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Vacation Journal
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A Mother and Daughter’s first journey together…March 2nd-7th, 2006

Date: 5/9/2006

While this isn’t the most complete trip report (I still haven’t finished my first trip report), I wanted to make sure that I wrote this down so I can look back at this report and be reminded of my first of many trips (hopefully) I will be taking with my one and only daughter, who is 11 yrs old, going on 21. (Background on my child…She went snowboarding 49 times this winter and plays pick up hockey with the boys in the neighborhood. She watches very little tv, and wants to keep busy. During the summer, she skateboards, bikes, and plays soccer. Her father is really active as well, but I’m much more laid back.)

The flight out of Minneapolis went fine, but when we landed it was pouring!! Luckily we did not have to walk outside to get to the terminal. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, we finally got our luggage. Needless to say, it was soaked, and my daughter’s brand new hot pink luggage didn’t look so new anymore. Oh well. Then I hit the red light, and they took away my beef jerky!!

There was a huge bottle neck leaving the terminal but we were able to find our pre-arranged transportation (Thanks to Sharon and Travel From!) easily. So off in the van to the ferry…It was quite the ride. There was traffic jams from all of the flooding of the streets, so the driver decided to take a “short cut.” Let’s just say that we were driving thru about 12 inches of water, and our van kind of puttered through the water. If I was anywhere else I would have freaked out, but I trusted our driver. He was doing the best that he could, trying to talk with me in broken English, and my broken Spanish. He was trying to teach us some Spanish phrases. Luckily, we arrived on time for the next ferry with no wait.

We stayed at the Luna d’Miel, which was perfect for me, not as much for my daughter. We both loved lying on the chairs or in the hammock listening to the waves, but my daughter is very social (I am not as much, only because my job entails working with large amounts of people every day, and being a Minnesotan I like my space.), and we should have stayed where there would have been other kids for her to play with, like at the Posada. The Luna d’Miel is the right distance out of town, you can either walk to town in about 15 minutes or you can take a taxi or bus easily. Our room had 2 beds, but the 2 others had one bed. The room also had tv, small fridge, microwave, and a coffee maker. The gal who managed it was very nice. I never got her name, but was always greeted with a smile and a “hola” when I saw her. I will also say that when we left, my daughter and I forgot a few things down there, and they were so kind to email us to let us know we forgot those items. Oh, I can’t forget to thank our gentleman neighbors, who were so kind to give us their leftover beers, limes, cookies, coffee because they were leaving that morning. Isn’t it funny how we teach our children not to take food from strangers, but when we are on Isla, we just consider it kindness without a second thought.

Although all of the days roll into one, we did all of the usual stuff. We sunned ourselves on North Beach. My daughter’s favorite vendor was the cotton candy man. We looked for him every day, although we didn’t always see him. Luckily we usually saw one at night in town, and who cares about eating sweets late at night! We’re on vacation!
Also at one point we decided to feed the sea gulls. Let’s just say it reminded me of a Hitchcock movie. Lots of screaming and laughing. My daughter also met a couple of people from Mankato, Mn. She is so outgoing it makes me nervous, but again on Isla, we welcome talking with strangers.

We went diving with Coral Scuba. I love those guys. Gilbert and Enrique are wonderful. While we were diving, my daughter was having trouble becoming neutrally buoyant. They stayed with her the whole time. The only bad part was that we were so sea sick…I think my breakfast came up five times.

We rented a golf cart a couple of days and drove around. This was my daughter’s favorite thing to do. We drove and drove, stopping at the zoo, the turtle farm, Punta Sur, Zamas and also looked at the houses along the south side. I let her drive on the South end because there was hardly any traffic. We laughed, giggled and laughed some more, especially when I forgot to yell “TOPE” when we ran over a big one.

The Contoy Island trip was fun, but it was a really long boat ride. I wish we would have booked it with Capt. Tony, but I booked it through the place by the beach bar and dock. I can’t remember the name of the place. While the boat captain and first mate were nice, the boat ride was unbelievably long. I thought it would be around 1 ˝ hours, but it was 2 ˝ hours. I think we were on the slowest boat with no bathroom. The stingray was really cool, but we didn’t see much for fish. We didn’t walk around the island because the staff was warning us about all of the bees. A couple of people were stung multiple times. The lunch was really good. My daughter even ate some barracuda. The hermit crabs and iguanas that came out to eat were really neat as well. Long, bumpy trip back to Isla.

Also on one of our golf cart trips, we stopped at Playa Tiburon to take our picture with the nurse shark. It was a highlight of my daughter’s trip. She really liked the shark, but said it was a little sad that they only had a small pen to live in. We also met a nice man, who offered to take up snorkeling for as long as we wanted for $20 total. We took him up on his offer, and snorkeled by the lighthouse for about an hour. We saw lots more fish there than at Contoy Island.

A 11 year old’s favorite places to eat on Isla. Not in any particular order. She would eat at any of these places: 1. Pizza Rock: great pepperoni 2. Amigos: steak 3. Picus: French fries 4. Ice Cream place by basketball courts 5. Sunday Rib Guy: chicken 6. Rosticeria Chicken: chicken and rice

While we had a great time, and I think that we are just a little bit closer, my daughter prefers the bigger resorts, because there are usually kids her age that she can play with when I’m relaxing on the beach. I am in love with Isla, and I was hoping that my daughter would be Isla companion. However, I’m bringing a couple of friends in June and hopefully they will fall in love with Isla as well and I will have my companions. (My husband cannot take as much time off from work as I can, and he feels more comfortable if I have someone to travel with.)

I haven’t given up hope on my daughter becoming my travel companion to Isla again some day. She said that she probably will like Isla when she gets old and tired and wants to lay on the beach all the time…just like me…Did I tell you that I’m only 35?

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