It is Easter Sunday, day three of being in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This is an incredible tourist mecca, with streams of people from around the world flowing down fifth avenue. But unlike some of my more recent travels, the stores, restaurants, bars and small shops in this place are of high quality, beautifully designed and maintained. Everything looks and feels new here.
The moment we stepped off the plane and into the airport at Cancun, the air was instantly hot and moist. And as soon as we cleared customs, just as Graham warned, it was a gauntlet of smiling salesmen trying to get our attention and our money, smartly dressed and entirely polite Mexicans. "No nessecito! No nessecito!" was the planned rallying cry to get us through, although "No thank you" was the actual response, said many times over.
We took the bus from the airport in Cancun to the heart of Playa, a short 40 minute trip through lush countryside and massive all-inclusive resorts lining the Carribean coast, gargantuan and heavily fortified facades providing a cloak of protection to the world's wealthy and those that wish they were. The other side of the highway was a little rougher, hollowed out buildings, abandoned houses and housing developments in the infancy stages of development.
The bus dropped us on the south end of 5th avenue on Juarez, and we began our six block journey through tens of thousands of people going this way and that. All of a sudden we were outside the gates of Playa Kaan Condos, our destination and home for the next seven days. The security guard, Marcelo, let us in while we waited from the property management representative to let us in and show us around the unit owned by friends Barb and Gerry from Guelph. We've never met them, but through many emails and mutual associations, they feel like friends.
The last half of the first day was all about getting unpacked and oriented. Day two became and exploring, going for a morning swim in the ocean, stocking up on supplies at the bustling Walmart a few blocks down the road, having a much anticipated siesta and checking out some of the shops before enjoying a mid-afternoon gelato.
I keep saying to the boys how grateful I am that we have the chance to do this as a family. Seeing the wonder in Ben's eyes as he watches and listens to the musicians that come around and perform for tips is wonderful. Listening to Dylan as he interacts with the waiters and has enormous fun with his brother is fantastic. This is a special memory that will stick with them for a long time.
For Heather and I this is a time of renewal, of rest. Time is standing still, as I knew it would.
It is Easter Sunday in Mexico and we are going to tour an all-inclusive family resort this morning, then off to a full day at Xcaret, the eco park that is the Mexican Disneyland. Happy Easter to the readers of the Middle Age Bulge blog.
April 4, 2010 - weight and body fat% n/a