Godivaworld Travels, Mexico

Pastimes in Playa del Carmen

It is NO secret that I enjoy a journey, exploring new lands, experiencing new things.  So it should come as no surprise that every now and again I try to drag bring others along with me.  Rewind to October 2014.  Well actually it was some time prior to that but October is when the actual journey began.

Picture this:  my good girlfriend and sister share the same birthday and neither had been out of the country since returning from Germany where our parents were both stationed (military brats we all are).  I told them I wanted to do something special for their birthdays – just because – and all they needed to do was renew their long-expired passports and secure their flights as accommodations and such would be on me.

So began my planning.  Now sometimes I will travel on the fly and on the offchance I actually do pre-planning it’s never much farther than a month or so in advance (with the exception of my birthday celebration to Bali but again that involved other people accompanying me so I try to be more mindful of schedules, pockets, etc).  In this case, I gave the gals a good 6 months or so to ensure everyone had plenty time to get themselves together for this birthday celebration (to include the 2 birthday girls securing their passport renewals).  A small part of me wasn’t sure they would meet my our deadline but lo and behold they came through.  Now of course I made it no secret that I was going with or without them lol but I played cheerleader every step of their passport renewal process because I really wanted them to experience this adventure.

So check: Passports completed; check:  flights secured; check:  accommodations booked and paid for; check: meet up and transportation details finalized.  Off we were for Playa del Carmen.  Why here?  Well I didn’t wanna totally take them out of their comfort zones by going somewhere exotic or say with a much longer flight.  I knew that we wanted beach time, a little partying, an easy breezy and free kinda place that wasn’t gonna break the bank.  Mexico is always a good place for easy breezy or atleast has been to me on my various voyages there so I figured what better place than here!

My goal was to find accommodations more along the lines of a condo, house, or villa of sorts so we could all be under one roof and to enable less of a vacation feel and more of a “I live here part time” feel lol!  Looking around on one of my favorite sites – Booking.com – I came across a few digs I thought would be sufficient but still weren’t sure they fit the bill.  I also did a few random “Villa” searches on Google to see what I could come up with as well.  Sidebar:  People are often shocked that I don’t use a travel agent until I tell them how easy and much more flexible I find it to do my research, booking, etc. myself.   I realize there are “levels” to this travel thing and those who explore seem to be more free than those who just ‘vacation’ if you will.

Anyhoo, I settled on a property that had 2 sister sites and on sight (virtually that is) appeared to be THE perfect digs for us and so I booked it. – Maya Villa & Condos right there in Playa del Carmen, near 5th Avenue, the beaches, restaurants, clubs, etc.

So our adventure began.  Three of us were on the same flight coming from Atlanta while my sister was flying in from Orlando. Once we landed we just posted up at the airport sipping cocktails waiting for my sister to arrive so that we could make the most of the same transportation.

It drizzled a little bit enroute which almost put a damper on my spirits but as is customary, it didn’t last too long.  By the time we reached Maya Villas any concerns of rain I had quickly dissipated.  I recall pulling up to what looked like a random building with these steep steps only to find out that the check-in office was just up the street in a totally different building.  Being the responsible party I made my way over to complete the check-in and obtain any information necessary to aid in making this trip that much more special for my birthday girls.

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Maya Villa Entrance

Once I finished the check-in process I returned to where I left the girls who had already been let into our “temporary home” only to be met with approvals on the digs.  Upon entry I, too, was pleasantly pleased with my selection.  For more on the Maya Villa & Condos check out my Where I’ve Stayed, Played, and Layed!  We were all pretty stoked about the digs considering I once again made a reservation based solely on my personal research and not an actual referral.

For the 3.5 days of our stay I left the schedule pretty open as to not overwhelm anyone and really because I prefer to not be held down to a schedule so I can explore and wander.  The only thing I planned  in advance was the birthday dinner which happen to be the very night we arrived.

Arrival and Birthday Dinner

After arriving and getting settled into our digs it wasn’t long before we began to get ourselves together for our dinner reservations.  I chose a lovely spot solely based on its menu and it did NOT disappoint – Plank – which was right down the block from our digs.  We hit the cobblestone walkway and made our way to Plank.

There was lobster and prawns and sole (fish) and mac n cheese (with more lobster) and cocktails and pure gluttony. Need more proof?  Check out “Plank not Planking in Playa del Carmen” and bring a napkin to help catch the drool lol!  Not only was this a great meal it was a wonderful way to kick-start our trip while celebrating the 2 birthdays!  Afterwards we headed out for a little club hopping.

Random shenanigans

By leaving our time pretty free, it enabled us to just stumble upon things which we largely did especially once our 5th guest arrived.  By then I’d made my rounds to the supermercado and fell upon a cigar shop where I copped a few to include some Cohibas.  The rest of the day we basically wandered around which was an adventure in itself.

Events and Activities

Without question on of my best or shall I say favorite moments was parasailing while the gals were doing a myriad of things from lounging on the beach to beach side massages.  By far the best rush EVER!!!  See Fun Friday – Parasailing in Playa del Carmen!

One of the other things we did as a group (minus one) was the Tulum:  Mayan Archaeological Site and Chikin Ha Cenote X-Tabay day trip.

Needless to say the birthday celebration was a success by the birthday girls account.  We came, we saw, we ate, we beached, we played and most importantly we laughed as much as possible!

~ Travel Well ~

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 ~

 

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 ~

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 ~

 

Mexico, North America

A Cancun Wedding

Party!  Party! Party!  Well that’s what most think when they think of Cancun and of course “Tequila” however there’s so much more to this beautiful city.  This trip exemplified the words “Destination Wedding” as it was one of the most beautiful weddings, brides, gathering of guests, etc. I have seen in real life.

Backstory:

Now I’d been to Cancun several times so this was truly about supporting my friend during his nuptials.  I didn’t know a soul but the groom but again having been to Cancun plenty times before, traveling solo to an event where I knew no one fed right into my internal wanderlust being.

My plan was to detox and be totally random until it was time to grab my tissue and throw rice (….well maybe not rice as I guess that went out a couple decades ago lol).  Nevertheless, I used the time to wander which I’ve become so accustomed to doing – even at home.  Since I’ve never met a stranger, either home or abroad, it’s no surprise that I actually met some cool chicks ironically from the Atlanta area the day of the wedding.

My hotel room overlooked the wedding site which transformed itself almost before my eyes over the course of the day or atleast the random periods of time I was in the room and happened to step out onto the balcony.  Nevertheless, the beachfront games and bathers scattered as the hotel made room for the main event of the evening.

As the sun set over Cancun, the wedding festivities got underway.  The winds picked up accompanied by the ocean breeze which added a little chill to the evening air.  We didn’t care, as we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the bridal party down the aisle.  I must say, the bride, the groom, the party, the setting was nothing short of your glossy wedding magazine print ad – just a symbol of all things beautiful in life and love.

The ceremony went off without a hitch and the newlyweds and their guests danced the night away!!

Sometimes my travel is with/for a purpose and other times it is just to satisfy my inner wanderer.  No matter the reason it is the act of travel no less and for that it is not the destination as much as it is showing support and love for those who mean even a little bit in one’s world.

~ Travel Well ~