This time two weeks ago we were in Mexico celebrating Dave’s birthday … alas, now it’s back to reality.
The celebration started Friday night at Pacifico Cantina on Barrack’s Row with guacamole, tacos and plenty of margaritas. Despite the stormy weather, we had a great turnout from some of our best amigos!
Before going to Pacifico, I surprised D with cupcakes and gifts. (Daisy was in Pennsylvania with her aunt and grandma, but she is sweet and thoughtful that she had a card for me to pass along.)
Saturday we woke up early for our flight to Mexico, but didn’t realize that a third of DC metro residents were also doing the same. It took us so long to check in for our flight and we almost missed the cut off! Any residual stress I may have been carrying was erased upon arrival in Cancun because the car service was eagerly waiting to greet us with a cool SUV and a cooler of these guys. We truly felt like celebrities!
The hour drive to Catalonia Royal Tulum went by quickly which was good because we were ready for some beach lounging. The hotel staff greeted us with cool damp hand towels and welcome beverages, a very nice touch! We proceeded to check in, eat lunch and park it on some lounge chairs.
One day while walking along the shore, we came across a charming beachfront restaurant with a large palapa roof. We stopped for a cerveza and snack, and Al Cielo quickly became one of our favorite places on the trip.
As you can see, most of our time was spent alternating between the pool and the beach, but here are a couple of the other highlights:
1. Critters: The resort is built into the jungle, with a path from the entrance to the beach that winds through mangroves and past fresh water cenotes. It is impossible to make the walk without passing several different critters like the ones below.
2. Dinner on the Beach: The resort was all-inclusive, but we decided to splurge one night and arranged for dinner on the beach. There were only three other couples, so it felt special and we had two waiters that were hilarious so it was also really fun! It was pretty windy and they had to run back and forth from the beach to the near-ish restaurant for our food and other supplies. We laughed a lot and even sang the Mexican birthday song “Las Mañanitas.”
3. Snorkeling in the Cenotes: My trip to-do list was basically 1. sunbathe, 2. enjoy vacation cocktails (the kind that you can’t order at a normal bar with a straight face, usually accompanied by an umbrella) and 3. snorkel in a cenote. Check, check and CHECK! We took a half day trip to snorkel in two spots, Akumal Bay and El Jardin del Eden Cenote or Ponderosa. At Akumal we saw large sea turtles, beautiful fish in every color of the rainbow, sting rays, baby squid and a sea cucumber. It was one of the best snorkeling trips I’ve taken in terms of marine life; however I did get a little seasick, which is a new phenomenon for me. The second stop, El Eden, was a mature freshwater cenote, which is a limestone sinkhole found mostly in the Yucatán Peninsula. Although we only saw a few fish, our guide took us into tiny spaces where we could see stalactites. He dove down, swam through underwater caves and came out in an entirely different spot. This trip made us wish we had an underwater camera! (Any recommendations on a good one?)
The trip/birthday celebration did not end when we got back to the states though! We decided that we hadn’t had enough Mexican food, so we stopped at one of our favorite places, Guajillo in Arlington.
For more pictures of our trip visit my Facebook album!