Sunday, May 9, 2021

Leaving Shelter Inn Place - Mexico Vacation Dreams Riviera Cancun

Since getting our second Pfizer vaccine on February 13, we are feeling much safer so we have been out and about a bit more. We are now comfortable being in contact, while masked and social distancing, with people we know who have not had the shots. We have been out to dinner with friends, took in a movie and a local crafts festival. It sure was great going out to public events. All that said, we declared the official end of our stay at Shelter Inn Place on day 396, April 12, when we flew to Mexico for an eleven day vacation. 
We had lunch with of our upstairs neighbor Morgan and her cousin Chris who was visiting from Kansas while recovering from hip replacement surgery. We went to the Tide House, a newer restaurant overlooking a marina. The view was great, the food was okay but the service left a lot to be desired..
We also got together with my cousin Missy and her husband Marty, who were wintering near Lake Okeechobee. It was great getting caught up with what they have been doing this winter.  
On April 12 we flew from Miami to Cancun for the vacation we had originally scheduled for April 2020 and rescheduled for December 2020. As you can see our view for the stay was wonderful.
While we now live in Florida and have a pool, it was great being waited on by the wonderful staff  at Dreams Riviera Cancun.
Covid protocols were in place and included touchless menus using your phone. Portofino, a Mediterranean restaurant, was one of many restaurants we had to choose from every evening. Other restaurants served French, Mexican, Asian, Steak and Seafood cuisines.   Since the resort was operating at 60%, social distancing while eating was never a problem.
As always, the entertainment team had plenty of activities starting with a morning stretch session.
Water aerobics was another activity Nanc loved.
While only one restaurant, Bordeaux, had a casual elegance dress code, we dressed up every day. It sure was different after nearly 400 days of mostly shorts and t-shirts.
There was live music every evening at the Rendezvous Bar. This is something else we have really missed while at Shelter Inn Place.
A couple mornings we took advantage of room service and had breakfast on our veranda.
We had our own cabana a couple days by the pool. This gave us a needed break from all the sun.
Our view from the cabana. Dreams, unlike the Secrets resorts we prefer, allows kids. Not a big deal for the most part but we still prefer the adults only resorts..
Another evening, another dress up.
When we did not have a cabana we spent most of our time under the umbrella. We both got very tan, but not burned like some people we saw.
Another evening another dress up and a new piece of jewelry that brought a big smile.
It only rained one day and for us it did not matter as we had scheduled massages for that day. I guess having someone that close to us for over an hour really shows we have a lot of faith in the vaccine. Nanc even went back for a second one. 
The spa is located in these thatched roofed buildings. The water is part of the hydrotherapy cycle we went through before the massages. The cycle starts with a shower, followed by a dry sauna, steam bath, cold water plunge, three water jet stops for your legs, back and arms, a couple whirlpool areas for your feet, legs and body, and ends soaking in a warm bath with a cool towel over your face. It was so relaxing I did it three different days.   
The Love lock is for couples to show they will stick together. It's popular with the many couples who get married at the resort. After 51 plus years will did not feel the need to do it.
Another night, another dress up.
A couple days we took our morning walks on the beach. This neat sign board on the beach showed we were over 9000 km from Alaska but only 3100 from Peru.
Learning to make ceviche. Grouper, shrimp, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, seasoning and lime juice. Served with tortilla chips.  VERY YUMMY!!!!! 
In order to return to the United States we needed a Covid test. We also had to complete a CDC and Mexican government questionnaire about our travels and contacts.
It was not a big deal, but it was strange having someone stick a swab very far into your nose. 
Our last day was Earth Day and they had a special celebration that included Mayan culture symbols related to the environment.
Nanc took part tossing a seed into the water to be carried away.
Enjoying a champagne, Nanc, and an iceberg, Jim, on our last day in Mexico. It was great getting away and being pampered by the wonderful staff at Dreams Riviera Cancun.
Almost every day we were there, there was at least one wedding. This night there were two, one by the pool and another on the beach terrace. Each day they set up for the wedding and when we got up the next morning everything was gone, only to be put up again that afternoon.
 On Earth Day evening the show was performed by the same people from the earlier celebration on the beach
The entertainment at these resorts is always great.
We had a special bottle of wine for our last dinner at Oceana. Our waiter, Alfredo Estrada, was fantastic. Great service, very entertaining and engaging.  
Back at Lex Lakes we had a going away party as some people were heading north for the summer. Lou and Lillian made lasagna while everyone else pitched in appetizers and side dishes. Our little happy hour sometimes turns into a feast!!
We started doing the happy hour gatherings a year ago with eight people social distancing. This week we had over twenty with almost everyone vaccinated, so we felt comfortable being close together outside.
On Friday after returning from Mexico we went to Stuart Boathouse with George and Nan. We had a great meal on the banks of the St. Lucie River. Slowly but surely we are happy to be getting back to the pre-covid normal.

While the number of cases has been going down, there have been 3,373,632 more people who have contracted  covid and 50,165 additional deaths in the US since our last post. That said, there is good news. When I last wrote nearly two months ago less that 100,000,000 people had gotten at least one shot and just over 10% where fully vaccinated. Today 31.1% are fully vaccinated and 245,799,333 doses have been administered. That is great progress but there are still way too many out there who are refusing to get the shot. This is only going to prolong the pain and suffering for millions of families.