What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Catrina con alas

November 9, 2018
by admin

Xcaret Festival de Vida y Muerte 2018 (plus Halloween in Cancun and more)

It’s that time of year again! Or it was last week, when Bebé and I went to our all-time favorite Cancun event, the Xcaret Festival de Vida y Muerte (Festival of Life and Death Traditions). This yearly event celebrates Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead, a multi-day Mexican holiday that focuses on remembering friends and family members who have passed. The festival is a colorful celebration of life and death that includes theater, dance, music, food, tours, exhibitions, expositions and workshops.

Every year one Mexican state is featured in the festival. This year that state was Zacatecas. We weren’t able to make it to the festival last year so we were very excited.

Since it worked out so well last time, I hired someone to paint our faces again, and I was very happy with the result…

maquillaje Catrina

sugar skull make-up

Bebé did not want any make-up on his mouth!

We left super early, since Xcaret is south of Playa del Carmen, and arrived right as the festival began. It’s quite a trip. You have to park far away and take a bus to the entrance, but everything is very well organized.

First order of business was to fix our make-up! Bebé smeared his sleeping in the car and the baubles on my chin fell off, but luckily there are make-up stations all over the park. (Yes, Xcaret thinks of everything.)

Xcaret Festival de Vida y Muerte

I have a lot of experience with this festival, so I planned which performances we would see ahead of time (the schedule is posted online weeks beforehand). The first performance we saw was a story told by two actors and the Xcaret dance company accompanied by live music. It was wonderful!

traditional Mexican dancing


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Recuerdos del #festivalvidaymuerte 😍💀🌸♥ #mexico #cancun #dayofthedead #diadelosmuertos #dance #baile

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It’s even more fun to go to the festival with Bebé now because he is more patient, he doesn’t get tired as easily and he really enjoys the performances. He also loves to study the map and program.

Cancun Day of the Dead events

Unfortunately my sandal broke after the performance (!!!) and I had to buy some really uncomfortable, really expensive flip-flops from the gift shop. After that was taken care of, the next order of business was to explore and take pictures!

Day of the Dead Cancun

Festival de Vida y Muerte

Day of the Dead altar

Dia de Muertos

Catrina make-up

I have been dying to have my picture taken with the huge wings at Xcaret, and what better time than when I was dressed up for Day of the Dead?

Catrina con alas

Then we were off to our next 3 performances. They were all excellent. Two were comedy and one was a Mayan legend told through dance and music.

teatro festival Dia de Muertos Xcaret

Photos: Xcaret Facebook

We never stay for the big concert at the end, maybe someday, but I had to work the next day and let me tell you it was no picnic driving back to Cancun and then taking that make-up off.

It was worth it though! Thank you Xcaret for this truly spectacular cultural event!

Halloween and more Day of the Dead in Cancun

Although it’s a U.S. holiday, in recent years Halloween has become quite popular in Mexico. Bebé dressed up as Dipper from Gravity Falls, our favorite cartoon.

There was a Halloween party at school and we also went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.

They also created Day of the Dead altars at school. (It is so beautiful but it drive me NUTS that the cross on the floor isn’t centered. LOL)

I ate pan de muerto, aka dead bread, which is yummy, sugary sweet bread, during the entire month of October, but heavenly mucbipollo aka pib, a traditional Yucatecan Day of the Dead dish is more difficult to get. We ordered some for work on November 2. Mucbipollo is made from corn dough and chicken wrapped in banana leaves. Traditionally it’s cooked in an underground pit called a pib but many people now cook it in the oven. Some of the ingredients include tomato, onion, achiotexpelon and epazote. So. Delicious.

pib Yucatan

Día de Muertos is definitely my favorite Mexican holiday. It was a fun, busy week, and now it’s time to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Condos with pools Puerto Morelos

September 24, 2018
by admin

A Weekend in Puerto Morelos at Kaam Condos

Wow, it’s been quite awhile since my last post! We had a busy summer (kids here only have 6 weeks of summer vacation) that included our annual visit to the U.S.

