We flew out from Albany on Sunday morning, with a layover in Charlotte. We had a couple of hours to kill right around lunchtime, though unfortunately there were slim pickings for a gluten free diet. We found a restaurant that served nachos with corn tortillas, and I had a cup of chili while Vince had a salad. The rest of the flight wasn’t too bad, and we arrived in Mexico ready for a week-long vacation.
Well, we were absolutely thrilled with the Cancun Palace. The resort was gorgeous, featuring a huge swimming pool literally right on top of the ocean, four restaurants to choose from, and several nighttime activities. When the staff found out we were on our honeymoon they upgraded our room with a pool/beach view. The first thing we did was go down to check out the resort and the beach, and we quickly made our way to the Mexican restaurant at the resort.
I had been a little nervous about the language barrier going into the country, and I had picked up a pocket-sized Mexican Spanish reference just to be on the safe side. (I was impressed to see the phrase “I am allergic to gluten” right in the book). Of course, Vince and I were blessed to have not one but three members of our wedding party who were fluent in Spanish, but do you think we though to ask them anything for a cheat sheet? Of course not! Still, it wasn’t a problem at all. Everyone in the resort spoke English, and once they found out about his special dietary needs they passed along the information to all of the restaurants, etc.
Unfortunately, of the four restaurants we had to stay away from two restaurants, the Asian teppanyaki restaurant and the Italian restaurant. We didn’t think it was that big of a deal though because we could choose from a Mexican restaurant, and an international buffet for every meal. And let’s face it, who goes to Mexico for good Italian food?
The Mexican restaurant was great. We ate most of our meals there throughout the week, and every night at dinner they’d start us off with a plate of appetizers. All sorts of interesting food – an array of miniature tostadas topped with everything from guacamole to refried beans to pico de gallo to flank steak, tamales, taquitos, ceviche, etc. For dinner we could choose from tacos (Vince’s favorite were mushroom and cheese tacos, while I was partial to the pork and pineapple tacos), quesadillas, kebabs, or a whole bunch of other choices. All of the tortillas were made from corn flour and were safe to eat, and everything was absolutely delicious – I think the experience would have ruined Taco Bell for us, if they had a gluten free menu! Our other discovery at the Mexican restaurant: frozen amaretto sours – yum!
The International restaurant at the resort was a buffet. We went there almost every day for breakfast, where you could choose from a continental breakfast of coffee, sweet rolls and fruit, to a traditional American breakfast of eggs or an omelet, meat and potatoes, to a wide variety of interesting Mexican dishes. And of course, tortilla chips were served with every meal.
On Wednesday night of our stay, the resort put together a special “romantic” dinner for honeymooners and other couples celebrating special occasions like anniversaries. They served a five course meal – I don’t quite remember what the appetizer was, but then they served a hearts of romaine salad, rose petal soup, an entrée choice of chicken or stuffed fish, and a chocolate heart dessert. Everything was paired with champagne, and attentive servers were always there to fill your glass. (That was actually true of the entire resort experience – we had to be careful to tell them when we were “cut off” so to speak!) While neither Vince nor I were crazy about the rose petal soup (though it was interesting to try), and I was the only one who partook of the chocolate dessert, everything else was delicious.
When we ate off the resort, it was generally on tours we booked through the resort. All-day trips to places such as the Riviera Maya or the snorkeling adventure we signed up for included lunch, which usually consisted of traditional Mexican food, tacos, rice, beans, etc. We also visited the La Isla mall in Cancun – the gorgeous outdoor mall with everything from tourist traps to duty free stores to high-end designer shops. We shared nachos and soda at a place called Come-n-eat and tasted Bailey’s flavored ice cream at Haagen Daaz. (We don’t normally treat ourselves to places like Haagen Daaz, so I didn’t know that Bailey’s is one of their typical flavors).
Unfortunately by the end of our trip I had come down with a stomach bug – quickly resolved by the doctors on call at the resort, multiple injections and what seemed like an entire pharmacy’s worth of prescription pills later. While we didn’t have to be careful at the resort (all their water and ice was purified), I was very careful when we ate off the resort. I have my suspicions where I may have gotten sick off the resort, but since it’s way too late at this point to know for sure, that’s all I’ll say!
With the exception of that last day, Vince and I had an amazing time on our honeymoon. Everything was beautiful and perfect, and we’d love to get the opportunity to visit Mexico again!