Whoa, Oh, Mexico…………………..(LOTS of pics)

Can I just say – WOW!?  It’s been quite a whirlwind and I have yet to recover.   Thursday last we flew down to Cancun with a group of about 65 other employees from Paul’s company and their spouses / significant others.  After passing through customs we stepped out of the airport……and there was a bar.  Right there on the curb, next to where our buses were waiting to pick us up.

It was over an hour from the airport to our resort, which is located in Playa del Carmen – it’s south east of Cancun, and you can see Cozumel island from the beach.  We all stepped very wearily off the buses, walked through the front door of the resort and were greeted by an open bar and a nice man taking orders.

The main lobby

Here’s the thing.  I don’t really drink.  But since they offered, and I had a headache from the long flight and bus ride, I accepted something blue and full of rum.  It was the first of many.  You see, while we were waiting to check in we were told that we’d be given bracelets to let everyone know that we had an all inclusive package.  That meant wherever we went, whatever we ate or drank, it was all included.  No tipping required.  We also had the same privileges at the other Palace resorts, should we wish to ferry to Cozumel or head north a bit.  Honestly, they kept us so busy and happy we never felt the need.

Our room.  I already miss waking up to the sounds of tropical birds.

The first night we were expected on the beach with the rest of our group for a welcome dinner.



here’s Paul????????

Ah – he found the coffee.  Even in this tropical paradise where it’s sunny and 85 every day……….he’s gotta have his java.

We had a mariachi band for entertainment.  That was rather awesome.  Paul and his boss were debating how many drinks it would take to run up and join them.  Paul would have done it sober.

Day 2 was Friday – we had most of the day to do as we pleased, and we discovered just how wonderful all – inclusive is.  We ordered all kinds of room service for breakfast and stuffed ourselves to busting at lunch.  The buffets had to be seen to be believed.  I even tried octopus!  But I digress.  We spent the day exploring the resort and lounging by the water.

This is the yoga hut, facing the ocean.  Our room was to the right of it.

There were all kinds of cool fish in the lagoons.  And btw, check out that water!!!

I spent the day like this.  Every 10 minutes or so a waitress would ask me if I wanted a drink.  I can’t even tell you how many frozen strawberry margaritas I consumed.

Don’t worry.  I don’t think they put as much alcohol in their mixed drinks as we do in the states.  Otherwise by all rights I should have passed out.  Instead we got showered and dressed up for the awards dinner.

I clean up pretty nice, right?

As for Paul…….

He was back to the coffee.

Saturday was phenomenal.  We toured the ruins of the Mayan city Tulum in the morning.

The city was built on a cliff over the sea.  There’s a staircase that we took down to test the water…..

That beautiful, beautiful water.  For those paying attention that is the dress from Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing I am wearing there.  It was perfect for covering up my bathing suit .

There are also iguanas everywhere.

Paul said I couldn’t bring one home.

After Tulum we were bussed over to the Ecological Water Park called Xel-Ha.

I have but 2 regrets from this part of the trip.  One – we didn’t get to swim with the dolphins (it was extra, and after snorkling and tubing we didn’t have enough time) and two, I didn’t get my picture taken holding a bright red macaw.  Xel-Ha employees were all over the place with huge birds for photo – opps.  It was funny seeing each of them holding onto 3 or 4 of them, just hanging off their belts.  We did however have a blast.  Another couple joined us as we made our way down the mile – long inlet into the lagoon.  Aimee and I started off in the tubes and had to make ou way through some dense mangroves to get out into the spot where the guys were starting their snorkling.  They took a few breaks from that along the way to do some cliff – diving.  Us ladies were not so much into that.

And how does Paul cap off a hot day in the sun and snorkling?

He heads to the outdoor restaurant to wait for his coffee.  I had a frozen daiquiri.

A siesta would have been nice, had we had the time.  At Xel-Ha, there aren’t park benches.  There’s hammocks.

On our war back to our bus we donated blood to the Mex-quitos.

We capped off our long and happy day eating authentic Mexican food brought to us by a waiter who made fresh guacamole at our table.  Ole!

Sunday I designated as a day of relaxation (massage at the spa!) and beach lounging.  The drink of the day at the resort was a concoction of passion fruit, amaretto, coconut liqueur, cream and ice, all blended together.  So good.  I don’t know how many of those I had.  For dinner we gorged on sushi before heading to our group’s dessert reception and farewell.

I was relaxed, content, full of amaretto and loving the ocean breeze.

And Paul?

You guessed it.

We had one long final night of uninterrupted sleep before heading back home.  The one blip was that right before we boarded the plane at Cancun they decided to search our bags by hand (after we’d already passed through security).  The agent handling my bag pulled out my knitting (a sock in progress) and looked too panicky for my taste.  I had to explain to 3 of them what it was.  Of course I was thinking that I would stab him with those dang needles if he tried to take away my wool and my dpn’s.  They finally let me though, with my knitting.  And hey, we saw Cuba from the plane as we were flying home.  I told Paul I’d be more than happy to throw him down there so he could get his Cafe Cubano.  He declined.  Oh well.

Maybe next time.