Days One & Two: Playa del Carmen, Mexico October 28 – November 4, 2017

Day One

I cannot tell you how excited I had been for this trip. I had not had a vacation in more than a year, so a break and some TLC was definitely needed FOR SURE! Mind you the only real reason we are going to Cancun this year is because of two of our favorite people were tying the knot! So we decided to make this trip into our vacation! And it was worth it!!!

Preparing for the trip was simple, although I did have to renew my passport which had been expired for at least five years. That process was frustrating.

Our flight out was at 6:40 AM, so we had Washington Flyer pick us up at 4 AM. New regulations now suggest you arrive at the airport three hours before an international flight, but since we needed to check our bags and the ticket counter didn’t open until 4:15 AM we figured we would be alright arriving a little after 4 AM. Our first leg was to JFK. Which is beyond me why we needed to fly up to New York just to fly back down over D.C. We landed right as the sun was coming up which was absolutely beautiful.

We had a nice little layover that gave me some time to score some excellent New York img_3838postcards (using Postcrossing), as well as grab a drink or two (yes before noon, no judging, it’s our vacation). We sat waiting for our flight for about an hour at the gate. In that time, a fellow passenger waiting became unresponsive. Luckily, another passenger was a medic and was able to take his vitals and keep the wife calm. But what really irritated me is that emergency personnel were called, and it took close to 20 minutes for two Port Authority police officers to arrive, not even medics. Anything could have happened in that time, the man could have died. He woke up right before they arrived, which let me tell you was a relief, even for me. I ended up contacting JFK once we were home to let them know that it should not have taken that long AT ALL, and that I hope they take preventative action to make sure response teams are much faster next time.

We finally boarded our 10:30 AM flight and were off to Cancun!!!

Four hours later, we were flying into the Cancun International Airport. FINALLY!!! After months of preparing we were finally there, and ready for some serious relaxation!

img_4488After going through customs, we stopped at an ATM, then headed out the door to meet our ride, LOMAS TRAVEL, who our travel agent through DestinationWeddings set up for us. If you ever travel anywhere that is remotely touristy, make sure you follow the directions you’re given when leaving the airport to find you ride. There were at least 30 people trying to offer us rides to our hotel; our agent told us that some will even say they are with the transportation company you are looking for, so just ignore them or say no thank you. Since we followed the directions and we knew who we were looking for, we didn’t have any issues finding the right people.

Our ride to the resort was about an hour, and our van made one stop to drop off the other couple riding with us, they were from Missouri. And then, a little after 3 PM…

WE ARRIVED!!!

As soon as we got out of the car we were offered drinks by the resort staff, and after waiting a few minutes were able to check in. We upgraded to a garden view suite, which at $20 extra bucks a night we were all over. They gave us our wrist bands (which you will later find out how much we disliked them), gave us a map of the resort, then had the bell hop take our bags to our room, drinks still in hand.

Everything was beautiful; the room, the view, the entire resort.

Once we were settled, we headed to grab some lunch at one of the many restaurants on the resort. Did I mention it was all inclusive? As many drinks and as much food as you want!!! Ricon Mexicano is in one of the corners of the resort, right on the beach, and next to the road access to the ferries for the cruise ships. We arrived just before the taco bar was closing for the night, so we weren’t able to get the tacos, but both Jake and I decided on some authentic enchiladas, yum!

To end the night we walked to town, Calle Quinta Avenida (the touristy part), to look around and explore. We found a neat cigar shop (The Cigar Factory) where they roll the cigars from scratch right in front of you. At one of the shops, they had tanks filled with little fish called Garra Rufa fish (aka Doctor Fish) that you could put your feet in for 20 minutes and they would eat the dead skins of your feet; I only lasted about ten minutes. But it was definitely neat! The town was also preparing for Halloween (Día de las Brujas) on October 31, All Saints’ Day (Día de Todos los Santos) on November 1, and All Souls’ Day (Los Fieles Difuntos) on November 2, which is also known as the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos). The celebration of Día de Todos los Santos and Los Fieles Difuntos is bigger than Halloween in Mexico. It was really exciting to see all of the decorations going up for the celebrations to begin in only a couple days.

