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Vacation Journal
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Trip Report 3/13 - 3/19/06 - the whole thing....

By: JoAnne in CT (View Profile)
Date: 5/2/2006

Wow, what a fast paced trip this was!! Packed a lot into the week, didn't really get to eat at all the places we would have liked, met up with lots of board friends and spent some great times with them!! For a pictorial, go to my WebShots site at http://community.webshots.com/user/luvmygumbo
to help you along with the day to day activities - I had a really hard time deciding which pictures to include, plus I didn't want to hog a lot of server space and make loading slow.... sorry, hope you don't mind!!

Monday March 13

We were up at 4:00 a.m. to get to Las Vegas airport - spent a non-stop weekend with Paul in CO and his lovely wife Karen and lots of their very welcoming and fun friends for the NASCAR race.... good God are we exhausted!! Get to the airport just in time for a wonderful sunrise over the mountains, find our check-in line absolutely MOBBED with race fans in their NASCAR get ups, and wait and wait... finally check in, have a last cigarette, and get to our gate. We board for our 7:20 flight, and after one stop in Dallas Ft. Worth we are on our way on an uneventful flight. We got into Cancun at 3:45. Immigration was JAMMING with Canadian visitors that they were allowing to proceed ahead of us, and this was the first time we didn't go right downstairs.... I was concerned that we wouldn't make the 5:00 pm ferry. The lines were just incredible! We did meander through, though, and got stamped, picked up our bags, got the green light and outside to the sidewalk. Cancun Valet was waiting for us with a sign with our names on it, as were Paul and Karen. A quick shot over to our van which was waiting with a cooler of iced down beers and we were off to the ferry.

We were skeptical about getting the 5:00 ferry, but our driver took some back roads and we were on to Isla without a hitch. We took pictures of eachother on the ride over and as Isla came into view, I got misty and giddy as usual. The new boat wreck that Wilma left in her wake and the condos Ixchel were the only two things new to us this time....

Checked in at the Posada, got to our room, changed, and headed for Sergio's for our first sunset. It did not dissapoint and we couldn't get over the amount of beach that Sergio gained since our last visit. Catz, Stephanie and Laurie were waiting for us there and Catz was busily snapping up "calendar poses" of all the girls (and Tim) on Sergio's dock during sunset - so good to see her again, giant hugs and couldn’t talk fast enough.... good times!!! Met Island Nana; Roy, Clayt & Deb showed up to greet us... a beautiful full moon was making its climb to the sky, ripe for the picture taking!

After sunset pics, we went to Romy's Posada bar to start the festivities... introduced Rockadoodle Deb to Mayan sacrifices, met Mike from Seattle who was a dead ringer for someone we work with, then on to Angelo's for our traditional first dinner.... Paul and Karen, Roy, Deb and Clayt, Jean and Harry joined us... the food just as good as we remembered and in the new space across the street.. A fire dancer started to perform at Fayne's and was quite entertaining. On to Miguel's for drinks... a late first night, lots of fun, Clayt and Deb went to the ferry dock around 11:00 to meet LadyHawke, who then joined us, had some good laughs with everyone, but went back to the room by 12:30 for some much needed sleep!! Ni-nite baby - ahhhh, we're here!

Tuesday March 14

Slept late, God did we need that!.... we've been on fast forward since Friday. Made plans last night with Catz & Co. to meet at LaLomita for lunch at noon. I dress and give Tim a kiss and agree to meet up on the beach later. Stopped by LadyHawke's place to meet up with her and Rockadoodle Deb... the morning is hot, and we start walking.... mid-stride approaching the Zoccalo I start up with a full-blown palpitation attack... have had them on and off since I was 21, all the tests I've had over the years have been "inconclusive" as to what the cause is, but they still happen... last one being about 3 years ago. They make me feel like crap, lightheaded, weak, but usually pass within minutes. This was not to be this time.

By the time we got to LaLomita, I needed to sit and try to cool down. Ordered a water and I must have looked like hell because ponytail Sumo Wrestler looking waiter took me by the arm and brought me to the window.... the girls were really concerned and I tried my best to tell them not to worry as I've been living with these for over 30 years.... this one was a little different though... I was in a foreign country, and this was NOT letting up...

Sat back down, waiter pointed the fan right at me, I think the girls were getting scared for me.... I still tried to keep them calm (and myself!) and put my head down on the table... managed to order, but it was even uncomfortable to talk... food came, heart still pounding at probably 170-200 beats per minute.... stubborn ass me gets up to photo the food and feel on the verge of passing out.... got through the meal, head back down and I start crying because I'm really scared this time..... I looked at Catz knowing she had a golf cart and said "I think I need to go see Dr. Salas".... so, we start settling up the bill, and voila... it finally stops.... wheeeewwwww.... "coming down" from these attacks is exhausting... feels like I'd run a marathon and then some.

