Monday, April 11, 2016

Mexican Vacation: Dani's Wedding & End of Trip

Just in case you weren't sick of vacation posts yet... let me finish up writing about the trip. Starting with the main event: the wedding.

The actual wedding was a complete fairytale setting and absolutely beautiful from the moment we arrived. It was held at an old hacienda about 25 minutes outside of Campeche called Uayamon. They were kind enough to set up shuttles that drove people back and forth from Campeche to Uayamon so in the mid afternoon, we got picked up from our hotel and taken out to the site of the wedding.

Before we left, I had one of my friends do a mini photo shoot for me because one of the things I had wanted all week was a nice picture of myself in front of the beautiful colored walls of Campeche in my bright yellow dress that I had brought for the wedding. The dress of Dani's wedding was "tropical formal" and when I found this bright yellow dress I immediately fell in love with it and had to have it for the wedding. We got a little snap happy with the photoshoot. What do you think, should I turn this into a fashion blog? I was told on Instagram that I looked like a famous Instagrammer :)

We took the shuttle over to the venue and arrived to such a magical setting. The tables were set for an outdoor dinner and there was a cocktail hour upon arrival. We used the time to have additional photo shoots, enjoy a cold drink, and take in everything around us.

A little while after arriving, we were walked over to the setting for the ceremony, that again, was just fairytale perfect.  In the middle of the jungle, surrounded by ruins, with the sun setting, and soft music playing. The ceremony was officiated by Dani's brother and they wrote their own vows, said both in English and in Spanish. I cried as Dani walked down the aisle and again as her friend heartfully read a passage and broke into tears and again as they recited their vows. Thank goodness I chose the waterproof mascara for today.

Following the ceremony, as they walked down the aisle, we all blew these heart shaped seeds above the couple that fluttered down as they returned back down the aisle.

Dani's dress was stunning, which goes without saying, as she is one of the most fashionable people I know. The ceremony was really pretty and luckily, the temperatures were MUCH better than they had been the day before. Which I think everyone was happy about.

Side Note: One thing that I should mention, in case any of you are playing back the timing in your heads... Saturday evening, April 2nd, was the day of the wedding and also the day that Syracuse Men's Basketball played in the Final Four. As you know, if you made it through my love post about Syracuse, I'm a fan. The timing obviously sucked to have these two things be pretty much at the exact same time, but I also wasn't going to miss my friend's wedding. My initial thought was to plan to stream on my phone and catch as much of the game as possible. I tested out the live stream on the earlier of the two games while we were in the bus on the way to the ceremony. I thought all was good, but then once we arrived, there was ZERO cell phone reception at the venue. We were in the middle of the jungle. There was WiFi, but you had to be inside. So pretty much - nothing was coming through. I accepted that and enjoyed the wedding night. Syracuse didn't win, but I am still super proud of the team and the season!

Following the ceremony there was a margarita post-reception drinks, complete with mariachi band and lots of catching up with friends. It was great to see all of Dani's friends from the salon, the few people that I had met at the cocktail reception, and of course, my friends who had also traveled for the wedding. Everyone was dressed up, looking beautiful, and I also got an addition to my outfit of a pretty flower in my hair, that one of Dani's friends brought for me after I commented at the salon that I felt like I needed a flower in my hair. How sweet!

I also randomly ran into a guy who was a friend of the groom's, whom I had met when I was in Dubai for work last month. How bizarre is that??

Dinner and speeches portion of the night were delicious and perfect and wine-filled, as good weddings are. For a little bit, the sky opened up and rained and as we were all sitting outside, it got a teensy bit wet. However, pretty much everyone just stayed in their seats. It was hot out and the rain was refreshing. They brought out umbrellas and in our seats, we had the shelter of this amazing arbor tree that we were all obsessed with.

Post dinner turned into an all out dance party. There was both a live band and a DJ that went back and forth from playing traditional Mexican and Spanish language music and modern day dance music. It kept everyone happy and get the entire dance floor packed the whole night.

We'd been warned early in the week that Dani was not going to let us on the bus returning to Campeche until the 4:00 a.m. shuttle. We follow rules well and stayed dancing under the ruins and the shade of the arbor tree until the last shuttle left. And as the final late night partiers pulled out of Uayamon, Dani and her husband Paul, were still dancing together under the stars as the DJ packed up and the caterers folded the chairs. Legit fairytale beautiful.

One thing that basically sucked though was Mexico had yet to spring forward and change their clocks. Until this Saturday night. I HAD TO LOSE AN HOUR OF SLEEP ALL OVER AGAIN. Ugh. And on a night where I stayed up MUCH later than I usually do anyways. That was not cool, my friends, not cool.

We returned to our hotel covered in sweat from dancing all night, exhausted, and in need of many hours of sleep. But instead of that, we got a few, checked out of the hotel, and then returned back to Uayamon for the wedding brunch. The food was delicious. The company amazing. And the drinks continued flowing.

I originally thought that maybe getting sick would mean that I wouldn't gain any weight on vacation. But then I made up for it when I felt better.

The Uayamon hacienda, in addition to being an amazing wedding venue, was also a hotel and had an incredible pool. We explored a bit and walked around, before hopping in a taxi to get on a bus to take us back to Merida. Not gonna lie, I wasn't ready to leave Campeche and that beautiful hacienda, but the fun has to end at some point.

