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Adventures in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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Posts Tagged ‘pet shelter’

A Personal Decision re the new Playa Animal Rescue

Posted by Tony & Cheri on October 17, 2011

Numerous friends have been asking us whether we will be supporting the new Playa Animal Rescue organization. Sadly we must answer “no.” This was not an easy decision for us. After much discussion with many people, including members of the PAR board and former board members and volunteers of the Peanut Pet Shelter, we have determined that the actions, policies and attitudes of the Playa Animal Rescue board are not ones we agree with.

  1. We feel that Playa Animal Rescue should have reached out to the Playa community, both real and virtual, for feedback and input before dissolving the much-loved Peanut Pet Shelter and creating a new board. A charity for Playa should make an effort to include and listen to the people living here.
  2. We are upset with Playa Animal Rescue’s intention to align itself with people and groups whose dishonest and destructive behavior towards the Peanut Pet Shelter has in the past been disruptive for Playa. It seems to us that reprehensible behavior is being rewarded and even embraced.
  3. We are also upset that some (certainly not all) people associated with Playa Animal Rescue are privately maligning the old Peanut Pet Shelter staff and volunteers. In our opinion the Peanut Pet Shelter, while not perfect, was the first groundbreaking pet rescue charity in this area, and its legacy should be celebrated not denigrated. If Playa Animal Rescue is a new beginning, then the future and not the past should be the focus of their work.

We make this decision for ourselves alone. We neither fault nor criticize anyone who makes a different choice. We know some good people who are working for and supporting the PAR. That is their choice. This is ours.

If in the future we see evidence that the Playa Animal Rescue is taking steps to address these concerns we will be glad to revisit this matter. In the meantime there are many great ways to help support and serve the community of Playa del Carmen, and we hope in some small way to do our part. We would encourage our friends to do the same in whatever manner they feel is best.

We are not interested in starting a divisive debate. As such, we would ask that people refrain from public comment here whether you agree or disagree with us. If you feel strongly one way or the other and want to share those feelings with us, please send us to a private message or email. Thank you.

Posted in Friends, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Win a Trip to Playa del Carmen & Support the Pet Shelter

Posted by Tony & Cheri on April 18, 2009

Our friends at the Peanut Pet Shelter here in Playa del Carmen are having an amazing raffle. For the cost of only $25, you can win a 7 night vacation in Playa del Carmen, including airfare! All proceeds go to the Peanut Pet Shelter, a no kill animal shelter in Playa del Carmen dedicated to rescuing and finding permanent homes for injured and abandoned dogs and cats.

The prize includes:

– 7 night vacation in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya
– Airfare for two from any North American airport
– 7 nights stay at one of four quality condos
– Airport transportation
– Personal guide
– Stocked bar with choice of 3 liquors, domestic beer and soft drinks
– Lots of snacks & purified water
– Maid Service

Only 500 tickets will be sold for this drawing. Once 500 tickets have been sold, the Peanut Pet Shelter will randomly (electronically) draw for the winning entry. All participants will be informed of the draw date and results – and that information will also be posted here. For only $25 you have a 1 in 500 chance to win a dream vacation!! For only $100 you have a 1 in 125 chance to win!! Buy multiple entries and increase your chances of winning, all while benefiting a great cause!

UPDATE as of MAY 22, 2009: Although all 500 tickets have not yet been sold, the raffle drawing will be held on June 1. For more details, click here: Dream Vacation. As you’ll see, checks postmarked on or before May 25 and sent to the address indicated will be entered in the drawing. Your chances of winning now are better than ever!!

Tickets are being sold at the Luna Blue Hotel & Bar on Calle 26 Norte between 5th & 10th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

If you can’t make it to Playa, you can still enter the drawing. Email a Peanut Pet Shelter representative for more info.

For more information, check out the Peanut Pet Shelter website..

Please help support this wonderful cause…as an added bonus, the Luna Blue Bar will kick in a $250 peso bar tab for the winners!

