Mexico Trip - Aug, 15 - 23rd, 2009

Cancun, Mexico

August 15th - 23rd, 2009

Bob, Debe, Micah and Chelcy
Our trip began with a very early morning flight so Bob decided we would stay up all night. He called in help from Micah/Chelcy's college buddy Bobby and it was all night cards, games and walleyball. Needless to say, about 2 a.m. everyone was moving slowly but we had to leave by 3 a.m. so we packed up the car and headed out. After a couple of flights, Admirals Clubs, and much needed sleep - we arrived in Cancun. We were picked up and tranferred to our hotel, Oasis Cancun (which is also connected to the Grand Oasis). The Oasis is set up with one side college kids (a little younger, wilder crowd I should say) the middle is the Grand Oasis (the nicest of the hotel) and the opposite end is for family. We were put into the family end of the hotel. The above photo you can see our view from our room.

  • We were checked into the rooms, grabbed a hamburger and fries and off to the pool we went. That evening we got cleaned up and headed to the Mexican Restaurant, Sarape, for dinner. We had remembered this restaurant as one of our favorites so it was our first choice. Unfortunately - it was not the same this time. Service was horrible and the food, well, what they weren't out of wasn't worth getting. And the orders were so mixed up we didn't know what we got or whos. We were to tired to worry about it so we just left there, headed to the buffet got a bite to eat and had dessert. Plenty of places to pick between to eat so no big deal.
  • Some awoke to the air conditioners not working in all the rooms so we talked to the hotel front desk and they decided that they would move us the following day to the Grand Oasis in Mayan Riveria, about an hour away. We agreed to go since they would transfer us there at no cost to us. So another day here to enjoy this beautiful place. Above you can see that Micah, Chelcy and Bob enjoyed some fun in the pool volleyball game. And below we decided to try the Thai Restaurant, Akeru for lunch. What a great choice. The food was great and the view was right over the beach with breathtaking view of the ocean. Awesome, awesome. Connected to this restaurant was the Koori Sushi Bar but we didn't eat at it.

    As you can see from the above and below photos, the beach was hopping. Lots of activities to do and enjoy. Also on the beach were the Hamacas and Sands snack bars for hotdogs, hamburgers and fries. Hamacas was were we had our lunch upon arriving the first day so we wanted to be sure we tried something new today.

    Tonight it was off to another restaurant we had loved when staying at the Oasis a few years ago. It was called Rodizzio and was fabulous. You start by going to the buffet and getting your salad and sides and then they come around to the table with chicken, beef, pork, sausage, ham/pineapple, steak, about everything. They shave it off a skewer right onto your plate and it is delicious. We were so glad we didn't miss out on this restaurant before heading to the next hotel. We know it doesn't have all the same restaurants so we did pick two great restaurants here. (by the way, we are all laughing hard because the camera is on the timer and people keep walking in front of us. At this exact time, our waiter jumped over to the side really fast so we got this shot. lol) I know, we are one big crazy bunch. lol Check out the ham and pineapple skewer they came by with. Delicious to say the least.

    As you can see below, they do have daily activites you can participate in when you pick an all inclusive hotel. Plus three nightly shows. We had seen two of them last time we stayed at the Oasis and they were very good. We also know the next hotel isn't as elaborate on shows.

    We decided to take some last minute shots of the pool beds and of course, Micah and Chelcy posing on a bridge that goes across the pool. The hotel is very very nice and we did enjoy it there. (this time and the first time)

    But nothing like trying something newer and it could be better. So off to the Grand Oasis Riveria Maya. Yes, it was a long way from Cancun so people, if you want the hustle and bustle of Cancun - don't go here. This is more for the people who want to just relax and enjoy something a little fancier. Some of the same restaurants but here, must be reservations and can't wear shorts to them. Much much nicer. Also, the same restaurants by name do not serve the same type of food. Weird. lol Below, Micah and Chelcy stand on the entrance to the hotel.

    Anyway, we found this hotel to be beautiful. Same typical caribbean rooms but the pools, views, restaurants, everything just great. We are happy to have made the change. They also had the pool beds but many more of them and most on the beach. Most beds didn't have tops on them so you can get sun. Of course, get there early to get them. They fill up fast.

    And even though there was an infinity pool right on the beach, there were also three more pools to enjoy. We did see someone have dinner out on the pier in the above photos but during the day, that hut on the pier was for massages. Below, is a shot of Micah and Chelcy on the pier at night.

