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Vacation Journal
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Part 2.5-3:The Griswald PHlock goes to Mexico

By: ph terry AR (View Profile)
Date: 4/24/2005

The Griswald PHlock goes to Mexico part 2.5 (backing up a bit)

A topic of conversation at the dinner table last night primarily initiated by my oldest son, Josh, centered on the fact that the Posada del Mar Hotel had for some reason skipped room number 113 on our floor but, there was a small door between rooms 112 and 114. Midget maids ? This will have some significance later in this report.

While wandering Hidalgo last night, I shopped around for a new wallet. It was something I had planned on buying while I was here anyway. Leather products are one of my favorite things to buy in Mexico. I love the smell when you walk into a place that sells nothing but leather. I wasn’t really intending to buy tonight because…errr…I was a little short on cash. We were just shopping to see what we could expect to pay for one. We found one I really liked and the haggling began. I was explaining the whole time that I had just lost my wallet and was just looking. He starts out at $40. Then $35, then $30 and finally he comes down to $25 and I’m like, look I don’t have it while reaching in my pocket. Well I did have a 20 so he shrugs his shoulders and says ok 20. Cool beans or would that be Frio frijoles? I’ve got a wallet now and nada to put in it.

Then we call it a night.

(above is corrections/amendments to part 2)

Reflections on dinner: Chile Locos was excellent. I had the Chili Loco which was shrimp w/ some kind of creamy cheesy concoction stuffed in some sort of pepper. Muy bueno! I’m not sure what the rest of the gang had but, I didn’t hear any complaining. Also, since posting Part 2, I received an e-mail from the board member who I thought had said we were obnoxious. What she said was that she was glad to hear our southern accents as she/he had been around a lot of obnoxious Yankees since he/she had been there and it was good to hear us. Nonetheless, we were a little loud but, I surmised even before receiving this e-mail that it is a lot more fun to be around people who are drinking when you are drinking as well. I just needed to remember that I used to act the same (or worse) when I was drinking and on vacation (ie….loosen up!)

Part 3- The Griswald PHlock goes to Mexico

Up before the grackles today. As quietly as one possibly can, I make a pot of coffee and take a hot shower. My back was not feeling great. Tylenol PMs had worn out a long time ago. Dress, grab a cup of java, and out on the patio to join the grackles who were waking up by now. Game plan for the day…….., 1.Re-rent the carts, 2. Cancel Avalon sales pitch-no credit card, no can do the sales pitch from hell (Yay!) and get my deposit back if possible. 3. Get some pesos at the cambio for a couple of these traveler’s checks ($500) that fortunately were not in my wallet, 4. file a police report (even though I have little hope of ever seeing the wallet again it would be nice to have the odds and ends that were in there) , and 5. hopefully get in some beach time.
By around 11 a.m. I had completed all but the police report and the beach time. I go back to the Posada to check in w/ everyone and let them know what I’m up to next. The dreaded police report. Most everyone is at Penguino’s having breakfast except for the kids and of course they are in the swimming pool. Wind is getting it today as it has been all along and will continue to blow hard for the duration of our trip. Jo Anna (my sister) decides she wants to accompany me to file the report and to get some money from her ATM card. My Mother also wants money from her ATM and gives me her card and her PIN. While waiting for Jo Anna I ask the front desk clerk if he could file the report w/ the police for me over the phone. He tries but they insist on me going to the station to file a formal report. We try the ATM at HNBC first, no cigars…it’s out of money. We try every other machine on the island (except Garrafon) to no avail. One machine is giving out money when I arrive at the line which reaches almost to the door at the supermarket but becomes empty when I get to be third in line. I think I left my Karma in Arkansaw!

I then try to file the report at the police station which I find on my handy Can-Do map. No one speaks any English at the police station. I fill out the report, they make a copy of it and tell me (in Spanish) that I need to go to the “ministerio publico” and give hand signals how to find it which looks to me like he’s gesturing around the corner of the building. Wrong! Wait in line in that office and am sent back to the policia stationes. I get back there and they are busy with some young girl (late teens to early 20’s) that they have undoubtedly had since last night and her parents are there to get her out of Jail. She’s crying and I’m feeling sorry for her but glad I’m not in her shoes. They whisk her and her parents off to another room and finally someone comes to see why I am back. This guy speaks some English. Not much but, some. He at least has the decency to write down “minesterio publico” on my piece of paper that I am required to take to the minesterio publico. He also points to a map on the desk that gives me a general idea of where the phlock it is. In general it was near the south end of the airport according to the map he showed me. OK, I’ve got a clue now anyway. Back to the golf cart where Jo Anna has been patiently waiting for about the past 45 minutes. Grab my Can-do map to see if “ministerio publico” is on there. Nope. Oh well, off we go. We stop at a store near the south end of the airport and ask directions. Hand signals get me past the baseball field to the next little store where I start feeling lost again. Two guys are on the corner and I ask them. He points back in the direction we came. I tell him (as best I can) viente pesos you take me there? He agrees. He could have thrown a rock and hit the building. There was no sign identifying the place or even the remotest clue that this was the ministerio publico. Get inside there and of course I am again faced with the fact that my Spanish sucks! Fortunately, there is another (Mexican) woman in there that comes forward and translates for me.

