One Old Fat Guy Returns To Isla…
And Three More Islaholics Are Born
This adventure actually began on Thursday, February 2, 2006… the day I returned to work after my first visit to paradise… Isla Mujeres, Mexico!
I immediately logged on to the Internet, went to Delta.com and clicked on “sky miles award ticket.” I NEEDED to book a return trip right now! I already had a trip booked to Key West in May, so I opted for fall. Ever since I turned the BIG 5-0 I’ve spent my birthday “someplace other than here” so why not spend this one on Isla. Done deal… sky miles cashed in and I have a return trip booked for 10/27 – 11/1.
At this point in time I was just planning on going by myself. I told the other Old Fat Guy he was welcome to join me, but he didn’t think he could. No problem, I don’t mind traveling alone, especially since I’ve already been there once before.
After a couple of months of seeing my pictures and hearing me constantly talking about how wonderful Isla was, my daughters started saying “Dad, when are you going to take US there?” I guess it was in July when I finally said “OK, you guys want to go to Isla, let’s do it!” I told them I already had a return trip planned for my birthday and if they wanted to go along they could. The deal was they pay for their own air and dear old Dad will pay for everything else. All three jumped at the chance and the ultimate Father/Daughter trip began taking shape.
We booked their air and reserved two rooms at Bucaneros through Kathryn at Kathryn’s Travel. She also handled our Cancun Valet transfers and trip insurance. We were all set and the countdown began. When we got within about 45 days I started emailing all three girls a daily Isla picture with the number of days left. Then finally… it was time!
Day 1 Friday, October 27
We have a 7:15AM flight from Cincinnati to Atlanta, and then we’re supposed to connect on a 9AM flight that gets us into Cancun around 11AM. Immigration, baggage, customs, run the gauntlet, transfer to the ferry dock, ferry ride, hit the ATM, check in at Bucanero’s and first margarita on the beach around 2PM!
Well, at least that was the plan!
The thought of getting three daughters up and ready to go at 4AM in the morning had me a little worried. But we did it! Got to the airport with time to spare. They loaded the plane right on schedule and we were off. OK, maybe not. The pilot comes on the intercom and says, “Ladies and Gentlemen… it appears they are doing some repaving work on one of the runways in Atlanta and all flights are delayed. So right now we’re on a ground hold… which they are telling me will be for at least another hour!”
GREAT! They assured us that all flights arriving and departing Atlanta were on a delay as well, so our connections shouldn’t be a problem. No such luck. The flight to Cancun actually had the nerve to leave without us. Ready for the best part… the next flight doesn’t leave until 6PM tonight!! 8 hours in the Atlanta airport with three very impatient daughters… not to mention one Old Fat Guy! OK girls… let’s find the bar!
This picture was taken early in the Atlanta airport while they were still smiling! Hey, is that an Isla Mujeres LOCAL KNOWLEDGE GUIDE they’re holding…
what savvy travelers!!
Well, 6PM finally came and we were on our way! We landed in Cancun around 8PM, got through immigration quickly; our luggage was waiting for us, and BAM… Green Light! Cancun Valet was right there waiting for us despite all the delays and we were on our way to the ferry.
I guess at some point in the evening they stop running every half hour and go every hour. We missed the 8:30PM ferry so we had to wait for the 9:30PM. It was time for some SOL! I bought 4 bottles of Sol in the little store at the ferry dock for something like $42MP… not bad, and we all agreed it was just what the doctor ordered after the day we were having!
Getting on that ferry and feeling that salty breeze in my face was the greatest feeling in the world….
Finally, I was headed back to Isla!
We stopped at the bank and hit the ATM up for some pesos. I’m so glad I opened an HSBC account online and got an ATM card. Pesos at any hour of the day, no long lines and the best exchange rate…. And I don’t have to freak if it gets lost or stolen since it’s not tied to my regular bank accounts!!
It was really hot and humid that night and the Old Fat Guy was pretty much drenched in sweat by the time we hauled us and our luggage to Bucaneros. I was so afraid no one would be there to check us in, but thanks to a call to Kathryn while we were delayed in Atlanta, they had our keys and paperwork setting there waiting for us. One of the waiters from the restaurant showed us to our rooms, which were somewhere around 100 degrees when we walked in!
The A/C didn’t have a single button or switch on it. Finally I find the remote control for it. OK, what guy can’t fly a remote control blind folded with one hand tied behind his back? I mean we’re born with tiny remotes in our hands… It’s a “guy thing!” But for the life of me I can’t come up with the right combination to make cold air come out of this damn thing! Heck with it…. It’s getting late and we need food!
By now most of the restaurants were starting to close, so we went to the first one that still looked to be open… Amigos. It was OK… Nothing special. We were really hungry so it hit the spot, but I don’t think I’d go back. Also seemed a little pricy for what we got.
Now we just needed to buy some cervezas to take back and put in the fridges in the rooms and start unpacking. I asked the waiter at Amigos if any stores were still open and he said the 7-11, which is down by the ferry. So we walk in and grab a couple of 6 packs of Sol, a half dozen bottles of water and a couple bottles of Coke. Get up to the counter and the guy says “no beer”. I said “WHAT?” He says no beer after 9PM. Are you kidding me? I’m in fricking Mexico for Pete’s sake and I can’t buy beer past 9PM on a Friday night?
Heck with it…. It’s late, we’ve been up over 20 hours, it’s time to just go unpack and get some sleep. I get back to the room and by now it’s only 99 degrees inside cause I left the ceiling fan on! So I start unpacking while the sweat just flows from my pores like waterfalls. One more stab at this remote… All of a sudden I somehow managed to hit the right combination of buttons and I felt cold air blowing in my face!
Holy Artic Blast Batman, I’m saved!