Tag Archives: travel

Riviera Maya!

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás?

That’s right! I am back from Mexico. (Or as it is pronounced there: MeHico). Madre and I had an excellent trip, and as you have gathered, I left my trusty laptop at my casa. (I think I have used all my Spanish knowledge up now. Wait! I know baño (bathroom) and agua (water). Okay, now I’m done!) It’s a good thing I did not lug my Mac across the border, anyway. Getting Internet was a pain in the you-know-what. You had to buy access- in increments of 30 minutes, but just doing that turned into quite a venture. So let’s just say Poppa only received one quick email during our entire trip!

Okay, now let’s get down to business!

Our flight down went pretty well- no major blips to report. We did have to get up early to make our flight though. And I’m talking waking up at 2:15am early. Yeah . . . Madre and I didn’t get much sleep on Tuesday night. Yet, I can’t say we cared too much. Not when sun, sand, and margaritas were awaiting us! Plus, we were able to make a Starbucks pit stop in Dallas/Ft. Worth (Dallas in Dallas! Hahaha!), and we both caught a few zzzzz’s on the last leg of our flight.

When we arrived at the airport in Cancun at around 11:30 local time, it was HOT and sunny! Our hotel was about 40 minutes away, but we had already booked a shuttle service when we purchased our trip via cheapcarribean.com. Oh! And remember when I said I was really pleased with their customer service a few weeks ago- when I purchased additional insurance? Well, I am going to second that and give them another two-thumbs-up for service! Cheapcarribean.com is known as Olympus Tours in Mexico, and they really took good care of us. They acted as our “travel agency representatives” and were there if we ever had any questions.

Oh, and for you future travelers out there: when you are waking out of the airport in Cancun, KEEP WALKING! Don’t stop for any of the people lined up along the walls. They are most likely selling time shares and will talk your ear off to get you to buy something- whether it be an excursion, tickets to an event, etc.

After the overwhelming expedition of keeping those vendors at bay, I was more than relieved we had booked the shuttle. I honestly don’t know if I would have been able to tackle driving there. Let’s just say it involved traveling at very high speeds and weaving A LOT. Oh, and did I mention the police check points randomly peppered along the highway? With the officers wearing large automatic weapons strapped to their chests, the black, shiny metal flashing for all to see. Yeah . . . not intimidating at all . . .

Ah, but look what welcomed us when we arrived at out destination:

That’s the view from the main lobby at our hotel: Occidental Gran Xcaret.

That’s the view of the stairs leading up to the check-in/lobby, taken from the lower deck of the main building. The tables and chairs shown are used in the evening as a nice place for guests to sit and chat while they enjoy a drink from the nearby bar. Although, many guests found this to be just the right place to enjoy a cigarette (or two . . . or forty). I felt like I was walking through Stephen King’s “The Mist” when I went by at night. The smoke was so thick I wasn’t sure if something was lurking in the thick grey clouds, ready to snatch me at a moment’s notice. Okay, okay . . . maybe that’s an over-exaggeration, but it was pretty caustic.

Anyway, what was pretty neat about our resort was that it was like its own secluded little city. Along with the main lobby building, there were around 22 building villas which housed guests.

Our room was on the third floor, the second two last (farthest) window. And yes, we did overlook the pool. Winning!

The view from our room!

I can’t forget what was awaiting us when we got to our room:

Yup! Kickin’our vacation off right!

Pretty good looking room if I do say so myself. However, I could have gone for a bit more fluff in terms of the bed.

Haha! Sorry, I just had to to it. It was too perfect, kind of like those classic “that’s what she said” moments. Love it.

And, in an attempt to bring out that green little monster of envy in you, may I present what made up the remainder of the all-inclusive resort:

Pool numero uno. (Aha! More Spanish!) See that waterfall? You can swim under that and order a drink. Oh yeah! Swim up bar, yeah!

Oh, and if it’s too hot to tan alongside the pool:

You can lay-out on the little island. Personally, I spent as much time in the water as possible. On top of it being suffocatingly humid, the sun was HOT! This time I am not exaggerating. They didn’t have to heat their pools . . . and the water was WARM in the MORNING.

Next to this pool lay yet another smaller pool which Madre and I enjoyed the most. It was just far enough away from all the hoopla and loud music. Plus, we made friends with the bartender, Jesus. You couldn’t swim up to this bar, BUT it had swings!


Side note: My computer crashed yesterday as I was writing this post, and I just got the program up and running again . . . after much stress and tears. I am also typing one-handed now (will explain more later), so the remainder of this post will involve a little less text! Okay, back to Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Ah! Look what we have here. Yet ANOTHER pool!


This one was also a little quieter than the big one in the main area . . . but of course it still had a bar.


However, Madre and I started most of our mornings here:


The beach! Look at that beautiful blue/green water! And let me tell you what, so so so very refreshing from the blazing sun rays. The icy cool drinks from the bar only 5 feet away didn’t help, either.


