Swimming With Sharks & Watching A Sting Ray Devour A Huge Fish!

As I rambled last time, I promised to do it more often so here is an update of what’s happening in my life which has been an exciting month so far!  🙂

 

A MOMMY-ONLY VACATION – EPIC!


I mentioned last time that my husband bought me a week long girls’ trip vacation this past Christmas and on Feb 9, I went on this epic trip!

I hadn’t gone on a vacation free of kids since before I had kids so this was a much needed break.

My husband got to work from home the whole time I was gone so he was able to take care of our kids as well as work.  Very thankful for his boss. 🙂

I went with my long time friend, Jade, and I couldn’t have gone with anyone better (except maybe a no-kids vacation with my hubby, another thing we haven’t done since before kids, so hopefully this is to come in the near future)!

 

THE BEAUTIFUL RESORT

Ocean Riviera Paradise HotelWe stayed at Ocean Riviera Paradise, an all-inclusive resort, in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.  It’s about 40 mins south of Cancun, so we flew into Cancun and took transportation to the hotel.

All-inclusive has really changed these days, the last time I was there was 12 years ago when my then boyfriend proposed to me on the beach there, and back then, it’s limited types of drinks.

Now you can drink anything you want and the food there has changed as well, very good food all around.  The buffet room was the best I find, they also had restaurants too but they weren’t always opened as they should be.

This hotel opened in Dec 2016, so service is still not 100% but it’s not horrible at all.  Just little things here and there that could be improved definitely.

Pool & Beach at the Ocean Riviera Paradise Hotel We went as a family to Pueblo Bonita Sunset in Los Cabos in July 2016 and I still find that one was better overall in food and service.  But hey, I’m not complaining here!  LOL

This hotel had really nice big pools and the beach was perfect.  The beach had that white powered sand and blue waters.  There were about 5 – 6 pools to choose from, even an adult only one which we went to one of the days.  🙂

I really love the in-pool loungers that had jets that blew out bubbles like a jacuzzi.  So very fun and relaxing!

I tried pretty much every cocktail they had, my faves were the Bahama Mama (a pink rum based drink that’s not too sweet) and Iceberg (beer with margarita).

The surroundings on the resort grounds were gorgeous and well kept.  They still have some construction going on at the back of our building but it was mostly hidden.

They had really nice sitting areas and lots of hammocks to hangout in.  The staff was super friendly and helpful whenever we needed anything.

 

THE AMAZING EXCURSIONS

We went on two excursions, one to a natural island that has not been tainted by commercialism and another to do three awesome activities.

 

Snorkeling & Isla Contoy

First we went to the island called Isla Contoy... On the way there, we went snorkeling in the coral reef which was an hour away from where we got on the boat in Cancun.

The water was so amazingly blue, I was in awe how beautiful my surrounding was.  I was thinking to myself how grateful I was to be able to be on that boat and in that gorgeous ocean.

They docked the boat for those who wanted to snorkel so we were geared up and in we went.

We saw the typical colorful fishes and when we were just about to be done, I looked down once more and saw this big sting ray beneath me eating up this huge fish!

I couldn’t believe my eyes!  I wish so badly I had a water-proof camera with me but nope I didn’t unfortunately.

The fish it was eating was so big, I only saw the head of the fish, the rest was in the sting ray’s mouth.  I also saw several other fish skeletons around the sting ray and wondered if it also ate those ones too.  The fish it was eating was probably 3 feet long, maybe bigger.

Other little fishes around the sting ray was trying to get a piece of the action but no luck as the sting ray had most of it in its mouth.  What a sight!

So after that, I was about to get back onto the boat because it was time to go… then I looked down one more time and I saw long big fishes that looked like SHARKS!

Swimming with the Sharks & on Isla ContoyI popped my head out of the water right away and asked out loud, “Oh my god, are those sharks?!”  The guide near me nodded!

I asked him if they were dangerous and he said, “No, they’re okay.”  Good to hear!  Lol

So I looked down again to see the amazing world of the ocean one last time to take in all the sharks that were swimming by me.

Thank goodness I was near the boat already but I felt safe as they were just swimming around.  They weren’t hunting or anything that I could see.

The sharks were about 4 – 5 feet long and the mouth stuck out a bit.  What an experience!  I will never forget this snorkeling trip!

I finally got out of the water feeling a bit nauseous by now because I usually do get motion sickness when snorkeling in the ocean (even though I had dramamine in me).

For the rest of the ride to Isla Contoy, I was in disbelief of what I just experienced and couldn’t be more grateful for this fun time!

Isla ContoyWhen we arrived at Isla Contoy, the beach there was just so serene and beautiful.  The water is literally so clear that it’s like taking a bath.

We had lunch there – the crew brought all the food and equipment they needed, there were only picnic tables there to eat on.

I was amazed how good the food was, they had grilled fish and chicken, salads, fruit, rice, and drinks for us.  What a great tour!

We got to spend about an hour and a half there on the island total.  We were definitely sad when we had to leave there.

 

Mayan Adventures

The next day, we went on our second excursion with Mayan Adventures which took us into a jungle area where we did snorkeling in an underground sink hole, zip lining, and rapelling!

The underground sink hole is called a cenote and these sink holes holds all the fresh water they need in Mexico.

The sink hole had bats in it as the tour guide told us not to scream when we go into the cool water because the bats are sensitive to sound.  We’re like, great.  Lol

Sure enough, we saw bats flying around in there.

The water was a little cold but it was amazing to swim in that cenote which is all naturally formed.  You see all these rock formations above you and underneath you in the water.

There were also little cat fishes swimming around which I was surprised to see sea life down there.

 

Mayan AdventuresThe next activity we did was zip lining, it was my first time and I’m scared of heights!  LOL

I almost didn’t go as one lady in our group chickened out and went back down the tower.

We had three zip lines to go on and the guide said once we go on one, we have to go on all three as there’s no way back otherwise.

So I buckled up and faced my fear and ZIPPED!

The most scary part is definitely the take off.  When you’re standing up there as the guide sets things up and I’m looking down at the treetops.

I closed my eyes at take off but once I’m off, it was so much fun!

I’m really glad I did it and each time I had to take off, I had the scary feeling inside me again but I kept telling myself that I’ll live, YOLO, and I just had to do it!

It was so liberating to finish all three zip lines. 🙂

 

The last activity was rappelling which was not so bad at all after doing the zip lining. Lol

Again, it was the take off that was the scariest part and I just didn’t look down.  I was down on the ground in no time.

We had lunch after that and then took a long ride back to our hotel.  That was our last day, the next day we went home and couldn’t believe our trip was over.  🙂

 

 

I’M SO LUCKY!


My friend and I were really counting our blessings to have husbands like ours who organized this trip for us.

Not only was this the best Christmas gift ever from my husband but it was a gift of experience which is really priceless.

We could always buy things in our lives but experiences are so much more valuable than things.  Isn’t that what life is all about, experiencing all life has to offer?

I couldn’t be more grateful and appreciative of this trip.  I got to relax, have fun, swim, drink, eat, and bathe in the warm sun, without having a worry in the world or do a single chore.

The week fly by so quickly and I did miss my little family back home.  My girls did well without me, who are now 7 & 6.

I really hope the four of us will experience this together next time.  I missed them a lot and was always wishing they could have seen what I saw.

That’s what being a wife and mom is all about I think, always wanting to be with your family even though you should have a break.  🙂

Hey I don’t mind it one bit.  I love them so much!

 

 

I’m going to continue this post in a second one… as I have more to say about other aspects of my life.  So stay tuned to the next rambling post!

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