Hawke and Deb say they'll walk and meet me at the beach; I hop on the Cart with Catz, Steph and Laurie and before you know it we're at Sergio's. I thank them for the ride, hugs & kisses exchanged, and we part company till later. Hola and hugs to Sergio, who’s holding court, hugs to Rogelio, who tells me where I can find my husband.... I find Tim and tell him about my ordeal, and hit the chair to do some relaxing, under our umbrellas.... met Pam and her husband and chatted awhile, saw my “cousins” Mike and Diane and caught up with them. Soon, Clayt, Deb, Lady Hawke, Karen, and Jean all join us.

We spent the afternoon lazing in the sun and socializing....We sit and talk awhile and then me, Hawke and Deb head out for a walk down Playa Norte.... laughing and chatting all the way.... we get to Nabalam's beach and see quite an assortment of bathing suit choices and have some laughs - men in speedos really turn me on (NOT!!!) Continue on and we stop at Casa Maya and grab beers for $1.50 for the walk back to Sergio's.... I finally met Marianne in NYC and chatted with her for a bit, saw Angelica with a sleeping Maria on her back, exchanged hugs and small talk - I remark how big Maria's getting and bought a necklace, promising to meet up later in the week - I've got goodies for my favorite Isla kids!! Harry and Paul were now with the group - they went out fishing and their boat captain was getting ready to filet their catches. I went up to the dock to snap some photos of the impressive haul... King Mackeral, Mahi Mahi and tuna. The plan was to deliver the fish to Fredy's to prepare for dinner. We all hung out for sunset then went back to the room to shower and change and meet up with everyone at 8:00 on Hidalgo for dinner.

We got to our room and our first of a week of lovely towel sculptures was awaiting us on the bed... so pretty!! Had a nice warm shower and soon we were on to Hidalgo for dinner. Got to Fredy's and oh, no - he was closed!!! Walking down further, Paul called out to us from Bamboo.... Ziggy was going to prepare our fish for us - whew!! We were the same group from the night before, being joined this time by Jean's sister and brother in law as well. Lady Hawke was missing.... Clayt and Deb went by her room, but it appeared she wasn't there.... hmmmm.

Ziggy prepared a wonderful feast with the fish. The tuna was encrusted with sesame seeds and black pepper, the Mahi mahi was served in strips with a wonderful marinade and the King mackeral was also marinated and encrusted with a wonderful seasoning. All of the fish was absoulutely delicious and Ziggy also prepared a lovely tossed salad served family style and a plate of assorted steamed vegetables. Wonderful!! Tim's not a fish eater, so he had a filet mignon that got two thumbs up (I had a bite - it was heavenly - fork tender and very juicy!!) I also had to try the seafood soup after reading about it in trip reports and seeing photos of it.... I must say it was a bit of a let down... I don't know what I expected, but I think after having Leonore's shrimp soup at Alexia y Giovanny, that's what I thought it would taste like - that it would have a "zip" to it... it did not.... I guess the word would be bland... it wasn't bad at all, just didn't excite me. My favorite kitty, a tuxedo cutie, comes by for some fish treats and is very appreciative!! So glad to see she survived another 9 months... then my "Chance" from Homeward Bound look alike doggie who'd been my walking partner three trips previous shows up... a little worse for the wear, some new battle scars, but still a very loveable pooch... give him some snacks and he moves on to the next sucker. Anyhoo, our check came, and I believe we had 3 beers each, Tim's steak, and small charge for the fish prep, salad and veggies was $45. Very reasonable for a great meal!!

After dinner, we hung out for awhile and listened to the music, Paul and Karen enjoyed a dance together, and then it was on to Miguel's for another night of craziness!!

Wednesday, March 15

Slept in again, got up and dressed, kissed Tim goodbye and went off to do some errands. Walked by the beach and took some pics of the fishermen cleaning their catches, stopped at the cambio for money, saw the juice man and just had to have some of that freshly squeezed OJ and then to Capt. Tony's to see about a trip to Contoy tomorrow. I had stopped by last night and he told me to come by in the morning. He had a group going out today, but we had made plans with Linda in Friggin Freezin MI to go out Thursday. He greated me with a hello hug and was agreeable for tomorrow... we had plenty of people and it looked like the weather was going to cooperate!! Yay, finally!! Lady Hawke appeared on her balcony and called out to me.... went upstairs and chatted a bit about where she was last night... turns out she laid down to take a nap and didn't wake up till 2:00 a.m.!!! She said she heard me talking to Capt. Tony last night, but was just too tired to get up!!

