Sorry the pictures are not added on here.
Jan. 02, 2005
As some of you are aware in Nov we purchased Punta Piedra III which is now re-named Casa Vista Alegre and listed on this site with rentals of Isla Beckons.. When passing the other Punta Piedra’s the first road to the left you come to a park area which we are told the locals call the New Melacon(sp?) even though it is not the newest one now or on Map Chick map E62 Oceanfront walk. But right across from the park is our unit. There is an older unit, ours and a new unit going up beside us. Going on down the road you are on the same road to Villa Las Brisas. Ed made returning trip in Dec to finish items up along with his “motor bike” experience of trying to get back to the ferry in time, the headlight not working and finding the road ending before him. So after a lucky “minor” spill he took the regular ferry back to Isla and came back the next day to pick up the motor scooter. As Karen in UK posted finding items in Cancun is not as easy as you think it will be even at Walmart. My daughter Tiffany and her fiancée decided to make a trip to check out what her dad and mom was up too. In the meantime a great flight deal came up so we decided to join them. The next thing we know our daughter in Colorado found $99 RT deal so the whole family was going. This is the first time in 10 years we have had a vacation together.
We arrived Jan 1st. Wish we would have been there for New Years but we were glad to have this opportunity together. Well everyone must of partied hard cause trying to get a taxi on New Years day is another story! We went to the taxi pick up area by the ferry. After standing there and politely waiting our turn we found out it was who ever could jump in the cab first contest. We needed two cabs but that was not going to happen! Three of us finally got a cab and told Ed to grab a bus or cab whatever he could find. Captain Tony passed Ed and on his return trip seen Ed standing and offered him a ride. That was so nice of him as we hadn’t yet personally met him but from all the pictures on the board Ed had yelled a hello when he first went by. On the way to casa Ed mentioned about the Isla board and him taking pictures at Eileen and Doug’s wedding. So finally we have met and he really is a super guy. Since Dawn would be getting in later in the day, I waited at ferry dock estimating a possible arrival. I could not believe how crowed the island was. The line to get on the ferry back to Cancun was out to the street every time. Good thing I am a people watcher as I think it was about the 4th or 5th ferry after I started waiting. Saturday is definitely not a good arrival day. The Denver flight took 2 hours to get through customs and she said a lot of planes arriving at the same time.
1/2/05 Sunday was Dawn’s birthday. The rooster crowed and Tiffany couldn’t believe it. She said I didn’t know they did that for real, she thought it was just in the cartoons. City Kid! The kids all went to the beach and Ed and I enjoyed the Sunday ribs. Those ribs are the best! A loveable rotweiler dog next door quickly became our new best friend. He would look so cute putting his paws and head on the wood fence and giving us sad eyes. Sunday afternoon we headed to Big Jim’s party and met a lot of great people. Sorry I am really bad at names but enjoyed meeting you all. One was a large group traveling together that we ran into various times on isla. It is fun to run into the board members during the week and touching base how everything is going. The kids decided to take off in golf cart and find some mix and liquors for the room for rest of week Later in the afternoon it was cooling down. I had brought a cake to share but the birthday girl still hadn’t returned so decided to go ahead and cut it. I didn’t see the small puddle of water but the next thing I knew one leg (which already has a brace on it was going one way and unable to control it my other leg was going the opposite way and bending at the knee a direction it is not suppose to bend. I knew I had hurt myself but I just wanted to lay there a while before trying to get up. After a while and I am sorry I don’t remember your names a man and Ed helped to get me up in a chair and a lady pushed a chair under me to sit in as soon as they could get me up. Got a beer and put the can on my knee as soon as I could, but still afraid to stand up. Meanwhile – what happen to our daughters???? They are not the type to go and not come back but now I was getting more worried about them plus what condition I was going to be in. We decided we better get a taxi. I got up and was able to walk (whew) but slowly as it was painful. Carmita offered to drive us in their golf cart. Thanks Big Jim and Carmita! Right after we got on the road here comes the girls and they had gotten lost! To us it seems weird to get lost but this was their first time. Just a relief to see them! Carmita offered to still take us as I had already gotten into the golf cart and didn’t really want to transfer at that time. Got back to the room and took extra pain pills and iced down leg. Everyone went to French Bistro for Dawns birthday. The rest of week as long as I kept my leg straight everything was ok. Monday the crew went down to eat Breakfast at Buccanno as they have the best French toast and in the afternoon we took off to snorkeling at Hotel Garrafon. Not a lot of fish that day but everyone enjoyed it. I took some pictures as not sure how long hotel will be there and it is a nice area. I sat in the sun and tried to get a little Isla Glow going. We finished up by going to Playa Lancheros for the famous Tix-n-Chix fish. Always a great meal.
