Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cancun with Sweetstuff

When you go to Mexico have a lot of fun but don't drink the water!  The first week of this month I traveled with my husband, best friend and her hubby to Playa de Carmen area of Mexico.  About thirty miles South of Cancun we stayed at an all inclusive adult resort called the Ocean Maya Royale.  The temp's were only in the 80'sF but the humidity was incredible.  As soon as you walked outside you were wet and hot.  Pretty much what I expected.  We really had a wonderful week.  But when you are in Mexico if they tell you that all there water and ice is filtered.....don't believe them.  Everyone else came home fine but I of course got the crazy water parasite giardia!

End of pier crazy group

So the first night we all went out to the end of the pier after dinner and took some self portraits.  The wind was just blowing in our faces and we were having such a great time.  That is me on the far right looking like a wide eyed lunatic!  LOL

Resort at night

This is our view looking back at the resort from the pier.  Not the best shot but looks pretty cool.

What is this?

So you know where ever I go I am on the search for succulents.  I found this crazy plant hidden by the big rock fountain area in the resort.  It was partially hidden by the beautiful Russelia equisetformis!  Wish I knew what the name was!

Aloe of a different color

I found these really neat colored aloe's hidden among some plants also.  I love the color but don't know the name on these either.  Sorry!

Mango orange

Beautiful Mango colored flowers were every where!

Pretty and Pink


The corridor

The resort was really huge.  Every time we passed this corridor my girl friend and I would stop and look.  We just loved the look and perspective.

Loved this tree

I just loved this tree.  I passed by it every day.  I bet Gerhard Bock from Bamboo, Succulents and More can tell me the name!

So pretty

Cordyline terminalis or Ti plant
I loved the color of these plants!  They were everywhere on the grounds of the resort also.


 These Iguana's were everywhere on the grounds of the resort.  This was one of the biggest ones I saw.  It was really interesting.  They each had there own territory.  So you always saw the same one just about every day in the same small area.

Shells with purpose

One day we took a taxi into Playa del Carmen.  It's a great little town about halfway between Cancun and Tulum.  It is quite a tourist destination if you are in the area.  There is a 2 mile stretch down the middle of town that they call Fifth Avenue.  Shops of every different kind along with restaurants, cafe's and bars are all up and down this quaint street.  In this little store I found this great American artist that used sea shells and copper wire to make great planters and lights.

Hot Talavera peppers

One of my favorite things about Mexico is the Talavera pottery.  The inside of my home is decorated with lots of this beautiful artwork.  So when I get a chance to go to Mexico I am always on the lookout for some new pieces for my home or garden.  

I love Talavera

So much I wanted to take home with me. But alas there is only so much that can be taken on the airplane home.

Sweet & Toxic

My girlfriend just had to take a photo of me under this store.  Sweet and Toxic!  LOL

Shopping break

We found this great little restaurant looking over Fifth Avenue.  It was on the 2nd floor and had a wonderful breeze blowing through it.  It was a wonderful break from the heat of the day.  We had cocktails and home made guacamole while we watched the shoppers below us.

Playa de Carmen

At night Playa del Carmen turned into a city of twinkling lights.  Mariachi bands played up and down the street and the cool evening air was so wonderful.  Soon the smells of dinner had us taking a taxi for home.

Mango Hibiscus

Blue, Pink and Mango colored hibiscus flowers were everywhere all around the resort.


Sitting under the cabana's was as delightful as it looks.  We had bottled water in ice buckets and all the cocktails served to us that we wanted.  What a life!

Tropical tree fruit

So many different kinds of trees.  I should know the name of this one.  It kind of looks like a date palm.  Anyone know?

Entrance to ruins at Tulum

On Wednesday we decided to take an excursion.  One of my favorite things to do in the whole world is snorkel.  I just can't describe how peaceful it makes me feel.  So we talked it over after speaking with a tour guide and decided to go to a popular swimming, snorkel destination called Xel Ha.  We got up at 6 a.m. (believe it or not) and caught the bus.  We stopped at a couple of other resorts and picked up some other folks and then arrived at Xel Ha about an hour later.  We decided to split the day and spend the morning at the ruins in Tulum.  The first Mayan city discovered by the Spaniard Conquerors.  A wonderful and unique seaside Mayan city with wonderful views of the Caribbean Sea.  This is the entrance.

Ruins at Tulum 1

When I walked through the opening my mouth just dropped open in amazement.  What a large area was laid out in front of me.  Ruin's everywhere.  Some just the base structure and some with roofs.  The grounds were really well taken care of by the gardeners.  We followed our tour guide and he described the different buildings and what they were used for.  I took so many photos it was crazy.  

Ruins at Tulum

I tried to imagine living in this time.  It would have been a hard life.   Our tour guide said they actually performed sacrifices in Tulum.  Supposedly it was an honor to be chosen.

Tulum beach

This is what we saw when we went to the cliff.  What a beautiful sight.  I wish we had brought our suits and had more time.  This beach was spectacular.  I would have loved to swim and/or snorkel here.   My poor husband just after this day developed double ear infections and we had to see the resort Dr.  


I loved this view!  Look at those crystal clear waters  Such a lovely turquoise color.

It's hot in Tulum

Here is Stan and I standing on the cliffs at Tulum.  Yes that is sweat.  It was so hot that day.  I think the only thing that saved me was Gatorade.  But what a once in a lifetime experience.  It was so awesome!

