What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

pool Westin Cancun

May 10, 2016
by admin

A Visit to Westin Resort & Spa Cancun

Bebé and I recently spent the weekend at Westin Resort & Spa Cancun. We love our weekend getaways, but I was extra excited this time because I had just gotten a new phone with a better camera.

Westin Resort & Spa Cancun is located at the very end of the Hotel Zone, close to the airport. It sits on a spectacular beach, the perfect, white sand, aqua blue Caribbean, Cancun beach.

beach Westin Cancun

Towel looks like a cape… Super Beach Bebé!

What makes the Westin Cancun different than many resorts we visit is that it is not exclusively all-inclusive, so it’s a good option for those who prefer a breakfast-only or European plan. This is an older resort, but it’s very clean and well-maintained.

After we checked-in we headed to our room, which was a Master Suite. I think it was larger than my condo! It had a huge living room and dining room, a half bath, a large bedroom with a hot tub in the bathroom, and a balcony that ran the length of the suite. #sweetdigs

Master Suite Westin Cancun

Our room had a coffee maker, a hair dryer, bath amenities, robes and slippers, a telephone, two TVs with satellite programming, an iron and ironing board, a clock radio with an iPod docking station and a safe.

We received a warm welcome, and it was obvious they had done their research. #wine #soccer


The view from the room was spectacular, day and night.

Cancun skyline



We had access to the Royal Beach Club, which has a restaurant/bar and a pool. We were there every evening from 5 – 7 pm for Happy Hour (Free cocktails and snacks!)

Royal Beach Club Westin Cancun

The second evening we were there, we met a family from New Jersey. Bebé had fun playing with the twins and it was so nice for me to have some fun adults to chat with.


We also had breakfast in the Royal Beach Club each morning. It isn’t a huge buffet, but they had all our favorites, including mimosas and Bebé’s favorite vacation treat, Fruit Loops.

Speaking of food, I was very impressed with the restaurants at the Westin Cancun Resort & Spa.

The second night we dined at Arrecifes, which serves Mexican gourmet cuisine. I had a creative appetizer of “tacos” (jicama, a white tuber, was used in place of tortillas) and a delicious risotto with huitlacoche (corn smut, yes I know it sounds gross, but it’s delicious).

Arrecifes Westin Cancun

The third night we ate at Sea & Stones, which is right on the beach. They serve steaks and pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven. I ordered the chorizo pizza and it was absolutely scrumptious. Bebé asked me if I was going to eat it all and I told him that I would like to, but I didn’t think I could.

Sea & Stones Westin Cancun

There are a few other restaurants including El Palmar (buffet breakfast, a la carte dinner), Sunset Bar (lunch and snacks) and The Place (gourmet appetizers).

It is important to note that the restaurants in the Westin Cancun will cater to any special food needs, like vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan.

The resort has a lot of pools including two large pools in the center of the property (one overlooks the lagoon and the other overlooks the ocean and has a swim-up pool bar), three small pools and the pool at the Royal Beach club. The depths vary so there’s something for everyone.

pool Westin Cancun

The highlight of our visit (at least for me) was my visit to the Heavenly Spa. Heavenly indeed!! I had the Heavenly Massage (of course) which involved heated compresses and essential oil blends. I left the Heavenly Spa feeling more relaxed than I have probably ever felt, no exaggeration.

While I was at the spa, Bebé hung at the kids club. He made a tie-dye t-shirt which he loved and insisted on wearing to dinner the following two evenings under his dress shirts. The kids club is simple, but it has a full schedule of daily activities from 9am to 5pm. We went back to the kids club on Saturday with the family we had met and the kids got to demolish a piñata since it was Día de Niños (Children’s Day) and feed the wild iguanas that live on the property.

Westin Cancun kids club

There were two programs at the resort that I thought were really great… for 5 bucks, the resort will lend you New Balance workout gear, shoes and all, and you get to keep the socks. Love this. A great idea!!

