Josh and I celebrated 4 years of marriage earlier this month – August 4th to be exact. We made a goal of taking a trip together every year. Well, last year, having a 5 month old, we didn’t go anywhere. I was still breast feeding, and leaving her for daycare everyday was hard enough. Let alone for a weekend or longer, especially when the weekends are the only full days I get with her already. We made up for it a little bit this year, as we expect by the time we have another baby, we will skip that year as well.
This year we went to Riviera Maya, Mexico! We flew in on Sunday, August 14th, and flew out Friday, August 19th. This was my VERY first time to ever leave Gentry overnight. And no, I didn’t want to “practice”. Why would I give up my time with her, when I didn’t have to!? So, I just had to leave her “cold turkey”. It was VERY hard. Every time I thought about going on our trip, I wanted to cry. (Even writing this blog, just thinking of leaving her again makes me tear up!) It’s SO hard to do. I keep telling Josh, if I stayed home more often, even if it was just part-time…I would be a little more willing to leave her, knowing I would have those days at home with her when we got back. So we scheduled our trip Sunday-Friday, that way I could have the weekends on both ends of our trip to make sure I got to spend time with her before leaving her at daycare for work again, and it was the perfect plan! We got home on Friday, and still had the entire weekend to recoup!
Here’s a brief rundown of what all we did:
Sunday – Flight from Tulsa to Atlanta, Atlanta to Cancun, arriving in Mexico around 12. After waiting through customs and taking transportation to our resort, we got to the resort around 2:30 PM. We ate lunch immediately after checking in, then went to our room, unpacked, then ventured out to look around the resort and swim! This resort, Valentin Imperial Maya is HUGE! It was a VERY nice resort though, just big!
Monday – Monday was a relaxing day for us. We slept in, booked our excursions for the rest of the week, and went to the beach and pool. The beach was gorgeous, but a little too rough to snorkel at, so that was very disappointing for Josh. We ate dinner at the Japanese restaurant at the Hibachi grill, which is always fun!
Tuesday – Our first excursion had us leaving the resort at 7 AM…aren’t vacations supposed to be relaxing?! We went to Xel-Ha for an all-day excursion. It was all-inclusive as well, which was pretty nice. So we ate breakfast and lunch there, and were in the water all day! Xel-Ha is a water park that has water activities and ecological attractions. It is where the fresh water river meets the ocean! We tubed down the river twice, or you could snorkel down it, we did 3 ziplines that end up in the water, snorkeled, hiked, rode bikes, enjoyed a short nap in the hammock, swam through a cave, and snorkeled some more. The water was rather chilly, but once the sun was in full force, it was nice and refreshing! The fish were GORGEOUS too! Very colorful, and abundant! Great place to snorkel and have fun in the water! We got back to the resort around 7 PM…it was definitely a long, full day!
Wednesday – Our second all day excursion left the resort at 7:20 AM. We went WAY into the jungle to see Chichen Itza! It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We couldn’t go all the way to Mexico and NOT see it! It definitely did not disappoint! We went with Go Natural Explorers. Our tour guide was AWESOME! He spoke fantastic English, and French. I was surprised, but nearly half of our group spoke French. We had a very large group from Canada, and even 1 family from France. It was definitely a full day, and a LOT of information about the Mayan culture…which is VERY different…LOL. After spending about 4 hours at Chichen Itza, we ventured back home with a couple of stops along the way. One stop was at a cenote (sinkhole), that was very pretty, and allowed people to jump about 12 feet into the water. Josh and I didn’t participate in this adventure, simply because we only had 30 minutes at this place, including changing to/from our swimsuits, and after jumping in, you had to stay within a roped area until everyone had jumped in, and then you got back out, and that was it. (this roped area was maybe 50 feet long by 20 feet wide?) It was very small, and you just float there and watch everyone else jump in…so we said thanks, but no thanks. Our last stop was at Vallalodid, which is one of the oldest and largest cities in Mexico. We only had about 30 minutes here as well, but it was very pretty!
Thursday – Our last full day in Mexico and we got to “sleep in” a little longer! This excursion didn’t leave the resort until 8:20 AM! We went on a half-day excursion to Tulum, another Mayan ruin. This ruin was much closer to us, only about an hour away. It’s MUCH smaller too, so that’s why we only did a half day. Tulum is located right on the edge of the coast, and faces the Caribbean. We got back to the resort around 3 and spent the rest of the day relaxing at the pool. We went the “Caribbean Night”, which was an event put on by the resort that was dinner and a show. The show featured dancers that portrayed all different cultures/dances from countries around the Caribbean. It was a really good/fun show!
Friday – we left REALLY early to get to the airport for our flight home. You can only imagine why I scheduled an early flight to get home before 3 PM! Uhh…it’s been 5 days since I’ve held my baby…DUH!! The resort came to our room at 3:15 AM to pick up our bags, and take us to meet our shuttle to the airport. Our flight left at 6:55 AM! We took the same route home with a layover in Atlanta.
My mom and dad kept Gentry from Monday evening until they all came and picked us up at the airport! It was so great to see her, and she was SO excited to see us! Everything went perfectly with our flights, excursions, and hotel. We couldn’t have asked for it to be more perfect. It was great to spend time with Josh. It’s so important to spend time together, and especially important after having children! As hard as it was to leave her, we had a great time and know that she enjoyed her time with her grandparents too!