Too much goodness means más is required…
We didn’t have too many more days left of our trip after the wedding, but we enjoyed every last second of our vacation.
Remember when I said we had $750 in resort credit to burn through? Well, when Lil and I saw that swimming with dolphins was an option, we knew we’d check that off our bucket list. I will say, we both have an empathetic heart for these animals that are raised in captivity for our enjoyment, but we still continued to book this excursion. There were a couple other options we both wanted to try, but with our schedule and the day’s things were available, this was the only thing that would actually work.
My heart bleeds for these animals that are raised for human enjoyment. Despite being one of those said humans, I am sympathetic for the life they are living. I’m sure you all have your own opinions about it. But I will say that they do take the time to talk about the humanity in their facility and answer ANY questions you have about their dolphins.
We leisurely woke up, since our departure time wasn’t until 10 AM. We got ready and grabbed breakfast before we had to meet in the lobby.
Lucky for us, our girlfriends also booked this excursion, so we were able to share the fun with them. Somehow, we lucked out and didn’t have to shuttle in the large tourtisty bus and we got to ride in the smaller passenger van to the ferry. Once there we ran into the cute Cancún sign that I’ve seen all over IG. I didn’t think we’d get to see one since we hadn’t planned on leaving the resort.
After snapping a few pics, we headed to the dock where we had to check-in for our ferry and they tried to up-sell us on more features for the excursion. We politely declined and got our bracelets for the trip. We waited a bit, then we got on the boat. The girls wanted to sit on top to work on their tans. After about five minutes, we were all sweating out of control, but still stayed up there. It took awhile to get going, but eventually, we did. It was a short 45 min boat ride to Isle Mujeres. If you wanted to partake, they offered beer and soda in the smallest plastic cups. Lil and I sipped on Sprite since we were so hot. It was more to get the ice in the cup, not the actual drink 😉
As we arrived we listened to some directions. Our experience wasn’t happening until 1:30 PM, so we had some time to kill at the pseudo resort. The Dolphin Discovery was huge. It had different pools, a couple bars, a restaurant/buffet, huge locker rooms, showers, bathrooms, a kinda Starbucks, and a little gifshop. They even had a VIP section with a pool and AC, but you had to pay $20/person, we chose not too.
We rented towels and set-up camp at the pool. The water was so warm, but we hung out in the pool the entire time. Eventually, I grabbed an iced coffee and some Pringles to tide me over until we decided to eat. It was the perfect snack!
Finally, it was our turn to swim with the dolphins. We tried to bring our phones, but they are NOT allowed! Ugh! We made our way to the little hut on the water, where we got our life jackets and were grouped together. Since we were super late to get there (they ran out of our sizes of life jackets), we ended up being in our own group, plus a man named Tom. Normally, the groups are twelve people and one dolphin (unless you upgrade to the VIP). We lucked out with our small group and a poor dad, who was used to a group of girls because he has four daughters.
She was our dolphin. And Carla, she was our guide! I can’t even put into words how fun and beautiful Barlam was. She was playful, sassy, and treated us so well. Of course, my heart ached for her and her situation, but she was a delight to experience this with. Our package came with six different experiences we could have with Barlam — a kiss, double high-five thing, faux holding her for a pic, having her reach our hands raised, riding on her belly, and her pushing us on a boogie board. We all took turns doing this in different stages and every few minutes she’d swim by us and we’d all pet her under water. She was so full of life and made us laugh and smile the entire time.
My favorite part was watching everyone’s face when Barlam would come up behind them and use her nose to push them on the boogie board. Everyone’s face was priceless. And of course, I freaked out the most, even though I was second to last and knew what to expect. My weird sensitivity to feet had me a mess! First, I totally spazzed and completely twitched. I then straightened out my feet so Barlam could push them, but she was having a hard time finding the right position. She poked them four times and I yelped each time. But, oh was I having a blast, despite the faces and noises I was making.
We were assigned our own photog for the experience, Mauricio. He was awesome and I told him to get some good pics of me. From prior to boarding the ferry, we knew that one pic was $37, so we all knew we’d probably buy one. We thought the package deal of photos was closer to $80/person, so we didn’t think we’d do that. Mauricio took 210 photos of our group (not including Tom’s pics) and they packaged them all up for us and sold them to us for $43/person, which we totally went for. We are such suckers! You had to download an app, pay the fee, then use an activation code to access all your photos. Mauricio did take a couple group photos of us, but they were not that forgiving on our bodies 😉
After we’d all come down from our dolphin high, we realized we were starving. I wanted to take the transportation to another part of the island to shop and explore, but the timetable was too close. We spent too much time in the photo store, so I just decided to hang out and buying random souvenirs probably wasn’t that important. We went to the buffet and had a late lunch with some delicious pina coladas!
