I am terrific at going on vacation. Really. It's a skill that has taken years to master.
But returning from vacation? Well, that I am not so good at.
So before the post-holiday blues take hold with too menacing a grip, I'll reminisce about my recent 2-week-long sojourn to the Mayan Riviera. The weather was glorious, the pace was restful and restorative and the reprieve from snow for two blissful weeks was absolutely appreciated.
As we explored the Yucatan Peninsula, there were healthy doses of reading on the beach, shopping for things we didn't need, visiting Mayan ruins, discovering quaint little towns, snorkeling in the sea and swimming with the dolphins.
We've visited Mexico many times before and seen several different regions because we have family that live there. Through our travels over the years, I've always been on the quest for great Mexican chocolate. After all, the Mayans and Aztecs claim to have been the first chocolatiers. The birth place of chocolate must have the best.
But, I've not yet been blown away.
Other than Mexican hot chocolate, of course. The wonderful combination of the bitter dark chocolate with the biting spices leaves that warm feeling in my chest just thinking about it. It's a drink to sip, to savour and it's not for everyone. But I am a fan.
It had the most delicious Mexican hot chocolate and quickly became my daily haunt.
On our many trips there we tasted their ice cream and brownies and chocolate bars and chocolate nibs and drinking chocolate and, my personal favourite, the chocolate frio ...
I say this (and completely unsolicited and unbiased), Ah Cacao was indeed my happy place. Everything they made was incredible. And the wait staff and atmosphere was as charming as the chocolate was tasty.
The funniest thing was the prominence of this enormous poster in several locations of the cafe with the headline "Chocolate Makes Happier Babies" quoting the British studies that say eating chocolate during pregnancy produces happier infants. Now, why didn't someone tell me that when I was expecting on my uber-organic, all-healthy pregzilla mission?
Their website says it all though: "According to Aztec legend, chocolate was a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the God, and formed a bridge between heaven and earth. One taste of Ah Cacao Real Chocolate and you will understand why!"
And as I pack away my flip flops and return to reality, I can say that my quest to find great Mexican chocolate was finally realized.