My first solo trip without Reese is in the books and it was something. I was very anxious about leaving her and missed her more than I even imagined but I am feeling rested and renewed upon my return. Bryan…maybe not as much. But as expected, the daddy daughter time was high quality bonding time for the two of them and I think ultimately the entire trip was good for all three of us.
So, after prepping and planning to get out of the door in time for my 7:40 am flight out of Seattle, I had one issue after another with my direct flight to Cancun. After four hours of delay, a change of planes, and having to book my own shuttle to Playa Del Carmen, I was finally in Mexico. The ride to Playa Del Carmen was another 50 minutes plus time to drop off my shuttle-mates first, and I arrived finally at our rented condo in the heart of Playa at 9:15 pm local time, starving, already missing my family, tired, hot, but ready to meet up with the girls (or at least a familiar face) for Amy’s Bachelorette. I quickly facetimed with Reese and Bryan, said my goodnight to them with teary eyes, then got myself together and met the crew at Zitla for some much-needed food and drinks. This ended up putting me in a much better mood quickly, sitting on picnic tables with trucked in sand floors, drinking mezcal and a mojito, and noshing on some shrimp tacos, ahi tuna tacos and ceviche and guacamole. This was my first time meeting everyone (of course excluding Amy); that being Lauren, Amy’s sister in from Houston, Kenna in from Baton Rouge, and Elizabeth and Sophia from New Orleans. We walked back to the condo and hit the bed quick; all tired from our long days of travel.
Friday morning, I awoke after my first full night of sleep in 6.5 months! I felt great, I must say, and ready to start the day. For our first day we had a chef come to the condo to make us all breakfast. Turkey, spinach and brie omelets with sides of sautéed cherry tomatoes and a little refried bean plus a bunch of fresh fruit. It was delicious and prepped me for the rest of the day. We spent some time at the pool soaking up our first Mexican rays and then walked to Bric Resort and Spa for our 90-minute massages. It was a small spa, but super calming and we were able to get our massages done at the same time. I went with the deep tissue and it sure was relaxing; my first 90-minute massage ever and at a great cost. After massages the girls were wanting to shop but I was very eager to get to the beach. This was the only time that my patience, or lack thereof, made me split with the group for a bit. It was already 3 pm and I had yet to step foot on the beach or see the ocean. I made a quick sandwich at the house and then walked the full length of the beach by myself (dreaming that I had Bryan walking by my side). Finally, at 5 pm, the girls were ready to go the beach as well and we all headed back to a beach club for some time. I went for a swim in the warm waters but was the only one. These girls!?!
About 7 pm the beach clubs were shutting down, so we headed back to the condo for our showers and to get ready for our night out. This was planned to be a big night out of dinner, drinks and dancing. We prepped with drinks, were all dressed up, and headed out for a nice dinner at the Grill at the Grand Hyatt. The food was good, but I would have preferred some local cheap tacos and unsurprisingly the ambiance didn’t fuel a night of drinking and dancing. A bottle of Veuve and that was end of story. We all agreed to stop and get ice cream and head back to the condo for a night of sleep before our big excursion day.
Saturday was a full day of our pre-booked catamaran sailing trip. We were picked up at the condo at 8 am by our private transport van to pick up our catamaran back in Cancun. Fortunately, the tour we booked was a private catamaran and not one of the many 60-person catamarans we saw heading out at the same time. Thank goodness!!!!! It was perfect. The catamaran was comfortable for the six of us to lay out, we had two crew members guiding us, and drinks (of not the tasty variety) available all day. We set out by motor 45 minutes to our first snorkel place. This presented some barracudas, reef, and other small fish but nothing miraculous. We then set forth to a beach club for lunch. Our package included the “Premium” beach club. We were presented with watermelon milk (?!?) drinks that were ultra-delicious and refreshing and the lunch finishing its preparations. The buffet ended up being alright with a salad bar, pretty good ceviche, some grilled chicken and fish, fresh fruit, and finished with ice cream. I got some of that amazing watermelon milk punched up with vodka and I have to say it was my favorite drink of the entire trip. I got one more for the boat as we were leaving lunch. We proceeded to Isla Mujeres for about an hour of shopping along the main drag where I got a few gifts for Reese. We headed back to the boat to stop at two more snorkel destinations before heading back to Cancun and then catching our transfer van back to the condo.
