It was just after midnight and so officially Valentine’s Day. Chrissy gave me a card she had thoughtfully written and brought with her to Cancun. Inside were wonderful words of love stating how happy she was to have met me. What a wonderful way to begin a holiday that I hadn’t celebrated in over a decade and a half.
The next morning I awoke in Chrissy’s arms to her Valentine’s Day wishes. She even arranged a bouquet of beautiful flowers and an adorable stuffed pig (I love piggies). I felt loved!
We began the day by exploring the Cancun Sunday Market, which includes a grid of several streets. They had everything from clothing to fresh fruits and vegetables to tepache (fermented pineapple drink) to tools, toys and so much more. After comparing products and prices of several stalls selling hammocks, Chrissy bought me a beautiful blue and black Mayan hammock.
Our evening started with dinner at what has become our favorite vegan restaurant in Cancun: Vegan Planet. From our little table in the corner just behind the red heart decorations, we had a hard time choosing our dinners – there were SO many delicious-sounding options! In the end, I chose a traditional Mexican dish and Chrissy went with pasta, both of which were amazing! Getting lime cheesecake for dessert was a must!
With full bellies we drove over to Cancun’s Hotel Zone. We found a parking space at Defines Public Beach and made our way down to the gorgeous aqua-colored water as we received welcoming smiles from locals.
I loved sharing this feast of senses with Chrissy who kept looking at me with adoring eyes. From the smell of salt in the air filling my lungs to the sea breezes flowing through my hair and causing my long skirt to brush up against my legs, I enjoyed every aspect of our time at the beach.
We got lots of pictures and even took a Valentine video of us declaring our love for each other – hopefully the start of an annual tradition in different locations every year.
After watching the sun go down, we returned to Cancun’s downtown area and went to a small local carnival that had been set up in the parking lot of Las Plazas Outlet Cancun. They had all kinds of fun rides, all reminiscent of rides I enjoyed as a teen. We first faced my fear of heights by going on the Ferris wheel. We weren’t sure where to buy tickets, so we approached the ride with the intention of asking only to find ourselves being whisked away and placed in one of the cars. Once all nestled in, they asked us for 100 pesos.
Little did we know that our most fun part of the evening was still to come. Eyeing the tilt-a-whirl, we simply could not resist. We were the only ones in line for the ride and the man ushered us to our very own blue car and locked us in. We gave the man bills that required change and he said he would return our change at the end of the ride. We had no idea how much he would work for that extra money.
He made an announcement in Spanish that we didn’t understand and the ride started. We enjoyed the usual wonder of not knowing when to expect a sudden 360 turn. I loved watching the joy on Chrissy’s face and she mine. In mid spin we unexpectedly saw the man’s face on our part of the tilt-a-whirl track and he began manually spinning us by hand over and over. He knew the ride well enough to know how, and more importantly, when to use the continuing motion to perpetuate the spins again and again. Neither Chrissy nor I have ever laughed so hard! After the longest and best tilt-a-whirl experience either of us had ever been on, we walked away still laughing and smiling leaving the well-deserved change with the ride-operator.
Although we got on one more ride, it simple could not compare with the tilt-a-whirl experience we had just had. It was time to go home.
Our first Valentine’s Day ended with us climbing into our new hammock where I fell asleep in Chrissy’s arms. What a great day! I wonder where in the world we will celebrate next year!