Saturday, November 6, 2010

Very interesting bathroom.

I love this!  Unfortunately I think it's been renovated since but it was so fun. This was probably the most photographed bathroom in all of Playa del Carmen.  Why you ask?????  Look closely behind me.............there's no wall back there.  It looks over the roof tops of the buildings along 5th Avenue - which is the pedestrian shopping/restaurant street in Playa and behind that is the ocean.

Talk about having a complex trying to use that bathroom.  There certainly was no one who could see into it because it is higher than everything else by quite a bit but still!!! The door, by the way, was very cool too.  As you can see it's a large round door and it's hinged in the middle for ease of use.

I believe I heard that they had to put up a wall on the open side as there were new buildings that went up and were higher so it was necessary to enclose the room.  Oh well, at least I had the fun of experiencing this while it was unique.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Diving on the reef in Cancun

Just thought I'd share some pictures from the dives I took on the reefs off the Cancun coast. (Click on the picture for a larger view).

If you're going down that way and are thinking about diving here is a link to our friends, Lisa and Jesus. Wonderful people and I was totally comfortable diving with them. For a more in depth description of my diving experience with Lisa and Jesus please read my Feb. 2009 Reef diving post.

On the left - we found a puffer fish.

The picture above is a rock fish I spotted.  He's quite poisonous.  He has spines on his back and if you step on him you're in big trouble. You can also see him in the picture on the left in the front. See how well he blends into his surroundings.


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Saturday, September 18, 2010

My favorite pottery shop

I love this little pottery shop we found in Playa del Carmen.  It's a bit of walk from our condo but well worth it as it's just stuffed with wonderful pottery and wall hangings of all sorts.  Last time we were in Playa del Carmen we must have visited this shop about 4 or  5 times, so needless to say the shop owner has become my newest Mexican Amiga.  She would give us such a warm welcome (probably because she knew we were there to buy more things) and always gave us a deal before we even asked.

The first time we went there was to get kitchen cupboard knobs made out of the pottery - it looks so pretty.  But she didn't have enough to do the entire kitchen and wouldn't get more in before we were leaving.  So the next year we were down in Playa del Carmen we went back to her and got the rest of them.

Then we decided that since  one of the light switch covers in the condo  was a nice pottery cover, it would be fun to have

all the switch covers be in the pottery and add a little more Mexican charm to the condo. We made another trek to her shop.  (The great thing about all these treks is that we found the cheapest ice cream shop in town along the way.  So we would make sure to give them our business as well!) We got our single covers and when we got home we checked to see how many covers we needed for the 2 and 3 switches and went to see her again but she didn't have any in stock at the time.  Guess you know what we'll be doing on our next visit to Playa del Carmen.  I think if we go see her as soon as we get there and tell her what we want she can have them brought in for us.  I know the other times she'd said she could get things for us but we were going to be gone before they would arrive.  So next time we'll just place our order early in our visit. Considering that she doesn't speak English and we have almost no Spanish it was very interesting how we managed to convey our needs and understand her responses enough to get by - but that was all thanks to my hubby, he seemed to get it!

Hhhmmmm.........wonder what other lovely pottery things I can incorporate into the condo???  Such fun!

I should mention by the way that this lady had the BEST prices - we walked from one end of Playa del Carmen to the other checking every pottery shop we could find and her's were WAY cheaper than anywhere else. If you're interested this shop is on Benito Jaurez at the corner of 25th (if I remember correctly).

Click here to view our condo rental and start planning your trip to Playa del Carmen.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tacos anyone??

It's such fun to just wander around in Playa del Carmen.  You never know what you will find!  Love this!  

Talk about Mexican ingenuity!  

This old VW van has been transformed into a taco stand - how fun. It's set into this space right next to other businesses on a side street just off of 5th Avenue.

We didn't eat there this time though as we found it (again) just after we'd had our lunch.  

His business must be doing okay because when we saw him this time we recalled that we'd seen him last year when we were down to Playa.  

Maybe next time we're down there we will have to stop and have something to eat here.  Looks like lots of fun!

P.S. If you're thinking of a trip to Playa del Carmen we have a condo that's available to rent.  Please click here for details.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cozumel shore line

 Love this shot!  Nothing like surf, sand, sun and suds!!  

In all the years we've been going down to Playa del Carmen we have said we needed to make the trip over to Cozumel.  Somehow that never happened until this year.  A word of warning if you choose to make the trip - the ride over can get rough so you might want to make sure not to do too much partying the night before or you might lose your breakfast and they actually have staff going around handing out baggies in case of just such an occurance.  A great way to start the day - NOT!  Fortunately we didn't have any problems and weren't seated next to anyone who did. Thank goodness!

