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Old 01-09-2005   #16 (permalink)
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Home again.........

Saturday.

We do make it out of the airport parking lot, and head South to Playa. Thanks to MM for picking us up and waiting through the customs hassle.

After the grocery shopping at the usual stores we get some meat from the one of the best butcher shops in town. HC Carnes on Calle 1. Easy to find it is on your right if you take Calle 1 west out of the Chedraui parking lot. And even if you are not planning to cook, you can stop at HC Carnes and eat at their café, or take home a pre-cooked meal and enjoy it at your vacation condo or villa.



On the opposite side of the street is a very good vegetable market.



It is so good to be back at Villa Flamboyan.



That evening we had a quiet dinner at Villa Flamboyan with some friends (Ginger and Family along with JLSL and family). We had also invited Steve and Delmi, however Steve backed out at the last minute he told me on the cell phone that he was relaxing in a hot Jacuzzi. Or did he say he was fixing a blocked Jacuzzi? Another “Monkey with a cold” incident, for those of you remember that series of cell phone commercials.

The meat from HC Carne never disappoints.

Sunday

The next day we head out for breakfast by the bus station. Cochinita Pibil washed down with Coke in real glass bottles. A genuine Mexican breakfast.



On Sunday evening we go over to the Glass Bar (highly recommended) with Andy766 and family for dinner. Then after a stop at the Tequila barrel where we meet the very charming SarahB, we head back to the Villa.

The next morning we have to be up early to pack up the SUV and head out to Merida.
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Old 01-09-2005   #17 (permalink)
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The Merida Express.

Monday
This was the route I had planned.


Playa to Merida, via Tulum; avoiding the toll roads. We would be back along this road later in our vacation and so we would not be stopping at Coba or Chichen on this leg. It is about a four hour drive to Merida from Playa if you take this route.

After we loaded the truck with more than a few suitcases full of Christmas presents, and my mountain bike; we headed south down the coast for lunch at Oscar and Lalo’s.

The food is great.


and the view is amazing.


We stopped off at the artisan’s stores on the Coba road.


At a place across the street we special ordered a sign for the house.


And after a brief visit to the tempting fruit juice place we kept on driving all the way to Merida.


And for those of you that driven the Coba road a few years ago. All those pot holes are now repaired. The road is in great shape right now.

We arrive at Rose’s brothers house in time to take the family out for dinner at a very special place.

Three generations. Rose’s sister in Law, her daughter and the new grand daughter.


What at day. Lunch at Oscar’s on the beach and dinner at one of the best restaurants in the world.
Los Almendros in Merida is in my opinion the best of the three Los Almendros restaurants.



Los Almendros serves genuine Yucatecan food, with a presentation that even the most discerning visitor will enjoy. They have easy to use picture menus that make choosing that special meal simple; whatever your first language may be.




Tomorrow the girls will go shopping in Merida and I will take my Nikon for a tour of the town.

Last edited by michaelholmes; 01-09-2005 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 01-09-2005   #18 (permalink)
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Very nice, Michael, I'm enjoying the photos!

Now I know where that meat came from at our dinner. It was absolutely awesome! Thanks again for having us over yet again.

Hopefully we'll see you soon, maybe a week, week and a half?
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Old 01-09-2005   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger
Very nice, Michael, I'm enjoying the photos!

Now I know where that meat came from at our dinner. It was absolutely awesome! Thanks again for having us over yet again.

Hopefully we'll see you soon, maybe a week, week and a half?

Ditto.

Thanks again for a perfect night. You guys are great hosts.
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Old 01-09-2005   #20 (permalink)
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Out and about in Merida

Tuesday

I get up early and while the girls are out grocery shopping, I cycle around the neighborhood. A good time to check out the bike and the GPS before I find myself lost the countryside somewhere in the middle of Yucatan.


I’m always impressed with Merida. It is still a relatively small town considering its status as a state capital.

