Friday, January 28, 2011

Cancun Staycation

Over the loooong Christmas holidays we suffered with finding child care for Max, always a problem for us when he is off school. We don't have any family here, we don't have a nanny and I hate to take advantage of friends by ditching our hyper kid on their laps for a day. We juggled around for a bit then I realized I could actually take a couple of days of vacation to be with him. Now, a day with Max is NOT one of those relaxing-type vacation days, he is the king of energy and it's vital to keep him busy. If he is not active, we all suffer, the whines, the jumping on the bed, the bouncing off the walls (literally) and the constant refrain of "I wanna doooooo something, I'm booooored!" I had a couple of days with him and decided to make the best of it, be active, get outside and do something. Suffering from depression this is not always easy to do, though of course we all know that it's the best medicine. I kicked myself in the butt, got in the car and started our impromptu "staycation".

Max and I and a very big crocodile

Our first adventure was down to Puerto Morelos and the Crococun Zoo. We've been before and always love it, holding baby crocs, walking through the enclosure with giant adult crocodiles mere feet away from us, feeding the deer and watching the wild monkeys swing through the trees. Max was "Mr. Question", the poor guide couldn't keep up with all the queries. At one point the guide asked if we could skip a part of the zoo as Max was taking up so much time grilling him for details. Sure thing dude, just keep the kid interested.

Hate this highway

After the zoo we went for lunch in Puerto Morelos to my "new" favourite PM restaurant, La Panza es Primero, then off to the beach. It was kind of a lousy day, super windy, cold and rainy, we didn't stay long. Well, just long enough for Max to get wet and sandy and to find himself being chased by a cute little girl. It's the first time he's ever come running to me for help and saying "Mommy, let's go, I don't want to play with her anymore, she's weird!" The trip back home provided the most adventure of the day as we witnessed a horrible car crash DIRECTLY in front of us, I slammed on the brakes as hard as I could and managed to stop about 10 meters from where the pick-up trucks were upside down on the road. So, after a day of wild animals, lovely lunch and beach time, of course all Max remembers is the "stupid driver in the Chevy".

The next day was a little less exciting, but still out of the house and enough action to keep Max happy. Lunch and games at Peter Piper Pizza and a movie at Plaza las Americas. Oh, this was New Year's Eve, my evening was spent playing solitaire and listening to 80's music, yeah, I live a rocking life eh?

Maroma Beach.....ahhhhhhhhhh

New Year's Day I really wanted to take Max horseback riding. We set off for Maroma Beach but when we arrived they told us that all activities had been cancelled (hangover anyone?) We decided to hang out at the beach anyway (heck, we'd already paid the 100 peso entry fee) and spent the day chilling out at one of the prettiest beaches in the Riviera Maya. So, no horseys, but nice nonetheless.

Horsey Horsey Horsey!

Sunday rolled around and I was determined to have an equine adventure. I remembered that Punta Venado had horse tours so we hit the road (that dangerous, horrible highway) and made our way south of Playa del Carmen. Hurrah hurrah, horses por fin! A great price for locals too, 380 pesos each for a tour of more than an hour. Max even got his own horse! We rode through the jungle and down the beach, a lovely experience except for the mounds of garbage washed up on shore in some spots. Spectacular views, well cared for horses, and only a few days of "butt pain" after. When the tour was done we hung out at the Blue Venado beach club, ate, drank and played on the shore. It was really too cold to go in the water, at least for me, but getting some fresh air was vital and I breathed it all in deeply.

So, there you have it. How to have a Cancun "staycation". We're back to the grind now, but it sure was nice to have a few days of doing the things we love. This winter thing is still getting me down, I need more days outside, warmer weather to go for a swim in the sea to rejuvenate and oh my am I in snorkel withdrawal. Summer cannot get here soon enough. And yeah yeah, I know, we don't have it nearly as bad as those of you up north, I'm not expecting sympathy, in fact, I offer you my own. If I am feeling the winter blues, I can only imagine how my NOB friends are feeling.


KfromMichigan said...

Welcome back .. have missed you! Yeah, it's cold and seems like we have snow every other day. Only two or three inch, but I'M DAMN SICK of SNOW!

Dr George Leddick said...

No snow here, it's even 70 today! But I get gloomy without sunshine. To resolve a "sore butt" from a walking horse, think about "posting" or swaying your butt in the same rythm as the horse's. Extra cushioning in your jeans works for noobs. Long pants work well when you help guide the horse via leg signals...less slippery when the horse gets sweaty.
All repeat all kids do better with structure, direction, and discovery. Me too, come to think of it!

Heather said...

Isnt it great living in a place most people would want to vacation at? Ok well most days its great!

jazzgate said...

Hi there, I will be in Isla Mujeres for 7 weeks and would like to take a trip to Maroma beach. Do you access it through one of the resorts or can you go directly to a beach club?
What would be the best way to get there from Cancun without a car?



Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a nice time. Great prices for horseback riding! We will definitely be checking that out.

BlueSky said...

I really enjoyed your post! So you can really get that close and personal with the allegators?? Maroma Beach looks so beautiful! It is so cold and gloomy here, no leaves on the tree and no flowers blooming's just so refreshing to hear from you and see such beautiful pics, it brightens my day! Thanks!! :)

CancunCanuck said...

KfromMichigan- Thanks amiga! I bet you're even more sick of snow now, watching the news is making me cold! :)

Dr. George- Thanks for the tips on horsies! I did wear jeans (thank goodness), I grew up on the farm so I figured a bikini and pareo were not appropriate for an hour in a saddle. :D Yes, Max is much happier and behaves far better when we are busy. Structure yes, but also adding something "new" to the mix as often as possible. Keep him jumping.

Heather- I do feel fortunate to live in a place where people dream of coming. It's not always vacation time here, but we're lucky we can just jump in a car instead of a plane to see these amazing things.

jazzgate- Getting to Maroma by bus would be pretty complicated. It's close to Playa so I think you would have to bus to PDC then take a taxi to Maroma. The beach club is a couple of kilometers down a long stretch of road, so even getting a colectivo to drop you at the entrance, you'd be stuck with a heck of a walk to the beach. It is a beach club, you don't have to go through a hotel. Since they offer tours, I just checked their website. If you book a tour, transportation is included, might be worth a look.

Ashlied- I love locals' discounts! Total bargain and a great day, definitely check it out! The beach club is nice too if you haven't been. :)

BlueSky- Yes, you get really really close to the crocodiles (no alligators down here, just crocs). They say they are well fed so won't attack, but they are still super cautious. We did get to hold the babies though, great experience! Glad I could brighten your day, warm wishes to you!

Anonymous said...

All are invited to my kite festival in Isla Blanca, Mexico on Feb 26th & Feb 27th from 11 to 4PM. The beach is free to all. We are on the grounds of the Acapulco restaurant. North to the end of the dirt road.
E-mail me for a festival poster. we have a few guest passes. More later ?.
God Bless
Charles Stewart

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