We headed out to just stroll around town as it was waking up.... walked over to Mirtita's so Deb could buy a bowl for the fruit she was going to prepare for Catz's party later tonight... found a jar of hot peppers in oil for a co-worker, I egg on Hawke to buy some cat food for Capt. Tony's mom's kitty that hangs out at her place and we were good to go. On the walk back to Deb's apartment, a man had just set up a sign on the sidewalk advertising his wife's empanadas for fifty cents apiece.... she was down in the alley, cooking away.... the choices were fish, chicken, cheese, bean and cheese, and "meat" - I ask what kind of meat and he says "I think from de bull". Hmmmm.... I decided to try a fish one, as the man told me it was the best - and "good for you". It did not disapppoint!!! Made freshly right before my eyes, just delicious!! Hmmm, I think my problem for what to bring to Catz's tonight has been solved!! I ask the woman if she can make me 20 assorted for a party tonight, she says sure, what time? I ask her if 5:00 is ok, and she's good with that. $100 mp ($10 US) for 20 home made empanadas - sounds like bargain to me!! I bid her adios and tell her we'll see her later.

We stop back at Deb's apartment so she can gather her beach things, Clayt and Deb come by to join us and we're off to the beach!! The morning goes by quickly and Hawke and I head over to the ferry dock at ten of one to greet Linda and Ali when they arrive..... we have a beer and 3 ferries come and go, no Linda.... okay, back to the beach... stopped at Ballyhoo's on the way back to try out their margaritas and they did not disappoint... not made with a mix, fresh ingredients all the way.... hits the spot!! Get back to the beach, and there's Linda and Ali with Tim, waiting for us!! Hugs all around, it turns out they flew through the airport and got to Isla at 12:30.... wooohooo!!! We sit and talk awhile and then decide to head over to the Avalon for some snorkeling and a dip in the King's Pool. On our walk down Playa Norte, we again see lots of interesting sunbathing choices and the guys are having their own lively discussion on the subject.

We started at king's pool, it was low tide, so not a lot of fish but still enjoyable.... Ali is way out around the rocks at the northern most point of the Avalon villas.... this guy is incredible... loves his snorkeling and just does not stop!! After a while in the pool, we call out to Ali and head over to the cove next to the bridge to see what's there. GREAT snorkeling here... lots of fish and crystal clear water.... Tim and I see a puffer fish hiding under an outcropping in the rocks and try to get him to move to snap a photo.... he blends so well with the sand that it took me a while to find him in my pictures!! It was great to finally see one, though.... a young man is swimming among us holding a long metal rod, poking at the bottom of the rocks looking for lobsters.... he finds one and right before our eyes rips the tail from the body, dropping the body to the bottom of the ocean.... I found this little upsetting.... it was a fun time, but it was 4:00 and we all needed to get back to our rooms and shower and prepare for Catz's party!! We stopped at Casa Maya for a cool down beer, and although the sign outside still said $1.50 for a beer, they charged us $2.... when questioned, they said "high season" oh, well, whatever!!

Got to the room, a new towel sculpture greets us.... along with the REAL Bert that I left on Isla last June... (note: earlier in the week, Jean told me that she retrieved Bert from Big Jim's and would be waiting in our room for us.... however, the Bert that was there looked mighty different from what I remembered.. turns out he was an IMPOSTER that Jean picked up at the Salvation Army!! she promised to fork up the real Bert later in the week) (for those of you that still have no idea what I'm talking about, you must refer to my story "Bert Does Isla" from June '05) yes, we're all crazy.... we shower, dress, meet up with Hawke who's dumped a pint of rum over the fresh fruit she diced for the party and trek over to the empanada lady who's furiously frying up my order.... after a ten or so minute wait, they're all done, she wraps, I pay, say gracias and we're off to get a cab to Luna Turquesa and the Isla Social Event of the Season!!

Our cab ride was quick we were on Catz's doorstep at pretty much 5:30 on the dot!! On arriving, hugs and kisses all around, I went to the kitchen, halved the empanadas and put them out on a plate.... Catz gave us the nickle tour of this wonderful property, and I got some nice shots of the sunset from the roof terrace. The guests began to arrive.... Faith (Freckles) and John, Eileen and Doug, Barb, Paul and Karen, Jean and Harry, Clayt and Deb, Kristie, Joanna, Carmita and Big Jim, Linda and Ali.... what a great group... the libations were flowing, food being scarfed, laughs being had.... a beautiful orange moon that we were told by Catz' Isleno palmreader (sorry, forgot his name) happens every 53 years was rising out back and I snapped a photo of Tim "holding" the moon in his hands.... there was dancing and singing to Aretha Franklin in the kitchen, a conga line, the trolls and Berts were having an orgy on the dining room table....(see Catz's trip report from June '05 for an explanation of the trolls). Ali has consumed just about all of Hawke's fruit salad down to drinking the juice - he has got to be the happiest man I have ever met and have to give him a huge hug for that - Linda, you are ONE lucky girl!! Lady Hawke and Clayt somehow decided to switch pants which provided a huge laugh from everyone... the girls all posed on the sofa with a chi-chi’s sign made by Tim.... well, you get the picture, laughs, laughs and more laughs.... a great time with great people... the night flew by and before you knew it, it was hugs goodbye to all and we were flagging a cab out front... Me, Tim and Hawke piled in the cab and said "Posada"... that is just about the LAST thing any of us remember for the night!!

