The Trip’s Genesis and Basic Planning
Why we are taking this trip is kind of covered in the previous post titled “Warm My Frozen Bones…“. A brief recap – my wife spent several months in Belarus this fall and it was really freak’n cold there. She wanted to go somewhere warm to recover from the trauma of the obscenely (at least in my opinion) cold and depressing weather.
In case you care, and I don’t think you do, my wife will argue that I think that it is colder there because we are not going from car to car like we are here, but from house to bus station to house again. I liken the temperatures in Belarus similar to what it was like here in Wisconsin in the 1980’s – really freaking cold. This is my opinion and I am sticking to it. =)
I booked the cheapest (~$1500) all inclusive trip I could find for the two of us to a resort in Mexico through Marathon Travel out of Marshfield, Wisconsin, which is where my sister went to plan her vacation there last year (I think is was last year). Our travel agent found one in Cancun, Mexico at the Oasis Palm Beach via Funjet Vacations and we said ‘Let the party begin!”.
Park and Fly
Our flight was scheduled for 08:54 (8:54am) on Sunday and neither of us were looking forward to a 3 hour drive to the Chicago airport (ord) really early in the morning so we decided to stay one night in a ‘Park and Fly‘ hotel prior to our trip. We accepted reservations for the Four Points Hotel by Sheraton for the night before our flight (Saturday).
What is a ‘Park and Fly’ hotel you ask? A Park and Fly Hotel is a hotel where you stay at at least one night (either before or after your trip) and they will shuttle to and from the airport, and you can park you car in their parking lot for the duration of your stay with no further cost. I think these are usually limited to trips 2 weeks and less. You will want to check about the specifics if you are thinking about this for your trip. This is such a great time and nerve saver
The Trip to the Hotel
Driving there was a complete bitch. Saturday started the first day of a snow and freezing rain storm, and imagine this – we left the house (a little after noon) when the storm was just getting started. It did not take too long before we were pretty much going mostly 40 mph on the interstate and that really sucked. Driving there was messy and stressful. At most we were driving 50 mph. Needless to say we were stressed and tired from driving there from the Wisconsin Dells.
What can I say about the Four Points? Well it is a hotel. The fitness room does not have a lot of machines as I prefer, but I think that is normal for most hotels. They have enough for you to burn some time: tread mills and such, but nothing for an in depth work out. They have an indoor pool, a children’s pool, and a whirlpool. That was all good. They seemed to be very convention or meeting oriented as there were quite a few of them going on when we arrived.It was clean an neat.
The entry way was under construction so finding our way in was annoying. Thankfully my wife has a sense of direction otherwise we would have been out there for a while. We checked in and parked our car in the Park and Fly area. Instead of eating at the normally over priced hotel restaurant we went to Subway to eat and got our usual. We also considered seeing a movie but that was not so convenient to find. The hotel’s map to local attractions was incorrect (2 street were swapped) and I think one of the theaters is no longer in business. By this point we were tired and instead of wandering around looking for the theater all we really did was go to our room, watch TV, and then go to bed – nice and quite. We went to bed dreaming of what Cancun may be: the sun, the palm trees, and the Gulf waters.