This year, we stayed at a new place, The Royal Playa del Carmen, which was actually only a block away from the main shopping/tourist area of the city. I have to say that it was very nice to not have to pay $5 each time we wanted to go to "town" this year. I'd say we saved approximately $20 a day on cab rides!
The hotel grounds were great and there were lots of areas for photo ops (like the Tequila bar with the beautiful waterfall and sculptures above and below). Dr Pop and I posed quite a bit for the camera!
When we got there, after much hand-wringing and stress due to oversleeping and missing two flights out of Austin and just barely making our connection to Cancun, all the while having our faith restored with Continental Airlines and all the wonderful people we dealt with at the Austin airport, we decided to check out the hotel. We had decided that we were definitely going to book spa treatments this year and promptly set up appointments for the "Chocolate Experience" at the hotel's amazing spa, which included a full-body scrub, chocolate body wrap, and half-hour massage.
We ate lunch, laid out at the pool for a couple of hours, then explored the beach. After a while, we decided to get dressed and go into town. We stumbled upon "Magic Hands Massage" on the main street, and decided that for $33 per hour, we might as well totally pamper ourselves. So we got a couple's massage. Heavenly!
The second day dawned bright and beautiful, despite the forecast calling for thunderstorms. We spent the day (and I do mean ALL day) at the pool. We mingled with the activities folks and took a bartending class. And we also met some fun folks from New York and North Carolina. After a long, long day sunning ourselves, we went to a local sports bar to watch Ultimate Fighting.
Day Three. Another gorgeous day! Can I just say that one cannot possibly trust the weather forecast for Playa del Carmen? The forecast for each and every day called for rain, thunderstorms, and misery. The actual days were hot, sunny, and practically cloudless with the exception of the final two days, and even those were sunny enough and the rain was sporadic.
Instead of simply laying out, Dr Pop thought it would be fun to play some water volleyball. Thus began three solid days of 8+ hours each playing volleyball. Well, I did not play. I watched. And cheered. And socialized. To quote the movie Clueless, I tend to avoid any activity where balls fly at my face. But that's where we met the wedding couple. And another couple who were dating. And a group from Texas who were very entertaining. The girls from the Texas group gave Dr Pop a new nickname. He will henceforth be known as simply, "Guns."
When we found out that Jason and Renee were to be married the following day, well, naturally, we had to have a rehearsal dinner! So ten of us piled into a restaurant that had a strict "no more than 6 to a table" policy. They didn't account for Texan charm and stubbornness, because our loud, obnoxious group got to sit together. And eat just about everything offered on the menu. And drink. A lot.
The following day was the day of the wedding...
To be continued...