I never thought about going on a vacation to a distant land. We live about 3 1/2 hours from the beach and 3 hours from the mountains. I thought we had it all and never had the desire to venture too far away from home. I also did not have any money to travel. I never thought I would travel either. My husband got a better position at work and began to travel. One trip, I went with him. We were bumped and given free air plane tickets. We had those tickets for over one year and did not use them. Finally my husband chose Arizona. We loved vacationing without the children. We loved visiting the ruins and the whole southwest of the USA.
When we were married, we spent our honeymoon in a tent at a beach campground. It was Not very fancy. I wanted to go to Key West, FL. But we did not have any money. When planning our 25th anniversary, of course I wanted to go to Florida and snorkel (we had never snorkeled) and have a nice place on the beach. I found that the few places I could find to stay near the snorkeling areas were very far from towns. I didn’t want to travel back and forth to eat. It was during this planning time that an acquaintance of mine, told me about Cozumel. She said it was Heaven. I started researching. I relented and visited a travel agent. She gave us this fancy brochure on Cancun and the Rivera Maya and recommended this fancy resort. I looked at it. It was too fancy for us. However, another property in the brochure was X-Pu-Ha. It had bungalows and although it was a resort, it felt more tropical and exotic to me. We went for 10 days in June of 2005. I absolutely loved it. All tours were included. We signed up for the Isla Mujeres day trip. We enjoyed the booze cruise and snorkel excursion. We only had time for an hour golf cart ride while on the island. We had a fun day and it was really hot. The next day was the end of our vacation.I t was time to leave. Trust me, I am not very sentimental, but I cried when it was time to leave. Wow, I want to return here. Later that summer, Hurricane Wilma hit. It destroyed much of the grass thatched roofs and this resort was closed for longer than most.
I am now addicted to the Caribbean. What to do?? I researched all avenues. My husband has had problems walking for years; I felt we needed to stay at a resort so he would not have to walk as much.
I remembered Isla. The Avalon was a perfect choice. Oh how we loved the villas with the waves crashing right at our balcony. The beach was awesome and we loved it there. The year I turned 50 in January. I (wrongfully) decided that I needed to go further south to Aruba as it had to be warmer. I now know that Isla would have been a great choice. We had a good time in Aruba but it was marred by my husband having to be treated at the emergency room for several health problems that he had (he was sick when we left the States).
The next year, we are back to the Avalon. We are still very happy with this resort. We did venture out from the resort much. After reading the myislamujeres board. I KNEW that I had to find Miguel’s Moonlite. Jamie, another guest at the Avalon, helped us locate Miguel’s. Alright, I know Miguel is a great guy and other Isla guests find him superb, but we were smitten. He is a great friend to us and his family is precious. To be honest, he was the only one other than Capt. Tony to get any of our business that year. Upon departure, I notice the airline is asking passengers to give up their seats. Alright – I will take a free ticket or 2! YES! Next year’s trip is in the bag!
Come to find out, the free airline tickets don’t play out so well when it comes time to book a room with a package deal. I was finding that the Avalon was the same price with or without air. So on principle, I book at Hotel Media Luna. I cross my fingers that my husband can take the stress of walking to town for meals.
My bet payed off. This is the year that we fell in love with the island. I could walk alone and get the laundry done or site see by myself. No worries! I believe this was the year that we went to Miquel’s Moonlite. As we are enjoying ourselves, this Jimmy Buffet looking guy with his tropical shirt unbuttoned comes up, points and announces. “The Greatest Singer on the Island!!!” He is pointing to Gregario. OMG. He is right IMHO! I will never forget that moment. Miguel’s was on Hildago at that time. The “Sex or Tips” band (who we love) just had to stop – no competition- they had to yield to Gregario. I guess there is some kind of protocol. It was one of those moments that etches itself into your memory.
The next year, we feel more adventurous. We stay at the Villa Kiin. Okay, It is dark if unless you stay in the Pakal rooms. They are small. The free breakfast is a joke. The staff is sometimes less than accommodating. This is Mexico. Sometimes, it’s just the way things are done. Even though, I have felt a little “ill at ease”, I have never held them accountable. I do realize that I am in a different culture with different rules. We still love it at Villa Kiin with their beach access and hammock garden. It works for us. The rates are fair. We have stayed here ever since. Last year our 28 year old daughter went with us. She thought it was the best place to stay and has fallen in love with Isla.
Now, you see the progression. From not even thinking of traveling, to coming to the Rivera Maya to Isla to an all-inclusive to enjoying more of what the island has to offer.
The friends we have made, from Alaska, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, New York and Canada, It seems that even the guests of Isla are so Special. The Islanders are now our friends. Isla feels more like home than my own home in the states. We covet those that live here full time. Our memories run deep and we hold on to them like life savers in our life currents. Sometimes I feel that the only thing keeping me going is the thought of the next booked trip to Isla. We know our lot in life is to live here … but Isla and its peoples are where our hearts live. We can hardly wait to come down next week. When we get home from this trip we have this summer to look forward to. We are going to stay at the Roca Mar with both our children. I just keep digging my heels in deeper and deeper. Maybe I will get them so far down in the sand that I just can’t ever leave!