Trip Report - Part 1


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Posted by Jim and Maxine on January 09, 2001 at 21:03:11:

Sorry for the length and delay of our long-awaited report.
We came back on December 31, but am only getting this done now.

Feel free to comment, or email us back directly.
We really enjoyed our stay and may one day return.

My wife and I are both 32 and are from Winnipeg, Manitoba
in the great white north (especially now) of Canada.

Please note that we do a bit of travelling and have been
to many areas of the Caribbean and Mexico, so we have used
those for comparisons in parts of our reports.
We also do not like to travel to the same areas twice
so that will give you a brief outlook on my wife and I.

The reports have broken it down into a few days at a time,
so here goes the introduction, departure and arrival day...


A Short Introduction:

Me, my wife, her parents, 1st cousins and aunt and uncle are all travelling together.
Nine of us together in all. We are mostly all from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, except
for a cousin from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and a cousin from Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.

We flew a charter from Royal Airlines, direct to Ixtapa (with a brief stop in Acapulco).
My mother-out-law booked the flights through a company called Signature Vacations
(a bit of Signature bashing later. Used them before, mucho disappointed always).
We went expecting quite a lot of people, as it was really the start of our tourist
system to start travelling south (we can get special direct charters during winters).
Its too darn cold to stay in Canada through the whole winter, so we have to get away.


Departure:

It was the day before Christmas (yes, no kidding!) and we are finally off.
No more board planning, and questions for Rob, Judy, Gretzen and the rest of you.
No more shovelling snow and freezing in parkas and touques (hats for you Americans).

Everyone was to meet at the airport at 4:30 am (yuck!) for our 7:00 am flight.
Keep in mind, not only was it 4:30 am, but it was also about -31 degrees Celsius!!!
Something about being 2-3 hours early for charter flights so we can all sit together
on the plane that is just crazy. Check in, then wait, and wait, and wait...
its about $45 dollars more (per person) if we pre-book, so we will wait.

The flight was nice, but was a little over 6 hours (2 movies and a few free drinks!!!).
A brief stopover in Acapulco, to drop off half the plane and to clear initial customs
(basically introduced ourselves and handed in tourist cards). But still,
we had to deplane, check in with customs, and then get back on the same plane.
We could actually feel the heat and humidity as we got in the airport.
Talking about getting excited now!!!

Next we finally arrived in Ixtapa at around 2:30 pm.. After yet another trip
through customs, this time the green/red light system, we all passed through ok.

It was warm as soon as we got off the plane, around 84 Fahreinheit at the time
(remember, we just left -31 degrees Celsius so this was like a 60 degree difference!!!)

We met our Signature representative (Enrique) as soon as we got through,
and he loaded everyone on the bus to transport us to one of three hotels
(all of us had our charters booked at either of the hotels through Signature).

We had to wait a few minutes for everyone to catch up, and this enabled my
sister-out-law to have a quick smoke (as there is no smoking in the airplanes,
and going 6 plus hours without a butt was just killing her!!!).

As soon as everyone was settled (about 30 people) on the bus we left the airport.
Finally we could have some cold cervezas on the bus as we headed to the hotels!!!
(well two for me, but they were the small Coronas ;-))


Arrival:

Our hotel was the last on the run so we got to see a bit of Ixtapa and a few of the
other hotels, but then finally we had arrived at the Posada Real! 3:30 pm, not bad.
Note: the Posada Real is one of, if not the, last hotel on the hotel strip. It is a brief,
but entertaining bus ride through the hills from Zihua (where the airport is) to Ixtapa.

Of course the first thing we saw was the front of the hotel and a secondary kids pool
that were being ripped apart for renovations. We had to enter through a side door to
get to the temporary front desk. At least they had very friendly gents guiding us there!

Twenty people then piled in to try to check in, but were told the rooms were not ready yet.
I got to meet Pedro the Manager and introduce myself (he says hi Judy, and he looks
forward to seeing you soon!)

We were all given a free drink coupon and told to go down to the restaraunt and enjoy.
Well, one drink led to three, but then finally our rooms came available. They were kind
enough to manage to put all of our rooms near each other (9 people - 4 rooms).
They were very nice and comfortable rooms in all, but a bit of a problem with water
coming up through the bathroom drains (mother-out-law had to get a new room).
(another note: we always seemed to be short of in-room towels, sometimes one,
sometimes three, and once none! My wife was might p---ed off when she got out of the shower!

By the time we all got settled into the rooms, and by coincidence I must assure you,
it was time for Happy-hour at the bar!!! As it was the day before Chistmas and
we figured everything would be pretty well closed, we all thought... lets get drunk!!!
Remember Canadians like our beer!!! It was quiet at the hotel (for the first 3 days anyways),
so the service was good and we were able to sneak in 3-4 more drinks during happy hour.

After happy hour we decided to just get a bite to eat from the restaraunt at the hotel.
Very good food, as we all tried something different, but we find the cheese that they
put on everything (goat cheese?), tasted odd, and we never quite got used to it.
We had a nice supper all together and cheered in the night before Christmas.

We were asked if we'd like to put the bill on the room, and we said sure.
Of course it slipped our mind (whatever minds we had left at that time anyways), that we
had not opened an account (with a credit card imprint), so when they came back with a bill,
they said that they'd take care of it for us and just charge it to our room anyways.
That was decent enough of them.

The rest of our evening was spent looking around the hotel and the immediate area
with a walk down the beach, and just sitting back and appreciating the sunset.

Ah, this was paradise...


More to follow...
Part 2 in a few days

Jim and Maxine


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