After discovering that Cancun, Mexico, was a short two hour flight from Orlando, and inexpensive even with “all inclusive”, we just returned from a week at the El Caribe Deluxe where we spent lots of time at the pool, a little in the ocean (big waves most of the week!), and ate too much (“all inclusive” as I said!)
Here’s some photos of the hotel, ocean, sunrises, food choices, …
We ate in a buffet restaurant most nights, with a different theme each time – best was (no surprise) the Mexican theme, with lots of flavors to try, and much better to try “risk free” in a buffet setting where you can leave anything you don’t like!
One disadvantage of the Cancun location was there’s really nothing but hotels along the beach, nothing much to walk too – and a busy divided highway anyway! But we did find and walk to a set of ruins one morning, El Rey, very inexpensive ($7 for both of us!) and quite interesting (including all the Iguanas!)
Mind, even though we walked there as soon as it opened (8am) it was still crazy hot walking back! Back to the hotel pool to cool off …
Cancun is a nice location for total relaxation, but not enough to do if more than poolside is wanted …
Our “summer” vacation was surprisingly cool for the first half, with snow and a need for coats, hats, gloves … but beautiful views of stunning mountains, rivers and lakes, as well as sightings of Bison, Black Bear, Elk and more! I’ve posted our trip in multiple sections, and there’s a video presentation (courtesy of Apple Memories) if you prefer …
Grand Teton National Park
West Thumb Geyser Basin
Middle and Lower Basin
Bison [traffic] Jam, Mountain views
Mammoth Hot Springs
Lamar Valley, Black Bears, Bison
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Norris Geyser Basin
Heading back south towards our eventual flight home, we stopped at Norris Geyser Basin for another round of hot spring views – we’d skipped this a week ago heading north because it was cold and snowing, but now it was almost hot weather!
Our next stop was right on Lake Yellowstone, with less hot springs, no geysers, but stunning lake and mountain views and an Elk (and a very nice hotel, though still no internet in the park!) …
We knew that the north rim drive of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone gets busy so got there early and were once again treated to amazing views; a steep walk takes us right down to one of the impressive falls, and later viewpoints allow looking back to the falls through the canyon:
It’s hard not to be impressed in Yellowstone; we drove and soon stopped again for more geothermal views including a “dragon cave” (where the heat rises inside the cave and we just see steam pouring out!); the energy pouring constantly from some of these features is simple baffling!
Also an easy drive from the north entrance of Yellowstone is Lamar Valley where we headed next. On the way we stopped at Petrified Tree and were treated with our first views of Black Bears! On our way up rangers kept us away from the Bear by having us walk the other side of the path (as if that extra six feet would save us!); on the way down there were now two Bears …
Driving further into Lamar Valley we spotted many Bison, including a couple right against the roadside … and amazing rock formations from volcanic events too!
Then, another traffic jam and another Black Bear, this time really close to the road for great photos (also a family of American Badgers), and more stunning vistas!
A huge geothermal spectacle just south of the north entrance to Yellowstone; clear here is how the features keep changing – where hot water bubbles up and provides nourishment to bacteria, the colors are bright, but where the water no longer runs the bacteria die leaving just the white of the minerals laid down when the water flowed!