Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Bravest Race Xplor Park Riviera Maya 2014

"Fear is a Liar" was the phrase of the day at "The Bravest Race 2014" at Xplor Park in the Riviera Maya. This was the first race of its kind in the area, a 5 km obstacle course in the jungle, over rough terrain, through cenotes, jumping off cliffs, crawling through mud, climbing through ice, the 1100 participants battled through while being chased by "The Fears" trying to steal their bravery. The goal was simply to finish, the bravest with their "flags" intact, no first place, no last, just a group of awesome athletes pushing their limits and having a blast doing it.

I was invited as press to cover the event, which meant a very early Sunday morning. We left Cancun before the sun came up! I had Max with me and he soon had the bus laughing and awake with his "jokes" (8 year old jokes are seldom all that funny). We arrived at the park and made our way to the press "lounge". A parking area had been set up as the starting line/party area, food stands, water, medics and donuts (for charity!) There was a climbing wall for kids and a stage with live music to rock the day away. "The Bravest Party" was a blast!

The press (myself included of course) was whisked away to chase the first wave of runners, catching up with them at several of the obstacles around the course to cheer them on and capture photos. We definitely should have received medals too, we were up and down, over rocks, through jungle paths, running to keep up for a good two hours! We all worked up a sweat and it felt GOOD.

Perhaps the best part of the day (for me anyway), was watching Max run the "Mini Bravest Race". The obstacle course they had set up for the kids was quite a challenge and took at least 20 minutes to complete. And my boy? He did it FOUR TIMES. He was most pleased to take a couple of tumbles and take himself to the medics tent to get cleaned up (no serious injuries folks, just a scratch but it made him feel "cool").

I must admit that I did not expect to enjoy the day so much, it was a LOT of fun, even as an observer. And I hereby swear that I WILL participate in the next one, "Fear is a Liar" and I am NOT afraid! I've got two months in the gym under my belt and feeling good, a few months more and I will be ready to rock this race. Bring it ON! Do you dare?

See more Xplor Bravest Race 2014 photos

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Xoximilco "A Taste of Mexico" in Cancun

Xoximilco is the newest attraction from the Xperiencias Xcaret Group, modeled after the famous area of canals in Mexico City, "Xochimilco". 

Just when I thought I had seen and done it all in the Riviera Maya, along comes Xoximilco. I had been looking forward to this new experience for a long time, I had been hearing all about the development of the project for months and was eager to "get on board". The idea sounds simple...dinner and drinks on a boat (a traditional "trajinera"). The execution of the idea was anything but simple, it was an evening rich in details!

This was a night for the press to have a taste of the park, which means I was surrounded by the usual gang of good friends who normally attend these events. We were laughing before the first round of drinks, we were all ready for a party. We had about an hour to enjoy the bar, the esquites, the shop with some really gorgeous pieces of art, the Xoloescuincle puppies and have our fortunes told by the "Canary of Luck".  The bartender had a very generous hand, the first round of Palomas were shall we say "rich" in tequila. Being a group of press and social media fiends, we took loads of photos and spent a good chunk of the hour Facebooking and Tweeting while enjoying our adult beverages.

When it was time to board the trajineras, our tight-knit group of friends huddled together and held hands to ensure we were all going together and we proceeded to file onto the "Colima" boat. We discovered the treats right away, bottles of tequila and sangrita, icy cold agua de tamarindo, beers and snacks. We dove right in (not into the canals, into the food and drinks!) We started off with a traditional Mexican toast and everyone took a moment to introduce themselves and the festivities were underway.

The next three hours were filled with laughter, more tequila, delicious Mexican cuisine and entertainment. We played games (better win, there is a "shocking" punishment for the losers), sang along with the mariachis and enjoyed the grand company. I haven't laughed so much in AGES. This is a wonderfully unique experience that I recommend 100% for visitors to Cancun looking for a taste of Mexico and a fun night out. I would do it again today (I could use a bit of the hair of the dog quite frankly) and cannot wait to share the tour with visiting friends and family. "Salud" a todos mis amigos y muchas gracias a Xoximilco por una velada increible!

D is for Dengue, Depression and Dread

I'm currently sitting in my Cancun apartment, staving off the Covid 19 panic and using all my Jungle Kelly powers to maintain my cal...