Sunday, March 31, 2013

Honeymoon to Egg Shell Shuffle recap

Let's face it.  I hit the jackpot, in many aspects of life, but I was again reminded of this during our honeymoon.

Ryan and I got married in October, but did not take our honeymoon right away because I had just started my amazing teaching job.  My uncle had offered his timeshare in Cabo San Lucas to us when we got engaged, so we of course said yes right away.  As soon as I was hired, we looked at my Spring Break date and had my uncle book his timeshare for us for that week.

About another week passed before either of us made the connection that my Spring Break would have the final days of Easter....which would mean that the last Saturday of Spring Break would be the 3rd annual Egg Shell Shuffle 1/2 marathon and 5k.


We thought about our options: postpone the honeymoon until summer or have my dad be the race director for this year.  We looked into flights (I had travel vouchers, so we clearly were using those since it's a tad pricey to fly to Mexico), and realized that we would leave Friday after school and come back Thursday before Egg Shell Shuffle.  Realistically, we wanted to come back Friday as we knew that we would have everything prepared and ready for our race, but there were ZERO flights on Friday.  Not even any ones with connection to eventually get us to Chicago.  SO frustrating.

After talking over every single aspect, we decided that our best option would just be to fly home Thursday.  It was obviously a sign that we needed to be in Schaumburg for our race as there were no flights on Friday.  It definitely would suck to not be able to stay at my uncle's place (all-inclusive, in Cabo, who wouldn't want that?!) for the full time, but at the same would be worse to disappoint our friends, volunteers and participants in our race.

We put so much into our race as not only a way to raise funds for our charities, but also as a way of giving back to the running community.  It would not be right for us to not be present at our own race (even though my dad clearly would do a phenomenal job as he's been working the Cary March Madness 1/2 marathon for over 20 years now!).

So, we left on Friday right after school for our honeymoon.  My uncle's all-inclusive place (Dreams Los Cabos) didn't begin for us until Monday, so we stayed at Playa Grande the first two nights.

Playa Grande is pretty close to the marina, which is where all of the action takes place.  Hundreds of restaurants, shopping, beach activities, etc., that we really just went on recommendations.

A friend from school recommended a few places, one of them being Pancho's.  WOW was she right.  The chicken tortilla soup was the best I've ever had (and I make a pretty darn good one!), the salsa and guac hit the spot, and my tuna steak was to die for.  The place was packed, but we were treated as if we were the only ones in the restaurant.

Sunday we splurged and paid the $10 fee to workout.  Yep, unless you're under the all-inclusive plan, you PAY to workout.  BUT, safety was more important and 16 miles were on the agenda, so running around the marina (3mile loop tops) was not an option.

After working out, we went into the marina and hung out at my uncle and school friend's recommended Medano Beach....we just enjoyed relaxing in the sun and watching the crazy/funny Spring Breakers participate in silly contests.  Pretty much any place you go to has a deal where you purchase food or drink and you get a lounge chair to sunbathe/relax on.  Ryan saw a guy wearing an Ironman visor, so we talked to him for awhile...turns out he's the Ironman doctor!  We told him we were planning to qualify for Kona this year, and he told us we looked like Ironman athletes, which only made us even more excited for our attempt!!  Finally, we had to take up a vendor on the Beach Massage offer.  We bartered with her and got 2 20minute massages for her original 30min asking price of $35.  Worth every penny.

We ate lunch at The Office and had some of the best seafood we've ever eaten.  This place is to die for, seriously.  After lunch, we just lounged around for awhile before heading back to our resort to get ready for dinner.  We went to Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, which is rated #1 on TripAdvisor, deservedly so.  The food was AWESOME.  We had the molcajete (recommended) and the churros.  While the food was great and all, the experience was even better.  Our table was literally IN the sand, and we had authentic Mexican blanket things to wrap around us when it got colder.  We were feet from the ocean....highly recommended for anyone traveling to Cabo.

