Mexico Bound!

I know, I know. I’ve been home for almost a week, and you’re dying to know all about my trip.

It. Was. Amazing.

That’s all.

………

I’m kidding.

Oh, not about it being amazing. It was definitely amazing. But that’s not all I have to say about it. Oh no.

In case you missed it, Jimmie and I went to Mexico for our birthdays. I turned 30 on July 6th, and his birthday is the 9th. Another couple went with us, and we had a fantastic time. Honestly, there’s a lot to say, so I’m going to split this into several posts….otherwise both of us will get tired. Plus, it’ll give you something to look forward to.

However….before I get to that, I’ve got to share a couple photos from the 4th of July. The kids were all decked out in their red, white, and blue best….

4th of July PupsIt was an absolutely gorgeous day on the water.

Watts Bar Lake July 4thAnd because I think it’s funny….here’s our dinner. We forgot to take a fork or tongs or anything on the boat with us…so Jimmie made do with beer cans.

0704141846bThe fireworks were awesome as usual, though I couldn’t get any pictures of them…but here are a couple while we were waiting. I was pretty impressed with my little cell phone, honestly….well, except for that one.

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Oops.

Oops.

0704142143And finally, a sparkler photo. Because sparklers are the best thing ever.

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Ok, on to Mexico.

Thursday before we left on Saturday, I had my hair colored and got a pedicure. Pampering, you know? I was all excited about my hair…my stylist put hair chalk in it for a little extra kick. It was supposed to last a month. It lasted 3 days. But, it was gorgeous.

Pre-Mexico Hair ChalkAs for the pedicure, I used my Sally Hansen Triple Shine polish in Dive In. I absolutely adore this polish. The color is awesome, and it’s got this Ultimate Shield Complex that protects the color from fading in the sun. It’s obviously never met the Mexico sun, unfortunately, because about halfway through the trip I noticed that my polish was a totally different color. It held up perfectly, though, no chipping, and the faded color was pretty enough.

Before After PolishAnyway, our flight left around 11:00am on Saturday. Jimmie and I both agreed that next time, we won’t go the day after a holiday. For one thing, we didn’t feel like we had enough time to pack. I also kinda felt like the holiday was overshadowed by the trip…I didn’t even put out my 4th of July decorations. We also decided we’d get up and take the early flight so we could get there sooner. We didn’t arrive in Cancun until 3:30, so by the time we got to our resort it was after 5:00.

Regardless, Lindsay and I were really excited. Jimmie was….probably sad he didn’t get whiskey shots with Raymond before flying. Or maybe angry at the child kicking his seat.

Airport

On the plane!!!

On the plane!!!

I’ve got to mention that this was my first time flying international. I’ve been out of the country, but it’s been Canada or cruises, so this was the first time I had to do the whole customs thing. Piece of cake, seriously. And CHECK OUT MY VERY FIRST PASSPORT STAMP!!!

First Passport StampWe booked our package through US Airways Vacations, and I would book with them again in a heartbeat. I don’t usually fly US Air, but the entire experience was great. Our transfer to the resort was included, and we had our own personal concierge from Best Day Travel. Definitely, definitely recommend going the package route. So easy, and we got a killer price too. Even better than Cheap Caribbean, which was shocking to me. I think we ended up getting our package for 55% off the advertised rates.

We stayed at the Valentin Imperial Maya, an adults-only all-inclusive on the Mayan Riviera (which means I get to cross “stay at an all-inclusive resort” off my up-in-smoke list!!!). If you’ve never stayed at an all-inclusive, basically everything is included in the price. At the Valentin you get alcohol (including top shelf, just ask for it), all meals and snacks, 24-hour room service, a few water activities like snorkeling, and tips are included (though we did tip on top of that because the service was great).

All four of us highly recommend the Valentin….It’s gorgeous, the service is impeccable, the food is to die for, and everything you could ever possibly need is right there on the property. We spoke to several other couples while we were there, and all of them said the Valentin was the best of the Riviera resorts they’d stayed at. Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor too…they’re pretty spot-on.

1789787_4_bI’m going to do an entirely separate post on the food and drinks. There’s too much to say to put it all in one post. Yummm.

And let me tell you….going adults-only is the way to go. It was so nice to not have screaming children running around. Very laid back, and the whole resort has a very romantic feel. Even Lindsay and Raymond, who have a kid, enjoyed having adults-only.

The Valentin is fairly good sized. Be prepared to walk. It’s a little confusing at first, but after a day or so we figured out where we were going and it started to feel a bit smaller. I actually enjoyed the walking because it felt like I was getting at least a little exercise! Plus, having the buildings spread out meant that we never felt crowded.

A shot of the walkway leading away from our building

A shot of the walkway leading away from our building

The grounds are absolutely beautiful, and every day we saw staff tending to them. There are tons of flowers, and all sorts of wildlife. Birds, lizards (I have no idea what kind), frogs, and coatimundi are all over. They’re clearly used to the guests, as they let you get pretty close. There’s even a coatimundi named Poncho who likes french fries.

Lizard

Frog 2

Herd on Grounds

Grounds in front of our building

One of the Coatimundi

One of the Coatimundi

This might be my favorite picture from the entire trip. I think it's hilarious.

This might be my favorite picture from the entire trip. I think it’s hilarious.

We stayed in a Golden Jr. Suite in building 8. We chose that room because we wanted a little more space, and we wanted the Jacuzzi. We loved our room. Next time, I think we might get either the Golden Jr. Swim Up – which isn’t really a swim up, but has a little patio (instead of a balcony) and lounge chairs – or the Emerald, the next level up. I know a lot of people say you’re not in the room that much, and it’s true to a point…but the larger room was so worth it.

Golden King Room

Golden King Room

Golden Sitting Room

Golden Sitting Room

We loved the idea of the jacuzzi, but the bathroom was so humid that we couldn't really enjoy it.

We loved the idea of the jacuzzi, but the bathroom was so humid that we couldn’t really enjoy it.

If you’re looking at booking the Golden rooms, be warned that not all of them are King beds. Some have two doubles. I emailed the resort when I booked, and again about 2 weeks before we arrived and requested a King bed. They don’t guarantee anything, but we had a King room.

All the rooms have Wi-Fi and a mini-bar. Every night you get turn-down service, and a journal with the next day’s activities. And I know this is weird, but the toiletries were huge….almost full-size bottles. They’re good quality too (just know that there’s no separate conditioner – only conditioning shampoo). My only complaint with the room was the bathroom was incredibly humid. Otherwise, it was a great home away from home.

I know you’re dying for more….about the food, the pool, the beach, the entertainment, everything….but you’ll have to wait for the next post!

Keep reading for Parts 2 and 3

0 comments

  1. Loved the blog!! I traveled to Cancun in 2008. I am really excited to see and hear more about your trip. Thanks for sharing!