Hope everyone has been enjoying the new year. I know that much of the US has been suffering from extreme arctic blasts, making us even more thankful that we are here in Mexico, where the low temperature only rarely dips below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. One of our greatest joys is being able to wake up and put on shorts every single day. We definitely picked the right place to hang out this winter!
We have been keeping up our fitness activities, though we've backed off on the biking a bit after meeting our 2014 goals. We've continued to take lots of walks around Playa and to run on the really nice track near our rental. I've worked up to a schedule of a couple of 5K runs per week. The synthetic surface of this track is far preferable to pounding the concrete roads and sidewalks around here.
I've also been keeping up with my yoga practice at Yoga Shala 38 (their Facebook page). The classes are conducted entirely in Spanish, which is definitely a challenge, but my comprehension has improved quite a bit since I first dared to venture into a class back in November, ever so timidly! I'm really enjoying the improved strength and flexibility I get every time I do yoga regularly, and I try to go at least two mornings a week.
I'm currently having to take a break from yoga, unfortunately, as I bashed my right hand against my beach cruiser bike handlebar yesterday during a moonsoon-like downpour on our bike ride. I was looking at puddles and down at my front tire and almost ran right into a sign post on the bike path. D'oh! I was able to make a quick evasive maneuver to get around it without falling, but in the process, I did a number on the outside of my hand, and in its current swollen state, it would be no good for yoga. Hopefully I'll be back at it soon.
Here's what was left behind after the rain yesterday. We both arrived at our rental completely drenched, but this is one "puddle" I didn't ride through -- I took my bike up on the sidewalk to avoid it.
In addition to fitness activities, we've continued to enjoy all the good food Playa del Carmen has to offer. While we do cook quite a bit at home, we have developed a rotation of our favorite restaurants as well. We recently enjoyed another excellent dinner at the Mayan Bistro at the Hotel Aventura, which is probably our very favorite place to eat here. The setting is charming, the service excellent, the sangria expertly made by bartender Jorge, and the food is perfectly prepared and not too expensive. And since it's not on the big tourist strip, 5th Avenue, it's never crowded at the early time we eat dinner -- score!
We both tried something new this time: Pollo Mole for me and Pescado a la Diabla for Barry. I love the little artwork on the plates...the chefs are very talented.
We may never eat dessert at a restaurant again (well, not really!) because we have really hit the dessert lottery recently. An absolutely excellent gelato place, Amo Gelato (their Facebook page), has opened up right around the corner from our rental. It's dangerously delicious, and the couple who own the place couldn't be any friendlier. Lucky us! This is not grainy Mexican ice cream -- no indeed. It's as good as any gelato we've had.
The first time we discovered this wonderful spot, we just got small single portions, but since then we've returned and bought more cost-effective litros. They let you get four flavors in a litro, and they have such a great assortment of flavors, of course we have to do this!
Our first litro was all chocolatey/caramelly flavors...
And for our second we went with fruity flavors. It's impossible to pick a favorite!
The gelato is rich and flavorful, so we only eat a little at a time, no worries. But now you can see why we have to keep up our fitness activities!
Last but certainly not least, Paisley is enjoying her new year too. She enjoys soaking up sunshine in the garden, playing ball inside, and long nightly walks around town. She's definitely gotten used to being a "city dog" here.
Happy New Year from Playa del Carmen!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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