The other… the resort is pet-friendly! They welcome pets weighing 40 pounds or less, and they even get their own special bed and dish. (Note: Pet owners must sign a liability waiver at check-in which covers cleaning fees, noise disturbance and other matters. Dogs must be leashed at all times, and are not permitted in the resort restaurants, bars, swimming pool and beach areas, spa, gym and tennis courts.)

They also offers outdoor tennis courts, a gym, a business center and free WiFi with an option to pay to upgrade to high-speed internet. The staff is warm and accommodating.

Westin Resort & Spa Cancun is a good option for those who are not into the activities and shows that all-inclusive resorts provide. We had a wonderful weekend!

fashionable woven beach bag

March 28, 2016
by admin

Boutique Mexico: Modern Fashion with Traditional Roots

For those who love Mexico and fashion, it can be difficult to find clothing and bags that are created using traditional methods, yet look modern. It’s possible to find some items in markets, but many seem a bit doudy or outdated, and believe it or not, some may not actually be made in Mexico!

That’s where Boutique Mexico comes in.

Boutique Mexico is an online boutique that offers clothes, bags, accessories and gifts. What makes these items special is that they are colorful, fashionable, modern versions of traditional Mexican pieces.

Mexican dresses

otomi purse

Mexican jewelry

Boutique Mexico’s founder Jenn Olson has visited many Mayan communities, which are quite literally located in the jungle, far from large cities like Cancun and Playa del Carmen that are filled with tourists.  During these visits she would speak with artisans and see the beautiful things they create. She realized they had no way of selling them to tourists, so she started to work with them.  She gives them a design and they bring it to life using their tradition weaving and embroidery skills.  This results in modernized styles created using ancient traditions.

By working directly with artists, Boutique Mexico ensures they are being paid a fair wage and don’t have to leave their homes or their families to earn a living. In addition, the materials used to create the items are sourced in Mexico. This type of arrangement is known as “slow fashion”,  which “encourages taking time to ensure quality production, to give value to the product, and contemplate the connection with the environment”. (Source: notjustalabel.com)

In other words, this is fashion you can feel good about.

fashionable plastic woven beach bag

fashionable woven beach bag

Recently I went on a search for a new beach bag. I went to Market 28, Market 23, Plaza Outlet and La Gran Plaza (all located in Cancun) and I could not find the kind of bag I was looking for. The only place that had exactly what I wanted was Boutique Mexico.

I used my gorgeous new bag for the first time a couple of weekends ago.

What makes this bag so awesome is the fact that it’s made of durable woven plastic yet still looks well-made and stylish. Plus no big deal if gets wet!!

fashionable beach bags

You don’t have to live in Cancun or even Mexico to shop at Boutique Mexico. If you are staying at a Cancun or Riviera Maya resort Boutique Mexico will deliver your order to your hotel or resort within 24 hours.

If you are not in Cancun or Rivera Maya they will ship your product anywhere in the world using FedEx.

Update: Mami got another Boutique Mexico bag! Behold my custom black Mini Stella… perfect for a casual night out on the town!

Mexican woven bags

Cancun vacation

March 14, 2016
by admin

Cancun’s La Habichuela Downtown, Revisited

I lived here for 14 years without visiting La Habichuela, one of Cancun’s best restaurants. Now I’ve been there twice in one year, and frankly, if I were invited again next week I’d be cool with that.

La Habichuela is a Cancun classic. This restaurant is almost old as Cancun is, but that isn’t why you should dine there. You should dine there because the cuisine, service and ambiance are stellar.

My date for the most recent visit (and actually for the first visit as well) was famous Cancun blogger/friend Kelly McLaughlin of cancuncanuck.com. Our kids were not invited, which was perfectly fine with us. (We love our kids but c’mon everyone deserves a mommies’ night out once in awhile.)

We began with mojitos. ¡Salud!

fine dining Cancun

The interior of La Habichuela is warm and inviting, but the garden is the place to be. It feels a bit like dining in an ancient Mayan ruin in the jungle, and at dusk, the twinkling lights come on. (Unfortunately they look really blurry when you try to photograph them.)