Thursday, March 16

An "early" rise for this week.... 8:00... Contoy today, finally!!! Up, dressed and over to Tony's to assemble for our trip. Roy finds us, walks with us to pick up his laundry, but he's sneezing and coughing and feeling like crap and bows out for the trip... Deb stops by to find a pharmacy as Clayt is a hurting puppy... thinks it may be strep, they're out for today as well.... It's us, Hawke, Ali and Linda, 2 other couples and 3 kids.... it's a go!!! It is a glorious day, warm with a mild breeze, water a little choppy, but a happy group on the way to Contoy!! Before we hopped into Tony's boat I stopped to snap some pics of the fisherman readying the day's catch for the restaurants.... there was a HUGE "baby" shark on the table and several other big boys in the cooler.... looked like a good morning for the guys!

We jumped into Tony's boat, and headed out to sea.... we gabbed and laughed about the night before.... watched Isla disappear in the distance as storm clouds shrouded her.... Tony tells us Isla will be getting rain, but it looks like beautiful sunshine on Contoy. We stopped on the way to snorkel on a reef.... not bad, but not remarkable... strong current and lots of leg work here... nice photos of fan coral and some fish, another puffer fish, but I can't find him either in our pictures due to the camouflage.... back in the boat and on to Contoy.... arrive quickly and Tony points out some bird species and fish leaping out of the water.... we dock, disembark and are told to go explore.... lunch is at 1:30.... we trek to the museum... then up the tower, down to the trail.... never saw so many frigates!!! Another trail leads us to the lagoon where we see the males "puffing" for the females, see one nesting couple.... back to the beach, let's snorkel!!

We donned our masks and fins, the stingray is there to greet us and we pet him for awhile. Then we dropped in the water.... what great snorkeling!! Saw some awesome fish, starfish, brain coral, fan coral, just really cool stuff.... I got stuck in some really shallow water and was trying to avoid coming in contact with the coral, but my knee brushed up against some fire coral - my knee instantly felt like it had a really deep cut on it that was bleeding, but after coming out of the water, nothing was there but a swollen red mark about 1/2" long.... went back to the palapa to watch lunch being cooked.. told Tony about my knee and he looked at it - said "fire coral - you need to pee on it" I just looked at him and said "eeeewwwww" and everyone just started laughing - guess I'll deal with it!! (side note - almost four weeks later, I still have itchy bumps on my knee - try not to come in contact with the coral!!) Tony was cooking up Barracuda and chicken tic n xic style.... lots of sides, 2 kinds of guacamole, Mexican cole slaw, pico de gallo, chips, yummy.... the iguanas and hermit crabs were assembling in droves for lunch. Lunch was delicious......I fed the iguanas, the crabs, took some photos, showed Linda how to feed the Ray and went back into the cove for more snorkeling... amazing!! This time I went off to the left, very shallow, saw some HUGE fish, star fish, coral..... the undersea life is just so wonderful!!

After snorkeling, Tony was calling to us to load into the boat to head back.... we gathered our stuff, rinsed off our gear, hopped in the boat and were off back to Isla.... the ride was a little choppy but went by quickly, talking and laughing about our day.

We touched back down on Isla around 4.... Tony's dad was waiting for us at the beach with a handtruck to bring the gear back home. I remark to Tony how wonderful his dad looks and ask how he's doing. Tony tells me that dad's been chasing women lately and I just roar!! God bless him, in his mid 80s if he can still do that!! We paid Tony then went to the room to drop our gear, then to the beach for sunset... saw Faith and John getting ready to enjoy the sunset on Sergio's dock and snapped some photos of them.... Catz and Co. were there, Johanna was doling out clothing and toys to Angelica's kids... got to talk with Angelica some more and spoil the kids a bit, Jacob steals Tim's sunglasses just as he did back in June and hams it up for the camera - remembers Tim and calls him Timoteo!! I got tears in my eyes when he said that (think it has anything to do with the bald head?) We exchange hugs and hasta manana's and it was time to head to the room for much needed showers then meet up for dinner at Dragonfly.


