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Vacation Journal
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By: rainee
Date: 5/31/2007

Started off at ORD at 7am. Brought a breakfast from home to eat at the airport. Smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese, fruit, and mimosa’s! With time to kill, we found a secluded corner and had a very fun start to an incredible journey. Enough food to last us to at least Playa. Had packed some trail mix for the “trail” as well.

We backpacked for 2 weeks, staying in Akumal and Tulum, winding down our trip on Isla. I picked Isla for the last leg of our trip intentionally. Close enough yet far enough from the airport. Great place to mellow out or party (or both). We did a walk-in at Posada del Mar and for 52 US got the only penthouse on the top floor. A few extra stairs, but we had the entire roof to ourselves and really enjoyed the sunrises, sets and full moon. The room was very clean. We had a medium size collapsible cooler for frig, and 2 smaller ones for the beach/travels and would transfer ice, food and drink. We could stop and relax anywhere and have a cold one or a snack. These coolers saved us a lot of trouble and $ along the way. The med size was very easy to transport filled, when we changed locations. It fit perfectly bunjied to the roller backpack. The small coolers fit in it even when filled. The coolers and the pool floats we brought with worked very well for our trip. Those and our CD’s, player and small speakers/double headset were the best things we packed! Portable floating party w/ jams!!

My somewhat better half had lost his temp filling, so we spent a lot of time looking for a “dentista”. I cannot speak conversational Spanish. You know how when you ask directions in a foreign country and after asking the local to repeat for the fifth time you feel foolish and pretend like you understand? We did this about 20 times in 2 days. I finally told him to go look w/o me as my teeth were fine and I had long run out of sympathy pain. The truth is, I knew he was ready to venture out on his own in Mexico (I was sooo proud!!!). The other half of said truth is that I wanted to hit the beach. His tooth really wasn’t that bad, I think he was having too much fun on his search. He never found the dentist, but he came back with hilarious stories! He cannot speak Spanish and is a comedian w/o trying. He ran around playing charades for 2 hours with the locals in search of this dentist, stopping for cervesa’s along the way!! The next day we were stopped at least a dozen times by people he had met on his quest. Every one of them was laughing and acted like old friends with him! We never did locate the dentista until our last night. We ducked into a doorway to avoid a brief, but heavy rain, and discovered the dentist residence. It was 2 blocks from our hotel. Too funny!!

We rented a golf cart for 24 hours. What fun!! Enjoyed the beauty and the shells on the Caribe side. With Mapchickies map we saw a lot of neat things and ate some good food. “We” have a habit of getting lost on almost every trip we have ever been on, if it is over an hour from home. Yes, believe it or not we got lost on Isla. We met the rest of the Isla locals as we kept driving in circles through the small neighborhoods, still kind of looking for a dentista, and fresh oj. Found the oj and shared quite a few laughs. One guy selling shell items at the side of the road really let out a hoot when he saw us pass him for the 10th time in a half hour! Gave out little gifts to the school kids walking down the road, who cracked up at our version of dentista charades. Some locals hitched a ride on the back of our cart here and there.
Just to let you know, we usually only get lost inland. Along the water seems to work for us, as long as there is a road. We have failed at navigating “on the water” a few times. Funny how one can laugh after the fact, isn’t it?

We finally found Casa O’s. Fantastic view for sunsets. The owner Lynn was very nice. We shared some conversation about Zen and I turned her on to one of my fav recipes. She is from an area here in Illinois, not far from us. I’ve tried to e-mail her but never got a response. Hope it wasn’t the recipe! Please say hello for us!

We had din one night at Faynes right when the music started. There were some cute little kitties hanging out by us. My animal-loving animal reaches down to pet one and the cute little &%#* attacks him. Drew blood, left, and then attacked him again!! This time the friggin’ feline was hanging from his arm and shirt by its kitty teeth and claws. We both have a few cocktails in us and I am cracking up!! A waiter runs over and he can’t get those sharp kitty claws released from his shirt. All of the diners are watching my 6’2”, 200 lb. man freak out from this 2 lb kitty! To top it off, the guitar player stopped the band and came down to help. People had stopped on the street to look by this time!! The diners applauded when they got the kitty off of him. I was rolling all over Hidalgo, crying with laughter! Didn’t think to grab the camera, although I did see a woman take a pic. Wish I could see that shot!

My shopping/negotiating didn’t go so well. I tried to friendly-negotiate a few items one night. At one point 4 separate proprietors insinuated I was “loco” (in reference to my negotiations, I will assume) and I should go away. I guess I should have found out what the items were worth first. I was having fun but it was late at night and I guess these guys can get a bit burnt out. I still don’t know if they were joking or not. The next morning not one of them attempted to sell me anything, let alone make eye contact. Just as well, I’d planned to wait to shop on our last morning anyway. Mistake. Should have shopped while I could. Read on.

We had my b-day lunch, courtesy of my in-laws, at Piccus. Really fun as the $ they gave me was to be spent for my b-day meal. We ordered anything and everything!! The food was really fantastic and they didn’t hold back on the rum! Mixed ceviche, beers, shrimp cocktails, rum and cokes, lobster, beer and rum and cokes! We got there before noon and the fishermen were next door cleaning their catch-o-the day. They threw the excess fish parts in the air to the birds, who were obviously very aware of this time of day. We sat there at the water’s edge watching this spectacular show for over 2 hours. There had to be 100 birds diving for fish (and some not observing a very strict pecking order, getting told off by the others) right in front of our table, our toes in the sand along the water’s edge. This is my best b-day moment ever!!
That evening was different. My sweetie had transferred funds on line from one vacation account to another so he could buy me a b-day ring-present. He goofed and we couldn’t get any $ for at least 24 hours. We were almost out of pesos and it was my b-day. Boo-hoo. Glad I stuffed myself to the gills at lunch so I had plenty of energy to punch him out! (joking!?). He got mad at himself and pouted (note: MY b-day and HE’s pouting???!!!). I had a plan!
We still had some food/booze in our cooler at the hotel. Just can’t buy ice. Ha! Posada has a bar and a nice Romi with ice! B-Day partyon the roof time!!
The prior night, my honey-pie had fallen asleep, so I stepped out. I bar hopped (2 bars/2 bands) and met some fun people. My b-day night we stop to hear music. Can’t sit at a table, as we only have enough pesos to get us to the airport the next morn. (I’m really hoping we don’t have enough). The lead singer starts waving to me from the stage, yelling out my name with a big grin, announcing it was my b-day. I almost died. Funny confusion as I forgot to mention I went out the night before!

We had such a great time on our trip. Thought I’d share some of the fun from Isla. We laughed and played every waking moment. Every time I turned around something brilliant was happening! 0 rain days and 0 spats = 100% good stuff!!

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