Cancun dining

Cancun restaurants

I started out with ceviche, because well, I love ceviche. It was awesome, especially after I added a little salsa de habanero.

ceviche Cancun

I’ve had La Habichuela’s classic dishes before, like the Amaranth Fish Fillet and the Cocobichuela, so this time I wanted to try something new. I went for the Giant Shrimp in Tamarind Sweet & Sour Sauce, and it was absolutely scrumptious.

seafood Cancun

There were little surprises throughout, like a sorbet palate cleanser and a Mayan digestif.

downtown Cancun restaurants

There was really no question about what we were going to order for dessert. We both ordered our favorite dessert of all time, the Kukulkan Pyramid. See the pyramid, the cenote and the serpents? #YUM

best restaurants Cancun

I have also dined at La Habichuela Sunset in the Hotel Zone, and although it was excellent, La Habichuela Downtown has my heart.

Cancun vacation

La Habichuela Downtown is located at #25 Calle Margaritas next to Parque de las Palapas.

Cancun aerial photo

March 7, 2016
by admin

Cancun Safety Tips: The Real Dangers (the stuff nobody thinks of)

Cancun CVB

Cancun CVB

You’ve heard it before… Mexico is SO dangerous.

Do you ever wonder what Mexicans think about mass shootings in the U.S.?

Anyway, there’s no denying there is crime in Cancun, just like there is in any midsize to large city in the U.S. Of course, it’s always important to be pay attention to your surroundings and be careful (Would you walk home alone drunk at night in your city?) but for the most part, vacationers don’t have to worry about being kidnapped, raped, murdered or robbed.

However there are some other real dangers that you should be aware of.

  1. Drowning

A couple of weeks ago three tourists drowned in Cancun in one weekend. The turquoise Caribbean is so inviting, but it can be extremely dangerous.

Cancun is shaped like a 7. The beaches at the top of the 7 face Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) so they are protected from the open ocean and are generally calm and shallow. The beaches on the side of the 7 face the open Caribbean. They are the most beautiful beaches in Cancun, but they also can be the most dangerous.

There is a flag system to advise swimmers of current water conditions. Please pay attention to the flags. Last week a honeymooner ignored the black flag (which means no swimming) and drown. Tragic.

And never go swimming after dark or when you are intoxicated. #verybadidea

beach flags Cancun

dronepicr Flickr

Black Flag:          Do not swim.

Red Flag:             Dangerous conditions.

Yellow Flag:       Use caution.

Green Flag:        Safe.

  1. Getting hit by a bus (or a car)

You’re on vacation, but a lot of other people are trying to get to work, the bank, the grocery store or at 4am, home from the club. Buses and cars travel very fast on the main drag in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, Boulevard Kukulcan. Running red lights, especially just as they turn red, is very common here, so please us extreme caution when you are crossing the street. Don’t just blindly trust traffic signals or some guy across the street telling you to cross now to make the bus. Pay attention and hold your kids’ hands. Just think of it this way… pedestrians do not have the right away in Cancun.


Cancun aerial photo

trent roche Flickr

  1. ATM skimmers

An ATM skimmer network was recently detected in Cancun. Your best bet is to only use ATMs that are in bank. Don’t use no-name ATMs in your resort or in malls, shopping centers, etc.

  1. Getting seriously injured and not having a credit card

If you’re smart you have insurance that will cover you while you are out of the country on vacation. However, the best hospitals in Cancun are the private ones (Galenia, Hospiten) and if you don’t have money, they won’t treat you. It is important to have a credit card with a high limit available in case of an emergency. Ask for all receipts and sort it out with the insurance company later.

Cancun sign

Additional tips:

*Whenever they are available, wear a seatbelt. Just because you’re in a tropical paradise doesn’t mean there aren’t fatal bus and car accidents. This includes ADO buses, passenger vans, taxis and rental cars.

*A sunburn can ruin your vacation. Sit in the shade and reapply sunblock often. You’ll still get a tan!

*Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. The combo of sweating and drinking alcohol can be really dehydrating.

*Don’t sit on balcony railings, they may not be secure. Quite a few vacationers have died this way!

*Watch where you are walking, especially in downtown Cancun. Sidewalks are broken and uneven and there are many open drains and manholes. (Yes sad but true.)

*For non-serious medical issues you can go to a pharmacy that offers free medical consultations. Ask about this in your resort.

*Driving in Cancun can also be dangerous: Living in Mexico Part 5

February 22, 2016
by admin

Family Fun at Grand Oasis Palm in Cancun

A couple of weeks ago we spent 4 nights at the Grand Oasis Palm in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. This stay was extra special as my mom aka Grammy was with Bebé and I.

The Oasis Palm and Grand Oasis Palm are located next to the bridge that connects the Hotel Zone to the mainland. We stayed on the Grand Oasis Palm side where guests receive a few more amenities. It has a separate pool and beach and is quieter in general. All of the action takes place on the Oasis Palm side.

This was the view from our room!

Cancun hotels

Cancun resorts

And our room was so special! It was a kids room. Bebé loved it. The ENTIRE room was painted like this.

children's room Grand Oasis Palm

kids room Grand Oasis Palm

The first evening we checked in, unpacked and headed straight to dinner. The margaritas were perfection.

Cancun vacation

That first night I discovered that some musician friends play in the resort, which was a wonderful surprise. We went to see them every night. Per our usual resort schedule we also went to the show each night. They were all good except for one. We especially enjoyed the jump roping in the Urban show (really impressive) and the Michael Jackson tribute show (of course).

The next day it was “freezing”, so no swimming for us. Luckily we had reservations for the pirate ship excursion that is offered to guests each Friday. It was family-friendly and a lot of fun with music, games and general pirate silliness.


Captain Hook Cancun

pirate tour Cancun

pirate ship Cancun

That night, we ate at Maki Taco. They serve Asian-Mexican fusion food. This was by far our favorite restaurant on the property. (To be fair we couldn’t eat at The White Box, a highly rated gastrobar, because it is adult-only.) We ate at Maki Taco twice. Both the food and service were excellent. We also had an absolutely delicious dessert there.

Maki Taco Cancun

restaurants Grand Oasis Palm

So now I must bring up the white wine thing again. Just like at Grand Oasis Tulum, the resort’s house white wine is undrinkable. The first night we ate at Maki Taco I got lucky and was served some other wine, but the second time we ate there the house wine was back.

I made up for this by drinking A LOT of margaritas.

Cancun hotels

For lunch we really enjoyed the pizzas at Terraza Dos Lunas on the Oasis Palm side.

We ate breakfast each day at the buffet restaurant in the Grand section. Unfortunately it is truly too small for the number of guests. We had to wait in line every morning. Part of the problem was that it was chilly so people didn’t want to sit outside, but the buffet itself is still too small for the size of the building. Some of the food was OK and some of it was not so good. The made to order omlets are the best choice here. We never ate lunch or dinner at the buffet restaurants so I can’t comment on those.

I wish the a la carte restaurants had a simple children’s dinner menu available. They were always nice and tried to offer us options for Bebé but he is really picky so I had to run to the buffet looking for things he would eat. If I found something the staff was less than thrilled that I wanted to take it out of the restaurant.

My mom is a vegetarian and in every restaurant we visited they were very accomodating.

Coffee is important to Grammy and I. The coffee in the coffee shop was good, but the coffee in the room and in the buffet restaurant was not. Once we discovered this the problem was solved… we only drank coffee from the coffee shop.

Thank goodness the second day we were there it warmed up, so we spent some time by the pool and at the beach, which is calm and shallow.

beach Grand Oasis

beach Oasis Palm Cancun

Cancun beaches

It’s important to know that you have to get wherever you are going early if you want to get a chair.

On the Oasis Palm side they lend kayaks and paddleboards to guests so the three of us piled on a kayak and took a spin which we really enjoyed.