Although I certainly enjoyed this little sandy cove, I did miss the open-ness of a regular beach. I suppose that would be one of my biggest cons about this resort. I missed being able to take walks on a beach, particularly in the morning. You know, feeling the warm sun as it rises, the sand beneath your feet . . . the tiny bit of rejuvenating exercise. Plus, the wide open coast would have provided more of a relieving breeze!

However, there was a fun snorkeling pool just outside the beach cove:


And a pretty walkway leading up to it:


Picturesque, don’t you agree?

It’s funny, but one of my favorite aspects of the resort was not a place or an activity, but the people. The guests themselves. Everywhere you went, you were surrounded by a plethora of different languages. Quite a few beach-goers had strong English accents, but I also heard French, Spanish, Aussie (yes!), Eastern-European sounding- tongues, etc. One group had even traveled all the way from Russia!

Madre and I made friends with some dashing fellas from Espana:



Oh yeah, we know how to pick up the men. 😉

We also kept running into the cutest family from Oklahoma. The mother always looked like she had just walked out of a page in a fashion magazine, and the dad was quite handsome. They had two little blond-haired girls and a little boy who was always trailing a few feet behind the pack. He reminded us of that little boy in What to Expect When You’re Expecting– Chris Rock’s cute but klutzy toddler. On our second to last day there, the dad finally came up to me and introduced himself. He (Shannon) told me that him and his wife both thought I looked like Ann Hathaway!


I don’t know . . . do you see it?

How about now?


It made my day, though. I was extremely flattered.

It was truly an incredible trip! Just what Madre and I needed- we seriously were asleep by 9:30pm almost every night! Yet, as Monday rolled around, we both agreed that we were ready to go home and be back in good ol’ ‘Merica!

Guess who was squeaky with joy as we came into the door . . .



Well, I will fill you in on more later. It’s time for this girl to rest up!

Questions for the day:

  • Where is your favorite vacation destination?
  • Who is your celebrity doppelganger?
  • Do any of you have laptop recommendations?

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Filed under lamentations, travel

Check, Check, Check

The past day and a half has been spent getting things marked off my To-Do list. I can’t say they have all been fun, but at least I feel more productive.

My first major accomplishment was the one I was most dreading. A few weeks ago, Madre and I booked a trip to an all-inclusive vacation to Cancun in September! (I’ve never been on a cruise or an exotic vacation, so I am eager to relax, sip on fancy umbrella-clad drinks, and soak in some hot, sunny rays). However, when booking the trip, Madre and I did not purchase the trip insurance. Unfortunately, in the last few days my grandfather’s health has took another turn for the worst. So, for a little breathing room, I decided to call the travel company to see if I could go ahead add the insurance now.

The only bad part was that I had to call an 800 number . . . so I had a book ready by my side to read for when I was put on hold. However, www.cheapcaribbean.com pleasantly surprised my cynical self. Within a few minutes of dialing, a very nice women began to help me. The best part: I was still able to purchase the insurance I needed. Therefore, I would highly recommend cheapcarribean to anyone looking to book a trip. Although the name sounds a bit cheesy, my experience so far with the company has been beyond exceptional. Oh, and don’t worry, I will give my final review of my vacation experience when I return from the sand and sun in September.

After sending a long list of emails, I took a break from my checklist to hit the gym. Since it was a Monday, my favorite spinning class was on my agenda. However, I always get to the Y early to reserve a bike and warm up before the intensity ensues.

After an easy 20 minutes on the elliptical to get the blood flowing, I intended to complete part of a workout I got from one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers:

Shoulders & Abs

Superset One: Front Shoulder Raises & 60 sec. plank

Superset Two: Upright Row & 50 Crunches (on yoga ball)

Superset Three: Side Shoulder Raises & 20 Reverse Crunches

* Complete three sets of 15 reps for each superset

I got through the first two supersets, but everyone at the gym was in quite the talkative mood. I had to cut my workout short to catch my spinning class, but I wasn’t too upset. Spinning left me looking like a swamp monster: sweaty from head to toe!

Lunch was quickly thrown together when I arrived home: Roasted broccoli, scrambled eggs, and a side of kettle corn. (I need to get the hang of taking pictures of my meals and what not. I promise I will get better. Baby steps, eh?)

Then it was time for a bath. Not me. This little bumpkin:

Ellie boo is not a fan of baths. She’s like a cat . . . she clings to the side of the bathtub for dear life. She did survive though!

Someone is not a happy camper . . . she was mad so she wouldn’t look at me. Ellie is the first dog I’ve met that can hold a grudge.

She did get a treat for her suffering.

Look at her attacking that peanut butter! She certainly is my dog!

The rest of my night was spent cleaning the house. Fun stuff!

I am off to spend the evening with Madre. Let’s see if I can get her to the gym!

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Filed under lamentations, travel, work outs