Tuesday everyone was ready for a Captain Tony snorkel trip. Everyone loved it and they stopped at three locations. Ed was glad Captain Tony had a wrist band stating he was a certified scuba diver so he didn’t have to wear a life jacket. I enjoyed myself that day by sitting in the pool area of our casa (gets pretty toasty) in the back and when it got too hot I would go to the front and cool down with the breeze from the Caribbean. Plus the blender/bathroom was accessible between the two locations. I loved sitting on the front porch watching the runners, tourist on bikes, and golf carts go by. There are quite a few people that use the park to stop and exercise. I watched all of them working real hard! My favorite picture is the girl stopping and climbing on the seawall with her hands out. It just says it all. The ocean to me brings a calmest to your body and soul. I can watch the ocean forever with its powerful strength rushing and crashing upon the rocks.
Back to the National Lampoon vacation That evening Tiffany decided to crash and Eric and Dawn went into town. I woke up around two o’clock and seen no golf cart but I knew a lot of places stayed open until 3-4 but you know how you start to get worried. 3:00 came 4:00 came. 4:30 I hear a taxi stop and Dawn comes in and states I need to talk to you. No – whatever you have to say you can say in front of your Dad too as I knew this wasn’t going anywhere good. So it appears that Eric wanted to drive and he thought the golf cart was in reverse, floored it and they ended up running through the front of a store window breaking the glass. I guess about 30 or more people came out and being unfamiliar that a lot of people live above the stores they were really frighten. People were yelling and they were scared. I guess they headed down a one-way street, Dawn tossed her shoes so she could run and were hiding laying on the ground. (In future years this will be a good laugh for them) They went back and the golf cart was gone. Dawn said she ran into a guy that had answered a question the day before and he told her to go home and go to the station later. She just keep saying – Mom I was fearful for my life I have never been so scared. They wanted to know what to do and Ed said go to bed we will take care of it tomorrow. Well it ended up it was Freddy’s window they had drove through so we paid for that. The golf cart was at police station and when the guy from Ciro’s came he recognized Ed and told police he was a good customer so the fine was quite reasonable. Thank goodness all the good people we have met on the island that assisted us as we did not get the tourist treatment that we may have gotten. It was expensive enough but could have been a lot worse. As our friend said if your going to town for the evening spend a buck for a cab and let them take you home. So a good suggestion for all. Meantime Dawn has decided to take Spanish Conversation at Steamboat Springs CO so she can better be prepared next time. I can imagine when I think back to the first time I went to MX and what it might have been like if this had happened to me. Eric was ready to book it to the airport and never come back. After everything calmed down and was taken care of, everyone relaxed again and enjoyed the rest of the week.
We made our rounds to all our favorite food places. We laughed when Eric was using a napkin at a restaurant and stated this napkin smells sooo good. Another Ariel convert. Tiffany had a wrap around outfit made from Hortensia and loved it. The picture doesn’t show but the material was hot pink with gold threads through it. Very cute.
So Tuesday we leave again to finish up the last details of units and Ed will fish in the barracuda bash. This will be the first Barracuda Bash for us so looking forward to this an hopefully a “quieter” trip without the kids. Excited to see Karen UK new place on Saturday and of course a stop Sunday at Big Jim’s.
Regarding my knee – I wanted to wait until I got back to states to check out my knee. When looking up my policy I seen I couldn’t go to emergency unless it was a life/death situation. So what was another day. I called an got in my doctor Monday but he stated I need to go to a specialist. I call who they recommended and they could see be Feb 25!! Told the scheduler I hoped I was complete well by then! She found another doctor that I can go see tomorrow so we will see!
