Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ohhhhh Mexico!

De-icing the jet in Detroit
A few months ago in the thick of the Winter snow, I asked Curtis if he wanted to head out on a vacation sometime in March or April.  Of course he jumped at the question and more or less pleaded with me to book it.  We've never sat on a beach in 13 years together, aside from our lovely Michigan beaches and that one trip to Key West for a wedding.  We were due.  So, travel agent Emily took over (turns out I'm the queen on levels I never knew existed!) and I booked us a fab deal for 5 nights in Cancun, Mexico.  Now, I've been to Cancun.  The last time was a saucy trip with my college girlfriends my Freshman year at MSU (circa 1998).  That was college Spring Break and while it's a trip I'll never forget, it was not the getaway we were looking for. We wanted an Adults Only, All Inclusive type place and we found one! Curtis had never been to Mexico so I wanted it to be a special few days! I ended up booking the Excellence Playa Mujeres which is a lovely 5 star resort that is about 25 minutes from the airport and North of the hotel zone.  Read: We never had to leave if we didn't want to :)

Cancun is not an old city. In fact, it's only been around since 1974 when somebody got smart and decided that it was situated in a perfect location with the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Gulf of Mexico to the north.  It's the jungle, no doubt.  Cancun has awesome weather, albeit it's still a little touch and go here and there, but you cannot beat it.  You also can't beat the quick trip to get there, arriving in just under 4 hours from Detroit.  Easy.Peasy.  Yes, you need a passport, but we already had those from our trip to Europe back in 2007. 
We arrived around lunchtime on Thursday, got through customs and immigration with out a fuss and headed to the hotel via our private transfer. We ended up using Gray Line Transfers and I was very happy with their service.  We arrived to the hotel safe and sound and ready to soak up the Mexican sun. The weather was beautiful, 85 degrees, sunny and not a cloud in the sky.  Exactly what I wanted to see after waking up to 20 degrees and snow in Michigan! 

We ended up booking the Rooftop Terrace 2-story suite and we chose the upgrade to the Excellence Club. The suite was amazing with a nice balcony on the main level and then the entire private rooftop on the 5th floor overlooking the ocean.  Just breathtaking.  So many people in reviews are mixed on whether the club upgrade in worth it but we felt that it was money well spent.  From snacks and drinks in the club lounge (all day, every day) to the special pool areas and beach areas for club members, to the extra level of service...totally worth it.   Shoot, I thought it was worth it just based on my need for 3pm daily snacks (healthy too! Fruits, cheeses, nuts, meats and a few hot dishes too) The service at this resort as a whole is impeccable and you can just tell that the staff enjoys their job and they're happy to be there.  There was always a smiling face to greet you! 

Now I don't go on vacation to eat like some folks do. I'm fortunate that Grand Rapids has plenty of food culture and options are endless when we want a nice night out.  We get plenty of those at home, so I'm not really going to touch on the food at the resort. Was it good? Yes. Was it out of this world? No.  I'm a foodie and while there were some things I really enjoyed, everything was just good.  It worked and it kept us happy for the time we were there :)  We didn't go crazy off-the-wall pigging out either. We ate until we were satisfied. No hoodoo voodoo vacation eating going on over here!

Overall, the trip was fantastic. It was precisely what Curtis and I needed to recharge and I am SO glad that we booked the trip when we did. I was torn on leaving the kids, especially to head out of the country, but it was a flawless trip.  We had wonderful help at home and knew the kids would be well taken care of.  I am always a proponent of taking as much quality time as possible with your spouse. We committed long ago to weekly or at the very least, bi-weekly date nights.  We do fun things together as well as spend time apart.  We thrive as a family because of this.  Mom & Dad are charged up and in tune and in turn the entire house functions on a much more sane level.  :)  If you're hung up on taking a trip like this, perhaps feeling guilty, DON'T.  I encourage you to get away with your love and recharge your batteries together.  It's amazing what a little time away can do for a marriage!

I think this trip will become an annual tradition, perhaps even taking the kids with us in years to come.  I also would like to return to EPM because the resort was just awesome and it far exceeded our expectations.  We had a great time and I look forward to many more in the years to come!
We arrived!

Michigan Love, From Mexico

Tree on a roof!

Break out the Zac Brown Band for this one! :) 

View of the main pool from our terrace---Isla Mujeres in the distance

Inside the Building 8 Block

Main Pool

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