Saturday, February 23, 2013

Anything Goes in Mexico

...specifically in Playa del Carmen.  Back in February I had a great Cancun experience in Cancun which involves a lot  money, isolation, relaxation ... but it was time to escape the resorts and do something more... fun.

Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) is like 3rd street prominade in Santa Monica except less chains more alcohol.  Were blessed with a Mexican in our group to give us a little bit of an in, but not that much.  We were still tourists in a tourist town.  We nail a cheap AirBNB close to all of the action and the local walmart.  I was yelled at when I wanted to buy sushi from the Walmart in Mexico.  I guess that would have been a bad idea.

It was on this street that I learned about the Sangrita - shot of tequila chased with tomato juice. Magical and had bomb ass tacos off the main area at this place called El Fogon... I think.  I also learned that not all massage places offer happy endings.  That I learned second hand.

Be careful in Mexico?  I think the touristy places are well protected due to the amount of revenue it brings in to the country.  I felt very safe, no question there, but I wan't doing stupid things that many others who find themselves here.

Xel Ha is ridiculous - it was recommended to us from a guide based on our age and interest.  The other entertainment destinations under this franchaise were more about shows or history or "adventure" where you "explore case" or ride in some sort of go cart through nature that's been manicured to tourist.

We made the right choice - Xel Ha was all the fun with no restrictions.

It felt like off season, no one was here and these lovely hammocks were a great welcoming.  No lines.  Just a lot of exploration around this "park."  Did I mention - there's a buffet inside that's covered with your $80 entrance fee?  That includes margaritas.

Our bartender poured the whole bottle into the blender when he saw us thirsty group of 4.

After a few drinks you can grab a bike.. helmets were an option and no one was watching us.  So we just grabbed some wheels and biked around this path weaving between trees.  It might have been the alcohol, but this was harder than it seems.

We grabbed some "required life jackets got on a inner tube and floated down this river through a very unnatural looking tunnel made of branches.

When we finally got out we found ourselves near jumping rocks and tight rope challenges.

Alright!  Some zip lining into the water.  Put on your snorkel mask to see some fish and... modern art?

One more margarita and we explored some caves...  a photo opp?!  How convenient.. it was like Disneyland and I'm glad I had my waterproof iPhone case.

And nothing would top an exploration better than walking through tree tops on bridges that looked like they came from Peter Pan's Neverland.  Frolic frolic.

The craziest thing about this place is that I saw 4 life guards.  This place is huge and someone would surely drown from the bottomless alcohol.  It was worth all $80.. like an adult "natural" water park.

Next time I'll try Xplor which includes more cave exploration, tree top zip lining and kayaking... oo!

The evenings in Playa del Carmen were relaxing... night clubbing wasn't really worth it, but we had a nice dinner and just enjoyed the company.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Laser Tag

There was a lot of things that I didn't do in 2012 that I hoped to do in 2013.  On the list was gay laser tag!  Jeremy's birthday fulfilled this desire!  Off to Ultrazone in Alhambra!

The last time I did laser tag was when I was 12.  I didn't remember it being so cool - you can see your light beam hit a person and their suit lights up white indicating that you got them!  I worked up a sweat, but definitely sucked since I ranked 24 out of 30.

I wonder what the kids thought of us running around screaming!

It was $8 a game (20 minutes) which was pretty worth it for a once in.... 5 years experience.  Though I have a feeling we will be coming back.  This place was HUGE!

Here's a group photo!  My eyes were closed so I used my photoshop skills to add them in.  Phew phew phew.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Social Media Resourcefulness

I take a lot of pride in being resourceful.  If you ask me what good qualities I have, resourcefulness is usually mentioned.  There's always an answer and either it's available on the internet or through people.. all you have to do is look for it.  In the case of social media... it's internet-people that's your best tool.

But it doesn't help when people are idiots.  I found this guy on Foursquare to get tips on a mechanic that he visited.  He responded a month later:

People aren't obligated to help me, but come on.  How aggravating.  I should be rewarded for finding you with the answers I'm looking for! I guess people have to get over the initial shock that their information is all over the internet for any stranger (such as myself) to tap into.  Just answer the question please.

Is it creepy to comment on an Instagram, "great concert" to a stranger who had geotagged the same location?  Is it strange to play Find-the-Grind-R by looking for the guy that's "0 feet away?" and then doing the head nod to tell him that you know his gay-ass secret?  Is it rude to break into someone's house because you noticed that they checked-in on foursquare across town so you know their house is empty... to leave a birthday gift?  Is it socially awkward to join someone's dinner because you noticed that they checked-in and commented on yelp or facebook saying that they are having such a wonderful date and you wanted to be a part of it?

Am I being aggressive?!

The answer is NO... why else would you make this stuff public... with their REAL FULL name everywhere and facebook linked.  NOT aggressive - resourceful.  and very public.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gay Couples

Ernesto sent out an email to in Jimmy and me to join him in some friendly competition couple vs. couple on CityRice Urban Adventure Hunts.  I suggested to invite other gay couples and realized... I know a lot of gay couples!

To all the early 20 something year olds who constantly complain about the gay community and how slutty and uncommitted everyone is... it's not a gay thing.. it's a early 20s thing (an epiphany).  We enter different life stages and eventually the clubbing and hooking up activities turn into settling down.  Eventually.... or you can be in your 40's hitting up WeHo, Castro, Boystown, South End, Wilton Manors, Greenwich Village with your favorite cocktail and a new friend every weekend... gay people are never alone when they have their gay village. Or maybe couples just hang out with couples and I've found them all. (That would be sad.)

I went ahead and gathered pictures of all my gay couple friends, all of which have been together for more than a year.  Danster and Peter have hit the 6 year mark?  Anthony and Chris are talking adoption. Eric and Chris are sharing a mortgage.  Dang... talk about growing up...

And to our single friends, I'm sorry that you've been the 3rd, 5th and even 7th wheel... but thanks for taking pictures for us.  We'll be using those pictures for the Valentine's Day card we'll be sending you!