School is back in session now and we’re back in our routine. I just celebrated a birthday and decided it would be fun to spend the weekend in Puerto Morelos, the small town that started out as a fishing village between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. My friend, who I have known since 1st grade, flew in from Texas, and Bebé brought a friend as well. We stayed at Kaam Condominiums.

It’s common knowledge that I love all-inclusive resorts, but I also love the less structured feeling of staying in a condominium, and Kaam was awesome. It includes two brand new buildings, each with it’s own small pool. We stayed in Je Eleb. The other building, Kaanaab, is on the next block and is orange and yellow. Both buildings also have a rooftop deck with a breathtaking view.

Puerto Morelos rentals

Kaam Condominiums truly has just about everything you need for a stay in Puerto Morelos. I would call them one-bedrooms, but there is a pull-out futon where two 9 year-olds slept comfortably together. The kitchen includes glasses, dishes, silverware, cookware, a microwave, a stove top, a fridge, a coffeemaker and a “garrafon”, a huge bottle of water. There are also garrafones in the halls, so there is no need to buy bottles of water, which pollute our oceans. Most apartments have a private balcony as well.

In addition, a free continental breakfast at El Pirata is included. The breakfast consists of coffee, a huge plate of fruit and piece of toast.

Puerto Morelos condominiums

Puerto Morelos condos

I loved the coffee and wine glass rack! #truestory

How to tell time...

The condos are tastefully decorated with works by local artists, and they’re all for sale! It’s important to note that the condo does not include a hair dryer or iron, but they plan to provide both soon. Don’t forget to buy napkins like we did. Deliciously scented toiletries which are made by local Mayan communities are included as well. They are small, so depending on how long you are staying you might have to purchase more. The condos are non-smoking, inside and out.

We arrived Friday evening and got a pizza for the boys and made guacamole for ourselves. On Saturday we spent the entire day at the pool and a couple Puerto Morelos friends, including Papi, Bebé’s dad, joined us.

Condos with pools Puerto Morelos

The pool is small but quite deep and the fact that it’s not in the sun all day means it stays cool.

Kristin Busse Cancun

It was so nice to be able to keep beer in the fridge in our apartment (or in my friend’s case, vodka in the freezer). We made hot dogs for the boys for lunch and picked up an entire chicken half a block away at El Romano (with tortillas, potatoes, onions and salsa included) for the adults.

I am a little bummed that we didn’t try Yeyitas, which was right across the street from the condo. It’s super rustic, but they serve grilled chicken and fish and “comida corrida”, a varied, inexpensive daily menu that generally includes soup, a main dish, tortillas, a drink and sometimes even dessert.

That evening, everyone was tired so we decided to grab something to eat and bring it back to the condo. The boys wanted to check out the little playground in the town square as well. As we walked to the playground (a total of like 3 blocks) we stumbled upon The Burger Underground and decided burgers would be good for dinner. The very nice owner (who is from Detroit… yay) said he could have them ready for us to pick up on the way back from the playground. I ordered the Big Zack and it was delicious! It had cole slaw on it!

Puerto Morelos is a quiet, charming, safe town.

Puerto Morelos restaurants

Puerto Morelos town square

We took these pictures of the boys, but I’m annoyed that we forgot to take picture at the Puerto Morelos sign that is by the waterfront!

The next morning we headed back to Cancun early because my friend was flying out that day and I had my usual Sunday housework to do to get ready for the week. Another day or two was probably needed to really enter relax mode, but I really enjoyed our stay. I loved that once we arrived, we never got back in the car until we left Puerto Morelos. Everything is within walking distance and if you want/need to head to the other side of the highway, it’s easy to grab a taxi.

Thank you Grupo Kaam and Puerto Morelos, we’ll be back! (And not only because I want to take that picture.)

Playacar Palace pool

June 15, 2018
by admin

Playacar Palace: You won’t want to leave!

A couple of weeks ago Bebé spent a long weekend at Playacar Palace, located in Playacar, a gated community right on the edge of Playa del Carmen. We had stayed here before, two years ago, and loved it, so we were anxious to return.

Playacar Palace is very small, which is one of the things that makes it really relaxing. The staff is super friendly and provides excellent service, and at the same time they seem really relaxed as well.

Verdict: We still love it.