    Our first night we ate at the Sarape Restaurant. At the other Oasis hotel it was the Mexican restuarant but here - it was the same as the Akeru with the meat carved off the skewers. It was great but have to admit - it was set up much nicer. After dinner it was off to the Cafe Del Mar where the Fire Show would take place on the roof. Again, the shows were not near as elaborate as in Cancun but was worth seeing.

    The next morning it was up for breakfast in the Buffet and to the main pool which was not on the beach and closer to our rooms. The greatest thing about it was it had a swim up bar. Not the typical bar but great for those of us that do not drink alcohol. Because it was a swim up juice bar made with natural fruit. We definitely had our share of juices. And did I mention they were frozen. Yum, yum. In the following photos you can see the main pool but in the right photo the swim up juice bar is where the white overhang building is. As you can see in the below big photo, Micah and Chelcy enjoyed the frozen juice bar.

    For lunch they always had a bbq right by the buffet and the sushi bar was always there. (look through the umbrellas and tables and you can see it) We chose to also go to the Dos Lunas which was Mediterrean food at the Oasis but here, wood cooked pizza. Absolutely great. And the deserts were ice cream. We did hit that place up a couple times during our stay.

    One day we took a shuttle down to Playa Del Carmen and did some shopping and rented a car. The taxis to Playa where not cheap but we found out they have shuttle (vans with a red line down them) that picked up people for hardly nothing. Like a couple bucks apiece. Anyway, Playa Del Carmen is also the same place you can take the ferry over to Cozumel. The first photo below is what I call the "Window to Playa" I loved that shot. The following photos are the beach at Playa Del Carmen, Micah and Chelcy returning from shopping and me seeing how blondes look with sombreros on. And I decided that I would stick to a visor. lol

    As we drove back to the hotel, we made a stop at a new place located right by XCaret. It was called XPLOR and it included zip lining (11), rafting, amphibian vehicles and an underground river to swim. This was exciting and for the cost of $99 per person, we could do it all. And it included your lunch. We would save this for our next trip when we can also purchase over the internet with a 10% discount. So that sounds like a great future trip. As for us now, we would do the XCaret since neither Micah nor Chelcy had ever been to it. Below are some of the photos of XPLOR to get an idea of it and its surroundings.

    Dinner tonight was at the Gourmet Mexican Restaurant, Careyes. To be honest, I didn't recognize anything on the menu as being Mexican though. lol But I was glad - I am a nacho only Mexican eater. lol Below is the menu and in the two photos below the menu, you will see Bob's appetizer called the Careyes Trilogy (one shot of apple/banana, one shot of watermelon, and one shot of crab macchiato) and the fabulous dessert we got. It was a chocolate souffle.

    The next day it was up early for breakfast at the buffet and off to XCaret. We only purchased basic entrance since we had a car and free meals at the hotel. Which was only a 20 minute drive away. Below you will see Micah and Chelcy at the entrance to XCaret. XCaret is such a huge place with so much going on, you have to have a map to find it all and you still may not see it all. Especially if doing some sun bathing is on the list.
    Even though we didn't participate in the swimming with the dolphins, it is offered for a fee. Large fee I should say. But if you look close in the left photos, you will see Bob, Micah and Chelcy as they snorkeled next to the fence that holds just a few of the dolphins. Their own version of swimming with the dolphins for free. lol Look close and you will see one jump up while another one is swimming along. You can always click on the photo to make it bigger if that will help you. lol

    In the left photo below, people are getting ready to do the Helmet dive while people in the right photo just came up from snuba diving. (a form of snorkeling and scuba diving) All of course for an extra fee.

    I stuck to sun bathing while Bob, Micah and Chelcy headed off to swim/snorkel in the underground river. I had done that before so I stayed back and tried to work on a much needed tan. One of the show events at XCaret is the Papantla Flyers. Below are photos and videos of the show.

    Below you can see a tree that has a craving on it that represents Jesus Christ hanging on the cross. This chapel is also located in XCaret and the tree hanging at the alter was carved out of a tree also. They are both awesome. I took photos of the Chapel both at day and night so you can see how beautiful it is.

    Another attraction that is included is riding the Scenic Tower that rotates. From here you can see all the way to Playa Del Carmen, across the ocean to Cozumel and everything in the park. Below is a photo of Micah and Chelcy in the tower as it is going up. In the left photo below, you can see the furtherest hut, well that is about where I picked for sunbathing. The right photo below shows the Mexican's old traditional "cementery" that I will later discuss on this blog. Very Interesting!!!!

