Things have been hectic lately, but Mark and I managed to slip away to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a few nights.
We visited the Mayan ruins of Tulum...
We snorkeled and watched the waves roll in at the open sea aquarium Xel-Ha...
...and ate delicious food!
About an hour south of Cancun, staying at a hotel (for example, the lovely boutique hotel Casa Ticul) in Playa is a wonderful alternative to an all-inclusive resort. The mile long stretch of Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) features shops and restaurants (about two blocks parallel to the beach). You can easily walk this street three or four times and notice something new each time. Most restaurants feature seating that sprawls onto the street, which makes for great people watching. Besides the birds chirping, you'll hear plenty of Spanish, English, and European accents.
The ferry terminal to Cozumel is at the southern end of 5th Avenue, and there is no shortage of tour operators to help you book a day tour to see more of the Yucatán.
One website that really helped with planning was LocoGringo.com for its reviews of accommodations and things to do. Have you ever been to Mexico?