Coconut palm

I was amazed at all the coconut trees!  They were everywhere and loaded with coconuts
So sweet

We were bused to the water park at Xel Ha.  As we were walking towards the water we saw these beautiful Parrot's!  They were so beautiful!


There were so many people at this place.  I actually wish we had just taken a snorkel only excursion but we decided on this place which was kind of like Disneyland on water.  A fresh water river flows into the ocean and you can snorkel.  That is the biggest draw.  But I have to say that I was very disappointed.   I was the first in the water and didn't see any fish except sand for quite a while.  I was about to go in when I saw this stingray.  I couldn't believe it.  I followed it for about 1/2 an hour.  I was then going in when I saw a huge grouper.  I watched it and then saw a turtle.  I followed the turtle until it was almost at the ocean.  I filmed all encounters with my underwater camera.  During these times I saw only a couple of fish.  So if you want to see fish don't go here.  The food and drink was good though.  And we got to tube through a mangrove forest and that was very fun.

Mangrove love

Here is me (on the left) and my best friend tubing through the mangroves.  This was very cool I must say!

Mangrove water trail

Here is a shot of the tunnel through the mangroves.  It was quite long and you had to paddle yourself along or you would just sit in one place.

Fun in the sun

So here we are in one of the two pools enjoying the cool water and warm weather.  You are probably wondering why the long sleeves on my suit.  I have become sensitive to the sun and get rashes.  This great suit and another I bought through Coolibar reflect the sun rays and keep you cool.  They are very comfortable and cool.
So to sum up the whole trip.  It was fun and I had a great time with our best buddies but I can't help but be disappointed that I didn't get to snorkel more.  I want to keep doing things like that while I am still able and active.
The resort was really great, the only complaint would be the food.  For a five star resort it could have been so much better.  Not that I didn't eat some yummy food I did.  But it could have been much better.
And don't drink the water!  No matter what they say!

And remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!


Cindy said...

What a beautiful and colorful vacation you all had! I would have been trying to figure out how to smuggle home a piece of that one weird succulent, while I wasn't busy looking for cool bugs in all the lush tropical foliage!

Julie said...

What a gorgeous place! It has a similar look and feel and temperature/humidity as here in south Florida! We don't have ruins though or that crystal clear water!! Or parrots!!!

So sorry about the giardia, and your hubby's infections! Good grief!

Beautiful photography! I had to laugh seeing you under that store Sweet and Toxic! Too funny!!!

Looked like a fantastic trip...maybe next time you can get in more snorkeling!!! :)

xoxo- Julie

Anonymous said...

funny! you were vacationing at the exact same spot my friend was! your pics and her pics of the ruins are nearly identical! haha strange. i wonder if you guys were there the same day, too? was your guide at the ruins named Pancho, by any chance? great blog btw!

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Hahaha! Thanks everyone! And yes Cindy there were lots of bugs for you to look at. And we saw a couple of geckos.

And Julie I feel so much better now and so does Stan. It's weird, he NEVER gets sick. And we had a super time but definitely want to snorkel more!

And how funny Ariel! Our tour guide was Jonathan. I think they took everyone on the same route! I wonder where your friend stayed? And I have so many more photos of Tulum I could only pick a couple.

Joyful said...

Looks like a lot of fun. Everything looks so beautiful.

paulaustin said...

I heard so many times about Ocean Maya Royale resort. The review is also good. Here are so many pictures are available, so that we can guess about the hotel facilities and places to visit.
yosemite cabin

aclem said...

Candy, I never knew you were such a good photographer. Never forget you're my dream girl.


Gerhard Bock said...

I'd love to be there right now! Beautiful photos of you and of the scenery :-). I have no idea what that tree is but I do know that the neon purple plant is a Cordyline terminalis, commonly called ti (tee) plant.

I hope you've shaken off that nasty bug by now!

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Yes Paul it is a really beautiful resort. Very well maintained. And the staff were so nice and helpful. That was really great. I guess my only complaint would be the food.

Thank you so much Dan! Yes photography is a hobby of mine. And you are my dream man! Hee hee!

Thanks Gerhard! Darn I figured you would know the name of that tree. Thanks for the name of the pinkish stuff. I loved it!

donna said...

You're now qualified to work for the Mexican Tourist Bureau. Your photos are probably better than theirs.

It was a special treat to see pictures of you. You're as sweet looking as I suspected you'd be.

The reason you got sick is because you didn't drink enough wine:)

Now I'm a little jealous that I didn't have a fabulous winter vacation. Next year maybe.

Catherine said...

Oh Candy, what a wonderful vacation! I love your photographs, gorgeous flowers! I'm so glad you had a good time.

By the way, I laughed when I saw the photo of the tree you love and want to know the name of. Why? Because my mother's backyard has like seven of them lining her back wall... They have been there since my parents bought the house when I was one! My mother trims them back before every hurricane season because they get huge and bushy. They're called Umbrella Trees (the branches look like umbrellas, so cool!)

Brassaia actinophylla (a.k.a Umbrella Tree, Octopus Tree, Amate)


Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

wow thank you so much Catherine. Its great to have a name for this cool tree. Not that I could have one (not enough room). To many cactus! lol