Thursday, November 26, 2015

Un Paso Mas Por Lesly - One More Step for Lesly

There have been days when it feels like the world is against me, that everything is a struggle and I just do not have the power to keep moving forward.  And then, I met Lesly. Gorgeous smiling face, charming personality and an attitude that ANYTHING is possible, she has inspired me to be grateful for every blessing in my life and to set my goals high.

Lesly is a 17 year old Cancunense, a true warrior woman. She lost her leg at 7 years old in a car accident but that has not stopped her from pursuing an extraordinary life. She is a champion swimmer, winning medals and warming hearts wherever she goes and always seeking new challenges like rocking out the Jetsurf. Her dream is to attend college to study to be a trainer for people with disabilities and to continue her athletic journey.

Working together with Guardavidas Cancun, Jetsurf Mexico, SUP Ladies de Bahia and Equipo Forza, we have created a campaign to raise funds to purchase a prosthetic leg for young Lesly. This will be a long road for this fabulous young woman, she will first need a "daily" prothestic to enable to her to learn how to walk again, once she is comfortable then we will see her shine in a specialized athletic apparatus. To start the journey, we have a goal of raising 150000 pesos and with your help, I know we will reach and surpass this goal! Even the smallest donation is appreciated, step by step we will watch Lesly continue on her path to great success. Please donate and share the love and the inspiration! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Top Five Shore Fishing Spots in Cancun or How I Lost My Weekends

Canuck knows how to fish n chill
photo courtesy the FABULOUS Marhu

My kid is obsessed. Deeply, passionately obsessed about fishing. He doesn't watch TV, he doesn't care for video games, he only wants to FISH and watch anything on Youtube about fishing, fishing gear, knots, boats, lures, techniques, the ones that got away and the ones that put up a good fight.

I won't complain, there are worse things that a kid could do! We talk a lot about "responsible fishing", how to return the fish as quickly as possible to the sea with as little distress as possible (we are pure catch and release), keeping the beach clear of old hooks, lines and nets, showing respect for the animals and their environment. He is gentle and kind and truthfully, I've seen him give the fish a kiss before releasing it back to the ocean (gross but true!)

Finding a good place to fish without a boat in Cancun has been a harder task than I anticipated. The gorgeous beaches are lovely, but not home to many fish. The lagoon is great, but many areas are protected and fishing is prohibited (we found out the hard way after being kicked out by a security guard from the Malecon).

We have found some favourite places now that we return to again and again, for the quality of the fishing, the distance from home, the food and the availability of a comfortable place for mom to chill out while the master works. I'm thrilled to join him fishing, but I'm ready for a snack and a bevvie after an hour while he can go all day long. Here is my list of our favourite places to shore fish in Cancun:

Max and barracuda at Marina Chac Chi 

1. Marina Chac Chi aka Coco's Grill - Located in the hotel zone of Cancun, this restaurant/marina has a nice dock with lots of fisherman on hand to give Max encouragement and pointers. I enjoy the food and the service, though we have had some days where the mean men come and tell him he cannot fish. No rhyme or reason, some days he's welcomed by all the captains, sharing their bait with him, other days the power hungry security guy just needs to flex his muscle.

Under the Calinda bridge, beware of pirates 

2. Puente Calinda - Probably the most well-known bridge in Cancun, the river Calinda is a main route for boats and water craft to pass from the lagoon to the sea. We're never alone under the bridge, there are always people fishing, though we haven't had as much luck there as some. It's a shady spot with lots of action, always great people watching.

Little barracuda, happy kid at Puerto Cancun 

3. Puerto Cancun - This area has seen massive growth of condos (UGH), but past the big buildings there is still a stretch of undeveloped waterfront land sitting between a lagoon and the sea. We have had some fabulous days of fishing here, I am the Snapper Queen of Puerto Cancun, line in, fish out in two shakes. Max caught a pretty darned big barracuda there one day, he counts it as a highlight of his fishing career thus far.

The kid can cast, hanging out at Las Jaibas restaurant

4 Las Jaibas Restaurant - Located just past Puerto Juarez near the El Meco archaeological site, this restaurant is one of our favourite fishing holes. It's a gorgeous spot, the staff are amazing with Max as he fishes and the food is great. Totally tranquil place, some of our most relaxing fishing days have been at Las Jaibas, catching lots of barracuda, snapper and needle fish while the pelicans soar above us.

