Sunday, November 6, 2016

Tulum Day 0: Off the hamster wheel

Life's been busy lately. With Drew taking on check airman duties at Southwest and me being in the field a lot for work, we've had little time to be together.  We decided it was time to use some of those Southwest employee benefits and extend our vacation from New Orleans a few more days. Our criteria were somewhere tropical, somewhere cheap, and somewhere to get to easily from Louisiana for free on Southwest. A coworker of mine went to a tiny Mexican fishing village 15 years ago and said it was really laid back. Our bike friends went to the same place a couple of years ago and said it was fun and easy. We decided to find out for ourselves: Tulum here we come!

We chose a Southwest flight that had 50 empty seats on a Monday during shoulder season for tourist services. Worked like a charm. We landed at the Can Cun airport mid-day with enough time to get our rental car and drive the hour and a half south to Tulum on the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula.

First stop: the supermarket for some snacks and beers. I love looking at the variety of fruits and vegetables in foreign markets.

There are more varieties of dried chilies in the Mexican supermarket than dried and fresh put together in our market back home.
Drew found us a lovely 8-room boutique hotel at the west end of town down a super quiet gravel road called Villas H2O.

The pool and breakfast cabana at Villas H2O in Tulum, Mexico.

Colorful mural -so Mexican

The pool and reception building. The owners live above the reception area. Although they were there for part of our stay, they never interacted with us, which Drew found to be somewhat off putting.
The breakfast area, where managers Carla and Israel took great care of us

Our room is the second floor balcony overlooking the pool.
Modern style with towel swans - so "Resort"

After a couple of beers and a dip in the pool, we wandered into town to see how Tulum celebrates Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. It was October 31 after all. We ate at a delicious vegetarian restaurant called La Hoja Verdeoff the Main Street for about $10

Drew's yummy squash and mushroom thing.

then headed over to the town square.

Excellent Dia de Muertos dancers at the town square. Drew and I were sweating in shorts and flip flops; I can't imagine how hot they were dancing vigorously in full costume.

There were many alters like this set up in the square. People put them up with pictures of their deceased loved ones and small offerings of food, drink, or special items for them.

Some of the locals in costume. We learned that the face paint is supposed to represent death coming for you.
That was enough activity for the start of our relaxing vacation. For what we had seen of the hotel and the town, we had a good feeling that the next 3 days would be interesting and enjoyable.

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