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Vacation Journal
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Isla Newbies - Isla in May - Day Two

By: LeslieC
Date: 5/14/2005

This morning we went for a swim in the hotel pool and relaxed in the sun before heading off to La Cazuela M&J for breakfast. Upon finding M&J's we were blown away by the sight of the beautiful ocean. M&J's is a beautiful place to sit outside & take in the view. I ordered a Cazuela with ham and Hubby ordered french toast. Both were excellent and the service was fast and friendly. After breakfast we walked down to the bank to cash some travelers checks. The man behind the counter said the machine for cashing travelers checks was not working, come back in one hour. So we walked down to Hildago and did alittle shopping. The stores were just opening and we were practically the only people on the street! We went into one silver shop and saw a couple of pendants that I liked. The pendants had mexican opals in them and were quite lovely. We told the girl we were just looking and we might come back later. We went to another store where we bought a couple of ash trays for a friend, a shot glass for our bar and a silver & turquoise key chain for our friend who was watching our dog. The store owner originally wanted 60 dollars for everything, I haggled with him and eventually got everything for 45 dollars. I probably paid too much, but it was a solid silver key chain, so who knows!
We eventually headed back to the bank where the machine was still not working??? so we had to go to a money exchange vendor on the street. 10.6 for american dollar exchange.
Checked out of the Ponsada Del Mar and got a cab over to our main hotel, which was the Cristalmar Resort and Beach Club. The drive from town was about 15 minutes, 420 pesos, I always gave 50 peso because it was just easier and maybe made the cab driver alittle happier.
Upon arrival we were pleased with the outside of the Resort, although there are a couple of flights of stairs to get to the main lobby, which can be tough when your bags are heavy and it's hot outside! Check-in was easy and off to the room we went! All the rooms face the pool with the ocean on the right. The grounds are pretty and kept up daily. After hearing so much negative reports on the web about the Cristalmar, we were pleasantly surprized with the room. The furniture was nice, the layout was good, the kitchen needs updating, but everything worked. The second bedroom is small with a full size bed filling most of the room. There were large closets in each room, but no dressers, only nightstands. The balcony is not a private balcony and you can't sit outside on it, which is a shame.
After settling in we went over to the beach and pulled some pool lounge chairs over to a papala. Next door at Playa Tiberon it's very busy with boat loads of people coming over for lunch and local residents enjoying the day at the beach. We snorkel a bit to see what's out there, not much, a couple of fish and alot of sea grass.
The pool is very nice and we use it alot to cool off in. A few local residents were using the pool and the grounds for there weekend outings. The Cristalmar must sell day passes for using the pool because all weekend it was full of locals and their children, not the most relaxing setting, but hey, everyone deserves to enjoy life.
After an afternoon in the sun we go into town for dinner. We go to La Adelita Tequileria, they are just opening. We order tangerine margaritas, which were excellent and ate coconut shrimp and beef tacos. The shrimp were excellent, the taco were dry. Service was good, prices were fair.
After dinner we go to the supermarket for some supplies for breakfast. The store is very busy, but we find what we want, except for milk which we find out they only sell the instant milk, and check out. Get a cab back to the hotel and call it a night.

La Cazuela M&J - Beautiful setting, very good food and good service.

Cristalmar Resort and Beach Club - Nice pool and grounds, big rooms that need some updating, no private balcony, pool can get noisy.

La Adelita Tequileria - Great margaritas, excellent coconut shrimp, OK tacos. Service good, prices fair.

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