That taken care of, now what? Well, we are this far south already, let’s try the ATM at Garrafon. Not knowing whether it is on the inside of Garrafon or the outside. We stop and get a coke at the little store where we donated 20 pesos to that guy to walk us across the street (basically). It’s a 6 ouncer like we used to have in the good old days. Jo Anna and I reflect on Anna Bell Peters who was a neighbor and friend of my Mother’s back when we were growing up. She always had a 6 ounce Coke served in a frosted Coke glass to any of us Griswald kids who were thirsty. They were the best! I regress.
We continue south. This has got to be the slowest $55 a day golf cart on the entire island. Finally arrive at Garrafon where I’m informed that the ATM is inside and I’d have to purchase admission to get to it. No gracias! We continue on to Punta Sur just because we’re already this far south and Jo Anna hasn’t been here yet. It’s glorious as always.

Continue up the Carib side. Lots of houses for sale we note. We joke about Mother and Dad leaving us this place or that place for our inheritance. We pass Big Jim’s place and it appears as if no one is home. No time to visit now anyway. It’s about 2 by now and I’m starving.

Try the bank ATM again on the way back. No pesos still. Back to Posada where we gather a crew for lunch. All of the kids, Mother, Dad, Jo Anna, Marlys, and myself got to A&G’s for a late lunch. No problemo deciding what I want…Yucateca pork chops. One of my favorite Isla dishes and I am not disappointed once again. Mother had tacos and iced tea. I explained to Jessica, hielo tea (not knowing tea in Spanish) but she understood. We got a glass of ice water and a tea bag. We get a laugh out of Mother trying to make tea w/ ice water and I continue to wonder how in the hell to get iced tea in Mexico. She’s not impressed with the tacos but, I’m thinking she’s expecting Taco Bell. You have to adapt Mother. The way we eat stuff in South Arkansaw is not necessarily how they eat in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. They are ok with her though and I expect they are good in my book but just not what Mother was expecting. Jo Anna has the chicken enchiladas which she says are very good. Most everyone else followed my lead with the Yucateca pork chops except Josie and she eats nothing except stuff she’s accustomed to at home and has fried pork chops and fries which she eats every bite of. This girl doesn’t eat this good at home!

Back to PdM and Jo Anna and I take off on another ATM venture. Supposedly there is one at the ferry dock according to my (dated) IMIS (Isla Mujeres Info Sheet). Not! We do eventually find one that has been refilled since this morning at the Silver Depot (I think it is). Cha Ching!!! We can eat supper, Yea!!!

Back to Posada where it is now approaching 5. So much for beach time today. Spend the rest of the afternoon sitting in the Posada bar watching the kids play in the pool. It’s too windy to be on the beach today anyway. I think Marlys and I did trek down to Sergio’s just to insure that I hadn’t dropped the cartera (wallet) down there the previous day. Sergio was busy grilling some fish and had not seen a wallet.

While sitting at the bar enjoying a virgin Lime daiquiri or Strawberry (I switched between the 2 flavors during the entire trip) I pondered where to take this PHlock to dinner tonight. I eventually decided on Manalo’s since it was easy access and had a variety of menu items. I remembered from last February’s trip that their steaks weren’t half bad. Kim elects to have Tim go get her and the kids pizza and ley the rest of us enjoy some "no kid time" plus I think she just wanted to stay behind that night.

Manalo’s is a nice quiet little restaurant, that is until our PHlock arrived. It has an outdoor courtyard with trees and other vegetation right there next to your tables. It as not very crowded which is surprising to me. Bill has a steak which he raved over how good it was. I had whole fried grouper/ snapper. Mine was very good. Not sure what the rest had but someone had chilli rellenos which they raved about. All was good and the bill was very reasonable.

Everyone back to PdM and Bill is wanting desert. I take him to Color de Verano where we both stuff ourselves with delicious desserts. I don’t recall their names but they both contained strawberries. My camera didn’t take the best of pictures for some reason but here they are below.

Later, I walk Hidalgo again to catch some bands playing. There were two, one of which was at Bamboo’s and the other at Fayne’s. Both were playing Santana type music and were both very good. I listened for awhile and made my way back to the hotel for some shuteye.

Afterthoughts: If your wallet/cartera winds up stolen/missing don’t bother filling out a police report. You won’t see it again anyway, why waste the time? Manalo’s….highly under rated restaurant. Excellent food, service, and atmosphere at a very reasonable price. Nightlife on Hidalgo… great! It was nice being able to remember this time also…..past trips I’ve been too wasted to remember if we even went out.

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