    Next it was on to Paradise River Raft Ride. I will forwarn you all, they ask for you to be very quiet and relax on the ride. Those that know how much I like to talk know this was a hard chore for me. But I was able to take pictures. lol Below in the left photo is the entrance to the river raft ride while the right photo shows the raft before us being loaded. The photos below those show some of the beauty that lies in this river. And it does go through parts of the small animals habitant that they have on the many acres of XCaret.

    From here it was off to see some things before heading over to the big Spectacular show. First stop was the Flamingo Park. This was my first time to ever see a baby Flamingo. Look close (or again click on the photo to make it big) and you will see on the other side of the water is a white flamingo, which is a baby, right next to the water. It can only get on its knees at this point. The gray flamingo in the front is a little older and one can stand completely up but the other one can't. In the right photo is bats in a bat cave. That just isn't my thing. I hate caves.

    Next was the Mexican Cementery. As the story goes, older, traditional cementeries were built in seven levels to represent the seven days of the week. There are only 365 graves in the cementery because of 365 days of the years. They are also 52 steps from the bottom to the top for the 52 weeks of the year. The headstones are very unique and colorful. They also represent something about the person. In the right photo is an old arena used for the older Mexican games. The first time I went to XCaret they used this for the show but since have built another arena used for the Spectular show and games are done during the show.
    Another stop was in the bird sanctuary. We were surprised at how interesting it was. They raise lots of Scarlet and Military Macaws and in the below photo, you can see several at ages from 1 day old to 3 months old. Very interesting. As you continue walking through the birds you will see no only tons of macaws at all ages but also parrots, flamingos, a Toucan and Congor. Check out the photos below.

    We opted to miss the horse show but I have seen it before and it is very good also. Here is some of the participates as they line up for the show.

    Finally it was time for the Mexican Spectacular. It begins with a small child bought out to meet the pre hispanic tribes and the show will be a story to her of this history. As the tribes are represented, the games begin. The two games played are the one shown in the left photo which is played like a combination of soccer and basketball. The circle in the right of the photo is the goal on one side while the opponents goal is on the other side. And with no hands it has to be hit through the goal. In the right photo is another prehispanic game which is played like hockey but the ball (instead of a puck) is on fire. Very interesting.

    As the show continues you watch as a little girl travels through Mexican History. You can feel the joy of the Mexican Fiesta: color, music and dance from every corner of the country of Mexico. Below are a few photos showing some of the countries and their representation of colors, dance and music.

    To help you get around XCaret, you get a map at the entrance. Watch for the times of shows and be sure to plan on staying all day and night to be able to see as much as you can.
    With a long day at XCaret, it was buffet for lunch (which we were able to leave the park, go eat and come back afterwards) and the return to the hotel for a late night dinner at the buffet and off to bed. The following day, Bob, Micah and Chelcy got up and headed to a local beach for boogie boarding and sandy beach boarding while I took in more sun. at the hotel. They got back about lunch time so Micah wanted to try the sushi bar. Below you see Micah with his order that was shared with Bob and Chelcy. As for me, hamburgers worked just fine. Micah even got a chance to hand fed the Peacocks.

    Our last day at the resort ended up being interesting. A wedding had been set up right on the beach which showed just how beautiful the place was. And of course, I watched the wedding along with many other spectators. Many had poolside front row seats.

    Our last night and one restaurant left to try. This was their Thai Restaurant. It ended up serving about the same as the one did back at the Oasis Cancun but was much much much fancier. This was our favorite restaurant at both hotels. Of course this was the hardest to get reservations for early in the mornings also. Did I mention that all the restaurants were by reservation only??? And that meant you had to get up by 7 a.m., stand in the line to get your reservation at one of the restaurants. Otherwise - it was a buffet dinner for you. (which was also very good)
    For those of you that love to do cruises, the below photos will be a norm for you. But for those of you that have never cruised, this is a daily treat in your cabin. And it was a treat at this hotel also.

    Thanks again for taking a trip to fun in the sun with us. Yes, Mexico is always a plus on our list and this trip was another one. We enjoyed our last bit of summer fun before Micah and Chelcy headed back to college. And for me, it was great to relax after a summer of sons getting married, two grandkids to watch and the total stress of daily life. A much needed retreat. I hope you have enjoyed this trip and feel free to leave a comment or question. Thanks again

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