Vacation Time!!


A personal post //  If we are already friends on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter… you probably know too much about my life (love of glitter, Penelope and all things hilarious) but guess what?? This blog post is going to be another overshare, because it’s a personal one!! I went on vacation for THREE weeks & I am going to tell you ALL about it (AND make you look at vacation photos too!!)   Well – the first week or so was to photograph a wedding (see blog post below), but it was a LOT of fun and there was quite a bit of tequila so… I’m counting that part as vacation too. ;0)

This was kind of a big trip while it was mostly vacation for me, it wasn’t the same for Andy – he isn’t coming back, he is looking for a new way of life and is hoping travel will help him find it.  I don’t really know how to say it eloquently (lets be real, I never speak eloquently!!) but to put it simply, he sold all of his belongings and now has his backpack filled with the essentials ; after-bite medication, hair creme and a camera, I mean what else do you need right?? (Don’t worry friends of Andy, I will bring him some tea tree oil soon). Now he is headed south, to make new friends, have new experiences and really enjoy being alive.  If you want to follow him (and I suggest that you do, he is awesome!) here are links where you can find him : INSTAGRAM, BLOG, FACEBOOK.

Okay, now I will (mostly)let the photos do the talking.  (**Disclaimer**Many of these are taken with my phone, many are selfies so lower your expectations, and some are stolen from Andy’s camera.) – Thanks Andy!! ;0)

We started off in Cancun — there wasn’t anything I liked there, except our hotel… so I didn’t take many photos.  ;0)

BUT THEN we got to Isla Mujeres – STUPID pretty! We quickly said goodbye to our poofy jackets and TOTALLY forgot how cold, rainy and dark Seattle was.  Teehee!! Andy Shepard, Barbie Hull, Vacation, Caribbean, beach, selfie

Dude. When we got to the island we stayed at an all inclusive resort called Privileges Aluxes, (all inclusive is AMAZING!) greeted with glasses of champagne and a gift bag we were ready to document the BEST DAY EVER!


The first night’s sunset was the PRETTIEST!!  So obviously we had another glass of champagne, took some photos and then HAD to go swimming! AndyBarbie0004VacationBlogAndyBarbie0005VacationBlogAndyBarbie0006VacationBlog

This image (above) was stolen from the freakishly talented Andy Shepard, he LOVES nighttime photography and I love dancing around him while he takes these midnight images! AndyBarbie0007VacationBlogCafe Mogagua was our FAVORITE place to get breakfast – our best pals Laurel & Howie got engaged here a in April this year.  #LOVE!

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Wedding time!!! When an adorable couple that just got married gives you a shot of tequila to start the reception…. its time to get to work!!

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Barbie Hull Photography

I take it back, the 2nd night on the island had the BEST sunset!!! (taken by Andy) AndyBarbie0012VacationBlog

Our third day on the island was almost all exploring! From sun up to sun down we cruised in our golf cart… oh darn – I forgot to put a photo of us on a golf cart. Guess we will have to go back to the south end of the island!

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We sadly said goodbye to this beautiful 7-mile long island, maybe a little nervous about how to get to the next place, without missing a beat or having to wait too long we ferried over to Cancun, hopped on the ADO bus and headed north to the town of ChiquilaAndyBarbie0022VacationBlog

It was the STORMIEST day and the teeny tiny little ferry we were on was rocking all over the place – there was water flowing through the windows and the rain was coming down in sheets! We had no clue what we were getting ourselves into, we just knew we both love the island life and Isla Holbox looked pretty neat on the map.  I DEFINITELY want to visit this place again and check out the whale sharks (even though they totally freak me out).AndyBarbie0023VacationBlog

We stayed at the Holbox Dream and since it was less than a mile we decided to walk – O.M.G – this place is NEAT!! It was windy as all get out, the dogs were fat and wearing sweaters, the roads were made of sand and nearly every building had a thatched or tin roof with a mural on the side.  I am in LOVE!!


