Recently, the sisters of Life Full and Frugal embarked on a journey to a beautiful, exotic land!
We didn’t have to go far though, because our destination was located in the heart of the Yucatan in our neighboring country of Mexico!
We had such a magical time and we have compiled a list of 12 reasons why we were absolutely enchanted by La Ciudad Blanca, (the white city) Mérida, Mexico!
#1 Our House! Casa Cocodrilo
One of the funnest parts of travel is actually in the planning. The idea for this trip really started with a search on AirBnb’s website, and we were blown away by the gorgeous homes in Mérida, Mexico. What was even more shocking was how affordable they were. The house we chose is called Casa Cocodrilo (Crocodile House) and it checked all the boxes on our wish list! We had a gourmet kitchen fully equipped with everything we needed and even had a variety of Le Creuset pans! There was a pretty fantastic pool in the courtyard tucked between the main house and casita (little house). The surrounding gardens filled with tropical plants and giant guardian palm trees made it feel like our very own private oasis. The house was decorated with authentic Mexican colonial style, scattered with artisan Mayan textiles. We all had our own rooms with incredible, original artwork along with our own bathrooms. We really felt at home in Casa Cocodrilo…it was really difficult to leave at the end of our stay!
#2 The People of Mérida are Incredibly Kind!
The people we encountered in Mérida were very laid-back and kind so we immediately felt a sense of comfort. We never felt like anything was too scary or difficult to try. They are very non-intimidating people, very welcoming, helpful and gracious. A lot of people were concerned for us when we decided to do this trip, but we can not emphasize enough that we felt so safe the entire time. We even walked home from dinner after dark and passed by families with children and elderly walking around enjoying the evening!
#3 Spanish is a Lovely Language!
Shanna earned her college degree in Spanish in 2004 and this trip was the fulfillment of a long time dream for her. It was wonderful to use those language skills again! Sierra took Spanish in highschool and she did a great job utilizing her language skills! (She is also fluent in German) It was lovely to discover Starla has an ear for catching familiar words as well. We were all forced out of our comfort zones and though we fumbled over the right words sometimes, we managed to get our point across. This is another area where the people of Mérida showed us so much patience and grace as we stumbled over their lovely language!
#4 Mexico is Perfectly Imperfect!
#5 The Ease of Traveling to Mexico!
#6 The Food!
#7 We Got to Play Dress Up Every Day!
#8 The Unique Experience of the Yucatan!
#9 A Princess Evening at Hacienda Xcanatún
This was simply an enchanted evening! We arrived a little later and pretty much had the place to ourselves. We were treated like princesses and the ambience was sultry and romantic. We enjoyed an incredible meal and got to look out over the grounds from the veranda. Playing the part of Cinderella at La Hacienda Xcanatcún is an experience we will never forget!
#10 La Casa de Artesanias
La Casa de Artesanias was such an incredible place. There are lots of vendors throughout the city who cater to tourists, but we really wanted to purchase authentic items that would support the local Mayan artisans and craftsmen. We had a wonderful experience and were able to bring home some authentic treasures for reasonable prices. There is a wide variety of objects to choose from, so there is something for every preference and budget!
This was such a blessing! We were able to go everywhere we wanted without having to figure out which way to go or how to drive on Mexican roads with Mexican traffic! They have traffic laws, but they feel more like suggestions…another example of that whole “salvaje” thing. We didn’t use the city buses on this trip, but we understand that they are excellent and super cheap!
#12 Art & Architectural Dream!
There are so many things to see and do in Mérida and in the surrounding areas of the Yucatan. Everywhere you look, there is stunning architecture, and Mexico itself seems to be saturated with a love for art and colorful expression. However, we went to Mérida with the theme of rest and restoration…NOT “kill ourselves in order to see and do all of the things.” We went in July and it was HOT…not unbearable…but the climate is definitely something to consider. The Gulf breeze was our saving grace and overall, the weather in Mérida was actually nicer than it was in Louisiana that week.
We did and saw and experienced all that we could comfortably do so on our first trip to Mexico. There was so much more for us to explore, including cenotes, haciendas, and of course, Chichen Itza and Uxmal. We did not go on any excursions, though we did make it to the beach in Progresso. However, at the end of our time, we left with no regrets, only the hope and anticipation of our next journey. We will definitely be returning to Mérida to drink in the mystery and beauty of the Yucatan and of Mexico! Until then, we will treasure the precious memories of our trip!
God bless from the sisters at lifefullandfrugal.com!!!! ~Starla ~Shanna ~Sierra <3