Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • If you aren’t staying at a beach resort in Cozumel, you can still get the beach time you might be looking for. Cozumel has a number of beach clubs available for day use, with facilities, bars and other amenities. One of the most popular beach clubs is Paradise Beach, which recently added a new pool, boasting one of the biggest pools in Cozumel.

    Located in the south end, about five miles from the port terminal, you can expect to spend about $20 each way for a taxi ride. I’ve been there twice, once while it was super busy, and another time when it was virtually deserted.

    When Paradise Beach was busy, our small group grabbed some beach chairs under a few palm trees, a bit aways from the water. This was okay with me, because there were lots of kids there that day and I appreciated the quiet corner where we were. I immediately ordered a bucket of beer for our party and an order of guacamole. The total was around $25US.

    Bucket of beer and guacamole at Paradise Beach club in Cozumel

    I stepped down to the water, and found the beach a bit rocky, but where I stood it was fine. Nearby was an inflatable water playground for kids. The price for unlimited play was $12US per person. There is also a $2 per person chair fee.

    I spent the afternoon relaxing in a beach chair before it was time to head back to the cruise terminal. I still had time to make a few purchases, and enjoy one of those cold little bottle Coca-Colas before stepping back onto the ship.

    Shannon Hurst Lane in Cozumel enjoying a Coca Cola at the cruise terminal

    How to Get There: Take a taxi and ask for rate to get to Paradise Beach.

    Website: Paradise Beach

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  • Once while I was in Cozumel on a port stop, my planned excursion was cancelled due to choppy seas. My husband and I were given the option to take another excursion, but we opted to explore on our own. We began our walk with cold little bottle Coca Colas purchased at the drugstore right at the pier. The drinks were only $1 and were oh so good! This gave me the pep I needed to explore by foot.

    We  took a left when we went through the port, and walked along the sea wall, looking for a place to sit and enjoy the view. I’m not always in the mood for the Hard Rock Cafes or the Senor Frogs, so we were glad to find a hidden restaurant that offered a great view — Toro’s Place.

    Toro's Place Cozumel restaurant and bar

    Toro’s Place is located on the second floor of businesses, just past McDonald’s. We walked up the stairs and were promptly seated with the best view. My husband and I weren’t too hungry, we just wanted to soak up the feel of the place. We ordered a few cervasas and fresh quacamole. It was so good!

    Guacamole and beer at Toro's Place restaurant in Cozumel

    We ordered another round of beer, and then we were surprised by a clown. He was funny, but kind of scary too. He did make me giggle and laugh with some of his balloon animals. Our total bill was less than $10US. Of course, they serve a variety of entrees at different prices.

    Shannon Hurst Lane and clown at Toro's Place restaurant in Cozumel

    If you are just strolling around Cozumel, looking for a place to enjoy a drink and a view, you can’t go wrong with Toro’s Place. The staff was extremely friendly and attentive. It was a great stop before ambling around Cozumel during our cruise port stop.

    How to Get There: Located upstairs at the corner of Av. Raphael E. Melgar and Calle 5

    Website: Toro’s Place Cozumel

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  • Bing Trends just released some of the top search terms for 2011. While Justin Beiber topped the list as the most searched for person and the Royal Wedding beat out the Kim Kardashian Wedding for top celebrity events, I’m more interested in the top destinations people searched for.

    fabulous Las Vegas sign flickr image by Douglas Carter Cole

    Las Vegas won the top spot for most searched for destination. Without further ado, here’s the Bing Trends list of top 10 searched destinations for 2011:

    1. Las Vegas, NV
    2. San Diego, CA
    3. San Francisco, CA
    4. Los Angeles, CA
    5. Chicago, IL
    6. New York City, NY
    7. Boston, MA
    8. Miami, FL
    9. Seattle, WA
    10. Paris, France

    I was glad to see a few of my favorite destinations on the list. Las Vegas is a fun destination offering more than just casino gambling but now is a top culinary destination. If you’re planning a visit to Sin City, be sure to check out all the hotels and restaurants we’ve personally checked out in Las Vegas.

    I’ve visited NYC a few times and have plans to go back at the end of the summer for Blogher 12. With Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade each year and all the free things to do in New York City, it always makes top ten lists for travelers. It’s a fun city filled with life and so many things to do.

    I was sad to see that New Orleans, LA didn’t make the list, but I have a feeling it will be one of the top ten destinations for 2012. To see all the trends from 2011, check out the video below and be sure to visit

    Video: The Top 2011 Searches from Bing: A Year of Breakthroughs and Heartbreaks

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  • I love visiting New Orleans, be it for just an evening or for a weekend getaway close to home. Recently my husband and I decided on a quick romantic trip, where instead of your typical dinner, we opted for our own version of a progressive dinner. We thought it would be fun, and we had no itinerary or agenda to follow. We just walked around the Quarter and stopped for a drink here or shared a dish there.

    The Starter

    We began our meal at Felix’s, which is across the street from ACME. We walked right past the shucker and took two seats at the bar, ordering a dozen raw oysters and two Abita Ambers. As we enjoyed these delicious Louisiana oysters, I would glance across the street at the very long line of tourists waiting to get into ACME. If only they knew that Felix’s was just as cool.

    Line at Acme Oyster House in New Orleans

    Louisiana oysters at Felix's Oyster House New Orleans

    The Entertainment

    We walked around the Quarter, stopping every now and then to be entertained by the bizarre sights that are New Orleans street performers. When we had enough of the strange, we were entertained by silly — the drunk tourists walking down Bourbon Street. If you are easily offended, or have children with you, stay off of Bourbon Street, especially at night.

    Street performer in New Orleans

    Strange street perfomer in the French Quarter New Orleans

    The Libations

    There are any number of places to enjoy a cocktail in New Orleans, but I’m a sucker for the history and atmosphere of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. It’s not only the oldest bar in the US, but when you think about the pirates that used to hang out there, it makes the place cool, with a K-E-W-L. My favorite spot is the back corner near the piano.

    Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, New Orleans, Louisiana - Oldest Bar in USA

    Candles at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop in New Orleans

    The Munchies

    Walking around after having a few cocktails can bring on a bit of hunger. We decided it was time to be carnivores and stopped in at The Clover Grill for a cheeseburger and fries. You haven’t truly experienced Bourbon Street until you’ve been to the Clover Grill on a Friday night.

    Inside The Clover Grill on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana

    Cheeseburger at Clover Grill in New Orleans


    We continued our walk around the Quarter until we came to a cigar shop. My husband likes a good cigar, so we stopped in before moving along.

    Cigar Shop in the French Quarter New Orleans

    The Secret Menu Item

    Risotto at Besh Steakhouse at Harrah's in New OrleansWe walked a good ways out of the Quarter and over towards The Riverwalk and Harrah’s Casino. We stopped in to put a few dollars in a slot machine before heading to the grand finale — Besh Steakhouse. I took a seat at the bar and ordered my favorite of all favorites, risotto. Besh Steakhouse serves the best risotto I’ve ever eaten in my life. It isn’t on the menu, but the bartender knew what I wanted.

    The one thing we skipped? The Lucky Dog cart.

    Lucky Dog cart in New Orleans

    It was a delightful evening filled with a few of my favorite places in New Orleans. Of course, there are many other places I like to eat, and have a cocktail, but as far as good evenings go, this one was tops.

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  • Sunrise at Eagle Island

    Eagle Island is a private island in coastal Georgia. I visited a few years ago and spent each morning on the pier watching the sun wake up.

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