Showing posts from 2013

Catalonia Riviera Maya Weekend Escape

Most people think that living in Cancun is an endless beach party, cocktails, sunshine and bikinis. OH how I wish that were true. The reality is that we work and work and work and work and that very few people actually take the time to enjoy the beauty that is around us or to relax and enjoy a "touristy" moment. Fortunately, my job entails taking those moments (work, work, work) and writing about them. Perhaps not often enough, but enough that I recognize just how fortunate I am. 
I was recently invited to spend a weekend at the Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort in Puerto Aventuras. And OH how we needed this escape. Boyfriend and I jetted (ok, drove) down to Puerto Aventuras on a Friday night, had a very welcoming and friendly check-in and settled in to our suite. Ooooh, sweet suite in the "privileged" section of the hotel (a little upgrade from the standard rooms, more amenities, privacy and tranquility). I had purposely starved myself that day knowing I would be spe…

Festival de Vida y Muerte Xcaret Park 2013

Quiero pib, quiero pib, quiero pib!

Every year as the end of October approaches, my stomach starts to growl and my mouth starts to water as thoughts of "pib" aka "mucbilpollo" start dancing in my head. "Pib" is a traditional dish served for "Dia de los Muertos" or "Hanal Pixan", similar to a tamal and oh so tasty. I know that I will get my "pib" fix when I visit Xcaret for the annual "Festival de Vida y Muerte" event. And my hot chocolate. And churros. And coconut candy.

The food is not the only reason to attend this grand fiesta (though it sure is a good one). Every year Xcaret Park in the Riviera Maya plays host to the "Festival of Life and Death", a cultural celebration honouring the Mexican traditions of "Day of the Dead". Dance, music, theater, children's activities, visual art, there is so much to do that you can't possibly see it all. I take the most pleasure in just wandering aro…

How do YOU Travel? Hyatt World's Largest Focus Group Twitter Fiesta

How do YOU travel? What are your "on the road rituals"? How do you stay in touch with family and friends, balance a personal life and maintain a healthy diet? (Or not, ooooh that Mexican cuisine!) Share your rituals and learn how other travelers deal with being on the road in a gigantic Twitter party with Hyatt and LatinaBloggers connect!

I (@cancuncanuck) will be one of the co-hosts of the "world's largest focus group" along with @zancada@tipsdeviajeros and @mconstruyendo on Thursday September 26, 2013 starting at 12:00 pm CST with our moderators @lbconnect and @laflowers and of course, @hyattpr. Just follow the hosts and the hashtag #HyattWLFG. We'll ask the questions, you provide the answers in a fast-paced hour of tweeting fun. Learn from the experts on how to stay in touch and stay healthy when traveling and share your ideas and routines. RSVP on Facebook please!

This is a world-wide event with chats taking place over 24 hours! Hyatt will be engaged a…

Frida Kahlo Museum Mexico City

Quick, name ten famous Mexican painters...
Ok, can't name ten? You can probably name at least two, the emblematic Frida Kahlo and her muralist husband Diego Rivero. The pair became famous in the early part of the 20th century not only for their artistic work but for their politics and the drama of their personal lives. Hollywood brought their story to the big screen in 2002 with Selma Hayek in the starring role of Frida, the uni-browed, outspoken, ballsy artist who battled health issues and turbulent relationships and documented her life on canvas. Her self-portraits grace the walls of museums and tacky souvenirs alike, making her one of the most recognizable artists of all time.
"Frida with Magenta Rebozo" New York 1939 Nickolas Muray
The Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City is located in the Coyoacán district in the "Casa Azul" where Frida was born, grew up, shared her married life with her volatile husband Diego and eventually died. Four years after her death, …

Del Sol Photography - My Job Rocks

Being the social media junkie that I am, I follow a LOT of pages on Facebook. For years one of my faves has been Del Sol Photography. I was super fan, oohing and aahing and sharing their photos out of pure love and fascination. In 2012 I saw they were hiring production help in their office and I jokingly commented that they should look me up if they were ever in need of social media marketing help. In a fine example of "ask and ye shall receive", in 2013 the universe brought me the opportunity to meet up with the fine folks behind the magic and I left my job of almost four years to join the Del Sol team as "Digital Brand Manager" (fancy words for "marketing on the internetz").

I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet. As a community manager, content is king and I have THE best possible content to share everyday. Incredible, magical, "unicorn" moments captured by the artists behind the lens. Yes, they have technical skill, but beyond that al…

Turtle Nesting in the Riviera Maya

Loggerhead Turtle Playa Xpu Ha
Running down the beach under a starlit sky, following the pale red light bobbing ahead of me, getting a little out of breath and feeling the sweat trickle down my neck. We're on turtle patrol on Playa Xpu Ha in the Riviera Maya, looking for nesting mamas to ensure that they are able to lay their eggs in peace and make their way back to the sea. Guillermo Camarena of Animo-OneWorld is a man on a mission, his job during turtle nesting season to monitor the long stretch of beach on Playa Xpu Ha, tracking the nests, moving eggs to protected areas and educating tourists and locals alike in how to preserve and protect these incredible creatures. He invited us to shadow him for a night in his valiant conservation quest.

