My suitcase is still sitting in my floor, virtually untouched, except to retrieve my makeup and my razor.

(I need a couple other things but I’m having trouble finding them. I could probably discover them if I unpacked, but no.)

I finally finished downloading and editing all my photos, but now they’re laying in my computer in a gigantic heap, begging for the accompaniment of cohesive sentences.

Oh, vacation. It’s so hard to recover from.

I know. Y’all feel ridiculously sorry for me.

So I’ll just start writing, in bits and pieces, and maybe eventually I’ll work my way through our five days of complete bliss. Just don’t expect it to be cohesive. Because paralysis.

But we can do it. We can work through this together. If we really put our minds to it and focus.

So we dumped the kids off in their own paradise Tuesday night, then drove to Atlanta, from where we’d be flying out the next morning.

(For the record, the children have been counting down to this trip for longer than Chris and I have, and they weren’t even invited. But they knew they’d be staying at Gramamma and Pop’s for six days, which is a new record for them, and nothing could possibly be better than that in all of life.)

(Because they haven’t discovered the Caribbean yet.)

This trip was for the celebration of our fifteenth anniversary, as I’d been begging Chris to take me to a Caribbean Island for a while. After a few years of trying to find a place that fit within our budget and desires, and failing miserably, we roped in a travel agent. We told her we wanted a resort that was in a place where it was safe for us to run and explore without getting kidnapped or maimed a few blocks off the oceanfront.

She gave us two choices, one of which was a cruise, and we’re convinced we’re not cruise people, so she basically gave us one choice, which is exactly what we wanted her to do – Palace Resort on Isla Mujeres. She’d been there before, she vouched for the natural beauty and safety requirements, and she knew exactly which week we should go to have the cheapest flights.

It was exactly what we needed to finally enable us to leave the country.

Isla Mujeres is a small island 20 minutes off the coast of Cancun. It is only accessible by ferry, is a few miles long, and is quite safe (one of our cab drivers told us, “Oh yes totally safe! I’ve been here 28 years. In Cancun, someone gets killed every hour. Here – never! Totally safe!”), and it absolutely was the idyllic exploration landscape that we wanted.


In fact, it was even more perfect than we could have thought to ask for, because we were quite literally nearly the only people exploring the island. Apparently, normal people come to all-inclusive resorts to sit on the beach and have food and drink brought to them all day – which was, for sure, delightful. In the environment of beached, immobile Americans, we were so bizarre that the staff giggled every time we left the resort in our running clothes.

But the complete solitude of the fantastically beautiful scenery only added to its complete intoxication.



And the thing is, there were trails here. Beautiful paths carefully hewn into the rock ledges. As if some ancient culture many moons ago had actually been these strange running types, intent on exploring and appreciating their surroundings.



These paths meandered through fascinating caves through igneous rocks, encircling both ends of the island’s lonely, lovely point.




These paths weren’t always in ADA compliance, but were passable with careful steps and a feigned ignorance of the Spanish language.



They had the most mindblowing view of the sunset on one side,



And the very first view in Mexico of the sunrise on the other side – although I was never up early enough to see it. I did, however, enjoy watching a Dad and his son fishing  from a rock outcropping on that other side. That was good enough.


Although the gorgeous water, rough rocks, and untouched sand were completely addictive,



We enjoyed the run to those places just as much.

Tip-Toeing through the cemetery,

160505_IMG_9497 2



Which, by the way, had a mighty fine oceanfront view of its own,


Visiting the funeral home at the top of the cemetery,


Also with THAT VIEW,


Running past the dump and holding our breath,


(ALSO OCEANFRONT. Seriously guys this was the dump’s view…)


Peeking down all the interior streets,


Gawking at the churches,


And saving schoolchildren’s soccer balls from rolling down the street and into…you guessed it…the ocean.


Real estate was a bizarre thing on the island. Both of these properties were equidistant from the beach,



And well-armed walls hiding absolutely nothing were quite common.


From what we could gather, there have been hurricanes here. And those hurricanes have left deliciously mysterious abandoned properties that incidentally go nicely with ancient tales of buried treasure.


The island is absolutely aching for the outdoorsy community to discover it, buy up all of its ailing properties, and truly appreciate the stunning landscape.


…Or leave it as our little secret. Either way is fine with me.


More to come…and I haven’t even started talking about my new best friends the giant iguanas, or the fact that Mommy Guilt doesn’t even exist here.

8 thoughts on “Vacation Paralysis.

  1. Oh so beautiful!!! I have experienced both sides of Mexico – the nitty-gritty real everyday side (I made tortillas in an open-air kitchen in the mountains with little old ladies), and the all-inclusive resort side. I love them both. Your island sounds like the perfect blend of the two. Excuse me while I renew my passport and book a ticket.

    Loved the staff at the resort we went to, too. On our last day there some of them were teasing us because we had gained barely a tan. We spent each morning after breakfast covering ourselves in sunscreen! They would say “You should look like this by now!” and indicate their own (gorgeous) skin. I would then indicate whatever burned-to-a-crisp person was in the vicinity and reply “We would end up looking like THAT.” Oh the people of Mexico….they love to laugh and are so beautiful!

  2. WOW! I love it! I”m always looking for new places to vacation…what airport did you fly into? You said the island is only accessible by ferry? VERY cool! Great pictures, too!

    1. We flew direct from Atlanta to Cancun. Then took a shuttle to the ferry…the ferry across..then a taxi to the hotel. The flight was short, but all the other legs to the journey took some time! (Plus we drove 2.5 hours to Atlanta…a shuttle to the airport…a shuttle to the international airport…etc.)

  3. Wow these pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Sounds like the perfect island! We went to Antigua on our honeymoon and it was hard to enjoy the beautiful resort when there was extreme poverty and malnourished children just a block away.

    1. I feel I should clarify a bit. The Myst games were absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. The trail pictures here are fantastic and I guess I was speechless (typeless?). I also enjoyed the following post with the picture of the dead fish:)

      I think I’m often not clear enough in my comments.

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