Larry and I went to Cancun over New Year’s week. This trip had been planned for about a year. We gifted each of our son’s a plane ticket to Cancun and invited them to stay in our two-bedroom time-share. All they had to do was to purchase a ticket for their gals, Brandon his wife Kim and Jacob his girlfriend Brittany.
Larry and I last went to Cancun in 1995 to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary with our friends Ken and Sally who were doing the same. In 2001 we went to Playa del Carmen with the company that I was working with as a benefit toward all the good sales from the previous year.
I love the Caribbean ocean. I have only been to Cancun and its surrounding areas, to Belize and to the Dominican Republic in the very Eastern part of the Caribbean. I love the sand, the coral, the color and warmth of the ocean, the snorkeling the people their cultures, the food and the drinks.
Our kids and their women had never been to Cancun. We all arrived there on Saturday December 26th. We stayed at the Casa Maya Hotel which if Cancun is layed out like the number “7” then we were in the middle of the top of the seven. The hotel row goes down the right side of the leg of the seven and the lagoon is on the left side of the leg of the seven. At the Casa Maya we didn’t have all-inclusive (which I really don’t like) but as it turned out the restaurant and food staff were great and we ate many meals there. We ate our first and last dinners there both with an option to have a buffet or eat from the menu. We ate another night there when they had a Welcome Night and we were treated to not only 3 drinks plus dinner but also great a great dancing performance all for less than $20/pp.
Our view of Cancun from our condo
At the Casa Maya they had beautiful beaches that were actually on the Gulf of Mexico as opposed to the hotel row that is on the Caribbean. The nice thing about being on the Gulf vs. the Caribbean is that the ocean is shallower, milder and perfect for wading and swimming. It’s a great place for kids to enjoy. The Casa Maya also had a palapa facility for lunch and dinner if weather permitted and a smaller palapa bar with stools on the sand as well as tables by the pool. The resort had all sorts of events going on daily from beach volleyball, darts, and pool basketball to ceramics and water aerobics. Besides the main pool they had an adult-only pool, which is where the gym, spa and hammocks were. One of the features that I loved were the servers who came walking around the beach. A couple times I ordered their medium margarita. It came in a ½ yard bright orange plastic glass with the longest straw ever! This was very refreshing. They also had lit tennis courts that Brandon and Jacob took advantage of a couple times. We were no more than a 5-minute walk to the bus stop, which would take us into downtown Cancun, or to the hotel row with all the discos and restaurants.
Drinking with the family Kim and Brandon at the beach
One day we took an excursion to Isla Mujeres. The Mother Island. Our tour consisted of a full day of sailing on a catamaran, drinking rum, tequila and cervazas on the sail boat. We stopped at a National Park to snorkel with our captain as our local guide, we docked at Isla Mujeres and had time in town on the island to shop and get a feel of the locals. Then off we went to a private beach south on the island to eat lunch and relax. We sailed both ways and had perfect weather. We did all of this for the price of $39.00 per person! Such a deal!
Jacob, Brittany (forward), Kim and Brandon sailing to Isla Mujeres
Another day we rented a caravan and drove it south to Tulum where there are Mayan ruins. We spent about 2 hours getting there, and then walked all around for a while. The ruins were over 3,000 years old and are still in pretty good shape. Especially considering they are right along the cliffs of the Caribbean. After Tulum we drove to Akumal which is a very small beach community known for its diving. We had a delicious lunch there then had a couple hours of beach time before it got dark. Those of us who snorkeled enjoyed seeing sea turtles (my first time!), stingrays, and a few other assorted fish. From there we continued to drive north with another stop in Playa Del Carmen. There we had a fantastic Mayan dinner to celebrate Kim’s belated birthday. We walked all around the shops up and down the main street. It was extremely crowded! From there we drove back to our condo. A long day but we all had a great time.
Larry and Lori at the beaches of Tulum
A couple nights after enjoying the beach all day at our resort we took the bus out for dinner. One night we went into the downtown area. We went on a Sunday and found it very interesting. All the families were out in town walking around. We ended up at a square in a park where they have a number of concession stands of food, drinks and goods for sale. The little children were on these electric vehicles, like bumper cars, but made out of plastic. All different sizes and shapes. A lot of them had room so there were two kids per car. Flanked around this very large park area, (no grass) were some restaurants. We ended up at an Italian restaurant. We really enjoyed what we ate. We didn’t have wine, mostly because before we even left home we realized where we were going, and knew that their alcoholic specialties were going to be tequila, rum and cervezas. So, that is what we stuck to. The other night we ventured out and we took the bus in the opposite direction and went to the hotel row area and met up with cousins Eric and Delores who had just flowed to Cancun for 4 nights from Los Angeles. We all experienced Senior Frogs together. And I mean experienced it. The wait staff is all crazy in a very fun way. We sat outside so we could hear ourselves talk a bit better. We had a magician come to our table for a while, did some good tricks, we had funny labels pinned on us, mine was 75% blonde for example. Our servers were full of surprises and fun. The food was edible, but the drinks were better. If you got too drunk they have a sober slide where you end up in the lagoon. After dinner we walked around the mall and shops and discos. It was just starting to get busy at 10:00 at night.
