Sunday, April 8, 2012

No really, THIS was the BEST day ever!

We started our day again in the Barcelona Cafe.  Breakfast was soooo good.  They had a huge buffet to choose from as well as chefs standing by to make a custom omelet or anything else you might like.  I of course enjoyed more sushi and guacamole with my eggs.

The girls started out on the beach together while the boys took out a Hobie Cat.  Mark was in heaven.  Both he and Amy own their own sail boats and it was a real treat for Mark to do his thing out on the beautiful waters of Cancun. 

Us girls walked over to a lady giving facials on the beach and applied a mud mask... we looked like Oompa Loompas

While laying in our little grass huts on the beach we started noticing a few topless ladies around us.  They were ladies who shouldn't have been topless.  You could tell it was their culture and they weren't doing it to get attention from their husbands.  They were napping in the sun with no shirt on, no big deal... except for us. :)

The 6 of us stayed on the beach for a while laughing and sunning ourselves until it was time to walk over for our beach lunch again.  We were already excited about the buffet and thinking about what they may be serving.  The day before they served the most delicious Grouper... we were hoping for more of the same.

There was a different band...

 Greg and Debbie switched sunglasses...I think Debbie could pull it off... Greg not so much.

We enjoyed listening to the band, walking around on the pier, eating delicious food (too much delicious food) and talking to people as they sat at our table.  We talked to many people who were on their last day of vacation and we felt bad for them, then we talked to others who were just arriving and we were jealous.  We never wanted to leave.

Anything and everything we might need was at our finger tips... all we had to do was ask.  They went as far as providing convenient restrooms right on the beach.  

After lunch we walked back over to our chairs on the beach.  Greg and I decided to mosey on over to the pool for a bit while Debbie and Amy took a nap on the beach. Eventually John and Mark joined Greg and I around the pool.  Two girls swam over to talk to us for a while, they were very nice and very complimentary.  They were in their late twenties and were there for just a few days to get away from work and such.  One of them was celebrating her birthday.. at least thats what she said.

Debbie and Amy finished their nap and joined the rest of us around the pool.... I think we laughed more than we had ever laughed on this trip.  Greg kept planking all around the pool...

.... and John spent some time in the hot tub.  We were laughing so hard at one point we were afraid we were going to interrupt the people eating in the restaurant just above the pool area.  We brought our fun down to a low roar and discussed excursion options.  We knew we wanted to go on one, but we hadn't decided on which one yet.  Once we all agreed on the same excursion ( a gentleman by the name of Mike assisted us in our choice) the girls went to book it while the boys made their way back to their rooms to clean up for dinner.  Mark and Greg took the path of the lazy river the entire way without having to leave the pool. :)

We showered and napped a bit before dinner and then met again in the theater.  John had mentioned he thought he left his glasses by the pool earlier so we all went over to look for them.  Mark found them and we were back on track.

We chose to eat in the Italian Restaurant this evening.  The meal was very, very good, but it took them forever to serve it to us and the portions were very small (except for Debbie who some how was served 2 dinners).  Due to the time it took them to serve us our first helping, we didn't want to waste time and ask for more so we moved on to another restaurant.  The Lobster House.

This small change of schedule started something new that continued throughout the rest of the week.  "second supper"  We ate early in one restaurant, listened to live music for a while and then went to yet ANOTHER restaurant for a second supper.

In our defense... we really just wanted to find some nachos but amazingly no restaurants served nachos.  We found this to be hilarious considering we were in Mexico.  Not even the Mexican restaurant had nachos.  Had there been Nachos we could have snacked on them while listening to music and we would have been fine.  Since there were no nachos we had no choice but to eat another dinner.

We then proceeded to watch the magic show in the theater... it wasn't the greatest, but we had fun anyway.  We tried out the Karaoke club after the show and it was even worse.  Even with the slow service at dinner, the mediocre magic show and Karaoke we all agreed THIS was the best day ever! :)  Or was it????  Excursion to the Mayan Ruins up next.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Best Day EVER!

Most of day 2 was spent bouncing back and forth between the beach and the pool.  Regardless of where we were there was someone there to bring us anything we wanted. :)

 The view from our pool beds...

