In 2009 I was invited to Tulum, Mexico, to stay in an ocean-side villa for a week with my mom, her boyfriend, and a few of my own friends. Beach vacations are generally not really my thing, but stay for free? Ok, I’m there. Plus it was an opportunity to do something interesting with my mom.

Our villa was lovely, there was a nice fresh-water cenote for swimming just down the lane (which was private), and a sweet little stone oven pizza place that was never crowded and outside. We enjoyed scuba diving (my first time), a visit to the Aztec ruins (very hot out), and kayaking. A lot of hanging out on the beach with a drink and just relaxing…

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We also visited a small town nearby for a glimpse of local life, even attending an open-air Catholic service. All-in-all, a touristy type of vacation, but still a fun adventure and a nice break from ordinary life.

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