Wednesday, April 20, 2016

We didn’t find the church Sunday, so we spent the day being bums. I think that’s the day we walked a million miles on the beach. For all of you Playa del Carmen addicts, I have sad news for you… two landmark restaurant/bars have gone out of business; Bad Boys (completely torn down), and Cannibals (they were carrying off the tables and chairs as we stood mourning our loss).

The beach erosion is incredible. I don’t know what they are going to do about it. In the past they’ve pumped sand on the shore. If they’re going to do that again, they need to do it soon. It’s amazing how much work is put into the maintenance of the beaches. Every single day men are out there raking up the seaweed and debris into piles. A tractor follows with a crew who carefully scoops up the debris, not the sand, and sets it in the scoop. I don’t know what they do next?

Monday we changed views, slightly. We took the colectivo van (a small cheep form of travel for locals) to Akumal. Akumal is the next beach town south of Playa del Carmen. I wasn’t as impressed with it as I expected to be. I thought it would be a beach town. As far as I could tell, it’s just another collection of hotels, condos, and restaurants. I think Playa del Carmen is more interesting.

The colectivos are fun in a scary, wow-i-can’t-believe-20-people-can-fit-in-here sort of way. In the morning the van was quiet. All business people reading newspapers or computers. The return was sunburned, tired tourists speaking a mile-a-minute. The driver told us he was actually a cowboy and pointed to his small whip hanging from the rearview mirror. It’s amazing the things people are inspired to tell us because of Joe’s cowboy hat!

Tuesday was our lazy day. I got some more writing done on my current novel about modern day pirates. I’ve been complaining that this book seems to be a straight-forward organized crime story. You know how I love conspiracy! Well yesterday the conspiracy reared its ugly head. Yay! I had to re-write several passages to adapt to the new character, ( and to kill off another character) but it was well worth it.

Joe decided to gift me with two massages from El Faro. I think they are the best and most trained of the hundreds of people along the beach giving massages for half the price. As I was scheduling my massages, I asked the young lady who appeared to be in charge, if she knew Vicki’s daughter, Gaby, from Oaxaca. I suspected it was her, and I was right. We were so excited to finally meet each other! We’d stayed with her mother while at language school in the city of Oaxaca. It was great to catch up and to see Gaby’s wedding photos. Vicki looked great!

Today the schedule is walking, swimming, and eating… oh wait, that’s our schedule everyday :)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Playa Del Carmen

This time I could only get one week off from work. You know for us that is torture. I made the mistake of accepting a management position last August and have been running full speed ever since. The combo of releasing my recent book, El Tiburon, and writing the third book have stressed me. I knew it was time when one of my employees said, “You need to go on vacation. You always come back refreshed.” Well… hmmm, instead of being wounded that it was so obvious I needed a vacation, I booked one :)
So here we are in Playa Del Carmen, enjoying a quick week of sand and sunshine.

Yesterday, April 15th, was our thirty-seventh year together and we still prefer each other’s company to anyone else in the world. I highly recommend marrying your best friend.

Immediately after unpacking we went to one of our favorite little street bar/restaurants, La Barbacoa, and shared fajitas and a giant draft Negra Modelo. And I mean giant, like one of those steins you use as a flower vase! I had to tip it sideways on the table just to get a sip because it was too heavy when full.

This is our second time staying at Playa Palms Condos. We have a ground level room with a nice view of the ocean from our porch. On our big day we had breakfast delivered to our room (actually they do that every day). Then we planted our butts on the beach chairs and read for a couple of hours. The added benefit was watching the two older Russian couples playing a heated game of cards next to us. It reminded me of my family when I was little.

We relocated further down the beach to the bigger sandy area where the locals hang out. We had a motive. Their fish tacos are scrumptious, and of course they have Negra Modelo… do you detect a theme? I actually brought wine from California, as usual, but red wine on the beach isn’t easy. But I was hankering for it. As usual we struck up a friendship with the ancient guy sitting next to me. He kept offering a toast to Joe and to me. Next thing you know he and Joe are buying each other beers. The old guy’s family adopted us and suddenly I had a glass of red wine in my hand… complete with ice cubes. They tried to convince me to add the pink soda-pop to it, but I have my limits to the hospitality I’ll accept. Apparently I dozed off. I awoke to the sound of a mariachi band right behind my chair. Viva la Mexico!

We finally wandered back to our condo, still enjoying our special day. Dinner was my choice. I love Aldea Corazon. It’s a romantic restaurant set in the jungle right in the middle of town. At some point in the distant past a sink-hole occurred here and now they have set up tables along the rim amidst the trees and the fresh-water stream. 

The service is impeccable, and telling our waiter we were celebrating our 37th anniversary resulted in dessert on the house! Lovely.

Now we’re off to go grocery shopping before it gets to hot! We heard there is a church on 45th and Juarez, so we will try to find it today.