Beyond Cancun

Trip Start Jun 10, 2004
Trip End Jun 17, 2004

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Thursday, June 10, 2004

We were meeting in Cancun.  Steve was flying in from Florida and Pauletta was flying in from Denver.  The plan was to meet at the airport, rent a car and drive south to our hotel.  Of course; Steve's plane was late and at the totally opposite end of the airport.  Thankfully, the Cancun airport was small.  Pauletta made her way through customs.  THAT was interesting!  While waiting in a LONG line to get her luggage, a kid (10 - 12 years old) asked if she wanted help.  It would cost, of course.  She gave him $5.00 (American), and he took her up to the front of the line, grabbed her luggage, took her to an empty "customs booth," showed the customs officer the money, and the officer hit the button - green light, and through!  Makes you feel safe, right?!?!?!  ANYWAY, once we met up, we made our way to the shuttle bus that would take us to our rental car.  No problem.  Things went very smooth.  Cancun was just as beautiful as expected!  However, it was raining and very windy.  Things were about to change. 

Ah...beautiful Cancun...our first day.  We drove south for about 45 minutes to Playa del Carmen and made it to our resort.  We checked in and took a short nap.  Afterward, we decided to take a drive into Cancun.  We were having an incredibly fun and romantic time.   All of a sudden, the rain became intense.  The more we drove, the more intense it became.  Then...the sky opened up with a downpour and the wind blew ferociously! OF COURSE, we kept driving and found our way to a restaurant.  We ate and we each drank a yard of margarita (see pics) as if nothing were going on outside.  How were we to know a tropical storm warning had been issued?!  We thought perhaps it was time to head back to our resort due to the weather.  As we were  heading back, Steve hit a HUGE pothole and killed a tire.  Needless to say, it was hard for him to change it due to the "rain storm" we were having.  Thankfully (again), a security guard from the resort we stopped in from of, came out and helped Steve.  We were up and running again and made it back to our resort in one piece.  The next morning, we woke to the sound of heavy equipment.  We got dressed, went outside and watched the workmen moving the beach back to where it belonged.  During the night, palm trees blew down, cabanas flattened, hammocks disappeared, and we saw cars swimming in the parking lot. Ah, the resilience of the Mexican Riviera!  By late afternoon, palm trees stood tall, cabanas arose, hammocks reappeared, and cars stood still.  We made it through a tropical storm!  Finally; sunlight!  It was time to get on with what would be the most important trip of our lives

The Mexican Riviera was incredible!  Steve had been there before with friends, but this was Pauletta's first time.  Our favorite places were south of Cancun. THE MOST WONDERFUL spot had to be Playa del Carmen.  We stayed at the Mayan Palace Riviera Maya Resort, just outside of Playa del Carmen.  The resort was unbelievable and holds a special place in our hearts; in a hammock on the beach is where Steve told Pauletta, for the first time, he loved her!  The rest would be history!  Continuing...  Cozumel, Akumal and Puerto Morelos were awesome as well, but Playa del Carmen...the best!  We felt as if we were in an old Mexican movie because Main Street had
been dug up and was nothing but dirt.  However, the concrete sidewalks remained. We found that interesting...  ANYWAY, the restaurants and the shopping were fabulous.  And what can one say when it comes to the Margaritas?!  Words could not express how wonderful they were!  On the serious side, here's our concern:  As tourism progresses and this wonderful town becomes better known, the streets will be paved, restaurants expanded and Margaritas watered down.  Such is progress; such is life.  We'll still visit often and perhaps have a house there some day.  Okay...moving on...  

Further down the highway, you'll find the Mayan ruins of Tulum...on the beach!  UNBELIEVABLE!  We've never seen anything like it.  This place is hard to describe, so we'll let our pictures speak for us.  Please, enjoy the photos!  BTW:  ALL photos are copyrighted.  Remember; that's Pauletta's occupation.
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