Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We're Here

Hola Mis Amigos!

Guess what . . . I finally feel like I speak Spanish. I'm not fluent by any stretch of the imagination, but I can converse. I'm especially good at protecting Joe from the predators (aka~street vendors). They see him coming a mile away, and he's so sweet. He can't untangle himself! I start with "No thanks" and proceed until I get to "Absolutely not, ever".  That usually does the trick.

We've been having a great time in spite of the weather. It's been raining off and on since our arrival, but it's still warm. We both have umbrellas, ponchos, and waterproof pouches for the camera and the laptop. The standard gear for tropical adventures.

On our first night here we went to eat at a "typico" restaurant on 5th ave. That began a series of shocks to our senses. Playa Del Carmen is NOT the sleepy little beach town it used to be. The streets are pedestrian only on 5th Ave. The shops are elite and very expensive . . . higher than California prices!

In our past experiences, Halloween here has been a somber experience. It is a couple of nights before a very important Mexican holiday "The Day of the Dead". Normally the 31st is the evening for preparing the shrines of dead relatives.

Although this happened in almost all the stores and restaurants, we were surprised at the massive number of children dressed up in really detailed costumes. I took several photos. I would hold up my camera and ask permission and the parents would hurriedly pose their children for the photo shoot. Sometimes the whole family would be decked out.

Our hotel is adorable and immaculate. It literally is on the beach. The way it is designed on a narrow lot creates a bounce for noise, so earplugs have been a must. At 1:40 am, I was startled awake by extremely loud mariachi music. My first thought was "I thought I turned off the alarm clock" located next to my ear. It wasn't my radio. It sounded like a full mariachi band was on our patio. I peeked out our sliding glass door and you guessed it! . . . a real mariachi band was on my porch! I absolutely couldn't believe it. The next day I mentioned it at the front desk, but they were just as surprised as us.

Tuesday was spent slogging in water and shopping at Walmart. We stocked up on Negra Modelo, tortillas and peanut butter. We have made our first friend, Oscar. He's a 20 year old bartender at this cute little street bar. He doesn't speak a word of English, so we love him :)

We had planned to go to Cozumel on the jet ferry today, but the weather is still blustery, so we'll go tomorrow. The most stunning news of all is that we haven't been in the ocean yet! That's unheard of for us. We usually swim regardless of the weather (just ask Mom and Jeanette).

Wine opened so far: Modus Operandi '07' Cabernet Sauvignon . . . fabulous! Smooth, yet rich.  Renquist Petite Syrah . . . nice caramely, jammy, hint of tannins.
Well we are off for a walk so I close for now, Heidi

1 comment:

  1. Here's a tip: when a street vendor won't take no for an answer, or continues to be intrusive,simply say "ten cortes, por favor" which literally means "have some manners, please". It's considered pretty harsh by Mexican mentality but it never fails to stop the harrassing vendor in his tracks.

    Enjoy the rest of your stay!

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