A Week’s Getaway to Cancun, Mexico...or:  Excess Inventory *! 


Driving to the hotel zoneDay One (Sat.):  Departure at Bradley Airport Windsor CT (aka Zimbabwe International).  We say hello to acquaintance Mr. Lipsman, working an x-ray machine for the TSA at the airport...he jokingly says:  ”...extra-screening on these two!” but we are spared the body-cavity search...phew!  We also happen to see Bob, another acquaintance from the past, outbound on the same (direct) flight to Cancun...we visit and catch up. 


Arrival in Cancun...before exiting the airport, we are set upon by a helpful tourist assistant with a government badge...actually a “Vacation Club” salesman...we sign up for a “90 minute presentation” (free breakfast!).  





Hotel Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach

















Arrival at our hotel after being driven along the impressive hotel corridor...the Hotel Fiesta Americana is a fairly new 400 room, five star hotel complex located right at the corner of the peninsula, where it turns from going north to going west.  It’s very nice at the hotel!  ...there’s no shortage of marble in the hotel and room, and the design is such that unless you’re looking at the huge monolith from the beach side, it’s broken up into manageable sized areas which don’t overwhelm you.  Philodendron plants are everywhere inside, including cascading from floor to floor in the sizable atrium with stained glass skylight.  Facilities are first class indeed.  The 400ft. long serpentine shaped pool features fountains, waterfalls, bridges, islands, water volleyball, multiple swim-up bars, and the whitesand beach and water is just behind that. 












Dinner at one of the in-house restaurants is also first class and accompanied by a very good 8 piece Mariachi band and colorful traditional dance couples.  On the way out of the restaurant, $40 Cuban cigars are available to top off your meal...I didn’t have one! 



Mariachi Band














Day Two (Sun.):  First half of the day (not ninety minutes!) is taken up by a hard sell to join the “Vacation Club” we’d signed up for upon arrival (apparently that’s what they call a “time share” down here)...it was an interesting and impressive presentation...they really wow you with the facilities they have here, and being shown a million dollar yacht firsthand is nice, but what part of “NO THANK YOU!” don’t you get? 









Colorful dancers









Afternoon is spent at the pool, and swim-up Bikini Bar (“...charge that to Room 410 please!”).  At dinner in another of the hotel’s restaurants next to the ocean, we have a very nice meal and catch up with Paul, the organizer of Excess Inventory.  The fresh grouper is really tasty! 





















Day Three (Mon.):  First full day under the tropical sun...three applications of SPF 12 and strictly limited trips out from under the reed umbrella are still not enough to prevent a good toasting by the intense tropical sun!  We await the arrival of other members of the group...hey, that one over there might get arrested for smuggling melons on the beach...oops, no, it’s Brandy, from Colorado, with hubby, Jeff...and there are Elaine and Carole from Texas, and James and Laura-Jane from NJ...and Larry and Rachel from NY...the group finds its way together in the afternoon...soon after the initial meet and greet at poolside, we adjourn to the shallow end next to the Bikini Bar and form the Audi TT Memorial Synchronized Drinking Team (ATTM-SDT). 











Picture Loading










Evening:  The group ventures just next door of the hotel for dinner at a fish house...of course, they have a band with a guy playing one of those big guitars, dinner is fine, but a couple of people are still a bit hungry when we leave because of small portions.  We take the long way back to the hotel, walking by way of the entertainment district.  














The Drug Store












At the drug store across the street, you can really stock up...including Viagra and Prozac (for ups and downs), Cypro (in case you contract Anthrax down here...I’d heard about Montezuma’s Revenge, which apparently is no issue in the hotel district, where high cleanliness and water standards are observed, but is Anthrax something I need to be concerned about???). 















Night at the beach







A night cap on the beach for the group crowns an excellent day.  Everyone finds it just about impossible not to play with in the cool damp beach sand with their feet.  The group reminisces about the Forum, and TT Easts of years past.  Brandy tells us about the special cookies which caused a stir at one event! 













The Cancun Beach Crew










Day Four (Tues.):  Second full day in the sun.  I decline the fishing boat trip with James and Elaine, not wanting to get totally baked on a boat, in favor of another day at the shore, under the umbrellas taking in the perfect turquoise water, and the beach sights and sounds...while upgrading to factor 30 and 50, and being accused of smuggling grapes (hey, I grew up in Europe...were the men...and women, wear even less on the beach!).  The fishing expedition actually gets cut short as James has a reaction to a Dramamine Patch...they do catch a keeper though...




