Charmed in Playa del Carmen

When I arrived in Playa del Carmen, America and Pauloko greeted me at the local bus station right on 5th avenue. We swung by America’s apartment to drop off my things before heading toward a hostel to help prep for the birthday celebration of one of America’s friends. So much familiarity, yet so much change. Playa del Carmen is currently ranked as THE fastest growing city in the world…

Fortunately, the coastal charm of a smaller seaside village continues to thrive in Playa. The highway that runs along the coast of the Riviera Maya slices through Playa nearer to the shore. Most of the city’s growth extends out from the other side of the highway… away from the sea. Thus, the highway helps preserve the more intimate nucleus of the city. Walk just about a dozen blocks from sea and you’ve already reached the highway.

The infamous 5th avenue, which marks the second block from the coast, is lined with cafes, gelaterias, boutiques, art galleries and quaint hotels. I popped out of the hostel just one block up from 5th avenue to indulge in one of my favorite treats – a fresh fruit and veggie smoothie!

Soon the techno house music led us on highs and lows that reflected the rhythm of the waves at sea. Party-goers began to arrive and drink chelas (beer) at the rooftop bar and dip into the rooftop pool. I began to slip back into a familiar bliss. I socialized with friends, but so easily I would lose myself in the music, my heart and soul turned toward the sea, completely mesmerized by her opal, turquoise, azure and sapphire hues. And my precious moon began to emerge, shining bright and bold… as dusk turned to darkness. When night fell I escaped, padding my way down the cobbled road toward the water’s edge. Stepping out of my clothes I slipped right into the cool, dark waters. Home.

I quickly fell into my old morning routine greeting the day with a morning run along the shore and cooling down with a leisurely swim. I would playfully roll around in the soft waves then drift on my back… utterly content… just me and the sea.

By 8:30 I was sitting upright and erect, ready for an energizing Vinyasa flow yoga class with Ellen at Yoga By the Way

Back to Paradise

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05.03.11

At the airport in Cancun, I made friends with a Virgin American crew member and a fellow traveler from Norway… perhaps we’ll be in touch.

I took a shuttle from the airport to the bus station in the center of town. I felt so “at home” again, yet felt my spirit hadn’t quite released LA yet…

Perla came with her boyfriend Mario and picked me up from the station. I shrieked with joy when I saw her…

Benny met us shortly thereafter and we made a beeline for greasy, yummy Mexican food. Guacamole, chorizo tacos, carne asada, frijoles… ala ¡Que Rico!

Benny is beyond words. He’s so pure.

We picked up Benny’s budding flame… Karina. She and I are one in the same… she possesses a true zest for life!

Ruben and Victor meet us for drinks. Back in tropical paradise, sipping a pina coloda with old, cherished friends… ahem ¡QUE RICO!

It all felt surreal… being surrounded by so many people I love again. Each and every one is so dear and special to me.

05.04.11

I slept in… I haven’t done that since I decided to return to Latin America. Still… sleeping in here is waking up early in LA… so maybe I didn’t sleep in after all.

After working and connecting with my client, I leave for the beach. My friends are at work and it’s just me…

I go to Playa Marlin, where I used to live. I lived in an apartment that had a beautiful view of the sea. The very waves that I so clearly remember lulling me to sleep crashed in a soft greeting of “welcome back.” When I bathed in the sea my senses began to reawaken. Little by little, I felt myself reconnecting

I busted out the blender when I got back to my friend’s apartment. Now I can liquefy my own fresh, tropical bliss!

Sushi for dinner… catching up with Perla.

Inspired to shoot a special shot… sipping wine poolside under the cozy night sky my spirit makes the final shift… finally, I am reconnected.

Mind Scraps: Frogs and Turtles, Princes and Princesses

“Do you have a notebook I could use,” I asked my friend Benny – Biologist Benny we call him. “Mine’s about filled up.”