UPDATE as of JUNE 7, 2009: The drawing was held as planned on June 1. The lucky winner is….LORI DEAN! Congratulations, Lori! And the winning ticket was purchased at the Luna Blue!! The Peanut Pet Shelter is already planning for a second similar raffle, although we hear that this one will be even better, with donated prizes of dinners at restaurants and all kinds of other neat stuff! Stay tuned here and on the Peanut Pet Shelter website for more info.

Posted in Events & Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Paintings For Pets: Art Show & Benefit at the Luna Blue Bar This Week

Posted by Tony & Cheri on November 24, 2008

Award winning artist Barry LauniusThe Luna Blue Hotel & Bar is proud to announce that tomorrow night and the next night, Monday and Tuesday November 24 & 25, we will be sponsoring “Paintings for Pets,” an Art Show & Benefit at the Luna Blue Bar, from 6-11 pm. Our friend and extraordinary artist Barry Launius, has brought a collection of his tropical watercolors and acrylics to display and sell, with the sole purpose of raising money for the Peanut Pet Shelter here in Playa del Carmen! This is an extraordinary generous gesture on Barry’s part. He and his wife Phyllis are also pet lovers, and according to Barry, this show is a memorial of sorts to their dog Rex, who they recently lost, as well as our own Huggybear, who we also lost a short time ago.

Barry is an award winning artist of major talent whose works focus largely on the tropical paradise of the Riviera Maya. We love his art, and it is displayed prominently in the Luna Blue Hotel and Bar and throughout our home. This week’s art show is a rare opportunity to see many of Barry’s original pieces and pick up some early Christmas presents–while benefitting one of our favorite local charities.

A local art framing shop, Paré, has offered a 15% discount on matting/framing any pieces purchased at the art show. We use Paré exclusively to frame all of the art we have purchased for the house and hotel, and they have always done an excellent job. They are located in central Playa del Carmen on Calle 12 between Avenida 15 and 20.

During the Paintings for Pets events, we will be featuring 2×1 margaritas, and Tony will be cooking up his famous Cheeseburgers in Playadise (with proceeds also going to the pet shelter). Local musician Chris Bollister has hinted that he may drop by one or both nights for an acoustical guitar set. We’re hoping for a large turnout.

The cost of the paintings will range from $30 US for watercolors to $350 for the very largest acrylics. Once you see Barry’s work, you’ll fall in love with it!

If you’re in Playa, please drop by the tomorrow or Tuesday night 6-11 pm at the Luna Blue Bar. Calle 26 Norte between 5th Avenue and 10th Avenue. Hope to see you then!

Here are a few of the paintings that will be up for grabs at the Paintings for Pets event:

To view some others that will be for sale at the event, click here.

Posted in Activities, Events & Happenings, Friends, The Hotel & Bar, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

It Was a Good Day

Posted by Tony & Cheri on June 29, 2008

We’re finally into low season. Every morning we check to see if there are any storms or hurricanes on the horizon, we start planning for some of the maintenance and projects we couldn’t get to during high season, and we finally get to relax a little. Today was one of those days for relaxing.

Today started like every other Sunday, with Tony at the front desk of the hotel and Cheri sleeping in. Early Sunday morning is one of our regular shifts at the hotel front desk. Despite living in paradise, we keep a pretty regular work schedule. Sunday mornings are normally quiet as people recover from their tequila tasting of Saturday night, and this time of year, with the hotel only three-quarters full, it’s even more tranquil. Cheri came in later in the morning to do emails, and by the time Jaime showed up in the early afternoon to take over front desk duty, we were ready to take a break.

Free chocolate samples at Ah CacaoThe last week has seen a lot of rain; it’s just that time of year. Thunder and lightning storms roll in off the Caribbean bringing lots of moisture. When it’s not raining, it’s still damp and humid. But today we had clear skies and milder temperatures (in the upper 80s) and it struck us as being a perfect beach day. So we headed down to Mamita’s Beach Club. Neither of us had eaten, so we stopped for a quick slice of takeaway pizza on the road to the beach and ate it as we strolled.