The Griswalds Return Jan
After our family trip Jan 1-8, Ed and I returned to what was planned many months ago and our Christmas present, which was to attend the Barracuda Bash for the first time. There was still some items we needed to take down to finish up Vista Alegre so this worked out to be good timing. Ed put some DE powder in a gallon plastic baggy which I told him looked like a huge bag of cocaine and at street value would of probably been millions of dollars. DE power is used in swimming pools and around scrubs but will not harm plants but keeps any little pests away. We leave early for Cleveland and the lines are not long at all. We just get through security and we hear a page for Ed Sutherland please return to Apple Vacations check in. One look at each other and we both think – DE powder! Ed ventures back and they have no idea what DE powder is. Ed told them don’t sniff it as it is finely cut glass so they declared it hazardous along with taking our WD40 and silicone spray declaring them both hazardous too. Ed asked isn’t hairspray flammable too? Of course, but that that is ok. We venture on no problems; we take the local bus to Cancun and taxi to ferry. No problems getting a taxi this week and soon are back to casa after a 10 day “winter” break. I had finally got to see an orthopedic doctor the day before we returned to Isla and there were no torn ligaments from my fall on Isla Jan.2nd but it was still badly sprained. Doctor advised to do what I had been doing for a week. Elevate and ice down several times a day. His nurse handed me a sheet of exercises and stated, “do which ever you can”. Such caring individuals anymore. We are staying on the second floor this time but the stairs were not too bad to climb. Funny thing is I find out every step is a different height. I have never watch them build steps but it must be free form. Most people would probably not even notice a difference but when your handicapped you notice all these things. Our couches had arrived. Ed had went to Cancun the last visit and purchased a couch for each unit that folds out to a bed. That way if someone has a child or third person they can use unit also. This isn’t on www.islabeckson.com website but are available if needed as web site just addresses king bed in each unit. Plus your bottom (at least mine) just wants something soft to sit on now and then J. We venture down to Amigos which is usually one of our first stops. Soup DeLima and ceviche. I love their puffy bread. It was warm in the sun but after 4:00 in the shade it was getting a little cool. We then ventured down to the Vista Mar for Ed to register for the Baracuda Bash. The Harbor Master was not letting boats under 30’ out that day so they were not sure if there would be fishing or not the next day but a meeting was set for the next morning to determine. Leaving the Vista Mar Ed sees Zina. “Hey Zina! – as she flies by on her golf cart across the street – She didn’t hear us and never seen her again that week! A trip to the French Bistro was in order for that night. We just love their filet migon with pepper sauce and seeing Victor again. I top it off with flan as I usually get their chocolate cake which Ed did this time, Ed very rarely eats deserts. Ed also had a chocolate thing going this week and he very rarely eats chocolate! Maybe the Norte and sea salt put this chocolate urge in him. Well their delicious cake takes care of that chocolate urge no promblemo and let me tell you the French Bistro’s flan is the best I have had yet. It is nice and cold which makes a BIG difference than buying warm off the street. The waves were coming in a lot higher than 10 days ago. Ed loves to have all the windows and doors open 24-7 when we are there. This was the first times he actually closed the doors as there was quite a breeze coming in that night. At night a lot of time you could see the mist of salt blowing off the ocean and across the street. No wonder everything rusts fast or doesn’t last long. If you go out by the pool in the back of unit though it is a whole different story as the pool lights put a nice evening glow in the background and the back has a six foot wall all the way around. We love to sit out on the front porch in the morning watching the sunrise with coffee/tea and rolls from the bakery. Captain Tony rides by on his golf cart to pick up his daughter to take to school. Ed went down to see what the fishing status was. They were postponing fishing for Wed. and there would be a posting later regarding Thursday’s fishing. Wednesday had us mainly doing some items that needed finished. I did not make it upstairs last visit but had brought back some curtains for windows and under the counters. Now you would think both units would be the same size but no it doesn’t work that way. The counters downstairs are shorter than upstairs and the kitchen windows are smaller than upstairs. In the bathroom the first floor is even and upstairs you step up to go into the bathroom. The end tables downstairs are bigger than the end tables upstairs. Ed was re-glueing the clothes closet as who ever put them together just put them together and they were uneven. The Griswalds cousin must have been there doing the construction the whole time! That afternoon we ventured down to Nautibeach/Sunset Grill and had nuclear nachos and ceviche. MMmmm very tasty! We stopped by the Vista Mar and Ed went up to check the posting and said that fishing was tomorrow at 9:30. Next morning like every morning we are usually up by 5:30. Ed usually brings a mixture of Kona coffee. I like the smell of Kona Chocolate Macadamia nut coffee but he now adds other favors which takes away that great smell. If you