Just popped over to the blog and realized I haven’t posted anything since August 9. AUGUST 9! That’s a travesty. And very lame. I apologize (to my three readers). Wow. I need to get back on the blogging train…where to start? Lord, I have so much to write about.
I still need to post about the last few weeks in Tulum, a few epic weekends with friends celebrating their entrance into their 40th decades, and several top-notch shows! (I might even have some food posts…but right now I just need to figure where to begin.)
More updates coming soon. I swear. I promise. No, really.
Still trying to play catch up on the blog…after our trip to Bacalar, we spent Thursday (August 1) and Friday (August 2) in our normal “routine”…I wake up early, work for 4 hours, Nicole wakes up, she goes for a walk (I joined her one of these days…and it was so effing hot and I was so sweaty…I don’t operate well in those conditions.)…then we pack up and head to the beach for the rest of the afternoon.
Honestly, everything is starting to blur together…it’s going so fast. Thursday and Friday nights we went to town. Thursday we ate at Don Cafeto’s (that lovely escabeche dish was so good!) and Friday we ate at Buenos Aires (no pics) steak house. Yum. We’re learning (slowly, but surely) that the portions here are huge and we really only need to order an appetizer and one main course. Dinner at Buenos Aires was lovely and the steak was delicious right of the grill with grilled veggies and wine.
Then both nights, we went to Curandero to sit on the swings and see live music. We met some fun new friends…and we hung out with them at the bar both nights. We also went to Mint, another cool place in town, that actually sells laughing gas on the menu…when in Rome…
That drummer band (I think they’re called MbeMbe Percussion) was amazing. They were an African/Brazilian percussion band with this crazy girl dancers, a little bit of singing, but a lot of drumming and grooving. And cute, cute boys. (The dog on the bar was also enjoying the drummers very much.)
That last pic is a picture of these guys in the hammock at Estrellas on Saturday (August 3)…it seemed like everyone was hungover that day…sleeeping on the beach and under palapas. Nicole and I included. Did I mention Curandero stays open until 4 am? Well, as we found out, it does. Ouch. Needless to say, after the beach on Saturday, we spent the evening at the house.
Update: I forgot about this…we didn’t beach it on Friday…after working for 3 hours in the morning, the power went out at our condo and it was undetermined how long it would be until it came back on. So we went to the Chedraui for groceries and came home and sat at the pool and napped. Power came back on in the afternoon and I got a few more hours of work in before heading out in town.
Images from our trip back from Bacalar…just hanging out in the bus station for 2 hours because we missed our first choice of bus.
I heart Mexican Coca-Cola.
Nic is not please with the cold temps in the station or on the bus…or the long wait in the little run-down station on the side of the road.
LAST POST about Laguna Bacalar…I swear…the pics are just so good.
We took a pontoon boat out for two hours with Miguel (no picture…) who was having quite a bit of motor problems with the boat…but luckily he got it running and we set off (at a rather slow speed…ha). He showed us these cool underwater formations that occur when oxygen seeped out of the earth (I think). And we got to see more sections of the lake. We swam in an open air cenote (and I dove down to see where the water was coming up from the cave system). And then we did a lazy river float with lots of little fishies and some really cool stuff to look at. It was very, very pretty.
Yep…more pics from Laguna Bacalar…that place was just unreal. On the second day, I got up early to watch the sunrise and do some sun salutations out on the yoga deck. Then Nicole and I went out for an early morning kayak on the lake. It was amazing.
While eating breakfast, we spotted a water snake slithering across the surface of the lake…glad I didn’t see that before we were out in our kayaks. YUCK! This place had tons of critters…that lizard up there runs on its back legs…totally crazy. And that GIANT grasshopper-looking thing has two sets of wings and flies all around and drops out of nowhere.
Love all the little birds. We saw some other crazy brown ibis type birds, but I couldn’t get close enough to get a good picture. They were constantly shouting at each other.
There were lots of little fish and we saw one needlenose fish swimming through too.
Some more pictures from Laguna Bacalar…out on the boat…and back on our deck with the storm rolling in and our little bird friends.
Tuesday (July 30)…we set out super early for our excursion to Laguna Bacalar. We caught the 6:30 am bus out of Tulum for a 3 and a 1/2 hour ride south toward Belize. The bus was freezing. Note to self…take a winter coat on Mexican bus trips. And it made a million stops along the road. I guess that’s what you get for taking a second class bus in Mexico. I read, Nicole napped. We got to the Bacalar bus stop around 9:15 and jumped in a cab to take us to Hotel Akal-Ki. A wellness resort that was ranked high on the trip advisor list, we booked it a day before and didn’t really know what to expect.
