Where we are at: I am recapping my 2019 journeys, that kicked off for this short New Year’s Eve excursion to Mexico.
For a very long time, there was a glaring omission in my destinations map: by Panama into Canada, I had been to every state in North and Central America, using the awkward exclusion of Mexico.
Finally, I had been ready to correct that wrong! Long earlier I suddenly transferred back to Albany, I had planned to invest Christmas of 2018 at New York, accompanied by a New Year’s Eve excursion to Mexico with my college buddies, and a very long solo backpacking trip across the country to kick off 2019.
Why Merida? ) My former freshman Zo was turning on December 31st — about that night her brother chose to get married. As a peace offering, he encouraged her to invite as many friends as she desired to this New Year’s Eve after celebration at the hacienda in which the marriage has been held.
Four days. I had been flying to Mexico for four times. For someone who regularly set aside four weeks to research a new area, spending a lot on a trip felt ridiculously indulgent. But, I hadn’t stepped out of Albany in more than three weeks, and I had been itching for sun, sea, and also a few familiar faces.
All my buddies had booked outside Airbnbs weeks earlier, but that I snagged one of those very last dorms in the favorite Nomadas Hostel at the middle of city. I adored the pool I blogged beside, the yoga garden I took a cool morning course in, along with the yummy breakfast. I’d have chosen a private area, but these had been reserved up before.
Due into some true nightmare travel day on the way there, I had dropped one of the four nights of my brief trip and came after midnight, flopping tired in my dorm bed and attempting to persuade myself I hadn’t made a mistake. The following morning I awakened in sunlight, pulled jean shorts and went for a stroll round the vibrant streets of colonial Merida, and no additional convincing was mandatory.
I strolled around for a little, just pleased to have my camera in my hands and no specific destination in mind.
Eventually, Rachel led me Chilakilez to get a traditional Mexican brunch with a side of amazing wifi to upload a work project I had been agonizing over. It was contemporary, fun and flavorful — I would definitely place it on your record for the place to consume Merida if you are headed this way, also.
Visiting haciendas — big, nineteenth century ranches — is a huge part of this Merida experience. Henequen, that an agave plant indigenous to the Yucatan, was grown here en masse, and processed to rope and other goods. Some haciendas became such as mini-cities with schools, hospitals, chapels and home for those employees — now, they have been turned in to hotels, event spaces, and museums, such as this one.
We took a tour of this grand home, heard concerning how henequen was created, chose a mule-pulled cart throughout the henequen areas, stopped in a traditional Mayan home, and ultimately, our emphasize, spending an hour in the Dzul Ha cenote. To be honest, the rope manufacturing advice was tad comprehensive for our rope private degree of rope excitement, but we were pretty happy just to be together whispering and grabbing up at the trunk.
Tours of Sotuta de Peon operate twice every day, last 3.5 hours and price 600MX, roughly $30USD. We had a meal in the online buffet restaurant later and it was really great, so variable in a meal beforehand in the event that you take the day tour. The hacienda is all about 45 minutes south of Merida and we required an Uber to arrive, that was cheap and simple. However, we wholeheartedly fought with getting back — possibly try organizing a pickup time together with your Uber driver or cab driver to get after the actuality.
Personally I wish there was an abbreviated edition, however, tours are the only means to see this specific cenote — and it’s a spectacular one. It was superbly lit, had a restricted number of individuals indoors, and had a cute little bar up high where you can heat up and grab a beverage after diving to the sterile underground waters.
I had been dreaming about seeing one of Mexico’s famed cenotes, which was a magic one.
I was just so pleased to be surrounded by a few of my favorite women! It’s crazy looking back today and realizing we have been friends for thirteen decades.
It was day by the time we turned about and headed back into downtown Merida.
Yet we weren’t there long until we turned about and hightailed it back into some other hacienda, now seeming somewhat skinnier. The bride and groom had invited us into the welcome dinner at Hacienda Itzincab, that was really magical all wrapped up at nighttime. It was fantastic to match up with much more of those Brooklyn team who had spent the afternoon everywhere — it had been a Pratt Institute reunion at the Yucatan! )
The following morning we had talked hiring a driver to take in more of this region’s cenotes, destroys or shores, but coordinating in a significant group is almost always a hot mess so that we ended up wandering around town instead — and because I had spent little time , I was not mad about it.
Merida is chock full of restaurants but we only had a simple lunch at the town plaza and it was great. Plastic seats, large margaritas, inexpensive tostadas, along with a table full of friends. What more could a woman ask for out of her very first excursion to Mexico.
Well, we did opt to get a luxe dessert with ice cream in the posh Pola Gelato.
Downtown Merida does not have much concerning major sights — not that we had been attracted to — but it is a cute and vibrant city to roam around.
We’d intended to attempt and head out and have a great large group dinner someplace before heading out into the hacienda for our New Year’s celebration, but we really hit a lot of dead ends. I overhead someone in my own hostel stating that it was not really a massive night in Merida — many men and women invest it at home with their own families. And the numerous restaurants that I popped into during the afternoon attempting to make a dinner reservation were closed for a couple of days, as were a number of those pubs!
Later at the trip, once I went to stay together Rachel (more about this in my next article ) I eventually got a little taste of Merida after dark when we headed downtown for dinner Hermana Republica and ice cream at Casa Pipí Cucú. I’d have loved to have attempted dinner in Illuminati, also beverages at El Beso de la Flaca, Casa Chica, also La Negrita Cantina, also.
But, back to New Year’s Eve. We eventually scarfed down something while pre-gaming at one of those hotels and smartened up to grab the shuttle to and from Hacienda Itzincab for the huge celebration. While we had technically been there the past night, it is this kind of expansive land and we had been in an entirely different section of their reasons, so it felt like a completely different adventure.
And wow, had they done an amazing job making it feel bewitching! Just look at this location!
I feel just like New Year’s Eve has this much hype and anxiety, it could be quite tough for it to fulfill your expectations. Some of my greatest New Year’s have been abroad — such as the year we had been off the grid we only guessed as it was midnight at the Bahamas, and also the year that I glanced in the fiery traditional parties of a mountain city at Ecuador, or the year that I partied off my face to the shores of Thailand in the largest annual edition of this Full Moon Party.
This also, a private party in a stunning Mexican villa with a number of my favorite old buddies, will go down in the books as one of the years that I could not have requested to maintain a perfect location.
I was thrilled also, to have the ability to invest Zo’s thirtieth birthday with her side!
Like any genuinely fantastic villa celebration, it finished at the pool! A couple of days before I certainly would not have guessed I would have rung in the new year round about in a borrowed bathing suit. It was a blessed night really.
So that I must admit that I am not certain I fell madly in love with Merida — but I also don’t know if I spent enough time to give it a fair shake. I didn’t enjoy being half an hour from the shore, and so far as colonial towns move, I have been charmed by areas like Granada, Nicaragua. However, that I also don’t understand just how much my mental fog at the time contributed to the sense of apathy.
Regardless, I am so, so thankful to this trip for numerous reasons. I really had to make a shift in the home and this excursion was a catalyst for it. Additionally, I wanted a success of friendship and pleasure at a span of loneliness and loss.
And that I believe I had a small amount of sparkle.
Where are you currently spending New Year’s Eve this season? Have happen to be to Merida? ) What did you believe?