On Wednesday, we lounged around for a bit until it was time for our spa appointments. We received complimentary couples massages as part of our honeymoon package. Chris also got a foot massage and I got a mini facial. The strangest part of this spa session was the hydrotherapy circuit we had to do to get loosened up ahead of time. Over the course of an hour, we went took a warm shower, sat in a super-hot steam room, took a less warm shower, sat in a sauna, took a cold shower, sat in a cool pool with the most powerful jets you've ever felt in your life and then sat in a hot tub. It was quite the experience. haha
After that, we got ready for our romantic private dinner on the beach. We had our own waiters, champagne, wine and an amazing four-course meal. It's pretty windy on the beach, so I'm bundled up in my sweatshirt in all the pictures. lol Oops.
|Here we have a picture of the best salad ever made. It's got big chunks of Gorgonzola, some sort of marinated pears, onions, walnuts and a delicious vinaigrette dressing. Yum!|
|The main course was beef medallions with grilled shrimp, which they knotted around each other to form this cute little ring.|
|For dessert, we were treated to a customized medley of tasty treats, complete with ice cream, chocolate and strawberries cut to look like roses.|
|Back at our room, we discovered this little guy, an elephant made out of towels. His name was Gustav, and he even brought us a rose. What a guy! Er, I mean elephant.|
|Here's the sitting area in our room. Ignore the mess.|
On Thursday, we hopped on a free shuttle (sponsored by some diamond company - and boy did they let you know it) into Playa del Carmen. It dropped us off on Fifth Avenue, which I had heard was a nice little market. I expected small, rustic shops, open-air booths, fresh fruit and veggies, flowers and handmade goods. I was mistaken. This "market" was a upscale strip of stores designed just for tourists. From Sunglass Hut to Burger King, there wasn't a lot of authenticity to this Mexican shopping area. Oh well.
On the bright side, Fifth Ave runs parallel to the ocean, so we headed down to the water for a bit. Chris even got to do a little body surfing and I collected some sea shells and sand for our vacation jar (more on that in the next post).
We may not have found any authentic shops or restaurants (Fonzy told us we had to have a real Mexican taco, which we never did), but we did find something we never expected in Playa del Carmen. We got to hold a baby lion!
This little cutie - we'll call her Juanita -- is just three months old and is being rehabilitated. For $30, we got to hold the lion and one of the handlers took these pictures with my camera. I included a bunch because I think my expression is pretty funny as the session progresses. In my defense, anyone who owns a cat knows that sometimes kitties don't want to be held and they get squirmy. And that's when you get scratched. Now think about the size of the claws on this wild animal compared to your little house cat. And think about the fact that you're in Mexico and really don't want to have to go to the hospital on your honeymoon. Ok, now you're all caught up.
|So now Juanita is starting to look around and I'm beginning to think about those teeth inside her adorable little head that are so close to my face.|
|I don't even have to tell you what I was thinking here as she was wiggling around in our arms. I think that expression says it all. Oh and the tourist that was watching who said "Oooh look! It's getting its claws out." That guy said it all too.|
|Here's Chris, calm as can be. And Juanita is totally comfortable with him. No problem.|
|Now tell me you can't see the look on Juanita's face that says, "Ok, handler, no more photos. I'm ready to get down now." And yet they kept snapping pictures.|
|Perhaps Juanita didn't care for the way I was awkwardly holding her back end and letting her butt just hang out.|
|Here's a shot of Playa del Carmen.|
I must admit that our spirits were a little down on Saturday. I mean, come on, who is ever happy leaving paradise? But we did get to swim for a bit and have lunch at the restaurant by the ocean before heading out on our journey back to Syracuse.
|You can see the other restaurant's seating right next to the ocean. We ate there a couple times too and it was so nice to sit and watch the ocean while we ate - even if it was pretty windy.|
|Gotta love a man who wears Mickey.|
|Do I look tan? Huh? Huh?|
|One last picture of paradise. Oh, and if you zoom in, you might be able to see some little buildings way out there in the water. That's actually the island of Cozumel.|