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Old 11-10-2014   #31 (permalink)
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Great report ... brings back anxious memories ... we stayed in building 10 the last 3 years but this coming trip ( end Jan) it was full so we ended up in the Quetzal ....
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Old 11-10-2014   #32 (permalink)
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We ate at the Japenese restaurant the second night. We had a 830pm sitting, which was a bit late, but I had made them ahead of time. We headed down to the lobby about 7pm with a bottle of wine and sat listening to a guy play music in the bar area. There is a small stage beside the bar and a few days a week, there would be someone playing music live. The quality of our dinner was good and very tasty. We sat with a lovely couple from England and their son Harry. We would talk to them all week at the beach, and give them a bottle of Ontario wine to bring home, on their last day.
Our typical morning would be me getting up at 630am and down on the beach by 7am. I'd get my spot on the beach and open my Nicolas Sparks book and read until Lindsay got up and made her way down to the beach. When she would get down, we would then go for breakfast either at the beach grill or the main buffet. As always the omelette station was awesome. Actually all the food on the buffet was great, including the fresh baked donunts and breads. After breakfast we would lay on the beach and maybe partake in water aerobics and maybe not. The water of the Caribbean Sea was so very warm and the pool was nice and refreshing, and not to warm. The temperature was perfect. For lunch we would just eat at the beach grill inside or outside. I can tell you, I had the fresh soup everyday. Each day it was a different soup and it was so good. The salad bar was always fresh with lots of different options such as beets, nuts, and different cheeses. I loved the whole shelled walnuts they had, I would always take a cup full every day and nibble on them throughout the day. On our last day I actually filled a ziplock bag to bring with me on the plane. Speaking of which, I always bring some tinfoil and plastic wrap with me and before we leave the resort I always make sandwiches to take with us. There is always fresh bread and lunch meat and cheeses to make it with.
Dinner was at the Mexican restaurant. We did not have reservations ahead of time here. We already had our 3 reservations made, but decided to see if they had any spots available, which they did. We ate at 630pm, the first sitting for dinner. Wow, the dinner was excellent. I had some sort of cheese covered steak dish. There was a self serve appetizer and salad bar.














My pretty daughter Lindsay..





After dinner, it was late so we headed back to our room to watch some TV and fall asleep. We originally had good intentions of going to the shows, but never made it. By the end of the day, being in the sun all day and imbibing, we were pretty wiped out. Besides, the shows have not changed from years going there. We were just as happy to sit in the lobby area and have cocktails or a cappuccino. The TV does not have a lot of English stations at all, its hit and miss. I know we are in Mexico, but I would think they would have a satellite with more English stations. the ID station was usually in English, and besides movies and TLC, that's my favorite station
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until Ocean Coral & Turquesa with the girls!!
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Old 11-10-2014   #33 (permalink)
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Nice work on the trip report,
Only 102 days until Playa for us.
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Old 11-10-2014   #34 (permalink)
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Notice where the chairs end near front of beach? They're all lined up. There is a sign on either side of the boardwalk that says "do not remove chairs from this area". Its really funny because if you try to move your chairs down by the water or even past this "line", the security and the life guards will come and make you move the chairs back behind the imaginary line. It was comical to watch, but being there more than one day, you learn your chairs can only be moved to that line. Not sure why they do this, but its dumb. The beach is wide enough that chairs should be allowed anywhere, otherwise you have people right on top of each other. I like to move my chair like a big sundial and when someone is so close to you, it sometimes is difficult if they don't move theirs... yeah yeah yeah, I'm a bit OCD. lol






Another great looking day. The whole time we were there we had very little rain. It rained about 15 minutes one day and about 20 minutes another day with the sun out as well that day. I guess the week before we got there, it rained a lot. We lucked out. I went last year the end of the first week of November and stayed at The Royal in Cancun (which switched over to the Hyatt Zilara half way through our stay), and it rained almost everyday.
We stayed on the beach everyday and had our beach reads. The waitress found us everyday and brought our drinks. The cups at the Tucan/Quetzel are better than most resorts. They are on the larger size which we found sufficient. Our drinks didn't sit around long enough to get to warm. We did bring our bubbas, had them blinged out, but used these for ice water or pop. We usually did some walking down the beach to shake things up a bit..lol. We also would make hourly swims over to the swim up pool bar.









Since they didn't have Clamato juice, I had to resort to beer and tomatoe juice! Next time I will bring my Clamato juice. I usually bring that and my celery salt and tabasco.




oops...

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Old 11-10-2014   #35 (permalink)
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We had dinner at the steakhouse. The grill/beach restaurant on the Quetzel side is the steakhouse at night. This restaurant is not used during the day anymore. They used to have a smaller breakfast here, but it wasn't open when we were there, only on the Tucan side, which is just as convenient.







Wow, I finally brought my "ol lady" glasses! There were different cuts of steak. The sirloin was awesome. Best steak I've had in a long time. cooked to perfection and very tasty. They have HP and A1 sauce. The blooming onion to start was pretty good too. I forgot to take pictures here, but believe me when I say the food was very good. They also have a help yourself appy bar with salad, apps, and soup. Fresh shrimp and oysters as well.














