|Making sandcastles at the Bahia Principe beach|
We arrived in Cancun at 3pm and it took over 2 and a half hours to clear immigration, get our luggage and go through customs. I was so surprised to see just how crowded the airport was. At all of the airports we had gone through, this was by far the slowest process and the most congested. We had planned on getting a rental car so once outside of the building we started looking for the guy that was supposed to meet us and take us to the rental car site. 20 minutes later we found him sitting in a corner talking to a couple of buddies with his sign in his lap. If it wasn't for this other nice guy that could obviously see we were looking for someone and started to shout the name of the company, I'm certain we might still be looking for him. Once we got to the rental agency they informed us that we were required to purchase a very expensive insurance that made the price of the car about 5 times higher. At this point I was, you could say, a little cranky, and when another worker approached us and said they could take off $200 from the cost if we went to listen to a presentation about vacation clubs, I just about lost it. I had them take us back to the airport and Justin found a super shuttle to take us the 1 drive to our apartment in Akumal, which made it about 8pm when we arrived.
We had found an apartment on the property of an all-inclusive resort, Bahia Principe. Our apartment was not all-inclusive, but we did get the use of one of the pools at one of the resorts and the beach with chairs and umbrellas. We settled in the following day taking a cab to pick up groceries and headed to the pool. We decided, after checking out the resort grounds that, in fact, we did not need a car. They had shuttle services to get around and if we wanted to go anywhere else we could get a cab.
|A school of fish right near the beach|
We took a few days and kicked back enjoying the amenities at the resort, even buying an all-inclusive day, just to see what it was like. At one of the 4 other complexes there was a cute water park that the kids really enjoyed. They even had a couple of organized games that all of the kids took part in and each of them came back with a t-shirt for placing in the top 3. Joel and Eden as a team even came in first in the brownie decorating contest. During our all-inclusive day we got to eat all of our meals at the buffets that they offered. Unfortunately, I was expecting a lot more Mexican food and they only had a small sampling. I did notice quite a bit of inebriated people walking around so we decided to stay closer to the water park in the hopes of avoiding them. We also got to see an impressive dolphin show. All in all, we had a pretty fun day.
|Danielle and Eden at the water park|
|It is impressive how high these dolphins get above the water|
We also spent one of our days visiting the ruins in Tulum. After the advice from a couple of friends we ended up having a 15 minute drive to these ruins as opposed to a 2 and a half hour drive to a different area. We were definitely not disappointed. The ruins themselves are situated right on the edge of the ocean and the view was gorgeous. The ruins were pretty interesting to see. We had a really fun time exploring each of the buildings. This had been a real huge interest for Joel. During the whole trip he would say, "I can't wait to the Mayan ruins," and I am happy to report that he was thrilled to have gone there. I should mention that there are A LOT of iguanas and these other rodent looking animals called coati and agouti roaming around. I did not enjoy any of those and unfortunately for me in the ruins at Tulum we needed to pass through an entrance in the wall that somewhat resembled a tunnel, which had an iguana in it. I freaked and almost said I would just wait for everyone near the wall but when I looked around I saw several huge iguanas and an agouti run past, so through the tunnel I went, really, really fast. The kids thought it was hilarious and I also spotted a smile on Justin's face, at least someone thought it was funny. By the way, we did encounter all of these creatures around the resort. In fact, the coati's seemed to get their meals from the many trash cans around, yuck.
|At the entrance of Tulum ruins|
|Joel in front of the temple|
|The coastline below the Tulum ruins|
|The beach from the vantage point of the temple|
On our last full day in Akumal we went to a lagoon called Yal-Ku to snorkel. This place was recommended to us by the manager of the apartment. I have to say it was a blast. It is a combination of fresh and salt water and the lagoons are filled with so much fish that it felt like we were swimming in a tropical fish tank. There were these huge rocks in the middle of the lagoons and all of the fish hung around that area. The kids had a great time not only swimming with the fish, but they also had found these underwater tunnels that they swam through. We all had a pretty spectacular time. After Yal-Ku, we headed to a restaurant on the beach called Lol-ha to have a late lunch. We had our fill of AWESOME Mexican food. Caleb, having become a rather adventurous eater ordered a varied platter of food that he had no idea what it was, but declared that it was all delicious. After lunch, we walked the 25 feet to the beach and went for a snorkel. I had read that this beach in particular was great for seeing sea turtles. Well, they were right because there were tons of them. Caleb, Joel, Danielle and I even saw a sting ray! I did think it was funny that huge groups of tourist were paying ridiculous amounts of money to have a guide show them where the turtles were, when all you really needed to do was stick your face underwater and swim around for a couple of minutes. I will say one thing we have learned along the way is that in some instances a guide or tour in not necessary. We all had a perfect time at the lagoon, restaurant and beach and for me personally this day was my favorite in Mexico by far.
|Snorkeling at the Yal-ku lagoons|
|The path to the lagoons|
|Lunch at the Lol-Ha in Akumal|
|Danielle getting her hair braided|
Another highlight, was that we rented a golf cart for a day. Although we were not supposed to let the kids drive, we did, shhhh. Justin took them out one at a time, gave them each a lesson and administered a driving test. From this we do know who we will need to worry about and who we know will do just fine when it is time to get a driver's license. I'm pretty sure those of you that know our children can predict this also. Before turning the cart in I went for a spin in it myself with Caleb. We ended up taking a tour of a couple of links of the very fancy golf course. Justin later informed me that we are not supposed to be out there when we are not golfing so that we did not disturb the golfers, oops. I told Justin we probably only disturbed one guy while he was trying to putt and I needed to reverse a couple of times to turn around. (While reversing the cart beeps). Oh well, if his game was messed up by that, how good of a golfer is he?
We had a really great time in Mexico, and both Justin and I agree that we would definitely come back, especially since it is not too far from Colorado. Next stop Texas, USA!
|These Agoutis were running around all over the place|
|That's a big beetle|
|Eden liked the new dress she got in Mexico|
|Caleb, or should I say, Luchador El Demonio Azul|