It was only just a couple of weeks ago when I was basking in the hot sun along the shores of Cancun, Mexico, as happy as can be. Today, I’m shivering inside a shared workspace as I look out the window onto Toronto‘s grey skies, negative temperatures, and inches upon inches of fluffy white snow. Despite the fact that my glorious dark tan is fading, the memories from my recent trip LIVE ON! And I’m sharing them here with you today. See below for a scrapbook diary compiled from my Instagram account, @GracieCarroll.
1. The Layover
When you’ve got a five-hour layover in the Houston airport, what is there to do except buy a new pair of designer sunglasses and put together a little flat lay in the middle of the food court out of sheer boredom? Seriously, to my great disappointment, there is not a lot going on at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Sunglass Hut was literally one of the only options for shopping anything but souvenirs, and I nearly threw a fit when I realised there are no Texas BBQ restaurants to be found in the entire airport. What a rip off, am I right?? We ended up grabbing a bite at Rudy’s Diner as the next best option which was actually quite good, although hella expensive for two burgers and two drinks, especially when paying with a very low Canadian dollar.
2. Barcelo Costa Cancun
Through booking on Expedia.ca, I was able to find an amazing deal on our all-inclusive trip for two to Cancun, Mexico, that saved us over $1500! Despite only a 3.5 star rating, I decided to book an ocean-view room at Barcelo Costa Cancun for its reasonable price and all of the glowing reviews the resort had received from past and returning guests. In the end our 7-day all-inclusive trip for two – with flights! – totalled the fantastic price of $3700. Above is a look at the view from our balcony!
3. Valentine’s Day Abroad
I know I talked a lot about savings and money above, but considering we were there over Valentine’s Day weekend, I was seriously shocked that we were able to get such a great deal. This was our first trip abroad for Valentine’s Day and I had just assumed that prices would sky-rocket that weekend. Thankfully that wasn’t the case for our booking. To celebrate, we spent the day doing absolutely nothing by the pool and it was just perfect. There are my new sunglasses again!
4. Beach. Pool. Repeat.
Many of the reviews I read about Barcelo Costa Cancun mentioned that the resort only had a small beach front and one pool. Personally, this actually attracted me to the resort more because I knew that would deter a lot of families from booking. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love kids! But, when I got on vacation to relax I don’t necessarily want one million kids running around and screaming, at least at the stage in my life. While Barcelo Costa Cancun is a family-friendly resort, and there were families there, it was definitely a lot quieter than other resorts I’ve been too and I it’s because of how small it is – a good thing for couples looking to CHILL.
5. New Friends
We were lucky to meet a friendly British couple on our first day at the resort. We had been sitting next to each other by the pool, and the girls both jumped in to take part in the water aerobics class while the boys laughed at us and raised their beer glasses to each other. Afterwards, we all started chatting and were inseparable for the rest of the trip! It’s always fun to meet new people from around the world when travelling, and meeting the hilarious Steve and Nikki was no exception. Here we are taking advantage of the free kayaking adventure provided by the resort. I think we lasted about 15 minutes before we decided to call it quits and head back to the beach bar.
When you’re at an all-inclusive, it’s no secret that you spend a lot of time, well, drinking. During my visit I discovered one of my new favourite easy cocktails – The Michelada! In fact, I liked it so much that I blogged about it while I was there. You can find the recipe by clicking HERE.
7. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Despite serious plans to meet friends in Playa Del Carmen, and venture over to Tulum for a couple of days, we ended up hardly leaving the resort. What can I say? I got comfortable being the laziest person ever and it was NICE! We did, however, leave the resort one night with our friends Steve and Nikki to try the Forrest Gump-themed shrimp restaurant, Bubba Gump, in the hotel strip of Cancun. Here I am posing in front of the restaurant. And no, I don’t have ginormous feet, those shoes are attached to the ground in front of the bench! Just as I didn’t actually bring an old suitcase and a box of chocolates with me to the restaurant. I wanted to clarify that since a lot of people seemed to be very confused when I originally posted this photo on Instagram and Facebook.
8. Fresh Coconut Water
Although we had everything wed needed at the resort, we did find a cute little bar just off to the side of Barcelo’s beach that sold fresh coconuts, and even turned them into coconut water cocktails if that’s what you desired. Even though it was only about 2 steps away from our resort (like, actually), popping over to La Serenas Raw Bar *kind of* made it feel like we actually left the resort, like non-super lazy people. I think we made it there about two times.
9. Downtown Cancun
On our last night in Cancun, we did actually leave the resort (for real) for the second time. After receiving a recommendation to try the traditional Mexican restaurant, La Parilla, in downtown Cancun by our driver, we decided to book a table for the four of us to celebrate our trip and finish it off with a bang. While walking around town before dinner and checking out the local markets (filled mainly with souvenirs, and not super interesting to be honest) we found this fun wall where I insisted on stopping for a few photos with help from my Instagram hubby. It is actually right across from La Parilla and I’d totally recommend stopping by both wall and restaurant!
10. What I Wore
Naturally, I do love taking a few What I Wore photos when I’m vacation, and my trip to Cancun was no exception. Although I did spend most of the week in a variety of different bikinis, this was definitely my favourite outfit to wear (when actually wearing clothes) and you can click HERE to read the full What I Wore feature from last week.
To see more images from my stay at Barcelo Costa Cancun, use the #GracieGoesToCancun hashtag on Instagram, and stay tuned for the travel video from our trip launching on my YouTube channel next week! If you are interested in booking your own trip to Cancun through Expedia.ca, click HERE for All-Inclusive Vacations to Cancun, HERE for flights, and HERE for hotels.