Of course we had to get one of these!!




After dinner we walked over to the Playacar Plaza. Its just beside the Riu Tequila up the road. Go out the gates and turn right and you'll be there in less than 5 minutes. There is a Starbucks here with free wifi and all kinds of shops. The prices in shops are fixed prices, but you can still haggle with the vendors outside the shops. There is also a Scotiabank and pharmacia here. I saw a guy with small monkeys that you can take your picture with...it made me sick. I wish they wouldn't do this with animals, but to them its a business. Its just sickening. Even on the resort they use iguanas and parrots and walk around and you can have your picture taken. Makes me want to cry.





I forget this guys name, but he has been there for years. He's a magician, and works for Iberostar, working a different resorts different days of the week. He trained in Mexico City as a magician, he's very good. Real magic tricks that'll blow your mind. Its amazing what he can do. We tried really hard to find the trick, but its magic..lol. Anyways, he's quite entertaining. He spent about 30 minutes with us. A great guy.



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Old 11-10-2014   #36 (permalink)
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The howler monkeys woke me up the next morning as my usual 630am. The monkeys are very loud and sound like large gorillas! They are all over the jungle middle of the resorts. If you put some fruit on your balcony they will sometimes sit on your rail and howl. I saw some people feeding them in the jungle, but I don't think that is to smart. They are still wild animals and can be very unpredictable. If they get spooked or something they can bite or scratch or something. I'd image you can get pretty septic too, just like any animal bite. Its Halloween, and tonight we are meeting Kurt (LUVtheNW) and Angie at Yaxche for dinner, then Luna Blue party. My husband and I met Kurt and Angie 10 years ago when we first started coming to Playa and joined Playa.info. We were on our honeymoon. We did a peep meet and the Fat Cat trip and Angie and I ended up "losing time" on Ritchie's Island...that's another story.
We spent our usual day on the beach. It rained about 20 minutes in the late afternoon. They had pumpkin carving contests on the beach.




The resort had memorials for Día de Muertosin the lobbies of both Tucan and Quetzel.





Getting ready at the buffet.






We took a cab into playa for 70 pesos. Its only a 5 minute drive. When you walk down 5th, all the vendors call to you to "look at my stuff" or they say, "hey, do you remember me from Iberostar" Some people get sucked in. They'll try to sell you "nose candy", and MaryJane too. AS IF....
We just kept walking and stopped where we wanted to.








People brought their small children all dressed up to walk up and down 5th. They would go into shops to get candy.

Playa has gotten very commercial and Americanized. It certainly has changed since I started going down there 10 years ago. There is a huge outdoor mall with brand name stores. They are also building another one just down from this one. Its taking the quaintness out of the town.







I've always wanted to eat at Yaxche, which is a Mayan cuisine restaurant. Its on the corner of 21st and 5th. A short walk past all the shops and vendors after you're dropped off from the taxi. Its a beautiful restaurant and the service is excellent. They couldn't do enough for you. Thanks Al (AbsoluteAl) for making our reservations.



Our table overlooked 5th ave. Here we are waiting for Kurt and Angie.




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Old 11-10-2014   #37 (permalink)
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The two of you are absolutely gorgeous in those photos. Like mother, like daughter.
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Old 11-10-2014   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfl*s queen View Post
The two of you are absolutely gorgeous in those photos. Like mother, like daughter.
Ahhhh, thanks so much!
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Old 11-10-2014   #39 (permalink)
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Kurt and Angie arrived and we caught up and ordered appies and drinks. The Mayan Margaritta was so good. Kurt had his makeup done that day, so it looked like his head was split down the middle. Angie had these really freaky contact lenses in that were pretty scary to look at. Doesn't take away from her beauty though...she's gorgeous and such a wonderful person.





We had some mayan warrior visitors. It was great sitting at the railing, we were able to watch the show directly below us on the street.





Great apps




My main was the Mayan Platter. Deep fried edem cheese, some type of pork, and some sort of egg dish with mole sauce. It was very very good and something different.



After dinner, Angie wanted to lay her head down on my pillows...lol



Kurt was a lucky guy that night!





On to the Luna Blue for some cocktails and holloween party. Here is Lindsay in the bar area overlooking the cute pool. Its a nice hotel just off 5th. We had a great time and met some wonderful people. The famous Skinny was singing and he was hilarious dressed as "white trash". He wore a garbage bag.











Here is Sharkey, belting out a tune. He was just a blast and I had a great talk with him.


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Old 11-10-2014   #40 (permalink)
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Great pics and great report!! Thank you Tracielynn. I will be there with my Son for the first time in 33 days. It's pretty neat to peek in and see what it looks like thru your report.
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Old 11-10-2014   #41 (permalink)
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Next day was pretty sunny and hot. It was a perfect day on the beach with Nicholas Sparks and cervasa con limone.














The Iberostar beach is the best in Playacar, we think.