That’s when he offered me The Blue Day Notebook. He had just started using it, but insisted on giving it to me. It’s a cute little blue book with a cute little frog motif. As you flip the pages, the little frog tumbles along the edge…

I opened it up to read:

Laura,

Te quiero mucho mucho mucho. (I really really really care about you.)

Benny

Then I continued on to read the author’s introduction. Here is my favorite prose the author shared:

“True inspiration is everywhere, all the time. It’s in the objects on your desk, it’s in the flashing lights of an ambulance, it’s in the lyrics of your favorite song, it’s the way you hold someone’s hand, it’s the way a dog turns around twice before lying down to sleep. In other words, inspiration is seeing ordinary things in an extraordinary way – imagining what things would be like if they were somehow… different.”

“What is important is that you let your mind run free to consider new creative relationships and then have the decipline to put your thoughts down on paper.”

“To create interesting work you must live an interesting life.”

****

The night before last, Biologist Benny opened his heart to me and moved me to tears. He simply whispered the sweet words that anyone always longs to hear. Words like: special, unique, magic, light. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. He’s more than a friend, he’s a soulmate. I have discovered that we have not one soulmate… we have but billions and trillions. Every single being on this planet is a potential soulmate… we only have to open ourselves to see the light within. Benny is an enchanting person and I consider him one of my dearest friends. He is special.

Last night Benny led us on a magical excursion. From shore we silently marveled as the giant sea turtles emerged from the dark waters of the night and slowly crawled their way across the beach. Whips of sand began flying as the turtles stopped and began digging… digging their nests right there in the middle of Cancun’s tourist-trampled, white sand beaches. Then the stillness came and they did not move. The “trance” had begun. The conservationists slowly moved approached the turtles beckoning us to follow with care. Astonished we watched white, mucas-covered eggs pop out from behind the tortoise’s tail. The we helped gather the eggs in buckets, moving them new nests we had already dug in special nurseries built away from tourist trample. Hopefully, we’ve given some little new embryos the chance to survive, grow and hatch.

As we walked back from this incredible glimpse into the mysteries of nature, it was Victor’s turn to move me to tears. His words resembled Ben’s, but were spoken with Victor’s uniquely charming touch. Again my ears wrung with words like special, unique, magic, light and my heart swelled with love. “You really don’t know just how much you’ll be missed,” he told me. When I think of Victor I will always imagine the strong, young mahogany-colored warrior dancing with heart and soul.

Two Australian girls also accompanied us. Biologist Benny was hosting them through Couchsurfing. Benny had told me ahead of time that Grace and Zia were “encantadoras” (enchantresses). He was right. In less than 10 hours, these two young hippie girls who grew up on a commune out in the wilderness of Australia’s bush had also earned a very special place in my heart. Two powerful young women full of love and magic.

Of course, Perla was there. Throughout the day, her pure, sincere and unassumingly loving friendship provoked my eyes to moisten. She is as faithful and loving as man’s beloved best friend. A true spitfire in her own right. I adore her…

Love Note

Just as the tears dry up, the emotions wring my heart again, squeezing out yet more bittersweet tears.

I cannot describe the EXCITEMENT and ANTICIPATION I feel for this next, upcoming adventure… this move to L.A. I feel as if the seconds could not fly by fast enough. The seconds that separate him and I. He with the widest of grins and the giggliest of laughs. He that is always sprinkling the sparkling dust of laughter into my own eyes.

And yet, as the seconds tick away, I can’t help but feel how quickly my last few moments with some incredibly moving people I’ve met here in the Riviera Maya… are vanishing. I couldn’t put into words everything, all the beloved attributes that have made me fall completely head over heels in love for most amazing friends here. And I’m not going to try. My words couldn’t do their loveliness any justice.

Just please know…

Perla
Benny
Ruben
Victor
Roberto
Daniel
Antonio
Edgar
Jimmy
America
Paoloko
Jason
Juan Carlos
Joakin
Simon
Marco
CS Cancun Community

Each of you, in your own most unique and enchanting ways, have captured my heart. I love you guys… and I always will.