Here’s why…

The Room

Playacar Palace and all the Palace Resorts have everything you need in the room, including a hot tub, a stocked minibar and 24 hour room service.

Playacar Palace guest rooms

Playacar Palace all inclusive

The room had a few snacks as well, and a espresso maker, iron and ironing board and a safe.

They welcomed us with these sweets including an Aztec calendar MADE OF CHOCOLATE.

Mexico travel writer

This was our view.

Playacar Palace ocean view

We loved the table between the beds that lit up (we aren’t hard to impress).

Playacar Palace suites

And we didn’t order it this time, but one of the great things about Palace Resorts is the room service breakfast that you can order the night before and specify what time you want it delivered. Just hang it on your doorknob!

Playacar Palace 24 hour room service

The Pool and Beach

If you check back to our last visit, you’ll see the beach was much wider back then. Mother Nature and the Caribbean have reclaimed some of it, but Playacar Palace still has decent sized beach. Unfortunately the entire coast currently has a sargassum issue, but that comes and goes and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach.

There is only one pool, but somehow they manage to divide it into the pool bar / activities pool, the quiet pool and a toddler splash pool section. We never had a problem finding a nice place to sit.

Playacar Palace pool

Playacar Palace resort

Playacar Palace Playa del Carmen

The pool area is gorgeous at night!

Playacar Palace at night

Another thing we loved about the pool was the fact that you can order food at the swim-up pool bar!

And of course cocktails as well, mudslides for instance! (Bebé did not actually drink any of it.)

It’s so difficult to eat healthy foods when you’re on vacation (at least for me it is) and I loved that they had these crudités on the grill menu. I ordered them more than once. They also had them at The Grand at Moon Palace. And they are accompanied by blue cheese dressing!

Playacar Palace crudites

The Restaurants and Bars

Ahhhhhh the food and the drinks, the drinks and the food! I have no idea how people stay here for 10 days, I would gain 10 pounds! The food is delicious.

The main buffet, Cafe del Mar is small, but so complete. At breakfast and lunch it is generally international, while at dinner it is mostly Mexican, but there is a grill where you can also order omelettes, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc., depending on what time it is. We had dinner at Cafe del Mar the first night and I was really pleased that I could order grilled chicken for Bebé.

And look at these desserts!

Playacar Palace pastry chef

Breakfast at Cafe del Mar was awesome, which is why we never ordered room service.

Playacar Palace buffet

Playacar Palace breakfast

The second night we sat at the hibachi table at Mo Mo No Hana. Every single course was delicious and the chef was fun and entertaining.

The third night we had dinner at the beautiful La Terraza, which serves Italian food. Again, everything was excellent. I scarfed down every bit of the delicious lasagna.

Playacar Palace Italian restaurant

There is also pizza available next to the pool, a terrace where they serve Brazilian-style meats, and a tiny adult only “Mayan” restaurant called Lahna that serves Yucatecan food from the neighbor state of Yucatan.

There is a very big swim-up bar at one end of the pool. There were always seats available.

Playacar Palace swim up bar

resorts with swim-up pool bars in Playa del Carmen

There is also a lobby bar, where they also have the shows, and a lounge/nightclub.


Photo: Palace Resorts


The Activities, Kids Club and Entertainment

They keep you busy at Playacar Palace, but only if you want to be busy. Bebé played Xbox in the kids club, which is small but right next to the pool, and participated in tons of the activities, which actually gave me a chance to relax a bit. I did water aerobics both days and also did paddle board yoga which was fun and challenging.

Playacar Palace kids club

We really enjoyed the night shows. One night there was karaoke in the Luna Lounge (I sang three songs), then the surprisingly delightful “sand show” (don’t want to give it away), and we got lucky and caught the Michael Jackson show as well (we never tire of it).

Favorite Things


Playacar Palace’s location is ideal. Playacar is a quiet neighborhood yet on Sunday before we left we walked a whole 5 minutes to Paseo del Carmen shopping mall to go to one of my favorite stores, Old Navy (there isn’t one in Cancun).

