Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tulum, vacation from the vacation...

We put our trailer in storage at the RV park in Pahrump and drove to Vegas, where the partying starts early. Many people were walking the streets, drink in hand, at 11:00am. We went for lunch at PF Chang’s and then strolled The Strip before catching a bus to Freemont Street and The Old Strip.

Pictured are some slot machines in the Golden Nugget, where PF Chang's is located.

Pictured are: Some party girls on The Strip dancing disco at noon - well on their way to a wild day, no doubt.

Pictured are a Gondola at the Venetian Hotel and, the Old Strip.

We spent about eight hours wandering the streets, stopping at the new Aria Hotel, where we had parked the truck, for a drink. The hotel is enormous and has a bunch of bars. The first one we stopped in, as we looked around, looked to be pretty swanky. There were a few, what looked to be, high rollers sitting next to us at the bar and I overheard something about “Laying down $500,000.00." I asked the bartender if we were at the expensive bar and he confirmed that, “Yes, you’ll pay double here. There‘s another bar just down the hall to the left.” I thanked him for the information and we ducked into the cheaper bar.

Janice had a glass of house wine and I had a bar scotch - $24.50. With tip, just about thirty bucks. We were happy we’d inquired at the previous bar.

Pictured is a drive-by parting shot of The Strip as we headed for the airport.

Our flight to Cancun left Vegas at 9:15pm, with a three-and-a-half-hour layover in Atlanta. After flying all night we got a private shuttle from the Cancun Airport for the two-hour drive to to Tulum. My sister, Lisa, her husband, Blair, and their son, Tyler, weren’t arriving until about 8:00pm so we had a few hours to kill by ourselves.

Of course I’d seen pictures of their place, Casa Chic, on the web but the house they’ve built and the setting on the forty-mile-long white sand beach is nothing short of spectacular. The weekly fees they receive from people lining up to rent it attest to that fact.

Lisa and Blair reserve the month of April for themselves and their four adult kids, and their spouses. Luckily for us, their daughter, Alex, and her guy couldn’t make it until April 17, which left a week for us to sneak in. We even got the top Ocean View Room. The house is designed with Lisa and BJ’s master suite at one end and the other four bedrooms, with individual baths, at the other end, with the living area in between.

Pictured are a couple of shots of the house, where a lot of partying goes on around the bar with the swings. The exposed stairway leads to the master suite. You can see the whole place and rental rates at It's worth a look.

We cracked a couple of Coronita’s and headed to the beach, where four queen size beach beds invited us to take a nap in the breeze and shake off the travel wearies.

Pictured are: The beach, a couple of Coronita’s, Janice looking like the cat that swallowed the canary and, later, soaking it all in.

On one of our walks up the beach we spotted these college Spring Breakers. They had a mechanical bull and everything. Bill, Sam, the bull rider is more in the middle of the picture.

When BJ, Lisa and Tyler arrived we went down the beach to a place called Mateo’s where we had some excellent fish Tacos. Later we went to Las Zebras for Mojito’s and a Salsa Band. Man, can some of those Latin girls move!

Pictured are: Tyler, BJ and Lisa at Mateo’s.

Freddie, the hired help, as he does for paying guests when they rent Casa Chic, served fresh fruit, Granola, yogurt and toast on the deck for breakfast.

Our first full day was spent taking a couple of long walks on the beach, including, one place for lunch and another for Happy Hour. Some swimming and Boogie Boarding were also included, of course. Tyler, who is now a realtor in Vancouver, used to be a bartender at The Keg Boathouse in Horseshoe Bay, which came in very handy when it came to preparing Blue Tulum Margaritas.

Pictured are: Lisa and BJ floating in a wave and Tyler, Tim, Lisa and BJ on the beach with a round of Blue Tulums.

I can’t remember, blow by blow, the whole trip in chronological order but there were many beach walks, happy hour with a couple of neighbours, lots of body surfing and boogie boarding, some great dinners, both out and at home, and a drive with Lisa and BJ to the Sian Ka’an Reserve. The reserve is very close to Lisa and BJ’s but to get to the tip is a thirty-five mile drive on a very rough dirt road. We drove about fifteen miles, to the famous fishing resort, Bocca Paila, where the Corona Beach commercials are filmed.