 Going to Dinner

The ATTM-SDT has a training session that afternoon.  I turn Jeff on to Hubert von Goisern and Alpen Rock. 




















Um Yum






Dinner in the evening is with the entire group at a very nice steak and fish house attached to the marina (where they declined to prepare the fish caught earlier in the day).  The group picks up Paul’s tab, and toasts Mr. Edwin, who was gracious enough to either knowingly (more likely unknowingly) pick up the Bikini Bar tab for the ATTM-SDT that afternoon!  















Day Five (Wed.):  The whole group enjoys a day in the sun, or under umbrellas No. 19 to 22...in the afternoon, the championship of the world, table-tennis match takes place in the hotel courtyard.  I triumph over all challengers in the first round, and although James makes a strong start in the rematch, he falters in the stretch and I am victorious over all...we celebrate that afternoon with a training session of the ATTM-SDT. 



Day Six (Thurs.):  EcoTour day.  Most of the Team is picked up by Mexican driver Israel of “All Tour Native”, in a new, clean, AC’d 10 person van, joined by four young Canadians from another hotel, taken through the low-rent district, where the real Mexicans live (with not much...if you have enough stock to fill a shopping cart, you have a cantina!), kayak into the jungle (never to be seen again....just kidding!) to be blessed by a Schaman (sp), swim in a crystal clear underground sinkhole pool in the native limestone rock, practice some (strictly tourist) mountaineering techniques, on a zip-line across and rappel into another sinkhole whose roof did collaspe, have an authentic lunch (“the course red sauce is mild, the fine red sauce is hot, and the green sauce will have you calling for ice cream (and not to eat!), the next day”...when Israel advises you of this, you listen!  I like Israel...during the ride, he tells us about history of the area and people in interesting and humorous ways, but also lays down the law: ”...no whining, bellyaching, and were going to have a fun day...ladies, please lean back from the figure 8 rappeling brake to prevent it from taking your t**s off”...Israel is helpful too!


Swimming in a cave


CobaHot and dusty

Get up there


We visit and climb up Mayan ruins in Coba, where most of the ruins are apparently still overgrown by jungle.  The ruins are well above the tree canopy and taller even than those at Chichin Iza.  I am told that All Tour Native started out nine years ago with nine vans and drivers...they are now up to 1000 employees, taking people on reasonably priced, nature friendly, interesting tours which don’t leave too much of an ecological footprint. 



CenoteWe made it!



I’m happy to see some of these poor but proud people having jobs with which to lift themselves out of the poverty that surrounds them.  The tour is capped off with coffee and cookies, a trip to the giftshop, where you can by a CD of standard pix of all of the attractions which the outfit visits, plus those of your specific group that day added on, and a shot of Tequila.  It was a long day, but interesting and worth the cost and energy.  We say goodbye to Israel and give him a tip which will keep him and his family in enchiladas for a long time, then we cool off from the exertion of the hot and dry adventure of the day with a training session of the ATTM-SDT.

















Dinner that night is at a more modest local establishment a little longer walk from the hotel, but tasty and plentiful...accompanied by a colorful sunset and yet other local musicians.  After another walk through the entertainment district, we adjourn once again to the beach chairs between umbrella No. 22 and 25 for the nightly meeting. 














Day Seven (Fri.):  Another perfect day at the beach...Brandy will soon have to check the Race:  Negro (√) box on any forms she fills out.  Jeff and I are still considering renting  the Hobie... but now it’s too gusty and they won’t let us take it out...we are well taken care of by pool/beachside attendants bringing us quesadillas and icewater (...Room 410...or better yet, is that Mr Edwin I see by the pool?)


Dinner at Chilis











The group visits Chili’s in the entertainment district for our departure dinner.  Brandy gets goosed by one of the locals!  Some of the group head back to the hotel, some of the group check out the $15 drink all night specials (if you can get service that is)!




Ooops...look out Brandi  











Day Eight (Sat.):  Departure day for most of the group.  We are the first to depart, leaving right after breakfast, were we run into Paul who joins us.  We see Bob for the flight back again, and compare stories and tans.  Excess Inventory is awfull...awful nice that is...can you please arrange for some Excess Inventory in Hawaii next time? 


* Excess Inventory:  What you call it when an insurance company books a block of rooms at a five star resort in Cancun for a week, but doesn’t have enough people who earn these as “incentives” to fill them.  What do you do?  As the organizer, you make the rooms available to a group of

your closest friends from the Audi TT Forum, and help the insurance company out of a jam...I like Excess Inventory! 





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