Vacation – Part One

It felt like it had been forever since our last vacations and with our crazy work schedules we needed a quick simple relaxation so we decided to go for a shorter trip than the usual European tour — which usually isn’t all that relaxing since it involves seeing as many friends and family members in different parts of France as possible in the little time we have.

What’s close to California, has sunny beaches and still offers the possibility of cultural explorations? Well, of course, it’s Mexico! After a lot of debating about whether Mexico was safe, about whether going to Yucatan and Quintana Roo during hurricane season was such a smart idea, we decided to just go for it. Mary, thanks to her previous life as a traveling saleswoman — I made that up — has acquired a decent amount of miles on united so she booked us on a trip to cancun in first class — yay that’s how we roll: free first class tickets!

So, after a lovely dinner with Eugénie and Zain, who were visiting and actually kept the house warm for a few days while we were away, we went to bed for a whole 2 hours of sleep.

20110903-111340.jpg

3:30AM: the alarm clock rang, woohoo! The taxi showed up early, as usual with those 4AM appointments, and we were off, half asleep, a little grumpy, certain to have forgotten something really really important — I still haven’t figured out if we did.

The flight was pretty smooth and after a connection in phoenix and a glass of wine with my breakfast omelette — dont judge me it was 10AM I had been up for 7 hours it was clearly time for a glass of wine — we landed in Cancun. We fought a bit with the Hertz reservation dude trying to sell us insurance for a fortune — he won — and were off towards Tulúm.

The road to Tulúm is a busy 4 lanes road with lots of speed bumps, trucks and police barrages. A bit odd and I have to say that on 3 hours of sleep — that includes an hour in the plane — it was a bit rough. We eventually made it to our first hotel: Casa de las Olas. This charming little house with 5 rooms is managed by Jimmy, a newyorker who moved to Mexico a few years ago to get away from his crazy manhattan life. Being the last house/hotel before a big natural reserve makes Casa de las Olas very quiet and secluded which was wonderful. The biggest problem we had there was that we were so close to the water that the waves made it hard to sleep in the evening. ;) I know: rough!

This was the view from the room:

20110903-112506.jpg

And this was the view from the beach in front of the house:

20110903-112140.jpg

And yes my feet were always in the way because I spent most of my time lying down either on the hammock or on the lounge chair on the beech.

Every now and the we’d have to get up to find sustenance and between the fish tacos at Matteo’s and the lobster tail at Hartwood, we did quite well.

On day two we decided to add a little culture to our excursion and went to visit Tulúm. This ancient Mayan city is located on the coast, overlooking the Caribbean sea. Quite an amazing site and sight! We got to Tulúm early, we were the first ones inside the ruins and explored for a few hours. Around 11, it was just getting way too hot so we headed back towards Casa de las Olas for some more beach bum action! A little later out host, Jimmy, drove us to a wonderful little Cuban influenced restaurant where we had tacos and tamales that were all yummy! Then , we walked 9km back to the hotel, along the beach… a looooong hot walk back with some yoga on the way — really just Alex showing off his head stands on the beach!

A few hours later we headed down to Kia Saan, a natural reserve surrounded by a lagoon on the west and the Caribbean Sea on the east. There, we stopped at Cesiak a little restaurant to watch the sunset. The view was wonderful — I’ll update with the movie of the view when I figure out how to do that — and all was well until about 2 minutes after the sunset plunged into the lagoon and a massive army of tiny little hungry mosquitoes swarmed in. At that point we gulped down the rest of the ceviche, and head back up to the safety or our room and its mosquito nets!

At the end of our three nights stay we got a couple coconuts for the road to Kobá.

[TO BE CONTINUED]