Adventures, Mexico

Fun Friday – Parasailing in Playa del Carmen

T – G – I – F!!!!!  Not to mention somewhere, right this moment it’s 5 o’clock…..er uh cocktail time!!

Happy Friday to everyone!  In the spirit of the beautiful weather I’m currently experiencing, I wanted to share my sunshine and vibrant disposition in a post from an adventure in my notso distant past wherein I went parasailing while in Playa del Carmen.  Let me set the scene…..

While chillaxing on the beach in Playa del Carmen during a birthday celebration I gifted to my sister and my really good friend-like-sister for their twin birthdays (plus 2 others) last October, I was checking out the various activities from the comforts of my cabana and my refreshing cocktail.  Up above I see just a little dot of a thing and immediately thought “oooh that looks like fun” saying to myself “I need to sign up” so began my research.

As you can imagine, in this touristy area there was no shortage of “beach promoters” offering up everything from jet skis to boat rides to parasailing.  So no more than 5.256 seconds after thinking to myself how I wanted to go parasailing, I was walking up to one of the “promoters” to find out how.  After getting the process, cost, and availability of a single parasail I was internally stoked!  I tore up the sand to get back to my sister and ask if she could capture some images of me from the ground when it was my turn.

Now all I had to do was wait and hush the voices inside who were getting me so riled up and excited.

Then my time finally came and I was beyond excited!!  So my jet-ski arrived to take out to the boat from which I would take off from (or atleast that’s what I made up in my head because honestly I didn’t have a clue how this was gonna take place).

I arrived at the boat for takeout and said farewell to my jet-ski driver.  Once on the boat there was a family of 5 kinda staring at me which was weird but not weird, I’m a shapely dark-skinned woman with big eyes and full feature and wild hair – that day lol.  Well they were from Iowa somewhere and was curious as to whom I was taking to the skies with.  I replied, “no one, just me” and followed with my friends are here and there on the beach somewhere but I wanted to do this and they were chicken so I told them I’d see em later.  The family smiled and said “you go girl” and offered to take my pic as I was getting in position to lift off.  See the pic below.

So I was off……in this harness thingy watching the ocean drift farther and farther from me.  Now let me explain something.  This was before I ventured into the world of GoPro so I had with me my smartphone AND my regular Olympus Tough – Shockproof/Waterproof camera in hand, not strapped onto anything.  As I watched everyday beneath me get smaller and smaller I just kept thinking “if I drop this camera how will I get my pictures” not to mention trying to figure out how to keep my movements to a minimum as I positioned the phone then the camera for the best random shots.  Dammit mannn if I had my GoPro, this would’ve been amazing!!!  All things considered, I think I did pretty good holding on, steadying my hand and holding BOTH cameras.

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My eyes look HUUUUUUUGE lol!

From the beach, my adventure looked like this (courtesy of my sister)

So there you have it….me parasailing by myself while trying NOT to drop my camera and phone in the ocean or somehow disconnect myself from the harness.  All in all it was a superfantastic experience and one I hope to do again on one of my future journeys.

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What’s the craziest thing you’ve done mid-adventure?

~ Travel Well ~

 

Travel Inspirations, Travels Gone by, Worldly Treats & Eats

Where I’ve Stayed, Played, and Layed

*PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT*

Read this post at your own risk as insane envy may arise although it is NOT the intended purpose :-).

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The joy (for me) is in the journey but I admit a small part of me marvels at the places I’ve stayed over the course of my travels (both business and pleasure).  So in the spirit of “lists” and in no particular order might I add, here are some of my favorite accommodations of which I’ve had the pleasure experiencing…..

