We’re finally into low season. Every morning we check weatherunderground.com 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.
The 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.
After 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. 🙂
This 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
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!