Exploring Playa

One of the reasons I had given myself a deadline to finish blogging about some projects – instead of finishing new projects – is that on Sept 15th I left for 3 weeks in Mexico. Now before you get jealous of all that vacation time, over half was spent working. But first, I made a stop in Playa del Carmen on the Mayan Riviera.

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Playa del Carmen is in the middle of Cancun to the north and Tulum to the south, and a short ferry ride away from the beautiful island of Cozumel.

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It’s also not too far off from Cuba and the gorgeous islands of the Caribbean.

Tuesday night I flew into Cancun and wow was that sunset above the clouds beautiful!

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I spent my first night in Cancun and acclimated to the hot, humid air, mosquitos, bottled water and geckos.

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I actually came back to this hotel at the end of my trip so I’ll have more to share from Cancun in another post.

In Playa, I stayed at a little B&B that was run like AirBnB with a private room and bath, balcony, shared pool and breakfast in the mornings. The couple were very sweet and I was a 5 minute walk from the beach and 5th Avenue. Plus their housekeeper did this to my towels every day:

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or

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As I mentioned, the beach and ferry wharf to Cozumel was a 5 minute walk away but I, stupidly, brought shoes that were not so great on the cobblestone streets and had massive blisters by the end of the week. When you go down to the beach there’s this great meeting space by the biggest statue you could imagine:

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The beach is surrounded with restaurants, shopping, massage tables, water sports and loungers so I made the most of it all. Here are some highlights:

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basically I could eat fish tacos any day of my life but they are especially awesome in Mexico

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the pool was super relaxing but the people who owned this house were jackasses. No one needs techno at 11am, no one.

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I overcame my fear-slash-intense-dislike of heights to go parasailing and am so glad I did! It was beautiful to see the whole area from the air and simply exhilarating.

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I didn’t like soaring over the beach much though, too many thoughts of “if I fall there’s no chance of survival…”

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this is 5th avenue, a mix of stores and vendors, restaurants, hotels and lots of people. I picked up a few items as gifts but mostly meds that I’d forgotten at the small drug stores.

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I set aside an entire day to visit Maroma, an adventure club north of Playa with a wide range of tours, private beach and restaurant. I started with a snorkeling tour of the reefs and burned the backs of my arms and thighs (dumb move) but the views were gorgeous:

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the club:

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After a light lunch and sleeping on the beach for an hour, I meet up with a small group for our next adventure: camels.

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They brought these camels in from Texas and the animals were well trained, if completely terrifying to hold onto when they stood up or laid down.

I got the last camel in the row and she was a little impatient and bitey.

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But it was a great experience and we stopped on the beach to give them a rest when the camel in front of mine displayed some impressive dramatics.

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When all the other camels were quietly sitting and enjoying their carrot snacks this one flailed in the sand as if to say “I can’t go on!” It was pretty amusing.

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By this point in the day the wind was picking up and I was a tad burned so I had to hold on to the camel, and my hat, while taking a selfie. I think I did a decent job.

I spent just under a week in Playa, balancing work and play leading into the last week before the retreat. For context, I’d been planning this event since February and organizing everything from excursions, the agenda, banners, gifts and communication with the resort. A little downtime in Playa was just what I needed!

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