Isla trip 12/22/06 – 1/04/07 – observations and other random thoughts
• On 12/23 El Sol would not rent me a golf cart for a week since I did not have reservations well in advance for Christmas. I went to the next rental place Cardena’s and got a cart for the week no problem. After a few days the cart was getting harder and harder to start. I returned to the rental place and a guy dinked with it for 5 minutes then gave us a new, faster cart. I will rent from Cardena’s again. $55 just like everyone else was renting for.
• I didn’t think that there were as many people on the island as last year. Then again last year a lot of Cancun travelers came to Isla since Cancun was still in pretty bad shape from Wilma at Christmas time. I do think that there were a lot more daytrippers though. Some days 5 or 6 boats came to Playa Caribe next to Sergio’s. New Years day we actually had to wait a bit for a table at Angelo’s for dinner. Everyone was out that night or so it seemed.
• There were not anywhere near the Christmas decorations that there were last year. I personally did not like the new Zocola. It doesn’t have that feeling of community to me that the old design did.
• The beach at Sergio’s Playa Sol is huge. Bigger than I ever remember it being going back to years ago. There is a lot of territory for the waiters to cover.
New Year’s Eve afternoon a friend hired a band and then sat in with them. This is always a fun way to spend a few hours with friends.
• Posada Beach – We spent a couple of days hanging out at this beach. Rogelio and Chapoy took good care of us. Drinks are 2 for 1 all day $60 pesos and cerveza 2 for $35 pesos. There are a lot of comfortable chairs and umbrellas. 2 chairs and an umbrella $100 pesos but with the lower price of drinks and the option to bring your own lunch it is overall a good deal.
Zamas – Nice quiet beach with great loungers. Even when the daytripper boat came for lunch the place was peaceful. The sand in the water is rough to the point of wishing I had brought some water shoes along. Two great pools and nice clean banos with showers.
• Favorite places to eat dinner:
o Angelo’s - for pizza and pasta. I tried a different dish this trip. The shrimp and prawns was awesome, full of garlic and grilled just right. A ton of food, enough for two!
o Bamboo – fabulous ribeye dinner. Tara and I split the steak and each had a huge baked potato, veggies and salad all for only $27. Thanks Rob! I hope this time things go well and the service and food quality continue to be good.
This was a friend’s steak dinner a few nights before
This chick can belt out a song! She sings what you would normally think of as male singer’s songs, You Can’t Always Get What you Want in the best Mick style. Hotel California, Stand By Me, Come Together are just a few. She is from Alaska.
o Fredy’s – What can I say except I love this place and Fredy. Tara and I ate dinner here on New Years Eve. We once again were given Fredy’s special treatment which means more food than anyone else and way more than we could eat.
My “son” Fredy and his step sister. Our joke cause Fredy said he loved me like family and I became known as his mother.
o Rolandi’s Pizza – Tara had a very good mushroom pasta and I had the ribeye with the pommes fritas. Service was excellent. In fact we had at least 3 guys waiting on us.
Cocktaleria Picus was fantastic as usual. We had garlic shrimp and a shrimp cocktail. The big shrimp cocktail must have had at least 20+ good sized shrimp. We took leftovers back to the beach and friends ate it.
What a view!
• Elements of the Island is still one of my favorites.
• My daughter Tara likes Chili Locos for the coffee
• Bistro Francais – great yogurt and fruit dish
• M&J’s for a cazuela fix
• Bamboo for a good croissant sandwich
Afternoon snack on the beach
• Sammy’s taco place has been closed up and the mini super there expanded. I did not go in as the first week they were still working on the expansion and the second week I just never made it in to see what they had really done.
• Reyes Taqueria replaced by a mini Color de Verano. I would have liked to see Reyes make it there. Color de Verano has great sandwiches that you could purchase to take on your flight home since the new place is close to the ferry dock.
• The Dragonfly restaurant is no longer there next to Fredy’s.
• La Boheim has been closed for a few months
• Posada Hostel still not re-opened.
• The barking Dalmatian and his dog house from the roof across the street from Maria Leticia
• A shortage of mint due to it being winter causing a shortage of Mojitos even at the Cuban restaurant El Varadero.
Overall on a scale of 1 – 10 I give this trip a 10+. It is so good to travel to a place that feels like home and get greeted by name by many locals. Some waiters even remember what I like to eat and drink before I get a chance to order. Now that is service that makes me feel special.
Until next trip I say goodbye to Isla.