My Upcoming Mini-Vacations!

I’m super excited about some of the fun trips we have coming up in the second half of 2012! Here’s a little preview of what I’ll be posting about in the months to come:

September, 2012

A day at Hacienda Tres Rios for the Mayan Tibetan Cultural Encounter

A weekend with Jorge in Playa del Carmen

 

October 2012

A weekend in Merida for our friends' wedding

 

November 2012

A weekend at the Iberostar Cozumel ... yowza!

 

December 2012

An entire week back in the USA with these people 🙂 (plus Jorge)

I’m ready for vacation!

What are you most excited about this year? I love hearing what everyone else is doing.

 

Just Chill

The past 2 days have been pretty stressful. Not bad at all, just stressful.

I’m sharing with you the image I use to relax. It reminds me of why I’m living in Cancun (beach weekends) and what my professional goals are (7-day beach weekends).

I use this image (taken on Holbox island) as my cell phone screen saver.

What relaxes you?

Barcelo Maya Resort: The Pool

Today I’ve got more photos of the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe resort in the Riviera Maya, where we went for my cousin’s wedding.

Not much to say here, just daydreaming about one of the biggest pools I’ve ever seen. 🙂

Where would you most like to be today?

If you haven’t seen the resort’s beach pictures yet, click here. You’ll be glad you did!

Family Vacation Photos!

As I’ve mentioned, my cousin got married last week in the Riviera Maya, so Jorge and I have spent our evenings and weekends traveling down to Playa del Carmen to hang out with my family. My parents, oldest sister, brother-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents were here, and it was a BLAST.

We had countless dinners on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, and we spent all day Wednesday at a stunning All Inclusive resort. I’m really sad it’s all over!

To be honest I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked, mainly because I forget about the camera when I’m having a good time. Still, I did manage to get a few in there.

I’ll share the wedding pictures later in the week, but for now here are a few of the family!

Jorge, my cousin Shayne, and my brother-in-law Michael at Tequila Barrel, PDC

My sister Noelle, my cousin's (new!) wife Joelle, her best friend Jillian, and me at Tequila Barrel

Jorge and I with the newlyweds and their friends at Blue Parrot nightclub

Jillian, Joelle and me after a few tequilas

Jorge the beach bum

Me and my sister Noelle

Me and my mom

Brother-in-law Michael, sister Noelle, parents, Jorge and me

Grandpa and Grandma dancing up a storm

We danced, we dined, we partied, we relaxed, we talked… and I miss them all so much right now. But oh man, what a week!

 

Loud Americans

During yet another trip to The Surfin Burrito in the Cancun Hotel Zone this past Saturday, I was listening in on the conversation of the 2 tables next to us. Why was I listening in, you ask? Because they were speaking so loudly I had no choice. Of course, they had to be gringos.

In Cancun, American tourists have a reputation for being loud. I’m here to tell you that this stereotype is pretty much dead on, to an extent.

When I hop on the bus to go into the Hotel Zone, it’s filled with mostly Mexicans for awhile… and the bus is silent. Once the bus leaves downtown Cancun and enters the Hotel Zone, tourists start to get on. And the volume level goes way up. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty amusing to see dozens of Mexicans sitting quietly in their seats on their way to work while my fellow gringos scream things like “WALMART??”, “DUDE! STEVE WAS SO WASTED LAST NIGHT!”  or “HILTON? HIL-TON? YES? SI? YOU LET ME KNOW! OK! GRACIAS!”

I even heard one guy shout aloud on the bus, asking in all seriousness where the bus stop for “COKER BONGER” was. Jorge and I assume he meant to say Coco Bongo.

What I’ve noticed after 7 years here is that most American tourists are low-key when in public, so the stereotype isn’t 100% true. However, I’ve also never seen anyone from another country act that loudly unless they’re at a party or a sporting event.

In a nutshell: Not all American tourists are loud, but all loud tourists are American.

It’s not a bad thing or an offensive thing to be loud in public. (Especially not in Cancun!) It is pretty funny to watch, though.

What kind of tourist are you?

**Edit: After posting this, I’ve been told by a few friends that it’s not just Americans. Turns out Canadians can get quite rowdy as well. 😉 Party on, Canada. Party on.

Casa Las Tortugas Hotel in Holbox

Our favorite part of our weekend trip to the island of Holbox was our hotel: Casa Las Tortugas. Jorge and I both agreed that if and when we return to Holbox, we will be staying at Casa Las Tortugas again.

The hotel has a beautiful pool area, a beachfront restaurant, a spa and a chic beach club area. We loved the rustic Mexican design and beautiful palapas throughout.

