Truthfully, after being back to reality now for a week, I'm ready for another vacation!
This was about a year in the making when John's parents and close family friends, Laura and Joe told us that they were planning a trip to an adults only, all-inclusive resort in Mexico and asked if we wanted to join. I'm always up for traveling regardless of where it is but John seems to only get excited if there is fishing involved so he did a little research and sure enough confirmed there would be deep sea fishing options available close by so we booked our trip! The time leading up to this trip seemed to take forever, but finally it was here!
We were a little nervous since this would require being away from our spoiled pup Izzy for a week. We looked into boarding her, but lucked out when John's cousin and girlfriend offered to watch her. After threatening their lives if anything bad happened to her, we felt pretty confident that she would be in the very best of hands while we were away.
So Thursday, May 23rd we were off to Mexico and ready to relax! Our flight was at 6am so there really was not much sleeping the night before since I was still over-packing our suitcases until late. Anyone that knows me knows that I am not the best packer - I bring my entire wardrobe because I can't decide on what to bring, so I just bring it all. Well sure enough my suitcase tipped the scale at 51 lbs, but when it was leaning slightly forward it was 50 lbs (the max) so they let it go. Whew! I wasn't paying extra! John made sure to use that opportunity to inform me that that meant I could not buy anything on our trip since we didn't have a lb to spare!
Thursday was a long day of traveling and while I fully intended to sleep on the plane, I forgot my travel pillow and could not get comfortable so I ended up downloading 'Candy Crush' on my iPad to see what all the hype was about it and so the addiction began. I'll just come clean about this now that of the 3 books I downloaded and fully intended to read on this vacation, not a single page was read, but I did beat 30 levels of Candy Crush. sweet!
When we arrived at our hotel The Royale Playa del Carmen, it was beautiful!! When we checked in they provided you with cold towels and champagne and then escorted you to your room. This is what was behind door number 236:
But the BEST part of Room 236 was the view:
Note to self: must get a hammock once we have a yard, preferably with a view like this.
We were pretty exhausted after traveling all day and laid down to take a nap annnnd ended up waking up around 10pm. Whoops, oh well. No where we had to be and the pool will still be waiting for us in the morning!
Friday, May 24th after about 12 hours of sleep, we were really rested to spend the entire day at the pool. Pittsburgh sunshine really had not prepped us for the Mexico sun and despite slathering on a ton of SPF we knew the burn would be coming later and sure enough it did.
That night there was a Penguins play off game and we were not missing that! We put our Pens gear on and sure enough within 10 minutes of sitting in the lobby bar, we are approached by a fellow yinzer who's daughter was getting married at the resort that weekend. So us and 10 other Pittsburghers found a local sports bar 'Legends' and talk the owner into playing the game on their huge projection screen. It was awesome! Go figure, one of the couples lives right down the road from John and I.
Saturday, May 25th John woke up super early to go deep sea fishing with his Dad. I slept in with the entire king size bed to myself (amazing!) and then went to the spa with the girls (& Joe!) I had an awesome massage by a little Mexican dude, then it was back to the pool for some more Mojitos!
Things took a slight downward turn that day when John returned early and said his Dad got very sea sick on their fishing trip so they had to come back early. I knew he was pretty bummed because he wanted to catch a huge fish to have it mounted on the wall alongside his lovely blue marlin.
That evening we went to Maria Marie's, which was one of the restaurants within the resorts and had a yummy steak dinner.
Sunday, May 26th we went on an ATV jungle tour with Laura and Joe. I had driven ATVs in Aruba last year and it was so cool to see places that you could not easily get to by car. This time we cruised through the jungle, even had a spider monkey swoop above us in the trees! We saw a cenote, which I had no clue what that was until this trip and even though I was extremely nervous, jumped in and went swimming with the fish, because seriously, when will I ever get to do this again?! After swimming we jumped back on the ATVs and then explored a cave that was filled with bats! ick!!!
This is what the cenote looked like:
Monday, May 27th John had another fishing trip booked this day and was ready to cancel it since he didn't feel his Dad would be up to venturing out again in the rough waters. Knowing that I would hear about missing out on this until the end of time, I decided to go with him. I was actually really happy I did. We were greeted at the marina by our captain and first mate and then sailed off. It was within 30 minutes of being at sea that we got our first bite and they went wild screaming that "it's a blue marlin!! and it's a monster!!" I had never gone deep sea fishing before so I had no idea what to do, but apparently there is no time to learn like the present. They tell you to get in the seat, they strap you in and just start reeling!!! Within a few minutes my arms felt like jelly, this fish was strong!!!
John and I took turns reeling this monster in for two hours! It would occasionally surface so we could see it's fin and as it came closer to the boat, we could see it under the water. They said it was at least 350 lbs and had to break the news to me that there was no way they could lift that fish up for a picture and would need to cut the line to free him. It was pretty exciting, none the less but I really wish I had a good picture of it. Now my expectations were set pretty high for catching more -- next was a white marlin which John really, really wanted to bring in but the line snapped about 30 minutes into the catch. Later on, we caught a Wahoo, which was so pretty to see in the clear water, but unfortunately that one escaped the line as soon as we got close enough to the boat, and then lastly was a mackrell which we did get onto the boat. So while we had a great trip, John did not the white marlin or wahoo into the boat to get measurements to get them mounted for the wall (secretly I may have been OK with that)
Poor planning on our part but that night we had bought tickets to a club/show called Coco Bongo. We had heard awesome reviews about it and figured 'why not?!' we splurged and bought the VIP tickets and we were so glad we did! After spending all day on the boat, our bodies had enough and having our own table with seats was much needed! The show was incredible. Basically, it's 3 1/2 hours of dancers, singers, acrobats doing performances to all different types of songs (old and new). I highly recommend it to anyone that is going to Cancun or Playa del Carmen. It kept us awake until 3am which says a lot since we were up so early that day!
Tuesday, May 28th was our last day and who knew that it rains in paradise?! Well it does and rainy days = shopping! Where our resort was located was very convenient to downtown Playa del Carmen and Fifth Avenue which has lots of stores. We spent the day walking through the shops and being heckled by the Mexican shop owners. Here are two of my favorites:
"Hey! You two! are you honeymooners or just messing around?"
"Hola senorita, come into my shop. My boss is not here. I give you 40% off AND a free shot of tequila!"
In the afternoon, we checked out the game room at the resort and fired up a pretty intense game of Ping Pong! I think we'll also be needing a Ping Pong table when we get our house some day.
That night we had a delicious dinner and were serenaded by a mariachi band, what a delightful ending to our trip!
Wednesday, May 29th reality set in that vacation was over and it was time to head home. We said our "Adios to Mexico" and "Hello to Pittsburgh". And while it always stinks for vacation to come to an end, there is something comforting about coming back home.
Also, we learned that Izzy had herself an entire box of Milkbone treats in the 6 days we were gone, she also wants everyone to know that she had herself a great vacation too!