My beautiful butterfly! 😍 #playadelcarmen #playacar #mexico #butterfly #mylove

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Playacar Palace’s staff is efficient yet friendly and relaxed.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

The main buffet restaurant Cafe del Mar offers ice cream sandwiches made from their awesome cookies! Which leads me to our next favorite thing…

To go

You can get things to go at Cafe del Mar, which is so convenient. We got cookies or ice cream sandwiches every night before bed. (See what I mean about the eating?)

Palace Resorts app

We discovered the Palace Resorts App while staying at The Grand at Moon Palace. I downloaded it again and used it constantly at Playacar Palace.

Palace Resorts app

A Wedding

During our stay there was a wedding party staying there as well. They were a wonderful, friendly group of family and friends. Bebé bonded with them at the pool, and also jumped into a couple of their group photos, so when we waved at them during the reception, they called us over. Unfortunately the picture isn’t great but the photographer took some as well so in 20 years when they are looking at their wedding photos, everyone is going to be like, who is that kid??


We you wish a lifetime of love, health and happiness!

I still highly recommend Playacar Palace (and I’m still trying to figure out how to get to Moon Palace Jamaica)!


June 6, 2018
by admin

Pittsburg Steelers Meet & Greet and Football Camp at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa


Antonio Brown Pittsburg Steelers

Photo: Behind The Steel Curtain

Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is giving locals aka Quintanarroenses (people living in the state of Quintana Roo) the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend a meet and greet and football camp with NFL team, the Pittsburg Steelers.

You can still book a stay for at least two nights for this Friday, June 8 though Monday June 11, 2018.

Prices per night start at $2695 pesos for adults and $500 pesos for children 12 and under. The all-inclusive package includes access to the meet and greet and football camp with the Steelers for one adult and one child.

The meet and greet is June 8 at 7:00 pm and the football camp is June 9 for adults and June 10 for kids at Centro Educativo MonteVerde in Cancun.

You can reserve by calling 998 872 9200 or writing to reservations1.drerc@dreamsresorts.com

Follow all the news and info about the Pittsburg Steelers’ visit with the hashtag #SteelersEnDreams

Pittsburg Steelers in Cancun

Cancun couples vacation

May 4, 2018
by admin

Return to The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun

Bebé and I recently returned for a second stay at The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun. The last time we stayed there, it was the smallest, quietest section of Moon Palace Cancun, which is actually 3 resorts in 1. However, The Grand was completely expanded and redone and is out of this world!

Where to start?!

Instead of a play-by-play, this time I’m going to talk about the different (and amazing) aspects of The Grand, starting with…

The Room

The room was huge and comfortable and we received a warm welcome.

Moon Palace Grand Cancun Presidential Suite

Photo: Palace Resorts

In addition to all of the usual amenities there was a hot tub in the room, snacks in the minibar area, a liquor dispenser, a beach bag, and your bracelet opens the door, so no key cards to worry about. Plus there were plastic bags in the room to take your wet clothes home in. I love that.

Moon Palace Grand Cancun in room Jacuzzi

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun view

The Restaurants

Yum! The food was excellent, especially in the a la carte restaurants. Each restaurant has its own children’s menu. Bebé liked the one at the Japanese restaurant, Jade, the best.

We also ate at the Italian restaurant, Tavola, and the Lebanese restaurant, Habibi.

Everything was delicious. This is not the usual all-inclusive resort fare.

Moon Palace Grand Cancun dining

The Boulangerie cafe is a highlight. It is open 24 hours and offers cookies, ice cream, sandwiches, salads, and of course, coffee.


The Grand at Moon Palace also offers 24-hour room service and that fantastic breakfast arrangement where you can place your order by filling out the card the night before and specifying what time you want your order to be delivered the next morning.

The Pools

There are so many pools at The Grand. There’s something for everyone.

There is a family activities pool…

Cancun family vacation

An adults only pool…

Cancun couples vacation

An Olympic sports and activities pool (there are actually 3 pools here)…

Cancun all-inclusive vacation

Riviera Maya vacation

Mexico resorts

Cancun holiday

There is also an activities-wellness pool and a couple others. Never a problem finding a lounge chair at The Grand and best of all, no towel cards!

Most pools have a swim-up pool bar and there are also snack bars and/or restaurants at all of the pools.

