S: Summer Vacation 2011
1: During the summer of 2011, Julianne, Amanda and myself took a 12 day trip to Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan Pennisula of Mexico. It was a trip of firsts for all of us and one full of experiences. We began our trip with a 7 day stay at the Grand Sunset Princess, our first all inclusive. We had a swim up room with a pool right off of our terrace... another first! At this resort, we spent our days sunning (and burning), eating, and experimenting with cocktails....a first for the girls. They decided a Miami Vice was their drink of choice. Our excursions took us to Tulum, Cenote Dos Ojos, Akumal Bay and Yal-ku lagoon where we snorkeled in a cave, swam with turtles and visited Mayan ruins... all firsts for all of us! On Amanda's 21st birthday, the girls spent the day swimming with manatees, sea lions, dolphins, string rays and sharks. Sake ended her birthday with a bang! We continued our adventure by spending 3 nights at the Iberostar Tucan which sits in the middle of a preserved jungle. It was here we encountered monkeys and more monkeys. None of us had ever had howler monkeys visit our hotel room and hang out on the balcony... one of the most memorable FIRSTS! We swam in the Caribbean Sea and dug our toes in soft white sand. After 10 glorious days, we returned home via Atlanta, full of memories and .... chips, salsa, guacamole! When you lose yourself .... you find a key to paradise
2: Gonna put the world away for a minute Pretend I don't live in it Sunshine gonna wash my blues away Wishin' I was Knee Deep in the water somewhere got the blue sky, breeze and it don't seem fair the only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair Sunrise, there's a fire in the sky never been so happy never felt so high and I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise Wrote a note, said "Be back in a minute" Boarded a plane and I flew off in it Don't think anybodies gonna miss me anyway Mind on a permanent vacation The ocean is my only medication Wishin' my condition aint ever gonna go away
3: Now I'm knee deep in the water somewhere Got the blue sky breeze blowin' wind thru my hair Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair Sunrise, there's a fire in the sky never been so happy never felt so high and I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise This champagne shore watchin' over me It's a sweet sweet life livin' by the salty sea One day you can be as lost as me Change your geography and maybe you might be Knee deep in the water somewhere got the blue sky breeze blowin' wind thru my hair only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair Sunrise, there's a fire in the sky never been so happy never felt so high and I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise
4: Grand Sunset Princess
5: Outside our room before dinner
6: La Hacienda | This was our favorite restaurant. | Poblano pepper stuffed with cheese and beef... YUM | Muy Bien
8: 70 SPF Not Enough!
10: What a beautiful view! | Tulum | Iguanas everywhere
11: Mayan ruins: 1200-1400 AD | We are HOT!
12: Dos Ojos Cenote | Dos Ojos is a flooded cave system located south of Playa Del Carmen and north of Tulum. The exploration of Dos Ojos began in 1986 and has never stopped since. The documented underwater extend of the cave system is at least 61 km. Dos Ojos has remains in the top 10 longest underwater cave systems in the world. Dos Ojos contains the deepest known cave passage in Quintana Roo with 118 meters / 396 feet of depth located at The Cenote Pit.
13: Dos Ojos Cenote | Snorkeling in a cave
15: Chacto the spider monkey
16: Akumal Bay
17: Akumal Mexico is known as The Place of Turtles"
18: Yal-Ku is a narrow inlet through which fresh water traveling via underground rivers reaches the ocean. The lagoon has many small islands and areas where wildlife, flora, and fauna thrive. The primary activity at Yal-Ku is snorkelling. | ne of the things that makes the Yal-Ku park so unique and beautiful are all of the great statues they've added throughout the grounds--on the rocks and in the forest.
19: Yal -ku Lagoon
20: Iguanas are a favorite sight!
21: Puerto Adventuras | Puerto Aventuras is a world class residential community resort located in the heart of the Riviera Maya on the Mexican Caribbean.
22: Swimming with manatees.
23: Manatees are aquatic mammals with a gentile, docile, curious and slow “personality”, also known as sea cows because of their totally vegetarian diet –not because of their physical appearance-. They have a paddle-shaped tail, two flippers with nails, a large body, and a brownish-gray colored skin; they breathe through nostrils, like seals and have funny whiskers on their snout. | Manatee kiss!
24: Dolphin Discovery
26: There was an opportunity to have free play time with baby dolphins!
27: Swimming with sting rays and sharks. | Amanda did not like this ONE bit!
28: California Sea Lion
29: California Sea Lion
30: Happy 21st Birthday Amanda | Lots of sake at Miso Japanese restaurant followed by Long Island Ice Teas in the Lobby Bar.
32: "Too much food! | Fondue | Los Olas | La Vaqueria
33: Julianne got involved in cooking Amanda's birthday dinner!
36: Mexican Coffee
39: Beach at the Grand Sunset Princess
40: Shopping!!! | Artwork completely done with spray paint.
41: Adios Grand Sunset Princess
43: Hola Iberostar Tucan
44: Wildlife at the Tucan | More iguanas and red eared sliders
45: Agouti | They are related to guinea pigs and look quite similar but have longer legs.
46: Birds at the Tucan
48: H O W L E R | M O N K E Y S
49: Monkeys were in the trees all around the resort.
50: Since we had a 3rd floor room facing the jungle, we had visitors to our balcony!
53: Quinta Avenida
54: Julianne treasure hunting
55: Beach at the Tucan Resort
56: Koi at the resort | La Hacienda | Resort kitty
58: Julianne disccovers she likes guacamole
59: Adios Tucan
60: Back in the states.... | at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta | Amanda gets some ranch after 11 days without!
61: Georgia Aquarium
62: After a fabulous 12 days....
63: happy to return home