Up the coast to Playa del Carmen

Rooftop at our condo

Does anyone really ever think they are going to need to wear a fleece on the beach in the Caribbean?  I certainly didn’t, until recently.  For someone who prides herself on being a great packer (great=efficient,) boy did I get it wrong this time.  It’s pretty easy to pack light for a warm beach vacation.  Skipping out on big sweaters, lots of pants, and a bunch of boots definitely lightens the load.  I get a thrill checking in at the airport and putting my bag on the scale to see how far below the 50 lb limit I have packed.  So this time, having proudly packed a 27-pound bag filled with beach wear and a few dresses and skirts, I spent most evenings in the same outfit.  That being the sweaters (yes, sweaters– plural,) I wore on the plane and the one pair of black pants I packed.  Luckily for me, I don’t really care if I have a different outfit every night; and luckily for everyone else, we had a washer and dryer in the condo!  There was actually one day that was so cold we couldn’t even go to the beach.  Fortunately, it was our travel day from Tulum to Playa, so we didn’t miss out on much anyway.

We were excited to arrive at our beautiful condo right on 5th Avenue.  I didn’t take any pictures of it because Amy, the owner, has such great pictures on her vrbo page.  As far as I’m concerned, renting a condo in Playa is the way to go.  There are so many great options these days that you are sure to get the best bang for your buck.  You get so much more than just a hotel room, and many deluxe condos are priced very low.  A beautiful kitchen with granite counter tops, a nice master suite, and a huge rooftop deck all make this condo an ideal place to stay.  Add to that, complimentary beach access to Las Palapas Hotel on the best part of the beach, and I can’t think of better accommodations.

Bundled up for Happy Hour on the roof
Beer and tequila... Cheers!

We frequented an Argentinian bar right across the street that actually has beer on tap, a rarity in Playa…

Modelo Especial draft

…and on the ground floor of our condo building was Da Gigi, a lovely Italian restaurant.  This place gets great reviews, and the fresh-made pasta is very good.  While I LOVE Italian food, knowing that I am eating a plate of gluten and cheese just makes me feel guilty.  Many times the guilt takes over, and I really do enjoy it less.  Ordering the beef ravioli was Nick’s attempt at cutting down his dairy consumption.  What he didn’t realize until it arrived was that the ravioli were floating in a cream sauce.  Lesson learned.  I know these photos don’t show the beauty of a dish, but I’m sharing them because I have them.  In fact, in reading through rave reviews of Italian restaurants in Playa, I’ve noticed that while they might taste good, they never seem to make for exciting photos.

Gnocchi with prawns
Beef ravioli and asparagus

Oh, one more thing about the Palmar Del Sol condo building…  there is also a french bakery called Chez Celine on the ground floor right next to Da Gigi.  We never ate there, but everyday we were tempted by the aroma of freshly baked bread.  It was always brimming with people, so I’m sure it’s good.  If you get down to Playa, go there for a croissant so I can live vicariously through you, all the while skipping my guilt!

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