Category Archives: Travel Tips

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza Part 1

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza Part 1

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza

Chicken Pizza? Sounds tasty!

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza

We weren’t sure what we wanted to do on our Cancun Spring Break vacation so we just sort of went day by day. We went to the all inclusive resort of Grand Bahia Principe Coba and there’s really no need to ever leave if you don’t want to. There’s plenty to do or lots of places to just chillax if that’s your preference. We weren’t sure which way we wanted to go so didn’t reserve any day trips before we arrived. When we booked our vacation on the Apple Vacations website there were lots of suggested excursions to choose from so we had an idea of our options. After a few days lazing by the pool or beach we decided maybe one day out may be OK. I’m not real comfortable in the water yet so didn’t feel like I was up to snorkeling or a swimming trip. I much prefer to keep my feet on the ground! There are a couple options for looking into the history and culture of the native Mayan people who used to rule this part of Mexico long ago. There was a very near city ruin of Tulum. This was just a few minutes from our resort but didn’t really appeal to us that much. A much further trip was to the pyramid and other buildings in Chichen Itza. We had originally took this trip off the list because of how long it was, but when we talked more to the Apple Vacations/Amstar representatives in our resort lobby it sounded better. They assured us that the transportation was safe and comfortable and the included lunch was delicious and most of all, the destination really was a “must see”. They mentioned that the whole Chichen Itza area was one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World and that was enough for us to go ahead and book a trip.

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza

For all you who are working on your bucket lists, the rest of the Wonders are the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru, Rome’s Colosseum, Petra in Jordan and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Having lived in China for most of my life, I had been to the Great Wall a couple times but never want to miss a chance to cross one of these must see places off our list. Thinking of this, a couple hours on a comfortable air conditioned tour bus didn’t sound that bad after all. One good thing about our resort being a bit far from the airport was that we were actually pretty well located for some of the day trip locations. Our bus wasn’t scheduled to pick us up until almost 9am and we were told we’d be back in plenty of time for our 8:30pm dinner reservation. That meant we had time to get up and have a nice breakfast at one of the resort’s buffet restaurants. The trip included a bit of fruit and a muffin but we opted for our daily cappuccino, fresh fruit and full breakfast. We had booked our trip a couple days before so had our tickets all set and just had to wait for our pickup. Our excursion was booked with a local tour group called Cancun Passion. They offer several different tours based in the Cancun area as the name implies. There were several different buses and vans that were driving in to pick up people and take them to various destinations. After a couple false starts we saw a modern tour bus come in. I liked it immediately! As you probably know, I love color and this bus was bright green in the front and sunny yellow and sky blue in the back. Not only was it cheerfully colorful but it would be easy for us to find later!

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza

Our tour director, Victor, came over with a clipboard and made sure our names matched his list and collected our tickets. Onto the bus and off we went. Victor could tell that most of the passengers had gotten up much earlier than their usual vacation wakeup call, so gave us a brief introduction to the other members of the Cancun Passion team. José was the driver and our tour guide was Eduardo. We had made sure to book an English language tour but it turned out that there were a few passengers in the front seats that were from Spain and Argentina. So Eduardo told the rest of the bus to take a rest and he gave his history and culture talk in Spanish to the front group. While he was doing this, Victor was walking the aisle passing out apples, bananas, muffins, rolls, orange juice and coffee. Looking at this we knew we’d made the right breakfast decision! So I took the opportunity to rest my eyes. After all they would be looking at one of the Modern 7 Wonders soon and I didn’t want them to be tired! I did take a look at some of the “real” Mexican villages we were going through. They sort of reminded me of some of the small villages in China where I grew up. The houses were small and open because of the heat but you still saw children playing and people going about their daily lives. I guess that’s similar everywhere in the world. After an hour or so it was our turn to hear Eduardo’s history lesson. He began by telling us that a good way to remember the name Chichen Itza was to think of chicken pizza but he assured us we would be eating better food than that! He was quite proud that he and the other team members were descended from the Mayan people; at least partially. There are probably no pure 100% Mayans around anymore. Most are a mixture of Maya, Spanish and other peoples from the area. Eduardo told us there were still about 6 million people who could call themselves at least part Mayan, and the language and culture were being kept alive and well. As his talk was winding down we were pulling into the parking area for tour busses! Please come back to see what we did!