add Kahula I sometimes will drink the coffee but I am mainly a Green Tea drinker. We watch the sun break day and watch the early morning runners trot down the road. There is a local Mexican with blonde hair that runs by each day along with the American/Canadians that keep their daily routines in place. Hola! Tony as he goes by. If I could run, I think I would add this to my daily routine too. The route along the airport up the Caribbean side is a beautiful stretch plus hardly any traffic early in the morning and after the holidays especially. After waiting for the fishing start time Ed takes off to go downtown for a day of adventure and me sitting with an ice pack and a book. Not long after I see a taxi pull up and Ed get out. Here the sign said 8:30 but had looked like 9:30 to Ed. I guess they had waited and just pulled away 5 minutes before he got there. He was drawn to be on Captain Tony’s boat too which he had hoped to be on. Oh well, there is still tomorrow. Later that day I seen a fishing boat and told Ed – hey maybe you can get on that one. Here it turned out it was Captain Tony at that! Thursday night we eat at Manolo’s . Several Barracuda fisherman are eating their catch of the day. (Sad eyes from Eddy) However we order that lobster and ymmmm sure beats Baracuda J. Friday finds us up and Ed makes it in plenty of time to join in the fishing tournament today. He really enjoyed the hand line tournament and was his first time fishing like that. His fish was approx 17# and stated he knew when he hit as the boat practically stopped. Jam Queen took a photo of his fish, which is great as I wasn’t down at the dock when they come in. Next year I’ll have to go down for when they come in from fishing to see everyone’s catch. That evening at the fishing banquet I got to meet Jamqueen, Rosie, Treasureman and Sandia. What delightful people and wished I had gotten to talk to them more. They had a nice party behind the Vista Mar in a garden area (which connects to where the rib man cooks his ribs) These people love to party and Rosie kept the group going all evening. Great food, beef, chicken and fish along with all the trimmings and plenty of beer that didn’t run out. The boat captains were there along with some local music. We definitely want to return next year I am pretty sure they said it is always held the 3rd week in January. The winner of the 10th tournament was Pia a lady from Amsterdam. They were coming to vacation and had typed “fishing” in the search field on the internet for Isla Mujeres and the Barracuda Bash came up. They were very nice people Her fish was approx 24 pounds. The “Connecticut Connection” does a lot of work to make this event happen but I am sure they also enjoy all the people involved and the great time everyone has. Captain Tony took some group photos that morning of the tournament that he already had available that evening. There were some raffles of items during the night of various items that went to good causes also along with collecting items brought in for local donation to the school that the participants had brought along. Fish tournament winners along with trophies and $$ were awarded. The boat captain of the largest fish also winning some cash. Everyone had a great time. Saturday we rented a golf cart for a few days. The Ciro guy was backing the golf cart up along the curb to be close for me to get into. But the Griswald’s moment steps in and I had taken just a small step backwards which a small lip in the concrete ending me falling through the front doors of Ciro’s. Not a bad fall and didn’t break the glass like the kids did a few weeks ago at Freddy’s! Onward we go - everything working. Stopped by Hortensia as I needed her to make us some curtains since the window sizes were not what I thought they were. We manage to get sizes communicated and 2 per window. She is closed on Sunday and advised would have on Monday (and she did and are nice too) Boy this cart is a real mover and seemed to fly compared to some of the carts we have had. We went and tested it out on our golf cart coasting spot and broke our record. Now this starts with the hill by the pink La Bonita condos over by Indio’s.. We coasted past Mar Sol and Playa Gaviotta then past the phone booth on the road. That phone booth is new so it now gives us a marker on how far we can coast. This experience is always fun at night or early morning when roads not busy. The cabs must wonder when they see us zooming by where the hemi is at J. Night time feels like Space Mountain at Disney. Don’t do this with a loaded cart of four people though. Around sunset we parked out beside some of the boats. I seen a local fisherman and his dog hanging over the side of the boat with its paws in the water. I thought at the time that Catz would of taken a great photo of them as she can catch those special moments in pictures. That night we (Ed & Judy LOL) stopped at Karen and Phil’s to see their new place. Absolutely wonderful casa. Karen and Phil are great people to talk to. Wish we could of stopped by Friday when they had open time to talk about building and the adventures. Met a lot of nice people and finally got to meet Freckles and Sparky (Faith and John-hope that’s right, I’m bad enough with real names let alone know board and real names). I have enjoyed Freckles stories over the last few years especially “Sparkies Manicure”. Ed recognized John from fishing with Tony and really enjoyed talking with John. While Freckles goes to the beach John takes adventures through the local neighborhoods. He really knows the area. Too bad we didn’t have more time as Ed would of liked to spend a day with him exploring and learning new food places