Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Honeymoon: Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun

First of all, let me just say that spending the night in our own bed at home as a very very good idea, particularly as we spent the next week and a half sleeping in hotel rooms. Not that those rooms weren't fantastic - they were - but it was nice to have one last breath of home before we headed out.

Thursday (the 14th) morning we woke up early (not too early) and repacked our bags for the trip. We'd driven five minutes before I realized I'd forgotten my phone charger so we went back and grabbed it. We then headed to Orange Peel to grab some delicious shakes before we hit the bank for cash and then dropped my car off at Brandon's old house so his roommate Nate could take us to the airport.

On our way to the airport I got a text from my parents. They'd tried since early in the morning to catch a flight on Delta, but none of those had panned out and they ended up on the flight they'd paid for which was the same first leg as our first leg! So we got to sit and chat with them at our gate and then give final hugs in Phoenix before we went to catch our respective flights - them to Atlanta, us to Cancun.

A few more hours in their company!

Our flights were both good, though the flight to Cancun felt a little long. We arrived, went through customs and immigration, and headed out to find our transfer to the hotel. We spent a few minutes looking around before we realized that they weren't there. However, as we milled around a bit more, we realized that there was someone there from the transfer company we were with, they were just holding up a sign with someone else's name on it. So we went up to him and asked him about it and he called in and got us sorted out. We left no more than ten minute later to head to the hotel.

So, the reason we decided to go to Cancun was because there was a FAM taking place there with the Fiesta Americana properties. FAMs are familiarization events where travel agents go to locations and get a feel for different properties and what groups they might be able to bring to those properties. Essentially, they wine and dine you and try to show you how awesome everything at their resorts is. So, our first three nights we stayed at the Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun (FACC) and did things on a schedule they'd prepared for us. The first night (Thursday night) we'd arrived right in the middle of their progressive dinner so we opted to just go back to the hotel, drop our bags off there, and find dinner there as well (it's an all inclusive!). We arrived, checked in, dropped our stuff off, and went down to their Asian fusion restaurant and had dinner.

Beautiful resort.

The FACC knew that we were on our honeymoon, so they did some fun things for us while we were there. When we arrived in the room there was a sculpture of two swans (bride and groom) made out of towels, with rose petals scattered everywhere. Then later, two swans again made out of colored rice. Even though I know that they do these kinds of things at these hotels, it was still very impressive!

Towel talent!

On Friday morning we went down to the lobby and belatedly met up with our group (they'd all met the night before). We hopped on our transfer and headed over to Live Aqua for breakfast. We took a tour of the property and then had a lovely breakfast in a restaurant overlooking the ocean to the East. Following breakfast we headed back to FACC and had a brief presentation from the transfer company and then were free for a few hours to do whatever we wanted (lunch and a massage!). Early evening we met back up and headed to Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach (FACB). We took a nice tour of the property and then started a progressive dinner around the property. We'd had a taste test of the chef during a presentation of the AV company onsite but the fun was just beginning. Our first course was a very informative tequila tasting where we learned all about where tequila comes from and how it is made. We also had a plate of very interesting fruits, few of which I can even remember the names of, and none of which I'd had before. Then we were on to an extremely nice restaurant where we had foie gras - chalking it up to lack of exposure to this dish and ignorance of the process of making it, I had it and it was quite delicious. I've now read a little more about it and I'm disturbed by the process.  But, admittedly, it was delicious. While we were there Brandon was playing with his ring (we bought a pair of matching rings from QALO to wear while we were in Mexico - best idea ever - all types of water, sand and sunscreen proof) and it suddenly popped out of his hands - a black ring onto a dark checkered floor. We started glancing around for it and one of the staff guiding us around the property immediately noticed and asked us what we were looking for. We explained and she said not to worry about it - they'd find it. We then left to head to the next destination - dinner on the beach - and when we'd arrived there, the staff at the restaurant had not only found the ring, but rushed and reached the next place ahead of us! Needless to say, we were impressed. :)

Dinner was on the beach facing East again (much like our dinner in Cabo almost a year ago). There was a Mayan blessing/ceremony and then they dug a chest out of the sand where they'd been keeping some of the meat we were going to eat for dinner. Kind of cool. The wind was pretty fierce, but it was a fun experience! Very cushy! We then retreated into the resort again and headed to the spa. The spa at FACB is unbelievable. According to the hotel, it's the largest spa in Latin American - and I believe them (more about that later). We took a tour of the spa and then ended in a part where they'd prepared dessert for everyone. As we were leaving they presented each of us with a complimentary spa treatment - which was great for us as we'd plans to stay there in just a few days! We made an appointment and it was set!

To round the night out, the transfer company (IVI) took downtown and we went to one of the local bars and listened to a live band for awhile. We may have danced a little (because that's what happens when the staff comes and pulls you out of your seat), but we mostly had fun watching all the dancers. We were exhausted, but it was fun.

Saturday morning we woke up early and met up with the group. Our transfer took us out to Selvatica. We ziplined for awhile (through the zipline course), and then drove to a cenote where we got to jump in and swim. They had some hand ziplines (no harness) that we could grab onto and leap off of, or we could just jump straight from the ledge. Brandon and I first did the zipline, then climbed around on the ropes above the water before heading back up to do the "Love Jump." Essentially, they said some Mayan and then some other random words waving leaves around us and having us repeat what they said, and then we kissed and jumped in together! After we'd jumped in that time I badly wanted to try to do something cool, but for all the gymnastics and dance classes I've had, I've never been comfortable doing flips. However, I sat up on the ledge and watched a bunch of the guys do some different leaps and flips off the zipline and finally worked up the courage to give it a go. I grabbed onto the zipline, let it take me down, hit the stop (a knot in the rope near the bottom), let my weight fling forward and up, curled into a tiny ball, and let go. They said it looked fantastic - except I never came out of the tight little ball, so I hit the water on my back - not the happiest moment. But it was awesome. And I would totally do it again. From the cenote we headed back to the main palapa and had lunch and then headed back to Cancun. We had another break in the day and then met up for a final dinner at an Argentine restaurant at FACC.

The next morning we finally went down to the beach and enjoyed the rough waves for a bit and then got cleaned up, had a snack, packed up, and met our transfer to the FACB.

As usual, there are many more pictures on facebook. But you get a nice little sample here!

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