Today, my #blogtober14 prompt is best/worst vacation.
Instead of telling you about that, I'm going to take this perfect opportunity to tell you about my recent trip to Mexico, and what an amazing time we had. This is a photo heavy post, and might evoke feelings of relaxation, or intense jealousy. Um, you're welcome, and sorry not sorry?
Oh, Mexico. You were so very good to B and I. We truly never wanted to leave. It was beautiful, balmy, and oh so perfect. I highly encourage EVERYONE to visit and see for yourself.
We stayed in the Riviera Maya region of the Yucatan peninsula at the Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, about an hour south of Cancun. The resort was part of a complex of several resorts, meaning you could visit different hotels and the beach itself was incredibly long and perfect for strolling along if you cared to. The scenery was totally amazing and jungle-like, and there were fun animals that strolled around or lived on the property. Peacocks, swans, flamingos, coati, and agouti among others. The rooms were comfy and adequate, the food was plentiful and better than expected, and the staff were friendly and helpful.
Every day I spent hours swimming, wearing my pool goggles so I could see the beautiful fish that swam around my feet. I may have looked incredibly silly with my polarized goggles, but dang those helped my eyes to not get all burny and unhappy. I wore those pool goggles because each day I would stop by the dive center to rent snorkeling gear, but the red flag would be up at the lifeguard station, meaning they couldn't give it out. Until the last full day, when I enjoyed the heck out of my hour of snorkeling.
When I grew tired of being a mermaid (which is my most secret ambition, or at least has to be my spirit animal), I plopped myself next to B on a lounge chair and read. Billy ended up buying me a Kindle paperwhite before we left for Mexico, since I lost my Kindle fire on an airplane in February, and didn't want to read off my phone, or buy paperbacks when I have a TON of e-books waiting to be read. I ended up finishing Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini (excellent, 5 stars, totally quality YA), My Skylar by Penelope Ward (4 stars, highly recommend), Continental Breakfast by Ella Dominguez (3 stars, mediocre erotic novella), and started Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker (so far, so good, but I don't have as much time to read now that I'm back to reality).
These photos above are probably my favorite ever. I don't think I could ever get sick of that view of the ocean, or forget the memories I now have of the warm salty breeze, the perfectly balmy air, sinking my toes into the soft sand, and the absolute relaxation we experienced. Take me back!
That dive center is another story all together.
Dressel Divers has a center on the Iberostar beach, and leads dives in some of the most beautiful dive spots imaginable. Because I was there so frequently and seemingly making friends with the dive instructors, they convinced me to try SCUBA diving. It started with a try out in the pool to see how I liked it, and ended up with me doing two ocean dives in one day because I loved it so much.
I met a newlywed couple from Chicago who became my diving family, as we went through the entire dive certification process together. They were so sweet and we had a lot of fun being in awe of the ocean. Our PADI instructor Lukasz was so knowledgeable and fun. He had a great back story, too. He sold his construction business in Canada to move to Mexico to become a diving instructor. If that doesn't say chasing the dream, I don't know what does.Our first dive was at a site called Punta Maroma, and was perfect for us to get our sea fins. I was pretty much awestruck the entire time. I have a video from the first dive that our underwater videographer shot, but the file size is way too large to upload to blogger, so I can't share it. Do know that I did back flips underwater and gawked a lot.
I was able to bring my GoPro camera with me on the second dive at Gatas, and got a few good photos. We saw lots of brightly colored fish, beautiful coral and sea fans, a sting ray and many lion fish. No turtles, sharks or dolphins, but I have a diving certification good for a year, and I hope to see more if I happen to travel somewhere tropical again soon.
The tranquility, beauty, and excitement I experienced on both dives was unforgettable. I can't wait to dive again. Now I'm wondering why I was so scared and hesitant to dive before going to Mexico!