DEEEELICIOUS!!!! Is all I can say about our dinner here.... most of us ordered the filet of fish stuffed with shrimp and cheese, which was wonderful.... Tim had a very thin but delicious pork chop.... don't remember how much but cheap cheap cheap.... Claudia will do well here.... a delightful lady with family behind her to help.... her mom cracked me up dressed to the nines and in pumps serving beers and dinners.... a new street singer with guitar and harmonica a la Bruce Springsteen stops by our table to entertain us and is quite good - we all give him a few pesos for his performance. After dinner, guess where? Miguel's once again.... this is becoming a habit and Miguel is happy that we’ve chosen his place to be our “hangout” this week. Tonight we were treated to nachos on the house, beef and chicken.... while I didn't sample, those that did said they were excellent!! There was a teen pageant going on in the square, Capt. Tony's daughter was a contestant.... Tony was perched up on one of the speaker stanchions taking pictures, we were cheering her on.... saw Doug and Eileen, they had their signs of support for Tony's daughter... back to Miguel's.....Dave and Shirl finally made it to Isla from their trek from Progresso.... another great time with a great bunch of friends. Miguel introduced us to Pomegranate Tequila shots... yummmmmm I think this was a 1 a.m. nite.... really don't remember.... nite, baby, nite folks!

Friday, March 17 St. Patty's Day!!

Day started out as usual for this week.... late.... don't know what time we were up, but I had plans with the girls to have breakfast at Amigos.... met up with Hawke, Deb, Linda, Jean, Catz & Co. and settled in for our meal.... don't know what I was thinking, but I didn't order my beloved Motulenos this time... wanted something different and on a suggestion I had seen on the board, ordered chile quilles with chicken, verde.... disappointed. Dammit, should have ordered what I KNOW is good.... oh well, next time, stick with what ya know.... Barb stopped by on her golf cart surprised that we were breakfasting so late... we had planned to do sunrise then breakfast, but way too much partying late into the night put the kabosh on that!! I went to the internet cafe next door while we ate to dump my camera... $3 and good to go!! Stopped at Digame several times this week, and they were closed.... ran into Chris last night and he told me he was having service problems and we agreed to try and get together for a drink before we went home..... too bad about the service problems, I always likee doing my business there to dump the camera and call home... fortunately Jorge stopped me on Guerrero yesterday and brought me to this internet cafe on Hidalgo so that I could refresh my camera cards!! Such a great feeling to be strolling down a street on Isla and have someone call your name!! I was chastized by Jorge for walking down the street alone, so he delivered me to the internet cafe on his scooter!! Any hoo, us girls stopped into "Tribal" next door to do some shopping... a girl and her boyfriend from Argentina own the place.... lovely jewelry made from shell slices with semi-precious stones embedded in the crevices.... I bought a great necklace for $20.

Breakfast over, we all plan to meet up at the beach..... went back to the room, Tim was gone... suited up and onward to Sergio's..... got as far as the bar, Catz and Laurie were swingin away and asked me to join them. Barb was camped out with Tim, they were both engrossed in their books and I was in chat mode!!. Saw Marianne in NYC again and Catz wanted to meet her, so we tramped over to her chair so I could make the introductions.... I lost my 2006 button at Contoy yesterday and received a replacement... with the promise of a spanking from Marianne if I lost this one!! Catz snapped away as we talked, then back to our swings.

The harp man reappears on the beach and I invite him to play a tune for us at Sergio's bar.... lovely.... Catz eggs on Rogelio to "pose" for us for some "calendar" shots... VERY funny..... he's such a hot ticket!! The rest of the day was spent lazing on the beach.... we moved over to Caribbean Queen to join Paul and Karen, Jean and Harry, Dave and Shirley, Hawke, Deb and Clayt ..... great afternoon, buckets o beer... Hawke was very popular with the seagulls handing out snacks. The girls decided to go shopping; I stopped at Silver Palace to pick up the necklace I chose for my sister a couple of days ago, Rockadoodle Deb found a cute kitty cat belly ring for her daughter, Karen bought a gorgeous ring..... then Karen took us to find the shop where she got her opal bracelet, and I got a beauty for a really good price... back to the beach!!!

Sunset was magnificent... Jorge and Dianne came by and snapped some pics... Angelica came by with the kids, loaded them up with presents.... hugs, tears and promises to see eachother next time, we need to go back to the room for showers and get ready for the St. Patty's festivities!!