When we got to the water around 3:30, there was no sign that this was low season. The beach was packed. But with a little bit of searching, we found a couple of lounge chairs, threw down our stuff and jumped into the water. Since we haven’t gotten down to the beach in the mornings for quite a few weeks for our “morning meetings,” we decided this was more like a “get together for drinks after work” kinda meeting. We bobbed and splashed and floated and talked for over an hour, soaking in the warm sun and perfect waves. There were lots of others with the same idea, and everyone just seemed happy.

We would have stayed until dark except that we had somewhere to be at 6:00. So, we left around 5:30 to go home for a quick shower and then headed over to the new Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe for their Grand Opening. Free chocolate samples and salsa dancing? We didn’t want to miss that! The invitation said they would start at 6:00 sharp, but in true Mexican fashion, we knew we had time to stop for dinner. Since nothing seemed to be happening at 6:00, we went over to Antica Osteria del Mar for a little pasta. We were sad to see that our friend Bruno was on vacation, but Tony got over his disappointment when he discovered that his replacement was a couple of really cute Italian girls. We were also pleased to find that the menu had been expanded with many new pasta dishes and new sauces. We tried a couple of new things and were happy with our choices. This is our favorite Italian restaurant in Playa.

Dancing girls at Ah CacaoAfter dinner, we looked over at Ah Cacao and saw that the festivities had finally begun. A large crowd had gathered in the patio area outside the store. A buffet table was filled with chocolate goodies to sample, including the world famous brownies. We may have sampled them once. Okay twice. Maybe even more, but who’s counting? 🙂 In addition, Ah Cacao servers moved through the crowd with trays full of ice cream, brownies, chocolate pieces and our favorite drink, the Chocolate Maya.

While people gorged themselves on all the free chocolate, the entertainment began. A troupe of talented and beautiful young dancers went through a number of routines from modern dance in sexy gangster outfits to Vegas showgirl style numbers and various salsa dances. There were more costume changes than a Cher concert. One of the highlights was when a statuesque beauty in towering heels and skintight salsa dress pulled a diminutive aged grandmother from the crowd, and the two of them did a salsa duet to a Cuban number. Grandma held her own, and the crowd went crazy.

After that, we took a stroll by the hotel to say hello to a few people sipping some of Jose’s legendary mojitos at the Luna Blue Bar. Then we came home, and Cheri finished loading the last of our CDs onto the new iPod we picked up in the US. Almost 10,000 songs, including nearly 2000 Christmas songs. It will be a feliz navidad this year, for sure. 🙂

The Peanut Pet Shelter in Playa del Carmen, MexicoThis week of course is the Fourth of July. We wish all of our friends back in the US a happy and safe Independence Day. Don’t drink and drive. Sparklers only; no cherry bombs. We will be celebrating at Bad Boys on the Beach, which is having a big barbeque and music all day long with the house band, the Nasty Bastards and a recording session with Playa’s own cowboy blues maestro, Grady.

Also on 4th of July at Bad Boys, the Peanut Pet Shelter, of which we have often blogged, will be holding a raffle to raise money. There are lots of cool prizes, including a three night stay at our own Luna Blue Hotel & Garden and a couple of bar tabs at the Luna Blue Bar.

As of right now, here are the prizes you can win, but more prizes are added all the time:

FatCat trip for two
F1 trip for two
Beer tab at the Beer Bucket for $500 peso
All you can eat rib night at Manne’s Biergarten
3 night stay in a Superior room at the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden (no expiration date)
ATV Jungle tour for two
Microlite flight
Two $250 peso bar tabs at the Luna Blue Bar
1 hour Massage at Reflex
3 month banner advertisement (value $2,500 pesos) on Playa Maya News
2 x 1 hour snorkle dives with Antonio @ Kool
$500 peso meal at Tango Taco
A 3 night stay at Fusion Hotel
2 x $500 peso bar tabs At Fusion
2 x $500 peso meals at La Tortuga’s resturant El Bistro
An original painting by our favorite artist, Barry Launius, Cabanas of Tulum
2 months of English classes at Harmon Hall (any level, i.e., basic, intermediate or advanced), Valued at around US$350
Meal at La Famiglia for $500 pesos
$200 peso gift voucher from Off The Vine
A 1 night stay in a superior room at La Tortuga, valid until 12/23/08
3 prizes of V.I.P. Smart Cards from John & Libby
A Discover dive or Two tank dive (depending on certification) with Paolo at Geofish

