Cancun and the Mayan Riviera – part one of five

Ok, kiddies…it’s time for our next trip!

This FAM (familiarization trip) is to the fabulous Cancun and Riviera Maya in Mexico. I was hosted by the wonderful Tropical Incentives DMC (Destination Management Company). WE SAW SO MUCH STUFF, Y’ALL. And, they took such good care of us!

Let’s start with where I went on the planet…

mexico_country_mapCancun is located kinda sorta at the southern end of Mexico…practically South America, I tell you!

I know, I know…my geographic location descriptions are pretty much GPS coordinates.

.

rivieramaya

After flying into Cancun International Airport (CUN), I was taken to the Playa del Carmen area, which is on the Riviera Maya (sounds super fancy, doesn’t it?).

.

I stopped at the Royal Hideaway Playacar before the FAM started for a quick site and overnight stay.

First, dinner with my salesperson host…

royal hideaway 1aScallops with a mole and pear sauce. Yes…I took the picture because the pear sauce looks like a banana missing its hammock. 🙂

.

royal hideaway 1

Room check…friggin’ awesome. Royal Hideaway is scoring some major points.

.

royal hideaway 2Holy crap. They ran me a friggin’ bath that was waiting for me when I got back to my room. This place is ridiculous. I don’t even like baths, but I’m gettin’ in, dammit.

.

Oh, and to the person who thought it would be a good idea to equip your guest rooms with full bowls of Ferrero Rocher candy ball thingys…”Give ’em a crap ton…they’ll never eat all of them!” You clearly do not know what I am capable of, you silly human. Challenge accepted!

.

royal hideaway 3

Lunch time before I leave the resort. Eyes peeled for Sigmund the Sea Monster.

Lunch highlights:

Decided against the octopus burrito for lunch. This time, anyway.

Mexican covers of American songs are fascinating. So far, I’ve experienced ‘Some Like It Hot’ and ‘Don’t Speak’. Fingers crossed for ‘Baby Got Back’ next!

This man’s moobs are disturbing my view of the beach. Someone bring him a support bra, stat!

Royal Hideaway Playacar tended to me wonderfully…they’re nifty!

.

Now, the official Tropical Incentives DMC FAM begins!

Time to head to the Mayakoba area (just a short drive back the way we came from the airport). Mayakoba is a local word for fancy-pantsy-awesome, I’m pretty sure.

.

banyan tree 4

My home for the next three nights…Banyan Tree Mayakoba. Holy guacamole, Batman…prepare yourself for ridiculousness cubed.

.

banyan tree 1

My super sweet flowery check-in bracelet amenity thingy. 🙂

.

banyan tree 2Ok. Now, drink this green stuff.
(for the record, it was quite good)

.

banyan tree 3This is Banyan Tree (I called him BT for short). Of Banyan Tree Mayakoba fame.

.

banyan tree 5

This my door. No entrado unless you use the phone in the box on the left. There’s a panel light on the left that I can light up that says “PRIVACY, DAMMIT”. Ok, it might not say dammit…

.

banyan tree 6

This my courtyard. And my friggin’ private pool. For all that private pooling I need to do. WHAAAT?

.

banyan tree 8This is the lagoon that sits behind my estate…I mean, “room”.

.

banyan tree 12

This my room. Me likey. And, I’ll be hammocking the crap out of that hammock later.

.

banyan tree 9This is my epic bathroom. Everyone has one that looks like this, right?

.

banyan tree 10

Oh, this? A private outdoor flippin’ bathtub. With a wall of candles and whatnot. Like a boss. Where is Ryan Reynolds when I need him??

.

banyan tree 13My headboard could totally kick your headboard’s ass.

.

banyan tree 14Staying in this room is going to be such a hardship.

.

Now, off to dinner and awesomeness at the Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun!

now sapphire 1

The evening’s festivities begin with booze. Nice call, Now Sapphire.

.

now sapphire 2

FIRE! FIRE!

