For my 30th birthday in February I was very kindly invited by my friends at Yucatan Holidays to spend a few days with my friend Andi at one of their resorts: Hacienda Tres Rios! It was my second trip to HTR and as expected, one of my favorite activities while there was watching the sun set. Even though the Riviera Maya area of Mexico (where HTR is located) does not face west, it certainly has its share of beautiful sunsets still. This is one of many that I witnessed during my five days there.
Andi and I had enjoyed a relaxing day in the sun with our own cabana and tequila delivery boy – and were preparing to go in to our room to get ready for a nice dinner in one of HTR’s many fine restaurants. Yet, we lingered on the beach. Neither of us wanted to leave. There is such beauty in the twilight of the day and so we decided to walk to the end of the pier for a better vantage point during the sunset where we’d relax just a little bit longer before ending our day on the water. Sitting on the rocks, the gentle sound of the waves, a breeze blowing to keep me from overheating, tickling my neck as tendrils of hair whipped my face … that is where I took this photograph. It wasn’t a Sunday, but it makes for a beautiful Sunset Sunday memory as I relive the moment now.
During two separate trips to Mexico, I have stayed at Hacienda Tres Rios outside Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in the Riviera Maya. On the occasion of my first visit in 2009, just after HTR had opened – I found the resort luxurious and restorative in the all the very best ways. That first visit was all too short and I believe I actually shed a tear when driving away! When I returned this February, Hacienda Tres Rios was a resort slightly changed not just in my memory but in reality as well.
After my first trip I would have recommended HTR to couples seeking romance, luxury and an environmentally conscious attitude present in the operation of the resort. Following my second visit, I still believe HTR is at the forefront of environmental practices in Mexico and they have been awarded as such. Yet now the resort is a place that caters more towards families and event groups. In fact, during my visit they were hosting the New York Red Bull soccer team. Muy caliente let me tell you! Downside: when my friend Andi and I wanted to have a quiet night at the hot tubs with wine and a good sunset … we couldn’t hear one another over the roar of the children packing the pool area and all three hot tubs. No amount of wine dulls the irritation of a child splashing boiling hot water in your face if you’re in need of a relaxing evening. View full post »
I’m one of “those Americans” who has always dreamed of Paris. Until fairly recently that dream of Paris (and yes of the French countryside as well) dominated any and all travel thoughts I had. Late last year, due to a chance encounter on twitter I was finally given the chance to expand my horizons. With a trip to the Riviera Maya area of Mexico on assignment, I finally discovered that no one place can satisfy all of my wanderlust. However great France may be, it is no match for the intense sense of adventure that drives me day to day. In fact, no one place is.
Falling in love with Mexico was kind of a curiosity to me, not just because I didn’t think there was room in my heart for love of another country besides my own and France. Primarily it was because, during my first trip to Mexico as a teenager I discovered a more seedy and less enjoyable part of the country; it borders the US and includes such towns as Matamoros. It’s far from a desirable tourist area, and deals more in illegal drugs than beautiful scenery. This part of Mexico is the place you hear about on the news, negatively. It’s where I was left behind and almost subjected to the Mexican juvenile detention system, and where I almost gave my mother her first heart attack. Luckily, this is not the only Mexico that I now know. I know now, that the real Mexico is a country as diverse as it is large. From the stunning beaches to being a leading silver producer to making great wine to satisfying the most enamored of history buffs with ruins aplenty; it is a country that must be visited to be truly understood and appreciated. Check out this video, and you will start to understand what I cannot actually put into words no matter how long I make this post.
What I finally discovered in December is that Mexico satisfies my lust for color, flavor, passion, history and heat. As such, it has become an essential part of my travel story; because those things are all essential to me. I may find that some or all of these things exist in France as well, when I travel there in April. Certainly I’ve found a few of these things in other places in varying degrees. I suspect that France will satisfy other parts of me, like a tendency toward romance and melancholy and a love for great coffee and well made clothes (Chanel!!). More than that, as much as I have now found a place in my heart that is intensely loyal to Mexico alongside the portion that is vivaciously interested in France; the traveler in me won’t be satisfied till I’ve wandered through every corner of the globe. With my camera. There is too much of this world I haven’t seen, and to have tunnel vision for any one portion seems a true tragedy. For I actually believe, that “The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only a page.” ~ Saint Augustine