Our new fave spot, Rio Nizuc in the hotel zone of Cancun

5. Rio Nizuc - We have just discovered this gem and it's gone to the top of our list. A rustic restaurant (no electricity kind of rustic) hidden in the hotel zone between the Nizuc Resort and the Wet n Wild water park. There is an abundance of fish just waiting to jump on your line, mostly small snappers and barracuda, in just an hour of fishing we pulled in 30 fish between us!  The silence and the tikinxic fish make it ideal for mom on a Sunday of rest.

Perfect day for snapper at Rio Nizuc

Soooo, that is how I lost my weekends. All fishing, all the time, hanging out with my main man Max. Sometimes I long for the lazy days of chilling out at a beach club with a cocktail but really, the fishing adventures with my kiddo simply can't be beat. Hearing "MOM MOM COME QUICK" are the sweetest words now, he's got something big on the line and can't wait to show me. He has massively matured with this hobby, learning patience, problem solving, responsibility, independepence and a sense of his place on the planet and how he can care for it. Heck, his passion for fishing even got him his first job, he was the fishing coach at his summer camp with Guardavidas Cancun! Not bad for ten years old!

Until I win the lottery and can buy a boat, we'll enjoy these spots and seek out new ones every weekend. Have you got a secret fishing spot we should know about?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Selvatica Cancun - Jungle Love with Discovery Mundo

But first, let me take a selfie #goprokid 

On a recent summer weekend in Cancun, bouncing down a jungle road with sweat dripping into my eyes, I can't help but smile as I remember the first time we visited Selvatica. Max was only 3 years old, the tiniest little thing, but even back then he was vying to be the first to fly on the ziplines and only upside down por favor. Seven years later he has become quite the expert in extreme adventures and we were delighted to accept the invitation of Discovery Mundo to visit Selvatica for a fresh look at the park and a great day of adrenaline-fueled fun.

Just chilling in the tree tops (photo courtesy Selvatica)

Now that Max is a niƱo grande, the local agencies and public relations folks know that he is THE man to invite on fam trips (and sure, bring your mom too). The gang of media peeps who are regularly invited seem to like having him around, he brings a sense of humour, wonder and an infectious energy to the day and he has become a full-fledged member of "Team Social Media Cancun".
Upside down is the only way to fly (photo courtesy Selvatica)

For our return trip to Selvatica, he was ready once again to lead the way. Smart travelers understand that making friends with the guides will give you an enhanced experience and Max got right to it with high fives and fist bumps all around. With our harnesses on and the safety speech complete, we made our way to the top of the first tower and started our journey over the canopy. 

Pointy toes, can't undo 25 years of ballet
(photo courtesy Selvatica)

Max was first off every platform, sometimes upside down in tandem with a guide, other times flying solo over the tree tops. I was right behind him all the way, enjoying the ziplines immensely but getting an even bigger rush from seeing Mr. Independent rocking the course and making friends along the way. 

Defying gravity, with a smile and attitude
(photo courtesy Selvatica)

After the thrill of the ziplines, we were ready to be refreshed and enjoy the cool waters of the cenote. We had a blast watching everyone take their best shot at getting a full flip off the zipline into the water, most of the attempts turning into spectacular belly flops that brought laughter and guffaws echoing through the trees and prompting the guide to hold up a sign saying "OUCH".

Belly flop pain in 3, 2, 1.... #goprogirl

The day was over too quickly, we really didn't want to leave, Max was super sad to have to say goodbye to the guides, particularly Hector who he had really taken a shine to. Selvatica is a top-notch company and I was excited to see that while they have made some changes to the park since our last visit, the rustic (yet safe!) vibe and warm personalities of their staff were still intact, we felt like family and were honoured to join "The Tribe". Living the adventure alongside my intrepid kid was priceless (is my mama pride showing?), I am grateful to the universe for every chance I have to share experiences like this with him.

The dynamic Canuck duo
(photo courtesy Selvatica)

This tour was provided courtesy Discovery Mundo, all opinions are my own.

Discovery Mundo is an online travel agency located in the heart of paradise: Cancun, Mexico. Offering an array of services including airport to hotel private transfers, hotel and vacation rentals as well as a big selection of tours and activities in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera; including  archaeological tours like visits to Chichen Itza or Tulum, adventure tours like Xcaret or Xelha, swim with dolphins, water activities such as scuba diving and more. One thing that stands them apart from the rest is their 100% guaranteed lowest price available: nowhere else will you find their tour prices, and if you do, they can easily match it for you!