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Old 03-05-2014   #16 (permalink)
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Excellent start, looking forward to the "rest of the story"....
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Old 03-05-2014   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Steven View Post
Excellent start, looking forward to the "rest of the story"....
There has been some great reporting / story, here lately! It's Great!
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Old 03-05-2014   #18 (permalink)
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Great start!
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Old 03-06-2014   #19 (permalink)
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The sad part of the "Forward" to this story is: We've all been there.
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Old 03-09-2014   #20 (permalink)
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FEBRUARY 05, 2014

The anticipation of reaching Playa after a long 2 year hiatus from one of our favorite spots, has been building considerably. Many things have changed for us, with the marriage of our daughter almost 3 years ago, and then the birth of our first granddaughter roughly a year and 3 months ago.

Both of these events had a very mind-numbing effect on an aging person such as me that refuses to “GROW UP.” But such is life…let’s get back to the purpose of this report.

We made our connection from Billings, Montana, Minneapolis and then Atlanta where we had our first cocktails and lunch at TGI Fridays.

Jeff, Lisa, Tina(PalomaLover), and Dean(Montana SolMan) at TGI Fridays in Atlanta

It’s when we jumped on the final flight from there to Cancun that the excitement and anticipation kicked into overdrive. Tina and I both agreed that we were NOT going to consume quite as much of the mind and equilibrium altering cocktails as we always seem to do on the first day of our trip. That was our plan and we were adamant about sticking to it…..………….well……………….that is until the drink cart came down the aisle of the plane.

I practically pushed PalomaLover out of her seat at what I thought was a casual nudge.

“Tina, get her attention, we need a drink now!!!”

“What about your big plan of waiting and pacing yourself,” she says.

“That was said at 4:30 this morning as we were leaving the house to catch our flight,” I reply, “you didn’t really believe I was going to stick to that. And besides……..quick…..look here at Delta’s drink card.

They have Avion Tequila……….YIPPPPPEEE!”

As the people to the side, front, and back look at me, I realize “YIPPPPPEEE” was said with my outside voice…….Damn it, here I go again.

“What part of whatever tough guy did you not take as sarcasm this morning”, she fires back with a smile.

“It was -14 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, not to mention I have the power of being the Red Card Man”, I reply.

Screenshot of my phone with the time and temperature when we left Billings, Montana

PalomaLover quickly retorts, “That’s only because you are old and they felt sorry for you.”

Personally I don’t care what it was. All I know is when I went through security, the nice young lady that works for TSA looked at my passport and gave me a red card that said I do not have to remove my shoes, cap, or sweatshirt when going through the screening.

My guess is she had a thing for me, because when I looked back to smile and thank her, she started giggling as I proceeded to remove my shoes and hat putting them in the plastic containers going through the X-ray machine.

Just as my ego was building the TSA agent told me to stop as I waited for my wife to proceed. I handed him the red card as he looked at my feet and head, smirking and waving me on through.

As I was gathering my belongings at the other end, including my hat and shoes, I realized my blunder and quickly put them on without looking back.

“You are the red card man alright”, PalomaLover quickly reminded me.

Let’s get back to the drink cart. The flight attendant asked if we would like something to drink and we quickly ordered Avion Tequila and Fresca. PalomaLover quietly leaned into the flight attendant as she said, “May we have 2 bottles each to start with?”

“I see someone else is thirsty too,” I quickly say with a touch of sarcasm.

“I just don’t want you to knock me into the aisle again”, she slyly states.

At this point I realize it is in my best interest to remain quiet as she performs her sweet innocent look at the flight attendant. The flight attendant quickly gives in as she states, you both look like you won’t be any problem.

I smile and have to say, “Yep we are professionals!”


"Yeah, Yipppeee, you didn't really take this picture."

"That's Better"

As the warmth and confidence from the tequila begins to settle into my body, I begin pondering the goals for this trip. We are coming back with a mission of relaxation on the beach, letting the cares and worries of everyday life drift away temporarily.

Oh yeah, and maybe to discover any lost or forgotten drinking secrets that may have surfaced in our absence.

This time we have convinced 2 new recruits to immerse themselves in the culture and research that we have begun. Our friends Jeff and Lisa have gladly accepted the challenge and appear to be ready. They had already been involved in our important “Rum Research”, last year when we all went to St. John in the US Virgin Islands. But that is another story.

They are Mexico “virgins”, and therefore will have to go thru the time honored traditions and rites of passage that seasoned veterans like myself and PalomaLover have diligently worked thru. Although some might argue I just might be over-seasoned.

Soon enough the plane had landed, along with every other plane from all corners of the globe on this Wednesday evening. The customs and immigration lines were a long slow process of over an hour and a half before clearing immigration and waiting for our turn at the game of red light-green light. Surprisingly enough we all received the green light, I suspect they might have heard of me, probably receiving a call from Montana letting them know I was the red card man.

We had arranged our shuttle through the website of . I have obtained many maps of the Riviera Maya, including the surrounding islands throughout our trips to the area and recommend her maps.

On the site, there is a link to private transfers through Trina at CARM Tours and Transfers at , where you can request a group or private shuttle to your destination. For a reasonable price of an additional $2 per can they will stock as many ice cold cervezas as you would like on the transfer in a cooler. We are staying at the Xaman Ha Condos this time and a roundtrip private trip for 3-5 people in a newer van with AC cost $115 plus $16 for 8 cervezas.