Bebé absolutely loved the kids pool and there were always chairs available there in the morning.

kids pool Oasis Palm

They have just redone the kids club, and I think it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen. It has full schedule of activities, its own pool complete with a waterslide, a video game room, a handicrafts room, a bungie trampoline, a napping area, a mini disco, a kids buffet, a food court and dining room, a “sweets” area, a playground and a beach club.

We tried a solo visit to the kids club but poor Bebé got upset so they brought him back to us after only about 15 minutes. 🙁 Parents cannot stay at the kids club with their children so that was it for us.

Oasis Palm kids club

There are all kinds of fun things going on at the Oasis Palm pool during the day. All three of us did the Zumba class, which was a lot of fun and an actual workout.

activities Oasis Palm

One day these cute girls showed up for pictures.

entertainment Oasis Palm

The last day Grammy spent some time at our pool while Bebé and I played catch in the ocean and built sand castles at the beach.

It’s important to note that this is a large resort on a small piece of land and it is economical compared to many resorts in Cancun, so there were lines for many things including, drinks, snacks and the buffet restaurants. That being said, if you understand this ahead of time, there is no reason you can’t have a wonderful vacation at Oasis Palm/Grand Oasis Palm.

We really enjoyed our stay and we made lots of treasured memories!

December 21, 2015
by admin

I’m On a Boat in Cancun

Er well, I was on a boat in Cancun.

My friend, who you may remember from A Big Fat Fabulous Gay Wedding in Cancun, was recently in town for the weekend and brought a couple of friends with him. They were staying at the Presidente InterContinenal so we went to spend the day with them.

The beach at the Presidente InterContinenal is amazing and the water is calm and turquoise blue.

hotels Cancun

I imagined we would spend the day lounging on the beach, in between building sand castles and playing football with Bebé, but after just one beer, an older gentleman approached us and began what I first thought to be a conversation, but soon discovered was a spiel.

He pointed to a yacht anchored a hundred or so meters off shore and explained how he normally rented it each day for lots and lots of money, but because the weather wasn’t very nice (it was starting to get cloudy and looked like it might rain) he was willing to send us out on the boat for an hour for 100 usd. He talked of sailing into the turquoise bay between Cancun and Isla Mujeres, and I think we all imagined a school of dolphins swimming and jumping next to the boat.

I was kind of thinking, “No way José,” and then the next thing I knew everyone was running back to the room for cash and the beer from the mini bar (which they brought down in the trash can from their room). 10 minutes later we were boarding a dingy to take us to the yacht.

Once we were aboard the capitan explained that his was a sailboat and it didn’t have an outboard motor. I didn’t really understand why he was telling us this until about 15 minutes into the “trip”.

We were drinking beer, listening to music and happily chatting when we realized that we were barely moving. We were just drifting really.

There was no wind.

We figured out pretty quickly that we wouldn’t be sailing to the island (Isla Mujeres) and back today. But well, we were on a boat, and we were in Cancun!

Then the paparazzi appeared (a blonde Russian woman on a jet ski).

Now I know how it feels to be Beyonce. It feels good.

We were probably all thinking we would never pay for the pictures, but what harm was there in letting her take them?

Except that after we drifted out for 30 minutes and back in for 30 minutes (I’m pretty sure we only traveled about 300 yards in total) we were whisked back to shore in the dingy, and were led into a dive shop and planted in front of a computer.

And these flashed on the screen to a very catchy tune.










And someone bought them (I mean of course they did, look at them) and I promised to record the day in a blog post.

The rest of the afternoon was spent much as I originally expected it would be, drinking, eating, playing and joking.

And feeling grateful for a wonderful day with wonderful people.


Riviera Maya vacation

December 3, 2015
by admin

Maximum Relaxation at Grand Oasis Tulum, The Calm Resort

A couple of weeks ago Bebé and I spent a long weekend at Grand Oasis Tulum (which is actually in Akumal but whatevs).  It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get there so it really felt like we were getting away for the weekend.