The stormy weather turned our gorgeous green waters brown, but we still loved it! It was warm, and I love a good storm!!



One end of the island was a bird sanctuary, we saw dolphins playing in the water, stepped on a bunch of disgusting looking creatures we found out later were horseshoe crabs. (really ugly!) AndyBarbie0040VacationBlogAndyBarbie0033VacationBlog

This is the opposite side of the island – we rented bikes and rode along the beach (so much harder than you’d think) LOVE this shoreline!!AndyBarbie0034VacationBlogAndyBarbie0035VacationBlog

Andy headed out first to see how deep it was before we walked with our cameras, no matter where we walked the water never got above our waists!!

Holbox Island is a pretty healthy place – our favorite cafe had the best fresh fruit smoothies so we had one for breakfast every day!  AndyBarbie0037VacationBlog

Holbox was CLEARLY my favorite place and we only stayed four days – I took more photos here than anywhere else!! I couldn’t stop admiring the homes, the clothes lines, the fences. So much different than how we live.


Travel day. 4am came really quickly, but we had a long travel day ahead of us – the photo above is a gorgeous sunrise behind the dirtiest window of our ferry and below is what we look like traveling with less than a few hours of sleep. HAHA!AndyBarbie0044VacationBlogAndyBarbie0045VacationBlog

We took the ferry back to Chiquila, hopped on the ADO bus south to Valladolid where we caught another bus into Pisté, a sweet seemingly small town that is 1.5miles from the ruins of Chichen Itza, some amazing caves, and a huge cenote.  *Traveler tip, when visiting touristy sites – get up early and be at the entrance when the parks open, being the only person in the area is pretty darn sweet!  We arrived before 9am it was empty, and by noon there were hundreds of people and SO many peddlers – nearly unbearable!!


Visiting these ancient Mayan ruins we couldn’t help but dream up stories of what happened way back when and what they were thinking.  The sculls on this lower image represented all of the enemies they had killed in hopes of keeping more intruders out.

The cemeteries are beautiful – so colorful! Celebrate life right??


There was a CIRCUS in town!!  We were stoked – they said it started at 7pm, we got there right on time… um…. Kind of awkward being the ONLY people in the crowd.  Eventually about 12 more people showed up.

This little girl is a true talent!!  A great performer and I hope she loves what she does, because she is good!  Unfortunately the rest of the performances were…. RIDICULOUS. (in the bad way) the clowns were so inappropriate, in between each act, nearly naked ladies would come out and “dance” and I wanted to leave so badly, but Andy is too too nice and said we couldn’t leave because there were so few people and it would make the little girl sad. Ugh. It was an experience. That’s all we can really say, but I’m glad we stayed. AndyBarbie0058VacationBlog

Our first cenote swimming experience, was a little like Disneyland.  SO many people, but WOW – overwhelming beauty!! This is where they hold the redbull diving contests, check out the video!AndyBarbie0059VacationBlogAndyBarbie0060VacationBlog

We peaced out of Piste and headed back to Valladolid and up to Tulum… my favorite part of this travel was, we were walking down the road when a man with a van said he would give us a ride – and we took it! HA! Turns out there are share rides all day long, $5 per person – a great way to get from city to city!  So many fun things happened in Tulum that we didn’t photograph, a motorcycle rally where the MC’s from Northern & Southern Mexico came to compete so the teeny town was full of leather clad biker dudes and their ladies – a little intimidating for this girl photograph.  BUT they did give us 50 ounce beers to drink… so that was fun!  AndyBarbie0061VacationBlog

We always find our favorite breakfast spot, and have the same thing every day – so simple, so delicious!


There’s always time for a selfie in the bus station!


