16 March 2009

Spring break woot woot!

We're home! No kidnapping by Mexican drug cartel, no ending up in a Mexican hospital... We've all returned sunned, relaxed, and with happy bellies (it didn't start out quite so well for Doug and me!). And luckily the beautiful weather of the past few days even softened the blow of post-vacation brain!

We arrived at the Sun Palace all-inclusive resort just in time for lunch on Wednesday, and the resort was as beautiful as we expected. Part of a chain of all-inclusives, our resort was couples and adults only and thankfully free of any spring break idiocy. (We later checked out another of the resorts and it was a big thumbs down from us!) The grounds and pools were gorgeous, the beach was private and clean, and our rooms were simple, clean, and had beautiful ocean views from the balconies. (And yes, we broke the rules and slept with our door open every night.)

So what did we do all week, you ask? Absolutely nothing. And it was just what the doctor ordered. :) We'd start our day with room service breakfast or breakfast buffet (or both), hit the pool for a few hours, grab some lunch, then head down to the beach for the last few hours of sun.

Helpful tip: Don't lay on wet magazines with an SPFed-up back!

I'm a beach girl, so of course my favorite part was just relaxing on the beach and swimming in the waves--even though they kicked my booty and I'm pretty sure half of Cancun got flashed. Luckily, we didn't spot any sea life until the end of our ocean playtime on the last day. Sea snake? Barracuda? Whatever it was, it definitely wanted to eat me.

After our days in the sun, we'd retire to our rooms and nap, watch Mexican tv, order room service snacks, and ready ourselves for the evening. Then it was off to dinner, a few drinks, then back to the room for more sleeping. I was definitely meant to be a 30+ vacationer... Up with the sun, to bed by midnight. Ahhhhhh. Heaven.

So that's about it! Ha!

Oh yeah, the boys DID jet ski! And didn't even get eaten by sharks. Phew!

But seriously, it was exactly what I needed. (Update: I feel a million times better today than I did a week ago.) Would I go back? Hmmm... This is something we all discussed a lot. The resort was perfect -- beautiful, clean, and the staff was absolutely at your beck and call. Ordering room service anytime you want? Pretty cool. Two breakfasts? Awesome. Nonstop drink service at the pool, at the beach? Awesome. That being said... The food... Not so good. Feeling confined to the resort at dinner when potentially yummy food is just down the street? Kind of a bummer.

I thoroughly enjoyed breakfast -- bagels with cream cheese and lox from room service, plates of french toast at the buffet. I could eat that all day every day. Lunch buffet, eh, ok, fine enough. You're talking along the lines of Cedar Point grub: burgers, salty BLTs, nachos (with unfortunately untasty queso!). But it was fine. Come dinner, though, we were always ready for a good meal, and the best we got was sub par. The "steak house" was really just a grill and some low-quality steaks, the Mexican restaurant was just the lunch buffet, sit down-style. The Italian restaurant was the main traditional place, and it definitely had the best food, but it was far from delicious (although I was super excited to find a caprese salad, which I ordered two nights in a row!). So all in all, I'd consider another all-inclusive... but I'd also research other options. Partially all-inclusive? Can I make up my own meal plan? :)

My first Mexican meal (and the first meal I'd braved in a week -- man, was I hungry!): Swiss and mortadella, some chips and cheese, and a virgin pina colada. Goin' nuts!

...I discover room service! Was I hungry? Nope. But they had a smoked salmon plate. My favorite! I was all over it.

The WORST sushi on the face of the earth. Seriously, I never ever ever would have believed you could actually make sushi taste this disgusting. Now, I've had some not-so-amazing sushi. But it still at least tasted like sushi. This was so gross I couldn't even finish it, and I'd been looking forward to nonstop sushi at the Oriental Lounge for weeks. I ordered a California roll -- pretty basic, right? I thought it was strange that it said "cream cheese" but went for it. OMG. Brad took the first bite and tried to discourage me from trying it. I don't even know what they did -- the inside was mostly normal, with a slice of cucumber, avocado, and a little shrimp. I have to assume they rolled the rice WITH the cream cheese? Not only was it TOTALLY mushy, but the rice tasted of bad bad cream cheese. WHAT a bummer. And the craziest part -- we heard two people say they liked it! Ew.

On the other hand, mmmmmmm bagel with cream cheese and lox on the balcony. Seriously. Perfect.

Back to the weird... The desserts were ALL of the moussey variety. Now, I love a good chocolate mousse. But when you advertise "chocolate cake" you better give me chocolate cake! Creme brule? Crunchy top! Cheesecake? I want a crust! But no, EVERYTHING was just different layers of mousse. So weird. But we did find two very delicious sweet treats:

Cream puff swans at the "other" resort. We bogarted every last one of them. Yum.

Mini chocolate mousse pies! The mousse was even boozy laced. I had more than my fair share by far.

And the find of the week -- may I now present the Bob Marley.

The virgin drinks were just NOT very tasty. I was feeling pretty decent. And I spread my (very) few drinks out well enough to not cause any druggy problems. So I went nuts. I imbibed. :) Vodka, midori, grenadine, pineapple. Tasty tasty tasty.

But seriously, despite the picky food critique, good times, good friends, and lovely sunburns. Love to all my peeps for a perfect late-winter sunny retreat!

PS. Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! We were running around late into the evening, so we stayed in, but I decided to throw together a cheatie Irish dinner. Check out my very first homemade Reuben, served with a side of homemade oven fries:

Fresh bread, a few slices of deli corned beef, piles of sauerkraut, globs of thousand island dressing, all crusty and warm from the broiler... Perfectly tasty (and I'm so pleased because now that I know how easy and tasty this can be, I will make it again often).


queen b said...

Sigh. Now I want a vacation.

Alison said...

Brad and I stayed at an all-inclusive resort two summers ago in Playa Del Carmen called Xcaret that had absolutely outstanding food. Seriously, it was some of the best food I've ever had, particularly breakfasts and dinners (lunches were meh). But the beach was rocky and had no waves, and there were WAY too many spring-breakers and little kids. It sounds like we had opposite experiences...your "scene" was better, our food & drinks were.