Saturday, December 6, 2014


A very belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I have been trying to right this post for a week now and I just have not found the time.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, I know I sure did. This year we skipped the traditional Thanksgiving in favor of attending our friends' wedding in sunny Mexico. Some friends of ours decided to get married in Huatulco, Mexico so I thought I would take a little time and tell you guys about our experience.


Huatulco is on the Pacific side of Mexico and far to the south, almost to the border of Guatemala. Huatulco refers to a small region of bays containing several small towns.  Huatulco is a tourist area with the convenience of the a small airport and the port of cruise ships. The area works hard on maintaining their tourist appeal by constant maintenance, trimming, and painting to keep the area looking clean. I also never felt unsafe while I was there, I got the sense that the people there knew where their money came from and were anxious to keep the cash flowing. The people there were SUPER helpful all the time but were always trying to sell you something. The second you walked onto the beach people were there trying to shepherd you to their beach side restaurant and even after you were seated or relaxing on the beach enterprising individuals would walk around trying to sell you various trinkets.

The Resort
We stayed at the Las Palmas Resort which is serenely located on the cliffs of a very rugged coastline and overlooking some beautiful seaside cliffs. It was a small resort with 5 or so buildings with maybe 4 bedrooms each. The whole resort was rented to our group for the wedding, which was great to having 50+ people all there for the same thing. Our room was amazing, well I guess the room itself was not that interesting but the view was what made it amazing. From our deck we had an amazing view of the ocean and cliffs beyond. There was also 4 infinity edge pools which we used extensively to counter the hot Mexican sun.

The View From Our Balcony
One of Many Pools at the Resort

The Wedding
The wedding took place on the roof of one of the buildings with an amazing view of the water. It was a little tight for the 70 or so guests (70 guests at a destination wedding, these guys are apparently very popular). But the wedding was short and very sweet, they quoted music lyrics for their vows and it was fantastically sweet. I was actually on baby duty during the wedding so I spent more time looking at the baby than watching the wedding, but I love babies, especially happy babies like the one I was holding, so it wasn't a big deal.
The party after the wedding was where things got really fun. You know you're in for a crazy night when the father of the groom rips off his shirt 5 minutes into the dance party and bottles of tequila are getting passed around. There was a lot of dancing followed by a conga line into the pool and of course, more dancing. It was interesting to watch as the next morning people tried to find all the items that went missing (mostly clothing) the night before.

This was definitely a social vacation so we spent most of the time at the resort, usually socializing in or near the various pools. And we drank...a lot. But we did manage to find some time to go visit the local town for shopping, visit the neighboring beaches for swimming and sunning. There was a private beach adjacent to the hotel (although it was a very steep path to get down there which was deterent) but once down there we had some pretty intense beach volleyball games. I feel bad for trash talking the bride. We also took a cooking class for a lady who grew up in Canada but has lived in a very small neighboring village for the last 20 years. It was fun and we learned a lot about the region's cooking and culture. Turns out I would be a baller housewife because my corn tortillas were perfect! We also took a boat tour of the Bahias (bays) of Huatulco, with stops at two beaches, one for snorkeling and one for lunch. The snorkeling was OK, some people really loved it but compared to Hawaii's snorkeling this was pretty tame. This all happened the day after the wedding so everyone was pretty subdued and by the last beach people were just sleeping on the sand.

Cooking Class!
I have always loved Mexican food and I was not disappointed on my trip. We ate most breakfasts and dinners at the resort, cooked but 3 very nice ladies. The food was what you might expect: at breakfast a lot of eggs, beans, tortillas, and pastries, and a dinner a lot of chicken, bean, tortillas, guacamole, and salsa. We also managed to go out for lunch and dinner several times and, with the exception of the beach side restaurants which were just tourist traps, all of my meals were very good. One thing that surprised me was how well they did beef down there. There was two different restaurants where we shared a mixed grill and I was really impressed, I still dream about the beef at one of the places.

Cooking Class Payoff
Well that's all I have to share for now. It was definitely a great trip. I felt good to be warm and tan even if it was only for a week. I am definitely glad we could go and be there for the wedding and it was a great chance to explore a part of the world I have never been to before. I know a lot of people in the dividend investing and frugal living blogosphere like to talk about NOT traveling in order to save more money now. Of course it makes more financial sense not to travel now but for me its not an option. Life is not guaranteed so who knows if I will ever get a chance like this again. Traveling needs to be within reason of course but if I can travel and still maintain an excellent savings I see no reason not to.

What about you? How was your Thanksgiving? Does travel fit in your frugal lifestyle?

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