9/28/13

The Beloved Hotel, Playa Mujeres

Beloved Hotel
Upon arrival, Edgar greeted us and took care of our bags. Guest services had champagne for the adults and Shirley Temples for the kids (ages 3 and 8). The rep made sure to advise that The Beloved Hotel was kid-friendly. After Edgar helped put our bags away, he explained some of the all-inclusive amenities. 

Beloved Hotel Mexico
We consistently encountered courteous staff. The only less than adequate service came while dining poolside on the second day. Service at onsite restaurants is slow, but at the Isla Grill it was slower than the norm. The server took our drink orders when the food came (about 30 minutes after we ordered), and we had to go to the bar to ask for our drinks.


Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres

We continued basting in the sun while waiting for refreshments. A manager walked by and noticed the oversight. He retrieved our drinks immediately, but our server never returned.




Cancun HotelOverall, my party preferred Isla Grill to Aroma and learned to stick with shrimp and steak dishes. I had a duck dish that had been cooked to death. The smoothies I saw a bartender making did not contain any fresh fruit. Chocolate cakes and brownies looked more appetizing than they tasted.


The homemade ice cream, however, proved impressive. We also fell for the sushi bar, which opens at 6:00 in the evening. Kids’ items are standard fare, like pizza  and nuggets, but kids can order from any part of the menu. Snacks in the room are free and refilled daily, including drinks. Outside food and drinks are not allowed.


The breakfast was fantastic! And this is coming from someone who hates buffets. I found plenty of fresh juice, fruit, nut, and yogurt options. I even took some fruit to snack on later. Loved the iced coffee and almond croissants. Others in my group liked the shredded chicken, eggs, waffles etc.


On the one occasion we ferried to Isla Mujeres, we stopped at Privilege Aluxes Hotel for brunch. I took one look at their buffet and it did not compare to Beloved's. I opted for juice only instead of eating there. Since we found the resort to be quite relaxing, this was our only outing. 

Cancun All-Inclusive HotelThe hotel remained sparsely populated during our April stay. Often, we had a pool to ourselves. Lounge chairs at the pristine beach were plentiful. FYI: Plenty of children, my nephews included, went crazy over the kids' club.  

Cancun All-Inclusive
This germaphobe found no cleanliness issues. Showers are see-through, but suites do have curtained tubs.

We saw an HGTV host staying at The Beloved, which I consider an indication of the resort’s quality. I'm glad we ventured outside of the commercialized Cancun Strip area.


Playa Mujeres Hotel

Playa Mujeres Resort

9/16/13

Pineapple Pomegranate Smoothie


Pomegranate juice's tartness makes me overlook its health benefits and skip it in favor of sweeter options. Scoring some for free led me to give it another try.

Smoothie

You'll need approximately:
  • .5 cup Pom pomegranate juice
  • 8 oz can pineapple chunks, juice included
  • 1 tbs fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 oz Torani raspberry syrup
Freeze the pineapple chunks and juice prior to blending all ingredients. Pulse on high for about 45 seconds then liquify for about 15. Scrape blender bowl if needed then repeat blending until desired consistency is reached.

9/2/13

“If You Tell, I Will Kill You” Book Review

How to Write a Memoir Review
Never have I read a book within one day, but that was before If You Tell, I Will Kill You. Within the pages of this engrossing story Tonya McLin writes, “The discussion of violence disturbs our human psyche.” How true. This former salon owner and hair stylist delves deep within the portals of her mind. She unveils and releases the stigma victims of abuse often feel.

Initially set in the late ’60s, the memoir begins during the author’s early childhood at age three. Under the serenity of the Georgia sunshine and amid the guise of happiness, she is torn from the tranquility of her mother and forced to forge a new life. When it seems the clouds preventing her happiness are about to dissipate, a new storm brews on the horizon.

Besides the author other main characters include Tim, the manipulative anti-father figure, and Nana, her stern yet loving grandmother. For 10 years, Nana and her husband raise Tonya and her seven siblings. Tim is the catalyst for much of the novel’s action. His decisions rock this family’s faith to its core, and Tonya unwittingly becomes his victim. 

Through a revealing mix of religion and remembrance, the author’s narrative allows readers to relive her childhood while she reflects on experiences through adult eyes. Hers a survivor’s story, a true testament to the power of the human spirit.

If You Tell, I Will Kill You represents more than a title. It is the stern warning Tim uses to hold Tonya captive in a prison built using intimidation and fear. As an adult who has “been healed from control and manipulation,” McLin uses her story to inspire and to inform.

Reports of abuse rarely reach the heart of the issue. McLin does what headlines fail to do: She provides victims with a voice and the knowledge that empowerment is possible. She also demonstrates that the effects of abuse last beyond the moment. I did not read this memoir, I felt it.