In May we went to CANCUN!!! (Yes, this post is WAYlaid.)
This trip was a long awaited one, that Joshua had been planning since just before I came along… boy, is he lucky I DID come along!!! He might’ve had to venture to the land of Cancun all alone had I not appeared in his life. Te-he!
Shortly after we moved to Vegas, this trip served as our first moment of relaxation among all the BIG, busy changes of moving to a new city and settling in… AND we were celebrating One Year from the day we met! You see… we both distinctly remember the day we met, so rather than our anniversary being about our first date, our first kiss, or the day we actually began referring to each other in those terms of coupledom; our anniversary IS the day we first met!
(from left to right) The sister hotel to Sunset Royal with marina-front daybeds; Vines draping the interior of our hotel down to the Italian Restaurant where we celebrated our anniversary; Cancun beer on the Cancun beach!
Cancun was a completely new concept to me. Granted, I’ve been to Mexico and various other Latin countries, but I skipped the party in Cancun to celebrate High School graduation. Somehow, I also skipped the party in Cancun during college Spring Break… and all the other “party in Cancun while you’re underage” opportunities. No complaints here as I was busy living in Costa Rica… the focal point being …Cancun was a completely new concept to me.
Now… mind you, I’m still barely on the brink of Las Vegas… especially as a place to live! As previously mentioned, I was never one to hop any caravan, on any given day to Vegas. Casinos, clubs, and all the various hoop-la surrounding the Strip have never been first on my list of places to travel. And so… we arrive in Cancun. One of my first discoveries is that we have arrived in Mexico’s very own version of a miniature Las Vegas!
A fancy, dessert treat at the Mexican restaurant in Sunset Royal!
So, our reservations were to partake in one of those all-inclusive, week long, package deals at the Sunset Royal. It basically involves you giving a few hours of your time up one morning, while staying at said resort, to be guided through a sort of timeshare sales pitch. Now, without giving too many secrets away… I whole-heartedly recommend the Sunset Royal, sales pitch and all! Everyone in the entirety of the resort was absolutely wonderful… even our little old lady maid, whom we of course made friends with, was an absolute delight!!! Every meal we had in the resort was deliciously perfect; our assigned concierge lady was not only charming and gorgeous… but also extremely helpful. The couples massage we had at their beachside spa, one stormy evening, was so relaxing and rejuvenating! I could go on and on… for such a large resort of this all-inclusive genre the Sunset Royal is so utterly warm, welcoming, and charming! We couldn’t have asked for more.
This little tequila house is a uniquely charming spot that we found just off the beaten path!
Now, when outside of your perfect hotel (or before you even get there), of course there is a Cancun hustling game that comes into play… you see, almost everyone you talk to has some freebie offer to give in return for your time. Remember that last bit, you PAY for these “freebies” With… Your… Time!!! It all begins the moment you get off the airplane, before you’ve even really stepped onto Mexican soil. If I could advise you against it, don’t talk to anyone at the airport… head straight for the hotel van awaiting you. We may have doubted how organized these all-inclusives are and made friends at the airport, becoming “victim” to a true Mexican hustle… but all in good spirits, we eventually found the man holding the sign with our name and off we went to the Sunset Royal!
Bum alert at Senor Frog’s…
And so, ’tis in the heart of Cancun! Of course, I had to see the famed Senor Frog’s AND Carlos n’ Charlie’s. Not much to mention about those… unfortunately, they aren’t what I imagine they used to be. Senor Frog’s seriously felt like Joe’s Crab Shack when I was 13… there might have even been a slew 13 year old girls there?!!?!! When asking for directions to the bathroom (en espanol), the waiter KEPT insisting that I had to climb a latter and slide through a water-slide out into the marina. Mind you, it was our anniversary date night, we had just come from a wonderfully romantic meal at our hotel and I was wearing a little black dress with stilettos… ah, Senor Frogs! To add to the fun there, as I did find the actual restroom, I passed by a literal closet housing an impromptu tattoo studio. You know you’re in Mexico when… Ha! …On the other hand, Carlos n’ Charlie’s was definitely more palpable for a late night drink… you’re typical, loud and entertaining discoteca with great Margaritas!
And the lively Carlos n’ Charlie’s!
During the days we ventured out as much as we could: Tulum, Xel-Ha, Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres... each and every one of these places was amazing in it’s own way. We were mystified by the Mayan history and the beauty of Tulum. We wished that we could have spent an entire day swimming around Xel-Ha. The food was so delicious there and you know we love playing in the water… this ecological water theme park was made for us!!! Alternatively, our trips to Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres were much less organized: leading ourselves on our own adventure. The bus to Playa del Carmen was easy and safe to maneuver… once there we enjoyed plenty of drinks and ceviche right on the beach. In the end, Isla Mujeres truly was our favorite location and the place where we felt most at home in Mexico, away from the touristy hustle. We took a quick ferry ride over and were able bike around the entire island; stopping wherever we were inspired to photograph, biking through neighborhoods and eventually out onto the island’s point where we discovered a beautiful restaurant (and an odd sculpture garden). There were much fewer Americans on Isla Mujeres… you could feel the country’s culture and it’s spirit more prominently there than in Cancun.
Tulum is Magnificent!
Playa del Carmen has a wonderful European flare…
AND Isla Mujeres was so fun, although a bit of a stormy day… This is the Sculpture Garden we discovered (bottom image).
Having jam packed this first venture to Cancun, we eagerly anticipate our return to the Sunset Royal. Next time around we will focus on lounging about the hotel; truly soaking up all the relaxation and aqua blue, ocean front glory this place has to offer! It may be difficult to relax in Mexico’s mini Vegas, but with experience and great intent we DO believe it’s possible!