Sunday, November 30, 2008

Part II- Riviera Maya Honeymoon

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I spent mine with family in Atlanta, and enjoyed my four day weekend. With the weather being dreary and cold outside, I figured it might cheer me up to reminisce about the last part of our vacation to the Riviera Maya.

Day Three found us relaxing around the hotel, taking advantage of the pools and ocean view. That morning, we got a couples massage at the resort spa. The ladies who massaged us started off with a foot scrub and then had us inhale this scent that was so calming. In hindsight, I wish I had asked what it was, but i was too relaxed at that point. Then they went on to rub out all our aches and pains (which is saying alot since I have chronic back pain due to stress). I left feeling drunk and completely relaxed- I could barely keep my eyes open. Later that evening, we had a special dinner on the beach. Just me and my husband surrounded by ocean and stars. Our five-course meal came complete with our own personal waiter, a bottle of champagne, and a harp player named Gabriel who serenaded us with Antonio Carlos Jobim. After dinner, we left feeling a bit tipsy and walked over to the theatre where we caught the tail end of a Mexican circus act. When we got back to our room, a bubble bath had been drawn by hotel staff, and incense was burning on the side of the jacuzzi. Perfect end to the perfect day.

On Thursday, we set out once again for adventure and took a bus ride down to the Mayan ruins at Tulum. The ruins of Tulum are located on a cliff overlooking the turquoise-colored Caribbean Sea. Here, our guide lectured on how advanced Mayan civilization was and we witnessed their ingeniosity in the form of architecture that predicted storms. We also learned that Tulum was founded during a very violent time in Mayan civilization. Because of this, there is a platform in front of the main palace where human sacrifices were held to appease the Gods.

After leaving Tulum, we headed over to Xel-Ha, or what Brian and I nicknamed Hell-Ha. Don't get me wrong, Xel-Ha was absolutely beautiful and had tons to offer, but it was also full of annoying tourists from nearby Cancun. More on that in my next post.....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mayan Riviera Honeymoon- Part 1

So I'm pretty depressed to be sitting in my unkempt house surrounded by gray clouds and cold weather after spending a whole week in beautiful, sunny Mexico. Brian and I traveled to a seaside town called Puerto Morelos (located just south of Cancun) where we stayed at the all-inclusive Excellence Riviera Cancun. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a glass of champagne and then led to our room where two towels shaped like swans surrounded by rose petals awaited us on our bed. The room was amazing- jacuzzi tub, marble floors, balcony looking out over the turquoise ocean.... but the hotel pools and grounds were really the crown jewel of this resort. A total of six meandering pools, along with botanical gardens served as our playground for the week.

We spent the first day recovering from our day of flying by lounging around the pool and beach. Food and drinks were gratis since we were at an all-inclusive, so there was a frozen umbrella drink in my hands at nearly all times. I especially liked a drink called the Miami Vice- it was a mixture of strawberry daquiri and pina colada. Tasted like heaven. Brian enjoyed them too as evidenced by the following photo:

Day Two consisted of more lounging in the sun followed by an afternoon of zip-lining, mountain biking, and cenote (cave filled with water) swimming. Zip-lining through the Mexican jungle was really exhilarating and at one point, a guide let me flip upside down and spun me around as I zipped from tree to tree. After the hour long zip-line tour, we hopped on mountain bikes and rode a mile over to a cenote where we were able to zip-line and then drop into a cave filled with water. If you look closely, you can see me in the photo below right before I drop into the water.

Once we mountain biked back, they served us a dinner of chicken, rice, and beans and then we went back to the hotel and cleaned up. Later that night, we ate at one of the six restaurants located at the resort. It was an Asian fusion restaurant called Spice and all meals ended with dessert. The packing on of the pounds begins.....

I'll write about the second part of my trip in my next post.