Hope all you fantastic people worldwide are having a splendid summer (unless of course it’s not summer in your country then substitute summer for the appropriate season)! As you may have already read, I was in Mehico for a week to visit family in Cancun and attend a wedding in the Mayan Riviera. I already documented my adventures in Cancun here. I am now going to share with you a completely different experience in another part of Mexico. Ready jelly belly?
So, after a 2 hour drive we arrived at a set of gates that led to a resort, which could be easily mistaken for a jungle. Everything that you pictured about Riu is the exact opposite of this resort, which is called Grand Palladium. The whole reception area was outdoors, the entrance to restaurants was outdoors, the pools were outdoors (obvi), the room complexes were outdoors, all bars were outdoors…and trust me when I say it was HOT…it wasn’t only because I was there…
I was instantly struck with bad luck after leaning on the reception counter and having a piece of chewed gum attach to my arm. Who chews gums and sticks it on the table at a 4-star resort? Classy..real classy.
Another weird thing about this resort was how ridiculously big it was. There was a shuttle system that transported you around the resort from building to building. Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly easy access. When we got to our room we weren’t blown away. There was nothing wrong with the room…there just wasn’t anything special about it either…I would describe it as blah. Upon our arrival to the resort, I instantly noticed the multitude of insects everywhere; however, I assumed that the rooms would be clean-swept and insect-free. WRONG. After just 5 minutes we heard a huge ruckus outside our room and soon came to realize my grandparents were trying to get a lizard out of their room (LOL!). I mean being immersed in nature is one thing but my family is not exactly into being one with naturesque elements. This was just the first set of lizards, cockroaches, spiders, ants, and other mysterious creatures that were going to get the opportunity to share the 4-star experience with us.
Any who, after our lengthy freak out was complete we decided to get ready to go for dinner. We got all dazzled up and tried to go to a restaurant…unfortunately for us…all 14 of them were filled up. Therefore, we ended up going to 1 of the 4 buffets. 5 inch heels, flapper skirt, silk shirt, buffet…choose the one that doesn’t fit.
Following dinner we got lost in the jungles for 45 minutes before finally arriving at some mysterious beach party. It was weird. Following the party we hit up the resort’s nightclub where we took shots on shots on shots…don’t worry they weren’t tequila. Instead, some were blue and others were lemon’y’. Exciting night meeting a few people, and most importantly the younger individuals in the families of the bride and groom. I was also blessed with flourishing love from a large dose of mosquitoes that left me with more than 1 souvenir to remember them by…I think of it as their way to seal the deal.
The next day had a ‘sit lazily on you butt by the pool’ kind of vibe. Due to extreme pain and swelling from my seducers (mosquitoes), I decided to skip the pool and instead wander around the ENTIRE resort and see what it had to offer. Regardless of it’s lack of comfortable sleeping arrangements, there was no denying how beautiful the scenery surrounding the Grand Palladium really was. I walked along the beach and ended up at some of the other lobby’s and their according pools.
I also ended up somewhere that was referred to as a ‘Sports Centre’ fully equipped with baseball, soccer, football, and volleyball fields, as well as golf, archery, and curling courts. I eventually decided to take a break by grabbing some iced water (my signature drink) and sitting in one of the lobbies. Here, I met a young staff member that shocked me with news that she had previously come to Canada on a one year exchange where she stayed in the exact small city that I currently do. Her and I were “OMG”ing for a good 30 minutes!
That night was a very very special night. It was the night before the wedding, which meant it was time for the bachelor and bachelorette parties. It was funny because as soon as the boys heard there was a bachelor party they completely ran away; however, in the end they ended up crashing the girl’s bachelorette party just in time to sip on some champagne. We danced the night away sans the bride who disappeared somewhere between her 7th drink and the pouring of the champagne. The groom, on the other hand, was under watchful eye as we had to ensure he’d be able to wake up the next morning in time for his wedding. We decided to head towards the beach to get some food where we were bombarded by raccoon’s due to idiotos stupidly feeding them.
Wedding day time! I began the day by taking a dip in the pool..finally! Such nice water. However, the issue was that I returned to the room with only an hour to go before the wedding and my sister (who takes approximately 4 hours to get ready for every single event) was occupying the bathroom. I just needed to take a darn shower for heaven’s sake. I had to go to someone else’s room to take a shower only to discover that there were no towels. By the time the towels arrived, I had only 30 minutes to shower and get ready for the wedding…SUCH A DISASTER…and yes I am talking about my hair. Not only was my hair an absolute mess, it also began pouring rain and we had to walk to the wedding site. On the bright side, the bride looked absolutely STUNNING.
Part 1 of the wedding included a traditional church ceremony followed by a Persian ceremony outdoors in honour of the Groom’s family. Due to the fact that I am classified as a ‘young, single girl’ I was asked to be a part of the ceremony by holding a curtain, pouring sugar on the bride and groom, embarrassingly dancing and doing some other baffling stuff. Even though I had basically just met the bride and groom a few days before, I still got a wee bit teary eyed…but no worries they were partially tears of joy and partially tears of pain from my swollen, bitten foot.
Following part 1 I was famished so I made a quick dash for the buffet, being sure to ditch my stilletos first this time. Everyone changed outfits between part 1 and part 2 of the wedding, so luckily I had enough time to salvage my hair. I decided to go for a green ensemble for the evening portion of the wedding primarily because I was green with envy of how beautiful the bride looked. Of course the evening reception was also outdoors. I was overjoyed that my uncle and cousins from Mexico drove up to join us for the wedding. My little cousin is a champ at shuffling. The most exciting part of the celebration for me was the heart-shaped breads…revolutionary! One of the boys, however, made me believe that there was a fortune inside the bread so it ended up looking like a broken heart. 😦 After a few tequila shots, the group danced and ate the night away. The wittiest advice I can think of for the bride and groom is: May you share everything with your husband, including the housework (romantic, i know).
The following day was our final day at the Grand Palladium. I enjoyed a quick Snorkling session that was disrupted by my dad continuously tugging on my life jacket every time I would even drift 3 cm away from him. I also went for a dip with the kiddos where we took underwater pictures and did some ridiculous jumps in not so deep waters. These kids are true troublemakers. They kept begging me to get them mango daiquiris… If you walked along the beach you also came across multiple protected turtle nests…so reminiscent of ‘The Last Song’. I also played with some (air)guns just for giggles.
That night we finally got to eat at the Mediterranean restaurant we so desperately wanted to try. I was so excited that I even themed my wardrobe and hair for the night. Unfortunately, however, the only thing vegetarian was pasta. Wow…pasta…how Greek. The presentation of dessert was impeccable…I sadly can’t say the same for the taste. In fact, all dessert that I had in Mexico was very unsatisfactory. The chocolate desserts especially were never velvety and rich, instead they tasted like low fat chocolate jello mousse. Then again, I’m very picky when it comes to sweets.
We made the most out of our final night in Mexico by heading towards the beach to have some beers and listen to music. The clock ticked to 2 am, then 3 am, then 4 am, and finally 5 am. We somehow ended up spending the whole night by the beach and were able to experience the beautiful sunrise in the horizon…ahh breathtaking. Talk about the absolute perfect way to end a summer getaway.
So there you have it. I leave you with this image to remind you what will happen if you spend too many hours in the sun sans sunscreen…you’ve been warned.
Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be Chic.
xx Neda xx