Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beach weddings in Mexico

I absolutely LOVE this picture. This was taken in Tulum. It is a totally awesome beach! There is a lovely restaurant called Ana and Jose's and they cater to weddings a lot. We had the chance to go there twice in April when we were in Mexico and each time we were there they were setting up for wedding ceremonies! I can't imagine how beautiful it would be to be married on this beach and it is actually set up right down on the beach.

They take 4 wooden poles and plant them in the sand on the beach. There is a beautiful natural wood podium set in the middle for performing the ceremony. Then they take white, sheer fabric and wrap and drape it around the poles and complete the decorating with curly branches and fresh flowers attached to the poles. Chairs are all set up in the sand for the guests. So Pretty! Unfortunately we had to leave before we could see the complete result.

They hose down all the sand with water and then rake it to look just pristine. They create a path in the sand from the back of the property to the alter on the beach and set white paper bags with candles in them along the edges. I can just imagine how pretty that would look as the bride walks down to the alter on the edge of the beach.

There is an open air, covered restaurant and bar to the back of the property. It's floor is all sand and they use that area also as the dance floor. One time we noticed a woven basket sitting on the ground filled with bright orange and hot pink flip flops with a little sign attached reading "dance shoes". How fun! All the tables are decorated and finished in such a beautiful manner. It's just like a dream wedding.

We also noticed a few resorts right on the beach in Playa del Carmen that were set up to perform ceremonies as well.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Getting to know the neighbourhood

Last year while in Mexico we bought a condo which will be our future retirement home. This April we were able to stay in our condo for the first time and it was such a treat. Everything was so close to our home that we were able to walk everywhere we needed to go. Of course when you buy a place there are usually little things that need to be fixed or repaired. We had lots of fun wandering around our new "neighbourhood" in search of hardware stores, plumbing supply stores and paint stores. What made it even more fun was our lack of Spanish communication skills. Oh well not to fear - my husband's solution was to get out the digital camera and take pictures of what we needed. That worked out well. Even with the language barriers we were able to locate all the things we needed and if the place we stopped at didn't have it they were always able to tell us where we needed to go to find what we needed. In one case we lucked out because we ran into our nephew, Riley, who was walking home so he made a perfect translator for us at the paint store. Hmmm, maybe in the future we should just arrange for him to be with us all the time when we're shopping. But then again where's the fun in that?? It's quite fun trying to get our point across and we always like to joke around and have fun with the people we are talking to as well. So sorry, Riley, guess you're out of a job before you even get it :o)

It's so interesting to walk around Playa away from the tourist area because you just don't know what you may find or where you will find it. On one outing we were going along 30th, which is 2 lanes of traffic in each direction so I guess that's a fairly busy road. Along each side are all manner of little restaurants and various stores so we happily wandered along checking them all out. We came to one which I think was a pet grooming and/or supply store. There were all these cages stacked up right along the sidewalk outside the store filled with roosters, chickens, some other large birds and some rabbits.

Then just a few businesses down would be an open air restaurant. We went past this particular restaurant and as you can see by the pictures it's quite open to everything, the sidewalk with people walking by and right next to that is the busy road. It's a little hard to see in this picture but on the right side there is a rotisserie with some pork meat stacked on a skewer being cooked on a spit type of cooker. The thing that amazed us was that it was right out there, in the open, cooking away. Can you possibly see that being permitted in Canada or the U.S.?? Hmmm, I'm thinking, no, the Health Authorities would be all over that. Funny how it is that what's perfectly fine in one country is totally taboo in another. Although we didn't eat at this restaurant we did eat meat that was prepared in this fashion and it was so delicious.

I think we also located all the ice cream shops within walking distance of our home too. Thanks to Suzanne and Shawn we are now addicted to a local ice cream which is made from fresh fruits and tastes simply incredible. I, like my husband, really enjoy the coconut ice cream which has shredded coconut throughout. Next time I want to try their mango - it wasn't available when we were there. The prices were unbelievable. 6 of us had ice cream for under $8. At that price we can afford to have ice cream a lot! Yippee!

I think the best thing about the location of our home is that we can walk up to my brother's house which is especially cool as we have never lived in the same town before. So if I time my visits right I can catch Suzanne taking something delicious out of the oven and I can offer to be her guinea pig and make sure that it turned out right. Suzanne is forever creating delicious treats in her kitchen. It's so cool being able to just show up for a visit, a treat and a dip in the pool.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?