Riviera Maya: Not So Relaxing
This post is somewhat overdue given that we returned from Mexico on 3rd October 2018 and today’s date is 11th January 2019! The reason for the delay is because the last quarter of 2018 was one hectic period to say the least. The list of things we’ve had to deal with seems never ending; house break-in, car stolen, almost losing our house buyers, transferring to a new employer, buying a new car, packing up a 5 bedroom house, putting everything into storage, leaving our home of 8 years, staying in temporary accommodation for 5 weeks, moving into our new home, unpacking, DIY disasters, buying new stuff, snagging a myriad of problems, giving a home to a new puppy, Xmas/New Year illness and the final configuration and testing of a new computer system at work…did I forget anything?
We had planned our first cruise in August, but that had to be rescheduled due to serious illness with one of our friends who was coming with us. As we were in serious need of a holiday and knowing the house move was looming, Amanda booked us a week away at the Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort just along the coast from Playa del Carmen on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It was a lovely resort with a sister hotel next door and a short walk away from Dolphin Discovery. We got an upgraded room and restaurant package that was worth the extra cost. The food was great in all the restaurants, the alcohol plentiful and we even had access to a private beach as ‘Privileged’ guests. Apart from walking down to the bars/restaurants around Dolphin Discovery we only ventured out to visit Playa del Carmen and Cozumel island (for another Hard Rock Café glass).
A few days into the trip, we woke up to news that our house had been broken into and that Amanda’s car had been stolen. The glass panel in one of the patio doors had been smashed so that they could search the house for the car keys. Clearly, they were targeting just the Mercedes AMG A45 on the drive as nothing else was touched, taken or destroyed. This all happened at 3pm on a weekday afternoon, as they were spotted on the neighbour’s CCTV, with people walking down the street on their way to collect their kids from school. They were in and out in under 3 minutes. Bastards!
Apart from the upset, numerous phone calls back to the UK and the fact it put a serious dampener on the rest of the holiday, it got even worse. The family that were buying our house found out about the break-in and were threatening to pull out, although after what felt like an eternity rather than 2 weeks, they eventually agreed to continue with the purchase.
Anyway, back to the holiday story. The trip across from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel on the ferry was a little choppy and after a short taxi ride the Hard Rock Café was a massive disappointment. However, the area around the ferry terminal was excellent for bars, restaurants and people watching. On returning to Playa del Carmen we decided to explore and ended up in a small bar because we needed a loo stop. I got talking to a big bald American guy and his mate who both now lived in the area. After several beers and tequila shots this guy got a bit inappropriate with his comments and too touchy for our liking. The problem is I’m rubbish at extracting myself from these situations. When he invited us to join them on a bar crawl and explained that cocaine would be involved, I was so relieved when Amanda suggested we head back to our resort to get changed and “meet them later”. Before we left, he pulled me to one side and asked if I could lend him a wad of cash until later. Out of the bar and with an awkward situation seemingly behind us I relaxed until I felt a tap on the shoulder. It was my “brother from another mother” checking we’d be coming back later!
The rest of the trip was okay, with the typical daily routine you get on an all-inclusive resort, but we were already thinking about what faced us back home.
Back in the UK, the hectic meter was swiftly turned up to the maximum and now, after 3 months, we are only starting to return to some degree of normality. The house move from Scunthorpe to Sherburn in Elmet went as smoothly as can ever be expected, albeit with a 5-week period of homelessness. Amanda found us a small holiday cottage in Brandsburton, a village north of her work, which was opposite a great pub and next door to a good ‘chippy’. We quickly became accepted as locals and, apart from feeling a little claustrophobic in a small cottage, it was hard to leave village life when the time came.
In terms of the DIY disaster, as a self-proclaimed DIY idiot, I set a new personal best in our new home. I only went and drilled into a water pipe, partially flooding the kitchen and having an epic meltdown only a few days after moving in! Amanda and the site manager were both superstars and got things fixed as good as new within 24-hours. Anyone need a shelf putting up?
Christmas Day in our new home was different. We decided, as it was just the two of us and because we’d only just got the new house sorted, to book a table at the local Indian restaurant for Christmas Day. Unfortunately, Amanda fell foul of a flu bug in the days leading up to Christmas and in the end, we had the most expensive takeaway ever, eating our now 4-course Indian banquet at our kitchen table. At least we were together, in our new home, with no washing up or sprouts in sight…very tasty and totally romantic.
We are now settled into our new home, exploring the area and being run ragged by Winston, our 19-week-old English Springer Spaniel puppy. Tomorrow he’s scheduled to join us on an all-day drinking session in the array of dog-friendly pubs in York.
Next up, in only a few weeks, is our very first cruise. It departs and returns to Miami after visiting several Caribbean islands. Joining us on this trip is Bailey and Chris after his recovery from the surgery that kicked off this trip to Mexico. It’s an understatement to say that we are both ready for another holiday, another new adventure and some well-earned R&R.