Jorge and I booked the most basic room. I was worried I’d regret not getting an ocean view room, but as we spent an evening lying in the hammock on our balcony listening to the ocean breeze move through the palm trees… I knew we’d made the right choice.

24 Hours in Holbox

This year, Jorge and I have made a list of all the places in the state of Quintana Roo that we’d like to visit. We’ve already crossed many places off our list, although it’s not doing us much good since the list seems to grow every week!

Still, this weekend we were happy to go to the island of Holbox (pronounced “Hole-Bosh”), something we’ve tried to do unsuccessfully for a few years now.

Since we have no car, we had to plan around public transportation, which is very reliable but didn’t present us with many options for time. Here’s a rundown of how we got to Holbox:

  • 8 am Saturday: Took Mayab bus to Chiquila from the downtown Cancun bus station (cost: $85 pesos per person)
    • 3 hour bus ride, with stops in several small villages along the way
    • Arrival in Chiquila just in time to catch the ferry
  • 11 am: ferry to Holbox island (cost: $80 pesos per person, time: 30 minutes)
    • Note: most of the day, there are ferries leaving every hour or every 2 hours
  • Golf cart taxi from the marina to our hotel (cost: $30 pesos)

The island was absolutely stunning. The downtown area is quite small, with lots of restaurants, colorful shops, and sand streets. You won’t see any cars on Holbox! Only bikes, mopeds and golf carts.

We fell in love with the island and the hotel, although we were a bit disappointed in the water. The sand was white and powder-soft and the water in the distance was clear, bright turquoise… but right on the shoreline, there was either thick mud or brownish-green water with lots of sargasso. It was beautiful, but I guess we’re spoiled after spending so much time on beaches in Cancun and on Isla Mujeres. We’re very picky!

**Note: My friend Kelly tells me that the water is much clearer other times of year. Good to know 🙂

We came back only 24 hours later, around noon on Sunday, to catch the last bus back to Cancun. Here’s how we did it:

  • 12:40 pm: golf cart taxi picked us up at our hotel and took us to the Holbox marina (cost: $30 pesos)
  • 1 pm: ferry back to Chiquila
  • In Chiquila, there was a 1:45 bus that took the 3-hour route back to Cancun (cost: $85 pesos). There was also a bus at 2 pm that took a more direct route with no stops and took 2 hours (cost: $115 pesos). We opted for the 2 pm bus.
    • We would have loved to stay longer, but the 2 pm bus was the last one back to Cancun for the entire day. Travelers taking a car can leave much later, or you can take a taxi back for $70 US dollars.
  • 4 pm: back in Cancun

Even though we only had 24 hours on Holbox, we felt like it was just enough time to relax, unwind, explore the island and enjoy some amazing food.

Tomorrow I’ll do a separate post on our hotel, because it was AMAZING!

What I've Been Up To

So the past few weekends I’ve taken tons of pictures to share with you guys! Things have been pretty busy at work, but I figure I’ll keep ya’ll updated. Here goes…

Last Weekend:

Went to my friend Dama's birthday party at Black Pub Friday night

Saturday: Went to another friend's birthday party, complete with palapa and a taco stand

My "gringas"... flour tortilla, pastor, onion, cilantro and pineapple

Saturday night: Burgers in a friend's backyard (it had very cool design, but I only managed to get a shot of this light-covered palm tree)

 

This Weekend:

On Saturday I bought this... I'll tell you why later!

Sunday afternoon: Puerto Morelos

Saturday night: Carnaval parade in Playa del Carmen (all pictures were either blurry or blocked by pedestrians, but the costumes were great!)

What did you do this weekend?

Splash! Restaurant in Cancun’s Hotel Zone

Right after our afternoon at the beach last Sunday, Jorge and I took the Hotel Zone bus to a restaurant we’d been wanting to try called Splash. It’s located right on the lagoon (by where Basic nightclub used to be, for all you partiers) and has some pretty decent prices!

My lettuce tacos (shrimp, salmon/caviar, and tuna)

Jorge with his michelada

We spent $260 pesos total (several tacos each, drinks and tip).

Jorge says we have to return because this place has “The 3 B’s… Bueno, Bonito y Barato“!

Sunday at Cancun’s Playa Delfines

Jorge and I spent Sunday at Playa Delfines (Dolphin Beach) in Cancun. It has been years since we hung out at the beach in the Hotel Zone! Usually we prefer Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen or Puerto Morelos, but I’m glad we finally came around and decided to enjoy our city for once.