Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Royale-ty on the Mayan Riviera

Our resort in Playa del Carmen...
Early morning at the resort...
The Royal Playa del Carmen is located along the waterfront resort strip of Playa del Carmen about sixty kilometres south of Cancun on Mexico's east coast.

It's considered one of the smaller resorts although my wife and I found it plenty big. If you're curious about our impressions of the resort, check out my Tripadvisor review...

Sunrise over the Royale...



Friday, December 11, 2015

Sunny Hola-days in Mexico

Carvings celebrate The Day of the Dead.
Carved masks celebrate Mexico's Day of the Dead.
So far Victoria has been having a wild and wet winter. Still it was nice to recently spend a week down on the Yucat√°n Peninsula in Mexico.

We stayed on a resort in the VERY tourist-y town of Playa del Carmen. Many of the nearby tourist shops featured wood carvings of this sort that are a theme of El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), a traditional Mexican holiday that coincides with Halloween in North America.

Whereas our version of the holiday is all about scary things that go bump in the night, their version is more uplifting... it's the time of the year when spirits of departed family members can briefly unite with their still living loved ones.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Overdue thanks...

A pair of Mikes, post-repair...
A pair of Mikes...
Today I need to express my way-too-late thanks to some people who stepped up to help us during our recent trip through Oregon. Almost from the start, our vacation was plagued with technical problems.

On the day we were due to leave Cannon Beach, our bike rack which mounted to the bumper of our trailer suffered catastrophic failure.

Although I'm smiling in the photo above, it was a different situation an hour or so before that. I found myself at the side of the road trying to jury rig a repair while my wife walked back down the road to our campsite to seek help. Four-letter words were flowing freely from my mouth I'm embarrassed to admit.

Suddenly a passing car pulled off the road and in behind me. The driver leaned out his window and asked if he could help in any way. That's how I met Mike and his family.

After surveying the situation, Mike went way out of his way to drive me to the local hardware store. He helped me to locate some of the bits and pieces that I needed to effect repairs. Once we got back to the trailer he also provided the tools and some of the labour to get us fixed up and mobile again.

During this ordeal, his wife Katie and their kids patiently sat in the car waiting for the two Mikes to sort things out so they are equally deserving of a shout-out.

Thanks, Mike, for all your help, patience and advice... you saved us from a vacation disaster...


Friday, December 4, 2015

High over Portland

US Bancorp Tower in downtown Portland...
US Bancorp Tower in downtown Portland...
The 30th floor of the US Bancorp Tower in Portland is home to the award-winning Portland City Grill which offers the best views of the city skyline.

Portland towers...
Portland towers...