Grand Oasis Tulum is an older property, and some areas are newer than others, but we visited during low season and I noticed they were working on renovations and upgrades.

Besides, we don’t need the Ritz Carlton to have a wonderful weekend! Grand Oasis Tulum had everything we needed for a mini beach vacation.  In the chain of Oasis hotels, this one is known as “The Calm Resort”. Now don’t get me wrong, they offer activites day and night, but during the day you don’t hear the blasting music and activities staff screaming over microphones.

The beach is spectacular. There is a reef a few hundred meters off shore where the waves break, so the water is relative calm. We spent hours swimming. There were loads of fish right off shore, literally swimming around our feet. There were a lot of pelicans too, and they were contastly dive-bombing for fish, often just a few feet away from us. It was pretty magical.

hotels Akumal

resorts Akumal

Grand Oasis Tulum beach


Our spot. (Not sure why we have a spot, we never, ever sit down.)


There was a dock with hammocks at the end that was really beautiful. Every day they held yoga classes there. Much of the time the hammocks were unoccupied.

Oasis Tulum beach

Tulum resorts

There are kayaks available but it was pretty windy most of the time we were there so we didn’t get to take one out. The resort offers a free snorkel tour of the reef. Bebé has been practicing but he isn’t ready for that yet.

The pools were basic but nice (And there were three swim-up pool bars!), but they were actually colder than the ocean and since it wasn’t sunny and hot we didn’t spend a lot of time in them.

resorts Riviera Maya

This is a picture of the pool outside of our room taken on the last day when it was sunny (figures).

Riviera Maya vacation

They have tons of beach beds by the main pool.

beach beds

We stuck to our usual resort routine… breakfast – fun – lunch – fun – nap and rest – cocktails (only for mommy) – dinner – show. It works well for us. Bebé can’t make it though the evening without a nap.


Our room was all cleaned up each time we headed there for nap time which was great. Housekeeping does a really good job (you should always tip housekeeping staff, they make very little money) and they even loaned me an iron when I needed one.

The Martini Bar in the lobby was amazing! The cocktails are mixed well and the Cuban pianist is extremely talented. It was so relaxing! I wish I could have spent more time there every evening but we had to get to dinner before showtime.

When I posted this picture of my handsome boy on Facebook during our stay, my sister-in-law pointed out that it might be better to have a bigger drink and a smaller candle. I can’t say I disagreed…


Then, same place, next evening… an even smaller drink, an even bigger candle.

Martini Bar


There is an entertaining show every single night. The food is good and there are a lot of options, especially for Grand guests. I should mention that Oasis Tulum and Grand Oasis Tulum are on the same property but Grand guests receive more amenities. Bebé was happy because they had little boxes of Fruit Loops at breakfast. As usual, the a la carte restaurants were a little better than the buffet, but the buffet offered a lot of choices. There are two coffee shops that serve good coffee drinks. However don’t order the milkshake. It’s not a milkshake. Oh and the house white wine is undrinkable. Yes you heard me right, undrinkable.

The staff was very accomodating. The a la carte restaurants don’t offer a children’s menu, but the chefs always did us a solid and made breaded chicken for us.

The weather wasn’t great, but it wasn’t pouring rain either, so we just made the best of it. It was actually kind of nice to not worry about getting a sunburn and it always seemed to rain at convenient times, like when we were in the room. We really enjoyed our stay!

November 13, 2015
by admin

2015 Xcaret Day of the Dead Festival

The day after Bebé’s blow-out Michael Jackson birthday party we were both really tired, but missing Xcaret’s Festival de Tradiciones de Vida y Muerte, which celebrates the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) was simply not an option. We look forward to it every year.

This year I decided to paint my face at home instead of using the face paint they have available at the park, so I bought some face paint and some crayon-type things.

I imagined it would (or wanted it to) look like this… #expectation


It ended-up looking like this… #reality

how to dress for day of the dead

But well, at least I looked scary… and dead!

I knew Bebé would fall asleep in the car so I decided to paint his face when we got to the park.