For a little extra, you can arrange for the driver to take you to Walmart or Megamart in Playa to get groceries before you get to your destination. Personally, I think it is a fantastic deal, and Trina was very prompt with emails and answering any questions. It was the most relaxing professional shuttle experience to PDC yet for us.

Our choice of residence for this year’s research was the Xaman Ha Condo’s and without any difficulty we soon arrived. After going down many steps following the signs with our many bags we arrived at the lockbox for our #7022 condo. The combination worked just as explained and we entered our ground floor condo. It appeared very clean with the living area and master bedroom both having doors opening up to the main patio which looks east-southeast to the beach, which wasn’t huge but would be fine for the 4 of us. The condo has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a living room, and kitchen with another smaller patio off the dining area looking northeast to the ferry dock. This condo was fantastic as it was within mere steps to our private beach, which is very wide south of the Cozumel ferry dock.

We quickly unloaded our things, changing into shorts, flip-flops, and casual wear. Since we had a late arrival it was already close to 8 PM and we had absolutely no booze in the condo. I quickly convinced everyone of the importance of continuing the buzz we had already begun hours ago, in the name of research of course.

The walk involved a quick tour of the “gauntlet” of 5th Avenue vendors all promising the best deals for the virgins, Jeff and Lisa. The first stop that I recall was the Fah Bar on 5th between Calle 8 and 10. I was mildy disappointed as they did not have Sol, so we quickly ordered a round of Pacifico. I believe Lisa ordered something with rum in it as that is generally her drink of choice. I am confident that we will have them consuming palomas by the end of this trip.

Jeff and Lisa wondering what they got themselves into with us.-Fah Bar

By now “pacing ourselves” was having about as much effect as a sparrow’s belch in a hurricane.

We made a couple more quick stops and ended up at one of my favorites, The Dirty Martini. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it has expanded and includes bano’s. We ordered 4 different martinis and at this point I was positive I would remember the names, but all I can come up with is pomegranate, black, tequilini, and something with ginger.

I don’t think any of us were ready after nearly 20 hours of no sleep for the tequilini as there were many squirming bodies and sour faces at the taste of that one. I do remember it being delicious last time, so I am not ready to give up yet.

Montana SolMan and PalomaLover at The Dirty Martini..Really she is not trying to hold me up yet..

The happy researchers at The Dirty Martini.

Jeff and Lisa are not big fans of the Tequilini

After this stop we stumbled down the beach and ended our night with one last stop at Wah Wah’s where we ordered a round of palomas for everyone and Jeff and Lisa loved them. On that note we all decided it was time to put a close to the first night as we still had 9 more to go and we really need to PACE OURSELVES………………………

Higher math at Wah Wah's. Maybe if we use our toes we can figure out this peso thing.

PalomaLover tries to explain the peso to dollar conversion to Jeff.

I think I get it now.

PalomaLover on the Big Screen at Wah Wah's.

My beautiful wife. Obviously the camera has had too much alcohol spilled on it...Sorry
“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
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Old 03-09-2014   #21 (permalink)
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So excited to read your trip report. My husband and I loved your research in the last one! Keep up the good work!
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Old 03-09-2014   #22 (permalink)
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I am just starting to read your report but have take a break and ask, do you know Warren and Sandy Church by any chance? They live in Roundup and run Rhimrock animal rescue. Maybe I'm confused, but I thought Billings was close.

And I'm editing because I just finished reading your report, how much fun you had!!! Great pics and I can't wait to hear how much the PDC virgins loved it! Thanks!

Last edited by SharonD; 03-09-2014 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 03-09-2014   #23 (permalink)
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Well done so far Dean ! I'll be in Playa in 2 days !
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Old 03-09-2014   #24 (permalink)
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Great start Dean and Tina - what an introduction!

Bet the virgins were quickly acclimated!?!

Looking forward to " the rest.... of the story..."
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Old 03-10-2014   #25 (permalink)
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Here we go again..sorry I missed you by a few days..we could have been real trouble...please, carry on...
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Old 03-10-2014   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by steve balt View Post
Been waiting for this ! Funny we met you and your wife on our first ever peep meet at the beer bucket. We ask if you guys were there for the meet.. Never did figure out you were until trip report came out awhile back. You were in undercover mode .

Anyway carry on Montana Sol Man This report may just get me through this shitty winter here in Md. Still trying for a last minute escape to Playa.
Hi Steve,
We do remember meeting you at the Peep meet in February of 2010 and yes I was in undercover mode as at that time I still wasn't sure about doing a report. We have had a shitty winter also, but was very thrilled to be back in Playa for awhile.
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Old 03-10-2014   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MayanNut View Post
Great start!! Thanks for not posting graphic pics during this stage of the conversation, but please do carry on!
Fortunately at this stage in the trip, pictures, especially the graphic kind were the furthest thing from my mind!
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Old 03-10-2014   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by angelhouston819 View Post
can't wait for another awesome trip report from you!!!!
Thanks, I hope it is awesome. it's always tough to come back and attempt to put a good one out there while juggling work and life.
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Old 03-10-2014   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by burly View Post
Looking so forward to this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-10-2014   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Duck View Post
My Gawd Montana Solman ! I remember reading your 1st trip report back in Feb of 2010, one of the most hilarious stories I've ever read ! You are a fantastic writer mi amigo .... ROCK ON !
Thanks Duck, I will try to ROCK ON, and I hope you enjoy your trip to Playa!!
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