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Arriving early enough to go to the beach rocks! The beach wasn’t busy at all. I thought this was because of the time of day, but actually it had more to do with swine flu hysteria. Usually the beach is packed, but the entire week there were plenty of chairs to be had.
To get to the beach from the Maya you go to your left after you get onto the main walkway. You walk past the pools, which are shared by the Maya and Lindo. There is the wave pool (we’ve never spent any time here because the ocean has really awesome waves), there is the lazy river (which, as mentioned before is really, really lazy) and then the main pool, which meanders through the property. There is a swim up bar. I posted lots of pictures of the pool in my trip report to the Grand. Scroll down to see them.
At the end of the pool, there are two restaurants on either side. On the Lindo side is El Fogon, which serves a buffet breakfast, lunch and currently is the ala carte Italian at night. On the Maya side I know it is the Mexican restaurant at night (look for it to make an appearance later in this trip report), but I am not sure what it does during the day.
Then you come to a boardwalk that I call the road to hell because it is so hot when you walk it. It is jungle-ly and often has coatis hanging around. People often feed the coatis, in spite of the sign that says not to feed them. Every so often someone gets bit or scratched by a coati and the person or their family member complains about the fact that the hotel has wild animals around.
At the end of the boardwalk is the beach bar that serves the Maya and Lindo. It is to the left of the boardwalk. We made a stop there this day. Federico was the bartender. I asked for a Havana and Coke. He said they didn’t have Havana, only Bacardi. I asked if maybe he could find me some and he promised he would try. I ordered a Coco Loco, which he made, but it wasn’t like the Coco Loco’s at the Grand. It tasted like a Pina Colada with bits of banana in it.
We hung out at the beach until a little before 6 pm, when we had an appointment to meet Erika, the wedding planner, in the lobby. Zung, Karen and I walked to the lobby, where Erika was waiting for us. I didn’t realize she was going to take us to Blucacao to see the site for the ceremony. We hopped in her car and she drove us there. She called her friend, Luis, who has a minivan taxi, and arranged for him to pick us up the next day and bring us to Blucacao. Blucacao is a private beach club in Mareazul, a development of condos in Playa del Carmen. All beaches in Mexico are public, but this area gets very little traffic, so it would be fairly private for the ceremony.
Having a beach wedding always brings the likelihood of “extra” guests (spectators) in their bikinis and Speedos. We had gone back and forth about whether to have the ceremony here, and buy the required amount of food and or drinks from Blucacoa or to do the ceremony in a busier part of Playa and have to pay a fee. We wanted to have champagne and cake, so we decided to just have Blucacao provide the champagne. Erika would pick up a cake.
Erika showed us around and then we headed back to the Maya. Erika had a lot of energy and was very direct, which I like. She is Italian and a single divorced mom. She has a partner in her wedding planning business, Maria, who would be at the ceremony tomorrow.
When we got to the Maya, Zung and I got out of the car and Karen stayed and talked to Erika for what seemed like a long time. When she got out I asked what they had been talking about and she claimed it was about her and her husband renewing their vows for their 15th anniversary. In reality, she was planning some surprises for the next day.
We went back to our room, got ready for dinner. (Karen and I had stopped at the concierge’s desk earlier to make reservations, which are required at the ala carte restaurants). We met up at the Maya lobby bar, which is in the middle of the big pyramid.
There is a giant snake sculpture that hangs above it. This is a “not to be missed” if you stay at the Maya OR the Lindo.
Cool red eyes. It goes way up to the ceiling.
Our dinner reservations were for 8:30 at the Japanese restaurant. This is one of two restaurants that are only available to Maya guests (and Grand guests). Most of the restaurants are shared by the Maya and Lindo. Lindo guests can go to the Japanese restaurant at the Beach, but the tables at the Maya are smaller and there is lobster on the menu.
They start you out with some sushi. You can order soup and/or veggies tempura. I got the lobster for my main. You can order shrimp, chicken or beef or combo, or a wok prepared dish. We had a really good chef who put on a really good show.
The fried rice was two thumbs up, but dessert was disappointing.
Susie made funny faces.
Karen got to know the kids.
After dinner we headed off to bed. Tomorrow was the big day. There were lots of memories to make.