in the Glorias. We seen him on his bike one day but never got to meet up again. We venture on home and upon returning to our Casa we find we have no keys to get inside. And whatever Ed tells you, it was not me that forgot them. We are on the Caribbean Side which has a steady breeze coming in but in the back it is calm plus there is a six foot wall around the outside area. Well the only thing to do is pick out a pool chair and try to sleep. Well let me tell you those lounge chairs get pretty hard and cool at night! The days have been really nice but the nights are a little crispy! Ed decided to try and bust a window. He took a mint tin can and put inside his jacket and tried to punch and break the window. Boy that tin sure took a beating! He tried the credit card thing – I think that is just a movie stunt. He took my cane and tried to break window. So for the rest of the night it was up and down between the lounge chair and the table chairs. At least we know the doors and windows are strong. In the morning Ed goes to our rental agent and gets an extra key. We are walking up the stairs and I notice the downstairs kitchen window is open. The screen could have been cut and Ed could of easily got through that window! Oh well another adventure! Sunday had us stopping by Sandia’s place to say a quick Hi and Bye. We started to head to town to eat and we past a couple at the circle bus stop in Sac Bajo area. Ed said let’s go back and get them. When we went back here it was the Amsterdam couple from the Barracuda tournament that had won Pia and Rick. They were not going downtown but waiting for the bus to take them to Garrafon Hotel to go snorkeling. Well hated to tell them the bus doesn’t go there but hop in and we will take you there. Had a fun conversation on the way down and sat and talked a little bit. We then hit the road for M&J’s as we hadn’t had our Chaya’s all week and then at noon we picked up Ribs-bone and boneless plus he has chicken now so we wanted to try all. Mmmm all very excellent. We sat out on the porch, eating ribs and watched the locals snorkeling and swimming. The waves had died down to almost nothing and the kids were having a great time in the water. Afternoon we took off for Big Jim’s house to meet board members. We also met a man and his wife from Scotland that were sailing around different islands. He was so interesting to talk to and of course Sutherland is a Scottish name. They had planned a short stay on Isla but were already talking about extending it maybe a couple of weeks! More Islaholic’s. – they loved it. How did Monday get here so fast? French Bistro stop for breakfast – Ed had French Toast and I had the crepes – both very good. Picked up curtains from Hortensia and Ed finished hanging those. In the evening it is a lot quieter on the Caribbean road. We usually walk just around the corner to get a cab faster or the bus. Every one was either eating or the taxi’s coming out of LaGloria were already full going into town. A car we thought was a taxi wasn’t, but he pulled back up and offered us a ride. Turned out it was Javair (?) the guitarist from Bamboos. What a nice guy! He was born and raised on Isla and really enjoys people. We offered him some money for ride but wouldn’t take it and told us to enjoy the island. That evening we went to Chile Loco’s and Ed’s coconut shrimp was the best we have had on the island. We could also hear the music from Bamboos and that was also really good. Headed back to pack and finish up some items. On our way out next morning we gave the dog next door (we renamed her Lucy) our left over ribs and chicken. She really loved that and probably is waiting for our return. She was definitely spoiled during our last two visits. Everything was fine getting to airport except for a woman (not a young one either) who was pretty trashed at the time of the day. Before boarding plane they pull out people to go through security and she was one of them. She was creating such a fuss and then flashed her boobie’s to show she wasn’t hiding anything. Wrong place dear! She detained everyone else from boarding, as they were not going to let her on. For a good half hour she was begging to board the plane and kept telling them all she needed was a siesta and wanted to go home. Security is not the people to argue with and you cannot board if your drunk. Last we seen she was being escorted across the airport in which she dropped to the floor trying not to go. We boarded, they sealed the doors and we were out of there. Wonder what they did with her though and bet it cost a nice penny to fly back one way non charter. Another American that Mexico can do without. I did feel kind of sorry for her but why are people so stupid! I would of put her on the plane just to shut her up! There was a couple of other Griswald adventures this time but I will spare Ed (wasn’t Eddie the cousins name?) If not he is now an official Griswald J! We found both Chinese restaurants this time but didn’t have time to try them – there is just to much to eat on this island! I didn’t even know they were there but their out in the Gloria’s not in town. You gotta start getting out to the colonia’s, there is so much there even internet places. (whoops maybe that a colonial secret - naw) We are just starting to learn but I bet there are a lot of board member that know all the secret places! If you like to fish I would advise board members to think about planning to attend the Barracuda Bash next year – really a nice time. I think they stated it’s always the 3rd week of January each year and many were already booking rooms for next year. If you don’t fish you can also just buy a dinner meal which included a t-shirt.