Playa del Carmen and the Sun

After a very emotional week in Belize (mostly because of a broken heart) I was on my way over the Belize and Mexican borders for my drive to the Cancun airport to pick up my brother Charlie.  Our plan was to stay two nights at an all-inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen called Sandos Riviera Beach Resort and Spa and then go back to the airport on Tuesday to pick up a friend, my mom and my dad.  It was the first time I would be staying at an all-inclusive in Playa but my little brother was footing the bill so I was all for it.  I decided to leave much earlier than I needed to because lately the Mexican border, leaving from Belize, has consistently been a major wait so I decided to wait when I arrived in Cancun rather than in a line at the border.  I was over both borders by 8:15am and on my way.  The drive took me about 4 ½ hours and it went very smooth.  It was my first time driving that route by myself so I was slightly nervous but it all turned out perfect.  Construction on that route is almost finished so it’s a very smooth ride.  Once I arrived at the airport I had my laptop and the plan was to work on my website.  I got settled into a spot at the Starbucks inside Terminal 3, started working and waiting.  Charlie’s flight was on time and landed around 7:20pm and we met up at the arrival gate and headed back to Playa to find our resort.

The drive was about 40 minutes back to the resort which is located in an area called Playacar.  It was dark by the time we made it to the turn-off and didn’t realize it was going to be a maze to actually get there, but after making about 10 u-turns we were at the lobby and ready for some food.

Charlie was so excited about being on vacation and I was very excited to see my family and to get my mind off my boyfriend (I guess ex-boyfriend) so we headed to our room to drop everything off and made our way to one of the restaurants for some food.  We barely made it in time but luckily got in at a buffet that was still open at 10:30pm.  The food was abundant and pretty good for a buffet (not typically my favorite type of food).  After the food it was onto the bar until around 2am when everything shut down.  We had a blast that night, catching up, discussing a wide array of topics, drinking and dancing.  Both of us were very excited for the beach the next day though so despite a long night we made sure to set an alarm for 7am so we wouldn’t miss any opportunity for the beach, sun and pool.

Now the fun part starts…

The next morning I slathered on the sunscreen (waterproof 45 spf) and after breakfast we headed straight to the beach.  The sun was out and intense, I have been living in Belize but had lost most of my tan because lately the weather in Belize has been cloudy, and Charlie was coming from Oregon – we should have known better.  So we found a couple lounge chairs and made ourselves comfortable – it was so nice but it was all in the direct sunlight.  After about an hour a beach volleyball game started up right in front of us so Charlie joined that and I stayed on the chair enjoying the sun.  After the volleyball game we went over to the ocean to at least touch the water – it was a red flag day because of the strong winds so I didn’t go in too deep but I still got hit by a fairly good sized wave and got knocked over onto the sand.  The wave was so strong it actually forced another roll in the sand.  I sprung up (mostly out of embarrassment) and laughed it off but left the whole incident with a strawberry on my left butt cheek.  That was the end of my attempts at being in the ocean – if I wanted to be in the water I would be going in one of the pools scattered all over the resort.

After that it was pretty hot so we decided to go back to the room to reapply some sunscreen.  I knew I was getting color but at that time didn’t realize just how much.  We put the sunscreen on and made our way back to the beach.  Over the next couple hours it was beach, pool, bar, pictures with a couple parrots and then we decided we should probably take a break from the sun and get some lunch.  We got back to the room and realized the severity of the situation – we were absolutely scorched.  Red as lobsters and within about an hour we were already in pain.  This wasn’t going to be good.  We ordered room service for lunch (we had a late reservation to eat dinner at one of the non-buffet restaurants).  A side note; the room service food was not very good.  We both knew we were done; there would be no more sun for us so we decided to take an afternoon nap.  We both woke up in so much pain from that nap I thought I was going to pass out again.  I have never been this sun burnt all over my body and I wanted to cry.   At that point we didn’t think we would be going anywhere the rest of the night.  We had to force ourselves up and out a little later to get to the resort gift shop to buy aloe vera and some Advil and that walk was brutal.  We finally got back to the room with our after sun care and downed about four Advil each, slathered on the Aloe and got back in bed.  We missed our dinner reservation so ended up ordering room service for dinner.  Both of us were totally bummed that we had ruined the rest of our trip in Playa but at least the room was nice and comfy.  About an hour later the Advil had kicked in and we felt slightly better so we ventured out to get some drinks and go to the disco that night.

The next morning it was extremely painful again so we got more Advil and headed out to the Cancun airport trying our best to avoid any additional sun exposure.  We got to the airport without a hitch just in time to pick up the other three and make our way back to Belize.  So now we’re back in Belize and getting ready for a week-long trip to San Pedro.  I will be buying the strongest sunscreen I can find for this trip.  Unfortunately the damage had been done and both my brother and I ended up with second degree burns, blistering and scaring.

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