Posts by Veteran Newsman Dave McBride

We asked amateur birder Dave McBride to report back to us on bird-watching conditions in Riviera Maya. Here’s what he had to say:

Birding Safari on the Riviera Maya

2 Stalking Birds with a Camera in Mayan Muyil

The Black Bandit of Yucatan Birds

Babes in Mayaland

Puerto Morelos—where a picture of Señor Morelos will buy you a beer at the beach bar

Veteran Newsman Dave McBride is an award-winning news radio reporter, anchor and program director and creator of fan-favorite Dave’s Raves. Dave has received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Writing for Radio/Large Market and the 2010 and 2011 Murrow for continuing news coverage. He was awarded the New York Festivals World Gold Medal for Best Writing for Radio. In his first year in Florida he received the Florida AP award for Best Long Light Feature in both first and second place. Dave is currently based in South Florida.

Birding Safari on the Riviera Maya

By Dave McBride

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When the irrepressible Chief of the Seminole Tribe of the Everglades, James Billie, was acquitted by a jury of eating an endangered Florida panther in a tribal purification ritual, a reporter asked him what panther tastes like, to which he famously replied: “Like a cross between manatee and bald eagle.”

A funny story, but the alarming reality is that environmental scientists last year warned that the world is entering a period of mass extinction not seen since the age of dinosaurs. Like many others, my wife and I have reacted by improving our relationship with the natural world and, in particular, have re-embraced a desire left behind in adolescence to seek out the agreeable company of birds.

We do not pretend to be serious birders and a beach bar can be as appealing an attraction as a jungle hiking path. But Anita and I are regular visitors of local wetlands and wading birds near our South Florida home and likewise seek the fellowship of their feathered Mexican relations when travels take us to the Riviera Maya. The color palette is bolder south of the border and nowhere is that more evident than in the plumage of the birds of the Yucatan.

1bHosting more than half of the bird species in all of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula is one of the best regions for bird watching in North America. Some are our neighbors at the Now Jade all-inclusive resort. Others are a short walk or drive away in the mangroves and jungle around nearby Puerto Morelos. Any back road will lead you to them. They are abundant in mangroves and at cenotes; the underground water-filled caves. The resort even displays photos and profiles around the grounds of birds guests are likely to view.

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For travelers who are becoming more conscious of the destination environment and who wish to leave a lighter footprint, the Now Jade is Rainforest Alliance Certified and offers water-efficient bathrooms, biodegradable shampoos, soaps, and body wash. It discards kitchen grease safely, recycles waste and uses eco-friendly cleaning products.

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Any Google search of the words “bird forum Yucatan” will summon posted tips by bird hunters, offering directions to productive locations. The Apple Vacations desk at the Now Jade can connect you with a birding guide.

Barbara MacKinnon is the preeminent authority on bird life in the Yucatan. She wrote the Spanish language book on indigenous birds called Sal a Pararear Yucatan, which describes more than 400 species of birds in the region. The books are donated to local communities in the Yucatan to teach children to identify the birds they live with. Money from sales of the books supplies the kids and their adult volunteers with binoculars.

A more Anglo-friendly book is A Bird-Finding Guide to Mexico by Steve Howell. He lists 100 sites all across Mexico, and the Yucatan and Cozumel are well-represented.

By the way, should Alex Trebek speak to you the words: “For Final Jeopardy—The number of species of birds on the planet Earth,” the correct reply is: “What is nine thousand?”

Veteran Newsman Dave McBride is an award-winning news radio reporter, anchor and program director and creator of fan-favorite Dave’s Raves. Dave has received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Writing for Radio/Large Market and the 2010 and 2011 Murrow for continuing news coverage. He was awarded the New York Festivals World Gold Medal for Best Writing for Radio. In his first year in Florida he received the Florida AP award for Best Long Light Feature in both first and second place. Dave is currently based in South Florida.

