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Playa Del Carmen is Cool



 The center of Playa Del Carmen is awl-ight! and I mean that inna high level of coolness! We got to go there through Secrets Capri Resort & Spa which offers free tours there.
 
 We went with a handful of people from the resort - by van and was dropped off at a meet-up place (which didn't look any different than the entire complex - more about that later). Our tour guide was professional and still personable - talking about places of interest, telling jokes and then just chillin' as we enjoyed the ride.

 When we arrived and went our separate ways, we seemed to find ourselves strolling towards the ocean - beautiful! The people around looked all Mexican with a few foreigners around as well - but not too many Americans in sight. We enjoyed all the different hues of people and wandered about like we belonged there.

See for yourself here!

 We decided to grab a bite to eat but noticed many people flocking to an Asian restaurant that had all the food in shelves for everyone to view. I decided to give it a try and it was pretty damn good! A few of the guys there - ordering food - was like - what's up (?Que pasa?). In Cleveland style I knew it was all love - so I was like "chillin' chillin', ?where they got the cervesas mi amigos?" Dudes was like kick it wit us dude; we bout to hit up the store now!

 We all walk over a few paces to a store where I followed their lead and grabbed a tall boy for myself and a soda for the Mrs. We all sat and ate for a few, drinking and conversating until they had to roll out. They was like- make sure to keep your brew covered up yo; policia be trippin'!

 Gotta love that! Real recognize real. We later found ourselves walking right in the middle of a ceremonial presentation in which we quickly stepped to the side and enjoyed the show - also a great time for the Mrs. to run in the gift shop and grab a few things.

 As I watched the show and pulled out my brew every now & then, I noticed a young lady checking me out. I watched her as she looked at me put the brew down - and I figured this is not the time and place to get my buzz on - so respectfully I put it to the side - and respected their Land & presentation and she stopped checking me out. Live and learn yo.

  On our way back to the rendezvous, we noticed none of the buildings we walked past reminded of us of where we needed to meet and with time passing by - it seemed as though we would have to dig out some cheese, dineros / dollars to get back to the spot!

 As we started to run down the long crowded street - (not really crowded but the Mexican peoples were just sitting on the sidelines checking out all the Americans rollin-out)...someone shouted - "You dropped your wallet!

 I lost a step in my stride, put my hand on my back pocket & was like -oh yeah! that's a good 1. My girl glanced back at me with a bit of a smile on her face - which I already knew... - she was thinkin'  - wow that was shady!

 Lol; I'll never forget that cuz that was a good 1! It made us smile in the face of adversity and that's what Mexicans have always shown us. The resilience to endure regardless of the situation - so relatable!
We found our way back just in the knick of time and the tour guide looked relieved.

 If you get a chance to visit Downtown Playa Del Carmen make sure you remember the meet-up place/drop-off place, enjoy the sites of another beautiful country, enjoy the friendly people, even take the ferry over to Cozumel...but whatever you do - don't drop your wallet!   History!

Wonderfully Weird

 The reason I titled this "Wonderfully Weird", is because - some of the things I've recently done didn't seem to fit into what I call "my regular" but after I had a chance to experience it...it turned out to be quite wonderful - or cool - or whatever word you'd like to use to express great gratification.

 A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to take my wife to a Richard Elliott concert in Akron, Ohio at this place called The Tangier and I must admit I really didn't know what instrument he played...but by the end of the night - I was wonderfully impressed. Click here for a clip from his concert. 




 Later that evening, ...after we kicked it at a trendy Akron tequila bar (Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar) we bumped into him (Richard Elliott) at a nearby hotel and my wife was ecstatic!...or was it the tequila? - well any way, she really made Richard smile by telling him how big of a fan she was & grinning from cheek to cheek. It was nice to see his disposition go from exhausted to gratified by experiencing this pumped-up Richard Elliot fan from Cleveland, Ohio.

 












 The next morning I searched on Yelp for a nearby breakfast spot (with great reviews of course) and came across this restaurant called Valley Café. Another "wonderfully weird" moment. The restaurant was small (which seemed weird with those great reviews) but the waitress was great & so was everything else! She gave us a break-down of the menu, brought over water, tea & coffee and made us feel very comfortable. Definitely a place you gotta check-out! 








After the nice meal and about an hour ride to Youngstown, Ohio, we reached the Stambaugh Auditorium to attend a wine tasting presentation:
sponsored by the Ohio Wine Producer's Association (www.OhioWines.org).

