Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mexico 2010!

JF and I went back to the Mayan Riviera (Mexico) this year. This time, we stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Beach resort, which is located between Cancùn and Playa del Carmen. It is a beautiful resort, with a lot of vegetation and animals. Our room was in the building shown on the picture and it was nicely located near the beach, the pools and within a nice walking distance from the Lobby where the main buffet was.

At this hotel, everything is outside. The only place where you can be inside is in your room or at the Hotel boutiques and à-la-carte restaurants near the Lobby. Of course, many areas have a roof, so you're not stuck outside in the rain if it happens to rain, but you get to enjoy eating outside and just being outside in general.

The place had many non-human residents. Among them were what I called wild turkeys. They were hilarious: they were always walking around as a group and they made this crazy noise as they went. We had fun trying to guess what they were saying to each other. One night, we were hearing them from up in a tree and when we approached the tree, we saw a cat that was near the tree, looking at the birds. We thought the cat chased them into the tree, but it probably wasn't the case because they were up in the tree every night.

There were a number of cats, three parrots, many peacocks who liked to chill on people's balconies in the morning as well as a kind of raccoon, which I think is called a coatis. Those were too cute!

The pools were beautiful. We didn't use them much because we prefer to swim in the ocean, but they were very refreshing after a day at the beach. One thing we liked about the pools was that they varied in depth. There were areas that were more kid-friendly and areas that were for adults only. In the adult-only area, I had water up to my chin when I was standing on my toes!

One morning, JF went to the beach to look at the sun rise. He took many pictures of the quiet beach at this time of the day. He captured the beginning of one of the many warm and sunny days we had during our stay. It rained for a few hours on the Tuesday afternoon, but the rest of the week was beautiful: mostly sunny with a few clouds here and there. The beach was big enough for the number of guests at the hotel and there were enough palapas for everyone. The water was turquoise and although there were areas that had rocks, there were also a lot of areas that were sandy. You could play safely in the water without hurting yourself stepping on a rock. The whole week, the red flag was up, which meant we had to be careful because the waves were strong. I didn't feel like I was in danger, though. The waves were very "friendly" in that it didn't feel like they were trying to push you to the floor of the ocean. They just "played nicely" with us.

On Wednesday, we went to Xel-Ha - a park where you mostly go to snorkel. Xel-Ha used to be a wild area, but the park was created years ago to welcome more tourists and generate revenue, but also to protect the area. The park is beautiful and very well designed. As you walk around, you find many places where you can go into the water.

In the water, you get to see beautiful fishes: they're yellow, blue, white, grey and they don't come too close to humans, so it's perfect for someone who is scared of fishes like I am. We had bought disposable waterproof cameras and we didn't regret the expense. It was great to be able to take some pictures in the water and it turns out that those are our best pictures from our vacation! We had a wonderful time chasing the fishes all day in Xel-Ha. There were other activities, but we spent most of our time snorkeling. JF went deeper in the water and closer to the fishes, whereas I stayed at a safe distance from them. One time, I got bold and went very close to a blue fish I wanted to photograph, but when it looked at me and started coming in my direction, I panicked and turned around.

I started feeling nauseated in the afternoon, and I attributed the feeling to spending so much time in the water, going from an horizontal to a vertical position all the time. The waves were also quite strong in one area of the park, so I thought it was just my usual ear/balance problems when I spend too much time in the water. That night, I didn't eat much and went to bed early, hoping to be a whole new person in the morning! It turned out I was wrong: I woke up with an intense nausea at 5am the next morning and I spent the morning puking.

JF went to the beach, but he came back often to check on me. Sometime after 11am, he was in the room with me when I passed out. We knew something was wrong and we called the hotel doctor, who advised we go to the hospital. We took the taxi-ambulance and went to the Cancùn Hospiten, a very nice hospital where probably only tourists get treated. I was admitted and they put me on an IV while they did some tests to find out what was making me so sick. Turned out I had a bacterial infection in my stomach, that I probably got from swallowing water or drinking water at Xel-Ha. We spent the night in the hospital and they released me the next day before lunch.

Back at the hotel, we had a little over 24 hours left to our trip and I wanted to enjoy that time. We spent the afternoon at the beach and enjoyed a very light dinner instead of the à-la-carte we were supposed to have that night. The next morning, we went to the beach but I had to go back to my room at about 10:30 because the sun and the light were making me feel sick. I went back to my room, only to come out at 2:30, when the sun would not be as strong. Walking to the beach, I heard my name and was totally surprised to see JF's brother and his wife! We knew they were coming to Mexico for their belated honeymoon, but we didn't know they would stay at the same hotel as us! So, we spent a few hours with them before going back to our room to pack our stuff and go home.

Crazy week! I'm not ready to go back yet, but I think this wasn't the last time I visited Mexico. I just love this country.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 is here! Where's my mojo?

A new year has started. 2010 is starting on the right foot for me from an athletic point of view: I'm not injured. My body's holding up. I shouldn't be surprised though. I haven't exercised that much in the past couple of months. I could list a number of good excuses and I could even add that even though I didn't exercise much, I haven't been sedentary either. I walked a lot and kept busy this Fall - I didn't just sit on my @ss.

I can't find my motivation! Every Sunday night, I intend on running 3 times in the coming week, and I can't seem to make myself run during the week. Work is crazy busy as I am replacing my manager and I always find a good reason not to run at lunch: I have important work to do, it's too cold, it's raining, etc. Then, I'm too tired to run on the treadmill when I get home, or I'm too hungry. Saturday morning comes, and I go out and do my weekly run. This is my life right now.

I can't make myself get on the dreaded trainer. I find it so boring! Even when watching TV shows or movies while pedaling I get bored. I can't wait for the nice weather to be back so that I can ride outside again!

Swimming... Sigh. Swimming requires me to go out at night or to wait for the bus in the cold when my hair is not completely dry. I know it's a lame excuse, because I like swimming once I get in the pool, but it's the logistics around it that annoy me. I signed up for a PowerSwim course that starts on February 22nd, so that should help with the motivation!

I have to lose some weight. Experience taught me that I can't lose weight by watching what I eat alone. I must exercise and do some strenght training. That's the only way I'll succeed.

I think that maybe I need a vacation, which I'm going to get next week. Then maybe I'll get my mojo back when I'm rested. Let's hope so!