Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Table for One - Part 2

Table for One  - Part 2

I guess it's really not fair to say that I would be alone in Mexico for the next seven days, I was meeting up with other travel agents during the middle of my trip. They were however, still strangers and this type of travel was still very new to me.

Since I was staying in the preferred club room at Now Sapphire, I was able to check in at the preferred club lounge. As I sat down to check in the bartender came over and offered to make me a drink. Even though it wasn't quite noon in Mexico, it was in Cincinnati, so I decided to go ahead and have a piƱa colada.

Check in was easy. I left my bags with the bellhop and decided to explore the resort. I walked around and took pictures for a little while, and I looked at all of the couples, friends, and families enjoying the beach and pools. Still, I didn't feel alone or lonely I was feeling a rush of excitement just being at the resort.

I decided it was time to have some lunch and found a casual beach side grille called Blue Water. I walked up to the hostess and said "table for one." 

I was seated outside at a table overlooking the ocean. There was a gentle breeze and clear sky that day.  The waiter took my order and brought out chips and guacamole. I was never a fan of guacamole before traveling to Mexico and now I will admit I'm a bit obsessed.

As I was sitting at the table waiting for my food I stared out into the ocean. All I could hear was the sound of the waves, and the seagulls flying around. Two blackbirds landed on the table next to me looking for leftover scraps. For a few minutes I watched them fighting over spilled tortilla chips and chasing each other around. I could feel the smile forming on my face. This was awesome. 

It's amazing the things that you notice and the things that you appreciate when you are left with only your thoughts for a while. A few minutes before my food came some of the other tables filled with families and couples. I observed them talking and laughing and sharing stories, but no one was staring out into the ocean, listening to the waves, or watching the birds.

After lunch I met with the sales manager for a tour of the property and checked into my room. I was delighted to find a special Champagne gift in my room, and giggled a little when I saw two champagne glasses for "Mr. and Mrs."

After changing into my swimsuit and cover-up, I walked down to the beach bar. On my way I ran into Steve and Mary from my flight. We chatted for a bit and it felt good to see familiar faces.

I really liked the beach bar. Instead of bar stools there where swings made from rope and wood. Being as short as I am I'm sure it looked somewhat comical to see me trying to get on to the swing. Once I was situated, however, it was so comfortable and relaxing I could've stayed there all night.

There were four guests sitting at the bar who I started a conversation with. There was a husband and wife, their adult daughter and friend. They insisted I do a shot with them, and even though I'm not a shot drinker I obliged. I sat there for a while chatting with them, and tried a couple more drinks they suggested. 

They told me they would be at the nightclub that evening and that I should stop by and party with them. I declined since I was getting up so early the next morning, but it was nice knowing how easily I was connecting with people.

Such a fun group!

They were right, this was delicious! 

That night I dressed up for dinner, and chose the Mediterranean restaurant, Cibu.  I did get a strange look when I told the hostess it was just me, but I didn't let it bother me. As I sat down at my table by the window I looked around the room and saw several couples having romantic dinners and a few groups as well. For a split second I felt lonely, but I brushed it off and decided that I was going to enjoy my dinner. I ordered wine, a bruschetta appetizer and a vegetarian lasagna. All of the food was incredible. I was so glad that I decided to go dine at this restaurant instead of choosing the casual beach grill or room service.

After dinner I was walking through the lobby bar and ran into the group from the beach bar. They introduced me to some of their other friends that they were traveling with. It was nice to have this sense of friendship when I was traveling alone. 

As much as I wanted to continue to socialize I knew I needed to get to sleep. The next morning I would be crossing an item off of my bucket list that I had been looking forward to for years. I would swim with whale sharks. 

The whale shark tour was incredible.  That alone was worth the trip to Mexico. When I returned to the resort I met with my driver who would take me to my next destination. 

Sandos Playacar is a large resort with an amazing beach, but I didn't get to explore it quite yet. I was already running late to meet with the other travel agents for dinner. We were to meet in the lobby area at 6:15 PM. I had no idea who I was looking for or if I was even in the right place. Finally, around 6:25 PM I saw a woman wearing a name badge that identified her as part of the group. We eventually found the others and headed to the Mexican restaurant at the resort. 

The best part about this group was that no one knew each other. I have been to several meetings and dinners before with other agents who all worked together or knew each other already and it was always a little awkward to be the one in the group that no one knows. That night, we were all in the same boat. 

After our group had dinner and attended the Madonna show we went our separate ways. I settled into my room and fell asleep quickly. 

The next morning I woke up early and decided to walk the beach. There's nothing like being one of the first people on the beach in the morning. It's the most peaceful and magical feelings. I took a few pictures of the sun rising and stared into the ocean for a few moments. This was another one of those moments when I was really glad to be alone.

One thing I really like about Sandos Playacar is the long stretch of beach.  I started walking away from the resort with nothing but beach and ocean in sight. I was fortunate enough to pass a morning jogger, who gladly took this photo for me.

On my way to breakfast I passed Jorge,  (a resident iguana that I named the night before), and a couple who I had met briefly while leaving the Madonna show. I had only been at the resort for 12 hours and already felt at home.


Breakfast was easy to do solo, and I noticed there were quite a few people eating alone that morning. I got a seat by the window and felt a nice breeze while I enjoyed my coffee.

Amazing latte at Sandos Playacar

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