Adventures in Playa del Carmen
We’ve been in Playa del Carmen for almost seven weeks now. We had been looking forward to experiencing some warm weather here after cooler temperatures than we counted on in San Miguel de Allende. We haven’t been disappointed by that. Not quite as hot as our days in Southeast Asia… but it has been hot for our Canadian blood.
Playa del Carmen is most definitely a tourist place. The traffic is intense here. It took us a while to get used to having to watch each bill to ensure that there aren’t extra charges on it. There is a Walmart here, and when we go there it is filled with English speakers wearing bathing suits with coverups, stocking up on water and cheap alcohol. I’ve yet to feel any love for any of these experiences.
There are plenty of things here that we have enjoyed, that we haven’t been able to experience anywhere else during our travels. One of the nicest things from my perspective, is that there are a couple of other travelling families that live in the same complex that we are staying in that have children that are around the same ages as Morgan and Artie. For our kids, to have other kids nearby that they can do things with is priceless. These two families have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome here too. It is a beautiful thing to be on the receiving end of that and we are grateful for their kindness towards our family. It has reminded us once again, of the importance of giving others a warm welcome – and trying to make them feel included.
Visit from Papa and Grandma
If you haven’t picked up on this already, I have a bit of a thing about creating shared memories. That is a significant part of what this whole adventure is about. And, when shared memories can be created with grandparents – that is even better. I loved that my Mom was able to join us for a month to tour Ireland and the UK in our first year of travel. I love that Marcus’s parents have been able to join us for a few weeks during our time here in Playa del Carmen. (Thank you Penny for this photo!)
And hopefully, in years to come – the kids are left with some great memories of the time that they got to spend here with their grandparents.
We’ve had an almost comical series of failures throughout our adventures in finding beaches and water for Marcus and the kids to explore. We managed to visit Thailand during a time where the sea was angry, and Marcus got his notorious “infected butt sliver” while we were in Portugal that kept him out of the water there. Here in Playa del Carmen though – we have been able to visit some beaches and the members of our crew that enjoy being in the water, have gotten to indulge in some snorkeling.
And of course, just sitting on the beach, playing in the sand.
We’ve seen a lot of ruins in our travels. So many that our kids could probably answer an essay question comparing and contrasting the ruins of most of the worlds ancient civilizations with a fair amount of expertise. There are plenty of ruins to visit in this part of Mexico, and this past week we went to visit the ruins in Tulum.
Just when I thought I had gotten to the point where my breath could no longer be taken away by ruins, I was proven wrong.
One of the things that I think is so special about these ruins, is their proximity to the sea. The views of the sea from the ruins, and the vistas that contain both ruins and the sea are breathtaking.
There is an active homeschool community here in Playa del Carmen. Each week, the homeschool community offers classes (mostly in Spanish) at park la Celiba. We haven’t had the kids attend any of the classes, but we have gone several time to the park to meet up with other families there. The park feels like a jungle, and has a lovely café space to sit and drink a cup of coffee at.
As you wind your way through the park, you will find play areas and beautiful places to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet – or a conversation.
Again, we’ve felt warmly welcomed at the park meetups as well.
Just outside the town of Puerto Morales is a botanical garden. It is not however, a strolling through manicured grounds kind of botanical garden. It is a walking through the jungle kind of botanical garden full of rocks and roots along the path – and the occasional iguana.
Morgan expressed her artistic side in the photos that she took throughout the garden.
More to come…
We are in Playa del Carmen until the end of April, and we have more adventures planned for the next bit while Papa and Grandma Little are here. The kids are continuing to work through their academic work for the year, and we are enjoying the “luxury” of staying in one place for three months.
About the Author
Professionally, I am an e-learning instructional designer who breaks down the barriers of space and time in learning. Personally, I'm the Mom in the Little-Green Family, and co-planner in our adventures.