We have ugly kitchen countertops.

Like seriously ugly. On top of being unsightly, they are cracked, warped and chipping.  Despite my fantasy that Ty Pennington will surprise us in the middle of Home Depot to make over our kitchen on a reality TV show, they remain.

We had to make a choice.  Countertops or travel.  We couldn’t swing both.  So why did we spend our renovation budget and go on a vacation instead?  Because, for us,  it was a real necessity.

There is no arguing this one – winter 2015 in New England has been BRUTAL.  If there was ever a time to question the validity of seasonal affective disorder, this was not the year to do so.  I was loosing my marbles – more and more with every school cancellation.  We needed sunshine and we needed it fast.  Mexico came to our rescue.

I’d be lying if I said we didn’t all take off our shoes and rub our feet into the first patch of grass we found outside the Cancun airport.  We may have looked insane dancing around on that small patch of green while we waited for our airport shuttle, but we were positively giddy.  The winter depression that had lingered over us dissolved faster than we could say, “Dos cervezas, per favor” 🙂

We stayed at the Azul Beach Resort in Puerto Morales, which is a boutique all inclusive on the Mayan Riviera.  It was perfect for us.

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It felt so great just to let loose and play with the kids.  I don’t do that nearly enough.  It was a good reminder that’s stuck with me since.

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Early mornings at the resort were my favorite.  It felt like we had the entire place to ourselves.

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We rented a car for 2 days so we could do some exploring on our own.  Our first stop was Akumal, where we found this little slice of heaven.  If you are ever traveling in the Yucatan, you have to seek this hidden gem down a dirt road.  There is a reason its name translates to “The Good Life.”  We ate tacos and sipped cold drinks with an ocean view.  We climbed (palm) tree houses, lounged on the tiki bar swings, and read on a hammock. I didn’t want to leave.

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Our next stop was the Yal-Ku lagoon.  It wasn’t the best snorkeling in the world, but it is a spectacularly beautiful spot and we went late enough in the day that there were no crowds.  Our own private lagoon to explore.  We’ll take it!

Our next day trip was to the Mayan ruins in Tulum.  It was insanely hot, so our saving grace was swimming in the ocean at the bottom of the ruins.  Word to the wise – If you have a 5 year old boy in tow, save the ruins for a cooler day.  (or be prepared to pacify your child with popsicles and fresh coconuts)

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After two days of adventure, it felt amazing to be back at our resort.  Relaxing was the only thing on the agenda.

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“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

It’s amazing how a new stamp in the passport can feed the soul.

Real Necessity is the latest installment in my Keepin’ it Real blog circle series.  If you would like to see more like this, be sure to check out how the talented Jody Mack Photography is Keepin’ it Real this month!

Kami Friday is a New Hampshire based family photographer specializing in the photography of families, newborns, babies, children, maternity and couples. 

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