.

now sapphire 3

Not enough? Here’s more fire!

.

now sapphire 4Dinner schminner. Non-dessert is for chumps.

.

now sapphire 5

I will DESTROY your fancy dessert display with my face, Now Sapphire. Fear me!

.

Back to Banyan Tree to sleep off my sugar coma…

banyan tree 14Burnin’ some incense all up in this mo fo before bed.

(it smelled gooood, y’all)

.

I hope you’re enjoying the Riviera Maya journey so far…please head on over to Cancun and the Mayan Riviera – part two of five!

M.

.

A Brief Pause

Apologies for being absent this week (and next week)…my family lost someone very special and I’ll be busy making sure we send him off in the best way possible.

After 96 years on this planet, my grandfather is finally reunited my grandmother…together again. 🙂

Here are a few pictures of one of the most intelligent, well-traveled, kind and wonderful gentlemen that the world had the honor of hosting for a bit…we’ll miss you terribly, Grandpa!

gpa9Always debonair…every man should own a tuxedo. 🙂

.

gpa13On one of their MANY trips…the grandparental units roamed the globe!

.

gpa14Always the adept slayer of the fishes. 🙂

.

gpa3Oh, don’t mind the bad-ass 85-year old in his ski gear…no biggie.

.

gpa12It was always an honor to be your date, Grandpa. 🙂

.

Please give someone you love an extra hug for me and I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Thanks,

M.

.

Bora Bora – part four of four

And, now…the final chapter in our wonderous Bora Bora story!

If you missed part three, head on over to Bora Bora – part three of four!

.

Important side note: the people of the French Polynesian islands are some of the most kind, genuine and grounded individuals that I’ve ever met. Their calm and giving manner is refreshing and soothing. They kinda rule hard style and you need to meet some of them. I insist.

.

Today, we’re gonna learn some Polynesian crafts…like many ways to to tie the pareos (Tahitian sarongs) they gave us, stuff with coconuts (karate chop!), how to make flower crowns and basket weaving. I’ma ask ’em if we can learn the basket weaving underwater…so, I can feel like I’m back in college with an undeclared major and my dad is giving me a hard time.

.

pearl beach 27Time to learn how to tie a pareo (sarong)!

.

pearl beach 28Now, we learn how to weave a purse. Mine started out well…

.

pearl beach 29Still looking good…

.

pearl beach 30Crap. What in the hell happened?? Abort operation! Abort! Abort!

.

pearl beach 31Oh, thank goodness. Our awesome instructor, Alicia, came over and saved me from imminent disaster. Here’s my sporty new purse! (that I totally didn’t make)

.

pearl beach 32Anyone want to try peeling a coconut? Meee! Meee!

(Let’s just say that I did NOT excel at this task)

.

pearl beach 33Drinkin’ out of a coconut…all Gilligan’s Island style and stuff.

.

pearl beach 34Now, we observe the makin’ of the coconut milk with sheer brute strength…swoon!

.

pearl beach 35These lovely ladies were so patient…now, they’re teaching us how to make flower crowns!

.

pearl beach 36Off to a slightly pitiful start…

.

pearl beach 37I just shoved it in my hair and hoped for the best.

.

At this point…let’s flash back to my mention in part two about the spa having a Polynesian dude tattoo artist on staff. Guess who decided to get a tattoo, y’all??

My memory of the experience:

Listening to an island cover of Air Supply’s ‘Making Love Out of Nothing at All’ while laying on a table getting tattooed by a hot Polynesian dude at a spa with a koi fish lagoon outside the window is beyond nuts. Once again, my life is ridiculous.

.

tuhei and mTuhei, my super cute tattoo artist, did an awesome job on my new tiare flower. The fact that he was probably no older than 22 and didn’t speak much English just made him even more adorable.

.

Now, for our evening plans…

Being picked up by a private boat for a ‘surprise’ farewell reception and dinner off-property…I can’t wait to see what this business is all about.

