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Vacation Journal
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MommaDe Familys 10 Days in Paradise Day #3

By: MommaDe (View Profile)
Date: 12/7/2008

10 Days of Isla Paradise – Day 3

I have finally found a few minutes to begin to reconstruct our fabulous vacation from July. Were back in school, Kevin at Western Michigan, Kate at UofM, Tera a high school senior and John E a high school freshman. Kirstyn and Raffy got married November 15th. We were consumed this fall with wedding plans and (crazy me) insisted on making the flower girls dresses. The wedding was beautiful and a great deal of fun but its nice to get back to normal (or as normal as we get).

So much has happened since July that this is what my notes, pictures and memory tell me happened.

The kids, were at this point, completely in love with Isla and up early, ready to take on another day in Paradise! We knew they were skeptical about why we could be so happy returning time after time but in two days, or less, was all they needed to figure out the sun, relaxed atmosphere and great food.

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We started at M&J’s today.

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The kids would have eaten at A&G’s every morning and noon meal if we had let them.

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Breakfast was wonderful with three of the Mexican cuzela (spelling), one special, one rancherra and a chaya (mine) which was really good. Kevin, of course, added more shells and beans and rice to his. The child, NEVER went hungry! I think even Pedro was impressed!

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From there we went to Hortensia’s shop.

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After seeing Doreese’s reports I wanted to buy the girls and myself a wrap or cover-up. Tera got a wrap and a dress (very cute), Kirstyn and I each got a cover-up. Total cost $51.00. We picked out the materials, were measured and agreed to return the following day. Hortensia was not there but her “children” were and were very lovely. I think they were her daughters with two little ones. There was a man there too (a spouse of one of the women for sure). This is Hortensia who we met the next day! She was extremely pleasant and very glad to make me two more coverups later in the week.

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I, of course, with my terrible Spanish made a MAJOR faux pas. Fortunately, no one heard it, except for Kirstyn, or my coverups would probably have been in shreds upon delivery. I love kids, so I asked what I could say to the babies. She said, (and my spelling is phonetic) “carino” which means “sweetheart”. I, (may I reemphasize that my foreign language was four years of French many, many years ago) then called this sweet baby “carbron” which I was told upon leaving Hortensia’s shop interprets to something very foul that starts with “F@#^” and ends with “head”. Kirstyn, of course, thought it was hysterically funny and brought it up at every opportunity. In my own defense, I didn’t trust her or Raffy’s translations, who also found it amusing, for the remainder of our time on Isla! They found the idea of me being “stoned” by the locals to be very humorous.

From there we wandered around the market and found this wonderful lady, (Kirstyn and I “think” her name is Mari)

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who makes purses, along with many other things. She will make reversible purses in any fabric color in the shop. Kirstyn, our color palette queen, asked if “Mari” would make her two purses in the fabrics that she had chosen. I couldn’t believe that she would cut FOUR different fabrics, two for each, to make one purse, but she did! With one (off the shelf) in hand we left with three purses for $27.00. We would return for the other two the following day. She has a cute little boy as well. Hes about two years old.

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From there we picked up the rest of the gang and headed to Qubano’s for lunch. The first day, John and I had wandered around the quiet streets after picking up our orange juice. We were standing outside of Qubano’s when Vivian walked up. We talked briefly and she recommended the lunch special on Friday. She only has a limited number of the special so you need to come early.

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Vivian recognized John and I and welcomed us warmly. Qubano’s is small, so we took up a sizeable part of it with our group. That in itself was warming as people came through to say hello, sit and chat and some to eat. She only had three specials left.

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So three of us had the Friday Special which was fabulous…..roasted pork, beans w/ rice, plantains and yucca (spelling may be off)! Yucca is like a starchier potato with just a hint of a different flavor. It was really good (but I am a huge potato person – especially if there is cheese involved). We also had a chicken sandwich, salad w/ fried goat cheese and a hamburger stuffed with goat cheese among the family. A couple…OK, a few cervesas from next door and some soda and we had a delicious meal. We walked away stuffed and thoroughly enjoyed Vivian, the food and the atmosphere (63.00 USD inc. tip for 7 of us).

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We headed for the beach,

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stopped at Chimbo’s for drinks


and then went to Bally Hoo’s for appetizers before returning to our room and dinner.

Bally Hoo is the brown thatched roof.

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I was not especially excited to go to Bally Hoo’s but hubbie had heard good things about it. I was very pleasantly surprised!

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Although no 2X1 we did have some very good mango margaritas and guacamole and 4 cervesas for 95 pesos. What was truly amazing was the fish in the fish and chips! You definitely have to try that if you wander in at some point. We went back again, another day, JUST for the fish….and a drink after the beach.

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From there we went back to Almendros.

We thought the microwave was pretty cool......all our favorite foods

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We all took showers, the kids checked email,

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a few took a dip in the pool,

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or visa versa before dinner.

We decided on Medina’s for dinner, right across from Almendros. Kevin was disappointed that there were no beans and rice (I swear he’s taller every time I see him) but the tacos were awesome. For 52USD we all walked away STUFFED with drinks! Between all of us we covered the menu. Everyone loved the pork, but many kudos were given to the beef and chicken as well.

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I cant remember if we took this picture of the electrical lines from Medina or Angelos maybe. We just thought it was very creative. Some things ya just dont see in the states!

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On our way from Medina to the hotel we “literally” ran into Captain Tony, who was coming out of Almendros, looking for us. He said a storm was coming in soon and we needed to do Contoy the following day. This is fine with us as we had let him know that we were flexible on days and have heard that he is very “weather conscious”. So we plan on meeting him first thing in the morning after breakfast.

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This is where the “drama” began. We had three rooms. Kevin and Tera were sharing a double bed room and the KEY was missing. After many accusations as to who had the key last (Tera insists that Kevin never let her hold the key) and a trip back to Qubano’s by the kids (closed) we put an AKB (all key bulletin) out on MyIsla.com for anyone who might be able to give us info on how to contact Vivian (she is only open M-F). For the time being the front desk was able to give us a spare but we figured there would be a charge for the missing key upon departure.

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We got a message on MyIsla.com (I think it was Kathryn from Kathryns Travels, P.S. thank you) that Rosemary (who owns Cool) is a friend of Vivian, so we went next door to see if we could find her. She was not there but her boyfriend (who’s name escapes me at the moment) was there and said he would contact her. So with that information in hand we went back to Almendros to get ready for Contoy the following morning.

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John and I retired to the calm of Almendros while the kids wandered down Hildago. I am willing to bet with several arguments ongoing.

P.S. This whole situation would have been a bit less challenging except that they (hmmmm, Kevin) lost the replacement key the following day! You should have seen the look on the guy’s face at the front desk when that went down……… Locksmiths don’t work on Sunday.

In the end, the story is that Vivian found the key after we left. She couldn’t remember where we were staying so she gave the key to the lady who we bought cervesas from earlier in the day, figuring that we would come back looking for it. Unfortunately, we came back AFTER she had closed for the day. We knew Qubano’s was closed on Saturday & Sunday so we didn’t return. On Monday we were able to retrieve that key and located the other key shortly thereafter. You should have seen the look on the guy’s face (same person) at the front desk when we told him we were 2 for 2 on keys!

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Paradise is wonderful! We are all getting along, well the key issue did cause a bit of tention, thanks to a great sense of humor from all of us.

Tomorrow is Captain Tony and the whale sharks!


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