Our second time heading to Cancun we were far more aware of what that area had to offer. We had spoken to many people about where we could stay and what each place was like. We decided on Cancun city as the place where we would get the most cost benefits as well the city living aspects we had been missing like malls to update the kids clothes. Plus we understood how easy it is to travel throughout Mexico so we thought we would do day trips from Cancun to wherever we thought we’d like to check out. Here’s how our family spent our last month in Mexico.
We booked an apartment, that was slightly outside of the budget, in Cancun city. At this point in our trip, this was our favourite place. It was spacious and catered to all the stuff we enjoyed doing when we were in long term stay mode:
– Min 3 bedrooms with a minimum of 3 beds (it had 4). This meant we could all comfortably sleep
– Internet connection so we could do school work, continue with hobbies, do any contract work that came in and connect with people
– Kitchen so that we could make all our meals to save on food costs
Then there were the bonus features:
– TV – we were able to hook up Chrome Cast and the Playstation
– Washing machine – clean clothes on demand! We hadn’t had this feature in two months.
– Dryer (super bonus) – Not necessary in such a hot climate where we can dry things on the line quickly but it did help when I was feeling lazy.
– Private backyard – A place where we could go outside, explore with the two little ones, play outdoor games or just get some fresh air.
– Big dining table that could fit six of us. This table could fit eight which was great because we could have all the school books on one side and eat on the other.
– Two bathrooms (super bonus)
Our master bedroom had a king size bed which was a lot of fun for all six of us to lie down and chat while we waited for Kenzo and Lui to pass out. Carmelo played Injustice League with Giselle and Ajay. Kenzo and Lui could be pacified by going into the garden and showing them some geckos or birds. Giselle could use the dining table as her work station as she worked on Edits.
It was the first time we had an oven that had baking utensils so we were able to bake Giselle a cookie cake for her birthday, after a few successful trials of course. Internet was high speed so Ajay could get his work done and we were able to update our blog 🙂
We used the backyard so that Lui and Kenzo could do some painting, Giselle and I could do our hair, and Carmelo made water balloons out of ordinary balloons so that Kenzo could pop them on a spike plant.
What I loved most was the concrete walls which echoed any sound. It meant that from downstairs I could call the kids and the could hear me easily, it also meant the acoustics where great for singing.
The reason this apartment was out of our budget was because of the facilities of the apartment complex. It had a pool, gym, playground, mini-soccer field and 24 hour security guards.
We had booked this after realising what we were missing in our previous stays, easy access to play areas for the whole family. We used the pool, gym or playground every day except when we took a short trip to Caye Caulker (Belize). Even when it poured with rain, Kenzo loved that the slides had become a water slide and I had to catch him at the bottom because he had no grip to slow himself down. I began swimming laps, Ajay was using the gym, Kenzo and Lui were gaining confidence in the pool and Carmelo and Giselle experimented with buoyancy of coconuts, water balloons and any other toys the little ones brought to the pool.
The teens refused to get into the pool most days because they found it too cold, in spite of the temperature always being over 20 degrees celsius. One day I pushed Carmelo in, clothes and all. Fortunately he didn’t have his phone on him but it did get him and Giselle in the pool that day.
The complex was a safe community where kids could run to the playground without their parents supervision, cars and bikes could be parked in the driveway and wouldn’t get stolen. It also had a mall across the road that had a Walmart. What I didn’t know about Walmarts is that it is a supermarket combined with a department store. That made it so convenient for grocery shopping and for picking up on necessity items like jandles and togs for our next destination, Costa Rica.
Another convenient aspect of the complex was it’s proximity to public transport. It was next to a main highway where we could catch a taxi, colectivo or bus that could take us to any of the significant locations around town.
Although we had a mall called La Gran Plaza across the road from the apartment complex, it didn’t satisfy our teenagers’ clothing needs. Fortunately a waiter from the cafe outside the complex told us how to easily get to other malls in town, and there are some great malls in Cancun.
For 10 pesos per person we could catch a colectivo to Plaza Las Americas, but for a 40 pesos we were able to catch a taxi there. Las Americas is the main tourist mall outside of the Hotel Zone. It has a great food court, clean toilets, and lots of international shops. When purchasing for our sabbatical it’s important for us to only by the bare necessities so we aren’t carrying too much. But with our teens and under five’s growing so quickly, we have to keep buying new clothes for them. It means leaving behind clothes at some places.
On our way to the airport we still had Carmelo’s Nike shoes that were too small for him. I had been talking (in broken Spanglish) with the taxi driver about the homeless people in Mexico and thought perhaps he might know who would want Carmelo’s shoes that had plenty of ware left in them. His eyes lit up as he asked if he could have them. We were all happy that they were going to get more use.