Our whirlwind wedding was over and our stress levels were higher than ever. My sweet boyfriend was put on antibiotics the day of our rehersal dinner (he had a nasty sickness) and the one thing that the pharmacist said would help was REST. Well, that was exactly our plans. We were looking forward to our 10 day adventure in Mexico just for the chance to shed the stress and tension of weddings, ceremonies, families and get our BEACH on.
After a quick flight and a subsequent drive, we pulled into a beautiful exotic hotel in the Riveria Maya. It was called the El Dorado Royale and we had booked a casita suite (which is technically just a shmancy name for stand-alone hut). Our room had an outdoor shower, a lounging pool and a swim up bar. Since it was October (hurricane season) we ended up being one of the only folks on that side of the resort.
The low number of vacationers actually benefited us…we got great service, were able to walk into any of the eight included resturaunts without a wait and got a different towel-animal on our bed each night. I mean, we were practically celebrities 🙂 And just so you know, if I ever was rich enough to hire a housekeeper, I would ask them to be fully educated in a diverse array of towel-folding.
One of our favorite parts? The beaches. We were able to spend three outta the ten days plopped down on the beach…doing absolutely nothing…not even retrieving drinks since we had a beach boy (not a famous singing beach boy…just a normal non-singing one) whose main job was keeping our cup full.
And we were able to detox from all things marraige – related. There were no questions about processionals or photos or whether or not the reception facility absolutely forgot to refill table twelves sweet tea. It was divine.
But in the midst of all that relaxation, we definitely had planned some excursions. Afterall, we were in Mexico and wanted to be able to take in as much of the beautiful country as possible.
One of the days we visited XCaret – which was basically like a zoo with gardens and a show at the end.
This was also the place that we booked a session to swim with the dolphins. Let me explain something very important…I used to swim. Not like in a normal sense…it was hard core swimming. Literally, my summers in highschool involved me hitting the pool at 6 am and having three to four practices A DAY. The kids in our family didn’t change outta our suits. And during the winter, Sundays was the only day that we didn’t don a Speedo. So for the better part of my teenagehood, I believed that I was a human dolphin. I know that is weird. But I also used to believe that I could breathe underwater and I would take naps in the pool…all that to say this experience was perfect for me.
After swimming with them, the trainers told us that they would come behind us and push our feet. Then we could ‘ride’ through the water. First was Jeremy. The whistle blew signaling the dolphin to start zooming through the water and Jeremy rode the entire length of the pool.
Then came my turn. I waited and waited. Then I turned around looking for the trainer to see what was holding up the whistle. Then all of a sudden, my crazy prankster dolphin started launching me through the air…needless to say, I was slightly surprised. I knicknamed him Bart Simpson after that.
Our other highlight from XCaret was snorkeling in the underground river.
Although the water was a little chilly (it was raining a little that day which made the water colder), we both got a kick outta swimming along the long tunnel and seeing the ground above us and below us. Very cool. pun totally intended.
After our visits with all the different animals (we saw everything from anteaters to oxes) and the water adventures – we got ready for dinner and a show.
The production was amazing. The entire thing explained Mayan history and traditions and helped us understand their culture and beliefs (which came in handy during our other excursions). Plus, anytime I get to see grown men twirl with giant paper mache plates on their head, I am game.
Even our server was in the spirit of things. Please note that this is the only time that I have accepted food from a half-naked sweaty man. Although, I would consider doing it again…but next time, deodorant would be necessary; anti-persperant optional.
The next day, we went on another excursion…this time it required a few hours in a bus.
But the drive was well worth it when we got to see this:
That is Chichen Itza…a New Seven Wonder of the World. This temple and the surrounding ruins are an ancient Mayan city. They include a ball court (where the winner got his head chopped off. I know. I would totally throw that one too.) and a bunch of carvings of human skulls, the Platform of Venus, and a Temple of Warriors (who got their heart cut out if they were the best…needless to say, these people were very dedicated to being on top of their craft).
On the way back from Chichen Itza, our tour group stopped at this cenote (giant water hole). It was beautiful from the bottom and the water was FREEZING.
The next excursion was my absolute favorite. It was a Mayan Adventure. We started out kayaking through an alligator infested swampland. Then we hiked through the jungle, got blessed by a Mayan before swimming in a cenote (that required a rope to climb in and out of), then we got to a giant cavern.
That is where we got strapped in and went ziplining. Being scared of heights had us both sweating buckets…but it was so worth it. And yes, that is a stick I am holding. It was my brakes for when I got to the end of the line so that I didn’t slam into a tree 🙂
After our zipline craziness, we got to repel down onto the floor before having a handmade Mayan meal and bicycling through the jungle to see more ruins. And when I say we had mountain bikes, I mean…we literally had bikes that the parts were found on different parts of the mountain. One girl pushed down on her pedals and the bike crashed into a pile of parts. She was left there holding the handlebars while I laughed myself silly. It was awesome.
One of our excursions (whew! what happened to the rest and relaxation?!?!) was to Xel Ha – a large natural aquarium that urges snorkeling.
The fish were unreal. Arnold Schwarzenegger fish. They were huge. Like they had been eating steroid plankton fortified with growth hormones.
After we swam all over Xel Ha, we hopped on another bus and spent the rest of the day at Tulum…which is where the Spanish conquistadors first contacted the Mayan people. The walls of the ancient city were right on the cliff that overlooked the ocean. I can imagine that the Mayans saw the ships on the horizon and probably dropped the f-bomb. I mean, seriously, this place was crazy beautiful and they knew that their best warrior would have to cut out his heart if he survived the fight!
I would be remiss to forget one of the best parts of our vacation – THE FOOD. Since our resort was all-inclusive (and we aren’t big drinkers) we decided that the best way to exploit the hotel would be to eat our weight in food. Some nights we would hit up to three resturaunts for dinner. I’m honestly surprised we didn’t gain twenty pounds…because we did our best to gorge ourselves at every meal.
The last two days we switched hotels. We ended up leaving the southern coast and heading north to enjoy Cancun. Here was our view from the Hilton suite (which was AMAZING!):
While we were in Cancun, we hit up the Hard Rock cafe (which we also visited when we got engaged) and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (where I got pulled up on stage to dance!). And I met these two fellows…I think Jeremy had a tinge of jealousy…because I know wearing a tiara and having a fairy wand is totally his style. Kidding honey!
We also took a dinner cruise…which I highly recommend. We got to see the sunset and eat dinner with a very fun couple from Scotland. And yes, I did attempt to speak to them in their native tongue. And they thought we sounded funny with our accents 🙂
It was the perfect ending to our wedding celebration and the best beginning for our new lives together. And yes, I did attempt to stuff a pool boy in the luggage to take home…c’mon…HE COULD FOLD SWAN TOWELS AND BRING ME PINA COLADAS…basically the recipe for a perfect man. I probably could have fit him too…if only I didn’t buy that dolphin towel!
So now tell me…where did you honeymoon? What was the best part? Spill those moonin’ details (heehee…moonin’….like bums!)