Photo: A fish boat at Tulum, on the Mayan Riviera.
Our flight to Cancun left Vegas at 9:15pm, with a three-and-a-half-hour layover in Atlanta. After flying all night we got a private shuttle from the Cancun Airport for the two-hour drive to Tulum. My sister, Lisa, her husband, Blair, and their son, Tyler, weren’t arriving until about 8:00pm, so we had a few hours to kill by ourselves.
Of course I’d seen pictures of their place, Casa Chic, on the web but the house they’ve built and the setting on the forty-mile-long white sand beach is nothing short of spectacular. The weekly fees they receive from people lining up to rent it attest to that fact.
Lisa and Blair reserve the month of April for themselves and their four adult offspring; and their spouses. Luckily for us, their daughter, Alex, and her guy couldn’t make it until April 17, which left a week for us to sneak in. We even scored the top ocean view room. The house is designed with Lisa and BJ’s master suite at one end and the other four bedrooms, with individual baths, at the other end; the living area is in between.
Photo: Casa Chic. A lot of partying goes on around the bar with the swings.
Photo: The exposed stairway leads to the master suite.
Photo: Casa Chic. You can see the whole place and rental rates at www.casachictulum.com It’s worth a look.
Janice cracked a couple of Coronitas and we headed to the beach, where four queen size beach beds invited us to take a nap in the breeze and shake off the travel wearies.
Photo: Our first view of the beach in front of Casa Chic, Tulum.
Photo: From the deck at Casa Chic.
Photo: Janice, soaking it all in.
Photo: On one of our walks up the beach we spotted these college Spring Breakers. They had a mechanical bull and everything.
When BJ, Lisa and Tyler arrived we went down the beach to a place called Mateo’s. There we had some excellent fish tacos. Later we went to Las Zebras for Mojitos and a Salsa Band. Man, can some of those Latin girls move!
Photo: Tyler, BJ and Lisa at Mateo’s.
Freddie, the hired hand who stays on the property in his private casita, as he does for paying guests when they rent Casa Chic, served fresh fruit, granola, yogurt and toast for breakfast on the deck.
Our first full day was spent taking a couple of long walks on the beach. We stopped at one place for lunch and another for happy hour. Some swimming and boogie boarding were fit in between. Tyler, who is now a realtor in Vancouver, used to be a bartender at the Keg Boathouse in Horseshoe Bay, which came in very handy when it came to preparing Blue Tulum Margaritas.
Photos: Lisa and BJ floating in a wave.
Photo: Tyler, Tim, Lisa and BJ on the beach with a round of Blue Tulums.
I can’t remember, blow by blow, the whole trip in chronological order but there were many beach walks; happy hours with a couple of neighbours; lots of body surfing and boogie boarding; some great dinners, both out and at home, and a drive with Lisa and BJ to the Sian Ka’an Reserve. The reserve is very close to Lisa and BJ’s but to get to the tip is a thirty-five mile drive on a very rough dirt road. We drove about fifteen miles, to the famous fishing resort, Bocca Paila, where the Corona beach commercials are filmed.
Photo: Janice, Lisa, BJ and their dog, Puff, at the Sian Ka’an Reserve.
Photo: The beach stretching off to the point of the reserve.
Photo: Tyler checking his emails at Casa Chic.
The beach resorts in Tulum are beautiful but expensive. I can’t remember all of the ones we patronized by name but I can say that, if we had stayed any longer, we would probably have enjoyed too many for mine and Janice’s budget.
The second son, Jordie, a commercial realtor who has started his own company in Surrey/Langley called Frontline Realty, arrived about 9:00pm on the third night. Lisa and Janice put together a dinner of local fish, tortillas and jicama salad. Of course we had to celebrate some more because Jordie had arrived.
The next day Janice and I took a trip into the village of Tulum, about five miles away, and toured the streets on foot before stopping for lunch at El Camello’s, where we had a spicy pickled shark appy, fish ceviche, shrimp tacos and two beer. We saw some locals drinking a concoction we didn’t recognize and so ordered one. It turned out to be a Michilada – kind of like a beer caesar but a mixture of beer, Kitchen Bouquet, Lea & Perrins, tabasco, lime, pepper and a salted rim. All in, the lunch, with tip, was just $20.
Photo: Our lunch at El Camello’s in downtown Tulum.
Later we planted a palm tree on the beach in front of Casa Chic in honour of our recently departed friend, Charlie, who had hoped to make the trip with us. She’d been to Mexico a number of times but was looking forward to seeing this side of Mexico and the brilliant waters of the Caribbean.
Photo: Janice and Tim plant a palm on the beach at Lisa and Blair’s.
Later in the day, from the beach, we were able to flag down some Mayan fishermen that were boating home. We purchased a couple of fish from them.
Photo: Jordie, Tyler and Lisa with our purchase.
Photo: Boats floating on the unbelievably clear waters of the Caribbean. It’s never better than on the Mayan Riviera.
When Tyler’s girl, Lindsay, arrived about 9:00pm we had another late dinner of take-out, purchased from a restaurant in Tulum.
I woke to a belly ache. Lisa said later that she’d seen the restaurateur add one extra chicken drumstick to the mix at the end, I guess to add value. Lisa had noticed that that piece looked somewhat uncooked. I know it was the one I got because, while everyone else really enjoyed it, mine was tough and most unsavoury. Ughhh…
We celebrated Tyler’s thirty-second birthday that night, after the third son, Tavish, and his wife Kristan arrived. Lisa and Janice cooked up the fish we got from the Mayan fishermen and everybody, except me, feasted. I just couldn’t swallow anything but soda crackers. They were all having a great time celebrating but, with my jiffy belly, there was no way I could keep up. When they all went out to have more drinks at a place on the beach, Janice and I agreed to pass. She and I drove them in two separate cars to the bar and then we returned to the casa. Janice shampooed Puff as I shuffled off to bed at midnight.
I had planned to take a picture of everybody before we left but the young folks, having stayed up late and, wanting brunch in the morning, took off to a restaurant. As a result, we said our goodbyes quickly and I forgot to get the photo.
Thanks Lisa and Blair for all the hospitality – we had a lot of fun.
The trip back was uneventful except for the gay, black, Baton Twirler seated next to Janice. They talked all the way from Atlanta to Vegas, their conversation covering everything from baton twirling competitions to his granma’s middle name. It ended with a comparision of ‘green’ cookie recipes.
We landed about 11:00pm in Vegas and drove the hour to Pahrump. Hitting the sack immediately, we slept like logs.