.

closing night 1

Holy crap on a stick. This was our fricken’ ride.

.

closing night 2

Heading off to the surprise location on a killer catamaran…

.

closing night 4Our wonderful hostess on the catamaran…she made us cookies and breads and fruity tropical beverages. And fruit. With flowers. I wanted to take her home with me.

.

boat rideThen, she taught us cool stuff about the island. It was awesome!

.

closing night 5Rainbow. Because this place isn’t quite delightful enough already.

.

closing night 6Our chariot…picking us up from the catamaran for our evening adventure!

.

closing night 7THIS is our dinner location. A private bloody island. Dang!

.

closing night 8Our ride…he was hilarious and knew how to blow a mean conch shell.

.

closing night 9This is a horrible picture, but the gentlemen and ladies were all waiting on the dock for our arrival!

.

closing night 10Ahhh…sunset through the trees on the island.

.

closing night 11Our chef was so flippin’ funny!

.

m and patrickI totally took a picture with the Big Kahuna of Bora Bora.

.

closing night 13Time for some traditional Polynesian dancing. There was much grunting and stomping.

.

closing night 14Tahitian lady dancers…so pretty!

.

closing night 15Now, for the ‘remove your pareo and swing it around’ song. Butts! 🙂

.

closing night 16Coconut bra time!

.

closing night 17My dinner was ridonkulous.

.

closing night 18Fire dancing time!! Eeeeeee!!

.

closing night 19Wheeee! Fire!!

.

closing night 20More fire and spinning and wheee!!

.

closing night 21This one was a crazy formation of legs wrapped around other legs…it scared the crap out of me!

.

closing night 22Another terrible picture, but they were so amazing!

Oh, and that black mark on Patrick’s stomach? THAT’S WHERE A TORCH OF FIRE FELL ON HIS BELLY. No big whoop.

.

My evening summary went a little something like this:

Brace yourself. Transported via private catamaran to a private motu (island), treated to a feast, boogied with Tahitian dancers in coconut bras (them, not us) and witnessed the coolest fire dancing show ever. Flaming batons thrown by hunky Polynesian dudes – check. Our host was Patrick, from two days ago. I paid no mind to his traditional banana hammock thong & tattooed butt cheeks situation, because that’s totally inappropriate and I would never do something like that.

.

Only one slight ‘issue’ with my trip…

bora 7a

Apparently, Bora Bora bugs dig mostly just me. This is just a portion of the real estate they’ve taken over. The others in my group have maybe 20% of what I’ve got…just lucky, I guess! STILL TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Oh, and bring lots of mosquito repellent!!

.

We’re supposed to depart Bora Bora today, but I think I’ll opt out. The resort won’t mind if I just live in my hut. Although, the new guests might get annoyed when that weird lady keeps yelling, “Hey, you two! Quit all that humpin’! I’m trying to sleep!”

.

patrick at tahiti airport My last sight before leaving these amazing islands…Patrick, himself, in a French Polynesia tourism ad. He’s such a rock star, it’s just silly.

Goodbye Patrick and Bora Bora!!

.

So, here’s what I gathered from this once-in-a-lifetime trip: visiting Bora Bora is something everyone absolutely MUST do before they die. It’s an unparalleled experience that cannot be missed. Going there won’t be cheap, but holy guacamole…it’ll be an expedition filled with wonderful people, stunning scenery and outstanding exploration that you will cherish forever!!

And, one more thing: if you do plan on visiting the crazy phenomenal Bora Bora, you definitely won’t go wrong with Air Tahiti Nui, Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa, Patrick with Maohi Nui and Christophe with Reef Discovery Bora Bora. They were all stellar!

I do hope you enjoyed our journey to Bora Bora, and if you have any questions, please do comment or message me! I’m happy to blab even more about my mind-blowing trip, if I can be of any help to you.

.

Thank you so much for joining me and I look forward to our next adventure together!

M.
.