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Vacation Journal
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Thanksgiving week 2008: The good, the bad, the ugly, and the truly depressing

By: Clarissa (View Profile)
Date: 12/6/2008

We took the family (myself, husband Matt, daughter Ashton, 8, and Kaylie, 5, and my mom) to Isla for Thanksgving week and to celebrate my 40th birthday, which was the day after Thanksgiving. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights.

THE GOOD
The weather was amazing. It was hot enough to swim in the ocean every day. We took the girls to swim with the dolphins, and they loved it. We snorkeled at Garrafon de Castilla - they now have a nice beach area for relaxing. The beach at Playa Sol is huge. That was our favorite hangout during the week.

Some of the food favorites: pasta at Angelo, guacamole anywhere, pastries from Aluxes, and the fresh squeezed OJ from the juice stand in the Colonia. My husband really liked the fish at Chiles Locos. (Im not a seafood eater.) I tried the pomegranate margaritas at Miguels - they were delicious. The girls loved getting ice cream from Cool every evening. We ate one evening at Bamboo. The food there was very good overall. They let the kids eat free which definitely helped to offset their prices. Kaylie got a burger, and it was real burger meat like were used to in the states.

We stayed at Punta Piedra - it was perfect. We rented the upstairs 2 bedroom apartment. The accommodations were great. Amy was a wonderful hostess; she brought us some kids videos for the girls to watch. The girls were able to amuse themselves for at least an hour each day looking for shells and sea glass on the beach. It was very quiet and peaceful; we only saw three other people staying there the whole week. Having the kitchen was wonderful. Most days, we ate breakfast in the apartment. I bought eggs at the market, so we had eggs, pastries and OJ. The girls usually had leftovers from dinner to eat for lunch the next day. I like not wasting food. After 6 trips, this was definitely my favorite place that we have stayed. Matt agreed.

We rented a golf cart for the week from El Sol, we got a daily rate of $45 US. I rented a bike for a couple of days, and really enjoyed biking around the island. I will definitely do that again.

We went by Hortensias one day to get dresses made for the girls. This has become a tradition for us. As usual, the dresses were beautiful and she gave the girls bracelets when we left. I even got a dress for myself this trip! I bought my last one 7 years ago, so I figured I was due for a new one.

As usual, we talked to some great people on the trip. Rogelio is back at Playa Sol and was awesome, as always. As I mentioned earlier, Amy was a wonderful hostess. We met a very interesting lady from the UK who was traveling with her 5 year old daughter. We had a lot of good times with them. The girls had a great time playing on the beach together.

I took a Spanish class before my trip, and it was a lot of fun to practice all my new words. I still have a long way to go, but I definitely understood a lot more!

THE BAD
My mom and I got sick from something, were not sure what. It seemed to be more like food poisoning than Montezumas Revenge. Mom got it a lot worse than I did, but I was definitely not myself for about 24 hours. In 7 trips to Mexico, this is the first time Ive ever gotten sick.

The island was a lot less crowded this year than when we were there at the same time 2 years ago. Some people may see this as a plus, but I know the locals depend on tourists for their livelihood.

The prices are definitely going up at restaurants and shops downtown. People were not as willing to negotiate on prices this year. I found myself not wanting to argue over a few dollars, because I know they need it more than I do.

THE UGLY
AeroMexico. We had a 4 hour delay on the way down, which put us arriving in Cancun at 2:00 a.m. Then, we had a 2.5 hour delay on the way home. We booked through worry-free vacations. In their defense, I received $300 worth of gift cards towards future travel in the mail today(And I hadnt even written my letter of complaint yet!)

THE TRULY DEPRESSING
I havent even been home a week and my tan is already fading!


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