There were suspicious brown bubbles in the water of the hot tub.  John swore they were not from him..... verdict is still out..

We laid around the pool until it was time for lunch.  John and Mark floated down stream in their water diapers in the direction of our Mexican lunch on the beach.

There is something wonderful about walking down the beach in your swim suit, grabbing a plate of Mexican food and listening to a live band while watching the ocean... after our first day of doing this, we knew we would return everyday for lunch.

After lunch we spent more time on the beach

 and then headed back to our rooms to get cleaned up for dinner.  We came back to find this....

It was so nice to find this special treat in our rooms.  The fruit was amazing and the grapes were the size of a golf ball..... so yummy.  The roses were beautiful and fragrant and even the petals were special.  We loved the banner so much we all have them hanging on our bedroom doors 5 months later.  I doubt I will ever take mine off unless I have another to replace it.

After showering we all met in the theater to head to dinner.  All of the food in the resort was amazing which made dinner a special time.  Because it was all inclusive, and because we had already paid for it, everything felt as if  it were free.  We could eat as much as we wanted and they were happy to bring us seconds of anything. 

 My cheese cake dessert...

We again enjoyed some live music while lounging in the theater.  At 9:00 each evening there was a live show in the outdoor theater.

We enjoyed our day so much.  Again we laughed and laughed, relaxed, ate incredible food, napped, oh and did I mention laugh?  We went our separate ways stating THIS was the BEST day ever.  Or was it???  Stay tuned for Day 3...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I left my heart in Cancun

* Disclaimer: Pictures found on this blog is a compilation of photos taken from the entire 6 pack, it was a group effort to capture the entire Cancun Experience.

Forget the saying I left my heart in San Francisco, I left a large part of mine in Cancun.  I have said several times since last November I don't feel as if I fully returned from our amazing trip.  Greg and I celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary this past year and to celebrate in a big way we decided to travel to an all inclusive resort in Cancun for a week.  We traveled with 2 other couples who are dear friends of ours, Mark and Amy Henkel and John and Debbie Kroeker.  They too were also celebrating THEIR 20 year wedding anniversaries.  Us 3 girls were also celebrating our 40th birthday so what better place to celebrate than on an adult only, all inclusive vacation.

Our experience began long before we ever left the states.  Lots of talk over dinners, emails, facebook messages about where to go and which resort.  Finally we said we needed to get SOMETHING on the calendar or it was never going to happen.  All 6 of us met at a McDonald's in Vandalia.  We arrived with lap tops, ipads, Iphones and credit cards ready to plan the trip of our dreams.  I think the employees of McDonald's thought we were crazy because we had power cords going every which way because we were there way too long for all of our batteries to hold out.  We surfed, ate, surfed some more, laughed and laughed and finally called the resort and booked our trip online with airfare and insurance included.  It was done.... we were going to CANCUN BABY!!!!!

From that moment on it was all we could talk about when we all got together.  What to pack, what excursions to take etc.  Greg said all he needed to take was his banana hammock ( thong speedo) which he doesn't own.  When discussing suitcases he said all he would need is a baggy for his banana hammock.... it didn't end.  We made lists on napkins when together over what activities we could do each day we were there.  Most of which we did, and the rest will take place on our next trip. :)

Greg and I have been on a cruise with our kids a few years ago and it was beyond amazing.  We had an incredible time and honestly we didn't think it could get any better.  Then we took this trip.  I have never laughed so hard, ate so much, napped so often, loved so much or relaxed so deeply as I did on this trip.  It took Greg and I back 20 years in our relationship.  It is amazing how much life can get in the way of being husband and wife.  Taking an entire week to just be Greg the husband, and Rachael the wife was something we wished we had done years ago.  Why we waited 20 years we will never know, but we are so thankful we did.

We woke early in the morning the day after Thanksgiving to drive to the airport.  I hardly slept a wink because I was so very excited.  We made matching shirts with the logo John came up with "Eat, Drink and be Married".

 We looked super cute and received many comments on our shirts.

We parked our cars at the Kroeker's house in Vandalia and all piled in one car to head to the airport.  The adrenaline and excitement was palpable on the ride over.  The laughter had already begun and my cheeks hurt before we even got on the plane.

