My toes are in the sand, the waves are crashing onto the beach, Dave & Tim are on stage, the breeze is intoxicating, there are perfectly lit palm trees all around, a fruity frozen drink is in my hand, looking up you can see a million stars.
Dave sings, “Molly, Molly come and dance with me”…
Beep…. Beep…. Beep…. My alarm goes off and I’m in my bed back in Belton, Missouri.
Oh, and Molly Molly come and dance with me is the way I like to sing the chorus of #36, it’s my favorite version. J
But I wasn’t dreaming, our credit card statements confirmed it.
A month back to real life, and I am still processing this trip of a lifetime. We waited for over 5 months for this amazing experience and it seems it is going to take that long to process this trip and get over my *Davepression.
*Dave-pression is withdrawal or longing from a Dave Matthews concert experience. Yearning to mingle with other like-minded people that have a good time traveling to or from a Dave concert. Symptoms my include reminiscing about the concert, sharing photos on Facebook, wishing to return to the concert, talking non stop about a song, or connecting with new friends you met.*Side effects my include booking trips to see Dave on the road, caution this may get expensive, and people may question you!
Shortly after the trip was booked a group popped up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/daveandtimmexico/?fref=nf this group saved my life. There were my PEOPLE! People just like me who love Dave, love his message, love the music. Each one of us have our own relationships with Dave but they understand “IT”.
Each day there were all these awesome posts on the Facebook group, there were posts like pin what city you live in, stories about past shows people have been to, meet and greets with other fans. That Facebook group is how I got acquainted with someone who lives very close to me, and thanks to the group we have begun what I hope to be a long friendship. We had gotten together several times before the trip and each time the conversation lead back too how excited are you? What do you think this will be like?
Funny thing about our new friend, we were all on the same flight from Kansas City to Cancun. Small world.
Rafael and I opted to stay at the Hard Rock hotel and it was a great choice. One of the best things about this property is your room key is your wristband. The hotel puts it on you at check-in. That was so great, we didn’t have to keep track of the keys, just don’t lose your wristband, it is $75.00 per day to replace it.
The resort was very nice, it is a big property, featured many pools, and the grounds are stunning. We requested to stay on the Heaven side instead of the Hacienda side. The Hacienda side was nice as well but allowed kids.
As for the view unless you have a Presidential suite or a room close to the water you won’t have an ocean view. That is something I didn’t realize until we checked in. There are partial water views; our room was on the bottom floor so we couldn’t see the ocean from our room. This turned out to be no big deal we were hardly ever in our room.
The bathrooms were open which I didn’t like at all, the doors are glass and don’t go all the way to the ceiling. That was uncomfortable, even being married to my husband going to the bathroom is a private matter.
One of my favorite things about this trip was doing yoga in the palapa, with Josephine. After a night of dancing on the beach listening to Dave a good stretch was just what I needed. The breeze from the ocean, and the view was perfection. The class was refreshing and a perfect way to set your intentions for the day. The hotel had yoga classes offered each day but with this concert package purchased through CID, they offered their own yoga class for just the Dave and Tim concert goers. This took a minute to figure out the first day, so if you are going to see a band with CID or Crash My Playa as they were also called make sure to ask where the classes are located.
The pool water was too chilly for me, and the two hot tubs on property were never functioning while we were there. Each of the rooms feature a great Jacuzzi tub that was perfect for soaking after the shows, so the hot tub was no biggie.
The food & drink choices were all great super yummy. The staff at this hotel all worked so hard, and it was a pleasure to be their guest.
When we checked in with CID in the main convention center area, everyone got their goodie bags and wrist bands placed on. (These bands are placed on pretty tight. I am not sure how someone could get off a band to sell to someone else, at all and in one piece. So if you are thinking of flying down for a concerts and buying a band off someone beware). If your counting the Hard Rock puts your room key which is a wristband and then your concert ticket is a wristband, and being in the Dave fan club got me a wristband for early entry so I had quite the tan lines.
