Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's in the world!
Our final story in this series comes from the founder of The Sisterhood Of Traveling Ladies, Christelle.
Read how she inherited her mom's wanderlust and treated her to a Mother-Daughter trip to paradise. To the Island of women - Isla Mujeres - in sunny Mexico.
My mom says she always had a taste for adventure and a love of travel, even though she was 41 by the time she had the chance to go abroad the first time. Since then she made up for lost time and traveled more than she could have hoped for. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree - my love of adventure and travel took me from France to live in Miami, USA.
Almost every year, my mom makes the journey to visit my daughter Alyson and I. I always made sure she had a good time but this year I wanted to do something extra special for her. Something new, something neither of us had done before: a mother and a daughter adventure.Two women sharing quality time. We'll go on vacation together! When I mentioned the idea to my mom, she was thrilled.
As my mom and I sat down on the balcony, browsing exotic destinations on the ipad, our trip started right there and then in our minds. We fantasized about the beautiful places we'd see, the food we would eat, the things we would do - the hotel, the people, the whole experience.
Here was our wish list:
4 days- 3 nights
2 hours flight max from Miami
A place of discovery for both
Under $500 for flight and hotel
I opened the Expedia page and a list of destinations revealed. Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Santa Lucia, but it was between Jamaica and Mexico that
we battled to choose. I gathered all the information, hit the "book" button.
Mexico, HERE WE COME!
Isla Mujeres, the island of women, this couldn't sound more perfect for us. This small island is located 15 minutes away from busy Cancun. Once arrived at the airport, a shuttle took us to the port where we would take a ferry to the Island. We researched just enough about the island for what we needed but kept the surprise intact.
We didn't know what to expect but the view of the transparent aqua blue water led us to believe that we were on for a good start. Only 15 minutes later, we landed in paradise. My Spanish was good so I was able to ask for hotel directions, even though most people spoke English. We could take a taxi and be there in 5 minutes or walk. We chose to walk. It was about 10 minutes walk, not the best choice during the hot summer time but it is the
best way to get a sense of the place.
We crossed over a little bridge and arrived at our beautiful hotel, the Mia Reef. We arrived at the check in where we were advised that our room would be ready
in few minutes.The staff was very warm and welcoming. Our room far surpassed the pictures online. The sound of the waves crashing, right outside our windows, was the best wake up alarm we could ever asked for.
The hotel offered a beautiful banquet, with a Mexican theme. Dinner would be served at 7pm so we still had half a day ahead to work on our itinerary. We found a spot on the beach, ordered cocktails. We walked around the hotel, went to the pool…ordered more cocktails, and laid on the beach, looking at this clear blue water ahead of us.
Dinner was perfect. Flowers everywhere, tiki torches, candles, music, all type of meat and veggies cooking on the grill. Everything tasted as good as it looked. During that night, my mom and I met our waiter for the first time. I forgot his name quite frankly with the years but I will never forget his kindness. He said he would care of us every day for breakfast and dinner so we made sure to always be seated in his section.
After this delicious meal, we went for a walk. The night life revealed a whole other type of energy. A lot more festive and noisy. Little food stations were set up all along the streets next to restaurants, bars and shops. Street vendors were selling jewelry and other sorts of accessories shouting to attract the tourists. We ate ice cream and headed back to the hotel with our plans in mind for the following day.
The hotel next to ours offered morning and evening yoga classes which I was able to join. This was my real first introduction to the world of yoga, meditation and wellness. We signed up to go snorkeling (another first!) and kayaking, which was really awesome.
Later in the afternoon, we rented a golf cart to visit the whole island the following day. We met an adorable couple from Texas by the pool who vacationed at this same hotel every year for the past 10 years. They told us about the dolphin encounter tour. My dream! I love dolphins! The day after we had so much fun driving around the island. We laughed so much because I kind of didn't know how to drive and my mom was a bit freaked out, which made us laugh even more. We met locals, drank out of coconuts, saw rich vibrant colors, admired Mexican paintings, got lost on the tiny streets and found beautiful little shops that we wouldn't have found otherwise. We loved it! We finally found the dolphin park but we were too late for the tour. I had so much fun with mom that I didn’t mind and realized I’d rather see them in the wild anyway.
We saw churches, beautiful architecture and went all around the island.
Back at the hotel we noticed tents and massage tables set up on the beach. Yes mom, tomorrow it is total relaxation day for
both of us: manicure, pedicure and massage to top it all off!
Our plan after that relaxing massage, was go from the resort to the water and the water to the resort, not an inch more.
During our stay we found out that the last ferry off the island was at midnight but our flight was at 6am the following morning from Cancun. How would that work? Well, remember the waiter we met on our first day that said he would take care of us? He really did. We arranged for our last night to be transferred to Mia Reef Cancun. He told us that is where he lived and that after his shift he would meet us at the ferry port and take us to our new hotel and sure enough, there he was, waiting for us and took us to the hotel. I was so touched by his gesture. My mom is French and not used to tipping but she insisted on giving him a generous tip. He refused but we insisted.
And so our unforgettable mother and daughter trip to Mexico came to a close. Those 4 days had felt like a week. Back to Miami, we were so revived, refreshed and relaxed. Our heads and hearts filled with new memories that would last a lifetime. We often recall those moments and can't wait to go on another vacation together again! A mother and her daughter alone; two women sharing the time of their lives.A precious experience I wish everyone could have!