When we first docked in Cozumel it was very much like you would expect from a community that deals with the cruise ship industry.  Very commercialized right near the docks.  There's even the big money companies like Cartier.  
Don't get me wrong there were lots of Mexican style shops too but it was just very commercial for my liking. We prefer experiencing the natural culture of the country rather than the commercial culture although I appreciate that all the cruise ship business is an essential part of life in Cozumel.   

We knew that we wanted to get a car and drive around the island - which doesn't take very long, well unless you stop every few minutes to check out the "watering holes" or walk along the shore line picking up (I won't even say searching cause they're everywhere) seashells.  

So we walked down from the ferry terminal a bit and rented a jeep and off we went.  Once you're away from the ferry terminal area the island goes back to nature very quickly.  The shore line actually surprised me quite a bit.  After hearing about Cozumel for so long I was
expecting fabulous beaches everywhere and it's so totally not like that.  It appears that where there's a "watering hole" there's a beach.  But the rest of the island has a very rocky shore line.  It was very odd - almost seemed like a lava rock type of formation.  So another word of advise - if you want to walk the shoreline I suggest a good pair of shoes - barefeet and flipflops will make for difficult walking. Beautiful scenery all along the shore with the big waves coming in and crashing up over the rocks.  Lots of photo opportunities to be had - just watch you don't get your camera wet in the process.

Certainly am glad we made the trip - at least now we can say been there, done that.  Would I go back again??  I'm not sure - I guess if we had friends visiting who wanted to go over - then yes, I probably would.  Just for an outing for myself - probably not - there are a lot of other places yet to see or that I'd prefer to see again more than Cozumel.

Interested in visiting?  Click here to view our condo rental.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jellyfish Lights - so pretty!

If you are looking for a unique light for your patio you will find many shops that sell these pretty little lights on 5th Avenue, just off of Constituyentes.  I'm not exactly sure what they are carved from but it seems to be some sort of a gourd.  They are quite a hard shell, I guess you would call it, and each one is carved with flowers or fish or whatever the artist has been inspired to create, then colored glass balls are inset to add color and beauty to the effect, an electrical cord with a socket and light bulb are inserted  and it is completed by strings of shells hanging from the bottom.  They get their name from the fact that the complete effect is similar to the shape of a jellyfish.  They come in many shapes and sizes and I would recommend that you shop around because the prices vary in each shop.

I have one of these beautiful lights at my home in Canada but haven't really appreciated it until I was given one by our friends when they were down staying with us at our condo in Playa del Carmen.  We mounted it on the deck and enjoyed an evening outside under it's light.  Not only are they a nice piece of art but the effects of the light coming through the carved sections onto the walls and floors creates another interesting pattern to be admired. (Sorry for the poor picture quality). I think I may even get another one to put on the deck just because they're so pretty!  My brother says I'm a real hippy now because I have jellyfish lights - well okay I'd rather be a hippy in Playa del Carmen than a popsicle in Canada!

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Desperate for Tequila???

I chuckle every time I see this picture come up on my computer wallpaper.   We had rented a jeep to cruise around the coast of Cozumel.  We would stop at all the "watering holes" we came across and at one location about half way around we found this. Needless to say neither of us girls like tequila enough to bare it for it but my cousin, Kyle, likes his tequila so he posed for a shot - but surprise, surprise - the free shot was only offered to any brave ladies - not really a surprise but I guess he figured it was worth the try and created a fun memory for all of us.  

There were a couple of other girls there and they created an interesting picture. One was wearing a tube top so she stood behind the sign and positioned herself so the top was covered by the sign  but the upper chest and mid drift were showing.  If you didn't know otherwise you would think that she was actually topless!  I'm sure they had lots of fun conversations about that picture!

It was very much an ocean front location - just a small bar and restaurant located on a coarse, rocky bit of beach.

A little further along you could see the surf crashing up against the rocks.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

LOOK UP before you sit down

It's so wonderful to be able to walk down to the beach from our condo to enjoy an afternoon.  You can just pull up a piece of beach or use one of the many chairs that are available.  It's never a difficult decision to have sun or shade either. Both are always readily available either in the form of umbrellas or coconut trees to provide shade.  A lot of the resorts and restaurants have tables for dining set out among the trees as well. But a word of advice - look up before you sit down!

You may find it quite an experience to be able to say - yeah, I had a lounge chair or hammock under the trees on the beach.  I certainly would hope that it is a pleasant experience - hence my warning.  Those coconuts probably look cool up there but if you get hit by one when it falls it can do some pretty serious damage.  Although they look like they have really strong stems holding them in place I have to tell you when they're ripe and ready to fall a slight wind is all it will take.

So again - enjoy your day in the sun - but please LOOK UP before you sit down.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maroma Beach on a Sunday

We made another trip over to Maroma Beach and Resort while we were in Playa del Carmen this year.  What a beautiful place.  Going on a Sunday is so peaceful because all the activities there are closed so it seems that everyone chooses that day to go into Playa.  The beach is extremely empty and quiet.  It's a great day to enjoy some peace and quiet, sunshine, and a good book.  

