Cancun, Mexico

I´ve never sat inside a plane for one and a half hours while waiting for it to take off until today. Our American Airlines flight AA 1671 was originally scheduled to depart at 10:55 a.m. but due to "inclement weather" (I´m not sure how gray skies with a drizzle became inclement), our plane got stuck in the ground along with several other departing planes while we sat impatiently in the cabin.

I also almost didn´t make it to the flight as the train I took to the JFK moved at a snail´s pace. When I got to the airport, the lady at the check-in counter gave me a dismissive look, saying "You´re late, you´re not gonna make it to your flight". The gray heavens must have heard my pleas as another lady motioned for me to proceed to a line of people also catching a departing flight.

As expected, we arrived in Cancun at 3:10 p.m., more than an hour late of our scheduled arrival time. Poor Neil had to wait for me in the arrival´s hall for more than two hours as his plane from Fort Lauderdale arrived earlier ahead. Worse for him, there were even no chairs to sit on at arrivals.

We took the shared van to The Ambience Villas where we will be staying. It´s a low key resort, nothing like the mega-resorts common in Blvd. Kukulcan, which works well for me as I find smaller resorts offer more personalized service. To my surprise, we were upgraded to a suite overlooking the Nichupte Lagoon!

The Ambience Villas - as the name suggests - is a cluster of Mediterranean inspired villas sitting right next to Punta Cancun. There´s a wide cream-colored sandy beach in front of it and the water is calm as the coast is protected by off-shore Isla Mujeres.

Neil and I wasted no time changing into our board shorts so we could try the warm waters on this side of the Caribbean. It did feel so good to finally soak up on the sun, sand and sea here!
Cancun sits at the edge of Mexico´s Yucatan Peninsula, facing the emerald seas of the Caribbean. When the Mexican government decided in the late 1960´s to convert what was then a 22-km-long sandbank into a premier vacation destination, it created a momentum for building hotels and resorts that until now has never stopped. In Cancun´s hotel zone that stretches the entire length of Blvd. Kukulcan, mega-resorts are still being built.

Neil and I walked along the road going to the many restaurants dotting Punta Cancun. As it is our first day, we thought about trying something Mexican for dinner. However, when I looked at the menu, I felt unsure of what to eat so if burritos qualifies for a decent Mexican meal, at least I was eating something familiar.

Post-prandial shopping brought us to La Isla Shopping Village, a huge mall with an open air concept to it. The design is basically that as the name suggests - an island of shops surrounded by water and inter-connected by bridges. La Isla is right next to Nichupte Lagoon. As tomorrow happens to be Mexico's National Day, we were fortunate to watch a Mexican cultural show full of lively dances and cockfighting in one of the areas of the mall.

We did shop for gifts of course and bought souvenir shirts to give away back home. My burrito meal was not obviously enough for dinner as I got hungry again. I hankered for crepes and saw this little spot "Crepes and Fruits" manned by someone I thought was a Mexican. Olivier - that´s his name - turns out to be a French guy and he made us crepes smothered with chocolate Nutella. My hunger satisfied, Neil and I decided to call it a day and headed back to Ambiance Villas using one of Cancun´s reliable public buses - only seven pesos a ride amigo!

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