It was drizzly and dreary when I left NYC,
which made it that much more fun to head somewhere so deliciously tropical!
Our hotel was smack dab in the middle of the jungle. After checking in at the open air lobby, you literally had to walk through the jungle to get to the rooms! We miraculously got upgraded to a beach front unit (in the yellow building below), so our balcony faced the ocean directly and we were just a few steps from the sand.
The resort was full-on Dirty Dancing style with activities, classes, shows and overly enthusiastic staff members attempting to rouse participation in group activities (and possibly hook up with
drunken lonely singles). Water aerobics in the pool each morning, twice-daily snorkeling excursions to Cozumel, salsa lessons in the west hall, water polo in the "active" pool and beach Zumba at sunset. Never figured out where the archery was held. Boo.
Got to spend a ton of time with old friends from LA that I hadn't seen in ages.
They made my birthday especially fun and heck I got to wear a sombrero.
How can you NOT have fun while wearing a sombrero?
We went into "town" one day on a mission to find sparklers for the wedding send off (Cristen wasn't able to pack any and was really hoping to have them for the end of the evening), but surprisingly weren't able to find any (can't you get firecrackers everywhere in Mexico?). Looked for a lightweight cotton embroidered dress for my mom to wear this summer in Costa Rica, but I'm terrible at bartering and chickened out whenever the shop guys started shouting prices at me. No shortage of colorful tchotchkes and blanket sweatshirts though.
And then it was time for the wedding!
Ali and I helped Cristen get ready in her room (just like for her first date with Ryan!), then when the photographer showed up to escort the wedding party to their places I hightailed it out to the ceremony site in the jungle. Things got exciting when a rowdy troop of monkeys scampered through the treetops above just as the ceremony was about to begin; thankfully, they refrained from engaging in the usual (disturbingly loud) hanky panky.
The celebration that followed was lively and fun, full of laughter and love. Cristen's dad gave a wonderful speech that left everyone in tears and Table 5 was deemed "Most Fun Table of All Time" by the groom himself. Booyah, grandma. Around 9pm, there was a sudden BLACKOUT that extended throughout the peninsula and left all resorts in the entire area without any power. It was crazy looking out along the beach and seeing no lights at all for miles. But the wedding party just kept on going! Someone ran to their room for a portable speaker and we continued dancing by candlelight until the power came back on a few hours later! Memorable, indeed.
Congrats to Cristen and Ryan!
Thank you for hosting your wedding in such a beautiful place. It was perfect.