Cuba Day Five - The Beach

Before we even got started Rori was up and going and played several games of pool while grandpa had a couple cups of espresso.

This morning we had another nice breakfast in the buffet while Heather relaxed back in the room.
Rori's energy is off the scale. After getting up early yesterday, swimming, dancing and climbing all day she stayed up late with Heather and watched the late show. She was up early again this morning and had the day all planned out. We played a few games of pool before breakfast

We were not fast enough with our breakfast so we sent her out with some sausage to fed a cat somewhere, anywhere on the resort. That bought us about 15 minutes. Then it was off the the beach. It was a 'green flag day' so we got some lounge chairs and settled in under an umbrella. The sand, sea and sky were classic beautiful and the sun was HOT.

Mental note to myself for our next trip.>>>  'Hey, stupid, the sun is really freakin hot! Take more sun screen, long sleeve shirts, summer pants and darker sunglasses.' It feels like my tattoo is frying off. It is all blistered and itchy. When I was back home with winter storms blowing outside I had totally, totally forgot how damn hot it gets down here.

I left Brenda and Rori at the beach and I worked my way back to the room and took photos along the way. I was stopped by Stephanie and her Italian husband. They had just arrived at the resort and weren't able to check in yet. They had booked this trip on impulse, 'How do you like this place?' I told them what I knew and suggested that they seek out Wayne and Karoline, the Beach Ambassadors.

Remember SHMCTTM? Well, Stephanie and her Italian husband said that they had stayed there a day and this place was much nicer. I suspect that SHMCTTM enjoyed the extra attention she received from David, the Quattro Manager. And, that is okay, because that is what a good vacation is to her. Too much drama for me but each to their own.

Later in the day Brenda and I talked to the Beach Ambassadors at their customary place at the entrance to the beach. They had met Stephanie and her Italian husband and they were pleased to be referred to by their honorific titles.

At one point yesterday Rori had us rate the resort compared to other places we have stayed. Basically everything was better than most resorts we have been to except the distance from our room to everything else. It is not even the distance it was more the number of staircases that we have to climb to get anywhere. Brenda suggested that next time we practice stair climbing in preparation for our holiday.

We took a short lounge break and then Rori and I looked for adventure, We explored the inner workings of the resort. The exotic places that most tourists never see; the electrical plant, the garbage dump, the sewage processor and the loading docks. While we were wandering around the broken paths and steep stairs that only Starfish staff dared to navigate we ran into one polite, and somewhat surprised, Cuban in a security hut who asked, basically, "What ye hell are you doing back here?" as he smiled and pointed the way to the front door.

At 36 seconds into the above video you see that Brenda points out a fake rock that they keep their garden tools in. At 46 seconds you see the fake rock with the 'door' open.

One of our goals before we left was to get a photo in front of the hotel sign. Rori rocks it!

These flowering bushes were everywhere.

This is one of the most impressive resorts that I have stayed in. I would come back here.

We find the Three Ladies and Rori makes four!
At first she is a little over the top...

... but it is not long before she fits right in...

... I am sure future resort publicity documents will refer to the Four Ladies!

... and the chick on the alligator...

...totally in charge!

That's not our resort in the background but it is so massive that we could pick it out on our catamaran excursion the other day from way, way out at sea.

We had looked at the forest growth around the resort from Google maps before we came her and wondered, "Could we walk through there?" The answer was a definite 'No' But, now we know for sure what that type of satellite image means when you are on the ground. That also means that our planned walk to the other side of the peninsula is right off the agenda.

This is a bit of a 'chill' day for Brenda and I, no excursions or off-site adventures. Brenda had been kayaking with Rori and on the beach for hours in the morning and we went back to our air conditioned room to recuperate. Right now she is having a 20 minute nap and I  am in the Sports Bar listening to Spanish radio, drinking double espressos, enjoying the view and... Hey, there go Heather and Rori!

They are all big smiles and Rori is happy and excited. On their way from the beach they had been offered a fresh coconut by one of the grounds staff. He chopped it open for them and they drank the fresh juice out of the shell and ate some of the meat. They liked it and gave me a taste. It is not like the coconut juice I had bought in a can from the grocery store. Rori wanted to show Grandma the coconut juice right away but we convinced her to wait until we meet back here at the top level of the lobby.

Where was I? Yes, back at the coconut milk. It was great. We spent much of the afternoon on the beach and in the water.

This was my first real swim in the ocean this trip and it was as good as I remember it from Tuxpan. Interesting observation - I loved it but it didn't have the initial awe that my first walk into the ocean did. I had a slightly different, deeper understanding and I tried to imagine what a life time seafaring sailor must know about the ocean. After the third smack in the face by a salt water wave I renewed my respect for the power of the ocean.

The ambassadors are leaving today and Stephanie and her Italian husband had met up with Heather on the beach. What an interesting microcosm this is!  It makes me think of what a vacation is. For SWMCTTM it is getting pampered, for me it is a total break from the norm and for Jim and Shirley it seems very much to be the connections that they make along the way. I have no intention of ever seeing our Beach Ambassadors or Stephanie ever again but Jim and Shirley are planning to go back to the last resort they visited and have timed it so they can meet up with the people they met the first time they were there.

We had supper at our first a la carte - the International Menu at Spoons. I have been to a number of a la cartes in the past and always thought, 'If this is no good I can still make it to the buffet." This was different, we did not go to the buffet later. Okay, we went for second desserts but that was all. The meal was excellent and it was fun and relaxing.

Later, as I was writing in the Sports Bar,Heather and Rori joined me and we had 'Thumb Wars'. I had never seen this before. It is a fun and crazy game. But, if you play with Rori she likes to cheat.

It is is about 10pm and I have checked out the nightly entertainment. I was not too impressed with the performances. Don't get me wrong, they are very good but not just my type of thing. But, I did have an epiphany during my walkabout. I wrote more about that in a related log entry.

Thinking back to previous trips to Cuba I have noticed a significant difference.We have had as much activity and far more excitement in this trip so far than we have in a full trip with Jim and Shirley. That's not better or worse, it is just different.

It is getting late and I am getting tired but I resent any time I have to sleep on vacation. Tomorrow we will be exploring the bat caves. Grandma will take leisure time instead of cave exploring because it is a couples of miles walk to get there. We will take photos for her.