The lake is AMAZING. That azure blue color is like nothing else. It’s fresh water, fed by cenotes. We spent the day lounging on the yoga deck and in the hammocks. A storm rolled in and it was lovely and relaxing to just swing on the hammocks while the thunder and rain came down.
Akal-Ki was located on the south end of the 31-mile lake…so there wasn’t anything close by. We had dinner at the restaurant there. It was OK, not great.
Tons of freaking bugs…oh have I mentioned the mosquitoes yet? Well they are eating me alive. It doesn’t matter how much bug spray we use, how many citronella or copal candles/fog they light around us…those little mother effers are like suicide bombers on a mission to destroy us.
Bed early…pretty much because there is nothing else to do there. Did I mention it was very quiet and chill?
This is the lazy post…Sunday (July 28) we basically recovered from Anne’s whirlwind trip. We lazed about all day and finally ventured out around 4 pm to go to the market. Sadly for us, we were alerted that you can’t buy alcohol in the grocery stores after 2 pm on Sundays. Silly Mexico. After cruising around town on our bikes and going to the bus station to get a scheulde, we cooked stir fry at home and pretty much did nothing.
Monday, after working in the morning, we went back to the north side of the beach zone…we wanted to try a new spot so we headed up to El Paraiso…little did we know it was a public beach access with a beach club where you had to pay $200 pesos per chair to hang out. It was super crowded and we weren’t about to pay that…so we walked down to La Bella e Vida where we went a the week before. Another lazy beach day…drank some beers…I had a quesadilla, and then we went home to get ready for our first big excursion…Laguna Bacalar…posts coming on that amazing place!
Saturday (July 27) was super slow rising…we were out late, had some cocktails, and couldn’t motivate. When we got down to the beach, we swam in the ocean, had a few beers, and ended up at Om Tulum where we ordered bloody mary’s and flat bread, brick oven pizzas. Anne did a little souvenir shopping and we came back to the condo to get ready for dinner at Hartwood!
Hartwood is easily my favorite place to eat in Tulum, but it’s a little on the pricey side, so we save it for special occasions. We had spicy pineapple habanero margaritas, jicama salad, and for our main courses we got filet de coronado and skirt steak. We also ordered roasted beets and roasted cauliflower. Everything was spectacular. They cook it all outside over open flames or in the brick oven.
My only complaint…the lovely chef Eric wasn’t in the kitchen that night…he was on vacation back home in New York. Oh well…maybe we’ll see him when we go back next week.
For desert, we had CORN ICE CREAM. So good. (No pic b/c it was dark and we devoured it before I could snap a proper pic.) We had two bottles of wine and got a third to go…and came home and hung out at the condo. We were exhausted from such a huge Friday night and such a great supper. And Anne had to get up to leave at 5 am on Sunday.
It was super fun to have a visitor to show around! Quick trip, but really fun!
A continuation of what turned out to be our crazy Friday…we left the beach and jumped over to Casa Jaguar…it was early so we were the only people there. But Kin, the bartender from last Thanksgiving, was there. We had mezcal cocktails and then after we started to get bitten alive, we jumped in a cab up to Pura Corazon.
After eating some tasty tacos and empanadas (no pics!), we waited for the band to start. Apparently they blew through a few amps or something because of the limited power down at the beach places. Once they started, they were super fun…cute rasta guy and this awesome trombone player. We were there until the end (probably around 11 pm).
I was ready to go home, but the ladies convinced me to go into town to Curandero. There was a band playing there and when we arrived, it was a total street party. Love how everyone just parties and drinks in the street. They actually have a walk-up window bar outside to order drinks. It was super fun…we got a little tipsy…and couldn’t stop laughing how we all had our huge beach bags with towels, books, etc. in the street at midnight. I think we were out until about 2 am. BIG night out in Mexico.
Friday (July 26)….fun FULL day! We wanted to show Anne all of our fave spots so we set out early for the beach with the plan of being out all day. First stop: Villa Las Estrellas to camp out with our waiter friends Fernando and Raphael. Drank beers, swam in the ocean, hung out. Then it was on to Zulum to see our waiter friend Eric…and to our surprise (and delight) they were grilling up this whole fish right on the beach. We shared a plate and it was so fresh and so tasty! Third stop: Ziggy’s for the swings and to have some of Fernando’s delicious spicy margaritas.
So far, so good….next post for the evening adventures.
Thursday (July 25)…after working in the morning, we headed out to the beach for a beach power walk. It was so hot…but we trekked pretty far south…sat in some chairs down by Hip Hotel, then grabbed shrimp tacos at Le Zebra. Tasty. We chilled at the beach for the rest of the day and headed back a little early to get ready for our first visitor…Anne!