Being a Warehouse member we got early entrance bands, these bands are for you to stand in line earlier not to get into the venue earlier. On the itinerary that we were given the first shuttle didn’t leave the Hard Rock until 5:15 so we opted to take a taxi to get there before the buses. Taxi’s were about $10 to the venue, totally worth it. We took a taxi everyday and it worked out great. Standing in line we met really nice people, time flew by and it was really nice to be in early. CID staffers were always coming by with sunscreen, water just to make sure we were ok, while waiting in line.
No one was let into the venue until 6 and by the time everyone walked single file to the stage it was 6:30. And yes, everyone was instructed each night that we had to walk, in a single file until reaching the stage. If anyone started walking fast or cut anyone off they would be taken to the back of the line. CID was strict about that rule. There are tons of security guards on the beach and they will tell you to slow down, walk single file; clearly they had reasons for doing so.
What CID didn’t explain was that the Barceló guests were always the first to be let into the venue. I asked on day two if they were going to let us in first to make it even and I got a firm no. So if you are hoping to be riding the rails at the Barceló, you need to stay at the Barceló. The same handful of people were first in the venue every day, and I was told they slept in their spots each night and took turns going to eat and back to their rooms, that is dedication.
Being the first 200 people let in the venue we got good spots close to the stage, but as soon as everyone starts arriving the spot gets tighter and tighter. Getting into the venue early did have some perks. I only had to wait a short bit to get merchandise but I heard some people waited in line up to 2 hours. By the third night they had already sold out of everything but that nights posters. My suggestion is you buy all your swag early on.
I didn’t eat a churro but I heard rave reviews, the churro stand is next to the merc booth.
I only have 2 issues with CID and these are small issues but could really improve the concert experience.
The sound at this venue is great, the further back from the stage you are the better the sound gets. With being on the beach it is a flat sight line and it is very hard if impossible to see the stage. Screens at this venue would be worth the price tag. There is a sound booth in the back middle of the venue and I believe if they could put a screen there it would solve so many problems. Just being able to see Dave and Tim would have really calmed down the people that felt they couldn’t see.
We took the shuttles back to the Hard Rock each night; it was an easy trip to the hotel and the lines moved quickly. The staff counts how many people get on the shuttle, and the hotel has an employee get on the bus and count again. That made me feel very safe and confident that everyone was where they were supposed to be.
Everywhere we went at our hotel, or at the concert venue there was buffet station after buffet station. At night after the concerts when you got dropped off to the Convention Center at the Hard Rock they had 3 big double-sided buffets set up for everyone. They also had 2 bars, so where ever you were good drinks and eats are close by. Most of the food is deep fried so it isn’t super healthy food but after the show it hits the spot.
The next pointer that I would give is that they need to monitor the amount of people being so close to the stage. Night two there were several incidents around us, mostly having to do with people not respecting other’s space and thinking that they could push into any nook or cranny that they wanted. We ended up leaving our spot that we were in for over two hours when the show stared because the fans were being so pushy and rude it wasn’t worth it.
All and all I loved the concert series, and the trip! It was expensive, but when it’s all done and you think back experience, it was totally worth it. CID puts on a great concert experience. The set up was perfect! I don’t say that lightly. Working in the hospitality industry I know first hand how much work goes into an event like this and to do it 3 days in a row, with such enthusiasm and hospitality, kudos to CID and the staff. I asked a waiter for a vodka drink and he found me in a huge crowd to get me my drink, the staff went above and beyond. I would say it is worth the price tag, and if Dave or another trip similar to it pops up through CID book it. Don’t think twice.
*Also, if you are a single traveler and you really want to go and don’t have anyone to go with you. Just book the trip, I met so many people that were on the trips by themselves and they had a wonderful time. One thing about being part of the DMB family is everyone is so warm and inviting.
The ocean is so beautiful, being able to dance in the water while listening to Dave was surreal. I just had to stop and take in how lucky I am to have gotten the chance to be there. So Damn Lucky. Now I just have to meet Dave. Maybe in Nashville.
Tips for the Trip:
Bring a flashlight, this will make life easier.
Hand sanitizer, and a bath towel or a blanket to stand or sit on.
Don’t pack too much, I only took a carry-on and still didn’t wear half my clothes.
Tip everyone!!! They work hard and deserve the money.