Category Archives: Travel

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Thanksgiving at Bahia Principe Akumal

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Thanksgiving is not a major holiday in Mexico. To celebrate we went to Yal Qu Lagoon. On the way there we saw some of hurricane Wilma’s damage to Akumal. The villas all looked fine from the street but piles of rubble, mattresses, and kitchen sinks suggested a different story.

So far, this trip the cocktails have left much to be desired. As far as I’m concerned, Bloody Marys should not be half Margarita mix. Margaritas shouldn’t either, they should be Tequila, Cointreau, and fresh Lime juice on the rocks as the gods intended.

Today I grew serious in my pursuit of a decent cocktail. At the largest, most complete looking bar I could find I asked for a Mojito in order to appreciate the Cuban Rum. I can’t imagine why, but they have no fresh mint so a Mojito is not in the cards. I asked for alternatives and the very helpful bartender suggested a Caipirinha, which is basically a Mojito sans mint (say it like “macarena”). Very refreshing. Cutting to the happy ending, I haven’t found a bartender here who can’t make an ass-kicking Caipirinha. Give the bartender 10 or 20 pesos as it’s some work to chop and muddle the lime.

Now that I’m home and can research this properly a Caipirinha, strictly speaking, should be made from Cachaca but the rum works admirably.


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Our trip home was long but uneventful. The sun had just gone down as we made our descent into LA. People think I’m crazy but I love LA and think it’s a beautiful city to land in after dark. For people who hate Los Angeles the thing I think they miss is that LA is not one city: it’s hundreds of cities with their own communities and history.

Thumbs up for 105 Airport Parking; they were very convenient. We were gone so long it was nice to have a coupon from their site. More convenient would have been to use their valet service so we’ll remember that next time.

Thoughts on packing for a trip

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We’re here for 2 weeks, our destination is tropical, and international. From being here before we knew that

  • many times it’s too warm to even wear pants
  • you go through more clothes than you might think between the copious amounts of sunscreen and sweat
  • the fancy dress up dinners aren’t really that dressy

Given all that, we saw that doing some laundry was inevitable and so we decided to embrace that and cut back so our luggage was strictly carry on.

In the end it all worked out pretty well with just three notes for next time.

  • I wish that we’d picked out clothing with simpler wash instructions (pretty brain dead to have not thought of that)
  • The laundry is not an instant process so more frequent, small loads is better.
  • For my one pair of pants, some stain resistant slacks would have been more useful than the 501s that I brought.

Last thought, don’t lightly yield your legitimate carry on when they claim the flight is full. You don’t have to be an ass about it but keep in mind that last time the flight was not close to full despite their concern and they lost your luggage.

Last photo from our trip

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I was trying to see and capture the “green flash” but didn’t really know what I was looking for. Next time I’ll be better informed.

Bahia Principe Akumal – Day 10

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Despite the grim weather predictions it’s been beautiful yesterday and today. I got Nancy’s sore throat but seem to have fended it off today. Luckily our infection hasn’t been enough to make us very uncomfortable though we’ve had more lazy days than we might have.

I talked to some of the workers who are assembling the new palapas. I was surprised to see that the thatching is more like raffia than thatch palms. In any case, given the materials it wouldn’t be too hard to fashion one yourself. I’ll have to post the pictures to the make group on flickr.

Bahia Principe Akumal – Catching up

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I always count it as an ideal holiday when you take enough time off that it takes a moment for you to figure out what day of the week it is.

According to the calendar, it’s Saturday the 19th, day 7 of vacation. Nancy is feeling better. She’s still not 100% but the weather has turned: it’s still warm just very grey and rainy.

So far we’re really enjoying Playa del Carmen and the time off but I think we underestimated how much we enjoyed the really toasty weather when we came before in May. We might do that next time even though it’s more crowded that time of year.

Bahia Principe Akumal – Days 2 & 3, Tulum

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Day 2 we visited the internet cafe, read our books, and napped. The net connection was twitchy at best but no complaints, we didn’t come her for net access besides, they’ve been recently trashed by hurricane Wilma. The water is a bit rough for swimming.

Today we went to the ruins of Tulum which is maybe a 15 minute taxi ride south. I know I’m a soft American but it was nice to find a clean, modern taxi with functioning seat belts, air conditioning and it didn’t reek of gasoline and exhaust. Nancy gives me a hard time for photographing all of the Iguanas (I’m just impressed at having zoo animals running wild). I left my clippers at home so paid to get a haircut (a treat for me) and my amour is off getting a massage (her own kind of treat).


I should touch on the damage from hurricane Wilma since I know people are curious. Some of the mangroves/jungle right on the coast are badly thrashed. Some of the thatched roofs on the resort looks a bit ragged. Sections of the beach are a bit eroded and a few of the palapas are still bare of thatch but crews are working hard spreading sand and putting in new palapas and thatching them. In a week I bet the resort will show no sign of hurricane Wilma.

Bahia Principe Akumal – Days 4 & 5

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Coba yesterday. We’d been there before but had kept it very brief since it was quite hot that time of year. We took our time this visit and saw all of it. Our favorite part is walking through the jungle, seeing wildlife, plants, and the ruins that have yet to be uncovered.

The lake at Coba was badly flooded so the normal entrance was under quite a bit of water. More notable was an all out plague of tiny frogs. The water was black with pollywogs and the ground crawled with 2 cm frogs. Even walking carefully it was impossible to not step on some.


On the way back to the resort, we visited the Grand Cenote which was a nice way to cool off after hiking around Coba. Very beautiful.

Today, Nancy woke up sick. Hopefully she’ll be able to fend it off. It’s fairly overcast and windy with a good chance of rain today so not a bad day to hole up.

No pictures in this post since the uplink seems so slow.

Bahia Principe Akumal – Day 1

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When we finally arrived in Cancun we’d been awake for over 24 hours with only a few hours sleep. We were the walking dead; halfway wondering why we’d ever left the house.

But it all wrapped up quite nicely: we stepped off the plane to the thick warm tropical air, located my wayward luggage, found the Apple Vacation reps, made it to the resort and were put in what must be one of their nicest rooms.
First thing this morning we got up and appreciated the view from our room. Then we got some food having nothing to do with airports or airplanes, wandered around the resort, read our books and napped under a palapa by the pool.

There’s definitely some damage from hurricane Wilma but it’s not bad. The resort has a lot of new construction going on. We were supposed to stay at Bahia Principe Tulum but it’s closed while some hurricane damage is repaired so they set us up at the sister resort, Bahia Principe Akumal.

Nap Time

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We’ve been up for 12 hours now. It’s nap time.