She made a last minute decision to fly in for the weekend. Her plane was delayed, but she made it in time to go out in the pueblo for dinner (at El Capitan…great, cheap food but no pics! Bad part-time food blogger) and drinks at Curandero. Fire throwers in the street. Ha. Good, mellow. Home at a respectable hour. (You’ll see that isn’t usual for us at Curandero…)
Wow…I’m having a hard time keeping up with these blogs…when I’m inside, I’m usually working. And when I’m not working, I want to be at the beach. Ha. Anyway…I’m going to try to catch up.
Our second week started with an awesome lobster dinner at Ziggy’s Beach Club. For $55 US, we had a lovely sangria, salad, grilled lobster, shrimp, fish, and veggies, and then a not-so-great dessert. The lobster, shrimp, fish, and veggies were delicious (although I could have used a bigger lobster…ha). We got to watch the chef grill it all up right by our table. It was a gorgeous night. (A little too romantical of a date night for just me and Nicole. But it was lovely.)
After dinner, we walked up the beach to see if we could find any turtles laying their eggs. Just when we were ready to give up (and after stopping for a really bad horchata-mezcal cocktail at Playa Azul), we stumbled upon a turtle laying her eggs. I snuck a pic and then we moved on. Next we found a group of people with red flashlights (that’s how you’re supposed to look at them so it doesn’t scare them), and we hung around them to see another turtle lay her eggs. We watched for about an hour…and it was so cool to see her heavy breathing as she was laying the eggs and then as she flipped sand over them to cover them up. We followed her (at a safe distance) all the way back to the ocean. It was a pretty cool experience. The pictures didn’t turn out great, but you get the gist of it. (Now we’re just hoping to see some babies being born one night!)
A few random pictures to get us up to the present moment…Monday (July 22) I worked all day. Nicole lounged by the pool (borracha). We biked to the market and restocked on alcohol and food…and made supper at home to try to save money.
Watched a movie…and I found this little pet…he’s no bigger than a quarter, but Nicole didn’t want him sleeping inside.
A few random full moon pics. It just isn’t possible to show how amazing it is with the iPhone.
Tuesday (July 23)…I worked early, early..then we biked to the beach around 10:30…and camped out at Villa Las Estrellas…it was beautiful and perfect and we were the only people there almost all day. They also got great wifi, which allowed me to work a little during my beach day (which was good, because as it turned out, I needed to proof a bunch of files)…we were drinking beers by 11…and swam in the ocean, meandered about for drinks at Zulum and then had dinner and drinks at Mateos (American-owned, all white people eating there…not my favorite but it was easy and on the way home). We made it home before it got dark and called it an early evening.
That last pic is to show that Nicole is already on her 4th bottle of sunscreen and we need backups! Ha.
Wednesday (July 24)…is today…I worked all day again…actually I got up at 5 and started working and put in a solid 9 or so hours. But we’re trying to ship our September issue to the printer and it had to be done. Hopefully from here on out my work schedule will be a tad lighter.
Tonight we’re headed to lobster grill dinner at Ziggy’s beach club and then we’re hoping to see some sea turtles coming up to lay their eggs. Apparently, they love the full moon and have been coming up on shore in droves for the last week or so. Maybe I’ll have some pics tomorrow.
Sunday (July 21)…we started off with a bike adventure…that is, we set out to buy bikes. We walked to the Chedraui but the options were mountain bike-like with little, super uncomfortable seats. So we asked a cab driver to take us into town to buy bikes. He took us to a bike rental place first and was so cute…he jumped out to ask them if they sold bikes and when they said no, he asked where we could buy them. Then he took us to the next place and he got out again to make sure we’d be able to buy bikes there.
It was off the main road in Tulum pueblo a few blocks (we’d never have found it on our own)…inside this little hardware shop that looked like a house (probably because it was a house…the family lived in the rest of the place with just the front room open as a hardware store/bike shop. There were about 10 cruisers to choose from. Nicole’s is actually a “crusier” if you look closely…ha. And mine is a little boy’s bike. I’m almost positive. The family was so nice. And while it took a while for them to adjust everything and attach our baskets, it was full-service. Paid in pesos (not really what we budgeted for…but oh well) and we were on our way. We rode home. (HOT)…then we ate lunch at the condo and jumped back on the bikes to go to the beach.
It was a long, hot ride and we dove in the ocean as soon as we got to Zulum beach club. (That was our triathalon day…walked to the store, rode bikes home and to the beach, swam in the ocean…ha…that’s as close as I’ll get.)
We also went back to Ziggy’s for 2-for-1 drinks…spicy mezcal margaritas…and then on to Villa Las Estrellas for a tipsy supper of lobster and seafood paella and more spicy margaritas. It was delicious. And that place is adorable. (It’s where Zeke and I saw Susan Sarandon over Christmas 2011.) We got a late start home and ended up riding back in the dark with our headlamps. It was quite an adventurous day!