Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Everything happens for a reason. A winter storm turned into a sick all inclusive room upgrade and an extra day at the hotel that we would have never had. It also ended up being one of the most memorable trips we've taken.
Mexico is probably one of the most common international destinations for Americans, but believe it or not, this trip was full of a lot of firsts: Patrick's first time out of the country (first cute little stamp on his passport), Amy and Stephanie's first double date (can you believe it?!), Amy and Patrick's first time meeting Alfonso IRL, and Alfonso's first time meeting any of Stephanie's friends or family. We had a lot of firsts incorporated in this trip already (keep reading for more) and it couldn't have been off to a better start.
When a major New York snow storm THREATENS your chance of getting to Mexico, you go through a lot of panicked discussions on what you should do. We made the decision to get out of America as soon as possible. Meaning; squeezing in hair, nail, and lash appointments in one afternoon, packing, and hardest of all, getting Patrick to wrap his head around the idea of us leaving 3:00am the next morning. So we didn't get our cushy non-stop flight to Mexico, but it wasn't too bad with one layover in Atlanta. Patrick wasn't in love with the plane but he tolerated it better than anyone could have expected...very proud of him. We also got to experience how slow the south moves. We didn't get to sit together on the plane, that was a bummer, but again it was all good! We opted this time to choose an airline that doesn't make you pay for a glass of water, so with a TV screen in the head rest, luckily we all survived. We make it there. Customs was a breeze. We get into the cab and get to the resort which is BEAUTIFUL. What do you do after over 12 hours of traveling? You drink! For some that means...maybe too much. No, not the boys. No, not Amy. You do the math. Patrick and Alfonso hit it off instantly, which allowed Stephanie and Amy to have some serious girl time including gushing over how cute their boys are being together.
While Stephanie and Amy soaked their feet in the room hot tub, Patrick and Alfonso explored the Fifth Avenue. A strip right by the beach with restaurants, shops, bars, etc. Think of Patchogue with a Mexican twist and no cars. Patrick bought his first souvenir from a guy named Fat Tony. It was a cute little Mexican wrestling mask...and we should've seen that one coming.
After a good nights sleep, Stephanie and Amy enjoyed some rooftop yoga in Mexico. And in a rare turn of events, the weather was cool and windy, which was perfect for yoga but not so perfect for our planned day of drinking at the rooftop pool. But if you get enough alcohol in you, you don't really notice it so much. We decided to drink the rainbow, ordering all different color drinks. Orange and purple is a hard concept for Mexicans, but it's okay, we made it work. And how can you complain when they give you extra yellow drinks? We got some Asian food for dinner, which was actually really good and decided to rest up for the next day.
The good thing about Mexico is that there are plenty of food options for Amy and Stephanie. No issues. And especially with Pat and Alfonso being big foodies. We were able to find a lot of places that appeal to us and them. We also didn't have to worry about the language barrier. A lot of people speak English, menus are in English, so obviously it was much easier than most places we've been. We've mentioned this before, but give Amy and Stephanie cheese and bread, and they are happy. Do you know what the ingredients are in a cheese quesadilla? Enough said.
Before heading home to Alfonso's, we took a walk down to the beach to take in some of the sights and take some pictures. There are two beach lovers and two beach haters in the group, and the two lovers, are not in fact, lovers. But there is one key ingredient to a group trip....flexibility. So when Amy and Alfonso want to get their toes in the sand, Stephanie and Patrick put a smile on their face and deal with it. And once they get there, they realize it isn't so bad, especially when they watch the ones they love smile ear to ear like little kids.
Patrick's one request on this trip was that he cooks at least one meal. Instead of going to an Americanized supermarket (yup, you guessed it....Walmart), Alfonso took him around to the local fruit and vegetable stand. Patrick managed to make an absolutely delicious meal with limited ingredients, and an even more limited kitchen. Just a hotplate on an outdoor table. After more drinking and eating, we decided that we needed some local empanadas. Patrick and Alfonso took care of that. *Tip for anyone that wants to hear it: probably don't try to pick up a some random local's child in a different country. Luckily being with Alfonso and them being very welcoming and loving people, everyone laughed, but it could have gone much worse. Grateful for that! And MAYBE not love up on some stray dogs. But if you're drunk enough and a stray dog rips your hand off, you won't feel a thing or it'll leave you on the sidewalk like the dead cats. (Disclaimer: this was the story that was told to Amy and Stephanie. We can neither confirm or deny actual events).
Despite Amy and Stephanie's best efforts to remind the boys that we were getting up early to see the sunrise the next morning, they continued to drink and let's say, not be so cheerful the next morning. However, they did pull it together and we saw one of the most gorgeous sunrises. We got to take some really cute couple pictures that we don't really get. Because ya know, when you're the photographer, you don't really get your own fucking pictures.
After the sunrise, we went to breakfast to start yet...another day of drinking. If you haven't caught on yet, there's a theme to this trip. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. We did go a little bit heavier on this one though because there were no boring museums or sights we needed to see. This was really one of those chilled, relaxed trips. We got our day started with some mimosas, and walked up and down the Fifth for a little bit. Pat came up with the idea of spending the day on the beach. No one was prepared for that, so Amy got to buy herself a cute little hot pink bathing suit. We spent the day on the beach, lounging and drinking. It was chilly at moments...but again with enough alcohol, you're fine! We went to a cute little bar with swings. *PSA: anyone that it looking to open up a bar...anywhere...put some swings in your bar. Who is not a sucker for that?!
On the way home Patrick bought his second souvenir, a new duffel bag, because his broke as soon as we left the house in New York. Amy bought some more clothes. When we got back to Alfonso's, we got ready for dinner and you guessed it....more drinks. Turns out Amy and Patrick had hot water while Stephanie and Alfonso never have hot water. But hey, we were living like the locals, with the locals. After some drinks at a cute Hookah lounge, Patrick found a really nice resturant. Somebody with cultured taste would recognized immediately that it is a good resturant. The rest of us were scanning the menu for "French Fries". We had no idea what we were getting into, not even Alfonso. Patrick did an amazing job of ordering things that we all enjoyed. It was amazing to watch his little face light up like a christmas tree when they brought out that food. Everyone has their thing in life. Patrick's is food. Not chicken fingers, french fries and hot dogs. I'm talking real feel good food. It is definitly the way to his heart.
Patrick made a bomb breakfast the next morning and then we all pretty much hung out until Patrick and Amy had to leave for the airport. Stephanie and Amy tried and failed to get 3 stars on a particular Overcooked level, while Alfonso and Patrick took another walk to take some pictures and soak up the last bit of local life in Playa del Carmen. *Disclaimer: Stephanie and Amy did not get in enough overcooked playing time. But that's okay though because the trip turned out perfect! There was no issues, no drama, no problems, it was just so damn perfect! We could not have asked for better chemistry between the four of us. *Side note: travel with the ones you love. That is life's greatest gifts it can give you. The opportunity to travel and experience the world with the people you love. Traveling solo is cool, we've both done it, but there really was something special about the four of us being in Mexico together.
PS. Peep this cute little montage of Stephanie trying (and succeeding) to put her fingers down Amy's pants: