Mexico Vacation 2018

Mexico was one of the destinations that Mike and I always thought of going to and this past August we finally did. Our top reasons for choosing Mexico was because of the atmosphere, the food, beaches, and the ability to visit one of the great wonders of the world. We also wanted to focus on saving more money this year, so Mexico allowed us to go on an all inclusive, low expense trip, that was still of high quality. We looked at all of the different areas of Mexico and we decided on Cancun.

Incase anyone wants to book this trip, we booked through Costco Travels (our first time) and it was about $1,400 total for an all-inclusive trip for two people. This all-inclusive trip for two people included a 5 day all inclusive resort stay, air fare, hotel/airport transfer, $50 resort credit, and all unlimited food and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).  Watch our travel vlog, including a walk through of the resort here!

When we are going to travel outside of the U.S., we usually book the earliest flights possible so we can arrive to our destination a.s.a.p. and enjoy our time there, as long as possible. For this trip, our flight was at 5AM, which meant we had to leave the house super early. But the hardest part wasn’t waking up early, it was traveling with crutches because I had just sprained my ankle a couple of days prior to the trip.

Even though I had crutches with me, it was one of the best traveling experiences we have had. Airport staff were very accommodating; they provided me with a wheel chair and pushed me throughout the airport, giving me short cuts through TSA/security, and took me directly to my gates. I think Mike’s favorite part was our seats were upgraded on every flight. One some, we got to travel first class and on others, we got moved up several rows to the front and had empty seats next to us.

When we arrived in Mexico, we found the area outside where our transportation (through Costco) was and then we were off to our resort. The total car ride was about 20-30 minutes.

When we arrived to our resort, Omni Cancun Hotel & Villas, everyone was super nice and the check-in was fast. We got our room upgraded and the hotel was very accommodating for me being on crutches.  They moved our room to a first level, which had a walk out balcony directly by the pool.

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When we arrived at our room, we raided the fridge since all drinks are included. We also ordered a bunch of items off the room service menu because we had arrived right when breakfast was ending and lunch restaurants hadn’t opened yet. You can order as much room service food as you want, but there is a $5 charge to place an order and you only pay the $5 charge at check out.

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Our days started with setting our towels out by the pool as we walked to the buffet restaurant for breakfast. I advise doing this early in the morning because by 8am a lot of the pool seats were already taken! I think for the most part, every breakfast buffet at resorts are the same. So don’t worry, there are a bunch of options including an omelet station, pancakes, breakfast meats, yogurt, cereal, breakfast breads, spreads, and sweets. There is a huge variety of breakfast drinks and juice from orange juice, coffee, tea, juices, and smoothies. If you really wanted to start drinking at breakfast, you can.

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We always hit the pool during the morning part of the day. Partly because its almost impossible to get a pool chair in the afternoon unless you watch people like a hawk for when they leave. The pool had built in lounge chairs inside the pools, it was very relaxing and gave so much serenity. We worked up an appetite after spending our morning at the pool, so, our go to spot for lunch was Viva Mexico for some tacos, quesadillas, hotdogs, burgers, chips and queso, oh and horchata! YUM. After lunch, we would switch things up and head over to spend our afternoon at the beach. But not before stopping at the bar located at the entrance of the beach. The bar had a jacuzzi, sit in pools on one side, and swings on the other.

The beach was awesome. Finding a beach lounge chair was never a problem. Most of the seats were under shade, which was great, especially in the afternoon under the hot sun! Bartenders would also walk by the beach to take your drink orders, so you never had to leave. There were lifeguards at the beach and you had to stay within a certain perimeter  in the water for safety. There was some seaweed by the shore but no big deal, it wasn’t too much and overall the sand/beach area was super clean. The beach waves were actually a bit rough, so I didn’t go into the beach because I still had my sprained ankle but Mike went in had a lot of fun. The water was clear, which is not always the case for all beaches.

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There are a lot of restaurant on the property and when I book a stay at a resort I always attempt to try all the restaurants. My one tip, make your dinner reservations for your whole stay as soon as you check in on the first day. If a restaurant you like is already booked up, show up before or after the dinner rush to try to get in. Our favorite restaurant was Da Vinci. We went there twice for dinner without reservations. We loved the food, it was Italian and possibly some of the best food we’ve ever had.