I hadn't told the wife about it until we were close and she was pleasantly surprised, of course.
Now we've attended wineries before and tried some of the small wine tastings many of them offer but this was 1 of those "wonderfully weird" moments for the both of us.

 Our first impression was like wow! The auditorium looked stunning and as we walked into 1 of the ballrooms, there was a guy singing classical music on the stage. (See here). Weird...but wonderful; and he sounded pretty good! We were also shocked to see how classy it was!
There were wine producers there from near & far and a lot of really nice people too - or was it the wine! Whatever the case, we really enjoyed the experience and picked-up a few tasty wines in the process.





 


















 



 

 Doing things a bit differently from your usual routine may seem a bit weird but planning it with (HTA) can make it "wonderfully weird".

 For more info about these locations or to have (HTA) prepare your next get-a-way...contact us today at 216-956-6418.

We'll be glad to assist.


"Land, Sea or Air; We'll Get You There"
 

Choosing Between Resorts in Cancun & Riviera Maya, Mexico

 If you have your heart set for taking a wonderful vacation; consider Mexico. It has beautiful beaches, friendly people, delicious tequila & wonderful sunsets.

 Let's start with "what kind of traveler are you?" 

Cancun is a tourist type of city...very commercial :-)
Nothing wrong with that but you will see high rises everywhere, malls, buses & taxis. But it also has places to rent jet-skies, a lot of nice bars and great restaurants. There's a Bubba Shrimp restaurant, a Ruth Chris Steaks restaurant and even a McDonald's. Cancun has a very vibrant night-life & there's excitement from morning to night!  

Riviera Maya
 It feels like a remote oasis away from everything, with it's turquoise water & white pristine sandy beaches; it's very laid-back. No high rises, no buses, no malls everywhere. You can do snorkeling & scuba diving or visit the largest living reef & visit the historical parks or just lay on the beach under a cabana & have a beach butler bring you a drink all day. Riviera Maya has a very relaxing tone & beautiful resorts which are not right next door or seem so crowded like Cancun.

Something About That 1st Cruise Conclusion

 Now that you've arrived at one of your destinations / "PORT(S) OF CALL"- a port or destination where the ship visits during a cruise, you should be all ready for fun & adventure, tours, island cuisine, or one of the many Island excursions that are offered during your visit.
 
 Take your time, plan ahead, and explore. Those savvy travelers may leave you in the dust, knowing the exact location they want to go and how to get there, but those new to it all, may want to stay in a group or matched up (especially in unfamiliar territories).
 
 Always remember your on vacation-enjoy yourself; respect your neighbor's country, (don't forget you're an out-of-towner), and most importantly-WHEN IT'S TIME TO LEAVE...DON'T MISS THE BOAT!
 
 *One side note: during your cruise you'll also go through a drill which prepares you in the event of emergencies. "ALL HANDS ON DECK!"

Something About That 1st Cruise Part 5

 
 Ok, now you're gettin' it! Lots to do...but there's plenty more! After your 1st few hours on the ship, you'll have experienced relaxation, glitz & glamor (from shopping & taking pictures in your lavish surroundings), exuberant feelings from possibly WINNING $$ MONEY $$ in the casino, having room service, a great sit-down classy dinner or maybe even an all-you-can-eat buffet meal.
 
 These are just some of the things you've probably already have done on your cruise. Now let's not forget your going to different ISLANDS! Oh yeah, sand in the toes, hot hot hot, fun and adventure ISLANDS!
 
 You may cruise right-up to the island, or take a tender, ( a small vessel [ship] that takes passengers between the [cruise] ship and shore when the vessel [ cruise ship] is anchored.
 
Stay tuned for more of Something About That 1st Cruise

Something About That 1st Cruise Part 4

 
 Now is the time for exploring. You're all checked-in; bags are in your room and you've enjoyed a ice-cold refreshment to get you a bit more rejuvenated.
 
 There's also the "ultimate relax-mode." Lying down in one of those lounge chairs on the decks, taking in the breeze; (with a good book, or maybe even dropping that hat over your eyes.)
 
 What about the "family-mode?" Ah yes, the family-mode. Any-one for putt-putt golf? Or how about that water-slide?
 
 Whatever you begin to do on your 1st cruise, should be THE START of fun and excitement for the next few coming days.
 
Stay tuned for more of "Something About That 1st Cruise"

Something About That 1st Cruise Part 3

 You've just completed checking-in for your cruise, you've walked across the gangway, been star-struck by the Atrium, now what's next?
 