  • The Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
  • Hotel Sofitel Munich Bayerpost (during my trip to Oktoberfest – see My European Adventure)
  • Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam
  • Four Seasons in San Francisco (it was for business but still….it was AMAZING)
  • Maya Villa/Condos in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (2 story 3 bdrm, 3 bath, living/dining room/kitchen and balcony.  I still have to write the post so more to come)
  • Mahagiri Villas & Spa Dreamland, Bali (3 bedroom, 3 bath, living/dining room/kitchen, private pool/cabana all approx 3000 sq ft – stayed during my birthday celebration in 2014)
  • Barcelo Bavaro Adults Only Resorts Punta Cana DR
  • Ritz Carlton, Charlotte NC
  • The Adolphus, Dallas TX
  • The Fairmont, Seattle WA
  • Sutton Place, Chicago IL
  • The Millenium Hilton – World Trade Center, NYC (before the Twin Towers were constructed, actually during the rebuilding)
  • Protea Hotel Victoria Junction Waterfront, Capetown South Africa
  • The Venetian, Las Vegas NV
  • Dreams Cancun (my balcony overlooked the dolphin school.  This is now a different property now I believe)
  • Hyatt Regency Curacao Old Quarry Golf Course (I think it has changed its name since my stay in 2011)

My memory is giving me a run for my money at the moment so I will stop there while you salivate lol!

Where have you stayed that either gave you excellent service or accommodations that blew you away?

~ Travel Well ~

Adventures, Mexico

Jump – Weekly Photo Challenge (Motion)

Like Van Halen said back in the 80s……go head and JUMP!

As part of this week’s photo challenge for “Motion” this photo was one that immediately came to mind.  Taken at the Cenote Xtabay (Chikin Ha Cave System) in Tulum, Mexico last October, it is myself (on the right) and a girlfriend jumping in while another friend attempted to capture a few shots.  Ironically enough we did this shot several times before she actually caught us in motion.  (Since that time I have picked up a GoPro to enable more precise action shots.)

One more for the road 🙂

How’s that for “motion” lol?

~ Travel Well ~

Adventures, La vida Loca, The Caribbean

Ziplining in Barbados (March 2015)

I admit this was my first time Ziplining but most likely won’t be my last.  The folks at Aerial Trek were fantastic so if you’re ever in Barbados, check them out!!!

Although I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an adrenaline junkie, I do enjoy living on the edge a tad bit within reason – keeps life spicy lol!  I honestly haven’t done much thrill seeking although I’ve been parasailing (in Playa del Carmen) and fly fishing (in Bali – no not as in with a rod and actual fish but on a raft being pulled by a speed boat) so it was only a matter of time before I went Ziplining somewhere.  Now if only this Georgia weather would get itself together so I can schedule my skydiving session.

~ Travel Well ~

Mexico, Worldly Treats & Eats

“Plank” not planking in Playa del Carmen

When I tell you this was a total “oink oink” moment (as my friend Erica says).

So in preparation for the birthday celebration, I used Tripadvisor and a few other sites to get the skinny on some highly recommended restaurants for this very special birthday for my friend whom this trip was planned for.  After looking at menus and some reviews, I chose Plank in Playa del Carmen right down from our villa/condo.  It was pure gluttony as we wanted everything on the menu and tried to order everything lol!  The birthday girls enjoyed their special dinner which made the meal even better!20141016_231106

If you ever in Playa del Carmen, please stop by Plank as the staff was great, service was superb, and the food was the icing on the cake!

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~ Travel well and eat equally as well ~

 

Asia, Worldly Treats & Eats

Kopi Luwak – The World’s Most Expensive Coffee

While traipsing around Bali last year during my “Bali Birthday” adventure one of our outings led us on a journey to a farm that produced the Kopi luwak.. This coffee gained notoriety after being featured in The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2003 and the myth of its all-natural origins was propagated in a Jack Nicholson–Morgan Freeman scene in the 2007 film The Bucket List.

Kopi luwak (“coffee” in Indonesian, “luwak” from the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi, which are part of the Indonesian Archepelago’s 13,677 islands (only 6,000 of which are inhabited), or civet coffee, can sell for $75 per quarter pound. But it’s not strictly the exotic location that makes these beans worth their weight in silver. It’s how they’re “processed.”

Kopi luwak or civet coffee, refers to the seeds of coffee berries once they have been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) in Sumatra.  Palm civets feed on berries and pulpy fruits such as figs and palms.  They also eat small vertebrates, insects, ripe fruits and seeds.  On farms, civets are either caged or allowed to roam within defined boundaries.

(I was a little scared to get too close to it hence the far away (terribly displaced) photo of it.)