Then it was back to the pool, but we had to snag pics with the swings at one of the bars! We didn’t do anything else for the remainder of our time on the island. Right near the pool is an entrance to the ocean. I had gone down earlier, but the lifeguard told me that I had to wear a life jacket. So, a few of us grabbed some and went down to the ocean. The water was soo cool, especially compared to the hot pool water. Lil and I floated for a bit and of course, snagged a few pics! It was relaxing, but the life jacket was rubbing my neck and I was over it! HAHA
We didn’t realize that when we were boarding, to head back, most of the Dolphin Discovery employees also head back at this time. The 5:30 PM ferry is the last one from this part of the island. We boarded a different boat this time and made our way to the top. We were all exhausted and had had enough sun, but the boat didn’t have windows, so it was stuffy down below. I fell asleep for a short while and we chilled until we made it back to land. Again, we were able to board our little van, instead of the huge tourist bus, and headed back to the resort.
Since it was our last night in Cancún, we decided to try the Italian restaurant that everyone had been raving about, Bocelli! It was all of us gals again and we ordered everything and basically shared all the appetizers and main course dishes, followed by desserts! It was pretty good, but more on the small plate side, but not as high end in taste — but good for an all-inclusive.
We were all exhausted and decided to just head back up to our rooms for our last night in Cancún. I took my dessert to go and enjoyed it in bed while finishing the Power of Now. And since the Wench had the cute door signs made, I wanted to make sure we got use out of ours. We also went to bed early because…
5:45 am wake-up calls are no joke! The Guidette wanted to catch our last (and only) Cancún sunrise. Of course, I wouldn’t miss that! It was early, but it’s not like we had anything on our agenda that needed us to be awake and alert for! So we set out to see the beautiful sunrise, watermelon towel in tow. There was a huge cloud that I thought I would make us miss it, but it didn’t…
Then, Lil and I went to nap a bit before we headed to breakfast. The other girls chose to power through and stay up. No thanks! We grabbed our last buffet breakfast and then wanted to get in as much beach/sun time as we could before our 1 PM departure. Thankfully, they gave us a late checkout without charging us! Score!
When we walked out to the beach, we were greeted with this…
We hadn’t seen this our entire trip, so it was cute to see. They created it after we watched the sunrise, so we didn’t even know it was there. After we’d had enough of the beach, we headed to the pool for a bit. We also wanted one last water slide ride before we had to leave. Sadly, we made our way upstairs to shower and grab our bags to head home! We have no idea why we had to leave so early for the airport, but our shuttle was 30 mins earlier than everyone else with a similar flight departure times. Oh well, it was serendipitous, because as while we were waiting in the terminal it started down POURING outside. Like crazy downpouring, which was predicted/expected for our entire trip, but never showed up!
The girls actually got stuck in the rain, while their shuttle was coming from the hotel. Lil and I killed time by grabbing a Starbucks and some Panda Express to snack on. Then we walked around the Duty-Free shop and all the other stores they had there. Oddly, the Cancún airport won’t list your gate number until an hour before your departure. We said hi to the girls and headed to our gate to board our flight to Denver, again!
Can I just sit here and complain real quick about the process coming back from an International flight? Once we got off in Denver, we had to enter a luggage area where cell phones were not permitted. We got our luggage, did the whole customs thing, then had to re-check our bag in with Southwest. Then we had to go through the HUGE security line at the Denver airport, take the tram to our terminal, then find our gate. We were starving and barely had time to grab a snack at Mc D’s. We scarfed it down at our gate, as they were boarding the A group, we were B! Finally, our last leg of the flight and we didn’t have to share a row with anyone!
The flights were easy, even though I had my minor complaint! It is just a long day of traveling when coming to and from Cancún! The parentals were kind enough to pick us up and even KINDER to have brought my car to my house and dropped me there, instead of me having to drive from their house to mine. They spoil us way too much! I don’t know how we got so lucky with the parents we did! I thank my lucky stars every damn day!
There was seriously something magical about this trip. It was transforming for me. I could go into it, but you’d probably think I was a little weird, but something about it let me forgive all the hurt I was carrying and come home a little more whole, a little happier. I had fun, I didn’t worry about anything, and I didn’t think about the breakup much while I was there. Yes, there were a few convos around it, which is to be expected, but honestly…it wasn’t where my mind was at like it seems to have been since it all went down. Juan planned the breakup perfectly, because Cancún happened at the perfect time, post-breakup. From the small moments with Lil to the larger, shared with my extended family and close friends, everything was magical. The comfort I felt in my own skin was something I haven’t truly felt before. I didn’t care that when I sat in my lounger, my rolls were on display, my cellulite was out and shining, and I didn’t suck in my gut when I walked around. It is a satisfying feeling to be completely happy with my body and not worry about what others think or be ashamed of certain aspects that might not meet my way too high expectations. All I know is that this trip was amazing and I’m so glad the Wench & Hotlanta chose a destination wedding and we all got to #LivinLaVidaThornton together!
Cancún, you were amazing in so many ways…we’ll all be back one day…