Cancún in a Weekend (Part 1)

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Have you ever had an Ugh, I need a vacation moment? I had one recently. I felt anxious for an adventure and I started looking up flights for a weekend trip somewhere. Anywhere. I realized that I live quite close to Mexico now… and that was the end of my brainstorming. Mexico it is. I asked my brother to go with me but he was too busy with his own I need a vacation adventures so another friend volunteered to come instead.

We settled on Cancún after finding cheap flights a little more than a week out (~$300 roundtrip). Our other option was Puerto Vallarta but we thought we’d go all in for the Spring Break experience.

This was probably the least-planned trip I have ever taken. I had never been to Mexico before and I knew nothing about it. What kind of outlets do they have? (The same as the U.S.) Do they accept USD? (Not really) What’s the conversion rate? ($1 USD = roughly $17 pesos*). How’s my high school Spanish? (Not great, but good enough to get by).

With little preparation, I packed my bags and headed to Cancún. Upon arrival, I waited for B at the airport bar with no cell service and no wifi (the Internet told me CUN has wifi. It doesn’t). One of the SuperShuttle guys felt bad for me because I was waiting for so long so he let me use his wifi. Finally, I managed to find B and we headed to the hotel.

By the time we arrived we were both tired and just wanted to get some food. We figured we’d take it easy, walk around a bit, and save ourselves for a night out the next night. A for effort, guys.

We wandered down to the “strip” of nightclubs and restaurants and found ourselves at Hacienda el Mortero, a Mexican restaurant with beautiful decor and a live mariachi band. I made the band play my favorite song from Desperado (Morena De Mi Corazón) after hearing them play it earlier. The food was delicious. We started with guacamole (obviously) and for dinner we tried the lime soup and grilled cactus salad. Also, giant margaritas. Duh.

After dinner, dressed in the opposite of club garb, we wandered the strip, taking it all in. We were approached by a gentleman who tried to sell us on tickets to a new club, but we told him we were exploring our options and we’d come back later.

We made it about 10 feet.

Tout #2 was much better, offering us a slightly higher price but one that included entry to three clubs instead of one AND a personal waiter to follow us around for the night making us drinks. Oh, and the drinks were included. Done.

Remember when we were going to take it easy? Nice try, guys.

We handed over our money to our new friend and got ready for the craziness…


The night began at Mandala, an open-air bar/lounge with huge screens playing music videos, an awesome DJ, and, of course, half-naked girls dancing on fenced-in platforms facing the street. Is it really Spring Break without scantily clad women?

I laughed at myself as I walked into the club with my VIP wristband wearing cuffed denim shorts, a white flowy tank top with a sports bra underneath, and bright white Vans, glowing in the club’s black lights. I found amusement in the fact that I was let into the club looking like this while the other female club-goers were completely decked out in the tightest, smallest thing they could find.

After an hour or so our waiter told us it was time to go to the next club, Dady’O. Yes, it was called Dady’O, and it was actually our favorite club of the night. This one was indoors, with a killer DJ and a really cool set up. Of course, what’s a night out without some gross drunk dude hitting on you? GDD came up to me to try to get me on the dance floor and I told him I was taking it easy, watching from the balcony. We got to talking for a minute and he told me he was from Orange County, living the housewife life, but without the house.

Wait, so you’re…? I started.

Yeah, he said, grinning like an idiot.

Okay, then. Have a nice night. I turned away from him and five minutes later found him aggressively kissing some other woman. I guess I missed my chance.

The people-watching continued and I enjoyed dancing in my own little VIP bubble far away from the crowded dance floor, trying to decide whether I wanted to be down there or not. Eventually, it was time to move on to the next spot and Waiter ushered us to our final destination.

The City was a massive venue, with balconies on several levels and one giant dance floor in the middle. It was everything I imagined from a huge place like that– incredible light show, giant balloons and confetti dropping from the ceiling, huge blasts of fog shooting from the ceiling, and a solid DJ. All that being said, it was absolutely terrible for dancing. There just wasn’t really any space for it, and I don’t know what people were doing but they weren’t dancing. I think this place would be amazing with someone like Tiesto or Steve Aoki playing, but with just an average DJ (no offense to the DJ that night) it just didn’t do it for me. Sorry, City! Maybe next time.

Eventually, we decided we’d had enough for the night and we went to sober up with some cheese quesadillas. We continued to enjoy the epic people-watching and then had all of our money taken by small children. Okay, fine, we gave it to them because we were inebriated and they were giving us colorful bracelets.

We made it back to our hotel (a miracle, considering we walked there), and then passed out so we could enjoy a nice relaxing day at the beach the next day. Or so we thought..

*Pro tip: They use the same $ dollar sign for Pesos and USD. So, uh, yeah… don’t get confused 🙂

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