Trip Start Mar 29, 2007
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Flag of Mexico  , Yucatan Peninsula,
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Most of you experienced travelers can probably figure out the name of this entry.  For you travel rookies, those are the airport codes I touched down in during my most recent trip to the US.  Hyderabad - Doha - New York JFK - New York La Guardia - Okla City (via St. Louis) - Dallas Love Field - DFW Airport - Cancun - DFW- New York JFK - Doha - Hyderabad.  A lot of flying for a two week trip back to the US, but it ended up working out very, very well.

First stop, a one night stop-over in New York City after the 13 hour flight from Doha to New York.  I had arranged a nice hotel near mid town (Giraffe Hotel - recommended) and managed to get upgraded to a Park Avenue suite upon arrival.  After a shower, nap and some rest, I called up a few of my local NYC friends to meet up for a tasty margarita at a local Mexican place.   From there we went to an amazing local place called the Spotted Pig.  Good times for my one night in NYC.  The next day I had a few hours to kill before my flight to Oklahoma so I did something that I hadn't done in nearly 15 years...go to the top of the Empire State Building.  I must of arrived at just the right time because there was no line and it wasn't too much time before I was on the observation deck.  I booked another ticket that got me to the 102 floor which is the tip-top of the building.  Nice views for sure.  Back down to sea-level where I grabbed a quick slice of NYC pizza before heading back to the airport for another flight...this time to Oklahoma via St. Louis.

Oklahoma was of course a required stop to see the family and participate in my family's favorite holiday, the 4th of July.  The weather was hot and windy in Oklahoma, but of course on the day that we had 50+ people over the the house for dad's fireworks show, the heaven's opened up and we had two hours of non-stop rain which flooded the driveway and threatened to put a damper on the fireworks.  Fortunately, it only rained during the daytime which gave everyone plenty of time to drink, eat and catch up.  At night the firework stands were setup and dad trucked out a trailer full of "almost legal" fireworks.  Everyone had a great time and we definitely had the best show in the neighborhood.  The rest of my time in OKC was spent catching up with the parents, eating good food and hanging out.

After a few days of Oklahoma home cooking, I caught a Southwest flight down to Love field in Dallas where Tanya was waiting for me.  We spent the next two days with her and her family catching up and enjoying more home cooking.  Tanya and I then headed off for a 4 night holiday in Cancun which we had originally planned to take in May...but didn't because of the Swine Flu epidemic was in full force back then.  Out flight in first class to Cancun was uneventful and short.  Customs was a breeze and we were soon in a taxi on the way to the ME Melia resort in the Hotel Zone.  I haven't been to Cancun in over 10 years and it was great to be able to use my Spanish again (I think Tanya was a little impressed).  The ME Melia was beautiful...I didn't realize it until after I booked it but evidently it was the hotel where the Real World Cancun was shot.  Because we had modified our booking from May to July...they didn't have the reservation correct, but after some begging we were upgraded to an ocean front room and $100 of resort credit to use for whatever we wanted.  Our room was amazing...the ocean seemed like it was so close you could almost jump into it.  Sadly it was already dark when we arrived so we didn't get to fully appreciate the view until the next day.  We had already eaten on the plane so we just took it easy the first night and enjoyed a cocktail in the lobby bar.  We spent the next three days hanging out at the pool enjoying the sunshine and margaritas.  We spent the next three nights eating amazing seafood and mexican cuisine and enjoying what little culture there is to offer in Cancun (the biggest cultural thing we did was go to Senior Frogs where Tanya was shocked at what she saw).  In need of a little culture, Tanya had a great idea that we visit the Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza.  Our hotel organized a bus tour that started at 7:30 AM and lasted all day long.  The tour included breakfast on the way out, a very comfortable bus which Tanya had no trouble sleeping on, a guided tour of the Chichen Itza complex and cold beer on the way back.  Oh...one more thing, on the way there we stopped by a huge sinkhole which has been transformed into this amazing swimming hole.  The water depth is 150 feet deep and there are plenty of cliffs and ledges to jump off of (it was a blast).  Back at the hotel we made reservations at an amazing restaurant for our last dinner in Mexico and enjoyed every bit of it.  Our last day was spent lounging at the pool until checkout time and then making our way back to the airport where it was back to the cold, hard reality of our normal lives in Dallas.

The remainder of my time in Dallas was spent with Tanya and my friends enjoying my favorite restaurants and some new places Tanya wanted me to check out (for a laugh go to the Ritz Carlton in Dallas on a Saturday night...wow...what a cheese fest).  My final Saturday was one of my best friends weddings so Tanya and I got dressed up and spent the entire day with Stacy and Spencer enjoying their wedding and reception.  The best part of the wedding was how Stacy was running the show and if anyone tried to do anything that she didn't want...well, let's just say you don't upset Stacy on her wedding day. ;)  She was great and we all had a great time...congrats to them both.

On the way back to Hyderabad I had a layover in New York for a few hours...enough time to enjoy a nice dinner with Tanya's sister Angelina and her boyfriend Randall.  Safely arrived back into Hyderabad and already missing the US.
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