For more info, including a current list of prizes and how to buy tickets, check out Peanut Pet Shelter 4th of July Raffle. Tickets are $5.00 each. Be sure to enter in the comments field that you’re buying tickets for the raffle, and leave a valid email address. Andy & Jen, the owners of the pet shelter, will email you your ticket numbers. You don’t need to be present to win.

Have a great week!

Posted in Activities, Events & Happenings, Friends, Living the Dream | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Want Something Different? Dog Washing Day!

Posted by Tony & Cheri on May 24, 2008

A pet shelter resident -- wanna take him home?
Guests at our hotel, the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden, are always asking for advice on something different…a new restaurant, a unique tour or some activity only the locals know about. Lately we have been telling people about something we think is fun, special and very different: Dog Washing Day at the Peanut Pet Shelter.

First a little background. A couple of years ago, Andy and Jen left their home in the United Kingdom to move to the paradise of Playa Del Carmen. Once they got here, they began to notice the large number of abandoned and stray dogs that wander the streets. Some are born here and others are left behind when their owners move on or go back home. Unfortunately, the local government doesn’t have the resources or facilities to do much about it. Dogs which are captured or turned into the animal control are quickly put down.

A Playa visitor helping outBeing the animal lovers they are, Andy and Jen decided to do something about the situation…something very different for this part of the world. They opened an animal shelter to house abandoned dogs. Well, actually, they opened their home! They began to collect street dogs, care for them, feed them, get them medical attention and try to adopt them out to local families who wanted a pet. They did all of this on their own time, often with their own money supported by the contributions of locals and visitors.

They currently are housing and caring for about 50 dogs, many of them very young or small puppies. That’s a lot of work. One of the biggest chores is giving the dogs their weekly bath. No, the very active puppies don’t stay clean for long, but they do get washed down, and more importantly, they get used to the feel of human touch. They become accustomed to playing with and seeing people which turns them from street dogs into potential pets.

Another visitor meeting the localsFor some time now, local expats have gathered at Andy and Jen’s home/shelter on Saturday afternoons (1:00pm to 3:30 pm) to help with the washing. Hoses, buckets and towels litter the yard as playful pups are grabbed and scrubbed. Lately, the local crowd has been joined by more and more visitors. Guests from the Luna Blue Hotel are now starting to ask about washing day and how they can help. Last week we had a sweet young couple spend the final day of their honeymoon joining in the fun. They are returning later this year and plan on taking a puppy home! And recently, a mother and daughter visiting us from the states (ages 82 and 58 respectively) spent two Saturdays of their trip at the Pet Shelter and said it was the highlight of their vacation.

The best day of Tyler's vacationSo, if you are going to be visiting us here in Playa in the near future, and you are a dog lover, think about spending some time at the Peanut Pet Shelter. You will see some adorable dogs and puppies. And yes they are all up for adoption, and yes they can be taken back to the US and Canada without quarantine. Mexican street dogs (or MSD’s, as we jokingly refer to them) are loyal, hardy and loving—we know because we own one (read Gypsy’s story here). And while you might think street dogs would be fearful or anti-social, it’s just the opposite. These dogs are starved for love and are grateful and loving in response to any attention they get. You will also get to hang out with folks who live here and will be glad to tell you about life in Mexico, as well as some of their favorite places to eat, go, drink etc. If you do stop by to help, make sure to wear old clothing and nothing white. You’ll end up dirty and smelling like a lot of puppies. 🙂 This is a chance to see part of Playa Del Carmen you won’t find in the guidebooks.

And while you are visiting you will notice the construction on the lot next door. With the help of generous donations from around the world, Andy and Jen are now building an actual kennel/shelter for the dogs.