There is always a beautiful Catrina greeting festival-goers at the entrance. I don’t think she did her own make-up.

Xcaret Park Festival de Tradiciones de Vida y Muerte

Bebé wanted to wear his Michael Jackson jacket to the festival.

Bebé agreed to take a selfie with Mom. This doesn’t happen as often as it used to. I really love this picture of us.


We had never done this before, but this year we lit a candle for my Grandma Arloa, who passed away about a year and a half ago. This is actually what Day of the Dead is all about, remembering loved ones who have passed on.

xcaret-day-of-the-dead-festival-4 (2)

Then we headed to a performance in the Mayan village.

Xcaret Mayan performance

Xcaret Mayan village

Afterwards we strolled through the cemetery and the area where the altars were set up.


Xcaret Festival Vida y Muerte

Xcaret cemetery

catrina Xcaret

Day of the Dead altarHow awesome does this girl look?

Xcaret Dia de Muertos Festival

Had to take a photo of these beautiful señoras in traditional Yucatecan dress.

traditional Yucatecan dress huipil

My camera does not take good pictures of the performances, but as usual, they were professional, heartwarming and entertaining.

It should be noted that all of the performances at the Xcaret Festival de Tradiciones de Vida y Muerte are in Spanish.

Oh, and we got the shot for next year’s official poster…

Dia de Muertos Cancun

November 5, 2015
by admin

Birthday Party #6: The Big One

Bebé turned six last month. Yes, six. I can’t believe it either.

You may remember his first five birthday parties, the one in Cuba, the one at our apartment, the one at the daycare, the one at school, and the one at McDonald’s.

Before I talk about his sixth birthday party, I need to explain something about birthday parties in Cancun. They are big. I mean really big.

People rent out “jardines”, or party facilities. They often have a swimming pool.

There is always a theme, like Spiderman or Elsa from Frozen. Everything fits the theme. The candy, the cake, the piñata, the show, etc. etc.

They have catered food, candy tables, shows, bouncy houses, face painting and elaborate cakes (that almost never taste good). Oh and let’s not forget the mini discos and foam parties.

These aren’t even rich people. Rich people’s parties are really big. Like MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen” big.

These parties are often for 3 year-olds that won’t remember them.

I realize that this definitely falls under the category of “first world problems” but I really did want to give Bebé at least one of those big parties if I could.

Like a good midwestern girl I cut some corners, but I don’t think he noticed.

The theme was Michael Jackson. Bebé LOVES Michael Jackson.


We had it at our condominum swimming pool, which helped with the cost. I did the “decorations”.

I wanted way more balloons, like two hundred balloons, but c’mon I’m just one person.


I rented a bouncy house. Well it wasn’t actually a bouncy house, but a slide. It was enormous. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to slide down it.


A dear friend did a Plastilina workshop, for free, which also helped with the cost. Plastilina is similar to Play-Doh. The kids loved it.

I paid a lady to make (absolutely delicious) tacos (de guisado). I am still eating them and will be for awhile. The kids had hot dogs because that’s what Bebé wanted.

A friend was my “beer madrina” (she bought half the beer). There wasn’t much beer leftover! The kids had something that could be loosely described as juice.

I got the cake at Costco. It tasted way better than most of those fancy ones and it cost about 20 usd. It was huge. I took it to work on Monday.

We threw a little soccer (futbol) into the Michael Jackson theme because well, Costco doesn’t have Michael Jackson cakes and soccer has become a big part of our lives this year.

Papi was at the party of course. I just love how he’s holding on to both of us here.

Luckily you can’t tell in the pictures but I was drenched with sweat.

I hired my next door neighbor to make Bebé Michael Jackson pants and a jacket.

He already had the hat. You know, for dancing around the house. I made the glove out of an old glove, a hole punch, glue and tin foil. The Michael Jackson “kit” at the mall cost 800 pesos and consisted of a cheap hat, cheap sunglasses and a cheap glove and a ratty looking wig. No gracias.

