We quietly celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this past September. All summer, we would toss around ideas for doing something really memorable for this hard earned occasion. In honesty, we're both rather proud of our relationship. Quitting is not an option for us. In a strange way, we revel in life's difficulty just a tiny bit. Hell if life was easy and exciting at every turn, you just know most people would stay married longer. Bottom line? Look at us, warts and all... We're damn proud!
Somewhere in life, I picked up the notion in my head that Belize would be the perfect paradise vacation destination. I can't point to exactly when or why I formed this vivid ideal, but it's been my own personal happy place for over 15 years. Born from a clash in my college years between watching too many Corona beach commercials, an amazing Latin America college history professor and a baptism in Grateful Dead mysticism, I formed my own hybrid mental paradise. A cold beer, lonely white sandy beaches, esoteric native cultures, and lush rain forests concealing unique wildlife and forgotten history really excites me. Always has. I mean, I'm a lawn guy from central Jersey, but in another life & time, I could so easily have been hacking away dense overgrowth with a machete as I uncover a gleaming corner of El Dorado. That could be me, ya know, If I wanted to do that sort of thing.
Alli has a slightly different notion of paradise. Any given Summer day here in NJ is potential to slip away to beautiful Long Beach Island. We are lucky to have family very close to the beach "down the shore" and Alli uses it's open invitation as much as life allows. A bone fide beach bum, a stretch of white beach, a comfy chaise, snappy cocktail service and a steamy vampire novel would be a perfect getaway for her. Her priorities being simply, warm sun, relaxation time & a hotel ON THE BEACH.
So the search was on. Within minutes of research I realize that Belize has almost NO beaches. No beaches? Damn! Belize is out. After flirtations with some Jamaican all inclusive packages, Alli found a group of smaller hotels, just south of Cancun, Mexico. The town is called Playa Del Carmen. It seems to have a bit of something for us both. Endless beaches, and a serious wealth of local history and jungle adventures to be had, a bunch of well rated restaurants and a kitschy shopping district to boot. The more we read, the better it sounded.
Next thing you know we'd booked cheap flights from Miami (more on the awesome Fla connection later)and 7 nights stay with ocean view + free big breakfasts at a beach side boutique hotel named Playa Maya. Flight & Hotel totaled $1425. Not bad at all! Let the painfully slow countdown begin...