Travel Tuesday

The last time we were in New York city was in 2013. We were engaged, planning our wedding and having the time of our lives! Looking forward to going back this weekend as a happily married couple.

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Gorgeous Manhattan Skyline. We love NYC!

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Travel Tuesday!

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National Geographic Traveler photo credit: National Geographic Traveler

Loving this cover of National Geographic Traveler with the Taj Mahal. Plus, an article on Tokyo! It’s like the universe is speaking to me today! Happy Travel Tuesday! 

Married to a Traveler

Early on in our relationship, it became apparent, I was going to have a lifetime of adventures with this man. From an early age, my husband has had a wandering spirit. Why does this matter in a marriage? Because if you happen to marry a man like mine, know that his wanderlust will never end. Being married to a traveler means committing to his traveler’s lifestyle. Are you ok with that?

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Our 1st trip together in Rome, Italy. May 2012

 

One would think that I would get used to the unexpected booked trips, but after four years, this man still surprises me. I never know where or when we’ll be headed to next. It’s an amazing privilege. I’m not complaining. However, there are things that have to be taken into consideration when you become a traveling couple.

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Engaged and in NYC! My 1st time there. Oct 2013

 

First, if and when, you’ll have children? How will those children affect your traveling lifestyle together? Can you afford to have children or a child and travel? Do you want to have children and travel? Where can you go with children? All of those questions should be discussed pre and during marriage often.

Second, be clear about where you will and won’t go. It’s important to always be considerate of your partner’s boundaries while traveling together. That even includes something as simple as to stay in a hostel or a 5-star hotel? Everyone has a different level of necessities while traveling. Safety is always the most important consideration wherever you go in the world together.

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On our honeymoon in Mexico. Tulum, MX May 2014

 

Third, something people don’t realize but, is important finances. Who is financing all of these trips around the world? How will you budget as a couple or individuals for travels together? Do you split the costs of everything from restaurants, accommodations, activities, transportation, airfare, etc… If the man you’re traveling with pre-marriage expects you to share all the cost, chances are probably during marriage you’ll still split the expenses. It just might come out of a joint account, instead of an individual account by then.

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With our tour guide leading the way in Machu Picchu. Nov 2015

 

If you marry a man with a wandering spirit, know that moving is always an option. Moving countries, moving cities, just might become your normal. That is a deal breaker for some relationships, especially for someone who plans to have and raise children near family. Can you live far away from your families? This needs to be discussed at length and agreed upon before marriage.

Life married to a traveler means expect random text messages during the day about airfare deals he can’t pass up, like our most recent NYC purchase. He got those tickets before I could even respond.

Life married to a traveler means don’t be too surprised that when you wake up in the morning, he has already looked at deals to places online and purchased tickets before lunch, like our most recent purchase to Japan and China.

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On the train in Barcelona, Spain. Oct 2012

 

Life married to a traveler means always expect the unexpected.

Life married to a traveler will be fun.

Life married to a traveler will be full of challenges that will help you grow as a person.

Life married to a traveler will take you to places you never dreamt was possible.

Life married to a traveler will never be ordinary.

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From my 1st trip to San Francisco. I had no idea how my life was about to change.

 

Life married to a traveler will also turn you into a traveler.

Are you ok with that?

Selfish and Married.

They, someone, people, say to be married you can’t be selfish. I agree, to an extent. While I do have to take my husband into consideration in everything I do/decide and vice versa, we still are pretty selfish as individuals, just not with one another.

Mostly, because we don’t have children. Being a parent is the MOST Selfless thing a person can do and become. My husband and I, have been married for almost 2 years. Just today, he text me to let me know he booked us a trip to NYC for the weekend. We can do that and I love that. We don’t have children. We don’t have pets. We don’t even have plants because we travel too much. We come and go as we please, have weekend brunches with friends, or weekly date nights all without having to worry about finding a babysitter.

