Turquoise beaches and ancient sites of ritual bloodshed. Colorful costumes of local señoritas and “baby tequila”. Lazy lizards and proud peacocks. These are my memories of Cancun.
Our family trip to Cancun in 2008 was an amazing experience. My parents must have had empty nest syndrome because it was the first year that my younger brother was in college. My parents flew out from Connecticut, and my brother and I flew from our colleges in Pennsylvania and New York, respectively. We stayed at the Royal Sands Resort and Spa, which had a nice suite with a full size kitchen, master suite, and a room with two twin beds and a second bathroom.We spent most of our time at the resort, relaxing, playing tennis, swimming to the swim up bar, but we did managed to go on a day trip to Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We spent a couple hours on the tour bus from our hotel, with all-you-can-drink “Mexican Milk”, better known as Corona.
At the site, we got a great historical summary of the site, but as I had been in the sun for a few hours and had several beers in me already, I don’t really remember the details. Thanks to the recent post over at True Traveling, I remembered that the ball court had some pretty gruesome carvings showing the winner (yes, the winner) of the ball game getting decapitated! I think I would cheat with the express purpose of losing if I were in their shoes.
Unfortunately, I don’t even have a photo of one of my favorite parts of the trip – Cenote Ikil. It’s essentially a big hole in the ground, but believe me – it is the most beautiful, wonderful, spectacular hole in the ground you’ll ever see. It looks like something out of a fairytale. The aqua water is teeming with catfish that bump gently into your legs, while tendrils of tree roots dangle down to the water surface. For the more adventurous, you can jump off of a high stone platform and plunge into the tranquil pool below. You can get in a good workout too, because it is all freshwater – so it takes more effort to stay afloat than you’d expect.
The food was fantastic as well, though honestly I remember the drinks more than anything. I had just finished taking an Intro to Wines course in college, so I had become my family’s resident wine expert. During a fancy dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House to celebrate my parents’ paying off their mortgage, I had my first opportunity to order wine in the ‘proper’ method! (More about this in my next post). But the most “Mexican” drink I had while I was there (Mexican by way of being produced in Mexico), was the humongous margarita I had at Hacienda Sisal next to our hotel. This margarita was so gigantic that I couldn’t even finish it! My brother (excited by the fact he could legally drink at age 19) had to help me finish it.
- Post Card #18: Cancun, A Fantasy City (wanderoneday.com)