As folklore has it, kopi luwak in Indonesian, was discovered by plantation workers in colonized Indonesia.  Forbidden from consuming coffee beans picked from the plants, they picked up, cleaned and then roasted the beans excreted by wild Asian palm civets that entered the plantations to eat the ripest coffee cherries. The civets’ digestive systems gave kopi luwak a uniquely rich aroma and smooth, rounded flavor — so much so that the Dutch plantation owners soon became die-hard fans.

(Awww look at us….it was quite humid out that day and I didn’t feel all that great – the day AFTER my birthday no less.)

What started as, presumably, a way for the natives to get coffee without climbing the trees has since evolved into the world’s priciest specialty coffee.

Honestly I can’t even take credit for this experience as it was the desire of my friend in the pic with me above who had this as a must-see during our Bali adventure!!!  I’m glad we did though.

~ Travel Well ~

Adventures, Godivaworld Travels, The Caribbean

Antics in ANTIGUA

I can’t begin to tell you about the excitement I felt at the thought of all the shenanigans my friend and I would encounter as we embarked upon the beautiful island of Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) this past March.  map of antigua and barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, roughly 17 degrees north of the equator. To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadaloupe, and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin.  The current population for the nation is approximately 68,000 and its capital is St. John’s on Antigua.

So the day began with our arrival into Antigua as part of our 5 day island hopping adventures.  The big event of the day was our Catamaran Lobster Lunch adventure which was sorta kinda a birthday treat for my friend that almost didn’t happen because it was apparently a very popular activity.  Nevertheless we almost didn’t make the cut due to scheduling and space availability but in the end Godivaworld wins!!!

Oh to wandering aimlessly along the beaches of Antigua……

Anyhoo, our destination was Jolly Beach which appeared to be pretty isolated and definitely NOT saturated with tourists.  I can’t say enough about non-tourist areas even when I’m being a tourist lol.  I prefer to wander the path less taken and get lost in the streets the locals travel more often than not as that’s where you really find the jewels of any city.

Upon reaching the beautiful Jolly Beach (after sailing the seas around Antigua feasting on grilled lobster, beans n rice, a vegetable medley and rumvodkajack) the comedy and shenanigans really took center stage.  We disembarked from the Catamaran to a cozy little spot on the beach so the luxuriating could begin and shortly thereafter laughter ensued.  Just taking in the scene my partner in crime for this adventure, Norman, spotted what he called his (make-believe) cliff-side property being renovated just in time for him to approve the current progress.

As if this wasn’t enough comedy, we just so happen to catch a glimpse of a lady with very colorful scarves/wraps approaching our “friends” from the Catamaran for a sale (who were attempting to lounge and luxuriate on the beach).  Luckily we were already basking in the warm water of the sea to miss this “pop-up” beach sale.  However, since my “look away” reflex is a little sluggish I made eye contact with “JjAHkeey” <–said just like that.  Please check out the video below to see how Norman adds color and comedy to this scene.  Ms. Jackie just wanted to know if I were interested in her wears to which I kindly responded – “I don’t have any cash on me” (my go-to response).  Well honey, Ms. Jackie told me  to let her know if I change my mind (she throwing shade?)!

See why this is titled “Antics in Antigua”……are you still hollering because I was there and STILL can’t watch this without cracking up.  Gotta love your friends I tell you!

Needless to say, after our Jolly Beach shenanigans and Norman’s comedy show, the rest of the afternoon was filled with basking in the glow of the aftermath.

Although I didn’t see much of St. John’s (capital of Antigua), I know without question that I WILL be making a return visit with atleast 5 days of leisure, wandering, and luxuriating to satisfy my wanderlust soul.  Honestly what more does one need to be convinced to see this beautiful island?

~ Travel Well ~

La vida Loca, South America, Worldly Treats & Eats

Caipirinha (Brazil’s National Cocktail)

Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, made with  cachaça, sugar and lime.  Cachaça is Brazil’s most common distilled alcoholic beverage.

  caipirinha cocktail

Main alcohol: Cachaça

Ingredients: Half a lime cut into 4 wedges, 2 Teaspoons brown sugar, 1 2/3 oz Cachaça

Preparation: Place lime and sugar into old fashioned glass and muddle (mash the two ingredients together using a muddler or a wooden spoon). Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the Cachaça.

Served: On the rocks; poured over ice

Standard garnish: Lime, Sugar cane

Drinkware: Old Fashioned glass

Bebam com moderação!