Cabo Log, Wednesday

View from hotel room balcony.

Got up at 4am yesterday to catch a 6:30am flight out of Portland. Dan dropped us off at the airport. Thank you very much, Dan! The flight down was uneventful, as it should be. We changed planes and met Sam at SFO. Nothing much else to report other than the cheese snack on the United flight was pretty good.

The airport in Cabo is pretty small. Going through customs is pretty easy. Don’t forget to fill out the bottom portion of the immigration form (the part you have to have when you leave Mexico; keep this in your passport). We escaped through the timeshare gauntlet and the activity gauntlet remarkably unhasseled, must be the off-season, and ended up on a porch by the parking lot. We were supposed to be met by a some form of transportation. I had assumed there would be someone there with either the name of the hotel or my name on a sign. There was neither. Eventually some guy came and took our reservation sheet and told us to wait. I can’t claim I was very comfortable with this, but it worked out and we made it to the hotel (The Villa del Palmar).

Checked into the hotel, tired and grumpy. It had been a long day. The room was nice and the view is good. Loni wanted food and tequila so we went foraging. After wandering around the site a bit we ended up at a sports bar just off the lobby. Never, ever, EVER go there! It was easily the worst service I’ve encountered in a very long time. We waited at a table for quite awhile while the staff walked around and just looked at us. There was water dripping from the ceiling from some air conditioning unit issue; no one seemed to care. We finally went to the bar and eventually were able to order a drink. Loni and Sam’s tequila shots were WARM! Like the tequila had been sitting next to some heating unit. What’s that about!

We left and found a different restaurant in the resort next door (The Villa del Arco. Same company, different resort). Service was great, food was great, we were happier. The rest of the day was pretty much about sleeping off tequila and beer. I feel better this morning. Not much else to report.

Things to remember for next time…

  • Get more detailed instructions on how to find the ride from the airport.
  • Stay at the Villa del Arco. Nicer place.

2013 Sabbatical

Here’s the plan.  I’m taking two months off from work; August and September.  As I’ve mentioned to others for quite awhile I’ve been the poster child for why sabbaticals are a good idea.  I’m not likely to convince HP to actually institute a sabbatical program so, since the stars seem to be in relative alignment (there’s never a good time), I’m just giving myself one.

Last spring I gave my boss a heads up.  He’s grumpy, but OK with it.  That’s way better than having him be thrilled about me being gone, so it’s OK with me, too.  During that time I’ll be spending one week in Mexico with my daughter and her boyfriend and four weeks based in Oxford, England. The Mexico vacation was already in the works.  The two months off were wrapped around it later.  I’ll be spending the remainder of the time doing projects around the house or just enjoying the area where I live.

Putting it together has been interesting.  Generally, it’s covered by four weeks of vacation and four weeks of time off without pay. Airfare and lodging were paid last spring and my savings account and credit cards are still in reasonable shape, so funding doesn’t look too bad. Mexico is a timeshare, so the lodging there is just the annual maintenance fee. Airfare I paid cash for.  I might have done better there with a little more strategy, but keeping the flights coordinated reduces the flexibility a little.  I’m getting to England  on frequent flyer miles and staying in student housing in Oxford, so that’s not too bad.  There may have been ways to optimize it more, but this was a good balance between excessive research stress and just getting it done (thank you Melody for your help with this).