We showered and donned our St. Patty's finery.... t-shirts made by Hawke, green feather boas, hats bought at the dollar store, green beads, shamrock sunglasses.... Tim's wearing a rhinestone "kiss me" on the back of his head.... we meet up at Fredy's for dinner.... Fredy is happy with our crowd.... lots of us tonight... Us, Jean & Harry, Catz and Laurie, Linda and Ali, Barb, Kristie, Dave and Shirl, Roy, Clayt & Deb and Johanna....Paul and Karen were dining with Jim and Carmita at Sancochcos.... we exchange hugs and kisses with the Morgans and Jim tells us to come by for "Saturday at Jim's", as we wouldn't be there for Sunday's festivities.... back at Fredy's, the kids start gathering around as we bring out our gifts, we order beers and pour them into our green light flashing beer glasses.... a young man comes by selling name bracelets and has a "Courtney" but no Matthew for Tim's twin nephew and niece.... He tells me he can make a Matthew in no time, and true to his word, he makes me one in about 5 minutes!! Sold!! Seven of us order Fredy's baked shrimp and it is MARVELOUS!!! Linda made the mistake of eating the hot pepper provided for garnish and needed TUMS but I think she would have enjoyed had she not done that!! The other choices looked yummy as well, Tim was happy with his. Our guitar man from the other night stops by to entertain us again and Tim surrenders his hat and glasses to him and tells him to wear them for good tips the rest of the night!!

We settle up our tab, then onto.... where else??? Miguel's Moonlite again!!! wooohooo what a night!! As we walk down Hidalgo we have people yelling Happy St. Patty's Day to us.... many forgot what today was!! We had a great time at Miguel's... traded our decorations with Miguel, he owns my hat... the band guys own a few others....great night dancing with Catz and Ali, Tim sings a Black Sabbath song with the band, I sing a Pink Floyd song with them.... way too many La Pinta shots and beers, Miguel bares his chest for beads, good times, good times!!! Doug & Eileen stop by to chat and for some photo ops, and the night just goes on..... what a great time!!! Tonight also serves as Bert's "bachelor party" and he's just getting out of control with Roberto, drinking and smoking up a storm... Ceeova and the bridesmaids look on with disapproval, and Barbie is just her hussy self!!

As we head back to the room, eager moms and kids want our left over decor and presents.... I give up my green feather boa, stuffed animals and hair prettys.... lots of muchas gracias amigas... hugs too..... plan for tomorrow is golf cart day but need sleep now!! Get back to the Posada and Romy is in the lobby.... he looks sad and asks where we've been... we tell him Miguel's and tell him he should go by to help out... he says he may, his bar was dead tonight, so we bid him goodnight.... Good nite friends, good nite baby!!

Sat. March 18.... Golf Cart Day!!

Met up with Clayt and Deb and Lady Hawke and Roy.... Clayt's feeling much better, so we walk over to the loncherias on Guerrero to have breakfast.... damn.... A&G is closed..... so we opt for #2.... I ordered scrambled eggs with chorizo, down the table we have pancakes and ham, huevos rancheros and french toast with bananas.... all very good!!! I went into the mercado for some pics while waiting for our meal.... came back, breakfast was good..... Roy bows out yet again to hang out with friends he met at the Hostel..... we went to Calypso on the advice of Lynn and Wayne and the rental for 9-5 was $40.... deal... we bought fruit ahead of time to feed the monkeys at Mundaca's and we're on our way....

Fun ride around the Island looking at new construction, life in the colonias, and on the way to Mundaca's we pass the lagoon.... oh dear God was it stinky!!! We were all gagging and trying to breathe through our mouths so we wouldn't smell the nastiness....... finally we get to Mundaca's.... price has gone up from $1 to $ 2, no big deal.... we stop to look at the fish in the lagoon, pass on visiting the pigs as they stink to high heavens.... visit and feed the deer and the iguana, then up the path past the garden and on to the monkeys.... saw lots of Wilma damage in the jungle... poor trees took a beating. Got to the Monkeys and they saw the fruit bags and started going nuts!! I just love feeding these little guys.... it's so funny how they like some fruits one minute, get something else then throw the last thing on the ground!! Once again they seemed mesmerized by cigarettes.... wanted to grab them right out of mine and and Tim's hand, not just with their hand when it wouldn't reach, but with tails too!! I could just stand and watch them all day.... like little people... they crack me up when they walk upright like humans!! Bye monkeys, see ya next time!!

Hop back in the cart and make our way to the turtle farm.... price has gone up here as well from $1 to $2, lots of turtles to be seen and we buy food and watch the feeding frenzy begin....New to the turtle farm are little "gardens" with painted turtles in the dirt. We stop in the tienda for some liquid refreshment, and the spotted silver kitty that we met last June was still there, but not looking too healthy.... unresponsive and very listless....my heart breaks for it... nothing I can do, I hate that feeling of helplessness, we move onward again with sadness....

