Saturday 21 March 2009

Hasta Luego, Cancun!

This morning was the last opportunity to hit a Caribbean beach! I headed off to Playa Caracol and enjoyed the fine, white sand and warm, crystal blue sea. last dip!

Playa Caracol a.k.a. Paradise

Visiting the flea market, I bought a doll for the mom and a country-specific shot glass. We headed off to the CUN airport where it turns out that they could put us on a later flight. Since there was no transfer during the new flight, it actually arrived sooner than our original plan. So, we waited about a couple hours more to get home sooner!

Saying goodbye to the Cancun Clipper Club

I ended up talking to an ASU Resident Advisor for the two hours, so it was no problem at all. Hasta luego, Cancun!

Friday 20 March 2009

The Mayan Ruins

Early rise today at 6:30AM to get to our tour at 7:30AM. Ssshh!

Today would be the Chichen Itza tour. Although early, we were excited to see the Mayan Ruins! Over 1,500 years old, the Chichen Itza is
the largest of the archaeological cities of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in the Yucatan Peninsula.

It was a long two-hour drive, but the sleep and rest were well worth it! On the way there, we stopped at Cenote Suytun, a giant, beautiful sink hole! The sink hole is believed to be holy to the ancient Rain God "Chac". Those who were thrown in the sinkhole and survived were to be seers. Although I didn't originally plan on jumping in, it looked like too much fun! I'm glad I took the plunge!

Cenote Suytun sinkhole. The water felt great!

Lunch was great as we watched a dancing performance and met some NYC girls. The Columbian woman sitting next to me tried the spicy sauce. NOT a good move as she had the same reaction as Steph did at Chocko's & Tere!

Note: Do NO
T try the spicy sauce in Cancun. Your tongue will not forgive you.

Chichen Itza is considered the most impressive of all the Mayan ruins. The pyramid, "El Castillo," has 91 steps to the top! After a worldwide vote in 2007, El Castillo is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

In front of El Castillo at the Mayan Ruins

At the Mayan Ruins, we met five boys Houston boys. Houston did hold a special place as that's where I spent my 21st birthday! While listening to the lecture, we bonded because we were all under the understanding that it was spring break! So, we started getting creative with our photographs such as cartwheels in the ball court!

Cartwheeling in the ball court!

It was quite interesting to listen to the echos sound off the ruin's walls. When our guide whistled, the echo would bounce all around. We were also lucky enough to visit during the spring equinox! The spring equinox occurs when the sun lies directly over the equator. Equinox literally means "equal night" as the number of hours of night equals the exact number of hours of day. The Kulkulkan temple is the most popular spot to watch the equinox because the sun's shadows make a serpeant appear to slither up and down the steps of the pyramid.

The spring equinox! Can you see the serpeant?

There were so many people ready to watch the serpeant appear on the pyramid. With the many cameras, it was like we were back in Pisa!

The two hours back were spent sleeping again. We relaxed a bit before going out to Dady Rock and Dady O's. We bought the Dady 'O Party Adventure package that included dinner, admission, and all-inclusive at both clubs. The waiter would even consistently come back to our table bringing us anything we wanted. Total VIP status!

At Dady O's, we used another coupon and got a t-shirt! And while dancing, beads were thrown to the crowd (do I really need more beads after Mardi Gras? Haha). Steph and I were dancing and all of a sudden I heard, "USC!" I paused a bit because I didn't realize who it was at first, but then it hit me when I looked at all five of them; it was the Houston boys! Haha. They cleaned up so nice with their collared shirts from the baseball caps and workout shorts I originally met them in!

With some Houston boys

We spent the rest of the night talking to the H-town boys and bouncing between Dady Rock and Dady 'O. Time for home at 4AM. Thanks for the equinox, Chichen Itza!

Thursday 19 March 2009

Oh, Spring Break...

We "slept" in today until 10AM. That's a revitalizing four whole hours of sleep!

We went to grab the Purdue boys that took the Isla Mujeres cruise with us the day before. From a coupon ad, we headed off to Plaza La Isla to visit Diamonds International. There, they gave away free "diamond" bracelets (i.e. gold with one tiny little diamond on the dot of the "i"). I loved it nonetheless!
Happy with my new bracelet

The others decided that it would be a good idea to take a stroll along the beach instead of taking the bus - here we go! We did acquire some free coconut juice from some locals though. They found it hilarious watching us trying to break open the coconut.
Enjoying the free coconut juice

We headed to the Oasis Hotel, MTV's official hotel where they held a daily Beach Bash. It was an hour and a half walk, but I actually liked it! It helped that we could stop and take a little dip in the Caribbean Sea along the way.

Visiting the Oasis's beach was not a problem; however, to actually attend the party, one would need to pay $25. I was able to walk in okay, but Swastick was stopped. He yelled after me, "You need to pay!" and thus, the security guard stopped me as well. The cute guy next to me and I couldn't believe he ruined it! Haha.
We somehow managed to be allowed in anyways and watched the rap contest. Looking around, I was surrounded by ALL guys! Sketchy!
MTV Spring Break Beach Bash

We swam in the ocean a bit and headed back on the bus to the Clipper Club. Options for the night:

-Ladies Night @ Basic Discotheque
-Ladies Night @ Bulldog's
-Caribbean Carnival Cruise with the Purdue boys

Carnival Cruise it was! At the tour, there was another group of Purdue boys! I spent the rest of the night talking to Monil and Aansh. Our emcee, Fernando, was VERY spring break as he just loved to yell obscenities. Haha.
We went back to Isla Mujeres for dinner and the show. The show was actually quite boring, so Monil and I spent the night discussing how they should just let everyone go up on stage and dance!

