Mexico, we meet again

My family and I went to Cancun two years ago, Thanksgiving 2016. I remember thinking how nice it was to be on a tropical vacation in the middle of winter, but also missing that Thanksgiving feeling of food, friends, and family. During that trip, we stayed in the Imperial Valentin about 1 hour outside of Cancun and it was our first taste of the all-inclusive resort life (my family loved cruises growing up--we've been on 5). This Christmas break, my mom was itching to go somewhere again so we decided to head back down to Cancun for another quick getaway. All in all, this trip was similar, even down to the resort we stayed in, Barcelo Maya. Here are some shots from our Christmas vacation this year!
One of the best aspects of the trip was our room which had a swim up balcony. We enjoyed many a drink and read many a book on the pool balcony/hot tub. 

 A nice couple took like 100 shots of this pic
This was located right next to our resort's dolphin pool. We would come see the dolphins every night. It was also right next to the bus stop. Yes the resort was so big there were double decker shuttle buses to take you from one end to the other. 

Necessary walk after dinner browsing the Mexican market. Once again, it was kind of strange to spend the holidays in another country. 
Lunch by the poolside bar 
 Christmas dinner - dessert table. 
Dinner number one at the buffet lol
 An hour later, we had a reservation at one of the specialty (Italian) restaurants. The buffet was probably better. 

Excursion to Tulum, only about 20 mins away. My family declined my requests to wake up early so we would be the first people there. 
 We were still able to sneak some people-free pics
But missed being the only people on this beach--I heard it's supposed to be one of the most pristine beaches before all the tourists come in 

We walked along the stretch of Tulum beaches to "Playa Paraiso" or actually I did. It was overrun by algae though. 
Dinner at the Teppanyaki restaurant where JJ failed to catch a zucchini. I couldn't resist. 
Last day, chilling at the resort
Then we did yoga and slow-mo jumps into our pool
 Sunset and dinner on our last night
The French food was actually really good

Overall, Barcelo Maya was pretty similar to Imperial Valentin but much bigger. They had about 4 mini resorts that had similar layouts but were connected by bus, with different restaurants and beaches at each. The food at the buffet and the restaurants was better at Barcelo Maya but I probably preferred the ambience of Imperial Valentin better. The vacation was nice in that it was pretty stress free. Usually my family is go-go-go on vacation but it was nice to take it at a slower pace for once (we only left the resort one day this time!). If you're looking for a quick and easy getaway from the east coast (only 3 hours from BWI), you can't go wrong with a few days at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.  Since this was my third time I probably won't be back soon though, haha. 


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