As you can imagine, our tastebuds were fully engaged on this trip. There were so many good foods and beverages to choose from, and they were all included in the price of the package, so we felt obligated to sample as many as possible, as often as possible. Here are some of the highlights:
Here's a shot from dinner our first night in Mexico. There are seven restaurants on the property, with many different types of cuisine, but we wanted to start out with actual Mexican food. La Hacienda restaurant quickly became one of our favorite haunts. Shown here: Christy, some delicious margaritas, the best damn guacamole in the world, and my left wrist (sporting the I-belong-here wristband they put on everyone at check-in and snip off of you with scissors (sniffle!) when you check out of the resort).
Our new pal, Oscar, who made the guacamole fresh at our table. Let me say it again: best damn guacamole in the world. Exactly the right proportions of avocado, tomatoes, white onions, cilantro, lime juice, and mystery spices. Pardon me as I drool just remembering it.
My apologies to Oscar for not having a better picture of him to post. He didn't look nearly this sleepy, evil, or stoned in real life.
Speaking of having delicious things made at our table... Fernando, our fabulous waiter at Ventanas restaurant, wowed us with Mayan coffee one night after dinner. Made with orange slices, sugar, Kahlua, regular coffee, vanilla ice cream and this intriguing honey liqueur shown at left, it was a fantastic dessert in and of itself. And not only was it delicious, but the preparation was a quite a show. We loved it so much we went back for more another night, and this time I was prepared and took a video. Check it out. It's really cool, especially the last part:
As many fantastic restaurant options as we had, we also had 24-hour room service available (again, included in the price of the package--this "all-inclusive" thing is great!). Here's a typical delicious breakfast, enjoyed on our patio. Note the tropical fruit, which we ate every single day, and the eggs served with a side of mashed black beans topped with crumbled goat cheese. Unexpected, and yummy!
Many people have asked for more details about the swim-up bar. Specifically, once you've swum up to this bar, do you have to swim away with one hand while balancing your drink in the other, or what? The answer, curious readers, is no. The brilliant designers have thoughtfully provided stools (sort of a column tiled with standard swimming pool tiles) right there in the water! Here we see one such stool being modeled by international jet-setter, Christy, while she enjoys her signature poolside beverage, the Bahama Mama.
We partook of many, many (many) poolside beverages. Luckily they weren't very powerful. In fact, most of the bars at the resort made drinks that weren't particularly strong, with one notable exception...
...the Andromeda Disco.
Yikes. You'd never knowing it from looking at this picture, but I was actually bringing sexy back when this was taken. (At least my hair isn't quite as wide in this shot as it was for most of the trip.)
Un mas mojito, por favor!
Of all the tasty things we sampled on this trip, though, I think the one that left the biggest impression on me was sopa de lima (lime soup). This seemed to be THE signature dish of the Yucatan Peninsula. We saw it offered in a Mayan co-op we visited, as well as hand-written signs offering it at little road-side stands. The one in this photo is from La Hacienda restaurant. It's a very simple chicken soup, basically, with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and tortilla strips in a rich, citrusy broth. Oh. My. God. First chance I get, I'm going to try to re-create this at home because I just don't know how I can live without it.
COMING SOON: Four-legged locals and more!