Drinking at Senior Frogs Drinking at Playa del Carmen
On New Years Eve we went out to dinner to a Brazilian Steak House. This type of cuisine is getting more and more popular especially in the larger cities. We got there around 6:30, got seated and then were taken to the salad buffet, which has a large number of different types of salads for you to choose from. You could get full just from this but when you are ready for the meat to start coming to your table you turn over your coaster to the red side and the real dinner begins. The different servers come over to you with a huge hunk of meat on a large skewer and they tell you what the meat is. If you want some, then they slice a nice thin slice for you and put it on your plate. So, we received Rib Eye, Flank Steak, Pork Loin, Turkey wrapped with bacon, New York Steak, Top Sirloin, to name a few. Unless you turn your coaster over they keep on coming over. After a while we asked if they had of their obscure meats. So pretty soon they brought over lamb, ostrich and crocodile. Everything was delicious. I especially liked the ostrich, the crocodile was tasty, but it reminded me too much of chicken with a gamey flavor. In the middle of the table they served us some French fries, Caesar salad, fried bananas and fried cheese for us all to share. The meal was pretty pricy, about $40/pp without drinks. If you go, go real hungry in order to get your monies worth. The good thing eating here on New Years Eve was that the food lasted all night long in our tummies.
Speaking of New Year’s Eve this was to be the highlight of our trip. Jacob and Brittany had gone out on Monday night to check out what our options were for N.Y.E. They came back with what appeared to be a great option for $80.00 all you can drink and dance at The City disco club. This was in our price range so we all bought tickets for the Thursday night spectacular. Now, remember we were very full from all the protein we had at the Brazilian restaurant and were well rested up for a great evening. We started out by going to the outdoor bar. Larry and I started with Margaritas on the rocks. That is where we ended up too. There was the shot of tequila at midnight but besides that we stayed on course. We all stayed pretty close together at the beginning then before we knew it Jacob and Brittany were downstairs on the dance floor bumping and grinding. We staying up stairs to do our own bumping and grinding. They had a couple acts before the New Year, one was a fire juggler. The other was a couple doing different gymnastics similar to Cirque de Soleil. Then the music went on and we did a quick 20-second countdown to the New Year. It was pretty puny. The balloons didn’t drop for a number of minutes. Anyways, time flew; we were dancing and drinking and drinking and dancing. Before we knew it Brittany was tapping on my shoulder showing me her new ring that Jacob had just proposed to her with. Yes they got engaged! Evidently they found a little corner in the club, and went into their own little world. Jacob got on his knee and proposed. He had the ring, a special necklace from their first date and all sorts of goodies. All of us except Brittany knew that this was suppose to happen sometime on New Year’s Eve. We actually knew about this all week long! Which made for a long week, even longer for Jacob. Brittany was totally shocked and very pleasantly surprised. He did this at 2:00 local time, which was 12:00 back at home. We then danced for another hour, went walking on the beach and celebrated some more then we left the two lovebirds and went back to the condo. We got back around 4:00 and got to sleep around 5:00.
Jacob and Brittany get engaged!
On new years day we all got up around 11:00. We moved around slowly, made some eggs for breakfast and got ready to go down to the beach. It was a pretty windy day so it didn’t warm up so well. It was annoying trying to read in the wind and so we stayed down only for a couple hours. We came back upstairs and took a nap. Around 7:00 we all converged together and went downstairs for our last diner together. This was a celebratory dinner for Jacob and Brittany’s engagement. The dinner theme was Caribbean. Their buffet was pretty good with fish, beef and pork dishes. I was very interested in their salad bar. I took two helping of that. Everyone enjoyed the dinner. We went back to the room and just hung out. Brandon and Kim packed, as they were first to leave the next morning.
We each brought different games to play while we were there like, dominoes, cards, farkel, Uno, trivia questions and cribbage. We played Uno the first night while we were waiting for time to pass by for Brandon and Kim to arrive. Jacob and Brittany played some cribbage. We all took a couple hours one night and played Oh Hell.
This trip was perfect, we had alone time, we had time with each couple and we had time as a whole family unit. We all got along great, shared all sorts of stories and have new stories to tell. I hope we can do this sort of trip every 5 years.