Before and during marriage, we discussed our wanting of children in our life. Do we really want children or not? I know for some it’s not an option or question, but it is a matter of necessity to being a married couple. We aren’t those people. We decided to wait at least after our 1 year anniversary to try to expand our family of 2. We wanted to buy a house first, continue to travel the world together, and fall in love with our new roles as husband and wife. Then, we decided to wait even longer because there are still places in the world we want to experience.

I’m honestly thankful we have waited, traveled, bought our first home, and continue to grow together and discover new things about one another as a married couple. I have no regrets that we live as if we’re still newlyweds and travelers in love. This is the only time we can take in our lives for it to be all about us. Selfish? Maybe. Happy? ABSOLUTELY! This is what has been right for us, and it’s not for everyone. While we get pressure from our families more than anyone, I think it’s most important that other couples like us be honest about it. It’s o.k. to say, “ya know what, we’re still enjoying our time together as husband and wife.” Every now and then, you’ll run into someone who says, “Good for you! Enjoy it while you can.” We’ll never get this time back again. I don’t want to wait until we’re older to travel.

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Travelers in Love! Springtime in France. 

 

The more we travel, the more grateful I am that we’re going and experiencing the places that we want to now, while we’re young, mobile, can eat and drink whatever we want. That truly makes us happy. While some wouldn’t consider us a real family, because we don’t have children, I think we’re a great family of 2, even if we’re both still a little selfish.

TEN.

Italy. Poland. The United Kingdom. Spain. Germany. Mexico. Argentina. Uruguay. France. Peru. When my husband told me back in 2012, “the only requirement I have of you, you must be willing to travel the world with me.” I said, “yeah, o.k. sure.” I mean, what woman would say, “no.”?

I never considered myself much of a traveler. Now, I guess I can’t deny it. I’m no longer a tourist in the world. Yes, there’s a difference between being a traveler vs. tourist. I’ll save that debate for another time.

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Sleeping on the train in France. The best way to travel throughout Europe. April 2015

This is how I found myself being a traveler in love. Most people start their world travels in college. They either do a study abroad, peace corp, or take a year off during or after college to travel throughout Europe. I didn’t do any of that, nor was I interested in it at that point of my life. I crazily enough knew I was going to wait to see the world with the love of my life, my husband (even though I didn’t know who that would be). I didn’t grow up privileged. I also wasn’t going to take out loans to travel and pay for it for years to come. I spent my 20’s trying to survive and pay my everyday living expenses on a non for profit salary, not finance dream trips around the world. I worked for everything I had, my apt, my car, my bills… Which is why I completely understand the struggle of plenty of 20 year-old’s.

My husband has always had a travelers spirit. As long as I’ve known him, he has wanted to see the whole world.

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My favorite travel buddy! On our way to Strasbourg, France. April 2015

To this day, he has probably been to double the amount of countries as I have. I’m still not interested in seeing the whole world, as silly as that sounds. Each country has a different purpose or meaning to us whether it was to fulfill a dream, eat or drink their food, or to celebrate a friend’s wedding. There’s no doubt in my mind we’ve been blessed to have traveled to 10 countries in 3 years together.

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Sopot, Poland. May 2012

We’ve learned so much about one another through traveling the world together. Foreign places challenge each and every one of us in different ways. By foreign, I mean, when neither of us speaks or understands the language, doesn’t know a soul for thousands of miles around, and completely out of our comfort zones. My husband shines in these situations. There has yet to be a country where I haven’t felt safe with him.

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Rome, Italy. May 2012

In Rome, Italy, May 2012, I decided I was going to marry this man. It was under a church awning, while he held an umbrella over my head, while he got soaking wet, so I could eat my gelato. I said to myself, “this is the man I’m going to marry.” This was our first trip together, and he told me, I could pick any place I wanted to go to. I picked, Rome, Italy, as it was always a dream of my grandmother to visit Rome and The Vatican. It was my pilgrimage for her.