Kids Activities

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun is a paradise for kids. I have never seen anything like it, and I have stayed at quite a few resorts. Bebé was over the moon!

The Playroom

The Playroom features arcade games, a mirror maze, bumper cars (yes, I said bumper cars) and much, much more.

Moon Palace Grand Cancun Playroom

Moon Palace Grand Cancun arcade games

Can you find Bebé in this picture?

Moon Palace Grand Cancun mini golf

Moon Palace Grand Cancun kids activities

The Grand at Moon Palace Playroom

There are also kid-friendly snacks available at all times. The Playroom is for children ages 4-12, and you can leave your children there. I didn’t do that though, because they can come and go as they please. Children under 4 must be supervised. There is also a special play area for very young children.

Each morning we went to The Playroom before we headed to the pool. It wasn’t easy getting Bebé to leave!

Outside of The Playroom there is a water park with a lazy river, a small wave pool, a surf simulator and huge water slides. (It should be noted that the surf simulator and water slides aren’t open yet.)

You can see the water slides here in the background.

The Grand at Moon Palace waterpark

This contraption dried your wet clothes!


Wired is located in the lobby and features arcade games, video games, a snack bar (with cupcakes!!), and more. Bebé played FIFA on Xbox (he doesn’t have one at home) for an hour each evening before dinner, while I had a cocktail at the gorgeous bar in the lobby (more about that later). Wired is supposed to be the teen club but there were children of all ages there.

One day we headed over to the Sunrise section so Bebé could try the FlowRider.

The Beach

Moon Palace is not really known for its beach, but at The Grand, the beach has been left natural. The vegetation wasn’t disturbed and it’s very pretty. It reminded me of the dunes in Michigan in the summer.

There is a large beach club as well. That being said, I didn’t see many people spending time on the beach, but the views were gorgeous.

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun grounds

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun views

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun beach club

How to Get Around

You may want or need transportation to get around The Grand because it is very large. There are well-marked golf carts to get you where you’re going.

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun golf carts

There is a shuttle that runs between resorts every 10 minutes.

Our Favorites

Palace Resorts App

I have always carried around the huge pamphlets that included a map and schedules and information about dining, activities, etc. They still give you a map, but Palace Resorts now has an app that gives you access to activities and restaurant schedules. It’s really easy to use and super convenient.

Palace Resorts app

The Grand Lobby Bar

It’s just sooo gorgeous! The cocktails were perfection. I wanted to sit there for hours.

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun lobby bar

This was like the strongest margarita I have ever had. I couldn’t even have a second one!

The Grand at Moon Palace lobbyVanilla Cookies (!!!)

They had these last time we stayed at Moon Palace and we were thrilled to find them again, but take note, they only have them at the cafes in The Grand and Nizuc. Best of all, they’ll give you a bag so you can take some with you to the room, pool, etc.

Activities Pool at Sunrise

The pools at The Grand are pretty chill, but if you’re looking for a party, you’ll find it at the activities pool at the Sunrise.

Moon Palace Cancun Sunrise activities pool

Magic Show & Michael Jackson Show

On Friday night we went to the magic show in The Grand and it was very well done. We sat there with our mouths wide open most of the time!

If you are a fan, the Michael Jackson Show at the Sunrise is really entertaining.

Cancun Michael Jackson show

Cancun writers

The Restroom in the Lobby

Just look at it. I had to take a picture. I considered applying my make-up here instead of in the room.

pretty restrooms

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun also has a bowling alley (extra charge applies), a nightclub, a fitness center and gift shops.

It should be noted that guests of The Grand have access to the Nizuc and Sunrise sections, but guests of Nizuc and Sunrise do not have access to The Grand. However, special day passes are available for purchase.

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun is truly an ideal all-inclusive experience!

Cancun resorts

April 17, 2018
by admin

Live “The Royalton Life” at Royalton Riviera Cancun

Last weekend Bebé and I lived “The Royalton Life” (they actually have their own song with the same title) at Royalton Riviera Cancun! The resort is located about 10 minutes south of the Cancun airport. We had never been to a Royalton resort before, so I was very anxious to check it out.

This was the first thing we saw… the view from the lobby… so pretty!

