Ah, Mexico (Part Dos)

Welp, I didn’t get around to posting part dos of our Mexico trip when I said I would. I’m terrible. Let’s not dwell on the fact that I can’t keep a deadline and instead jump right in to it!

Day 2:

  • Xel-Ha Water Resort

We were up bright and early on our second day for our adventure to Xel-Ha. Xel-Ha (shell-ha) is an all natural water park. They call it an aquarium park. The place is massive!! They have lots of attractions, swimming with dolphins, swimming with manatees, snuba-ing (that thing where you can almost scuba dive except it’s just the big helmet you wear underwater), lazy river, lagoon for swimming and snorkeling, and much more.

Xel-Ha

Our morning started off with our swim with dolphins. Unfortunately, I broke out in severe hives that morning and felt it might not be best to be around the dolphins. I didn’t want the dolphins to sense that I was nervous and I certainly didn’t want them to make my hives worse. So I had to sit that activity out :(. David on the other hand got to swim with the dolphins and he thoroughly enjoyed it.

Afterwards we enjoyed some breakfast. The great thing about this water park is not only is it absolutely beautiful and all natural, it’s also all inclusive! How awesome is that!? We could eat, drink and swim our way through the day without having to drain our wallets. It was pure bliss. On top of that the food was even pretty decent! The drinks were fabulous and the bartenders would gladly strengthen your drink upon request ;). I have a new found love for mango margaritas because of our day at Xel-Ha.

Once stuffed to the brim we spent our afternoon on the all natural lazy river, floating in a tube and stopping on occasion so the brave ones in our group could do some cliff jumping, obstacle courses or zip-lines into the water. I had had my thrill of zip-lines and all things adventurous the day prior so I was just fine hanging out in my tube :).

On the Lazy river!

Rope walking!

Towards the end of the river we ditched our tubes and opted to swim the remainder of the river then through the lagoon back to shore. This sounded simple and fun. It would also allow us to snorkel and see all the fish and cool stuff underwater. It didn’t occur to me however that I was the only one in the group that didn’t rent flippers, therefore I would have to use all my might to actually swim against the waves on top of the water and the current underneath the water. It was rough. Not nearly the relaxing enjoyable snorkeling experience I was hoping for. I did make it back to shore safe and sound. My arms were sore for the next 4 days from swimming so hard.

After our afternoon on the river and in the lagoon, we spent the last remaining time hanging out in the most relaxing hammocks ever! I love a good hammock and these were no exception. I could have easily fallen asleep while holding my mango margarita.

Xel-Ha was an amazing experience and I would love to visit again if I ever make it back to that area. For anyone looking for a fun activity and something everyone can enjoy, I highly recommend it!

Xel-Ha

Day 3

  • Beach day

Not much to relay here. We spent the entire day laying on the beach under a cabana. We drank more drinks in the entire day than I have probably ever consumed. I didn’t even feel it because I was so relaxed all day. The only thing that could have made that day any better would have been less wind. Less wind = less sand plastered to our entire body. But I really shouldn’t complain. I was in relaxed paradise with a book in one hand and a drink in another. Life was goooood.

We ended that day with a party on the beach put on by LivingSocial. It was a farewell party. We got to hang out with all the people we enjoyed so much during our trip and it was a great way to wrap up the trip! I miss those people already and secretely hope that one day we’ll all wind up together on a LivingSocial adventure again.

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Ah, Mexico! (Part Uno)

A few weeks ago we went to Mexico. Yes, I did say a few weeks ago. Yes, I am a total slacker in taking so long to tell you about our trip. Better late than never?? We went to Playa del Carmen to be exact. It was our first time to Mexico. There were some great things and there were some not-so-great things about our trip.

We purchased a LivingSocial Adventure. What’s that you say? Well I’m sure many of you receive the daily email from Groupon and LivingSocial with their deal of the day. The LivingSocial Adventure is a vacation version of a deal of the day. Except it’s not just a vacation it’s a whole trip planned out for you by LivingSocial guides. We didn’t really know all of this when we bought the deal. We thought we were buying a good deal and we would be on our own once we got to Mexico. Not correct. From check in to check out we spent the entire time with the entire group of people that had signed up for the trip, as well as our guides that planned all the events. Some may say “well that sounds terrible.” For us, this was the highlight of the trip. Well maybe not the highlight, but it was one of them. We loved being able to make friends on a vacation. We loved having a group of people to do things with. It was really great. I highly recommend it!

Our stay was a small hotel a couple blocks from the beach. It was a decent hotel. Upon check-in they didn’t have a room for us, so we had to be put up in a hotel down the street. Let me just say this other hotel was not even close in comparison with the hotel we were supposed to be at. It was much worse. I was very upset and worried. It is Mexico, you can’t just trust what people tell you, and you can’t just trust any old place without researching it prior. Both of these things we had to trust was going to be ok. The hotel was old, run down and felt more like a hostel than a hotel. It was only for one night and we managed to make it through unharmed, but it was certainly one of the low points of the trip.

The next two days were spent doing adventures which were included in our LivingSocial deal. I am typically not an adventurous person, therefore I was quite nervous for these excursions. I put on my brave face and went for it!!

Day 1:

  • Ziplining
  • Snorkeling
  • Cave Spelunking
  • Mayan Ruins at Tulum

We spent the entire morning at a Mayan ranch where in order to start your day you had to rappel down into a cenote (Sa-Note-uh). A cenote is a underground cave. Some are dry and some are wet. The one we spelunked into was wet. We rappelled down and landed in the water. It was SO fun!!

On our way into the cave!

Once in the cave (which is huge and very dark) we swam and toured the cave. Very neat! After drying off we headed into a dry cenote that the Mayans still use to this day for a purification ceremony. We were all purified by the Mayans. Hopefully it did some good 😛

Mayan Purification Ceremony

After being purified it was time to do the zip-lining course. I was most terrified of this adventure. I’m fearful of heights and don’t like not being in control. Zip-lining completely faces both of those fears. As I said earlier, though, I was determined. When I saw the tower for the first line I thought “ok, if it was just David and I, I might be able to wuss out, but since we’re around all these other people I can’t look like a fool!” So I went for it. I was scared to death and I looked like a fool but I did it!!!

Going backwards on the zip-line!

After our zip-lining adventure we wandered over to another wet cenote and did some snorkeling. I had never snorkeled before but was excited to try it. It was so amazing!!! I would definitely do it again. It was a challenge to teach your brain that it’s okay to take a breath while you head is still underwater. We snorkeled in the caves and fortunately we were there on a day when scuba divers where there as well. They were there doing archeological research. It was a great that they were there because they had giant lights down with them and it lit up the entire floor of the cave, which was tremendously deep. You could see all the spikes and divets coming out of the ground. Really fascinating!!

Snorkeling!

After finishing our snorkel session we headed to a hut and were served a traditional Mayan lunch. Chicken, soup, homemade rice, beans, corn tortillas and lots of amazing salsas. It was delicious and very enjoyable.

Finally, after finishing our morning at the Mayan ranch, we headed to Tulum to see the Mayan Ruins located there. They were beautiful! They really knew how to pick the most amazing location. The main temple was literally steps away from a giant cliff that dropped off into the ocean. It was a gorgeous day and the water in Tulum was scenic and peaceful. I wish we could have spent more time there.

Main temple

Ruins in Tulum

After returning to our hotel (the correct one this time) we napped, spruced up and then went to dinner at a local off-the-beaten-path restaurant that the LivingSocial guides had arranged for those that wanted to attend. My food was wonderful, the hubby’s food, not so much.

Check back tomorrow for the highlights of the remainder of our trip!!