Spring break comes ridiculously early for some folks in Atlanta. When we woke up Friday morning to snow falling, we were even more excited to be heading south for a week.
An extremely well-traveled friend of ours remarked, “who goes to Cancun anymore?” when he asked what our Spring Break plans were. It soon morphed into a funny joke between our families. We’d spent the two weeks leading up to our trip dealing with various random viruses in our household, so other than a few restaurant reservations, we’d not exactly done
a lot of any research on our destination. We were worried we were indeed going to find out that no one goes to Cancun anymore…and for a reason.
We are delighted to report that we couldn’t have been more off target. Mexico was incredible.
Our flight–though direct–was delayed, and once on the ground, we had to maneuver customs, baggage claim, and ground transportation (all in Spanish) before arriving at our hotel, the JW Marriott in Cancun. It was well after 10 p.m. before we set foot in our rooms which, after a great deal of messy of Spanglish email communications and phone calls, thankfully were connected.
The boys shared a room with 2 double beds and were going to rotate who got to sleep alone, but the first night Tucker insisted on sleeping on the floor instead of sharing a bed with a brother. We were all too tired to fight it.
We woke up bright and early the next morning to this view:
It was beautiful.
The boys couldn’t get their swimsuits on fast enough.
We had breakfast at the hotel and then wandered around a bit to get a lay of the land. Russ decided we needed our own cabana for the day. We didn’t argue.
Our cabana was basically a queen-sized bed next to the pool, shaded by a thatched roof, and cordoned off by a low wall. We had two lounge chairs, our own server, and a perfect view of the water. Cancun was off to a great start.
view from our cabana to the beach
We shuffled back and forth between the pool, the beach, and our little hut all day, only leaving when it was finally time to go in and shower for dinner.
Rather than eat a third meal of the day at the hotel, we took the concierge’s recommendation for an off-site, authentic Mexican restaurant. La Destileria is an actual tequila distillery, and some other dear friends had recommended it to us, as well. We sat right on the water, enjoyed good drinks, and watched the sunset. The food was good; it was definitely authentic (read: not the Mexican food you’d find in America), but tasty.
Afterwards, we made a pit-stop at an Oxxo (basically a 7-11) to get water and snacks. Theo hit the jackpot when he found a Mexican Rubik’s cube to add to his ever growing Rubik’s cube collection.
By the time we’d gotten back to the hotel after our pit-stop, one of us had been violently stricken with Montezuma’s Revenge. Then poor Tucker spent the entire night vomiting.
Around 7:30 the following morning, he asked for some honeydew melon (because, you know, after a night of hurling, the thing you want is more questionably washed fruit). But he ate it, and it stayed down, and he was back to his Tuckerish self. We were floored. If either of us had spent a night like he had, we’d certainly be in the bed the entire next day. Russ and I were exhausted from tag-teaming our care through the night.
But this guy never ceases to amaze.
one tough cookie right here
Tuck celebrated his defeat of the barfmonster by…
wait for it…
convincing Russ to take him parasailing.
bouncing out to the parasailing boat on a jet-ski with Russ
Russ on the left; Tucker on the right
Meanwhile, back on terra firma, the other boys and I relaxed.
It’s no secret that Tucker’s favorite food is Thai food. That night we had reservations at Restaurante Thai, a place I’d found solely via online reviews. After the previous night’s adventures, I was a bit gun-shy about food, and the fact that the taxi driver didn’t know where the restaurant was didn’t help things. He dumped us at the entrance of an outdoor shopping plaza, and we roamed around until we finally found the restaurant, tucked behind the Aquarium.
Any worries we had about this place disappeared once we saw it. The place is spectacular. We followed a path through a jungly area to our table which was inside its own palapa over the water.
terrible lighting but a family portrait nonetheless
The food was unbelievable, and everyone left happy. We highly recommend this restaurant; it’s well worth the hike to find it.
We made it through Sunday night without anyone getting sick, so Monday morning we decided to get more adventurous. We took a cab to another hotel–the Westin Lagunamar–with plans to hang out at their pool and beach area all day.
We forgot that all of the hotels are gated and have a guardhouse.
After some seriously not-exactly-honest-communications/advanced-playing-dumb, the gatekeeper gave up and let us in.
Don’t worry; we didn’t stay long. We weren’t allowed to buy anything there without ID or a room key. Go figure.
The pool area at the Westin is humongous, though, and the entire resort–from the outside, at least–looked very pretty.
Since we were already almost in downtown Cancun (and were apparently living the life of renegades), we headed on in to town for lunch. The original plan was to cheese it up at the Hard Rock Cafe and get the boys a shirt to match their London shirts. The cab driver dropped us right at the front door…of the completely dark and shuttered Hard Rock. Closed for business.
So we went native and flipped a coin between Carlos ‘n Charlie’s and Señor Frog’s.
Though the photo ops were better at C’nC’s, Señor Frog’s won out. It was just as mediocre as you might expect, though the boys were somewhat entertained.
We made our way back to our actual hotel and played a little football before heading to an Italian restaurant for dinner.
Casa Rolandi was another slam-dunk of a restaurant choice. We again ate on a back patio overlooking the water, and the food again did not disappoint. The profiteroles were Jack’s favorite thing he had on the entire trip.
Tuesday was our last full day in Cancun. We spent the day in yet another rented cabana and hung out with fellow Atlantans (and NYO baseballers), the Bentons.
That night we all went out to dinner at Harry’s. The Bentons have 2 sons, and our 3 sons were thrilled to get to hang out together with other kids. Our dinner was fantastic and ended unexpectedly with giant puffs of cotton candy brought to our table, which cemented the awesomeness of the night for all involved.
The next morning we packed up our hurricane of a room, checked out, and caught a ride about an hour south to Mayakoba where our Mexican adventure got even more adventurous.
Part II coming right up…