Wow, hello blog!

I’m back with a recap on a lovely getaway to Mexico with friends.  It was a long weekend and escape from the Wisconsin winter, which luckily has not been too frigid this year.

Daddy O. and I joined two other couples, longtime friends on this adventure – something we planned back in November. Looking back, I’m so glad I changed my initial reaction of “No, we can’t go” to an enthusiastic yes.  It was a much needed vacation to relax and recharge in the company of friends.

How can you NOT relax when you are by the ocean?

Ocean colors Playa del Carmen
View from Maroma Beach, Catalonia Resort

Flying to Cancun

After a direct, three and a half hour chartered flight, we arrived in Cancun and hopped on a shuttle van for about thirty minutes to arrive at Catalonia Resort in Riveria Maya. With about 400 rooms, it felt just the right size for our group.   It was not overly crowded and had a good mix of couples and families from all over the world – lots of Canadians were escaping the cold like us.

Catalonia letters on the beach
Cool letters on the beach

Here’s a promotional video from their site that shows off the resort:

Catalonia Playa Maroma from Catalonia Caribe on Vimeo.

On the Resort

Upon arrival in the lobby, an open air building with a thatched roof, we checked in and walked down the jungle lined path to find our room.  We were pleasantly surprised that we avoided a time-share pitch.

From left: trees at the resort’s entrance, me and Daddy O. at the start of the path, and Daddy O. in the courtyard of our hotel building.  It was cooler at night, so we often wore jackets after sunset.

Wildlife Encounters

Raccoon-like creatures called Coatis, or coatimundis were everywhere at the resort!

We saw one jump on the table in the main lobby, near the bar. One afternoon after grabbing a bag of popcorn, a small group of them followed us along the path.  As much as they begged for food, we did not feed them.  We frequently saw them out at breakfast time, climbing into trash cans, and eating from dust bins. Here’s a close up of the little critter (as seen begging through the net that surrounded the outdoor dining area).

Coati close up
Baby Coati begging for scraps

We also had a resident iguana in our hotel’s courtyard and a small lizard near our room. Our friend spied this colorful bird too.

Venturing to a Cenote and Tulum

Though our trip was only five days, we opted to take a day to venture out on an excursion. We chose to drive ATVs through the jungle, snorkel in a cenote, and tour the ancient Mayan ruins at Tulum.

We started with the ATV trail ride, followed by snorkeling in a Cenote Estrella, both organized by Adventuras Mayas. Since we didn’t have a water resistant camera, our friend took these pictures after our swim.

View in the Cenote

view two of the cenote

There are thousands of cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula.  Learn more about cenotes and how they are formed.  I don’t think going diving in a full underwater cenote is for me! It would feel too claustrophobic.

After a yummy lunch, we hit the road to Tulum.

full view of Tulum ruins

Our guide, Alfredo, explained the history of the ancient Mayan site (here’s the Wikepedia entry on Tulum). I think this picture shows the temple of the wind god.

Tulum view of the ocean

The ocean view was incredible!  We saw iguanas everywhere too.

King of the Cliffs at Tulum

Tulum Mayan Ruins

Tulum view of the beach

Mayan Ruins and plant life at Tulum

Between our time at the pool, beach, and on the excursion, our trip flew by.  We really enjoyed our time in Mexico!  C-ya next time!

Mama O in a C