For Thanksgiving, Cole and I were in desperate need of some sun and relaxation. We had planned to go to Brazil for months but unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating and was supposed to be pouring the entire time we were there. We made a very last minute executive decision (at 2am, only 7 hours before our flight :-O) to go to Mexico instead, which promised us sun and warm temperatures.
During our long layover, our incredible moms drove down to the airport to pick us up so we could all grab lunch nearby and spend a few hours together. We went to Ponce City Market to explore a bit and picked up food from a few of the different stalls. It was great to spend some time with them both ☺️
We had a short flight to Cancun before getting our rental car to drive down the hour to Riviera Maya. We arrived at the hotel pretty late that night, but the property was absolutely stunning and our amazing room made the long trek worth it. We splurged and stayed at the Fairmont Mayakoba – it had so many pools to relax and enjoy, offered bikes to ride around the expansive property, served the most delicious buffet breakfast ever (with the best Mexican dishes), and had a number of water activities you could do (kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing). It was the perfect place to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying the sun.
We spent most of the week hanging by the pool and beach, going on morning runs, and enjoying a bit of a slower pace from the past few months with work and school. We checked out some of the towns in the evenings like Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos. In Playa del Carmen, it was extremely touristy but we managed to find this great restaurant that was entirely composed of outdoor seating in this beautiful garden. What sold me though was the woman rolling out fresh tortillas right when you walked in. In Puerto Morelos, we went to this Uruguayan steak restaurant called Al Chimichurri, which was delicious and full of locals in this little beach town.
My favorite day of the whole trip was our adventure day – we woke up early and headed to Chichen Itza to check out the Mayan ruins. We arrived right when they opened so missed the majority of the crowds. We wandered the grounds and learning more about the culture and history of the Maya people.
Afterwards, we headed to the Cenote Ik kil, a limestone sinkhole that sits nearly 100 feet underground. It was pretty unreal to swim in it and look back up at the sky so high above you.
After a swim and a couple dives, we got dressed and headed into Valladolid. This quaint Mexican town with colorful houses and a lush green square. Our first stop is MAQtacos, this tiny restaurant run out of the house of a mother and son. The tacos are fresh to order, with the dough literally rolled out right in front of you, cooked on the grill top, and then filled with the filling of your choice. The tacos were simple, but absolutely delicious. Plus the mother-son duo made my heart melt. Afterwards, we wandered the streets and stumbled upon the Coffee Bike Station. We both enjoyed a cup of coffee and Cole proclaimed it was the best mocha he’s ever had! The owner was so kind and offered suggestions of things to see in the town.
After our coffee break, we picked up some delicious famous craft Mexican chocolate and then decided we’d grab a drink at El Meson del Marques, which has a beautiful courtyard. The food looked so appetizing that we decided we couldn’t leave before trying their tableside guacamole and queso fundido.
We left Valladolid completely stuffed, but both convinced this had to be one of the most adorable towns we’d ever visited with some of the nicest people. We headed out and right on the outskirts of town, we saw this little shop selling pottery and molcajete (traditional stone guacamole dishes). We pulled over and ended up going a bit overboard, buying gifts for our parents, buying molcajetes not only for guacamole but also as water and food bows for Lucy haha. Side note, unfortunately, we only had carry on bags and we ended up having to toss two of them away at security which was devastating (somehow they missed the one in my bag so we at least got to keep one). Our final stop of the day was checking out the local craft brewery not too far from our hotel, Cerveza Pescadores. We had been drinking their beer all week so it was great to check out their tasting room and warehouse. While the day was jam-packed with lots of different places, I loved getting a chance to explore some of the other towns in Mexico and meeting such wonderful people.
We headed back to Atlanta late Friday as we wanted to go to our first UGA game in over TWO years, which was at GA Tech. We had a wonderful time cheering on the bulldogs with Cole’s dad and seeing them dominate over Tech.
Our week at the beach was a much-needed break from work and school. We overindulged in the delicious Mexican food, soaked up the sun, and relaxed by the pool and beach. We couldn’t have asked for anything more!