We cruise past Playa Lancheros... would have loved to stop for Tic n Xic but still full from breakfast and picking on the monkey fruit... see the new El Pueblito, stop at the top of Garrafon for some photos and have some fun with some Isla pre-teen boys who are there and goofing around.... one of them farted and they all crack up... I look over and say "you farted" and they all bust out laughing... one of them started saying Pig, Pig Pig... then puerco.... so I looked over and said yes, "in English puerco is pig" and more laughter...
Head up the road and there's the former El Pueblito family and their shell stand.... we stop, say Hola, give Tomas a kiss... how big he's gotten.... I feel badly that I don't have any toys with me to give him, but I take his picture and show him on the screen of the camera and he lights up like a Christmas tree!! we buy shells, bid them adios and on the road again.... we stop at Villa las Brisas for a beer and look around.... what a lovely property.... someday I'd like to stay here for a special occasion.... there's some kids next door holding up shells and calling to me "Amiga!! Ten Pesos!!" I can't resist, open my change purse and get a couple of shells.... we finish our beers, and the kids are at our golf cart asking for another shell sale.... again, those big brown eyes just melt my heart and I cough up another 30 pesos for more shells.... got hugs and kisses this time... such a special reward!!

Ready to go to Jim's, Hawke's not feeling well, so Clayt and Deb drop Tim and I off at Jim and Carmita's and go to deliver Hawke back to her place and will meet up with us at Casa de Morgan later.... have a lovely visit with Jim and Carm.... we've really missed them and are so thrilled that Jim is well on the road to recovery.... Clayt and Deb re-join us and the time just flies by.... before we know it, it's time to bring the golf cart back.... hugs and kisses exchanged, can't wait to get back to visit with our Isla friends again!

We bring back the cart, rush back to our rooms to shower and change....what a lovely surprise, our maid has left us a beautiful floral bouquet on our night stand..... tonight's the night of Bert and Ceeova's wedding at sunset.... we get to the beach and "those that know" about the wedding are gathering at Sergio's.... Bert's getting nervous as his bride, mother in law, and wedding party are nowhere in sight.... just Bert and Roberto (the imposter, who is his best man).... finally Catz shows up with her entourage and the bride and bridal party (dressed in their Hortensia Originals)! The wedding gets underway.... Barbie shows up to try and contest the wedding but no luck... a small crowd gathered for the ceremony and the bride and groom are pronounced man and wife!! A lovely kiss at sundown, and the bridal party poses for pictures. Barbie, undaunted, decides to ravage Roberto right there on the dock to try to get Bert jealous to no avail... Bert is just smitten with Ceeova!!

The onlookers applaud, we are very proud parents and looking forward to the wedding night dinner!
On to Bamboo for our last night's meal. It's another big group.... Tim and I both opt for the filet mignon as it was wonderful on Tuesday. Lady Hawke ordered the garlic shrimp... I'm really not doing my job tonight taking pics of the meals, dinner was wonderful - BUT.... the tab arrives, sorry guys, calculator tape attached to the tab just does not add up for any of us at that table... hmmm looks like they didn't clear the calculator before starting to add the next tab. Each and every one of us had a problem with our tab, so BEWARE!!! LOOK at the tape and what you had for dinner!! We would have overpaid by $18 if we didn't look our check over.... first pass the waiter said it was taken care of but was still not done... started out at $700 and finally down to $520 where it should have been. Settled up, Ziggy came out of the kitchen and gave us huge hugs... love that guy and his cooking... really hope the owner gives him more freedom with the menu and pricing - they will do well by him!!

We finally get it right and then onward to Miguel's for our last night.... we all swarm Miguel with goodbye kisses and hugs, Catz gives Roy a hint of Brown Sugar, we're just all exchanging hugs for a great week... gettin' teary over our good times and thinking about new times in the future to be had... Lady Hawke whips out her "ice cream cone bubbles" for the kids and gets swarmed - I take a pic of her and it's hard to find her amongst the Isla munchkins!!! A final goodbye to Eileen and Doug, who stopped by to say hey, hope to see them again sometime - what a great couple!!

Another night of madness ensues....we have a great time with Paul and Karen, Lady Hawke, Clayt and Deb, Linda and Ali, Johanna, Lisa, Jean and Harry, Dave and Shirley, Roy, Catz and Laurie and God knows who else.... time to call it quits after way too many Pomegranate shots, cervezas, etc.....ni nite friends.... back to the room, ni nite honey!! Booooo gotta leave tomorrow!!!

