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CANCUN OR PLAYA DEL CARMEN.....

OK.  So, I'm gonna title this post Cancun.  But, I actually couldn't get a clear answer on where we actually were.  When looking for somewhere to go in Mexico, I decided on Playa Del Carmen. The Secrets Resort in Riviera Cancun came up in the search.  But, the resort was only 40 mins from the airport.  It was nowhere near the shopping district in Playa Del Carmen.  I looked up my exact location, while sitting on the beach, and it said Riviera Maya.  Then I went to Wikipedia and it said Riviera Maya was in Playa Del Carmen. Asked the staff on the beach and he wasn't too sure but settled on Riviera Maya not Riviera Cancun.  So, the only thing I'm sure of is that I was on the east side of Mexico.  

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Let me get this out of the way.  Contrary to popular opinion, Tulum sucked.  I hated it. It was a two hour drive each way and I was annoyed that I even left the resort for a day to go there.  I really believe Tulum is an IG photo destination.  I'm not sure if I went far enough into Tulum to develop an opinion.  But, from what I saw, I wasn't impressed.  We went to the Mayan Ruins and I got eaten alive by mosquitos.  These aren't regular mosquitos.  I sprayed insect spray on all of my exposed skin. I wore leggings to cover my legs.  That was no match for these beasts.  They ate through all of my clothes.  I even had a couple bites on my face.  I stopped counting at 43 bites.  The Mayan Ruins were cool.  I loved the story and history behind the architecture.  Basically rich people built their area to keep poor people out.  It's a lot deeper than that.  So, go to the Mayan Ruins and check it out.  Or just google and save yourself from constantly itching for a week.  

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The best part about my off resort excursion was the cenote.  The water was at a cool temperature. The cave was pitch black if you didn't use a flashlight. At some points, you have to swim.  Other points, you can wade in the water.  It's not full of sea life because of the lack of sun, which I appreciated.  I love being in fresh water but I hate fish.  I could have done without the bats.  The stalagmites and stalactites always remind me of the magic of God.  But, that was a one and done for me. I don't have to experience another cenote.  It's wondrous.  But, I don't anticipate another cenote being any different.  Swimming in a cave is spooky.  And I'm glad I did it.  Go try it for yourself. 

Other than that, we got the white glove treatment at Secrets.  They met us with cold wash clothes at the entrance.  Reminded me of my trip to Marrakech. They made the check in process really easy.  And the ceviche and margaritas in the preferred lounge were so fresh and delicious.  I can't speak for other Secret locations, but this one was worth it.  I still have vacation blues weeks later because I miss that place so much.  The staff was beyond nice, helpful and pleasant.  They even had staff on the beach to hand out cold wash clothes and clean your sunglasses.  The food was really good.  I wanted to try the french restaurant, Bordeaux, but didn't get a chance to.  We found ourselves at the Asian spot, Himitsu, three times.  Once at the hibachi grill, once at the table and once at the sushi bar.  All great food.  The Italian place, Portofino, was really good too.  Best tiramisu I've ever had. Of course, in Mexico, they had a Mexican restaurant.  But, I don't like Mexican food in Mexico.  Shocking!  Although our goal was to go to each restaurant once, we found ourselves going back to what agreed with our palates. The drinks left a little to be desired though.  They were tasty but I never felt a buzz.  Were they watered down?  Probably.  But, you can't walk around the resort without a drink in hand. So, I stayed double fisted.

 

Secrets Resort was beautiful.  I'm all for an all inclusive adult resort.  I want to drink, eat, relax and not hear Mindy Sue crying because she is hungry or has to get out of the pool. The infinity pool was gorgeous and overcrowded.  I'm not a pool person so I just observed all the entertainment, drinking and games being played.  Looked like they were having a grand time.  The resort has miniature golf, an oversized chess board, volleyball, and an outdoor theater that hosts different shows nightly.  They have hammocks all around to lounge on.  And the room was to die for.  Huge with a dining room, living room, 1.5 bathrooms and an outdoor soaking tub. And, the room had my favorite features.  No carpet and no shower curtains.    

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 If you want to venture out, try the cirque du soleil show Joya.  You can make the experience just a show, add appetizers and champagne or have a full dinner experience.  We opted for the upgraded Rose and appetizers.  It was worth it.

Please tip everyone in Mexico.  Their service is usually impeccable. But, the average Mexican makes $410 to $500 per month.  We only tipped the bellman, at first. But once we found out they only make $13 a day, we started to tip everyone for everything.   

 

Cancun/Riviera Maya/Riviera Cancun/Playa Del Carmen was my first trip out of the country since the pandemic started.  So, I was super nervous to catch Covid and have to quarantine there. Then testing to return to the states was lifted while there. We still took our Covid tests to be sure that we hadn't caught it. We were good. And now that I've gotten over my fear of being locked out of the country, I'm back to wanting to travel the world and not just the states.

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