Travel Tuesday: Tulum, MX.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought it would be a great time to share a pic from our honeymoon. We enjoyed the most fantastic and romantic honeymoon in Mexico. We even took some time to visit ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum. Super cool!



Travel Tuesday: Tulum, Mexico 


Team JP Christmas en MX

We did something in 2015, I’ve never done before, not spend the holidays with either of our families. Before you go judging us, let me explain…


We still felt the Christmas spirit @ RIU Emerald Bay Resort in Mazatlan, MX.

We currently live in Houston, TX, our parents live in Minnesota and Indiana. We’ve gone home for every Winter for the holidays, since I’ve moved away. Let me tell you something about Winter, it sucks! No, seriously. Maybe, the first days of snowfall are beautiful, but once I moved away after “surviving” 30 something Winters, I realize I’m over it. Done. I said it, “I hate Winter!” I no longer look forward to going home for the holidays, at the absolute coldest times of the year. Last Winter, I told our families, “we’re not coming back next year… who wants to go to Mexico, instead?”


I almost felt bad for not going home, but then I got here and got over it. Riu Emerald Bay Resort, Mazatlan, MX.

By August, we’ve usually already purchased our tickets home for the holidays. We spend 1 week with my family, and 1 week with my in-laws, as they are a short flight from one another. It’s exhausting just thinking of going through 3 flights destinations during the holidays. Instead, we purchased tickets to Mexico for Christmas. Our gift to ourselves.


Ready for Christmas dinner @ Riu Emerald Bay Resort, Mazatlan, MX.

I have to admit, I was hesitant I’ve never been away from my family during the holidays. That’s not what “good” Latinas or daughter do. Then, I remembered the previous Winter. I thought, what would really make me happy this Christmas? An all inclusive resort? Yes. Sand in my toes? Yes. Finally getting to wear those cute bikinis? Yes. Margaritas and Piña Coladas from the pool swim up bar? Yes. Fun in the Sun? Yes.


Where we actually spent Christmas, at the Swim up bar. Riu Emberald Bay Resort. Mazatlan, MX

Relaxation and avoid all holiday stress? Yes and Yes. Sunsets on the beach with my husband? Yes. It didn’t take much more to convince me. We booked our 1st holiday vacation in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. Best. Decision. Ever.


I like this kind of Santa @ RIU Emerald Bay Resort in Mazatlan, MX.

We spent 7 days and nights at the RIU Emerald Bay Resort. It’s not an adults only resort, as we’ve become accustomed to, but Mazatlan, doesn’t have any adult only resorts, yet. To my surprise the resort was at capacity, filled with families that had children of all ages. Not to worry, there was an adults only pool.


Enjoying life on Christmas at Riu Emerald Bay Resort. Mazatlan, MX

We spent our days at the beach or by the pool bar, enjoying the sunshine, water, and tequila.

My husband used to live in Mazatlan, he showed me his old apartment, which was 2 blocks from the beach. I see why this American boy from Minnesota loves Mexico so much, and why he/we can’t stay away. We visited his old stomping grounds, which mostly included beach bars with beautiful views of the ocean.


Cristina and my husband have been friends for 20yrs. They met in a student exchange program in H.S.

We spent Christmas eve with friends. We still received a homemade Christmas dinner by the generosity of our friends and their family.

After our week in Mazatlan, I feel we came back rejuvenated and not stressed for the 1st time during the holidays.


Wishing all our friends and family a Feliz Navidad from the beach in Mazatlan, MX.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! I know we’ll have to go “home” for the holidays, sometimes, but I’ll always dream about our beach Christmas vacation.


Welcome Home @ Secrets Resorts


Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

It’s no secret, we love our Secrets Resorts and Spas. Most recently, my sweet husband, surprised me with a vacation to the Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun, for our 6 month wedding anniversary.


Happy 6 months to us!

This was our 3rd Secrets trip in the past year and a half. The first time we went was in May of 2013 for my mom’s birthday celebration. It was also perfect timing as we had gotten engaged weeks before.

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    Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

The Secrets Resorts and Spas, is owned and operated by AMResorts. “AMResorts is a collection of luxury destinations, each with its own personality”, according to their website I suggest you visit it. There are eleven Secrets Resorts and Spas throughout Mexico. There is one in the Dominican Republic, and two in Jamaica. All Secrets Resorts and Spas are all-inclusive, and adult-only. No children allowed! It’s the perfect adult vacation.


Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

We’ve had the privilege to stay twice at Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun, in May 2013 and November 2014. We stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, for our honeymoon in May 2014. We took advantage of the Secrets Eternity Honeymoon Package.


Our swim out suite at Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.

I highly recommend this package if you are looking for the ultimate honeymoon experience. I suggest using a travel agent to help plan, book, and handle your honeymoon. The last thing you want to stress about is your honeymoon, let your travel agent help you.


Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.

Each Secrets Resorts and Spas experience starts off as such, a greeter who says, “Welcome Home”. You think, yes, I want this to be home. Then, you are given a scented and cooled towel, which is perfect as it’s usually warm, hot, or humid in Mexico. Then, as if that isn’t enough, you are offered a glass of champagne, all before even entering your room or completing check-in.


Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

Someone will bring your bags to your room, you don’t have to lift a finger. You start to get the idea, this is what vacation is all about. If you are celebrating a special occasion, ex. birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon there will be a banner across the door to welcome you.


Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun


Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

Once inside you’ll notice the bright red rose petals across your bed on a beautifully made lush bed.


Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

Each time we’ve stayed, we’ve had a king size four poster bed. I want one. I need one. Just like from the Secrets. Every detail in each room is as lovely as the next.


On the balcony at Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun.

The balconies in the room are spacious enough to fit a table and chairs for two. I suggest sitting there and enjoy morning room service, or, a nightcap and cigar, as my husband likes to do.


Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

Speaking of room service, it’s a must here. It’s 24hrs a day, and it’s already included. While the gourmet dining is exquisite, and it’s truly gourmet, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the chilaquiles in the morning, or the “Pepito” sandwich, I enjoy in the afternoon.


Room service at Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.

Of course, room service is even made fancy by being wheeled in, set wherever you wish, on a silver platter, and white linen napkins. When they say, “unlimited-luxury” they mean it. Everything and everyone here is made to feel special and unique.


Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

Between the Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun and Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, there are 16 dining options. We dined on everything from
seafood to Italian to Japanese. You won’t go hungry or even get bored from the food selections. Everything is high restaurant quality food and service.


“Fusion” restaurant at Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

We did have one of the best meals at the Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.  We were on our honeymoon, it was our first night, and we were looking for something to eat. We walked up to a “pop-up” restaurant they only have three days out of the week called “Fusion”. I can’t begin to describe how unexpected this “Fusion” experience was for my husband and I. We are foodies. We will and have traveled the world for exceptional food. A great chef and his/her team will transform a meal into edible art. This is their gift to us. We were told, “it’s a chef’s tasting menu and it’s a two hour dinner.” The woman at the front had us at chef’s tasting menu. As foodies, we know that’s the best the chef has to offer. However, I understand a lot of people wouldn’t understand that, and would be turned away by the length of time during dinner. All I can admit is, we savored every bit of our 9 course chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings, and specialty cocktails. The service was amazing. We couldn’t stop complimenting each course as it came out and devoured it. Our waiter was kind enough to bring the chef and his staff to our table to meet us. It was with great joy we complimented and


Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

thanked them face to face for an unforgettable dinner. In any other place, we would have paid hundreds of dollars for that type of service, meal, and overall experience. Plus, it was all included in our stay. Amazing!

Aside from all the delicious food and drinks, you’ll never be bored. If you’re bored it’s your fault. Each night there is entrainment. The Excelente Entertainment Team makes sure everyone is having as much fun as possible from day to night. If you’re there for pure relaxation and romance they will know to let you enjoy that experience, as well.


I will be remiss if I forget to gush about the SPA! Everyone loves a great spa experience. I can honestly say, I’ve had the best massages of my life at the Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun, and, Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun. From the hydrotherapy circuit to the massages


Getting ready for our couples massage on our honeymoon at Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.

expect at least a 2hr spa experience. The spas all carry Pevonia products. They are fully equipped to do massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Please, treat yourself, your spouse, or enjoy the spa together. You can also choose to enjoy a massage on the beach, which I’m determined to do, one day.

I have to admit the real shining stars of this whole resort experience are their staff. Every waiter, every poolside waiter, every bartender, the cleaning staff, the concierge, the Excelente Entertainment Team, are kind, friendly, and work long long hours always with a smile on their faces.


Wonderful brick oven pizza being made at Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.

These people truly deserve the accolades. It’s because of them we get to experience the unlimited-luxury experience. I don’t take that or them for granted. Please don’t forget to TIP! While it is an all-inclusive resort, these people work extremely hard, and all day to make sure we have the best experience possible. Please don’t forget to show your appreciation.


A perfect piña colada at Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.

While, I sit here and fondly look back at our memories made, I’m anxiously dreaming of our next Secrets Resorts and Spas experience. We’ll definitely be returning for our one year anniversary. As much as we visit, it really is starting to feel like home. A dream home, but, nonetheless a home we see ourselves returning to time and time again.

What does La Vida Sunshine mean?

It means the way I try to live my life. An eternal optimist. Crazy, I know. Especially in today’s world, but someone has to find a reason to smile. I believe it’s possible to spend more days happy than sad or angry. I was given the nickname, “Sunshine”, which is another reason as to why I named my blog, ” La Vida Sunshine.” My belief is you can find joy in any situation, rich or not rich, coupled or single, CEO or stay at home wife. Happiness has always been a choice for me. If it’s something you want and believe in, you work at it like anything else.

I’ve thought a lot about happiness and what makes me happy. I recently married the most wonderful person for me. Everyone wishes you a lifetime of happiness on your wedding day. I know, I couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear on our wedding day. During our honeymoon, in the beautiful Maroma Beach, in Riviera Maya, Mexico, everyone kept telling me, “You’re glowing!” I was and a month later still am. I think ever since I fell crazy in love I’ve been glowing. I’m happiest at home, on the couch, no makeup, no bra, wrapped in the arms of my husband. One thing we always say to one another, “you are my happy place.” It’s true. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, where we’re at, as long as we’re together. My best advice, find who and what you love.”Do more of what makes you happy” – Carmel McConnell, it’s a refrigerator magnet on my fridge, and partially what helped me start my own blog. Writing makes me happy.

Through this blog, I hope to share my happiness, my love of life and people. I can’t forget my love of food, culture, and our travel adventures.