If you want to wash a puppy or two when you come down on holiday just contact Andy & Jen via their website or contact us at the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden. It will be a vacation memory like no other.

Here are some more pictures from a recent Wash Day at the Peanut Pet Shelter in Playa del Carmen:

Colleen doing drying duty
Cheri washing a very dirty puppy
Tyler and friend taking a break
Double duty in the tub

Gypsy, our own Mexican Street Dog. She was ALMOST a resident of the pet shelter!
Gypsy, our very own MSD

Posted in Activities, Events & Happenings, Friends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Naked in Playa….For a Good Cause

Posted by Tony & Cheri on December 20, 2007

The 2008 Peanut Pet Shelter CalendarIt’s not often that a mature man close to 60 years old is asked to pose nude for photographs…and to bring along his dog! Not having had such a request since the 1970’s (and that’s a whole other story!) Tony wasn’t sure he should be doffing his clothes for the whole world to see his middle age spread. But when he heard the reason why, he couldn’t refuse.

The story starts with our friends Andy and Jen. Ex-pats from the UK, A&J moved to Playa last year and were amazed and saddened by the large numbers of dogs and cats that were abandoned to a life on the streets. Rather than just being sad, they decided to actually do something about it. And so was born the Peanut Pet Shelter of Playa Del Carmen.

Andy & Thor in the 2008 Peanut Pet Shelter CalendarPet shelters are a rare thing south of the border. Animals have a different status in third world countries where resources are limited. People usually don’t treat pets like members of the family and certainly don’t spend time, money or emotion on street animals. So it was an uphill battle for the Peanut Pet Shelter to start up. But start up it did and it has become an important part of the community here.

At their own expense Andy and Jen rescue dogs and cats, puppies and kittens from the street. Some are injured, some are ill and all are undernourished and in need of care. The pet shelter feeds them, houses them, gets them veterinarian treatment and then tries to find families to adopt them. The Peanut Pet Shelter exists on the considerable time, energy and money contributed by Andy and Jen. Their contributions are aided by charitable donations of locals and visitors. There have been a number of charity raffles and parties in Playa to help the shelter out…but the large number of animals in need requires more and more financial help.

Not long ago someone came up with the idea of a calendar: a calendar of local men posing with their pet dogs…au naturel!!! It seemed right somehow. Down in the tropics we don’t usually wear a lot of clothes (although most of us wear some!). And if the local guys posing were not exactly Brad Pitt look-a-likes…well, that just emphasized the fun nature of it all.

Señor February & Huggybear in the 2008 Peanut Pet Shelter CalendarSo for the last few weeks over a dozen of the braver and less inhibited men of Playa Del Carmen could be seen posing all over town with their pets or dogs rescued by the shelter. The guys are in “strategic” positions or locales which allow their personalities to shine through while obscuring their…well…you know. Some of the “models” are actually pretty good looking young guys. You girls out there will appreciate that. But the truth is, it was all for laughs, a good time and most importantly, to help a good cause. The Peanut Pet Shelter is now selling the calendars for $20.00. You can purchase them at the front desk of our own Luna Blue Hotel & Garden, or at the front desks of the La Tortuga or La Rana Cansada hotels. Or, you can order directly by going to, clicking the Send Money tab and typing in The cost of shipping is included in the $20.00 price. Unfortunately they cannot mail from Mexico but will be relying on volunteers to carry calendars back to the US to mail.

Disclaimer: No pets or people were harmed during the making of this calendar. Pride, ego and vanity were put aside for this endeavor….so no snickering, please. All proceeds benefit the Peanut Pet Shelter of Playa del Carmen. And we better not see these on ebay for big bucks! 🙂

So, if you’d like a really unique souvenir of your time in Playa del Carmen or are looking for that special gift to send to your maiden aunt in Utah, pick up a copy of the Peanut Pet Shelter 2008 Dogs & Dudes of Playa calendar. And of course, if you’d like Mister February to autograph it for you, just bring it by the Luna Blue. 🙂

Posted in Events & Happenings, Friends, Living the Dream, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »