Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Schulz Family Holidays, Birthdays, New Year's Eve, & Anniversaries

Casa de los Caballos

Our family had a fantastic holiday season -- and I hope it was the same for yours!

Caden's Santa List
For our family, the period between December 25th and January 10th is a busy one.  First, we celebrate Christmas on the 25th.  Then, my husband's (Josh) birthday is December 26th.  Next, we throw our annual New Year's Eve Party on the 31st.  Josh and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on January 5th.  Finally, the festivities wrap up with my birthday on January 10th.  On top of all of that, the kiddos are out of school -- They had 20 days of vacation this year.

As I thought about all the things we packed into this time, I am grateful that there are so many opportunities so close to where we live to enjoy life.  So, I thought I'd give you a quick rundown of how we enjoyed our family time here in Puerto Morelos -- perhaps giving you some ideas of things to do as well.

We all had a great time shopping for Christmas gifts at the recently remodeled and expanded Plaza Las Americas mall in Cancun.  Josh also took in the movie "Tron" at its Cinepolis VIP Movie Theater, with it's waiters, leather recliners, and yummy food.

Poker Night
Christmas Day was spent on the beach!  Nothing Better!!

We also headed to The Forum to take the kiddos to the Rainforest Cafe, only to realize that it has closed.  So -- Plan B:  We headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for a fun meal.  [Be sure to check out their back terrace to see a beautiful spot on Cancun's beachline.]

Christmas 2010
I headed to the fantastic local Market 23 in Cancun to shop for supplies for our New Year's Eve Party.  I make a point of visiting the market at this time of year to see all of the Christmas items, gifts for New Year's altars, flowers, and seasonal goodies.  Here, it is a tradition to give a sheep to friends for the new year.  I haven't quite figured out the history behind this tradition, but stuffed toy sheep were plentiful at the market, along with all sorts of sparklers, fireworks, and firecrackers to ring in the new year.

Josh's Bday at John Gray's
For Josh's birthday, we went for out for brunch at John Gray's Restaurant in Downtown Cancun.  The food was super yummy and the prices were great.

We rang in the New Year at our house for the second annual Schulz New Year's Eve Party.  A great time was had by all, and we finally wound down the dancing around 4 a.m.

Caden's Grouper
Our wedding anniversary was forgotten, by both Josh and I, for the THIRD year in a row.  (The story of how we got married and the not-so-momentous day is one for the history books...)  Luckily, we had planned a spa day at local 5 star boutique resort, Ceiba del Mar, on January 6th -- and it was a perfect day to celebrate our (belated) anniversary.  Our full day packages included a spa treatment.  I got a glorious 50 minute facial, and Josh got a 1 hour massage.  After our treatments, yummy tea, and saunas, we meandered out to the poolside for yummy drinks with umbrellas, hot tub time, and beach.

[Ceiba del Mar offers packages for around $100 USD per person.  They include a spa treatment, all day access to their INCREDIBLE spa facilities -- fantastic sauna, Swedish shower, jet tubs, cold plunge pools, the hotel pool, hot tubs, and beach palapas, as well as discounts on extra spa treatments/food/drinks.  The day is WELL worth the price.  The Mayan Riviera Properties Office has the vouchers and can schedule your spa day!]

New Year's PiƱata
One particularly warm, calm day we headed out on a friends' boat to fish and catch some rays.  A yummy snapper ended up being our catch and lunch, Mayan Style Tikin Xic, the following day.

Another night, we picked up lobster from the fisherman's market in the Puerto Morelos Town Square and barbecued Surf & Turf with friends.  We finished dinner with a super yummy white chocolate birthday cake that Josh had bought for yours truly!

New Year's Eve
The following night, we headed out to dinner with friends at the Las Brisas Restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel at Mayakoba.  They have recently changed their menu and, unfortunately no longer offer their house martini which infamously left me feeling quite good the last time we were there, but dinner was fabulous all the same.  Good Food, Great Place, Fantastic Friends = An Incredible Time

At the Top of Coba Pyramid
Climbing Coba
Punta Laguna at Sunset
The following day, we headed out to the Coba Ruins and a visit to the Punta Laguna Spider Monkey ReserveCoba features the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan.  It's a long way up...and even a LONGER way down, but the views from the top are amazing!!  After the ruins, we headed to the nearby Monkey Reserve.  We arrived at 5 p.m., which I had heard was the best time to see the monkeys as they search for food before nightfall.  The lagoon is beautiful!!  [Apparently, if you get there in the early morning (7-8 a.m.) you can use their canoes to cross the lagoon to see a larger population of monkeys living on the other side.  Also, there is a Coba/Punta Laguna Tour available for small groups.  Ask Mayan Riviera Properties Office for details!  It's fantastic!!]

Friends, Dwain & Val, Biking in Coba
I summed this year's holiday/birthdays/new year's/anniversary experience by recently stating, in the wake of its aftermath, that "I wasn't sure where to check in first:  Betty Ford or The Fat Farm".

That all being said, we had a fantastic time.

Viva Mexico!

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Amber Pierce-Schulz is the Broker/Owner of Mayan Riviera Properties, specializing in Puerto Morelos Real Estate and Puerto Morelos Vacation Rentals. We are members of AMPI and Federally Certified Realtors.