Saturday, May 11, 2013

out and about in playa

This is the street our condo was on.  
 Let me just say that I love going to foreign countries.  
The adventure of trying to communicate, figuring out how to get around, and never quite knowing what you are going to eat,
well I love it.  

Our last day in Mexico we started discussing where we want to go next. The consensus was Thailand.  
It's going to take us three or five years to save up enough money, but we're going to do it.

Anyway, here is a glimpse of what it looked like out and about in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. 
(thanks to Allison for sharing her pictures with me. That awesome waterproof camera I bought for our trip?? Turned out to be not-so-waterproof after all.  Thank goodness for warranties! And for nice friends who take pictures of you and for you.)

These first pictures are from 5th ave. It's the main tourist street in Playa.  
We liked it the first couple times we walked down it,
but then we (or at least I) got really fed up with the men who spend the entire day standing outside the shop, harassing the tourists to come inside their particular store.  

It got to the point where I simply did not want to hear "Hola! Mi Amigos! You want hammock?" "Cigars Senor? Cigars!"  or "Margaritas! Two for one!"  or "Hola Lady--massage?"

Some were humorous, like the man who declared "Everything in store 99% off!" or the one who told Kent that he'd dropped something....when Kent stopped to look behind him to see what he'd "dropped," the guy said, "Oh, you want to come in my shop?"  Nice.

And then there was the guy that told Allison that she was a "Cheap thieving American" because she wouldn't buy his leather bookmark.

So, after the first day or two, we did our very best to avoid 5th ave if at all possible.

On one of our first nights there, when we still didn't know better, we got pulled into a restaurant by one of the street guys and we were compelled to order this combo plate.  It was delicious--fajitas, kabobs, ribs, and assorted salsas--but it was expensive.  And when we got the bill it was considerably higher than what we were expecting, so we assumed the tip had been added in.
When we stood up to leave, though, the said street guy/waiter, handed the check back to us and demanded that we add a tip.  
And that is how we ended up eating the most expensive, "fancy" meal of the trip while still in our swimsuits.

On the flip side, 
This man is the owner of the Kaxapa Factory--our favorite restaurant from the trip.   The food-Venezuelan--was delicious, and the owner was friendly, welcoming, and hilarious.   (and at one point even told us that we'd given him too much money for the tip! We insisted that he deserved it.) He is pointing at Mike in this picture, because he just couldn't get over how tall Mike is.  At one point he even stood up on a chair next to Mike, and then they were the same height.  

We went to this place twice, and wished we could have gone more!  The plantain pancakes with ice cream and caramel sauce...mmmm. And the passion fruit juice. I think I want to go back just for that.

We took a bus one day and Allison took some pictures of the streets as we drove.

Can't get any more authentic than a mexican food cart, in Mexico.  
 Though the area wasn't incredibly pretty overall, there was some neat architecture and lots of bright colors.

Walking home each night at sunset, dodging shop-shouter guys, eating gelato, looking forward to the hot tub on the balcony, and glancing down the streets to see the ocean,
well, it made for a most enjoyable adventure.

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