 Courtesy of TripAdvisor....part of the restaurant is literally on the beach!
Molcajete. YUM.

The next morning, it was finally time for us to go to my uncle's all-inclusive place, Dreams Los Cabos.  WOW, was it nice.

Our room was ready right when we checked in, so we put our stuff down, our swimsuits on, and headed to the pool for some almuerzo and cervezas.  We absolutely utilized the swim-up bar and ate way too much at the lunch buffet. 

 Looking out once you arrive...swim-up bar to the right.
The view of the swim-up bar with resort in back and hot tub in front.

It was nice, too, to just relax and have the servers come around and get our drink and food order. All of the staff was super accommodating and really nice.  We decided just to hang out here for the night and try out the fancy Italian restaurant, Portofino's.

 Bartender took our picture at the swim-up bar

Dinner at Portofino's.

We decided to hang out at our resort for the whole day today.  We woke up and ran on the highway for 10 lovely miles. We knew a few people who had raced the Ironman the week before we arrived who had said that there were HUGE shoulders on the roads and that, as long as we were paying attention, running on the shoulder should be no problem.  We didn't have a single scare and actually ran up and down quite a few hills, which was nice!  After showering, we hung out at the pool ALL day....and even swam some laps:)  My aunt had recommended getting massages from the places on the beach, so we just had to take her up on that.  Plus, $30 for 70 minutes is a hard deal to beat! We went to the Japanese restaurant at our resort for dinner and watched the Magic Show after.  We went to bed early as we had a big day ahead of us...

After running the opposite (less hilly) way on the highway, we showered and headed out to catch the bus.  Our resort had a shuttle, but we needed to be in town at 8:30am and the shuttle didn't leave our hotel until 9:30am, so I did some searching and found out there were plenty of bus options for us.  Let's just say, while safe, these busses are NOT like the ones in Chicago! 

We arrived at 8:30am for our brunch Whale Watching boat tour.  While it was AWESOME seeing the whales (we saw a mama and her baby!) and the Arch and Lover's Beach, the crew was rude and I would NEVER recommend this company to anyone.  Even Ryan wanted to write a review on TripAdvisor about this company.

 The Arch
 My Love
Mama and baby whale!

After our boat tour ended, we hung out at Medano beach at our favorite spot, Billygan's (recommended by my uncle!) and just relaxed.  We ended our time downtown by going to Mi Casa (an adorable restaurant recommended by my school friend) and Happy Endings (#1 bar on Trip Advisor).

We headed back to our resort to shower and get ready for our last dinner:(  We went to Oceana, the adult-only restaurant at the resort.  It was the best restaurant we ate at....primarily due to the OUTSTANDING cappuccino's we were served in wine glasses!  

On Thursday, we woke up and ran, then ate our last breakfast by the beach before heading out to catch our shuttle to the airport. 

The second we got on the plane and could turn our laptops on, we were in race mode.  We wrote out an hour-by-hour schedule for things we needed to do when we arrived back home.....and we got everything done.

Without sending out a post-race email yet, I only have the feedback from our Facebook page and emails we've received....but I feel confident in saying that we pulled off another successful Egg Shell Shuffle.  

When some people heard we were going on our honeymoon the week of our race we put on, they seemed skeptical, which is to be expected. Ryan and I knew that we needed to be 100% in race mode once we got on that plane ride back, and we did just that.  

Thank you SO much to our volunteers, friends and family who helped out in many ways, and of course to all who ran.  We are already writing down ways to make next year's event even better (including not going on our honeymoon the week of the race:)).


Nicole Kesten said...

First Congrats on your Wedding and Amazing looking honeymoon. Somehow found your blog and wanted to tell you that you did an awesome job on Saturday and loved the race!!! Will definitely be back

jacqui said...

Thank you so much Nicole!! I loved reading your recap and am so thankful for the feedback...we are always trying to make the next year better so getting feedback is so big for us. Thanks again:)