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The Vatican. St. Peter’s Basilica. May 2012

In Poland, overlooking the Baltic Sea, I asked him, “Do you think we’ll ever return here?” He said, “I don’t know?” I said, “Maybe, we’ll have kids one day, and they’ll marry someone from here and we’ll return.” He said, “I’d like that very much.” That was after 3 months of dating. Crazy! I never thought about going to Poland, but now that I have, all I want to do is go back.

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Sopot, Poland. May 2012

The U.K. aka United Kingdom, was also the 1st country I had visited outside of North America. My husband used to live in London. To our delight we continue to have friends we consider family there. Which is why every trip to Europe requires a trip to London. At this point, London, is starting to feel like our European home away from home. We do such normal things there like dinner and plenty of pub nights with friends.

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Our 1st time in London together. May 2012.

In Spain, I watched my husband carry a conversation in French for the 1st time and then talk politics in Spanish.

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Dancing the night away in La Garriga, Spain. October 2012

I learned there is no such thing as too much jamon iberico. I seen one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen in my life, La Sagrada Familia, and I’ll never forget that for as long as I live.

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Walking around Poland. May 2012

In Germany, I remember, for the 1st time everything being completely foreign to me. I didn’t recognize the language, the street signs, the words on the menu, nor the train map.  It might as well have been Chinese for all I knew. Again, having my husband, who dabbles in German, was a lifesaver. He was able to at least explain the menu to me and get us around town via train. I remember asking our waitress, “what do you recommend?”, as I would in an American restaurant. To which she responded, “I don’t know what you like!”, but with a firm and stern German accent. I think I ordered something based off of a picture because she slightly scared me.

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Tulum, MX on our Honeymoon. May 2014

If I only could visit one country for the rest of my life, I will always choose Mexico. Mexico, will forever hold some of our most beautiful memories. We celebrated our engagement, we were married, honeymooned, and my husband surprised me with a 6 month anniversary trip, all in Mexico. Mi querido Mexico. Mexico Lindo. 

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Our Wedding. Riviera Maya, MX. May 2014

In Argentina, we ate what would probably be the best steaks in the world and drank more Malbec than I’d like to admit. Every stomach ache was worth it, because as we learned, our bodies aren’t meant to to process that much meat everyday. We didn’t eat red meat for at least a month after that trip. I’ll also never forget my first professional soccer aka futbol match in Argentina.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina. May 2013 @ my 1st soccer match

The energy of the crowd was infectious and had the whole stadium moving.

Uruguay, was a welcomed surprise. We took the ferry from Buenos Aires, Argentina. For those who have visited B.A., you know it’s considered the Paris of South America, which is true in many aspects. Which is why, once we got off the fairy in La Colonial, Uruguay, I was excited to smell wood burning and walk on cobblestone streets. It reminded me of my hometown in Mexico. It has a  welcoming small town feel. Almost like it was hugging us and letting us know it will wait for us to go back.

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The top of the lighthouse in La Colonia, Uruguay. May 2013

I learned there’s so much more beauty to France, than just Paris. I mean, Paris, lives up to the hype, but I hope everyone gets to experience other parts of France, as well. For the lovers in the world, Paris, does not disappoint. Paris, is romantic and sexy, without trying to be, it just is. A fabulous place to have celebrated our 1st year wedding anniversary.

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Paris, France. April 2015

Very few places and countries have captured my heart, but I have to admit, aside from Mexico, Peru, has come a close 2nd. Besides fulfilling a lifelong dream of going to Machu Picchu, this country is abundant in history. They have ancient ruins in the middle of their modern day cities. The food is some of the BEST of the world. Lima, has become the true culinary capital of the America’s. We ate and drank our way to bliss there for sure.

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Machu Picchu, Peru. November 2015

I didn’t know, wait, yes, I did, that traveling the world with the love of my life, my husband, would be a dream come true in itself. I guess, I just didn’t really believe it could come true for me. However, God, had a greater vision for me than I could even dream possible.

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun. May 2014.

