Playa del Carmen Good Eats West of the Carretera

There are plenty of condos (one might even say, “saturated”) in Playa del Carmen and many of them are on the “other side” of Playa. By that I mean west of the carretera, not in the touristy Centro. Sandy Toes is one of them and I’m slowly finding the good places to eat. Here’s a few recommendations.

Most importantly, there is Lo Nuevo El Fogon. I was so happy to find this restaurant not far from Sandy Toes. It’s on the corner Colosio, one street before Chemuyil. I’m inclined to agree with those on Trip Advisor and say El Fogon tacos are some of the best in Playa. Their trompo is a must. You can see below just like in the two in Centro, El Fogon is always packed with people from the moment it opens.

 

Another great place to eat is Bak Dune on Colosio. It’s a really small restaurant and can be easily missed. If you’re driving from the carretera, it’s before Chemuyil, on the left hand side. It’s a Mexican/Lebanese restaurant, but I have only had the Lebanese food. The falafels and the tabouleh are definitely worth ordering.

 

A solid choice for pizza is Adornetto’s in Plaza Real Ibiza. There menu isn’t huge, but what they offer is good. They also have huge salads served with bread that I’m a fan of. I probably order their Caesar salad that comes with rosemary focaccia once a week when I’m here.

 

On my last visit I discovered Mr. Dog for hamburgers and hot dogs. There is one in the Centro too. I’ve only tried their grilled hamburgers and I’m a repeat customer. Two thumbs up for Mr. Dog.

 

Quick Escape to Playa del Carmen

It’s been a few months since I’ve been to Sandy Toes and it’s time to check on my little beach pad. It’s fully equipped now and I can literally get my purse and hop on a plane. No packing necessary. Nada.

Here’s to everything being pristine at Sandy Toes, giving me 5 full beach days. PDC posts coming soon!

 

Time to Say Adios

After more than 2 months, I’m going to be leaving Sandy Toes in Playa in a couple of days. I have the same kind of feeling you get on a Sunday when you know you have to go to work on Monday. It’s getting harder to enjoy my time here now because I’m thinking of what still needs to be done before I leave.

The cleaning lady has been scheduled, Samantha’s visit to the vet for travel papers is happening today, transportation to the airport booked, and I’m now reviewing my Last Day To Do List making sure I have everything accounted for. I see a quick trip to Home Depot for bug spray and DampRid is still needed. A trip to the laundry mat for all the bedding and towels the day before I leave. A complete and easy departure is my goal.

I’ll be returning to Monterrey with improved Spanish, extended waistline, and a happy heart to be back with Sr. Elizondo again.

 

 

 

 

Sandy Toes “Almost Finished” Decor

Movin’ right along with my Sandy Toes beach condo. Here’s the final result from this visit. (No changing/rearranging anymore. Additions only!)

My “No Entryway” entryway

The sala

The kitchen

The desk zone

1 of 2 bedrooms

The 2nd bedroom is not worth looking at yet.

I’m leaving this time with Sandy Toes beginning to actually feel like a home.

Sandy Toes One Year Later

I got the keys and opened the front door to Sandy Toes one year ago in February. Unbelievable how time flies. I was one of the first owners to get their condo and now almost all of the condos are occupied. A majority of the people I saw back then were the construction workers. And at night, the parking lot had about 10 cars with the only noise being crickets from the jungle next to me.

A year later, it has changed dramatically. Sandy Toes is now part of a community. I would say there are only a few random condos not being used. My neighbors come from all over, Venezuela, Cuba, United States, Poland, Canada. And there are always travelers from different countries passing through as well. I can hear French being spoken as I write this. Children are playing together after school. They don’t always speak each others language, but they seem to work through the challenge.  The park is constantly in use with people playing basketball, jogging, and walking their dogs. I love spending time here. There are definitely bigger, more modern condos available, and ones closer to the beach for sure, but this one feels a lot like home for me now.

I now know the “yelp” that comes from the men who are bringing the water.  I know the “whistle” sound the man makes who will sharpen knives. I know my tank of gas for the home lasts about 1-1 1/2 months before it needs to be refilled. Mornings in Jan-Feb can be chilly and rains can come in a flash. Green bananas can ripen completely in one day. Nativo has the best juices/smoothies, El Fogon the best trompos, and Bio Organico the best vegetarian/vegan restaurant. DampRid works. Air conditioning is necessary, along with Netflix.  Line drying clothes isn’t so bad. My hair will never look good in a humid climate. Accept your car will have dings and scratches. Mexicans are happy to help foreigners. Sunrises over the ocean are equal in beauty to sunsets. Cenotes are a must see. My Spanish is better, but I still cannot speak it on the phone. Locals can get special pricing. Traffic can be chaotic. Poncho has the best coconuts. It’s a bad year for seaweed. It’s exactly one hour door to door to the airport.

Imagine what I’ll know by next year….hopefully its fluent Spanish!

Small Condo Hack-No Door Space

Have a closet or using an alcove as a closet, but don’t want the eyesore? Do what I did. I didn’t have enough room for a door in the hall closet, I opted for a window blind instead. People don’t even notice it at first.

Riviera Maya goes from slightly humid to “Omgawd, I can’t breathe” humid. So I chose to start the blind not quite at the top and have it pulled up slightly at the bottom. Circulation is key.

Eventually, I will have built in shelves and nicely organized, visually appealing storage. Until then, I’m totally okay with this.