November 21-25, 2014
After 2 years of going to Disney World before Thanksgiving, we decided to go somewhere for “free” to save some money. We chose Cancun because it was close, Southwest now flies there, and there is a nice hotel there that I wanted to try. The original plan was for us to fly Southwest. We changed our plan when Susan’s Mom, Nanny, agreed to go with us kind of at the last minute. Since it was last minute, the ideal flights weren’t available. I was able to book Nanny, Susan and Natalie on American using miles. Nanny got to fly first class! They had a night layover in Miami. Trey and I left the next day on Southwest using points and Trey’s companion pass. The girls arrived at the hotel mid-morning and the boys got there around 3, just in time for check in. We were staying at the Fairmont Mayakoba, in a suite, using points, plus we got a $150 dining credit. The Fairmont is about 45 minutes south of the airport, close to Playa del Carmen. The hotel is in a jungle area with a river winding through it and a nice,white sand beach. It was really spread out. You can get around with golf carts or with bikes that they have scattered around the property. Our room was huge and really nice, it was perfect for the 5 of us. We had a balcony overlooking the river with crocodiles. We could also see some of the golf course. The prior weekend, they had a PGA golf tournament at this course.
After settling in, Trey and I went to one of the pools for some quick play time. Trey enjoyed the slide, even though he was too tall for it. I might have tried it out too. Later that night, Nanny treated us to dinner at one of the restaurants. I got fajitas and they were fantastic. After dinner, we went back to the room and watched TV for a while. At night, the resort was really dark and peaceful.
The next morning, Trey and I went on a bike ride, to see the beach. On the ride back, I hear Trey scream. I stopped and turned around and he was gone. By the time I turned around and made it back to him, he was getting off his bike. He had run off the road, down an embankment and into some trees and brush, while a golf cart passed. He wasn’t hurt, but was shaken and scraped up a little. If the trees hadn’t stopped him, he would have ridden into the river with crocodiles! Later that morning, we took a boat around to the other resorts in Mayakoba. They were even nicer than the Fairmont. We saw lots of birds and turtles and crocodiles. We spent the rest of the day at the beach. I had a scare as Natalie and I swam out to some buoys. When we made it out there, the waves were pretty rough, I was full from eating lunch a few minutes earlier and I got winded from the swim. On the way back, I didn’t think I was going to make it. Of course I made it, but I’ll think twice before doing that again. That night, we ate at the same restaurant as the night before. This time we got a family taco meal. They brought out plates of meat and toppings and we made our own tacos. After that, we went back to the room and watched the Cowboys beat the Giants.
The next morning, things started to go wrong. At the restaurant the previous 2 nights, we ordered water. This was a very fancy 5 star resort. The waiters all said the water was purified and safe to drink. Well even so, DON’T drink the water in Mexico. Susan, Trey and I all got “Montezuma’s Revenge” and it started on this morning. We still managed to go to the pool for a while and take a boat tour of the Fairmont property. At around 1, we took a cab into Cancun to check in to the Westin. We had 2 adjoining rooms with an ocean view, using points. The hotel was run down, but the view and beach were beautiful. By this time, Susan was really sick, even throwing up. The rest of us went to the beach and pool for a while. That night, we ordered the worst room service I’ve ever had, watched Harry Potter in espanol, and went to bed.
The next morning Susan was feeling better. We all had breakfast at the hotel and then went to the beach.
That afternoon, we took a cab to the airport as we were flying home on Southwest. The Cancun airport, at least Terminal 2, is really nice. We had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and Johnny Rockets, did some shopping and flew home. We did have a couple hour layover in Austin so we had dinner at Salt Lick and hung out in the Admirals Club until time to go.
This was a very easy trip. I would do a few things differently:
- Don’t drink the water
- I would have stayed an extra night at the Fairmont instead of changing to the Westin
- Rent a car instead of taking the taxis. I think we’d have saved some money and the roads were very nice.
- Spend a day at Tulum which was not far from the Fairmont