Tulum, Mexico


I just returned from five nights in Tulum, Mexico. (Is that as visually strange to Mexicans as “Chicago, U.S.A.” is to me? Should I be writing “Tulum, Quintana Roo”? Anyway.) Before I left, some colleagues asked, “Oh, you’re going to Mexico? Who are you going with?” and I had to be like, “Uh, friends?” because the real answer was LADIES FROM MY GYM, and I felt weird saying that even though I shouldn’t.

Here are some pics, all of which I STOLE from my friends’ social-media accounts. (But I did take that one photo above, which was what I saw every time I walked out of the back entrance at Utopia Guesthouse to lie on the beach.)

Midway through the trip, we went snorkeling in Akumal and saw sea turtles and some fish that I can only identify as Finding Nemo characters (I saw Dory but no Nemo). That was pretty fun. Here’s the obligatory shot of us in our swimming costumes with some snorkeling gear:


We went with Dive Tulum. Two guys showed up at our hotel and I was like, “WTF are these bros doing here?” but they were our guides and actually pretty nice. It was an English guy and an American guy from Georgia and they only met four months ago while doing a cave-diving course in Tulum. They sleep on beds next to each other above the dive shop, and there is a sheet that divides the bed for when they entertain ladies.

Post-Akumal, we went to see some cenotes at Dos Ojos:


That’s me waving in the back. And on the left is our fearless leader L, who generously forwent a life jacket because we left one in the car. She looks like she was drowning but wasn’t.

Public service announcement: Cenotes are awesome and you should check them out if you’re in the Yucatán. The water is unbelievably clear, and seeing the stalagmites and stalactites is amazing. My sister and I swam in the cenotes at Río Secreto on our trip to Playa del Carmen in 2010, so I almost skipped out on this activity (despite having like zero memory of going) and I’m so glad I did not.

Okay, I have like no photos and hence no flow in this post but here’s a pic from our final beach workout:


For the record, even though this was a fitness retreat (or whatever the term is, if it exists—it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as “yoga retreat”), we only did a 30- or 45-minute morning workout and an hour of afternoon yoga per day. (We also took “grandma walks” after meals, and I still came in third in my Fitbit Workweek Hustle.) Speaking of which, here’s the view from the second-floor yoga studio:


Not bad.

Things to remember!

  • Traveling is so much easier when you’re with fellow omnivores sans dietary restrictions.
  • It’s fun to gain the reputation as your group’s trash compactor: By the last few days, people were offering, “Hey Anny, I’ve got some extra rice/bread/fruit—you want it?”
  • Dinner at Arca and Hartwood (which was directly in front of Utopia) were, yes, quite delicious (just like everybody said, though we were basically eating in pitch-black darkness), but my favorite meal was at Don Cafeto, a no-frills, VERY BRIGHTLY LIT restaurant that our cabdriver recommended. The “small” margaritas were bigger than most NYC cocktails, the “big” margaritas were enormous (they looked larger than venti drinks from Starbucks), food was served as soon as it was prepared, and portions were generous (queso con chorizo). Plus there were (gasp) actual Mexicans dining and working there, not just expats who spurred New  York mag to dub the small city “the Williamsburg of Mexico.” Eek.
  • We store fear in our kidneys. I learned this during my 90-minute HEALING MASSAGE during which I giggled uncontrollably when the massage therapist touched my stomach. Anyway, it was such a relaxing experience and she did something to my chakras.
  • Bring a lot of cash to Tulum. We were told that restaurants take credit cards but most do not (and shopkeepers don’t seem to care whether the wireless is working—uh, hello, that’s BUSINESS you’re losing), and the ones that do charge a service fee. The ATMs along the beach (in addition to charging a U.S. bank fee and a local bank fee, both to be expected) often are out of cash (I had no idea that was a thing) and charge a commission (6.95% in my case) of the quantity of withdrawn cash. No gracias.
  • While I was in Tulum, some guy (with whom I matched in JUNE 2015) messaged me on Tinder for the first time to ask, “Holy shit, where are you? I was going to ask you out for hot chocolate but you’re 10K miles away!” Guess it’s true that guys only want you when they can’t have you.

That’s it. No more upcoming travel for me, unless you count visiting my sister next month. (But I should: Philz Coffee, yum.) Next trip, please!


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