Luckily, it wasn't quite over yet, we got back to Merida and went out to explore their traditional Sunday evening in the town square. They have live music, dancing, vendors, and food on the street. We explored, walked around, and enjoyed some more local ice cream - Helado de Colon - that is a staple of Merida and tasted pretty delicious to me.

We had dinner from the vendors by the street, two small tacos for me and a Diet Coke out of a bottle, which somehow makes it more fun.

The next day, my friends had early flights out of the Merida airport and I had the day to myself. I went on a run, as I mentioned in my workout recap, and then I decided to make a little adventure out of the day. Across the street from the hotel there were a number of car rental places so I stopped in on my way returning from my run to ask about pricing and the various options that they had. It turned out for $45 USD I could rent a car for the full day, keep it overnight, park for free at my hotel, and then return the car in the morning at the Merida airport. This would save me having to get a cab in the morning and allow me to do whatever I wanted throughout the day so I absolutely accepted that offer, rented myself a car, showered and cleaned up at the hotel, and set off on a solo adventure on my last day in Mexico.

I had looked up a cenote that was listed as being the closest to Merida and right in between Merida and Progreso, a beach city near Merida, which is where I am told that the Meridians go to go to the beach. Unfortunately, the weather was sort of cloudy that day and not the most ideal beach day. But for me, it was still great.

My first stop was at the cenote, which happened to be inside of a historical site that also housed more ancient ruins. I didn't realize that I was going to be getting to witness all of this when I set out in the morning so it was a cool surprise to see more history along with the cenote.

Unfortunately, the cenote wasn't that cool. It was still a cenote, so pretty cool, but not as good as the other ones. The area to swim was rather small and there were all sorts of lilly pads in the center, which was a bit different from the other ones we went to. Every cenote had fish swimming in it, but we kept commenting how clean they were and they weren't covered in moss or algae. This one did have a bit of that and also not a lot of area to swim and was crowded with other tourists.

What I did think was cool about it was how deep it went though! I was pretty fascinated by that and it reminded me of the Titanic or something like that. There was so much below that you just couldn't see.

I climbed into the water and splashed around a little but the fact that I had to walk on the bottom, the mossiness, and the seemingly millions more fish than the other cenotes didn't have me staying too long here. Instead I head to Progreso to check out the Meridian beach and grab lunch.

Turns out Progresso reminded me a lot of say, the Jersey Shore, in the U.S. It was an interesting site, with a boardwalk and tons of vendors, tons of places to drink, and just people milling about all over. I grabbed lunch and then lay down on the sand for a few hours reading, listening to music, and enjoying just relaxing and doing nothing. It ended up being nice that it wasn't too bright and sunny because I wasn't sweltering in heat. It was a nice temperature to just relax.

I also decided to do a little bit of yoga on the beach and got my zen on by doing some handstands and playing with my self timer. Normally I would never share these photos, but in the safe of full disclosure, here is my beach headstand for you. Voila!

I stayed until late afternoon before returning to Merida. I stopped at a spa on the way home for a massage, which I had googled and called and made an appointment for. However, turns out, it was actually more stressful and upsetting than relaxing as the girls there refused to massage my legs due to my psoriasis. I explained that it wasn't contagious and that nothing that they would use on me would be harmful but they insisted that they could not massage my legs for my own safety/protection. They agreed to do a back and arm massage, which confused me because they had no problem massaging my elbows, where the psoriasis is just as bad as on my legs. Weirdos (slash... it actually upset me a lot.)

After showering at the hotel, I went back out for one last meal of tacos and then stopped at an Irish Pub that I had also Googled to watch the NCAA Championship basketball game. I met a few American ex-Pats that were also at the pub watching the game. It felt a bit lame to be spending my last night in Mexico at an Irish Pub, but when it came to the last few minutes of the game, I was SO glad that I did. What an amazing, incredible basketball game. I was so glad that a former Big East school had taken down UNC to win. If Syracuse wasn't in it, at least not UNC!

I had an early flight back the next day, which included a connecting flight through Mexico City. Luckily, I was upgraded on my return flight so was able to enjoy the trip in first class. Seriously people, it is insane how well and often they feed you when you are flying first class! I ate my face off and the food was really good. Why can't I fly first class all the time!?

So with that, vacation was over. it was so nice to have my first real vacation and non-work related international trip in years. I loved getting to see friends, explore parts of Mexico I probably otherwise would have never gone to, celebrate a dear friend's wedding, and also make so many new friends in the process.

Back to training. Back to Atlanta. Back to work. And back to apparently the cold temperatures, because Atlanta forgot that it is supposed to be springtime. Thanks for reading and hope you're having a great week!

1 comment:

  1. Such a good trip!!! And good to see you have a strictly fun trip without work since you have so many of those, whewhoo!

    Cracked me up worrying about watching the Syracuse game at the wedding... Lol I'm glad you could just focus on the wedding! :p

    I'm so sorry about the massage incident. Honestly I started getting anxious and upset as I read that as I can imagine your reaction to how they treated you. It's ignorant and it's not your fault and I know it made you feel crappy but that's on them not you. There's nothing wrong with you. I'm sorry it was upsetting. Id be so pissed.

    Overall though im glad it was a good trip and that yellow dress is a stunner! I like the little blue one so much too!