For Spring Break in March, Sean and I headed to Cancun for some fun in the sun.
It had been pretty cold in DC, so it was a relief to get somewhere warm (On a side note, DC had a freak heat wave while we were gone and we came back to 70 degree temps)
Instead of staying in one of those big resort spring break hotels, we opted for Airbnb, which turned out to be a great experience our first time.
I chose a place that looked cute online, had good reviews, and then just left it up to trust. It worked! This is the place where we ended up, which was in the middle of downtown Cancun, and it was only about $60 a night (a great bargain here)
Getting in to the little house was a little adventure… the owner said her father would be at the house when we arrived, but when he didn’t answer after we kept ringing the doorbell, I had to yell “Oye! Oye!” until someone from the house next door came out. Turns out the father lives next door. But it was all good.
This little sitting room above was just perfect. That big window faced the front garden next to the street and we could hear nature sounds, the ice cream man go by, and other chatter outside. Very sensory overall.
I have to say, staying in someone’s house is pretty interesting. In this case, the owner wasn’t there and we had the place to ourselves but it felt so cozy. We also really liked her bizarre decorating style.
As I said, this little cottage was in downtown Cancun, so it was very much out of the tourist hotel zone, which was good in many ways, but not good in others. It would’ve been nice to easily walk outside our room and stroll down to the beach. That’s not how it worked out for us, though we did learn how to use the bus system pretty easily.
The upside was that we were in the middle of a very busy local part of town with plenty of shops, restaurants, parks, and people-watching. Our first night, we walked to the Parque de las Palapas, where we had dinner and then hung out in the main square watching kids ride around in remote controlled cars. There were some really cute but young kids in those cars… one little baby was about 6 months old I think and couldn’t even hold her head up!
We found this restaurant, Piknik, a little pricey for a local place, but the food was tasty. The waiter talked me into this spicy shrimp dish, which tasted good and all, but I would’ve preferred something more simple, I think. In any case, the guacamole was good!
In fact, we went back to this same restaurant a few days later for an afternoon snack of drinks and guacamole and they ran out. As in, NO. GUACAMOLE. AT. ALL.
One bizarre thing we discovered in Cancun is that there is a super Walmart there. This Walmart looks exactly like a Walmart you’d find in the States and has all the same stuff, except apparently a very robust selection of alcohol that goes on for aisles and aisles. (We met an American couple in the park looking for this Walmart for that very reason)
We felt like we had to check out the spectacle of this Mexican Walmart, you know, just to see it, ridicule it, and then never return.
Because why would we go to a Walmart in Mexico when there are Walmarts everywhere in the States? (That’d be like going all the way to Italy and then eating at Pizza Hut or something instead of a real Italian place).
We’d never do that!
Well, except the very next day… we had to go back to the Walmart and buy a few things. An ipad charger (Sean left it at home), a towel for Sean (he left it at home), and something else I can’t remember that he left at home.
That first day in Cancun was very casual, but Day 2 was when the exciting stuff started to happen.
I’ll give you a few hints:
and something you can’t do in the States, walk around the streets with an open cerveza in hand.