Guillermo is obviously accustomed to hustling fast down the beach, it was really tough to keep up with him! We were glad we did though, as we huffed and puffed approached the Al Cielo hotel we came upon a beautiful loggerhead female in the …

Cenote Jardin del Eden Riviera Maya

It is stinking hot in Cancun. Melty hot. Cook an egg on my porch hot. Electrical bill through the roof hot. In almost ten years here I have never felt so danged sticky. I thought I had grown accustomed to sweltering temps but this year is killing me. If I could, I would live in a cenote, permanently underwater, even if it meant having pruny feet and fingers and growing gills and webs between my toes, it would be totally worth it.
Cenote Jardin del Eden
There are literally thousands of cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, each one with its own unique characteristics. A cenote is a natural limestone "sinkhole", they can be open (total collapse of the limestone "roof"), semi-abierto (half open) or closed, meaning the "roof" is intact and to access the cenote you must enter through small openings and lower yourself down to the chilly water-filled caverns below. The cenotes are often connected to underground rivers, there are no surface rivers in the Peninsula s…

It's a Kelly blog!

Sooo, I haven't been blogging much. Not as "myself" anyway, I write daily for work, it pays the bills, but it's not "ME".  I have this HUGE sense of guilt hanging over me about CancunCanuck, like it's something that I MUST do. Have to. Forced to. Responsibility. And thus, nada. Writer's block. A couple of months back I met up with my awesome friend Suzanne who is the Mexico expert. She asked me why the heck I wasn't blogging. I floundered for a second then said "I don't know what it is anymore, travel blog, expat blog, Mexico blog, mommy blog, bilingual blog, news blog or personal blog!!!" Sweet Suzanne smiled and said "It's all of those silly, it's a Kelly blog!" Well huh, go figure, her response has been stuck in my head ever since and I've realized I just have to write. As me. Same as I used to.

BUT I realized there is a difference now. I used to write to escape and to pretend a bad situation wasn…

Xplor Fuego - HOT Night of Adventure in the Riviera Maya

I first visited Xplor Park in the Riviera Maya when they opened many moons ago, a fun day of ziplines, underground rivers and amphibious vehicles. They've just launched a NEW adventure, Xplor Fuego and invited me for a fam trip to check out the experience.

Xplor is great fun in the daytime, but a whole new level of adventure at night! We started out with a swim in the underground river. Lit with red, it had the appearance of a volcano (or hell as some said!). The guide cracked a joke about the water being hot (it was bubbling and glowing like lava), but we knew darned well we were going to be shivering in no time. Not a bad thing, we were sweating like mad, it was pleasantly refreshing! It was a relaxing float through the gorgeous stalactite formations, natural wonders of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Soaking wet we made our way through the twisty turny paths to the start of the zipline circuit. The night circuit is a variation on the day, a little shorter (for time) but still a total r…

Xenotes: A New Experience in the Riviera Maya

Team Xenotes
Anyone who knows me at all knows that I looooove me some cenote action. Hopping in the car and cruising down south to refresh in the cool waters, do a little snorkeling and jump off some cliffs, it's a pretty regular weekend thing for us here in Cancun. I've been hearing all about the newest park from Xperiencias Xcaret called "Xenotes" and was excited to receive an invitation to a fam trip to check it out this past weekend.

The friendly public relations staff greeted us at the meeting point and after a few minutes of teasing them about their waiter-like uniforms (dos micheladas por favor!), we boarded the bus to make our way to Puerto Morelos. It was the usual gang of social media folks and press and the giggles started early, it's always nice to travel with a group of fun folks who are really knowledgeable about the region. (Y'all know who you are, abrazos!)

Cenote "K'áak"
The drive took us down the cenote route near Puerto Morel…

Pop Culture Fest 2013 at Hacienda Tres Rios Resort

Mexican culture...the ancient Maya pyramids, traditional regional dances, Aztec mythology. The past comes alive for tourists when they think of Mexico, but what many people miss is the rich culture of modern day. Fusion cuisine, contemporary art, film and music, artesanal beers, wines and spirits and of course, pop culture entertainment like lucha libre. Hacienda Tres Rios in the Riviera Maya held a festival to celebrate today's vital Mexican culture, the Pop Culture Fest 2013, introducing tourists to a "new" side of Mexico.
Somebody says "fiesta", and I am totally on board. I was excited when my friend Kristin (the community manager for Tres Rios) invited me to play with her and a gaggle of girls who work in social media. We boarded the bus in Cancun and headed south. 
The first event of the day (after seeking out the desperately needed coffee) was a cooking demonstration by the Tres Rios chef. He put together a dish of beef filet with "huitlacoche"…