Isla Mujeres & Iberostar Paraiso del Mar August 2011
Wednesday August 24
I know I haven’t done a trip report from our February/March holiday and I will get around to it one of these days!....but in the meantime, here is a mini trip report of our very short, but sweet 30th Anniversary holiday to Isla Mujeres and also to the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar. It was a very last minute trip but we were excited to be going to Isla Mujeres for numerous reasons…..seeing the renovation progress of Caribbean Casa and also having the opportunity to say goodbye to Chen and Lee of ComoNo before they left for Israel. Oh, and yes, it was our 30th anniversary!
It was a bit of rough few weeks before we left…..my mom ended up in hospital with an infection and was very ill, which affected my dad’s dementia. So, it was up in the air until the last few days when things finally settled down a bit and we could begin throwing things in the suitcase with confidence. We flew from our home airport and stayed overnight at the Delta Airport Hotel in Calgary, Alberta. Our Westjet flight (best airline ever!) left right on time, giving us a great view of downtown Calgary….
A few naps later and we broke through the clouds to have a view of Isla Holbox….
Immigration was an absolute breeze with absolutely no line-up! Luggage arrived just after we did, but then there was a bit of a slow-moving line for the luggage xray and customs. Green light and we are on our way! Out the door where AGI Tours is waiting for us (www.agitours.com). We’ve used AGI for many years now and have always had great service. We zip through the familiar streets of Cancun, pinching ourselves…”Are we really here?” Yup, the smiles are on!
It isn’t long before we arrive at Gran Puerto Juarez….I get the tickets….round trip for 2…$280MXP, while Vince heads into the OXXO store for his first cold cerveza. His smile just got bigger! ☺
Luggage stowed, we head to the top deck to enjoy the view just as the sun begins to set…
Just a note….the ferry has great WIFI service, so it’s a great place to update your iTouch, etc. I quickly send a few short emails home to let family know we are safe and sound. Hopefully they are too!
Isla Mujeres comes into view…..ahhhhh….
Woohoo…we’re here!!! The smell, the sounds, the steamy heat…chaotic bliss….Isladise!
One last glimpse of the sun….
Stepping onto the dock, sweating, dragging our luggage, and there’s Cori and Pete, waiting at the bar with big smiles on their faces. They’ve been here for about 3 weeks so of course they’re smiling! Cori and Pete are the new owners of Caribbean Casa, the townhouse formerly known as Villa Makax where we have stayed since 2008. An amazing place that they are making even more incredible! The chatter and laughter begins as we haul the luggage to Hotel Xbulu-Ha (http://www.isla-mujeres.net/hotelxbuluha/). Due to the renos at Caribbean Casa, there was no room at the inn! We’ve stayed at Xbulu-Ha before and were very happy with the rooms and staff. Gabriel shows us to our room which is a kitchenette suite (pictures to follow). As he opens the door to the room, we are all hit with a blast of oven temperature air and just about fall over. It was a little unbearable but we’re still smiling! On with the ceiling fan and AC and we’ll be a little less toasty soon. Cori and Pete head off to find us a table at Miguel’s while we quickly unpack a few things. Half an hour later and the pompoms are clinking! Now, we’re really here!!
Hugs for Miguel who is happy to be serving his only table….yes, it was a bit slow. The pompoms do their work and the giggles begin!....
Before we get too carried away….or need to get carried home, we decide that dinner is in order. Vince and I haven’t eaten since room service brekkies early this morning so it’s time for food. We decide on Angelo’s. Walking up Hidalgo, I’m actually quite surprised to see how busy it is! This is good! The tables are quite busy at Angelo’s but we find a spot not too close to the oven…it’s hot enough thank you! Sergio, aka Casanova, is all smiles and quite surprised to see us. Vino blanco for the girls and I think the boys had cervezas. We shared a mixed salad…ensalada mixto…which is always good. We always eat salad on Isla and have never had any issues (fingers crossed!). Next up is pizza….ham, pineapple, mushrooms and olives. Very good!
We’re not done yet, so with tummies full, we wander over to Medina to check out the finished work on the street….looks very nice. A nightcap is in order. Oh look….we’re right by Brisas..perfect! Toes in the sand and one of the best strawberry margaritas…..ahhhh…..
We don’t want this great first night to end but we are exhausted. We say goodnight to Cori and Pete and head back home. Opening the door, the furnace blasts us again. AC and ceiling fan on, the room cools down a bit while we unpack and get settled. People at home say we’re crazy to go to Mexico in August…yes it’s toasty hot but it’s awesome!!!