(TMI warning: with significant intestinal distress! Woooo!)
Mexico was awesome. We had amazing weather -- hot and sunny; the only rain was overnight-- and had fabulous adventures.
We started out in Tulum, about 45 minutes south of Cancun, where we stayed in a little stucco, thatched-roof house on the beach. Literally ON the beach. My poor brother had to sleep on the floor because he had assumed there were 2 beds when they said "sleeps 2"... so my niece and I shared the bed and he put a chaise lounge pad on the floor. Nice guy, especially since he was paying for it! :)
Here's what it looked like:
We visited the Mayan ruins at Tulum, where there is an incredible beach:
...and also went to lots of other beautiful beaches.
On our fourth day, we moved over to an all-inclusive resort at Playa Del Carmen where my brother's mother-in-law-to-be has a timeshare. It was gorgeous but a little gross to me; super Americanized and over-the-top wealth-flaunting. I have never seen such incredible hotel rooms, or stayed somewhere with a private roof deck reached by spiral staircase...
My favorite part by far was the cenotes, amazing fresh/brackish water pools where underground rivers spring up in the middle of mangrove swamps:
Sadly (to me), the resort owns the property they are on now, so the locals aren't allowed to use the swimming holes at all. :(
We also went to the Mayan ruins at Coba, which is the only one you can still climb (although I am sure they will close it soon, since the stones are wearing away from people sliding down on their butts!)
It was SO HIGH and so close to the sun (I definitely got my "irish tan"!) The steps are about 15" each, so you had to kind of clamber up with your hands, and then make your way down VERY carefully.
My bro and his lady at the bottom:
...and the view from the top!
We mountain biked around the whole ruins preserve, climbed the pyramid, and swam afterwards. I was so grateful to be in good enough shape to do all of it! I suspect that a year or so ago, I wouldn't have had the strength or stamina.
I wouldn't say I was terribly comfortable being in a swimsuit, but in general I felt pretty happy with my fitness progress and the fact that I wore short shorts in public (!) for the first time since I was probably about seven years old.
It is so hard to be back, I must say! And I'm still (as mentioned) not feeling well... but it was worth it!!
And despite the all-inclusive resort with endless drinks and food, I came back a couple of pounds lighter :)