Sunday, July 21, 2019

Trip to Beloved Playa Mujeres in Cancun November 2017

Picture of Us Parasailing in Cancun Mexico
Carrie and John Parasailing in Cancun Mexico

Our vacation from 2017 and I realized I never finished this post which I had started back in December 2017 following our vacation. So, I decided to finish it out today.

Carrie and I celebrated fifteen years of marriage on September 21, 2017. To celebrate, we booked a all-inclusive vacation to Beloved Playa Mujeres in Cancun Mexico. We had looked at a number of all-inclusive resorts before selecting Beloved Playa Mujeres. We booked our vacation for November 12 - 21, 2017 so we could be back in time for Thanksgiving break. We were in for a treat of a vacation from arriving in Mexico.

Night Before We Leave and Our Flight

Carrie and I Flying American Airlines to Cancun Mexico
Carrie and John on Plane
We flew on American Airlines. We stayed at Hilton Kansas City Airport so we would not have to rush Sunday morning to get to the airport from Topeka. It worked out great! On the drive to the hotel on Saturday, we were trying to figure out where to eat going through options we found on Google. Finally Carrie asked what about Minsky's Pizza which was within driving distance and better yet they delivered to the hotel. We had taken a cooler full of beer with us for the hotel stay the night before where we enjoyed drinking beer and eating pizza. We ate the whole thing and I finished off the beer.

After finishing pizza, beer, and dessert, Carrie proceeded to get ready for the trip with such things as painting nails. I found a movie I had wanted to watch for a while but never watched. The movie was one I remember my dad liking a lot and maybe watching a few times. I recalled to Carrie when I came across the movie that I remembered my dad telling me how good the movie was and would be one I would like too. Sure enough, I tuned into Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) and I watched it to the end. I loved it! I thought it was cool that the movie was playing and I was able to watch it before leaving on our trip. I felt a connection to dad as I know how much he liked this movie. Carrie shared with me following the movie that it was based on a series of books that I might enjoy reading... which I plan to read.

We both slept well that night and got up early Sunday, November 12, 2017 ready to catch our flight. We were able to leave our car at the Hilton Kansas City Airport for $8 a day, so that was not too bad. We took the shuttle to the Kansas City airport and had no issues with making our flight. The airport was not busy at all. Our first leg of the flight was to Dallas, Texas where we then had about an hour layover in Dallas before our connecting flight to Cancun.

Started Trip Right with Vodka Tonic
Vodka Tonic on Plane
No major issues with our flights although on one of the flights Carrie's knees were up against the chair in front of us. I believe this was the first flight to Dallas as we did not pay more for emergency exit row on that first flight. We both got a beverage to drink on the plane to start our vacation. Nothing like a little vodka before noon. We are on vacation!

The second flight to Cancun, I recall the flight attendant for American Airlines talked to us a lot and was so nice! We were even talking to her as we were going off the plane. She was telling us about her travel and where she was going after leaving Cancun. It was interesting to hear her discuss her plans. I believe she said she is currently living in Dallas but of course gets to travel to all kinds of interesting locations.

Arrival and the Resort

We arrived late afternoon on Sunday, November 12, 2017. Slightly overcast when we arrived, but the weather was not bad. We knew before we left that rain was forecast for late Sunday and most of the day Monday although we thought we would catch a break and miss the rain. It was a nice evening on Sunday as we checked into our room. We spent some time unpacking and enjoying some drinks in our room before we headed out to checkout the resort. We ate the first night at Isla Grill which was very good! I had steak and it was delicious. We never did have the bananas that we heard about as that first night we were too full to get that dessert and when we tried going later in our stay, they were out of them when we ate dinner the second time at Isla Grill. The flaming bananas sounded really good though, so we missed out on those.

A few pictures are below of the view from our patio which was Hermosa 2. We really liked the location of our room and being on the ground floor. Some days we left out of the back sliding glass and did not bother locking the room. We did this when we were going to the swim up bar or spending time in the area by the pool.

Picture from our PatioPicture from our Patio 2Picture from our Patio 3Picture from our Patio 4Picture of our Pool with Me In ItPicture of Drinks in our Room

I did not get many inside pictures of our room, but I think you can find those elsewhere. My favorite part of the room was the bar. When we checked into our room and they came by to check on us if we needed anything, we told them we would prefer black label Johnny Walker. We were initially told that we would have to give up two bottles from the four liquor bottles and one bottle of wine. The liquor that was in the room for us included rum, tequila, vodka, gin, and then one bottle of wine. After we left for dinner and came back, there was a bottle of black label Johnny Walker and they left the bottle we thought we were giving up... rum. Good thing because we ended up finishing off one bottle of rum during our stay and started another one. I was really enjoying the rum while on our vacation.

Another favorite of being on the ground floor in Hermosa 2 was that the ice machine was right outside of our door. The first few days I would take the ice bucket out to fill up with ice and by the end, I was taking just our glasses out to fill up with ice for our drinks. Worked out great!

More Resort and Our Activities

For most of our vacation, we spent either by the ocean or by a pool. Duh! We got up early (by 9 am) most mornings as we did not want to waste any daytime as the days were rather short. Carrie read six or seven books while we were on vacation and I read two and half which was our goal for this vacation. Not have anything planned, relax by the ocean/pool, read, and enjoy adult beverages which is exactly what we did on our vacation. Oh, we also ate well at the resort. 