With lots of staff on hand it's never hard to have your drinks refreshed and your food brought out for you to enjoy at a table among the trees.

Although it was a beautiful, sunny day  there was a very strong wind blowing - great if you wanted to be exfoliated!  But not so great when you're trying to enjoy the view of the beach - the sand at this beach is extremely fine so the wind was constantly blowing it at us.  The only solution to avoid the blowing sand was to turn our chairs around and have our backs to the water.  
I'm sure we made a funny site to the few other people who were wandering past but at least it kept the sand out of our eyes and still allowed us to enjoy our time at the beach. Definitely a great place to come to unwind and "recharge your batteries".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Garden of Eating Restaurant

We found a little spot for a nice meal that is close to our condo.  It's just a block from Constituyentes and 5th Avenue, off of 10th Avenue on 20th Street North. We couldn't help but notice the Canadian flag at the entrance so we decided to check it out. We asked our server and were told that it is owned by a lady from Toronto. It is an outdoor restaurant with tables nestled here and there among the trees and tropical plants. The entire layout is on various levels with anywhere from 2 to 4 tables in each area.  There's a waterfall on one side adding to the ambiance. You can look down into the open air kitchen and see everything going on. It has a nice menu with an interesting selection of items - some you're familiar with and some familiar ones with a twist.

Even the washroom is unique.  The ladies bathroom overlooks the back of the waterfall with just wrought iron bars and a curtain covering the opening that would otherwise give you a view of the waterfall and the restaurant area and everyone out there a view of you! The sink area is a common area for the men and women and the sink is a long trough style but the most interesting thing are the "faucets".  The water comes out of two conch shells that have been mounted as your faucets.  Very pretty but it does make a bit of a splash so you'll want to turn it on slowly and stand back a bit or your clothes might get splashed.

We enjoyed a very nice lunch there after wandering all over Playa del Carmen.  It was a very nice, refreshing way to relax after our excursion. On Friday nights there is a curry buffet so we're thinking of going back to have a sample of that too.  Hopefully the curry won't be too hot.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beachcombing in Playa del Carmen

I've often thought that I should get up really early and go comb the beach for "treasures" before all the people are out and about.  Finally the other day we did just that and I think we picked the perfect time for doing it. Since the beach was just rebuilt by having tons of sand dredged up

and poured onto the shoreline I figured that surely there would be lots of shells and things also being dredged up. My hubby got up early with me and we headed to the beach at 6:30 in the morning. The trek to the beach took us along 5th Avenue.  It was really fun to see it at that hour of the day.  We're used to going later in the day or in the evening when there's always lots of people around.  In the early hours you see the occasional shop getting ready for the coming day - depending on how long it takes them to set everything out on display again - and lots of cats roaming along or lounging on the couches that are left out all night.  Ah but I digress!  Back to the beach.

The hard packed sand encrusted with shells of various shapes and sizes - some still in perfect shape - look like a mosaic on the beach.  The colors were incredible.  We walked along in the loose packed sand and as our feet sank into it we would feel something hard so we would dig down to find out what treasures we'd found.  More often than not it was only broken pieces of shells or coral, but sometimes even those pieces were interesting as they might be the inner spiral of the conch shells.  Others were various perfectly shaped shells.
I was actually surprised by the number of people on the beach that early in the morning.  But what a lovely time to be out enjoying the sunshine and the sound of the surf coming in.  There were all manner of people out, fishermen, families with little ones looking for treasures of their own, even party goers who look like they spent the night sleeping on the beach.

As we wandered back the way we'd come we walked through the surf rather than the new sand that had been pumped into the shoreline.  This is where my husband found our most awesome treasures - 3 close to perfect, large conch shells.  We brought all our treasures back to

display at our condo with the hopes that future visitors will enjoy their beauty as we do and will also leave them in place for others to enjoy as well.

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grass hats made to order while you wait

We finally, after years of coming down to Playa del Carmen, took the ferry over to spend the day in Cozumel.  We rented a jeep to take a spin around the island. While we were cruising around Cozumel we stopped for a bite at Carlos n' Charlies.  This guy had his stand set up right beside the restaurant and while we watched he proceeded to make a hat just like the one he is wearing.  It's made from one half of a palm leaf.  It's one complete piece and he weaves into a hat.  Takes him about 5 minutes tops. Of course once it's done he hands it to us so we can admire it and hopefully buy it.  The nice thing was that this guy didn't push it on us at all.  Just handed it to us, showed us that it was so flexible you could bunch it up into a ball - so good for putting in your suitcase to take home with you - and let us take pictures with it and then graciously took it back again.  Absolutely no selling pressure.  How nice to be able to honesty and openly enjoy his artistry without any pressure.  He then took another little piece of palm and made a big, green grasshopper with it.  That was really cool too!

PS:  Want to come play in Playa del Carmen?