February 1, 2008

December Cancun vacation


Ack! It’s about freaking time I posted something about my own holidays! Better late than never, right?

Holiday Season 2007 felt like constant travel. I can’t complain because I saw some great things and reconnected with some great people, but it is sooo tiring to live out of a suitcase for weeks on end.

I never did get back to writing about our trip to Cancun in early December. Suffice it to say that it was excellent. I was originally a Spanish major back in college and I was really proud of myself for all of the Spanish I still remembered. Rich and I are total power vacationers – we had plans for every day that we were there so as not to miss the “essential” sights of the area.

We arrived on a Saturday evening and stayed at the very nice Clipper Club that was right in the middle of everything on the main strip. Kudos to Rich for picking the place.

The view from our windows…

We had a fabulous suite with a view and, though there were ants (and I absolutely hate ants!), it was an excellent place. It had hammocks by the pool and wireless internet. This was an area of concern before we arrived, and Rich and I came to the compromise of only being on the internet for 30 minutes/day. As it ended up, we were so tired by the end of most days, that the internet didn’t even matter. Likewise, I didn’t want to expose my camera to the sand and water so I left it home most days and brought a little waterproof disposable one instead.

Not surprisingly, almost every shop sold the same items. I got a kick out of all of the wonderful colors completely surrounding me.

Sunday we visited Xel-Ha (pronounced Shell Hah, I think), a very laid back “ecological water park” with tons of snorkeling, trails to wander through, rafts to float on, hammocks to lounge in, and just a generally great place. I am so accustomed to the amusement parks in the states that I was completely shocked by the way this was run. There weren’t huge signs everywhere telling you ‘don’t do this’ or ‘don’t do that’. It was extremely hands off. If you want to try out the rope swing and you slam into the wall, well… And it wasn’t crowded either. No massive lines or water that has so many bodies that you can’t swim a stroke.

Monday was a trip to go snorkeling around Cozumel island. We took the trip to Playa del Carmen and spent the day being carted around in a glass bottom boat and snorkeling in different locations. We stopped on Isla Cozumel for shopping and eating. The snorkeling was slightly disappointing, but it was still a wonderful day.

Tuesday we actually spent in Cancun on the beach and wandering around. That night we went to a really awesome club there, CocoBongo. It was the coolest club I’ve ever been to. They had several acts perform popular songs all throughout the night in elaborate costumes and fun dance moves. There were acrobatics from the ceiling over the bar and free drinks all night. Needless to say, I was not feeling my best on Wednesday when we went to Isla Mujeres.

The trip to Isla Mujeres was a good time. The rest of the small group were a lot of fun. Again with the free drinks, but there was lots of dancing and laughing on our catamaran. It also had a spinnaker that I would have loved to have gone on if I hadn’t felt so icky. Unfortunately for one of our boatmates, there was a “wardrobe malfunction” while she was up in the air but she had a great sense of humor about it.

Thursday was one of the seven wonders of the world, Chichen Itza (not to be confused with chicken pizza). We had an incredibly knowledgeable Mayan archeologist/tour guide who really made the four hour trip worth it.

The great ball court

We stayed late at night to watch the light show at the temple underneath a sky more starry than I had ever seen before. The little lights in the first picture are camera phones.

We stayed in Cancun on Friday and did some nice lounging, reading, and checking out the beach one last time.

We rounded out our trip Friday night with a fancy restaurant (Casa Rolandi) to give us reason to get dressed up. Wild mushrooms sautéed with polenta to start and I had a very tasty mushroom ravioli. I can’t even remember what Rich had since I was so into my meal. The best part was the dessert. You can’t go to an expensive restaurant and not order dessert. So we got fresh mango sherbet and the most amazing passion fruit mousse. This mousse was reason enough to return to Cancun. Eating it was straight out of a commercial: I took a bite, tasted the amazing flavors and looked up as Rich in amazement as he did the same. Our eyes met and we shared a common understanding without exchanging a single word: this mousse is magnificent! Truly heavenly. If you go to Cancun, you must try it.

Like I said, we are total power vacationers!

We returned on Saturday to a yucky San Francisco with much less money but a lot of memories to compensate. As for the pictures from the waterproof disposable camera – none of them turned out. Somehow the film got exposed and all of those images vanished. Very sad. : (

The next installment will be about our holidays on the east coast. Stay tuned!

Allí donde fueres haz como vieres.
– Spanish saying (literally “Where you may be, do as you see.”)

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