Free acrobatic show
I was not super impressed with the food, but they had a fantastic acrobatic show in the middle of the restaurant. Teenagers were doing tricks, acrobatics, all in the Cirque de Soleil style. Once we just sat and drank beers while watching the show. It is free and a lot of fun.
Spring Break 2003
I went to PDC with Jessica for Spring Break...
An amazing experience- we did everything we wanted to do... Skydive, scuba dive, climbed the Nohoch Muul and Chichen Itza temples, xcaret, visited Valladolid, rode on a seadoo.... it was a BLAST!!
we stayed at the Posada Freud- the staff there were very warm and ultra cool!! Guus Dorgelo and Monica Hartlief are the owners of the hotel- if u need a cheap place to stay- this is it. $32usd/nite.... it's very reasonable and minimalistic... I love their hammocks! =)
Playa del Carmen
"Introduction to Playa del Carmen"
Playa del Carmen, May 18-21 2003
We headed to Playa del Carmen after visiting Coba in the morning. Driving into town off the main highway, 307, we were very aware of how different it was compared to everywhere we’d recently been! Just busy, typical town/city life…I guess I had pictured things a bit differently in my mind. We checked into our hotel, La Tortuga—the staff were very friendly and personable and I was impressed to hear them speaking several different languages to various locals and guests throughout our stay. A marketable skill in Playa I’m sure—or any popular destination if you wish to work in the hospitality industry. We headed to our room—had a Jacuzzi suite but unfortunately not the rooftop Jacuzzi so that was a little disappointing—reserve early if you want one! I had so much trouble deciding where to stay—had finally narrowed it down to Playa Maya and Tortuga. Since we stayed beachfront at two other places, had decided that Tortuga would be a nice change, it had a nice tropical look to it on the website and I’d read so many good things about it here. When we actually arrived though, I had a fleeting moment of disappointment knowing that our last 3 nights in Mexico would not be spent directly on the water. Something to think about if that’s something you’re drawn to. I got over it though, the hotel is very nice and we loved the courtyard and pool! For us, Tortuga was in an excellent location, close enough to the “action” of Calle 5, but not too close, and not that far from the beach. We had the complimentary breakfast at their restaurant Agora, each morning—very delicious and a relaxed atmosphere, a nice way to start the day.
We headed out to explore the streets of Playa and pick up our Playa Deal Card. Sipped our complimentary drink at the Posada Freud bar and did some people watching; even a small incident with a rude, unfortunately American tourist (didn’t do much for the “Ugly American” reputation). We ended up at Palapa Hemingway for dinner—we sat at a table at the edge on the upper level and had the opportunity to watch people passing by on the street. We had margaritas and calamari, both were excellent! I ordered the coconut camarones and Max had a chicken dish. Both were very tasty—we highly recommend the place both for the atmosphere and food! We perused the streets of Playa and checked out some of the shops; saw many nice things that caught my eye. We then headed back and relaxed at the hotel.
"In Playa del Carmen"
We headed to Mamitas beach club the next day—lots of people—we’re not used to the beach club scene at the beaches we frequent. We usually head for the state parks here in the panhandle of Florida—even in summer you can generally find spots where you feel like you have the beach all to yourself (or at least a small portion of it). Our beaches are beautiful too—we were lucky enough to be married on nearby St. George Island.
We settled down in a beach chair and checked out the scene (yes people were topless, but not many on this particular day, so it didn’t seem worth entertaining the novelty). We walked north and explored a ways past Coco Beach Club (which was closed). On the way back, saw a few guys sitting, sharing a cerveza with an interesting animal (see pics) that Critter tells me is a cuadamonde (don’t have correct spelling--we described it as a cross between a raccoon and an anteater!). Very intriguing! I wanted to hang out more and find out what it was but I don’t think Max wanted to bother them. We hung out more, ended up eating at Playa Tukan—no complaints here—tasty with nice portions for lunch. Would have liked to check out another local stand or comida corrida, but we wanted to be lazy and not have to move our stuff from the beach and back.
We ended up back on Calle 5 that night, wanted to check out Don Emilione’s for dinner but it was pretty empty, so headed back to La Paella, the Argentinean steakhouse that looked interesting. We did not have a good experience here—no problem at all with the service but our food just wasn't good, especially considering the prices on the menu. It was almost empty as well so guess that should have clued us in. Maybe we caught them on an off night but would have to recommend that first timers especially try somewhere else first. No problem, we ended up at the Tequila Barrel and had a few drinks—more people watching, mojitos and tequila, of course!
"Last day in Mexico!"
We headed back into Playa from Paamul to relax and do some shopping, take advantage of our last day and night in Mexico. We found two gems—really neat shops (one was Selva Y Mar) featuring local artwork from different regions in Mexico—my favorite items were the Huichole string paintings. Unfortunately we couldn’t afford the larger ones that caught our eye so I bought two small ones (one from each shop). I was really fascinated with this type of artwork and the images/stories conveyed. There were a few other really unique shops that we enjoyed browsing around in—in one there were really amazing oil paintings (again out of our price range) featuring the people of the Yucatan—the expressions captured on their faces were incredible. Had a few late afternoon tapas at Babe’s—very yummy, I see what the fuss is all about! Wish we had made it there for dinner. We had dinner that night at the Mayan restaurant Yaxche—excellent! We wanted to sit in the open courtyard area but it was too hot for our taste so we moved towards the street. I had the Ixchel shrimp and Max had the Chicken Pakal I think. Both were delicious and we enjoyed our Mayan Kiss afterwards—we highly recommend it. Headed back to the hotel, enjoyed the last few songs of a band playing below by the pool, a nice way to round out our trip.
We headed back home the next day, no problems returning the rental car or catching our flight. If you miss out on any souvenir shopping…the Cancun airport has a surprisingly nice gift shop—we saw a few trinkets we had already purchased (at comparable prices…). We had a wonderful time but were ready to get back home—we had two lonely cats waiting for our return.