November 13, 2014

Weekend Recap: Vacation in Mexico

Boy, that was a huge shock to go from 85 degrees there to below zero when I landed in Denver last night. However, I guess I am ready for winter now – that was the perfect one last hurrah of sun before we get into ski season.

As I mentioned in my Tread review, I spent Friday night in Dallas before flying to Cancun on Saturday afternoon. When I landed and cleared customs, my friend Kelly was on a conference call (ugh, we are all such workaholics!), and I was super antsy for her to wrap up. Not because I cared about cooling my heels for a little while, but because I had something special planned that I was pretty excited to reveal. Kelly had been told that I was taking the trip with my “new boyfriend,” but that turned out to be… one of her other best friends, Jon, who had flown in from New York to surprise her and be my roommate for the trip! I was really excited that we had pulled it off without her finding out, and we all piled into a van to head to our resort.

After checking in, we unpacked and then went to the Japanese hibachi restaurant on the property. I became pretty obsessed with the delicious fried rice, and pretty much gave up all hopes at that point of eating healthy while on vacation šŸ™‚ Seconds please!

Grand Sirenis Japanese
In addition to making yummy fried rice and grilled shrimp, our chef was pretty awesome at flipping the knives around and putting on a great show.

But after a night of dancing out at the “disco” (and having a lot of yummy drinks), I decided that while I might not care to limit my food/drink indulgences, I did want to make it a priority to work out.

Grand Sirenis Shots
The problem with all-inclusive resorts is that every time you hang out at a bar, there’s someone ordering a round of fruity shots for everyone nearby… it’s hard to escape!

A few days of vacation indulgences certainly wouldn’t make a material difference in my health, but working out daily definitely helped to balance out the fruity drinks that were everywhere. (Fun fact: in college, I had a group of girlfriends who nicknamed me “Fruity” due to my abundance of pink clothes and penchant for fruity drinks. To this day, some of them still call me that.) I hit the elliptical on Sunday, did a run and some pilates on Monday, but then didn’t get to do anything on Tuesday… more on that to come.

Grand Sirenis Beach
The view from my run. Working out on vacation does have some great side benefits!

Sunday was spent lying on the beach in the morning and then moving to the gorgeous pool in the afternoon, all while working my way through a stack of magazines. I had brought about a dozen, mostly older issues of Shape/Self/Fitness that I hadn’t gotten around to reading in a timely manner. Take that and combine it with my stash of protein bars that I always carry when traveling and my friend Jon was rightfully joking that I was basically like a walking bodega šŸ™‚ What can I say, I pretty much only read magazines when I’m on vacation, so this was my chance to get caught up on a lot!

Sunday night, though, was super special. To celebrate Kelly’s birthday, her husband had booked dinner reservations off the resort property, at a really amazing restaurant in Playa del Carmen called Alux. Nope, the website’s tagline of “Caverna Restaurant Lounge” is not a typo of Taverna; this restaurant was actually in an underground cave!

Kellys 30th Birthday Toast
We had a private table in one side nook of the twisting cave, far away from any other patrons, which made it even more special!

We had a fabulous night toasting Kelly with champagne and enjoying some really incredible meals. I felt so lucky to be enjoying such delicious food in an amazing location with wonderful friends, and I was really excited to get to celebrate Kelly’s big day with her and in such a cool way. I have no idea yet what I want to do for my 30th birthday – a trip would be phenomenal, but as long as I get to share a great night with my closest friends, I’m going to be a happy camper.

Alux Lobster
Yum yum yum yum yum – the most incredible meal of the trip. And it was cooked/served in a dark cave! Amazing.

On Monday, the rest of the gang headed out for some sightseeing, but I had decided before the trip that mostly what I wanted to do was lie around, read, and get some sun, so I stayed back at the resort. Foreshadowing: bad idea. I stayed in the pool area and made it through a book (Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver – really interesting) and four magazines – so I was out there a while!

Grand Sirenis Pool
I want to go (back) to here.

When my friends returned to the resort in the afternoon, Jon and I hit the above swim-up bar for a little while, then called the drinking quits and went back to our room to shower, change, and catch up on email/etc before our 8pm dinner reservation. Jon had a lot of work to do, but since (for once) I was being good about checking out of work while on vacation, I was done pretty quickly and headed out to explore. I wandered by a few of the bars, but decided I had already had plenty to drink that afternoon, and instead just walked around looking for people I knew. We had made a bunch of new friends at the resort, but unfortunately it didn’t seem like anyone was out and about at this hour. But finally, it was time for our reservation, so I headed for the restaurant… and disaster struck.

On the way to the restaurant, I had started feeling a little bit out of it, and just chalked it up to the drinks I had earlier. But before we got our appetizers, I started feeling really sick, and bolted for the bathroom – which was unfortunately a few minutes’ walk outside the restaurant. (Weird not to have a bathroom in the restaurant, right?) After taking care of my stomach trouble, I considered bailing on dinner, but since I hadn’t seen my friends most of the day, I didn’t want to give up and go home, missing them all night too. I tried to stick it out, but by the time I returned to the dinner table, I was feeling even more dizzy and out of it. I thought that I might pass out (which I’ve done numerous times after a day in the sun), but instead, I got sick. Right at the dinner table in the restaurant. In front of everyone. I was totally mortified, and ended up getting escorted back to my room by Jon where I reluctantly went to bed at 9pm… of course, only to get almost no sleep because I had alternating chills and sweats and also kept having to dash to the bathroom. Not anyone’s idea of a fun vacation!

Fortunately, I woke up in the morning feeling a lot better. Just to be safe, I pretty much ate all the carbs at breakfast to make up for not eating the night before. Bread, toast, rice, pancakes… I figured a sort-of BRAT diet would help my system to feel stable and get back to normal! I then spent the morning lying on a partly-shaded canopy bed (wanted to fix some nasty tan lines, didn’t want to again get too much sun), and the afternoon relaxing in the most perfect way ever at the on-site spa with my friends. We got to go through a series of pools, then steam rooms, then showers, then saunas… and yes, that was multiple types of each treatment. I have never done anything like that before but it was really neat to see what I liked best! (Which was the foot massage jets in one of the pools – just heavenly.) And I was thrilled to finally get some quality time with my friends, since I had missed so much of that the day/night before.

Kelly Laura Beach
Next time, we vacation for a month! (Shawl and gauchos on to belatedly try to protect myself from the sun… too little, too late.)

And for our last night in Cancun, we had a blast: eating a delicious and carnivorous dinner at the resort’s churrascaria, and then living it up at a wedding reception. To explain: when we first checked in on Saturday, we met a Canadian couple, and after several days of hanging out at the resort, they generously invited us to come join the dancing and fun after the main part of their reception was over! I had one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time, dancing in the cool raised hut on the beach and meeting some amazing new people.

Sirenis Wedding
Blurry pic to protect the innocent šŸ˜‰

All in all, the trip went by way too fast and I really wished I had more time down in Mexico. Besides feeling like I didn’t get nearly enough time with my friends, it was also a pretty rude awakening to come home to below-zero (Fahrenheit!) temperatures and an apartment that literally took hours to get up to room temp (since I hadn’t thought to leave the heat on and it was 48 degrees inside when I turned my key in the lock). Is this a case of Colorado telling me to stay away and go back to Mexico? Because I might just have to do that šŸ™‚


4 thoughts on “Weekend Recap: Vacation in Mexico”

    1. I was so glad it was over fast, too! And I was lucky that my sunburn wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting from that experience – just a little redness and it’s already turned to tan.

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