I’m a fairly obsessive journal keeper (less so since I’ve become an obsessive blogger) 😉 so, as we get closer to another all-inclusive adventure, it was fun to go back and re-read my entries from when Shea and I went to our first all-inclusive – the Oceano Palace in Mazatlan in 2000.
(I’m also an obsessive nerd and took a Windows 98-era laptop with me on the trip so I could write every day!) 😮
Here are some fond memories I re-discovered on that walk down memory lane…
- I can’t believe how *much* we did – a city tour, an island tour, a bullfight, a pub crawl. We had some sort of excursion or off-site outing every single day. (Now, we’re lucky if we leave the resort once!)
- We also ate off-resort a lot more – partly because we were in a resort within a city which made it easy to go out exploring (I still remember the convenience store across the street) and also because, even though we were a lot poorer, the trip was also a lot less expensive – maybe $800/person? – so we didn’t feel like we weren’t getting our money’s worth if we didn’t eat at the resort which had very limited food options compared to the much larger resorts we tend to go to now that have multiple buffets and numerous a la carte options as well.
- A dolphin washed up on shore one day and no one made any effort to get it back in the water as far as I know (I have no idea if it was alive or not when it washed up) and it was there overnight then some hotel workers showed up with brooms (!) the next morning, apparently to try to get rid of it. Shea and I went off on one of our many excursions and it was gone when we got back – maybe the brooms worked?
- Speaking of Shea and since it’s Valentine’s Day, we happened to fly down on Shea’s 21st birthday and I think it may have also been her first time on a plane. I thought about getting the flight attendant to get everyone to sing “Happy Birthday” to her but decided that if she was overly embarrassed, that could ruin our trip before it began (!) so instead, I slipped the flight attendant a note and the captain wished her a Happy Birthday over the sound system as we deplaned.
- This photo was our fourth floor view which was pretty amazing for our first-ever all-inclusive! (Nowadays, most resorts have put the regular rooms at the back of the resort and you pay a premium to get a room near the ocean and/or with a decent oceanview.)
- When we went for our pub crawl, our bus was surrounded by pulmonia drivers who were angry that we were using a coach-style bus instead of using their services. In these pre-smartphone days, the tour guide borrowed my (film) camera to take pictures of the developing situation in case it got out of hand (after I got her to promise to pay for the developing and a second set of prints for me!) After quite a delay, some open-air trucks were procured (maybe connected to the pulmonia companies?) and we proceeded on our way.
- I didn’t pack enough clothes so ended up doing “sink laundry” one morning then hanging my three pairs of underwear, two t-shirts and a few other assorted things on the balcony to (sort of) dry.
- We bought $50 worth of rice necklaces (a beach vendor would write your name on a grain of rice then put in a small capsule on a thin piece of cord) as souvenirs for us and various family and friends – probably 15-20 in total. (We paid about $2-3 for each one and probably could’ve got a better deal if we’d negotiated harder but the guy was someone Shea’s parents had met the year before and liked quite a bit so we wanted to treat him right.)
- I broke/badly sprained a toe (which has become a tradition – I did it on submerged lava rock on a beach in Hawaii and on at least one other trip as well) when I was out boogie boarding and got pushed towards some rocks at the edge of the hotel beach. I went to stand up to move away, not realising there could be submerged rocks as well and…ouch!
- Met an American from Montana on our pub crawl who, when we told him we were from Saskatchewan, asked completely seriously if that was “in eastern Canada.” (Uhm, the corners of our respective states/provinces touch?)