Friday, May 13, 2011

Catching up in Veracruz

Veracruz central plaza from our balcony at the Hotel Colonial

We got to Veracruz, where Jill had reserved a palatial room in the Hotel Colonial. Marble floors, 10 foot ceilings, monogramed pillows and a balcony overlooking the main square. I was ready to have dinner and call it a night, but as usual, Chip had other plans. We had a great meal at the hotel restaurant, drank some beers and headed out to a local bar/night club. Chip practiced his dancing skills with some local ladies, and Jill and I relaxed and took it all in. The bar system in the club was unlike any I've seen anywhere in the world - you come in and sit down, and a server comes and takes your order. There is no bar to approach, only servers can get your drinks. We ordered our drinks, and when he brought them over the server would not take payment. I started to wonder how they can let everyone in the place run a tab, and when we paid and went to leave I understood. Our receipt from the server was our ticket out; the bouncers who let us in without even checking our ID were only there to keep people from leaving without a ticket from their server.
Another balcony view, she's calling it a night.
The next morning the road was calling Chip onward, so we bid him a fond farewell and promised to meet up again when he is returning to Texas from Panama. (We've stayed in contact and he is making good progress.)
Contrary to what I had imagined (while lying in bed in a heavily guarded hotel) JIll had not been on the beach in Veracruz, so we headed for Boca del Rio to correct that. Our room was great...last time it was renovated - circa 1970. We learned something important checking in - If you walk in and ask the price of a room, and then say that you found it cheaper online, two things will happen:

1. They will tell you that they can't match it, because they can't.
2. They will hate you for booking the same room online (in their lobby, using their WiFi), so if they haven't burned holes in you with their eyes before you complete the online registration they will give you the worst room available. Oh, and kiss the "free ensuite upgrade" goodbye, because the ensuite they tried to sell you five minutes ago is mysteriously no longer available.

Not our hotel, just sort of funny. I guess they somehow built the garage around that tree, as it went up through a hole in the second level.
So, lesson learned. We weren't there much, so it didn't really matter anyway. Around dusk we took a lovely two mile walk down the beach, and promptly hailed a cab home, because the neighborhood looked pretty scary. Just kidding! it was a really lovely area and there were happy people going for walks and eating ice cream everywhere. (really) The sentence should actually read "and promptly hailed a cab home, as the tap water from brushing my teeth caught up with me." (sorry)

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