Cancun resorts

We were guests of TravelSmart VIP, Royalton’s vacation and travel club, so we were taken to their lounge to check in. It was stocked with snacks, cocktails, beer, soft drinks and water.

After we checked-in we headed to the room, which was also very pretty. The resort is only a few years old.

Riviera Maya resorts

Annnd, no key cards! Your bracelet opens the door! Bebé loved it.

The room had all the usual bells and whistles, but one particularly cool feature was the outlet INSIDE the safe, so you could charge your device while it was locked up.

This was the view from our room…

Royalton Riviera Cancun splash park

We had a bit of a view of the ocean as well.

We arrived in the early evening, so it was already time to head to dinner and evening activities. There are many activities available throughout the day and evening, including a fitness program.

We ate dinner at Hunter Steakhouse and it was delicious. The resort has 9 restaurants, an awesome little cafe and a whopping 11 bars.

After dinner we joined the Glow Party!

Royalton Riviera Cancun activities

Riviera Maya hotels

There was a DJ and dancing robots and other surprises.

The next morning we got up and went to Marche for the buffet breakfast. The place is HUGE and they have everything you could possible want for breakfast. The food was very good.

Royalton Riviera Cancun Marche

They also have a bar! Hello Mimosas and Bloody Marys!

Royalton Riviera Maya breakfast buffet

Then it was pool and beach time!

The resort has sooo many pools.

The beach is wide with powdery white sand, but it should be noted that it does not have the aqua blue Caribbean water like in the Hotel Zone.

Look how tall Bebé is now!

We didn’t have time to check out the kids and teen clubs, but he really enjoyed the huge splash park.

Royalton Riviera Cancun kids activities

And I could relax a bit… wrinkles and all… (no filter, no make-up).

Cancun bloggers

That day we Bebé also found some kids to play with and I had a great time with their parents!

That evening we got ready and headed to the Mexican restaurant, Agave, for dinner. Then saw the Michael Jackson show. Bebé loved it, he never tires of it!

Cancun writers

The resort is really beautiful. I couldn’t stop taking pictures…

The sunrise from our room…

Riviera Maya sunrise

How would you like to get married here?

Look at this cool food truck by the main pool…

Royalton Riviera Cancun restaurants

Oceanfront rooms…

TravelSmart VIP beach bar…


The resort also offers a full service spa and fitness center.

We stayed little later than check-out time on Sunday, and we really enjoyed using their hospitality rooms to shower and change.

Gracias & salud to Royalton Riviera Cancun and TravelSmart VIP!


Cancun musical theater

March 23, 2018
by admin

Rock of Ages Cancun at Dreams Playa Mujeres

Most resorts in the Cancun area feature nightly shows, and they are generally entertaining, but Dreams Playa Mujeres has taken things to a whole other level with Rock of Ages, a local version of the Broadway musical that features rock hits from the 80’s.

And well, I am a child of the 80’s! I absolutely loved it and I sang my heart out the entire time.

The almost entirely Mexican cast performs the show completely in English. I was very impressed with the singing. The acting, sets and lighting were excellent as well. With over 100 shows under their belt, the musical has been featured since October 2017, and they are hoping for another extension.

Before the show we got to hear a little from the cast, and we took some pictures in the lobby.

I tried to make a rock face here but I think I look more like the devil.

Then it was time for the show! I laughed, I sang, and I almost cried at the end. (I was in shows in high school and musical theater always makes me very emotional.)

Here you can actually see that I sang my heart out because somehow I ended up in this video…

The show is really very entertaining, especially if you like 80’s rock. It’s a great evening activity for those who want to do something other than go to a nightclub or bar.

Quick info:

Performances: Wednesday—Monday: 8:30 PM

$119 USD for adults including transportation at participating resorts and open bar

$69 USD (ages 13-17) including transportation at participating resorts listed below


$99 USD for adults no transportation and open bar

$49 USD (ages 13–17) no transportation 

The price for locals is just 900 mxn and includes open bar.