Getting to experience the world with the person you know God created for you is a Blessing. I’ll never take that for granted. People tell us to travel while we’re young and don’t have children. I have to agree to an extent. If we should ever be blessed with a child or children, one day, we’ve already promised to keep traveling. Maybe, the trips will be shorter? Maybe, the trips will now be all in the United States? Who knows? Before we exchanged our marriage vows, we discussed and continue to discuss the importance of us taking time for our relationship.

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Rome, Italy. May 2012

Nothing makes us more present in life than traveling, meaning nothing makes us more present in our relationship than travel. I’m fortunate that I chose to wait to experience the world, every new adventure, every awe struck moment, new foods, different cultures, ancient history, and every once in a lifetime experience with one man, my man, my husband. Who to this day, continues to promise and deliver me the world and a lifetime of adventures. He has turned me into a true traveler in love. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 countries will be. Our list is always growing. That’s the beauty of travel, it’s has no expiration date. It’s a lifelong journey full of adventures. Wherever we go, it will be my favorite, until the next place. As long as we’re there together, that’s all that really matters.

 

 

 

 

500 Days of Marriage

We’ve officially hit 500 days in our marriage. Is that a big deal? I guess so. Some people don’t make it to 500 days. I’m trying to think about what advice or knowledge I have to give to someone? What lessons have I learned in these first 500 days? I’m not sure if I’m qualified for that, yet. I do know, I’ve married my best friend. It’s cliché, but it’s true and it works.
I’m thinking of what has happened, since we said, “I do”, 500 days ago.
For starters, we relocated from San Francisco, CA to Houston, TX, for my husband’s career. It definitely took adjustment for us both to get used to a new place, and that’s o.k. I think what’s most important in a move, especially a cross country move is communication. There are lots of exciting things that come along with moving, but there are a million tedious things that aren’t romantic or sexy in a relationship, like calling the cable and utility companies. Either way, it’s a team effort and a way to work together in a relationship. Be clear of expectations and honest of what you can or can’t handle.
Around January of this year, while most people are pondering their new year’s resolutions, we dream about where we want to travel. We decided on France. We spent a love filled and delicious 2 weeks of April, as an early first anniversary trip. It’s important couples take time for themselves to get away from everyone and everything, explore and experience new things together, and create new memories. Take your love and make love all around the world if you can.

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Upon our return from Europe, we decided it was time for that next step in life, homeownership. You learn a lot about your spouse when you decide to purchase your first home. Even more so, when you’re debating paint colors. Want to test your marriage? Try doubling the painting budget. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this homebuying experience, don’t try to buy everything at once. Take your time to furnish your home on the outside and inside. Your husband and credit card bill will thank you. I know it’s easy to get swept up in wanting to buy everything new and fill up that new home. My advice, buy your essentials. Then let everything else you need come to you in time, as far as minor furniture, wall decor, and kitchen gadgets. Take your time making your house into a home.

We officially have a backyard!

We officially have a backyard!

Since we live apart from both of our families, it’s essential we make the effort to see both sides of the family. It’s a blessing when it can happen at once. We spent a family filled and limited WiFi 5 days on the breathtaking North Shore of Minnesota. We disconnected from technology and connected with one another. This is important! Nowadays people’s idea of connecting is via social media. I can’t explain what it means to bond with your in-laws on a nature hike, a sunny bike ride, or over smores and a campfire. I saw my husband skip rocks on the water with his father. He also drank a bottle of Tequila with mine. Yeah, they were “bonding”. While it’s easy to get caught up in wedded bliss, it’s good to come up for air and spend time with the parentals. It’s sweet medicine for the heart and soul.

Hiking in Northern Minnesota

Hiking in Northern Minnesota

While it has been a remarkable first 500 days, full of travels, moves, and family, I’m dreaming of our future, and everything is a possibility.

Here's to the next 500!

Here’s to the next 500!

What will the next 500 days bring? The best part about being married to your best friend, I don’t know what the future holds, but I know whatever it is we’ll be enjoying it together.

Welcome Home @ Secrets Resorts

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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.

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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 http://www.secretsresorts.com. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

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Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.