A Tale of Two Trips: Part 2 Cancun

After a relaxing week in Maui, we were home for a week (enough time to do laundry) and then flew off to Cancun. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, Hawaii is beautiful, but it’s always fun to see new places, and while we’ve been to Mexico many times, this was our first trip to Cancun.

It was beautiful. We’re used to the smaller cities of the Babja Peninsula, but Cancun is huge in comparison. The water was warm and swimmable. And as one of our tour guides said, it’s 85-degrees every day with a low of 75—I could learn to live with that.

The MR was going for a conference, and my job was just to keep him company. We spent the first few days as tourists in the hotel district at Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach. It was easy walking distance to restaurants and attractions and simply a beautiful resort.

ToT2 Beach

I was amazed as we checked in by how precisely they trimmed the plants hanging over their balconies, and I have countless photos of the amazing flower arrangements. Simply by positioning the bouquets at an angle, clustered in tall vases makes such an impact.

ToT2 Foliage Collage

I was happy to note that the tropical blooms from Hawaii had followed us to Mexico. And don’t you love the impact of an uplight on an everyday palm? Maybe we need some for our front door planters, or we could use a few inside. After Mexico gained its freedom from Spain it was occupied by France. The cast iron lanterns reminded me of New Orleans and that French unfluence.

While we did have a day at the pool and wandering the markets, the rest were go, go, go with a trip to Chichen Itza—truly amazing and really hot. One of our cab drivers mentioned that you can take a taxi to the pyramid and then tour with an archeologist. That might have been nicer than what turned out to be a 12-hour bus, cenote, and small town, pyramid, and artist trour. After a long day of culture, we were off again on a snorkel trip to the Isla Mujeres. The boat trip over was quite rough, but after we dropped off over half the people on land and went to our snorkeling spot, I did jump in as our guide was shouting Vamanos! I was glad to have the required life preserver around my waist for 45 minutes of rough swimming/snorkeling.

ToT2 Excursion Collage

We did meet children who were quite proud of their Mayan heritage. After our adventures, I was glad for the short walk to the restaurants. This nighttime shot was the view from dinner our last evening in the hotel zone.

Next, we were off to the MR’s conference at the all-inclusive Nuzac at the other end of Cancun near the airport. It was a very zen experience compared to the over-the-top flowers and opulence of the last resort. The front entry was almost monastic in feel.

ToT2 Entry

Did I mention that they drive you around in golf carts and that a former president of Mexico once lived here? All of the workers always greated us with a fist to the heart (their heart, not mine) and a Buenas Dias or whatever was appropriate. I’ll admit it was a little creepy at first, but this place was seriously cool. Ah honey, I’ll let you get us all situated, and I’ll just admire the view off the lobby.

Tot2 Lobby Pool

Sadly, our room looked out on seagrass rather than the ocean, but who cares when you have a whole resort to explore.

The MR had a busy schedule filled with meetings, but he managed to squeeze in a salad at this lovely place.

Tot2 Dinner

The doors slid open to a beautiful view of the ocean, but sadly they kept blowing my hair across my face which makes eating a little tricky. Goat cheese, celery, and strawberries look oh, so special when formed in a circle.

ToT2 Strawberry Salad

The next day, while the MR headed off to more meetings, I had to languish by the pool. Can you say gorgeous?

ToT2 Pool

A friend was surprised when I told her the level of service in Mexico was heads above Hawaii. We stayed at three beautiful resorts, but in Hawaii, we stood in line for towels and a wrist band that said we had access to the pool, then we searched for a free chair with some shade. At the first resort, an attendant gave us towels as we left the hotel and made our way to the pool. At this last place, the attendants unrolled the towel set out on my chair, returned with another towel to use as a neck roll, and positioned the umbrella for my comfort. Let’s just say I was spoiled.

Sometimes it takes very little to make someone feel special. In Hawaii, the valets gave the MR a cold bottle of water when he returned from his morning run, but charged $5 for that same bottle of water poolside. There’s value in generating good will and making your guests feel special.

While the MR headed off to fire dancers on the beach, I was treated to a quiet dinner with fabulous food and impeccable service.

ToT2 Nighttime pond

We did manage to eat breakfast together. I was too busy putting my plate together to take pictures of the beautiful buffet, but look at this ceiling.

ToT2 Ceiling

If we had it at home, I’d worry about spiders, and mice, and cobwebs. But wouldn’t this be fun in a cabin? Maybe we’ll turn a corner of the meadow into trees surrounded by shallow ponds. It’s just so visually compelling.

ToT2 Pond

Of course, I don’t want to be the one scooping leaves come fall. Maybe this wood pot is a more doable take away.

ToT2 Wood Pot

Pedestals, unique containers, and massive repitition elevate the ordinary.

Now if I could just get someone to make me blackberry smoothies at home.

ToT2 Last Day

I think Cancun has won my heart. Perhaps we’ll be heading there again.

Do you have a favorite vacation spot?





4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Trips: Part 2 Cancun

  1. Oh wow!!!! What a fun trip. Wonder of your MR’s work place might like to take everyone there next year? Those big wooden boxes would be perfect for all your plants. Thank you for the show.

  2. As a non-American, I mostly know Cancun as the place where celebrities like Jennifer Aniston like to hang out 😀 I’m sure it’s much more than that, so thank you for a more in-depth look into this city! Is it cheaper than Hawaii? I wanted to go (to Cancun, not Hawaii) the last time I was in the US but eventually decided against due to time constraints. I would have loved to visit Chichen Itza though!

    The resorts are gorgeous – I especially like the one with the trees surrounded by shallow pools, although you’re absolutely right, I bet it’d be a real horror to clean. The pool by the ocean looks amazing, too! Sounds like the perfect vacation 🙂

    • I’m no celebrity, but Cancun was amazing. The hotel in the tourist district was quite reasonable (the same price as the hotel across from the football stadium near our daughter’s university in small town Oregon). Food is also more reasonable than Hawaii. It offers a little history, beach time, shopping, and night life. We’re old, so night life isn’t as important, but it was a great destination for us.

  3. Pingback: May Days | big white house on the hill

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