Email: roa_reservations.drepm@dreamsresorts.com

Tickets: http://bit.ly/RockOfAgesTickets

Official Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/RockOfAgesCancun


March 16, 2018
by admin

A Wedding and One Night on Isla Mujeres

A few weeks ago I attended a friend’s wedding on Isla Mujeres… ALONE. I mean well, I wasn’t alone per say, a lot of my friends were at the wedding as well, but I actually went to Isla Mujeres ALONE and rented a room and stayed ALONE. It was so much fun! I felt so free! (Sorry about the gushing, but single moms don’t get a lot of alone time.)

Anyway, I headed to the island on Saturday afternoon after dropping Bebé at his papá’s (I dunno, seems a little awkward to call him Papi now). I parked in the Ultramar garage (only 132 pesos for 24 hours), bought my ferry ticket and literally walked on to the boat as it was about to disembark.

The ferry ride never gets old. Never.

boat to Isla Mujeres

ferries to Isla Mujeres

After the quick trip I jumped off the ferry (I felt so light on my feet with just my purse, a backpack and no Bebé in tow) and took a few pictures during the walk to my Airbnb.

Isla Mujeres fishing boats

Isla Mujeres street scene

Isla Mujeres mural

I am disappointed to say that the island is A LOT more crowded than it used to be, and I feel guilty for contributing to that, at least in a small way (maybe I’m giving myself too much credit) but it hasn’t lost its charm… at least not yet.

I easily found my Airbnb but before I went inside I needed an iced coffee. Found this little place around the corner…

cafe Isla Mujeres

Then I went back to my Airbnb, met the caretaker and got my key. Simple but central, clean, and absolutely adorable.

Airbnb Isla Mujeres

rooms for rent Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres solo travel

They don’t have hot water and there is a bar right next door that plays music until around 12:30 am but they are very clear about it on the website.

Next, it was time to get ready for the wedding, and I was really excited because I had a brand new dress from Boutique Mexico (they don’t sell dresses anymore, but the bag is also theirs and all their stuff is AMAZING so check it out).

Whaddya think? I was very happy with my look.

The decoration and set-up were gorgeous… colorful and very Mexican. As we waited for the bride, we took some pictures.





Then it was time for the main event. Divorced and jaded, I am still a sucker for a good love story, and this one is a tear jerker. I am so happy for my friend, who is beautiful inside and out.


The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was fun yet relaxing, with some interesting twists. For instance, they had marquesitas (a traditional Yucatecan street treat which consists of a rolled-up crispy crepe filled with melted shredded cheese and a sweet filling of your choice) instead of a wedding cake.

So after about a million Sol cervezas, Palomas (tequila with grapefruit soda or juice served on the rocks with a lime wedge and a salted rim), a delicious Yucatecan dinner, and some Salsa dancing, I headed back to my room and bathed in the shower, which interestingly enough had a sink inside of it.

I slept in for the first time in ages and woke desperately needing fat and sugar. I had researched some restaurants but decided that all of them were simply too far away (like 5 blocks ha), so I ended up at an old, convenient favorite, Compadres, which is on the pedestrian street Miguel Hidalgo.

It was just what the doctor ordered. Perfect.

I have eaten here many times over the years and they just do good, simple food well.

It was then time to head home. As much fun as I had, I missed Bebé and Sunday housework was calling. But I must say, it does feel good to know that there is still an independent girl somewhere inside of this single mom.

Oh, and I almost forgot… I caught the bouquet!

Cancun, Mexico travel writers

January 5, 2018
by admin

The Backstreet Boys Sing Their Hits at Moon Palace Cancun

Soooo good.

That’s my official review of the Backstreet Boys concert at Moon Palace Cancun.

🎶 Last Friday Night 🎶 my Cancun bestie and I attended Palace Resorts‘ hugely successful year-end event. I didn’t even realize how much I needed a fun night out and this was the perfect occasion.

The concert was originally planned for December 29, but it sold out so quickly that Palace Resorts added a second show on December 30.

When we arrived there was still parking available inside the resort, but we had to take a bus from where we parked to the Moon Palace Arena. Everything was very well organized. They even gave us a card to help us remember where we parked and which bus we would have to board when the concert was over.

Once we were inside the arena we ordered draft beers. They were huge and cost 100 pesos each (5 usd), which is a bit expensive for Cancun but totally reasonable considering it was a concert. There were also waiters available inside the venue, where the beers went up to 150 pesos (we still bought them LOL).

