In April of this year, before we decided to move; before Malice joined the family; before Shelly’s brush with death; and before Baby got head tilt, we booked a trip to Mexico for Christmas. Alex got a ridiculous deal on the resort we’d stayed at before, with unlimited access to the Xcaret Park and coupons for the spa. There was no way we could turn it down at that price, not for a whole week! And it would be a true vacation – no obligations, just doing whatever we wanted or nothing at all (not like the short trip to Minnesota, where we were scrambling around trying to fit everyone in). We were both looking forward to it, both excited about it. Of course, as it drew nearer, we started worrying about leaving The Girls for so long (even though Dana came to feed and snuggle them, of course!). I know I was feeling guilty about jetting off to the Caribbean with vet bills still looming. Malice, of course, hurt herself two days before we left. It was very minor and she’s 100% fine now. It didn’t make leaving easier on us though!
We did manage to have a nice relaxing trip. I got three massages! Two of which were free! We walked every inch of the resort almost every day. We spent time by the pool reading together. And every morning Alex fed the white tailed deer who live on the resort grounds. They came to expect us right after breakfast!
We spent a lot of time in the park, too. Over the course of several days, we covered the entire park. Most days we found something new to explore. For the first time we went to the orchid breeding area, saw the fish hatchery, the mushroom preserve, and the butterfly garden. We even walked up to the beach area, though we didn’t sign up to swim with the dolphins or pet the sting rays. Being in much better shape this time around, I was able to climb the pyramid that makes up the main plaza, and climb into the cemetery to fully explore and take photos. I also managed to walk around the underground caves without having a panic attack. The resort itself doesn’t serve a lot of authentic Mexican food, but the park does. I managed to eat two kinds of tamales I’d never had before – beef wrapped in banana leaves (I’m used to corn husk) and chocolate!
The main reason we go to this resort, though, are the jaguars. I was able to go into the park to see them almost every day on this trip. One day I got lucky and we got to Jaguar Island just as the cats were up and moving around. We decided to stay and have lunch at the La Laguna restaurant. Alex made sure I got a table next to the island, so I got to watch the cats eat their lunch, too.
We didn’t go off the resort for any excursions, though we had talked about it when we booked the trip. I wasn’t keen on spending the extra money, but in the end, we were both sick by the end of the week so it was kind of a non-issue.
On the way home JetBlue wouldn’t let me check into our flight online and they decided to single me out for extra security screening at every turn. I wasn’t about to let that ruin it for me (even though being sick I especially didn’t feel like dealing with it). The security folks at Orlando were really nice, however, and they did their best to make sure we knew what was going on and that it went quickly and smoothly.
Here are some of the photos we took – some are mine, some are Husband’s.