And out where we are well away from El Centro out next to the peripherique, the city has a many features of a small town in the suburbs.


We drive into town and find parking.

We start from the Plaza Grande.


The girls head out from here to the stores.
And I walk through the streets of Merida towards the Paseo Montejo.



One of the first stops is my favorite Merida hotel. The Gran Hotel



This is a famous sign in one of the stores just off the Plaza Gande.


Another sign, less famous but also amusing.


Merida is a great walking city.


So much to see.


And if you don’t want to walk, there are these:


Or these:


Even the homes in and around El Centro are pieces of art.


I wonder if this store was recently restocked with a fresh supply of underwear from the US?


This was an interesting sight. A guy selling fertilizer and potting soil that makes house calls. Wow, Merida is so civilized.

My brother in-law pointed out that the man in my photograph has come into the city from the countryside and is actually selling a herb. The same one that is smoked for medicinal purposes out here in California.

Bill Clinton slept here:

I know……..every town in America can make that claim.

Take a close look at this architecture.


And this is the bank at the Plaza Grande


Christmas decorations are all around Merida (and for US residents who are sick of the communist ACLU, no they are not holiday decorations; Merida does celebrate Christmas.)


POP QUIZ!!
What is the famous observation about these two towers? And why? (An open book test, check your Merida guide book.)


We'll need an answer, perhaps a correct one; before I can continue.

Last edited by michaelholmes; 01-09-2005 at 11:12 PM..
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Old 01-09-2005   #21 (permalink)
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It is the oldest cathedral built in N. America and the stones came from Mayan temples. Don't know about the towers...yet
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Old 01-10-2005   #22 (permalink)
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I was there in December... I'm familiar with all those places in the pic's you took... what a great city. If anyone is planning to go the Gran Hotel is definitly the place to stay!
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Old 01-10-2005   #23 (permalink)
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I'm enjoying your pictures so much - keep 'em comin'!!!
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Old 01-10-2005   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelholmes
Christmas decorations are all around Merida (and for US residents who are sick of the communist ACLU, no they are not holiday decorations; Merida does celebrate Christmas.)
We don't have the ACLU in Canada I don't think - but we have the "Politically Correct Police" which must be our version. For me, the dinosaur that I am, it is CHRISTMAS - not Holiday Season!

Great pics Michael and I love your report so far.
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Old 01-10-2005   #25 (permalink)
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Pop Quiz: My Answer

Oriented to the east, 42 meters high, its facade is simple and ornament-free; It has three access doors, as well as a big arch and two towers, each topped with a crown.

The inside was described by Manuel Toussaint as one of the most noble, pure and dignifying places among all Mexican Cathedrals.

Inside is the largest carving (in Birch) of Christ.




Last edited by Big Kahuna; 01-10-2005 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 01-10-2005   #26 (permalink)
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What is the most notable aspect of the towers design and construction?
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Old 01-10-2005   #27 (permalink)
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This is awesome, thanks for sharing.


What a cute little baby in the 'three generation' pic.
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Old 01-10-2005   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelholmes
What is the most notable aspect of the towers design and construction?
Is this part II?
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Old 01-10-2005   #29 (permalink)
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I Hate Tests.

Never Mind.
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Old 01-10-2005   #30 (permalink)
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What is so special about these two?

I was simply rephrasing the original question, as I had not seen the correct answer.

Here are two close ups, one of each tower. I think the original photograph shows the feature best. Perhaps these help a little, but then again they may only be of use if you know what you are looking for.

The left hand tower


And the right hand tower


P.S. Thank-you to our Saturday evening guest for all of your kind words.

Coming up (if we can find a good answer to the question above and do leave Merida):

We will enter the Cenote Zone (get out your maps and find this region of Yucatan) and we surface with some amazing photographs. And on the way into the Cenote Zone, we find something that we bet that you did not know existed. Even the locals are amazed by the sight of this.
The very first photographs on the net, will appear here this week. A Playa Info exclusive.
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