Cancun events

I was super excited to meet up with the PR girl who hooked me up with the tickets. We have worked together online for years but had never met in person. Palace Resorts has a supurb PR team. We couldn’t believe it when we found out we had floor Front Stage tickets!

By now it was time for our second beer, but there was suddenly loud music coming from inside. The waiter seemed to take forever but finally he brought the beers and we ran in. We were about 3/4 of the way back in the Front Stage section. If we wouldn’t have been so worried about our beer and had gone in earlier we could have been much closer, but it was still pretty close and luckily we are both tall.

The concert began at about 9:15 pm, and well, we screamed like 14 year old girls.

Photo: Palace Resorts

They played it right. They didn’t try to switch things up, they kept it simple, and it was perfect! It was a trip down memory lane (to the 90’s). They have so many hits and they sang all of them. One of the things I loved most about the concert was the fact that everyone in the audience sang along to every song.

Each of them took turns chatting with the audience during breaks/wardrobe changes. The effects and sound system were excellent. At one point there was a video montage of each of them that everyone loved. Nick still seems to be the favorite with the ladies.

Photo: Palace Resorts

The Backstreet Boys weren’t my favorite group or anything, but I know all their hits, have their greatest hits CD (yes CD), and basically I know almost all the words to every song.

Plus, Brian, AJ, Kevin, Howie and Nick look great. The singing and dancing were still on point.

Photo: Palace Resorts

When they left the stage, we knew they were coming back, because they hadn’t sung Everybody!

I do have one negative thing to say that has nothing to do with the band or the concert. Today’s young people need to enjoy experiences instead of filming the entire thing. Of course I took a few photos and videos, but mostly, I sang and danced. I couldn’t help thinking that the band probably notices the cell phone thing as well, since they didn’t exist in the same way in the 90’s.

Here is just a little taste of the concert…

Bravo Backstreet Boys and bravo Moon Palace! It was a night I will never forget! We loved it so much that we wanted to go again the next night.

The Backstreet Boys play a residency show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and even if you’re only a semi-fan, I would definitely recommend seeing it!

Cancun restaurants

December 15, 2017
by admin

The Table at La Joya, the New Dining Experience at Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun recently debuted The Table experience in their breathtaking Mexican restaurant, La Joya. Besides memorable meals with family and/or friends, this is the single best dining experience I have ever had. Really! From the food to the presentation, everything was delightful and so very unique.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. The meal is described as a “Hi-Tech-Interactive ‘Gourmet Mapping’ Dining Experience. I imagined a video projected on the wall and possibly some music.

After a couple of La Joya’s Cadillac margaritas (they are perfection, but be warned, they are very strong) we headed up to the second level of La Joya and found this table waiting for us.

That’s when I knew things were going to get interesting.

We checked out our view and our first course, a palate cleanser / amuse-bouche was served.

Now I don’t want to give too much away, because the surprises are a big part of the fun, but the experience follows the history of the Yucatan Peninsula, as do the ingredients, cuisine, explanations and projections on the table.

Here are a few more pictures…

This truly enchanting meal is an 8-course dinner accompanied by cocktails, wine and even shots!

The Table is available Friday and Saturday nights and begins at 9:00 pm. The cost is 115 USD per person. Tax and service are included. 

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach is home to one of my favorite lobbies in Cancun. It’s no surprise that they have a spectacular Christmas tree. I couldn’t wait to see it, and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

For those visiting over the holidays, the resort invites their guests to join them in celebrating Mexican traditions.

– They hold piñata parties where kids can have fun winning candies and parents can also score some special gifts such as Gem Spa treatments, upgrades and more. 

-They create a “posada” or reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem in search of a place to stay. 

-At Coral KidZ Club, young guests get in the Christmas spirit by decorating Christmas cookies. 

For those who will be in Cancun for New Year’s Eve, the “Coral Fire” white-themed event is an interactive, high-tech party which transforms the ballroom into an underwater oasis via video-mapping technology highlighting oceanic scenery. The event includes a live show featuring colorful, energetic acrobatic performances. The party continues until 4:00 am and includes a complimentary Mexican buffet.