I just got back from Mexico a couple days ago. Akumal, Mexico in fact. Destination wedding was the primary reason, but for a bonus I enjoyed a fantastic vacation meeting some awesome people and enjoying a chance to relax. Unlike the majority of my travels, I didn’t feel like I needed a vacation for my vacation (though I’d never turn one down). Most of the trip involved laying by a pool or the beach, enjoying a beverage, and excellent company.
The trip was planned for my friend Kristin and Scott’s wedding. They decided earlier this year on a location and I was on board. My friend Bobby joined me on the trip as he is my current “Southwest Companion” – meaning he gets to split the cost of a single passenger’s fair. I used miles, so the biggest cost was the taxes and fees ($80 each). The location for the wedding was Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Resorts in Akumal, Mexico which was an all-inclusive (so complimentary drinks and food throughout the week). The place was big. I mean really big. They had four different lobbies each with their own set of pools, bars, and restaurants. The majority of us stayed at/in the Kantenah area. Our room was a floor-level, two queen bed room, with all the regular hotel amenities.
The resort was a pretty relaxing place overall. As it was my first all-inclusive I’ve ever been to, it was quite enjoyable to just ask for drinks and food without worrying about my wallet or how much things are going to cost. Along with the pools and the beaches, there were a number of activities to be done through out the day and night to keep the guests happy. At one point in the week Bobby and I attempted to partake in the archery, but we were disappointing to find they had one bow and ten arrows with around ten people waiting to join in…we quickly passed. We instead played miniature golf which wasn’t as enjoyable as you’d think since their greens hadn’t been maintained in some time. I don’t think all-inclusives are in my future much, but for my first experience, I had quite a good time. That was probably due to the people we were with though.
Whenever I travel, one of my favorite things is to see the animals. The resort and surrounding ares had so many different animals who lived around the complex: ranging from iguanas relaxing in the sun, coatis and racoons scrounging around for food, agoutis running here and there, crocodiles in a large cage, flamingos playing in the water fountains, and hermit crabs and small fish playing in the salt water pool. Every time I saw all these different animals it brought quite the smile to my face.
Tulum Mayan Ruins
Most of the other trips I’ve done before don’t usually involve me staying in a resort, so I didn’t get out much. The one place however I did go with the group was to Tulum. An area that was recommended to me by a number of friends and an area I’m really glad I went. I’d never seen Mayan ruins before so it was quite a lovely site to see. So much history in such a beautiful area. One of my favorite things were the number of iguanas hanging out all over the grounds of the ruins. Bobby and I spent the majority of time with our new amigos, Stephanie and Rachael. Two guests from the wedding. They were great to have around and explore the grounds. It was very hot outside the shade so we all made our way to the backside of the ruins and enjoyed the ocean waters. Loved being in the cooling waters and still be able to see the grounds of the ruins. What better way is there to see history in a hot location?!
The Wedding Day
The wedding day was excellent. Bobby and I slept in until noon after a long night of partying. Got cleaned up, dressed, and fed before meeting with the group to head to the wedding site – a gorgeous location at the edge of the resort grounds and the ocean. The location was stunning with the contrast of the white set along with the blue ocean waters and skies. The wedding was kicked off with a mariachi band before we were all seated. Scott, Kristin, and their kids (the bridal party) all looked so good. It was one of the best weddings I have been to (and I’ve been to a lot).
Following the wedding was relaxation by the main pool before getting ready for dinner. Dinner was lovely as well and gave me a chance to meet some of the others from the party. Jason from Portland, Sandra and her brother from Switzerland, and Natalie and John from Denver. Great people to converse with and have an excellent time.
The dinner led to the reception at the saltwater pool area that I spent a lot of my time. The pool was fed directly by the ocean but with calming waters. The main party was at the top and it was a great party. Kristin and Scott having their first dance as a married couple followed by the daddy/daughter dance with both Kristin and her dad, and Scott and his daughter. Soon after the main party kicked off and the drinks started flowing.
The night was ended heading to the resort disco for partying into the night.
Rest and Relaxation
Probably the majority of my trip and my favorite part was the rest and relaxation I was able to enjoy. As I said before, resorts aren’t my usual cup of tea, but I sure made the most of it. I was glad to enjoy many amounts of time relaxing by the main pools, the side pools, the beach, and my favorite, the seaside saltwater pool. There was also plenty of time with excellent people relaxing on hammocks, lounge chairs, and outdoor beds. The food and drinks around each of these spots also helped out quite a lot. One of the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever had. Thanks Jorge for the fabulous service!
The trip ended too soon on Sunday morning. After so much fun and relaxation with some great people, the trip came to an end. The final evening was spent having dinner with Stephanie, Lindsey, and Bobby and full of goodbyes throughout the night bumping into a number of folks from the party. Thanks to everyone who made my trip amazing and I look forward to meeting you all once again soon.