Isla Mujeres audience

The sisters won the wet t-shirt contest - of course! Haha, still we just wanted to dance! The $66 wasn't really worth the cruise, but hey, it's one time at spring break!

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Cruises, Sharks, Clubs, & Sunrises

Today we had an 8:30AM wake up call. Not too shabby as we received almost seven whole hours of sleep! We took the bus to our boat cruise with on the Lupita Trimaran catamaran.

Tip: Buses are great in the Hotel Zone! It's only 650pesos equivalent to approximately 50 US cents per ride!

The locals working in the tourism industry in Cancun love flirting with tourists as we soon learned! Most did seem to enjoy the work as well. When asked if the boat crew member loved living in Cancun, he simply pointed at the ocean and said, "Mama, look at my office!"

The crystal blue Caribbean Sea - no photoshop involved!

In the middle of the Caribbean, we went snorkeling! There were plenty of dory fish on the way to Isla Mujeres. We also passed by a dancing nudist boat to which our captain yelled, "Shake it, don't break it!"

Upon arriving at Isla Mujeres, we had the opportunity to hold a shark! Petting him was a bit scary though as the little guy liked to jump around!

Petting a nurse shark

After lunch at the Beach Club, we jumped back on the boat to head to Downtown Isla for some shopping! At Pier 7, one could buy a seashell and blow it like a trumpet. After several unsuccesful attempts, even the local who was teaching gave up on me!

Ironically, some other Purdue spring breakers on the boat happened to be staying in the same hotel as us (207 & 210)! We actually met up with them for dinner at Chocko's & Tere where the buttered shrimp was amazing. I was originally drawn to the restaurant because of the lobster dressed in a tuxedo out front. One could actually sign the lobster and the entire restaurant as well - good marketing!

Signing the lobster at Chocko's & Tere

Later that night, we went on the Party Hopper tour that we had purchased before the trip. The Party Hopper tour takes each attendee to three different, popular bars/clubs. All night, along with about a hundred others, hoppers are taken care of and treated like VIPs. Our agenda that night: Corona Bar, Senor Frogs, and The City where Sean Paul would be performing!

In our group, there were a bunch of Indiana folk (of course!) and we met Ariel (his real name is pronounced "God") and Sagi who we stayed with over the course of the night. Our guide, Carlos, was fantastic as he would come up to us and ask what we wanted to drink. Even when I didn't ask for anything, he would bring water! Fantastic!

Party Hopper Crew

We then headed on over to the famous Senor Frogs! We sat out by the patio just talking and then back inside to dance! At City, we were VIP as Party Hopper reserved not only a room, but a platform. City was the largest club I've been to, much larger than CocoBongo. The show was unpredictable as lights would come down from the ceiling and giant balloons fell. Sean Paul finally showed and performed.

Sean Paul performing!

The City Club - crazy!

We walked Steph back to the hotel at 2AM and Sagi and I stayed out by the lagoon until about 6:30AM watching the sunrise! It was so relaxing to watch the sunrise and listen to the birds chirp with silence all around. Good stuff!

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Cancun Spring Break, Woo!

5AM wake up call for Cancun. SPRING BREAK, woo! Ironically, it was St. Patrick's Day as well.

The airport experience was usual as we had to get our passports checked and verified; I tend to always have to get an extra security check. Looking around, we were apparently going to Cancun with a bunch of families and senior citizens. Woohoo!

Alaska Airlines got us to CUN airport half an hour early and yes, the timeshares were already trying to sell to us! Since we booked our airline tickets and our hotel through Expedia, Best Day took care of our shuttle. They were VERY helpful and we were glad to have them.

The Hotel Cancun Clipper Club had a cute pool with a bridge and overlooks the lagoon. A beach would have been nice, but we were within walking distance, so it was all good!

At MeXtreme, we had some mango daiquiris and fish tacos. Our waiter, Sergio, loved us!

Happy to finally be in Cancun!

After the flight, it was nice to have a little nap time by the lagoon - so relaxing! Our Best Day representative had an appointment to meet us to help with booking activities. Luckily, our representative convinced Stephanie to go out to CocoBongo! Sweet!

Relaxing in paradise

Before heading out, Steph took another nap and I layed out by the hammock journaling. Love it! It was soon time to head off to CoCoBongo! The hotel location was fantastic as we could just walk anywhere on the strip.

CocoBongo is consistently ranked as Cancun's #1 nightspot! With capacity for 1,800 people, the club is always packed as it not only serves as a disco but a show as well! Security was strict as they took away my eyedrops. Once inside, the show started right at 11PM. The show itself was fantastic as Elvis, Frank Sinatra, and Beyonce impersonators all made appearances. With the acrobatic-Cirque-du-Soleil-style performance, it very much resembled the Moulin Rouge!

Frank Sinatra performance

The acrobats in action!

In the middle of the club was a quad bar we danced on all night. It served as a good safety zone since boys weren't allowed on. Good music and everyone had a great time singing along and watching the performances. Woohoo!

The excitement known as CocoBongo!