Picture of Ceviche from Sushi Bar
Ceviche with Octopus. Yum!
The sushi bar was really good! We did not spend as much time at the sushi bar as we could have done. We basically had sushi twice while on vacation. The first night we had the ceviche. Oh my! It was really good! The ceviche had shrimp, white fish, and octopus. We were not too thrilled about eating octopus, but I think it was our favorite of the combination. Really nice job with the ceviche at the sushi bar. We had ceviche again later at another restaurant, but the first night we had it was the best. They did a really nice job with the sushi at this location. We had no complaints and ate plenty of sushi. This was one of the first places we went when arriving to the resort and then we re-visited again a few nights before we left to enjoy sushi and drinks.

Our Dinner at Excellence Playa Mujeres
Dinner at Excellence
Playa Mujeres
On Tuesday, November 14,  2017, we were able to have dinner at the neighboring Excellence Playa Mujeres that we were able to eat at for "free" because we were staying over seven nights at the sister related restore of Beloved Playa Mujeres. It was fun to go over to see the other resort which was a lot larger than where we were staying. So large in fact, we had a hard time finding the ocean after we were done eating to walk back to our hotel. Anyway, we were able to hang out at Excellence Playa Mujeres for a while to drink and then eat. So many more people at this resort, so it was fun for us to be able to see that side with more people everywhere. The staff were very nice to us when visiting the other resort. They were attentive to our needs and we had a wonderful time. We were able to walk around the resort following dinner to check out the sports bar which happened to be playing Kansas basketball against Kentucky Wildcats. It was a fun night although we got out of there late and back to our room about midnight. (This might explain why we had problems finding the ocean after leaving the resort.)

Wrap Up and Conclusion

A wonderful vacation that we cannot wait to do again.  Excellence Playa Mujeres was a wonderful place to stay. The staff and various places to eat/drink were enjoyable. It had been a long time since we had been to an all-inclusive resort and hopefully we do not wait as long to do so again in the future. We have been on three cruises and enjoy those, but there is something special about all-inclusive and drinking or eating whatever and whenever we want.

See all of our pictures from our trip by clicking on the picture to the below. A memorable experience and look forward to going again.

Cancun 2017
Picture Album from Excellence Playa Mujeres from November 2017

Friday, July 19, 2019

Long Over Due for Post, Grilling, and Summer is Flying

It is sad to look back at my blog and see that I have only posted twice during 2019. One was first NCAA March Madness and the second was to displays the top three winners of the bracket for the NCAA bracket. My summer class ended and spring was rather busy with another class, so I decided it was time to try and get my site going again with some regular posts from yours truly.

Grilling on a Summer Night
I have been grilling frequently the past few months although I got out of the habit of writing about it or posting pictures. I did snap a picture on a beautiful night a week ago before it started getting hot. Grilled burgers and they turned out great!

Hard to believe that the summer is almost over. It seems the days go by faster and faster. I remember as a kid thinking the day was so boring and moved so slow. Not anymore as the days fly by not to mention the weeks, months, and years. Reminds me of my grandpa when I was young and I would tell him I was bored and the day was going so slow, he would tell me just wait until you are older. I had not idea what he meant. I think I know now but time seems to fly by at warp speed.

I hope your summer is going well and not flying by. Enjoy your summer and I hope to post on a regular basis at least until my fall class starts up again in October.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

March Madness Hopefuls ESPN Tournament Winners

Follow up on who won the ESPN Tournament Challenge 2019. Every weekend was fun with so many good games. But, this post is more about the winners for the tournament challenge March Madness Hopefuls.

Looking at the top four teams that all picked the national champion correctly with Virginia were Dos Try, Crashing the Boards, The B Team, and NastySplash. A narrow margin of victory allows Dos Try to pull ahead in the Final Four and get the win in the national championship game with all four top teams getting 320 points.

Removed the owners from the below listing, but they are left on the links above. Fun March Madness!

RankBracket R64R32S16E8F4NCGChampionTotalPCT
Dos Try
Crashing the Boards
The B Team

Until next year! Have a great spring and look forward to seeing you back for March Madness 2020 next year.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

March Madness 2019 Tournament Challenge

ESPN Tournament Challenge Picture

Hard to believe it is that time of year again. Short write up with information on accessing the ESPN Tourney Challenge. Same name as last year and hopefully you will share with family, friends, and co-workers so we can get a lot of people in this group. Directions for joining are listed below.
  1. Visit the link to ESPN which will take you directly to the March Madness Hopefuls.
  2. If you are already signed into the ESPN web site, you can immediately create your bracket. If not signed into the site, you will need to sign in first.
  3. Join the group and use the password: haverty (No password is necessary -- Open Group)
  4. Repeat the above process to create additional brackets. In the March Madness Hopefuls bracket, you can have three entries.
Be sure to submit your entries by 10:00 am CST Thursday, March 21. This will make sure you get your entries submitted and have time to get them submitted. First game tips at 11:15 am on Thursday March 21.

If you have any questions or problems, please post a comment to this post.

Good luck and enjoy March Madness!