Pictured are Janice, Lisa, BJ and their dog, Puff at the Sian Ka’an Reserve. Also pictured is the beach stretching off to the point of the reserve.

Pictured is Tyler checking his emails at Casa Chic.

The beach resorts in Tulum are beautiful, but expensive. I can’t remember all of the ones we patronized by name but I can say that, if we had stayed any longer, we would probably have enjoyed too many for mine and Janice’s budget.

The second son, Jordie, a commercial realtor who has started his own company in Surrey/Langley called Frontline Realty, arrived about 9:00pm on the third night. Lisa and Janice put together a dinner of local fish, tortillas and Jicama salad. Of course we had to celebrate some more because Jordie had arrived.

The next day Janice and I took a trip into the village of Tulum, about five miles away, and toured the streets on foot before stopping for lunch at El Camello’s where we had a Spicy Pickled Shark Appy, Fish Ceviche, Shrimp Tacos and two beer. We saw some locals drinking a concoction we didn’t recognize and so ordered one. It turned out to be a Michilada - kind of like a Beer Caesar but was a mixture of Kitchen Bouquet, Lea & Perrins, Tabasco, Lime, Pepper and a salted Rim. All in, the lunch, with tip, was just $20.

Pictured is our lunch at El Camello's.

Later we planted a palm tree on the beach in honour of our recently departed friend, Charlie, who had hoped to make the trip with us. She’d been to Mexico a number of times but was looking forward to seeing this side of Mexico and the brilliant waters of the Caribbean.

Pictured are Janice and Tim planting a palm on the beach at Lisa and Blair’s.

Later in the day, from the beach, we were able to flag down some Mayan fishermen on the their way home and purchased a couple of fish from them.

Pictured are Jordie, Tyler and Lisa with our purchase. Also pictured is Janice giving one of the fish some special attention.

When Tyler’s girl, Lindsay, arrived about 9:00pm we had another late dinner of take-out purchased from a restaurant in Tulum, where Janice is pictured below with the proprietor.

The next morning Janice took this picture of the sunrise just before falling back to sleep.

I woke to a belly ache. Lisa said later that she’d seen the restaurateur add one extra drumstick to the mix at the end, I guess to add value. Lisa had noticed that that piece looked somewhat uncooked. I know it was the one I got because, while evryone else really enjoyed it, mine was tough and unsavoury. Ughhh…

We celebrated Tyler’s thirty-second birthday that night, after the third son, Tavish, and his wife Kristan arrived. Lisa and Janice cooked up the fish we got from the Mayan fishermen and everybody, except me, feasted. I just couldn’t swallow anything but soda crackers. They were all having a great time celebrating but I couldn’t keep up and, when they all went out to have more drinks at a place on the beach, I couldn’t do it.

Janice and I drove them in two separate cars to the bar and then we returned to the casa. Janice shampooed Puff as I shuffled off to bed at midnight.

I had planned to take a picture of everybody before we left but the young folks, having stayed up late and, wanting brunch in the morning, took off to a restaurant. We said our goodbyes quickly and I forgot to get the photo.

Instead I got these shots of boats floating on the unbelievably clear waters of the Caribbean. It's never better than on the Mayan Riviera.

Thnaks Lisa and Blair for all the hospitality - we had a lot of fun.

The trip back was uneventful except for the gay, black, Baton Twirler who talked to Janice all the way from Atlanta to Vegas. Landing about 11:00pm in Vegas we drove the hour to Pahrump and, hitting the sack, slept like logs.


  1. Hi you two, good to get the blog again.
    Vegas reminds me of last year and my trip with my cousins.
    Looks like the real peoples food an drinks are far more interesting and reasonable than the high rollers.
    Why doesn't Tyler just wear a thong?
    Love the colour of the water and sand. Nice pictures.

  2. Hey!! looks like you had a great vacation! I'm glad you enjoyed México. Also vacation rentals are better than hotels, here are some reasons why.

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