Sunday March 19

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK POLICIA, OPEN UP!!!! A huge mail voice awakens us... Oh my God!!!.... what the hell’s that???? Go to the door, there's Clayt, Deb and Lady Hawke just grinnin at me..... I must look like hell.... they say "Hey Jo, come on, Breakfast, remember?!!" I say give me a minute, wash up, brush my teeth and kiss my beloved and say I'll be back soon to pack.... emerge from the room to much laughter and meet up with Jean and Harry at Pinguinos for breakfast (say OJ) Paulie comes by, I have no idea how this SOB manages to look so good after last night.... we say goodbye as they've got another day. Hugs and kisses all around, gotta get back to the room and finish packing.... I hate this part! We pack up, leave the last of the goodies and a tip for the maid on the pillow... note, all week long, we left $2-$3 on the pillow plus hair pretties, body spray, lip gloss, fun jewelry..... $5 as a going away tip. Go to the front desk and ask if we can leave our bags while we shop and stroll till it's time to go.... no problemo... we move on and camera ready, meet up with Roy again.... hit Hidalgo for some great pics of Isla waking up, the shop goods to be found and then the time comes... we go to the ferry stand and ask for a pickup... goodbye Isla, goodbye friends, some old, some new.... see you again soon.... I snap some pics of two adorable brothers, one cranky, one happy, parents so proud... buy a new suede painting of a Jaguar - hey I can justify this, I hardly bought anything for myself this time and this is for the house!!

Here comes the ferry.... I hate this part. Board, put away the luggage, take your seats. Ours are always on top, to watch Isla disappear - a little masochistic? Yes, indeed. But also melancholy.... old friends, new friends.... reminds me of a Simon and Garfunkel song, ok, I'm dating myself but so what... we'll be back again,. no doubt about it. A couple from Canada approaches and asks if we'd like to share a ride to the airport.... we tell them if it's less than $ 20 we'll do it!! Isla begins to disappear as the ferry pulls away and I am crying.... Tim rubs my shoulders because he knows how much this Island means to me.... we'll be back, Isla, we'll be back.... my tears dry as we approach Gran Puerto Cancun, we get a cab from a lovely man for $20 and we're on our way back home... at one of the stop lights, we see a little boy and his dad - boy is dressed up in a Mayan costume complete with headdress, cape and drum... I ask the cab driver what that was about, and it appears we were leaving the day of the spring solstice celebration! Of course my camera batteries were dead at this point and I missed getting a photo of the little guy. When the light changed, it occurred to us to use up our underwater cameras and did so taking pics of the hurricane damage still evident downtown Cancun. Finally arrive at the airport, tip our driver, airport is MOBBED!!! finally get to check in, go have a cigarette, shop at the duty free and go to our gate. We're called, we board and soon we are in line to take off. An incomng flight looks like it's going to hit us - what a great picture!! We finally taxi and are soon in the air - this time we don't see Cancun or Isla from the window.... I just whisper goodbye my Isla, see you next time!!!


Afterward

Our connecting flight out of Miami was delayed an hour. Got something to eat and spent most of the time in the smoking lounge. Hit the ATM to get money to tip our limo driver as we had no USD left, but it's out of service.... oh well, we'll hit one in NY when we touch down. Sleepful flight to NY, we touch down, de-plane, find an ATM and get money. Pick up our bags and there's Tony, our favorite driver, waiting for us at 1:00 a.m. A race fan, he's full of questions about the Vegas race. We give him the low down, walk to the car, load up, pile in, and crack a couple of cold ones that he's got waiting for us. Great ride home, we're in our driveway by 2:00 a.m. Hugs to Tony for continued excellent service - see you next trip!

Get in the house, hellooooooooo kitties!!! Everyone's fine, read the note my sister left, sickly cat held on while we were away and actually rallied!! Too wired to sleep just yet, we talk about the week. Those we hadn't met but have been communicating with over the past 9 months? No disappointments.... great people, good times. I had two great visits with Donna at Aqua Adventures - a delightful woman that I didn't get to know back in June because she was so friggin busy running Chiles Locos then. She's so much more relaxed now! Good to see Big Jim on the road to recovery and back to his ornery old self.... good to see Carmita sweet as ever, good to see Jorge as welcoming and helpful as ever! Great to see Sergio, Rogelio, Romy y Miguel, Angelica and the kids.... Chris, sorry we didn't connect for drinks! Good to see Barb and Catz again; so good meeting all of our board friends - Isla Nana, Faith and John, Marianne in NYC, Doug and Eileen.... and the rest of the nutcases, you know who you are.... we had a WONDERFUL time with you - look forward to many more Isla reuinions - this goes down in the books as one of the BEST vacations ever.... thank you all for your company!!!

P.S. - the weather was DELIGHTFUL all week... the only rain we had was one night, while we slept, which woke us up. AND Miguel told us to stop by on Sunday to say goodbye anytime after 12 - we were there at 1:00 and only Gabriel was there.... said Miguel closed at 5 a.m.!!!!! God bless, Miguel, you WILL do well!!

Now, if only I can finish the honeymoon trip report from last June!!!


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