Thankful for the rest of the passengers we all sat relatively close to one another.  We yelled things back and forth, took pictures of one another, photo bombed as often as we could and had a great time.

  Mid way through the flight I looked back and saw joy and excitement in my friends eyes... a look that grew as we got closer to our destination.

FINALLY we had landed and were on our way.  We stood in line to get through security while people commented on our shirts; lots of stuff to look at in the duty free shops too.

We then headed out to catch our personal taxi which would take us to our resort.  There was a little confusion because EVERYONE wanted us to ride with them.  We reserved transportation and had  already paid so we didn't want to jump in any car.  We waited  a while and finally found our guy.

  He was very friendly and was happy to talk about Cancun and what to see while we were there.  We rode in a van while he told us all about the Mayan culture.  Greg asked him about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world (of course.. Mr. History Channel), some listened to our guide and some enjoyed the scenery, the van ride was enjoyed by all.

Once we arrived at the resort there was a man there to hand us a warm wash cloth to wash all the yuck of traveling off our face and hands.

 As we walked in they handed us a glass of champagne and welcomed us to Excellence Riviera Cancun.  We were giddy with excitement.  We checked in, but our rooms were not ready yet because we arrived early.  We were happy to walk around and take in the sights.... it was so beautiful.

 Next 2 pictures courtesy of our good friend Amy

We lost the Kroekers nearly seconds after arriving, I think they were standing in the water before we had finished signing our names for check in.  Greg and Mark kept watch over our luggage while Amy and I walked around and took pictures.

We ate lunch in the Barcelona Cafe.  The food was amazing..It was in that moment that I realized I loved Sushi.  I have had it before, but I had not tried the smoked salmon sushi.  From that day forward I had sushi and guacamole with almost every meal.  We said a little prayer thanking God for safe traveling and for giving us this incredible experience with one another.  It was going to be a great week!

Once our rooms were ready we all separated and went to our individual rooms to check it out.  We were very pleased with our room.

After a small nap and a change of clothes we were ready for lounging around the pool/beach.  Everyone there was so nice and so helpful.  We never did without anything.  They would greet us at our chair and continue to check in on us during our time at the beach or pool... we never went thirsty or had a want for anything.

Our first night there I believe was my favorite for many reasons.  1. It was our first night and I knew we had many more to come. 2. I had no expectations and I was in awe of everything. 3. We were all slap happy from a day of traveling and because we were so excited to be there.

The first night they had a Mexican Party.  We had the largest Mexican buffet I have ever seen.  We sampled food we had never had before and ate tons of our favorites as well.  There was a live Mexican band who played for us and they were really good.

Next several  pictures are courtesy of Amy.

We made friends from Britain and learned about their cultures and explained to them what Thanksgiving is in our country.  Apparently the resort offered a traditional thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving day and they were curious as to what it was all about.

We walked the beach after dinner, took fun pictures on the pier,

  Climbed up and sat in a life guard stand to take in the view. Amy was carrying her HUGE back pack with all of her very expensive lens' in it, Mark gently asked her to not climb the life guard stand with all of her gear... we laughed.   I think Greg said "Honey badger don't care" 100 times that night

The night continued with live music and a show in the outdoor theater.  We were exhausted from our day of traveling and  laughter through out the day... we laughed so hard and couldn't wait to see what day 2 would hold because it just couldn't top day 1.  Or could it?

We woke and leisurely made our way out of our rooms.  Greg and I grabbed some towels and threw them down on some chairs on the beach to reserve our spots for later.  We ate breakfast at the Barcelona Cafe, Greg and I sat on the patio listening to the waves and watching an iguana in the bushes.  I truly felt we were in paradise.   The food again was incredible.

After breakfast it was time for a nap either on the beach or by the pool.  It was so quiet and relaxing.  There were pool beds along side the pool and many afternoons Greg and I would take a nap in the shade... amazing.

I think my favorite spot was an area just across from our room.  

 There was a smoothie bar with tranquil music playing and the pool beds I mentioned above. 

There was an awesome bridge where we could walk from our room to this peaceful paradise... we loved it and enjoyed this bridge immensely.


I will add more of day 2 tomorrow when I have more time... stay tuned for water diapers, brown bubbles, and Mexican lunch on the beach. :)