SECRETS AKUMAL RIVIERA MAYA

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I have a Secret … well lots of them. And no, it is not that I am happy it is back to school time! OK … maybe a little. It’s actually Secret’s Resorts & Spas. The newest resort is opening this fall – WELCOME SECRETS AKUMAL RIVIERA MAYA.

Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya opens November 1, 2015 and it makes the perfect vacation if you are looking for an adult escape! The resort is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya along those beautiful white sand beaches and calm, clear waters of Akumal.

The resort is one hour south of the Cancun airport and will open with 434 elegant suites, many with stunning ocean views.

This brand new resort offers adults a charming, picturesque vacation, complete with an exceptional Unlimited-Luxury® experience.

UNLIMITED-LUXURY® AMENITIES:

Welcome cocktail and cool towel

Full breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each day

Unlimited premium alcoholic beverages

Complimentary mini-bar refreshed daily

24-hour room and concierge services

Pool and beach wait service

Non-motorized water sports

Open-air theatre

Fitness center

Complimentary greens fees at nearby Riviera Maya Golf Club

Internet access

Expansive oceanfront infinity pool and outdoor Jacuzzi

All taxes and gratuities

So if the kids are heading back to school (or already there), or if you are looking for a romantic couples vacation, girls getaway or relaxing time at the spa; make sure you look to the new Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya. We all deserve a little “me” time and this is the perfect place.

For more details click here –> http://applev.ac/1Sk7Bao

 

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Say Hello to Summer with Dreams Tulum & Apple Vacations

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

OK parents…it’s final exam time…then field day…then IT is coming…the inevitable last day of school! I am actually looking forward to it! I’m planning our summer fun, including our summer family vacation!

Like many, I have narrowed down a week and am deciding on location. Last year we went on a great vacation to Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa with friends and family. We were going for a little bit longer of a stay, so we decided to venture down further in the Riviera Maya corridor to Tulum.

I stayed at Dreams Tulum many years ago, when it first opened, and wow — it’s great and perfect for groups and families!

Dreams Tulum does not require wristbands, dining reservations or towel cards, like other AMResorts. I’ve mentioned before how that makes life easier when travelling with a family. You don’t have to be on a dining schedule or worry about losing extra items.

Here are some of my favorite things about the resort:

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Family Vacation to Now Resorts & Spas

Now Jade Resort & Spa

Now Jade Resort & Spa

Many families are in the process of booking their summer getaways and are deciding where to go. Over the next few weeks we will feature some of our favorite family vacation resorts, to help you make your decision.

One of my favorite resorts my family visits over and over is Now Jade Riviera Cancun (if you read the blog often, you may already know this). My family loves Mexico for the white sandy beaches, turquoise blue waters, history, culture and charm. I am a creature of habit and we tend to go back to Mexico often.

As I write this, I’m dreaming of sitting under a palapa with my toes in the sand.

Here are my top 5 reasons why Now Jade Riviera Cancun makes a great family vacation (which you can’t necessarily find in a brochure or on a website):

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Watch: Fall Out Boy, Matt Nathanson & Cobra Starship Perform at Dreams Tulum

Apple Vacations and Chicago’s 101.9 The Mix Eric and Kathy Morning Show recently traveled to Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa for its 11th listener trip, Chips, Dip and a Mexico Trip…Once! 300 listeners joined the morning show for a broadcast on the beach at Dreams Tulum.

The group enjoyed a private concert with live performances by Fall Out Boy, Cobra Starship and Matt Nathanson. See their performances after the jump.

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Feel NO #MommyGuilt on an Apple Vacation!

#Mommyguilt  –  All the mommies have it, right? Well, I am on the first leg of my son’s summer break. As I was heading off to work and he was heading off to the library with Grandmom, it snuck up on me: I should be taking him to the park, pool or to a movie.

Then I remember – it’s OK!  I prepared, I planned! I have plenty of activities and trips planned for the summer, including some valuable #Familytime.

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