We didn’t spent too much time out as we were exhausted from traveling, so we headed back to the resort and crashed.

Day Two

I woke up early this morning and decided to head down to the resort gym for a run. Sadly I only made it about two miles before my foot started aching (stress fracture, ouch), so I stopped, and headed upstairs to start our day.

Before day two of our Mexican adventure, we grabbed some breakfast at SPICE (another restaurant on the resort) which was more of a buffet styled restaurant. We also stopped in at the little store in the resort where I bought a couple Mexican blankets, and Jake bought himself some sunglasses, they were offering a deal, so might as well. We also made our dinner reservations with the front desk, at one of the two restaurants you needed to make a reservation for, and the place only had two times available, it was booked solid.

We walked to a store, called Mega, that was recommended to us where we could buy some coffee grounds, which was kind of like a Walmart. They do actually have a Walmart down the street, but we didn’t feel like walking that far.

We headed back to the “touristy” area where we ended up finding a mall of sorts (Quinta Alegria Shopping Mall), where we did a little bit of shopping to pick up some gifts. The mall had some of the typical shops that you would find in the U.S., including Pandora, Forever 21, American Eagle, Columbia Sportswear, and even Starbucks. The top floor had more of a general shopping area (kind of like a small Target) which had every day items as well as some more Mexican related gifts. The building itself was pretty neat though.

As we made our way back up the street to head to the resort, we were stopped by a man who wanted to sell Jake a Harley Davidson shirt. So, of course, we followed this guy into his little shop (which was also behind another shop and smaller than our bathroom) and ended up buying the shirt from him. I figured out after our trip that there was a Harley Davidson shop in the mall, but we somehow missed it.

On our way out, the guy suggested that we talk to his buddy about doing some excursions, so we listened to his spiel, which was about 45 minutes. We ended up signing up for three excursions, 1) Tulum, Grande Cenote, and Coba, 2) A fishing and snorkeling trip, and 3) Snorkeling on Cozumel, and scooter rentals. I think the total for all three was about $600 or so. We were told that the bus / van would pick us up from our hotel, without even asking which hotel we were staying at. This is when we realized that those fun little resort bracelets were what the locals looked for so they could try and sell tourists their products.

Once we were done spending money, we headed back to the resort to grab some lunch, take a couple shots, see the beach, and check out the pool.

We spent a little bit of time down at the pool before our 6:30 PM dinner reservations. There are two pools in the main area of the resort (and a third smaller pool off in one of the corners of the resort) and it’s where all the action happens. The smaller of the two pools has a swim up bar where Jake and I decided to spend our time, where we met another couple, from Dallas. We hung out with them for a bit before we headed inside to get ready for our dinner date.

There are only two restaurants on the resort that you need a reservation for, and one of them is Maria Marie. Also, you have to pay for lobster (good thing I’m allergic) and any top shelf or more expensive wines (basically non-house beverages).

img_3867Jake and I dressed accordingly, which was a nice dress for me and khakis and a button up for Jake. We arrived on time for our reservation at Maria Marie, and the place was basically empty, which was odd since they were booked that night when we made our reservation earlier that day. Jake ordered me a very nice bottle of wine (yup we had to pay for it) and we ordered our appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Yum!

(pictured right – we clean up alright>>)

Maria Marie

The other restaurant you must made a reservation for is Chef’s Table, which is also like an $80 charge per couple. We never ended up eating there.

After dinner we headed back to our room and pretty much fell asleep around 8 PM. I’m not sure why we were so tired, but we were. That’s alright though, because the next day were were going on a 12 hour excursion.

Day Three : Cancun, Mexico October 28 – November 4, 2017

Categories: Adventure

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