Well, here we are after actually pulling the trigger and selling our home of six years in Knoxville, Tennessee. Our plan to let the money grow while we explore slow travel is underway. But after almost five weeks spent sorting, packing, selling, giving away, and storing all of our worldly possessions, we really needed a break.

View from our balcony

So how's that for a break? One week at a very comfortable resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Here's few pictures from around our little piece of paradise, the Sunset Fisherman's Spa and Resort.

Mayan ruins near our condo

They've really treated us well here too. There was a big fruit bowl on our table when we checked in, and every night they bring us chocolates. One night they were placed on the head of a towel bunny.

How cute is that?

Also, when work needed to be done on a condo above us, they sent someone up with a plate of chocolate covered strawberries as an apology. Needless to say, apology accepted.

It is a lush, green area with some very loud birds and some other wildlife we've run into walking around. Below are pictures of a few.

Capybara's are everywhere.

 A friendly neighborhood iguana.

This coati was a little too friendly - he tried to jump in my laundry bag right after I took this picture.

We've been content to relax with our coffee in the mornings on the balcony, and take a 2-3 mile walk into the tourist zone twice a day. Once for exercise, then later in the day for dinner. We've been having breakfast and lunch in our unit, since we have a small fridge and two-burner stove top.

There's a nice restaurant here we've used a couple of times when the weather looked iffy, and one evening when we had spent the previous day in Cozumel (more on that later) and needed some recovery time, and overall we've enjoyed some delicious meals.

The only problem with the tourist zone is the number of hawkers trying to get us into every shop and restaurant we walk past.

In the Zone

Playa del Carmen welcome arch

A bonus while we were here, we were able to take a day trip over to Isla Cozumel to visit our friend and fellow International Living writer, Bel Woodhouse. She has lived on the island for over seven years now, and met us to show us around town a bit.

Off to Cozumel

Cozumel is less than 20 miles off the coast, and shuttles run regularly between the ports. We had no trouble booking two roundtrip first class tickets for about 900 pesos total - roughly $53. First class allowed us to spend the 35 minute trip in leather seats and air conditioned comfort. Which was great, because the ride over was a little bumpy.

There were some kids near us that were at first squealing with delight on every bump and bounce, but within 15 minutes or so they were puking into handy black plastic bags.

Bel took us on a walk past the two big tourist streets, and by one of the local markets.

After that, we were off to a lovely garden setting at the Cafe Mission, an old hacienda turned into a restaurant and great place to relax.

Colorful art was everywhere in the beautiful gardens

After a delicious and surprisingly inexpensive meal - about $10 for a soup, entree, and coconut ice cream dessert - and some rather large margaritas, Bel also let us interview her for the "Travels With Jim and Rita" podcast (episode 16 if you click on the previous link).

All too soon, it was a quick cab back to the dock for our goodbyes and a much smoother ride back to Playa del Carmen. We'll meet up with Bel again when our travels take us to Las Vegas Nevada in October, where Rita and I will be in the Exhibition Hall talking about our travels, and I will have to bite the bullet and get up and give a couple of talks. Public speaking (shudder).

Anyway, it was when we returned to PDC that we had our only bad meal experience. We both needed a baños pretty badly, so we ducked into the first restaurant we saw, as public bathrooms are as rare as honest politicians. Unfortunately, it was a Señor Frog's.

Now we've eaten at Señor Frog's before on Paradise Island and other places, and the food was fine. The problem was the music was Spanish rap turned up so loud you could not talk to each other, or hear the waiter when placing your order. You had to point and mime.

This was in spite of there being only us and another table of senior citizens in the restaurant, all of us clutching our heads and asking them to turn it down.

They did turn it down briefly, but then some idiot who obviously thought that holding a microphone automatically makes you a star, decided to crank it back up so he could pretend he was a DJ and shout into the mic about how we were going to party.

Dude, the restaurant (not a disco) is populated only by us members of the Geritol set. Shut up and let us eat.

Anyway, we wolfed down the food - which actually was pretty good, if only we had been able to enjoy it - and walked on home.

Well, current home anyway, since we are technically homeless.

Speaking of which, only one more day of lounging at the beach, and then we are off to San Miguel de Allende in the mountains of Central Mexico to begin our slow travel with one month of trying to live like the locals and visiting some friends who live there as well.

Hasta la vista!

Follow the story of Jim and Rita, who sold their home to travel for the next few years here in this blog, and on the podcast "Travels With Jim and Rita", available on all major podcast platforms.