“50 is just a number”, or so they say. “They” being those not staring down the barrel at it, or those looking at it in the rear view mirror like the forgotten pains of labor – aaah “Mid-Life”, and all the nostalgia, crepe-y skin, Metamucil and a liver with half its glory day resilience that goes with it! Feeling as old as a UNESCO World Heritage site, I was determined not to let my 50th birthday strike a paralytic fear in my heart… Hmmmm… How to beat this midlife existential crisis…??
Draw it out as long as possible, methinks! That’s it! A week-long party!! Yaaaay, Problem solved (sorta)! Great distraction anyway! So for the locale, I chose the Riviera Maya, my favorite area of Mexico, and invited all my besties!
I love the Yucatan Peninsula for its incredible Mayan Spirit, with Cancun, Merida, Playa Del Carmen, Coba and Tulum, it’s got all the elements for a perfect beach vacation. From Mayan Pyramids, fresh water sacred cenote caves, stalactite/stalagmite caverns, and tropical jungles, to crystal clear waters, breathtaking powder white beaches, an average year round temp of 78°, and the second largest coral reef in the world. In the land of free flowing margaritas, there is truly something for everyone!
I decided on the Nizuc Resort and Spa, just outside of the Cancun. Rated by Conde Nast Traveler in the Top 5 Hotels of the Yucatan Peninsula and Travel & Leisure’s Top 20 Mexico Resorts, I’d been reading about it for a few years and was dying to check it out.
What better way to find out if a resort is worth their press than to entrust them with your 50th birthday party!
I’m thrilled to report, that we all had a blast! They pulled it off beautifully, walking past the resort’s dramatically lit reflecting pools down to a magical dinner on the beach, lit with Italian string lights and Moroccan lanterns.
They had dug an amazing bonfire into the sand, with sea grass mats and big, colorful lounge pillows for reclining under the stars.
Now, traveling with a group, now matter how much you all love each other, can get tricky if you’re not careful. Everyone has their idea of “vacation”, of what’s fun, and how they want to spend their time. So I plan two or three excursions, and then let everyone decide whether they want to join in or not – no harm, no foul.
That way everyone’s free to make their own plans as well, and do what they want to do, yet not start changing the itineraries I’ve already planned (because we all know how impossible it would be to get a unanimous consensus out of 18 people when you start changing stuff)!
It worked like a charm, and we had the best time spending the week climbing pyramids, riding bikes through the jungle, swimming in underground, fresh water cave systems, snorkeling, and even had an under water photo shoot in a crystal clear, cenote cave, and still managed to just lay on the beach… a lot!
Sometimes it was tough to even get out of the room and out to the beach, because all of the Nizuc suites have long, lovely, private plunge pools on expansive balcony decks, looking out to the sea – tough to beat!
So I managed to distract myself with enough fun to let 50 wash on by without a flash flood of emotions – just a ton of love and immense gratitude for family, friends, experiences, and opportunities. Thankful for this new chapter, and excited and hopeful for what’s to come.
PS – Now accepting birthday botox gift certificates. Kidding! (Well, kinda…)