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Destination: MEXICO! PT 1

My first time going to a destination wedding. I didn’t quite know what to expect! Additionally, I was the maid of honor, for the first time!!!

Our flight was bright and early at 6AM out of DCA. It was torrential downpouring on the way to the airport. Thankfully it stopped raining just before our flight was a go. We had

what felt like a forever layover in ATL. Even so, it went off without a hitch and soon we were on our final flight to Mexico! I could hardly believe it. I had talked on the phone with Krista so many times about details and decisions for the wedding. The countdown had been very real, and long! When we touched down in Cancun, we were so anxious to get moving….then our luggage took an hour to make it onto the belt. It seemed we were already on “vacation time” and we needed to cast away all the feelings of “hurry hurry.” Later on, Omar coined the term "vacation walk" to indicate the need to walk slower since we were on vacation. LOL.

We made our way to the shuttles, and we were so happy to find out everyone else in the shuttle was going to the same resort as us. Last time we rode in a similar type of shuttle we dropped off other people at multiple resorts before we got to ours. WHEW! The other couples were also going to a destination wedding! Oddly enough the couple that were getting married were Another JUSTIN and Justine.

The drive was probably only 40 minutes. We were welcomed in as “Mr. and Mrs Anderson” which was SOOOO funny. I seriously could not stop laughing. We just kept giggling and saying we weren’t married but no one really seemed to care because that continued the rest of the trip. The staff welcomed us with cold towels! The first view of the resort was totally breath taking. I couldn't even believe this is where we were staying!

We quickly followed the bell hop who carted all our stuff around to the room. My favorite part of the room was the robe and slippers. Or the nespresso machine. Or the big balcony. It was all so cool! EEE! I was in the lap of luxury, I DEFINITLY had never been anywhere this nice. It was HOT, perfect pool weather. I was immediately thankful we had brought a ton of sunscreen from Costco! We got our swimsuits on and headed to the pool where there was a foam party going on. whoot!!

We met up with the crew!!! They were already so tan! So far it was just Krista and her family and Justin and the Smith crew. I was so thrilled to see them. Slowly other people started trickling in that day and most of the others came the next! We spent time by the pool and before we knew it, it was already time to get ready for dinner. We were going to try out the Italian place that evening, “Port a Vino.” All the gluten free things were Labeled!! I WAS IN SHOCK! They staff was so accomadating that they also allowed all 14 of us to sit together that meal. It was so special and a great bonding experience for our first day. Of course we hit up the “CLRB” and got our dance on. We were all tired but we danced for awhile that night!

The next day everyone slept in. Then we hit up the breakfast buffet for the first time. Some of you might not know this about me, but I really love breakfast foods. Going gluten free

has taken a little of the joy away, as GF muffins, doughnuts, pancakes, etc. are usually not as readily available at restaurants. But guys, they had GLUTEN FREE WAFFELS. Yes. Seriously. And they didn’t taste like cardboard. Did I have them every morning? Yes. #noshame

The weather was absolutely gorgeous that day. We relaxed, tanned, and spent spent time in the ocean. I couldn't believe we had so many people from Wisconsin, all in Mexico. You couldn't help but notice our midwest charm (and accents). We had a specific spot by the pool that Mark always saved us seats by. It was the unofficial hangout. You could always find at least a handful of us there! I didn't realize how badly I needed some quality relaxation time until I could unwind. Quite a few of the days I left my phone in my room and just spent time connecting with everyone. I hadn't made that many friends all at once in years! We did try to play an intramural soccer game, and lets just say that didn't go over too well. Kaia ended up getting kicked in the shin! I do want to say that Kaia was a total champ and never complained at all. You go girl! Also later on we found out that the guy who did it was We also saw the guy who did it limping the next day so I guess what goes around? NOOOO more soccer. So we replaced soccer with some very lively beach volleyball.

That night we tried the French restaurant “Bordeaux”. I am basically obsessed with salmon so I ordered it again. GF cheesecake. (By now I’m pretty sure you all know I have a sweet tooth). That night there was a “rock and roll” show, and oh boy did we have a good time at that one. They kept inviting people up on stage to dance, and the first person to go up was Koral! YAS! Then Omar got the dancing bug and he went up to dance a whole song. I kid you not, he was the talk of the resort for the rest of the night. He achieved “resort celebrity” status very quickly. So So So funny.

Thursday was the day of the rehearsal dinner, and the day the rest of our party arrived. We really hit up the volleyball court that day and I felt like I was reliving my competitive days. Krista had a test run for her hair and makeup that day so that it would be just right for the wedding. When I got back from the spa with her, Omar and I went to the seaside restaurant. It was getting pretty cloudy, but we didn’t think much of it because

this was kind of the weather pattern in the afternoons. Suddenly, I’m looking out at the ocean, and I see this toothlike think coming out of a cloud onto the water in the distance. Then, I see another. What??? A WATER CYCLONE. Two, then three!!!Everyone fell silent and tried to get under shelter because it quickly started to downpour. The staff seemed un-fazed so I wasn’t too worried, and then someone else told us that water spouts are common there are they don’t travel onto land. Check that off the bucket list! How exciting! Like most tropical rainstorms, the rain cleared up pretty quickly after that and we were able to enjoy the water for the rest of the afternoon.

The rehearsal was sort and sweet. The wedding planner was very nice and walked us through it. My biggest job was making sure the dress train was nice and spread out and that the veil didn’t start flapping in the wind. We finished quickly and headed to dinner! It was set up so beautifully outside, and we beat the rain. Mark(Justin’s Dad) gave a nice speech and there was a nice selection of food. Just after we all finished up it started raining again.

We lucked out and headed inside to the Elvis show.

This is probably one of my favorite memories of the trip. I totally loved the Elvis show. It was just one guy singing along to tracks but it was extremely entertaining. At one point, I

thought it was appropriate to request “can’t help falling in love” and Elvis got pretty mad at me. He got over it quickly and invited Krista and Justin up on stage to dance!!!! It was SO adorable. I told every single older lady around me that they were getting married the next day and they were so charmed. They quickly leaned over to tell their husbands. Elvis ended with can’t help falling in love…..

So much happened on this trip I couldn't fit it into one post! "Tune in" Monday for THE WEDDING DAY and the rest of the trip!