Thank you all for the encouragement to continue: The Jones Gang, (aka Hogfamily), Isla adventures.
Alaskadenise, we all ended up with sunburn, some worse than others. Iĺm mostly Portuguese my wife is mostly Norwegian this may explain why two of our boys have brown hair and eyes and two are blond with blue eyes.
Part of our morning routine I forgot to mention was the slathering of SPF 50 sunscreen.
Our oldest boy hardly burned, he got dark. The two blonds were constantly burning regardless of how much sunscreen we applied. By about the third week most of us were down to SPF 15. When we left we all had various degrees of tan.
Janet, our boys did get a lot of attention. They were quite popular. We had a friend from Anchorage stay with us the second two weeks we were on Isla. That allowed Michelle and me to get out on our own sometimes. When we did not have the kids with us we constantly heard, ôDonde esta el ninos?ö
We had taught our boys the polite Spanish words and greetings before we left Alaska thanks to a Spanish class that I had while in the sixth grade. The first phrase that they perfected the first few days was ôDonde esta el banoö. They were quite proud that they knew how to ask where the bathroom is. We could write a travel guide: ôWhere all the Bathrooms are on Isla Mujeres a Personal Guide by the Jones Boysö.
Several local people taught us a-word-a-day. By the time we left Isla our boys were speaking Spanish quite well. Out of habit they still often use the polite words and the phrases they have learned.
Alaskan version of a golf cart.
Noticed the covered eyes. We saw a lot of golf cart passengers on Isla the same way.
Thanks to my very caring and energetic wife we were able to take a lot of donations to the English School and the LYSH.
She did a garage sale and made $300 that we donated to the schools. The boys donated their allowances, clothing and shoes that they have outgrown. Michelle convinced several businesses and individuals to donate items for us to take. We had 3 large suitcases and a box full of stuff.
Kathryn of Kathrynĺs Travel suggested on this forum to contact Plutarco, Senor Plu, for taxi service. We are glad that we took her advice.
We called Senor Plu and arranged for him to pick us and our donations up and take them to the English School. (The donations for LYSH were left at the Cazuela M&J as LYSH was closed for the summer break).
Senor Plu picked us up and got us and the donations to the English School. We made arrangements to help teach two classes with students the same ages as our boys.
After we dropped off the donations Senor Plu took us on a tour of Isla. It was a great experience for our family. Senor Plu gave us a local education on living on Isla. It was good for our boys to see how people live outside the USA.
The southern end of Isla
The next day Senor Plu picked us up and took us to the English School for our afternoon of teaching. We had a great time. The teachers and students were a lot of fun. It was near the end of the summer session. Needless to say not a lot of serious study took place. Kids are the same just about every where. It is obvious that the teachers do a great job with the kids.
After the school we had time to sight see before we met Senor Plu and his family for dinner at Ballpark Tacos. (Which is no longer at the ball park).
We walked around Colonia La Gloria. More education for our boys.
We went shell hunting. I told the boys they could keep any shells that they could carry. Their pockets were so full of shells that they had a hard time keeping their pants up.
Senor Pluĺs most wonderful family. It was a treat to spend time with his family. Their stories of life on Isla and riding out Hurricane Wilma were incredible.
Our next major adventure was a day trip to Garrafon de Castilla snorkeling park and a snorkeling trip to Manchones reef. Thanks to Juan at Angelos we had a boat all set up to take us on our first off shore snorkeling trip.
Feeding the fish.
Getting ready for our first offshore snorkeling. Good thing we practiced in the living room at home!
We were impressed how safety conscious the boat crew was. A guide was in the water with us and kept close to the boys while they were in the water. The two youngest boys didnĺt stay in the water too long as it was a little rough for them. The captain insisted that he would watch them so Michelle could snorkel. After we all got back in the boat he was laughing and said that the two boys that stayed in the boat kept him entertained by telling stories and singing. I can only imagineů...
One of our favorite places is Miguelĺs Moonlight. Miguel and his staff treated us well. His pomegranate margaritas are the best. Our boys kept bugging us about wanting to have margaritas and daiquiris. We told them that they were adult beverages. Miguel must have overheard us as he brought the boys margaritas and daiquiris, two-for-one.
The Jones boys with their first margaritas and daiquiris (virgin).
Our boys thought that the fire dancers were the greatest. They all said that they wanted to try it. OH GREAT, emergency room here we come.
The adventure continuesůů