 Is it time to party? Relax? Get your grub on? Well, the rest is about up to you. Putting those bags away will certainly tie-in there... (one way or another) but that may not even be your 1st stop.
 
 Once you're settled, there's ALL KINDS OF THINGS you can do: Since you'll be leaving Miami, or your particular (port of departure)-wherever your cruise ship leaves from -  you might want to start off with your favorite refreshment and  head-up to one of the top decks to take in the breeze, as you prepare for your cruise.
It's also a great place to take photos!
 
 Hungry? No problem. The FOOD'S INCLUDED IN YOUR PRICE, so go right ahead; get your grub on.
 
You're most likely to find people lining-up at the grills set-up near the pool area.
 
Stay tuned for more of Something About That 1st Cruise

Something About That 1st Cruise Part 2

 Now let's talk a little bit about what it took to get to that place called the Atrium.
 
 First is the (sometimes, not so fun) part of registering for the cruise. It's going over all the preliminaries to make sure they know who's getting on the ship and also to sign-up for the SIGN & SAIL CARD.
 
 These cards replace the use of cash on the ship so that PASSENGERS can purchase items from the gift shop, alcohol, spa services, and other services you may need. (eg. dry cleaning, hair cut/dresser etc.)
 
 Credit cards or a certain amount of cash can be used to establish a balance. They'll also want to check your ID's at this time. (DRIVER'S LICENSE, PASSPORT, STATE ID, MILITARY ID ETC.)
 
 There's some confusion about the passport issue, but if you have 1 bring it. It makes checking in quicker. If not, YOU CAN STILL cruise, as long as you're returning to the same port that you left from....in all likelihood, EVERYONE WILL. (Unless during a island visit, you need to be flown home-THEN YOU DO NEED A PASSPORT)
 
 Whew! Are we done yet? Just about.....
 
Stay tuned for more of "Something About That 1st Cruise"

Something About That 1st Cruise

 So your taking your 1st cruise. Are you excited? Those that have been will likely ALL agree that the 1st time they saw that ship-they were like, "WOW! that's huge!"
 
 As you enter the ship, called the "gangway" - a temporary bridge laid from the ship to the dock; also the side of the ship where passengers board or leave the ship, your heart is probably beating a little faster now in anticipation of THE GREAT TIME your expecting to have!
 
 What follows is the thrill of walking into a massive structure, filled with gold & brass, spiral stairways, large chandeliers glistening above and the suited-up, classy ship staff welcoming you as you're just about ready to get it ON! This area is known as the "Atrium".
 
 Stay tuned for more of "Something About That 1st Cruise"

Visiting Mobay Soon? What To do if you can't see the Big Game

 Biggs BBQ Restaurant & Bar, formerly the Twisted Kilt; is located in Montego Bay, Jamaica at the heart of the Hip Strip. The Hip Strip consists of various stores, restaurants and nightclubs, as well the popular Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville; It's located about 10 minutes from the airport on Glouchester Avenue.

 At night you won't see a lot of tourists on the Hip Strip - but you'll be sure to see a few venturing out possibly looking for a more authentic experience, going to & from their hotel or maybe just visiting Margaritaville. What you will see are many locals dressed to impress visiting nightclubs, restaurants and bars or just hangin' out enjoying the nice Irie air. 

 Biggs Sports Bar sits directly behind a gift shop, through a fenced-in gate. Enter Biggs through the side entrance and also take notice of their spacious seating area on their covered patio. This can be missed if not familiar with this haven of a place!

 As you enter this lightly-lite establishment, you'll enjoy the laid-back atmosphere; well known to experienced travelers to the Caribbean as "Island Time" - so expect to fall-back, relax and take it all in!

 You'll try to keep from cheesin' when you see all the High Definition Tv's they have at the bar and around the entire restaurant; also their friendly staff doesn't mind changing the channel to your favorite game. (Satellite TV is a beautiful thing!)

 A sight for sore eyes when your resort or hotel isn't showing the Big Game!

 The food is very tasty but remember - you're on the Hip Strip so prices will reflect that. So get in a game of pool, play a tune on their juke box or pose by the Jamaican bobsled for a photo.

 Biggs, the place to be in Jamaica when you want to see the Big Game!

Here's a sneak peak!


"Land, Sea or Air; We'll Get You There"

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Recent Posts

Playa Del Carmen is Cool
Wonderfully Weird
Choosing Between Resorts in Cancun & Riviera Maya, Mexico
Something About That 1st Cruise Conclusion
Something About That 1st Cruise Part 5

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