Tulum is GREAT!  We stayed in a family owned hotel with just a few rooms available called Lo Nuestro Petit, the couple had some great recommendations for us and we met so many nice people. The guy above was showing us where to eat on a map, he is a local artist, you can see his van with a mural on it. Such a character! AndyBarbie0064VacationBlog

We walked about 3miles from our hotel to the ruins in Tulum – they overlooked the gorgeous green water.AndyBarbie0065VacationBlogAndyBarbie0066VacationBlogAndyBarbie0068VacationBlog

This scene above reminded me a LOT of the movie Monty Python & the Holy Grail!  This was a tough day for me… It was crowded and REALLY hot and man was I grumpy – I have to admit, it is really nice traveling with this guy here.  He is patient and kind even when I am hateful and he never stops trying to cheer me up. ;0) A little food and a big hug and all was good!! AndyBarbie0069VacationBlog

We didn’t spend a lot of time in the city of Tulum, but walking around for an hour we saw so many cool walls, here are just a few.

I love it, because this guy above here, that one looking so handsome and happy in front of the pink donkey was the most grumpy!! I like that we are two of the most upbeat people somehow rotate grumpy times and are able to cheer each other up!! Makes me happy!


The bikes were the BEST part of the day!! We rented them at the entrance,  rode through the jungle saw some ruins – this photo below it is impossible to tell, because no photograph will ever do it justice – but it is the COOLEST tree in the jungle!  You will just have to go there for yourself & see!! AndyBarbie0073VacationBlogAndyBarbie0074VacationBlogAndyBarbie0075VacationBlogAndyBarbie0076VacationBlog

We climbed this pyramid 130ft high and it was EXCITING!  I totally panicked, it was really scary to go back down. AndyBarbie0077VacationBlog

Two and a half weeks in, this guy is REALLY tan, even when climbing in caves. AndyBarbie0078VacationBlog

Cenotes – underground caves, magical places we visited three this day, each of them unique the water so refreshing and the experience is really kind of indescribable.


Our last stop – we visited Playa del Carman – a ridiculously busy, touristy place that used to be so sweet and small.  It was a disappointment to see all of the Prada, Mac, Forever 21, and the whole street covered in a Miami style mall. Still, it was warm and sunny and the water refreshing – so we made the best of it, we ate a lot, drank a lot and swam a little.  We stayed in the Hotel Kimbe in the loft suite and it was THE most dangerous place, very few lights, lots of tripping hazards and we were lucky to get out alive!!  AndyBarbie0083VacationBlogAndyBarbie0084VacationBlog

My last night in town and it was really hard to leave this guy – the last 8 months have been the best – we have been inseparable,  now it’s so hard to not see and share all of my time and laughs with him …  Andy has quickly become my best friend and only two weeks home, even though I know he has to go, I miss his guts!


Dude! We ran into our friends Mindy & Ben, they were in Cozumel for the ironman competition!  We met them in Las Vegas more than four years ago!!  AndyBarbie0089VacationBlog

Our last selfie with a shot of tequila a beer and a torrential down pour and I was off on my way back home!!  The bus ride to the airport was full of laughs & reminiscing.  Goodbye Andy and Good luck, I hope you find what you are looking for!! AndyBarbie0090VacationBlog

Phew!!  You made it through three weeks of vacation photos and mini stories of how much I loved… EVERYTHING!  We had a magical time, learned how to navigate our way through a foreign country – we ate great food and made some even better memories!! I cannot wait to visit @NikonAndyAdventure in Belize!!

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  • MoDecember 19, 2014 - 10:35 pm

    Barbie…thank you so much for sharing all these photos and emotions. Thank you for letting us all in to experience your special vacation.ReplyCancel

  • PamDecember 19, 2014 - 11:35 pm

    I love so much about this. mostly that I smiled the entire time. 🙂 <3ReplyCancel

  • LauraDecember 20, 2014 - 9:42 am

    1. you took a ride from a STRANGER? in MEXICO???
    2. the dogs were wearing SWEATERS?!?! In MEXICO???ReplyCancel

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