hotel was great. The infinity pool was crowded with kids most days so we stuck to the adult pool which was very nice. Never a place to sit and eat at the pool side snack bar so that was really not an option for us during the day, we would just go back to the room and order as the food is much better this way. Did the buffet for breakfast and was very happy with it and once for lunch, not as good as breakfast but they did have a sope / empanada station. Did 2 ala cart dinners which were good but nothing great. This is our third year in a row at this hotel and we have still not seen a show in the evening.

For the 3rd year in a row we used the same taxi driver. I would schedule a day in advance or just use Whatsapp. Real good guy that totally knows the area. Last year we invited him to eat with us a few times and join us at a movie as his wife and son were off visiting her mother for the week. This year we had his wife and kid join us a few times. The first time was for Taqueria el Pastorcito and boy did his wife dress for it, my wife actually felt underdressed at a taqueria. Great food by the way and so inexpensive. Another day we went to Lety's and my wife made sure to dress for it. Had not been there for years, food was outstanding and service was perfect. This will be on our must go places next year. I fish every time with Ramon Olea so we went to his wife's pizza restaurant right down the street from Lety's one night. Her sister has a Mexican restaurant next door so we had enchiladas pollo verde and hawaiian pizza for dinner another night. It was really good food, could not believe that you can get 3 chicken enchiladas for $30 mxn. Everyone got along very well especially since I brought a bottle of Flora de Cana 7 and some coke to mix it with. Ramon always has some good stories to tell and it was really fun to see our taxi drivers son so happy. Our last day we decided no more sun and the movie Bohemian Rhapsody was just out so we decided to go see it. Found a family movie playing at the same time so we invited the family to go, it was the first time their son got to go to the movies. He was so happy he ran over to my wife and gave her a big hug. Movies here are so inexpensive, could see 4 here for the same price as 1 back home. Our first night and last night were spent at Il Mare overlooking the bay. The first night I got spicy spaghetti with huge shrimp and my wife got mahi mahi, fish was cooked well but my spicy spaghetti is their best dish in my opinion. The last night we both got spicy spaghetti. My wife had us keep our left overs for our taxi driver, I thought that it would be an insult but as usual she was correct, he loved getting the left overs.

I went fishing twice with Ramon Olea just for 5 hours each time as I like to get back for lunch with the wife. Many bonitas, a few needlefish and a small 4 pound mahi that I had them throw back. Super fun days with Ramon and his oldest son that treat me like gold, no bad days hanging with these guys. 2 days we walked down to the pier at Playa Linda and spent the afternoon on the island, great food and service. Unfortunately I saw the same size mahi as the one I threw back on a platter that the waiter was showing off. One of the afternoons I drank 3 beers on the island and remembered why we have a rule of no drinking during the day. Wife really loved it there as we had only kayaked to it before. Went to the massage huts by the pier 4 times for $200 mxn massages until my wife said enough! Dhid the usual drop off of school supplies and reading glasses to Lupita, she was so happy to get the donations. Wish we could have brought more like back in the day when we visited via cruise ships, no weight or bag limit there. We then stopped by SPAZ to buy the taxi driver's son a t-shirt and drop some pesos in the box, they were so thankful for the donation.

On the back to the airport our taxi driver took us via the new road off of La Ropa. He stopped at one place and took our picture, it was the best of the trip, amazing views from there. The airport was much better departing than arriving so we had plenty of time to go outside and have one last Mexican meal before we went up to our gate. We will try to come back next year and hope that Rob's efforts pointing out the airport issues continue to pay off.

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