October 24, 2007

Vacation in Mexico Day 3

(This is a picture of an Indian we saw when shopping in Playa del Carmen. Click to see a larger image.)

O.k. Sorry I forgot to post yesterday, but the hubby and I were hanging out then met his best friend for dinner and … well I forgot ‘cause I was indulging in Starbuck’s new Pumpkin Spice Latte (try it, it’s yummy!)

Last Tuesday we woke up and had breakfast served to us in the room again. This time I had egg omelet with bacon and potatoes … YUM!!!

We had planned to spend the afternoon at Playa de Carmen doing some shopping so we got ready for the day and hung out at the pool. We checked in with the concierge about getting a taxi and double checked the reservations for the massages and dinner on the beach the next day.

More drinks and laying in the sun at the beach on the cabanas. It was another lazy day. We read the newspaper (they deliver the Miami Herald Cancun edition each morning) and talked about what we wanted to get in town and do before we leave.

We decided to have room service serve us lunch in our room. I had a wonderful oriental salad with chicken and beef and an apple turnover with vanilla sauce. After lunch we headed to the lobby to get a taxi and head off for a fun filled day of shopping.

Now let me tell you, if you want to know how NOT to drive … go to Mexico! They drive like there are no rules. Our driver was all over the road and we almost got into an accident when the driver of a stalled car in the center lane decided to push his disabled vehicle across three lanes of traffic similar to a US interstate. It was crazy.

When we got into town, we headed to the far part of the main tourist area. The thing to know about shopping in Mexico is:
1. Haggle … in most cases we got stuff for at least half of the original price
2. Be willing to walk away … they may or may not drop the price lower but there is always someone else selling the same thing.
3. Get off the beaten path … the prices are higher on the main street. Especially those in areas where cruises dock, there are popular eateries like Senor Frogs, and near the money exchanges and transportation depots (like buses or trains.)
4. The best place to look is in the alleys. BE CAREFUL but in the case of Playa, the locals get the best spots while the Indians from Tulum (the Mayans) and females are forced to the cheaper, less visited areas. In fact, a little off topic, but the Mayan blankets (we got one a few years ago and then one for a friend this visit) are made at a higher quality than the Mexican ones. You can actually watch the Indians make the blankets in Tulum and they are much larger. (Our Indian blanket is made for a double bed while the Mexican blankets are more for lap size or the width of the top of a twin- nothing to tuck on sides. We have both, but only use the Indian blanket and they are much softer too.) O.k. enough of the marketing for the Indian vendors, back to the story.

Its usually best to have an idea of what you are looking for or at least whom, otherwise you’ll end up with a bunch of stuff. I wanted to get a elephant (preferably pink) for MD and a colorful bracelet for KG because (she always has the cutest outfits!) I was of course looking for a tea cup and maybe a cute piece of jewelry. George had decided he wanted a blanket for G-man, so off we were to find our treasures.

I think the negotiating was the best part. The streets were filled with vendors calling to tourists. Some were even funny, others kept yelling even after you had passed. I liked some of the smaller stores. There were tons of trinkets and whatcha-ma-call-its.

After a few hours of shopping we had found everything we wanted, as well as a belt George gave his dad and a pink sarong for me. A little tired, we headed back to the resort for dinner.

For dinner we headed to Fuentes, an adorable restaurant where the chef does a cooking presentation each night, though we missed it because it was later than we were that night. This was the only night that we were disappointed with the service (distracted server) but the meal was as amazing as any of the others.

After dinner we walked over to the Guacamayas Bar (spelling?) for some after dinner entertainment. This bar had a different entertainment program each night. On Tuesdays they have the International Show which was a dance program with styles from around the world. We had seen it last year and loved it, but didn’t want to see it again so we sat and listened to the live band for a while and had (more free) drinks, leaving shortly before the show started so someone that was standing could have our seats.

We headed back to the room for some champagne and relaxed on the porch before going to bed. Wednesday would be an eventful, yet relaxing day!

This is a picture of the stores in Playa del Carmen!

1 Tea Party Guest:

lime said...

ok, i'd officially like an indian blanket....