We also tried Pina Colada on our last night there. I made Mike order everything in Spanish and our waiter was so patient and had fun with it. There was an open spread for salads, bread, and appetizers. We decided to use our room credit at this restaurant to get a higher tier wine bottle. This restaurant was on the beach front and we slowly noticed a crowd forming at the beach. Mike went over to see what was happening and he got to witness baby turtles make their way from the beach and into water. He said it was an amazing experience to witness. No pictures were allowed because the turtle security (yes, for their protection) was very adamant that no light/flash was to be used.  It had to happen at night so predators would not get to them.

On one of the days, we went on an excursion to Chichen Itza. We booked this excursion through Costco representatives who have an office inside the resort. The excursion was about $60 a person, and it was an all day excursion. It started with the busses picking us up at 8am, right after we had breakfast, and stopped at other resorts to pick up other travelers. I believe it was about a 2-hour ride to the general area of Chichen Itza. We stopped by a local shop that had a ton of artisan items. This is where we ended up buying most of our gifts and souvenirs. We were also given a little mid-day sandwich to hold us over. The tour guides gave us a lot of information while we were on the bus ride and they were very enthusiastic. We finally made it to Chichen Itza where our tour guides gave us more information on the history and gave us recommendations on where to get the best pictures. We were then given time to explore on our own. It was a very impressive site, but also a very hot day! We were then taken to a nearby restaurant where we had a lunch buffet and a traditional dance performance. We were then taken to a cenote, which is essentially a huge sinkhole that resulted from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. People were given life jackets and there were stairs to go lower inside of the cenote to enter the water. You could either walk into the water or jump off after going down the steps half way down. Almost everyone was snoozing on the ride back to the resorts. We got back in time to enjoy more of the beach and have dinner.

Sprained ankle and all, this trip was amazing and I truly enjoyed the culture, people, and food. I was not sure what to expect because there are so many mixed reviews for traveling to Mexico and the quality of resorts but I can’t wait to go back! We definitely want to explore other areas of Mexico in the future. Viva Mexico!

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An Afternoon well spent at Disney Springs

My husband put together this video of our walk through Disney Springs from our most recent trip! What is your favorite part of Disney Springs?!

One Year Anniversary

We recently celebrated our one year anniversary of being married! I can’t believe how quickly this first year went and how much we have accomplished during it. Our wedding day was super hectic, but I’ll save those details for later. We did a little traveling throughout the year; we spent a long weekend in NYC, went to Jamaica for our honeymoon, and visited Orlando, again. Our love for traveling and exploring is something we enjoy doing and we already have a few trips booked for the near future. We spent a lot of our year in the kitchen learning new recipes and trying to focus on healthier “clean eating options.” We spent every afternoon taking our dog, Diggy, on walks around the neighborhood. We have changed the setup of our place several times. We have spent countless hours binge watching Netflix or meeting up with new and old friends for happy hour. Mike went through his first year of teaching, we’ve started a few side jobs and we’ve picked up a lot of hobbies throughout the year. I am forever grateful for the adventures, memories, and accomplishments we have gone through in just one year, but I am most thankful for the growth that we have gone through as individuals and as a couple. We are on each other’s teams, always and no matter what – whether its cheering each other on or guiding each other in the right direction. We’ve set goals for our future and are working together to attain them. We made it a point to love each other in one another’s love language, and it has made us better and stronger. Mike, you survived the first year of marriage and there is no one else I’d rather eat year-old cake with, than you!

 

Traditionally the first year is paper. I framed the music sheet to our songs which are The Way you Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra and Classic by MTKO. I continued being crafty by making Mike a shirt that read “I survived my 1st year of Marriage,” and also gifted him a roll of toilet paper mainly because I thought it would be funny but also because the I can easily go through a whole roll in one day which really annoys Mike.

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Mike was equally crafty, I was super surprised! He got me the Beauty and the Beast coloring book that I had been eyeing, a handwritten love letter to accompany the card he got me, and two diy frames. One frame pin points where he lived, where I lived, and Disney (where our love story truly started), all into a heart shaped map. The other frame has our special dates!

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Side note** If you plan on freezing your top tier wedding cake, make sure to follow the directions given by your bakery or research methods to ensure that your cake will taste fresh a whole year later. The top picture is our cake a year later and on the bottom is what it was the day of our wedding. It held up decently for it being in the freezer for a year!

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