Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Fabulous Puerto Morelos Part 2

"The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides."Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Obviously we didn't just sit around the pool all day, although we did get quite a bit of use out of it, we also enjoyed the natural beauty Puerto Morelos offers just off shore.

The entire reason for going on this vacation was because I was craving snorkeling. We have snorkeled in Hawaii, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands and even Costa Rica and our favorite snorkeling has always been Hawaii. Being that I am not a huge fan of Hawaii outside of the water, I was happy to give Puerto Morelos a chance,'s been nice knowing you Hawaii. (:
We took a great snorkeling trip from a company called Almost Heaven Adventures to the second largest reef in the world. The owner Enrique and the crew Raphael and Manuel were very professional, knowledgeable and friendly. After a short ride from the dock, about 500 meters, we were in the crystal clear water following Raphael and his orange lifesaver around the reef oohing and aahing.(Having Raphael in the water with a lifesaver was extremely comforting to my kids who after years of snorkeling are still terrified of the coral, but not of the barracuda, go figure.) As he lead us around the reef he would point out different fish and coral telling us the names and other interesting information about each and the area in general. We saw barracuda, sting rays, turtles, eels, lobster, and some of the usual coral fish along with sea fans and anemones. The entire reef was so pretty I actually ended up running my camera out of battery life....193 pictures later. 
The snorkeling was terrific and we had so much fun that we ended up taking another trip with them a few days later.

To be continued.....(Sorry, there is just so much to talk about.) 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Fabulous Puerto Morelos Part 1

...part of adventure is the unpredictable. That is what really separates travelers from tourists. So many Americans traveling today want to take their America with them, and many of the places they go to cater to this desire at the expense of their history and culture. - Jimmy Buffett,  A Pirate Looks at Fifty
Going into this vacation I was nervous. I am not a touristy, all-inclusive, never leave the hotel kind of person, and we were going to Cancun, or so I thought.
A few months ago I over heard someone talking about how wonderful Puerto Morelos was, and this lady supposedly had the same travel taste as I do. When I went home I opened my laptop and googled this quiet fishing town with a great snorkeling, and to my surprise it was right next to a resort town I have been avoiding for a while...Cancun. Cancun is everything I don't want in a vacation, mega resorts, fast food restaurants, people who don't want to be inconvenienced by a country that is not the U.S. As I researched more I kept hearing how small and quaint and "Real Mexico" this town was. From my esthetician to tripadvisor to my travel agent, they all said I would like it and had nothing to worry about. Well, they were right, only 30 minutes from Cancun was this magical little town that inspired Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.
Our hotel was just outside of town and did in fact have an all-inclusive option. (Now it's time for me to be a little snotty.) Why bother going on vacation if you aren't going to leave the property. Go check yourself in to the nearest Best Western in your town and sit by the pool and order delivery, you will save yourself a lot of money. OK now back to our wonderful hotel. It was a beautiful property, with winding walkways, thatched roofs, and tropical vines climbing up the walls.

I was already in love with the property by the time we reached our room. We walked into our Junior Suite and it was picture perfect. Spacious and beautiful with the same tropical Mexican feel as the outside, they did a wonderful job of being luxurious yet still comfortable.( Let me clarify, I don't like all inclusive mega resorts, but it doesn't mean I want to stay in a hostel.)The best seat in the house was the hammock on the second balcony (yep, second balcony), I would lay out there in the morning and just take it all in. Now having two bathrooms seemed a little ridiculous but it soon proved to be handy, when coming in from a day of snorkeling we could clean up for dinner quicker with the girls taking over the larger bathroom and the boys using the smaller bathroom. The pièce de résistance was the dumbwaiter, actually it was more of a secret cubby. What could be so special about a dumbwaiter/secret cubby you may ask, well this particular one was magically filled with Mexican pastries and fresh squeezed orange juicy every morning.

So, it wasn't magically filled, the very nice staff would come in every night for turn down service while we were at dinner.(Sometimes when we arrived before she was done she would give us a Spanish lesson) :) When we would come back to our room after a night on the town, I would push my way through my family to be the first one in the door to see the two cards, and perhaps more importantly candies, that she left. One card was the breakfast menu where you checked off what goodies you would like delivered through your secret cubby. The other card was made for me, it said "sweet dreams" and had candies on it along with the next days weather forecast. Now, typically I would not have turn down service or even maid service, because I want to make their job as easy as possible, but in this instance I couldn't turn down yummy Mexican candies that I have never seen before. The next morning bright and early I would wake up to a basket of pastries and juice. Each day the pastries would be a little different from the last, there was plain muffins, chocolate muffins, croissants, cinnamon rolls, jelly thing made of the same dough as the croissants, raisin cookies, and my favorite coconut muffins and a shortbread like cookie. There is no better way to start the day.

To be continued......................

Friday, September 3, 2010

Nibblin on Sponge Cake....

I will be on vacation for a few days, enjoying pasteries from a dumbwaiter. (Along with a few Margarita's.) Have a relaxing Labor Day.


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