Postcards from Cancun, Mexico
Canadian winters are long and brutal. When we say “it’s cold”, we’re not talking -3 degrees Celsius. We’re talking -30. I was desperately tired of being wrapped up in layers, bundled against the cold. And after not travelling in almost 5 years, I was overdue for a bit of sun, and a real vacation. I wanted to feel the warmth on my skin and dip my toes in the sea.
My best friend Carleigh and and I briefly daydreamed about going away together, and in a matter of days had booked a trip to Cancun, Mexico. We couldn’t wait for a full week together, with no responsibilities and nothing but relaxation on the agenda. Here are a few of my favourite snapshots from our girls’ trip. Scroll to the end for some of the stories, and my review of the four star, all-inclusive Golden Parnassus Resort – our home for the week.
Here are just some of the things we did on our trip:
- Briefly thought we were going to get kidnapped/murdered on the way to the resort from the airport (turns out getting into an unmarked white van is par for the course there)
- Attended a tiki party, and took part in one of the competition games
- Did a yoga class in the sunshine one morning, when we were feeling ambitious
- Burnt the crap out of ourselves at various points, playing fast and loose with sunscreen (don’t do this, kids)
- Tried escargot for the first time!!! They tasted like butter.
- Partied with a bunch of Trump supporters one night, seeking common ground. While they were very pleasant to hang out with casually, when it came to subjects of substance, it turns out it’s hard to build bridges with people who want to build walls.
- Went to a karaoke competition! An adorable older gentleman won, singing Piano Man.
- Went to a fancy dinner and were still a bit hungry after, so walked directly to another restaurant for dinner number two. No shame in our game.
- Just like the song, drank pina coladas WHILE getting caught in the rain.
- Attended a guacamole cooking class, where the chef prepared it right in front of us, and we got to devour it after. The dream.
- Swam in the ocean during a storm
- Watched a lot of breathtaking sunsets
- Went kayaking
- Held both a lemur and a little monkey! The monkey lay down on top of my hat. I died.
- Saw a massive iguana in the wild
- Watched a lot of games of “Tequila Volleyball” – it’s exactly what it sounds like.
- Watched the last hour of the Oscars! In Mexico! The year a Mexican director won for Best Director! It was amazing.
- Also watched Harry Potter 1 and 3 in our rooms, with Spanish subtitles and room service.
This trip was everything I hoped it would be. The Golden Parnassus Resort was fabulous and we both really recommend it if you’re planning a trip to Mexico. It was nice and small, which made it easy to get around and quite intimate. You see a lot of the same faces each day and get to know them. It wasn’t overcrowded which was so nice, meaning whether you want to frolic in the ocean, lay by the pool, or stay in the shade under a beach hut – you’ll find plenty of space. The service was impeccable, and everyone on staff was so kind, friendly, and helpful.
The resort had a fantastic buffet that we frequented quite a bit, aptly named “Paradise”, with a few authentic Mexican dishes plus an abundance of other dishes. Every kind of meat, cheese, seafood, potatoes, pasta, veggies, sushi, pizza, and a spread of desserts were available. For a foodie like me, it really was heaven! In the mornings, the buffet had every breakfast food you can imagine (yogurt, granola, fruit, cereal, pastries, eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast…) and even REAL watermelon juice, papaya juice, and honeydew juice.
In addition to the buffet are 3 a la carte restaurants (one of them fine dining with a dress code!) and no limitations on how many times you can go to them. One is a seafood restaurant called Pier 12, one is a fine dining restaurant with North American and French cuisine called Shangri La, and one is Japanese restaurant called Sumo. My one complaint regarding food would be that I would have loved more authentic Mexican food, rather than so many North American dishes – but I suppose they’re catering to their audience.
There are two fun bars on the beach whipping up the tastiest drinks, plus a classy indoor bar in the lobby and a bar/lounge called Sixties full of retro movie memorabilia, pool tables, ping pong, and endless drinks. Our room had two beds, a beautiful balcony with fantastic views, and a TV we watched movies on every night. It was like a 7-night sleepover!
The all-inclusive element includes all food and drinks – PLUS 24-hour room service. We felt like absolute queens. The resort does a great job of hosting various activities throughout the day, from competitions to cooking classes, pilates, and beach volleyball. There’s pretty much always something to do. In the evenings, you can take a bus off-site to one of two clubs (at extra cost) or you can stay at the resort and go to one of the shows at the Theatre – on different nights they have dance performances, singers, karaoke competitions, and more.
It was an absolute dream of a trip, and I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to be there, each and every day. There was beauty everywhere we looked, and I was with the best travelling companion I could have asked for. Travelling is such a privilege, and while I love trips that involve museums, galleries, and ruins, it was really, really nice to have a vacation with no walking or itineraries involved. I’m already dreaming of the next one.
If you’ve come this far, thanks for reading!