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Vacation Journal
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Anniversary Trip Part II - 3/29/10

By: mom2m-j-h (View Profile)
Date: 4/15/2010

I woke up at 3:00 in the morning to the sound of an intense thunderstorm. The sound of the heavy rain and the occasional thunder was incredible against the backdrop of the crashing waves. I dozed back off and woke up again just in time for the sunrise. By this time it was merely sprinkling and I was able to watch the sunrise from the lounger on the balcony. It was still pretty cloudy so there wasn’t much of a sunrise and I let the rhythm of the waves lull me back to sleep once again. Although it would have been nice to see the storm in the daylight, I was happy when I woke up that the skies were clearing as this was the day we had planned our golf cart tour of the island. So off we went in search of Ciro’s. As we rounded the corner near the Public Market a man on a scooter asked if we were interested in a golf cart and said he had the best place on the island. I asked him the name of his place and as luck would have it he replied “Ciro’s” – so we followed him back and we were quickly heading off in our golf cart. My husband thought I should drive since I had been studying the island for so long and he thought I would have a better sense of where everything was, which for the most part was true. We had not eaten so we had planned on trying Cazuela M & J’s for breakfast. After being stuck on a series of one way streets and ending up near the Naval Base seemingly going in a series of never-ending circles, I was finally able to get headed in the right direction and we found the restaurant. We had a great breakfast – I had a cazuela with fried plantains – yummy!

Cazuela M & Js (2)

and Fred had one with herbs and chaya.

Cazuela M & Js (3)

Both were served with fresh, warm tortillas and some not-too-bad coffee. Now that our tummies were full we could go explore the rest of the island. I had glanced at the Map-Chick Map and thought that our first stop was to be the Conch Shell House (oops). Fred was supposed to be the navigator and read the map more carefully, however it was a very windy day and he was fighting to keep his hat on and the map from blowing away so he wasn’t much help! Of course I could not find the Shell House on the stretch of beach across from the airport strip, but I kept trying! At one point I turned onto the road headed into the airport to stop and look at the map – a Federale with an M-16 stepped outside of the tower and held up his gun a little higher. I did not need any warning other than that and quickly put the golf cart into reverse and high-tailed it out of there. I don’t know what it is with me and Mexican Airports!!!! So even though we could not find the shell house, we decided to stop at an opening and walk on the beach – we collected a few shells and then headed back to the golf cart. It was at this time that I looked carefully at the map to see where to head next. We got a good chuckle out of the fact that we had just collected shells on Conch-Shell Beach – our first stop on the Map-Chick Map Golf Tour – and that the shell house was on the other side of the island! So next we drove through the colonias which was very interesting and we really enjoyed seeing how the locals live away from the more touristy areas. We had to stop and take a picture of this for our son who is a sophomore at USC.

Fight On!

When we drove past Colonia Guadalupana we wondered if there was any room for us to pitch a tent and introduce ourselves to our new neighbors!

Colonia Guadalupana

And stopped for a quick picture of the shell house!

Shell House

We then headed to Punta Sur and up to the lighthouse for a gorgeous view of the island and Cancun.

Punta Sur Lighthouse
Punta Sur (2)
Punta Sur (3)

Every time we even saw Cancun from a distance we thanked our lucky stars that we had ended up on Isla. We paid the small admission fee and took the walk past the statues and down to the cliffs. It was absolutely gorgeous and made for some great pictures.

Punta Sur (6)

After Punta Sur, we headed towards the turtle farm. We stopped at the overlook to Garrafon Park. Wow – what a breathtaking view. I marveled at the fact that the water truly is that color – it’s not just the pictures!

Garrafon Overlook (4)

The turtle farm was a nice little stop and made me wish I could be here during the release time.

Turtle Farm (3)
Conch at Turtle Farm

After visiting the turtles it was off to La Casa del Tix n Chix for lunch. This was the meal that my husband was most looking forward to – and it did not disappoint. I ordered the Coconut Shrimp served with Mango Sauce and it was absolutely delicious – it was also much less expensive than I had seen at many of the places downtown.

Coconut Shrimp at Casa del Tix n Chix

Of course hubby ordered the house special – the Tix n Chix. He was in heaven and said it was the best fish he had eaten in his entire life.

Tix n Chix

Of course the atmosphere we were eating this meal in didn’t hurt – toes in the sand,

Toes in the Sand at Casa del Tix n Chix

palm trees, beautiful blue water, and a nice light breeze.

Casa del Tix n Chix (2)

It was a fantastic meal – my hubby’s favorite of the week –mine was later to come that evening. So after a HUGE lunch, we headed over to Garrafon de Castilla for some snorkeling. Maybe not the smartest thing to do on a full stomach, but oh well! It was definitely a great deal for some great snorkeling. Once again we took dozens of pictures and had a marvelous time just watching the fish in their natural environment.

Garrafon 4
Garrafon 2

We snorkeled a lot longer than we realized and when we got out of the water we realized it was 4:40 and the golf cart was due back at 5:00. We threw everything into the cart and I floored it all the way back! Luckily I didn’t get lost and we pulled up to Ciro’s right at 4:59. Perfect timing! So back to the Avalon to get cleaned up and take a much needed shower before watching a once again beautiful sunset from the Avalon beach. This was a sunset that looked as if an artist had taken some pastel watercolors and simply brushed them over the sky and ocean.

Sunday Sunset (4)

We were running low on pesos so it was back to the 7-11 to get some more before dinner. Then off to La Lomita’s for some chile rellenos. As we were walking I realized I had left the map at the hotel so I was going to have to rely on my memory of studying the island to get us there – it worked and we were soon sitting in the very charming house turned restaurant. I loved the décor and the whole atmosphere of the place – it felt like we were just dining at someone’s home and watching as they prepared a wonderful home-cooked meal for us in their kitchen.

La Lomita

And the food! – I started off with the delicious black bean soup

La Lomitas Chicken Fajitas (3)

and then had the chile relleno which was to die for!

La Lomitas Chicken Fajitas (2)

Definitely the best one I have ever eaten – the batter was flaky and not greasy, the cheese was creamy and gooey at the same time and the pepper had just enough kick to it. This turned out to be my favorite meal, although we had so many delicious meals during the week. Hubby was still full from the whole fish he ate at lunch – so he ordered chicken fajitas.

La Lomitas Chicken Fajitas

They were good also, but after tasting a bite of mine (that’s all I would give up!) he may have regretted his decision. So after dinner we were off in search of dessert and what would become our nightly routine – an ooey, gooey, marquesita for me and Cool Ice Cream for the hubby. And then the leisurely walk on too full tummies back to the Avalon. One advantage of staying at the Avalon was we certainly were able to walk off all of those calories! This evening when we arrived at our room there was a bucket of champagne with 2 glasses waiting for us – a wonderful and much appreciated anniversary surprise from Fred’s bosses.

Champagne!

So this evening we were able to enjoy sitting out on the balcony listening to and watching the waves with a glass of champagne. Definitely the perfect ending to another perfect day on Isla!


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