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Chichen Itza
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Chichen Itza

SHOP MY LOOK:
Red Dress @Marc Jacob
White bag @DKNY
Sunglasses @Fendi
Necklace @Ann Taylor
Bracelet @Nordstrom Rack

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Grace

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review

Just add water!

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review

Expensive electronics such as digital cameras and dressy wristwatches don’t usually get along too well with wet places. And we were going to a resort with 4 swimming pools, a sister resort with another three pools and about a half a mile of beach along the Caribbean. Was this a recipe for disaster? Oh come on. I’m not only a professional bloggers but a smart one too! So we were prepared. My husband had been asking for a “vacation” watch that he could wear to the pool or beach without fear of it becoming a soggy, foggy, non-functional bracelet. So I made sure that under our Christmas tree last year was a gift to get the job done. I got him an Invicta Grand Diver wrist watch. It’s got a stainless steel band with rich royal blue face and dial. It’s big, heavy and manly. And it’s actually pretty stylish. My husband has to keep up a minimum standard to be seen with me after all! A couple features I like are that there’s no battery, it runs by being wound up when you wear it and move around, and of course the main thing we wanted was that it could get wet and still let us know when the next buffet was ready! And it does that great. It’s actually rated to go as deep as 300 meters or 1000 feet! Neither my husband nor I are scuba divers so this is way more than we’ll probably ever go. Of course you can find similar function in many makes and price ranges but I liked the look of the Invicta.

As you can probably see from my last several posts, we took a LOT of photos on our trip. For my main post pictures we use our Sony α6000 camera which I LOVE! I will be doing a post review on that wonderful camera soon. It does a great job of bringing out the best in me but it doesn’t float too well, and would certainly be in bad shape if it ever decided to make a splash. We wanted to be able to get a bit closer to the waves and still get some pictures so that meant we needed to supplement our camera collection. Just before we went on our vacation we bought a FujiFilm Finepix XP70 camera. This bright yellow little pocket size point and shoot is both water proof and shock resistant. Not rated to go as deep as the wristwatch it will still survive a dunking of down to 10 meters or 33 feet. Again it should be more than enough for whatever we will do with it. The shock part says you can also drop it from a height of 1.5 meters or about 5 feet. We did not try that part out but were very happy with the way it worked in both the pool and at the beach. This little camera is FUN! We carried it everywhere with us to use just in case. And as a bonus it actually takes pretty darned good pictures and videos.

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Underwater FujiFilm Finepix XP70  camera Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater FujiFilm Finepix XP70 camera Review

Here are some pictures and videos we took by using this camera:

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS---Underwater Camera and Watch Review
SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review

SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater FujiFilm Finepix XP70 camera Review

The watch and camera were each about $100 more or less. But we figured they would be good investments as we will hopefully be able to use them for many vacations to come. We looked at all kinds of camera options including waterproof cases or bags for our iPhones but I was a bit nervous with trusting my much more expensive phone to a case that relied on me to make sure it was closed and sealed correctly! So once we got to our suite at our resort the phones got locked in the safe and we grabbed the XP70. It was just a lot less hassle and stress and if worse came to worst and it did spring a leak we would only be out a bit over $100 and some pictures of fish! Anyway, I’m happy to report that both the Invicta watch and FujiFilm camera performed as advertised and we are very happy with both. Now if some mermaid or merman that I’m videoing wants to know the correct local time to make sure they aren’t late for their clam bake, we have them covered!

SHOP MY LOOK:
Yellow bikini @Justfab
Yellow sunglasses @Dior

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Cheers!

Grace

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