I bought candy and bags and ribbon and made the candy bags. There’s soccer again. A friend designed the tags.


Some friends and I set up the party before Papi arrived with Bebé. When he got there he was so excited that he ran from the house directly to the pool and jumped in.

The main attraction was the show. It was a surprise. I had told Bebé that he was going to be the show. He seemed pretty cool with the idea until we went in and changed into his MJ outfit. When we got back out to the party he said, “Mom, I can’t do it. I’m embarassed.” (sweet boy) I said, “That’s OK, because I have a surprise for you.”

He was late, but eventually the surprise showed up.


I don’t think Bebé will ever forget his 6th birthday party. I know I won’t. #MissionAccomplished

Club Med Cancun beach

October 5, 2015
by admin

Club Med Cancun Yucatan

Let’s face it. I’m lucky. I get to go to resorts for free and then write about them.

I realize it’s kind of obnoxious.

I don’t take it for granted. I could never afford to pay to stay at these resorts, and I feel very fortunate. That being said, I do hope my experiences help others decide where they should to spend their precious vacation time and money.

Bebé and I recently spent a long weekend at Club Med Cancun Yucatan. This would be a great place to spend your precious vacation time and money!

I had never been to a Club Med, so I was anxious to see how it was different from other resorts and hotels. I found the two things that really stand out at Club Med are the staff and the activities.

The staff, aka GOs, are your vacation family. They eat with you, drink with you, and participate in activities with you. Many of them perform in the nightly shows. It’s difficult not to get attached to them. They even take care of your kids.

When it comes to activities, Club Med is king. Their signature activity is the flying trapeze. Yep, I said flying trapeze. Guests, even as young as 4 years old, can learn how to fly on the trapeze and participate in a show at the end of the week if they want to. There are LOADS of other activites too, like sailing, waterskiing, snorkeling, kayaking, exercise classes, and much more.

Bebé and I followed our usual resort routine, which consists of sleeping in, breakfast, swimming and activities, lunch, a little more swimming or another activity, a nap, then dinner and the show. It works really well for us.

Bebé didn’t want to stay at the kids club alone this time, so I only left him there when I went for a much needed massage.

But enough blabbing… look at the view from our room!

Club Med Cancun Aquamarina


Club Med Yucatan Aquamarina view

We had a huge balcony with a bed-type lounger on it.

Club Med Cancun Aquamarina balcony

Speaking of our room, I should say rooms, because it was a family suite, and Bebé had his own room and bathroom! Of course he didn’t sleep there, but it was still awesome.

Club Med has one of those perfect, calm, turquoise water and white sand beaches. Heaven.

Club Med Cancun beach

Cancun beach

Club Med Cancun vacation

Some reviews said the pool was small, but it really wasn’t and it was never crowded.

Club Med Cancun activities

Club Med Cancun pool

We went kayaking twice and we tried to go snorkeling as there is a reef right off shore, but Bebé is not ready to snorkel yet. He was scared.

Club Med Cancun kayaking

Even though Bebé didn’t want to stay at the kids club by himself, we went to the kids club pool every morning.

Club Med Cancun kids club

Neither of us tried the trapeze this time, but it was great fun to watch! That is a little girl about Bebé’s age!

Club Med Cancun trapeze

There is a huge Cancun sign on the beach, which makes for awesome photos! That is the resort manager standing on the N. He was always around, always talking to guests. He even participated in the nightly shows.

Cancun vacation

Cancun all inclusive resorts

Cancun hotels

Each night after dinner (the food was really good, even at the buffet) we would have cocktails before the show. Or well, I would have cocktails and Bebé would stand on this post. It was strange, he really liked it.

Club Med


Cancun selfies


And last but not least, I just like this picture…

palm trees Cancun

Club Med is a lifestyle. People are loyal to it. Some have been all over the world to different Club Meds including places like Thailand and Egypt. Some stay for 2 or 3 weeks at a time. It’s not difficult to understand why they love Club Med so much. It’s addictive.