By Pamela Lovegren—
Who can resist this invitation? “Let’s go on a trip together to an all-inclusive all-adult luxury resort” my son suggested in a surprise call. Absolutely YES! The balmy 80 degree sunny weather of Cancun, Mexico beckoned us to leave behind the snow and ice piling up from Central Oregon’s harshest winter in decades. Researching possible locations, we found the Excellence Riviera Cancun Resort. Situated on an immaculate white sandy Caribbean beach along Mexico’s renowned Mayan Riviera, we embarked on a week of memorable experiences.
On arrival, the staff warmly welcomed us with glasses of chilled champagne and refreshing wash cloths. The suite we reserved overlooked colorful tropical gardens and a meandering river pool. The beautiful architecture of the rooms-accented by exquisite shades of tangerine, chocolate and cream swirled marble tiles inside the quarters-merged onto the spacious outdoor balcony. We were thrilled with the unexpected bonus of a spectacular palm tree filtered ocean view. The mesmerizing vista drew us fully into the moment. Soft Caribbean breezes and sparkling white sands illuminating the variegated shades of turquoise ocean waves from light seafoam to intense cobalt blue captivated us.
Our plan was to not have a plan. Instead we set out to discover what each day offered and engaged in everything that sounded enjoyable to us. One afternoon we joined a bicycle tour group and rode into the town of Puerto Morelos in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Remember when bikes had one speed, big fat comfortable seats and little bells to ding? That describes our rides! We donned helmets and peddled down the narrow winding backroads away from the luxurious resort to quaint little shops in the village. Shop owners called to us to purchase their wares and whenever we even glanced at something in their stalls they began bartering. All except Sylvia, the jeweler. She knew exactly what her creations were worth, priced them accordingly and did not negotiate. She loves making intricate filigree jewelry pieces out of German silver which reflects both silver and goldish hues. She would wrap the metal around a crochet hook and cut circles with a jeweler’s knife before creating her complex chain-male designs. Taking great pride in her work, Sylvia has been honing her craft for many years.
I selected a bracelet that fit my wrist perfectly. Before Sylvia would give it to me, she polished it one last time on her jeweler’s wheel. While we waited, an adorable white and black cat sipped water out of a pottery dish on the table near the jewelry. Sylvia came out of the back of the shop and gently dipped my new bracelet in the “Cat’s water saucer”, or was it the “jewelry bowl” the cat was drinking out of? While Sylvia dried it off I was actually freaking out on the inside. I’m allergic to cats and when she put the bracelet on my arm my eyes were as big as saucers while I wondered how bad my rash would be from the cat saliva. It took all my will power to keep my cool. Surprisingly, I only ended up with a small rash. Afterward, we thought the whole episode was so funny and had a good laugh about this multipurpose water vessel.
The resort had a long list of activities to choose from when we wanted a change of pace. We did everything from relaxing in the tranquil sun under soothing ocean breezes,to playing drums, carving decorative fruit, judging a variety of drinks, doing yoga, playing tennis and engaging in water sports to name a few. One offer was more unique than the rest. My son and I signed up for pole dance lessons. OK, mother and son taking pole dance lessons together…that’s awkward from the start. Then throw in an exceptionally beautiful instructor who is a professional pole dancer. Let’s just say we were way beyond our comfort zone! We discovered pole dancing is much more than the sensual moves seen on TV. This endeavor required athletic ability and gymnastic grace – with precision placement of arms and legs to execute the moves without looking like a monkey hanging from a tree. We learned an easier way to climb a pole than brute arm strength. We also acquired the ability to walk airborne, flip over our shoulders and swing around the pole completely horizontal. We even have pictures to prove it!
Wide-range collections of live music could be found daily in the afternoons, early evenings and after the spectacular nightly shows. This gave my husband and me a multitude of opportunities to engage in our favorite pastime…ballroom and Latin dancing. One memorable night ‘H la Rumba’ performed with a crowd dancing under the moonlight in the courtyard. Behind the stage I noticed a marble tiled, softly lit gazebo. Stars twinkled, the music drifted all around and we had the perfect dance floor all to ourselves. I felt like Cinderella at the ball as we swirled, swayed and danced to the music.
Our last day we slept in, packed and checked out at noon. We arranged transport to the airport for 3:00pm. While having our final gourmet lunch, we noticed the sailboats were finally allowed on the sea after ten days of exceptionally windy weather causing perpetual white capped waves on the ocean. Adventure outweighed the practical. We did not even have time to unpack our swimsuits. Putting on sunglasses, just two hours before departing for the airport, we snagged a Hobie Cat and sailed to our hearts content on the warm, turquoise blue Caribbean ocean. It felt like we were flying on the wind. We would be gliding along in the sea breeze and then get slammed by a big wave drenching our clothes. I hung on with white knuckles and looked back to see my son with the biggest grin ever on his face!Afterward the practical kicked in. Our beach hair-dos from all the wind and seawater sprays were hilarious. Hours later at the airport, our undergarments finally dried on our bodies. I kept reminding myself I would not see anyone on that plane again… so who cares. We were the ones having all the fun. What a perfect ending to a fabulous week!
Pamela’s expertise flows from building her own successful business to guiding small to mid-size family owned companies. She analyzes business structure, is a diplomatic negotiator, identifies operational issues, and implements effective resolutions to lead a firm on a path to excellence. Her experience ranges from resort management, leadership conferences, property management and business consulting to extensive traveling and travel editor of this online publication. Pamela shares the vision of Carol Doyel, Founder of LivingBetter50.com to celebrate and encourage women of 50+ who desire to live life with spirit and passion each and every day.