Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cancun, Mexico

Hola Amigos. Buenos dias! How is your summer so far? (Or winter if you're down under...) I'm feeling good, having just returned recently from sunny Mexico! As you may know, it rained the first two and a half days that I was there. I started thinking, "I've made a BIG mistake..." but then, it cleared up halfway through the third day... lo, and behold! SUN! Well, "sun" is an exaggeration on the third day. It was really more like "not raining" and therefore, we were out taking advantage of not getting rained on. It was a great day for beach combing! When it DID rain, we hung out in the bar... played cards... just goofed around, really. We went out in the rain when it wasn't crazy windy, but it mostly WAS crazy windy. Apparently it was a tropical storm front named "Angela."

Waiting for a drink

Dominating in gin rummy
Oh, and check out our night time view from our room's balcony... It was pretty cool!

 The ocean was on the right, and the lagoon (which you can't see here) on the left of the strip. I have day time video of the view, and plan to put something together of the trip. It just may take a while, with other things on my plate at the moment.
Once the rain stopped, though, it was full-on gorgeous every day. It was also a lot hotter than the initial few days. It made it harder to stay out in the open... luckily there were lots of palapas! As there was wait service to the palapas, this was not a problem! In the morning, you could find a spot easily... but wait too long and you might be stuck without a table for your drink and food! Still, if you miss out, you can always get a canopied bed to lay on....

Rent for $25 pesos an hour
 These only came out when chances of rain had disappeared. Lush, right? We were too cheap to pay for it, but it looked really inviting... and it was next to this awesome little bar called Kuku's...

 One side had a big hot tub that you could relax in, with poolside service. The other side had these big swing chairs. They were very comfortable, but when the sun was aimed at your back, you'd burn without SPF 100!

The hot tub side had little tables, which are just above water level. It was perfect on the days when we first got there and it was drizzling. Once the sun was out in the middle of the week... no. Too hot. 
You can see how the sky was still gray in these photos... it was the third day, when it had stopped raining, and people started coming out again. Unfortunately, because it wasn't that sunny or too hot, we got burned because we didn't feel the UV rays on our skin. The day after this, I stayed well out of the sun!

Iguana on the resort

Iguana at El Rey ruins
There was plenty to see around us, though. During the day, iguanas came out to sun themselves... they bring me back to a prehistoric time of dinosaurs... they're not like the little lizards back home! There was also an archaeological site that was walking distance from the resort. We went there the day before we left. It's called El Rey (The King) because of the remains of an ancient Mayan king that was found there under a statue of himself. It's the end of the Chichen Itza string of ruins, and it's extremely old. The coolest thing about it, though, are all the iguanas that have taken over the site! I'm not kidding, there are hundreds of them there. They each have their territories in and around the ruins, and if you bring some fresh fruit and start waving it around, they all start to come over to you for a bite. They LOVE fresh fruit... who doesn't?

The other amazing thing we saw, which was at night, was the sea turtles coming in to lay their eggs! They are massive, and crawl up the beach towards the resorts. Once they dig their holes and lay their eggs, the hotels have people who remove the eggs, count them, and put them up higher on the beach in a fenced in area... otherwise, all the tourist activity would dislodge and possibly destroy the eggs. We saw one sea turtle mama leaving, and we all stood around (giving her plenty of room) and watched her re-enter the sea. She was beautiful. They don't like people snapping photos of the turtles at night because it can disorient them, which I totally understand, so I took a photo of her tracks after she was already in the ocean's embrace.
Sea turtle tracks... looks like a tractor left them!
Finally, I want to mention that we had the most excellent service at the Omni Resort, where we stayed. There was one server in particular, named Enrique, who was awesome! He brought us delicious foods that weren't even on the menu! He was on top of our drink situation, and he was super fun and cheerful, and waved at us when we walked past the restaurant on the beach. We wanted to take him home with us! The feeling was apparently mutual because on our last day, he told us that the next time we came to Cancun, that he wanted to have us over to his house. Which we plan on doing!
Enrique: server extraordinaire!

He was such a nice guy, and shared the same taste in food that we had... he was always bringing us fresh guacamole, and plenty of freshly grilled seafood and their delicious homemade buttered tortillas, with a side of super HOT salsa, freshly made with habanero chilies. I could only dab my food with a drop of it. Seriously, people, it's hot.

When we were under the palapas, we had our favorite wait staff there, too. Her name was Beatriz, and she was very friendly, always remembered our room number, and was genuinely a nice person. She was awesome! Not everyone is always genuinely nice to you at resorts. Some people are just nice because they're hoping for tips. Who could begrudge them? But there are a few people who are just awesome, and you have fun around them because they make things extra special for you. That was Enrique and Beatriz. They were loving their jobs, (they're obviously "people persons") and have fun meeting people and showing them a grand time while they're on their Mexican vacations. I love being around people like that, don't you? It was definitely bittersweet leaving Mexico. It was a lot of natural beauty, amazing food, and nice people... but alas, I'm always as happy to be back home. I love living in America, and appreciate it more every time I return from somewhere else. (And of COURSE, I missed Jimmy Boo and Beckham with an ache that was unreal!) It took a couple days to get home, due to flight issues on our return trip, but the airline put us up at a nice Hyatt in Charlotte, NC, where we were taken care of in southern style, and by the following afternoon we were home!

 In another post, I'll share with you the excitement of beach combing here, and what goodies I found! Stay tuned...


-E- said...

oh man those iguanas were great!

shari said...

Wait until you see the video of them!

Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

Thanks for sharing your trip photos Shari! Ahhh, makes me wanna just hop on a flight to Mehico right this instant! xo

Terriaw said...

Sounds like a nice trip in spite of the storms and clouds. Spending time on the beach and the ocean is always fantastic, no matter what time of year or what the weather is like.

shari said...

You're welcome, Shannon... it was my pleasure to share my trip! You'd have loved it!

Terri, it was a wonderful trip... I didn't mind staying out of the sun a day or two. And yes, I am a beach-baby... I'm happy along any coast, in any weather!!

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