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Old 11-10-2014   #42 (permalink)
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Lunch was pretty good today. Soup, of course, was excellent. A creamy broccoli veggie soup. They also had chicken wings, which my husband would've just loved. What I can't understand is the people who come into the lunch beach buffet wearing just their bathing suits, thongs and all. And please men,....put your shirts on when you're in the food line or sitting at the tables to eat. There is a sign at the entrance of the beach grill buffet that's asks for people to wear cover ups and have shoes, but nobody seems to pay attention and they do nothing to enforce the code. I wish Iberostar management would look into this. Yes, its a buffet just off the pool and beach, but there should be some sort of etiquette

Our dinner this night was at the Italian restaurant. It was excellent...of course. The only restaurant we didn't eat at was the Tropical seafood. The menu looked really good, but we just didn't go because we ate twice in town. As with other restaurants, there is an antipasto and salad bar. We were at the first sitting so I was able to get some nice pics of food before it was touched. We again brought a bottle of wine from home and had it here. The waiters would still pour it whenever they saw our glasses empty. If you like wine, you will know that the glass you drink it out of makes a big difference in the taste of the wine. The glasses here were a nice crystal sort, and the wine we brought was an great cab from California.
Service was excellent.







My daughter spent a semester of her culinary school in France and lived on cheese and wine. When she saw the antipasto bar with all the different kids of cheese, she was in absolute heaven!! The cheese was very good with a lot of different variety. The brie was simply wonderful and creamy.


The balsamic vinager was excellent and well aged too. I had the carbonara for dinner and it was so good. The pasta was handmade and bacon in it very smoky and tasty.










Again, we tried to make a bit of the show, but we were just so full of wine, cheese, and pasta, all we wanted was to lay down. We did stop for a cappuccino at the lobby bar. They make great ones.

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Old 11-10-2014   #43 (permalink)
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Here are the hooka pipes that are at the theater. There are 2 areas for them that are reserved for anyone who wants to smoke. The whole time we were there, we never saw anyone using them. There is also one one at pool bar.






Beach in front of the Royal Hideaway. I would love to stay here with my husband one time.




Crazy beach games.



Last night we headed into Playa again. We wanted to try Babes Noodle and Bar.
Heres Lindsay "waiting for the perfect man"



Heres the mango margarita at Babes Noodle. It was good, but I wouldn't get it again. To filling and not nearly enough tequila in it. I would def ask for a double shot in it.



Lindsay had a strawberry daiquiri. Mine was better.




Feeling full after the margarita.



The food here was very good indeed. Its a tai noodle restaurant. We had the tuna app. Raw tuna wrapped in rice paper. Lindsay has a thing with textures, and thought the texture of the rice paper was to funky. I liked it.



I had the yellow curry dish. OMG, it was delish. We both ordered the full orders instead of half, so we could split, but it was a lot of food. We ended up bringing half of hers home.



Lindsay had the pad tai. It had beef, chicken, and shrimp. Wow, it was excellent. Stay away from this place if you have a severe peanut allergy.
The place was peanut heaven. We ended up eating the rest of hers when we got back to the hotel.






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Old 11-10-2014   #44 (permalink)
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After Babes, we walked south on 5th. I wanted to go to Bad Boys. It was Sunday night. We walked down to the end of 4th towards the water. It was quite sketchy and dark. I thought the directions I had said turn right at beach from 4th. We did that and couldn't find Bad Boys. We past 2nd and found it...or at least I thought I found it. I had been here a few years ago and thought then it was Bad boys. I guess it wasn't. It was Wah Wah's. I asked the waiter if this was Bad Boys but he couldn't speak English and just nodded yes...and said Bad Boy. We ordered a beer at the bar and took a seat and watched the band. It was a 7 piece blues band with a sax and trumphet player. They were really good. There wasn't many people in there at all. Where the heck was Bad Boys?? My daughter didn't want to walk down the dark beach to find it. I was kinda bumbed cause I was ready to party. After our beer we caught a cab back to the Tucan and went to the room to eat the rest of our pad tai.
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Old 11-10-2014   #45 (permalink)
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OUr last day on the beach. OUr flight got moved from 2pm to 9pm, so we weren't leaving the resort till 430pm. I went and talked to Ivan at the front desk about getting a late check out and at first he said we could do it for $10/hr, but after reminding him how many times I have been back, he let us stay in room till 330pm. So, we just hung out at the beach while trying to decide when I was coming back. (FEB!!)








More arena cheese before we go!


This drink is really good. coconut rum, blue curaeco, and pineapple juice. Its the Luna Blue signature drink....so yummy






I can't resist. Here is my baby Charles the Schnauzer with his Playa swag on.



Well, we had a wonderful mother-daughter trip. The Iberostar never disappoints. The weather was perfect, the food excellent, and we had a relaxing and fun week. I am greatful that I can take such nice vacations and that we were safe. Sometimes you let your guard down on vacation, and I've learned from a previous trip, never to do that. Have fun, but be aware of your surroundings. Bad things can happen anywhere, even in your paradise. I will be back...hopefully with my husband soon. I am thankful to Playainfo and everyone who writes trip reviews, and dialogue. Half the fun of vacation is the planning that goes into it before hand. I love to read everything and look at every possible new picture of the beach and hotels...no matter how many times I have been.
Stay safe friends,.....and bring on the SNOW!!!
Trix

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