I was most definitely burned by this point late in the day. It was about 7 pm that we got back to our condo where we all got our showers in and changed for dinner made by the same chefs back in our condo. Amen for staying in on this night after a long day of swimming and sailing. The chefs made us a bunch of meat and cheese platters to munch on, as well as a goat cheese avocado spread, while we drank and waited for dinner to be ready. At this point, we had gotten to know each other a lot better and conversation was interesting. Dinner was banana wrapped local fish with a tomato, wine and mushroom mixture that was pretty good, along with a corn and rice side and my favorite…fried plantains! They finished us off with sautéed warm pears with a berry sauce, which would have been outstanding if it came with a scoop of ice cream. After dessert we played one fun guessing game for Amy, featuring her fiancé Eric in a video answering a bunch of fun questions. We finished the night in our PJs watching a movie.
Most slept in as much as they could on Sunday morning. Amy and I were the first ones up and had an opportunity to talk just the two of us while we made breakfast for the group with the leftover eggs, brie, turkey, fruit, cheese, baguette and yogurt. We had a good breakfast before packing up and checking out of our room at 11 am. We stowed our bags with the security and proceeded to do some more shopping in town. I got another gift for Reese and a bracelet for myself. I redid my makeup just for fun at the local Sephora and tried on some clothes at a local shop before we met back at the condo to meet our airport transfer van at 1:45 pm. We all rode to the airport together. Security was no problem, even with my full bag of frozen milk, and we got lunch at the Wolfgang Puck together. I bought another item to bring on board for my 6+ hour flight and then had to say my goodbyes to the group as my flight was leaving first. My flight back to Seattle was indeed a lengthy one but I was more relaxed going back than my way out and so eager to see my baby girl and my heroic husband.
Reflecting on the trip I am very glad I went. There were times that were hard for me to enjoy myself and times I was wishing I was back at home with my family. I would scroll through the Nest cam app when I could just to see what baby girl was up to. She spent the entire weekend trying to walk, crawl and climb all over her daddy. She seemed to be in a great mood during the day but didn’t let her dad sleep much the first two nights. Fortunately, Saturday night she decided to not wake up to eat all night and give her daddy a break. Good girl! I really enjoyed getting to spend time with Amy and getting to know her friends better. There were times that I felt like the odd man out, being that I hadn’t met any of them before, didn’t know the friends or stories they would reminisce about, and being the only one not from the South, but I did my best to fit in and enjoy each of them.
The most difficult time for me on the trip would be when I would see the many young babies on the beach or in town with their families and I would wish that Reese was there with me, experiencing the beach and ocean for the first time or swimming in the pool with me. I didn’t get enough local food and was craving more fish tacos, but I went with the flow and choosing of the group. There was no outlet in my bedroom, so I did all my pumping in the bathroom and one night I spilled a bag of milk before I could get it in the freezer. Lugging my bag of frozen milk back home was also super fun! Oh, and there was also one cockroach, in the bedroom I shared with Amy’s sister, that freaked me out to no end…I think my third cockroach of my life. I did more day drinking than I have in a VERY long time and really tried to indulge in vacation life, and I did. I’m so looking forward to three full days at home, maybe some exercise and a balanced diet without alcohol before packing up our bags, this time all three of us, to travel to Michigan for one of my best friend’s weddings! Despite my trip this past weekend I am very excited to be there for Claire, and of course see my parents and family, albeit very briefly. Plus, the next three days are supposed to be glorious in Seattle and I can’t wait to get Reese outside to enjoy it….just too bad I have to work! ☹