Monday, June 21, 2010

Tulum Beach House- Casa de las Olas

Beach house Tulum, beach house Tulum, beach house Tulum....the words that run through my head every time I check to see if we've won the lottery. While we have yet to win, we were lucky enough to spend a weekend at Casa de las Olas in Tulum to get a taste of what we can look forward to when our numbers do hit.

We often get down to the Riviera Maya on the weekends, though usually we'll just spend the day and return home to Cancun in the evening or we'll throw the tent up on the beach and rough it. It was a real treat for us to get to spend a whole weekend at Casa de las Olas! This place is incredible, it's the very last house before the Sian Kaan biosphere, at the end of the Tulum hotel zone. Tucked away in the jungle, the peace and quiet was bliss after a week in the big city. The only sounds to be heard were the crashing waves, the breeze ruffling through the palm trees and the calls of the birds. (And of course my non-stop babbling five year old). The house has the most amazing grounds, wild trees, flowers and plants abound! Even with all it's "wildness", it's well maintained and clean, no dead palm fronds or vines to trip over (just keep an eye out for slow moving iguanas).

When we made our way through the pretty jungle gardens and finally saw the house, my mouth hit the floor. Two stories, one master suite on the main floor and smaller suites above. Our suite was ginormous! The first room we encountered was the full kitchen with all the necessary accoutrements for cooking (including cold beer and wine in the fridge, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, dishes, pots and pans and purified water of course). We put our groceries away, grabbed a cold chela and explored our "new house". (Max insisted we were moving there).

The main room had two beds with gorgeous billowing curtains, a large living room, and a dining area with the most incredible light fixture over the giant wood table. Like all of Tulum, the house is "off the grid" and relies on solar power. Electricity is available 24 hours a day, but of course you must use it sparingly. No problem, the endless supply of candles made it unnecessary to even turn the lights on, the softly flickering candlelight was plenty. I wish I could have captured the beauty on camera, alas the indoor pics didn't turn out as well as I had hoped! (Sharing one blurry one anyway to give you a taste, check out the Casa de las Olas website for some much better pictures of the interior).

This really is an ideal place to bring the family. We just left the doors open and let Max run free. In and out to the beach, through the jungle and in and out of the shower (he thought the extremely large bathroom was a real treat compared to our tiny stall at home). Being so close to Sian Kaan it was like having a private beach, no one around, we enjoyed the powdery sand and some boogie boarding in the waves. We had stopped at the super in Tulum and brought food with us and put the full kitchen to good use. Saturday night we had a little dinner party with Heather and some new friends, firing up the BBQ for some damn fine ribs and polishing off a few bottles of wine. It was a feast, we were stuffed to the gills and slept like babies that night! I thought we would be suffering in the heat but we just left the terrace doors open and the sea breezes kept us cool (the breeze also kept the mosquitoes at bay, we didn't hear a single BZZZ in the night!)

We thank our dear friend Heather for her invitation to stay, we had a blast and cannot wait to return. I highly recommend this place to travellers looking to really get away from it all! You'll feel like you are on the edge of the world. I dare you to try to count the stars at night, it's an impossible task, it felt like a blanket of twinkling light that I could almost reach out and touch. The beach is amazing, truly the softest sand in the Riviera Maya, crystal clear water, and no rocks or coral for stubbing toes. You can walk forever and not see another soul. We took a little trip to the Coba ruins and Grand Cenote, a fantastic part of the weekend adventure and not too far from the house.

One day our lottery win will come and we'll own our own piece of paradise like Casa de las Olas. For now, we're happy to know that we can escape any time we like, visit sweet Heather and live like kings in our fantasy Tulum beach house.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Photos by Max

Max is growing up, enough so that I feel comfortable letting him use the "big person" camera without me having a panic attack every time he touches it. I decided to take him out for a little photography project in the neighbourhood to see what we could see. I told him to take pictures of whatever he thought was "photo-worthy" (this was quickly followed by a vocabulary lesson on the word "worthy"). Here's what my little guy decided was "worthy" of his lens.

These little red flowers are everywhere!

Getting down to the nuts and bolts of things

Following in mommy's footsteps with his love of iguanas

We call this "The Hairy Tree"

He spotted a very groovy tree trunk

An odd thing to find in the park

He spotted these bananas in a tree (I didn't, good catch bud!)

Apparently Mommy is worthy of a shot

Not too bad for a five year old (though I might be a little biased). Unfortunately now he wants a "big person" camera all his own, no more kid stuff he says. Toy cameras aren't going to cut it much longer in this house! Now, if I happen to win this photo contest which has a fabulous camera prize, I might just be willing to pass on one of the "big person" cameras to Max. How about giving me a little clickety vote and help out both Max and I? Pwetty pwease?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Plea for Your Clicks- LocoGringo Photo Contest

I know, I know, I disappear for a week and come back asking for help. I apologize, but I need your assistance! I've entered a photo contest sponsored by the fabulous folks at LocoGringo and I would love if you could give me a little click and help me win an amazing prize. The HD video camera with an underwater casing, my dream, my dream, just think of all the things I could do!

1. Videos of my cleaning lady scrubbing the bath tub.
2. Videos of giving the dog a bath in the garden
3. Videos of Max doing the dishes (a LOT of water involved with this one)
4. Videos shot from the bottom of a yard glass of margaritas at one of the local night clubs.
5. Videos of the inside of my tinaco
6. Videos of the famous flooding in Cancun
7. Videos from inside the eye of a hurricane (**pending the arrival of such a beast and my purchase of a helmet and protective gear)
6. And of course, videos of snorkeling the reefs and cenotes of the Riviera Maya!

You can vote daily, give a click HERE and help a poor blogger win a great prize, I promise you too will reap the benefits! Tell your friends, force the link on your family, get your cat to put their paws on the keyboard, you will earn my eternal gratitude! (I hope you like the pictures too).....

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