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Vacation Journal
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The Fab Five Family Isla & Ruins Tour Part VIII The End

By: Mark in KC (View Profile)
Date: 8/6/2008

Day 11 and it is still a little overcast with a few drizzles but the air is warm but not steamy. I can handle this. We still have the cart and so we start the morning off with some more shelling or “glassing” might better describe it. Did I mention that is Tina’s favorite thing to do and if Mom is not happy then no one is happy. The rest of the day we spent hanging around the pool and beach. We enjoyed some homemade guacamole with chips and more homemade pina coladas. There was even a wedding on the beach at sunset to add to the girls’ entertainment, as Aaron and I enjoyed may games of backgammon. We finally headed into town for a late dinner at Rolandi’s. We eat at Rolandi’s because it is tradition at least once each trip. But honestly I feel there are much better values on the island and the food is rather bland. I will admit it has a nice atmosphere, the warn bread is awesome and the service is normally pretty good.

The following morning came and the weather had stayed about the same, mostly clouds and a little sun. We decided to get our snorkeling in with Capt Tony today. I stopped by his house about 8:30 am and we talked. He did not have anyone else line up but he would take us out to El Farolito for 22 dollars each and we could leave in about an hour. He was a little higher than other boat captains that I had met with earlier in the week but hey this is Capt Tony. He said the cloudy skies should make it not as crowded. We had set up a snorkel trip with Tony a few years earlier but ended up going out with his father and brother in a last minute substitution but we still had a good time. It is a nice family. On that trip they had taken us to several different spots to see fish but today was to be a short trip just to the reef. I went back and rounded up the troops, Aaron, Jaclyn and I were going to snorkel. Tina and Jillian were going to take the cart and explore some more. We got back to Capt. Tony’s house at 9:25 as the sky was starting to mist. We had a bigger problem, Capt Tony was not home. I think it was his son that informed us, “he left to go fishing” and then added “come back tomorrow”. You just have to love Mexico don’t you. Even guys with as good of reputation as Capt. Tony can leave you frustrated. All week long I had been solicited for snorkel tours and I told them all I was already going with Tony. Not only was I going with Tony I was going to pay him $22 and everyone else was offering the tour for $15. Now we are out looking for a new captain and they are no where to be found. It seemed I used to run into Captain Marcos on his Moped every time we left the Condo. We ran into each other so often we were on a first name basis. I finally came across Capt Manuel at the hut in front of Ixchel. He did not speak much English and I had not heard of him but he did agree that he would take us out. I was hoping to go for 500 pesos for our group of three (which was 50 pesos more than it was offered to me earlier in the week) but after much discussion we agreed to 600. He said we would leave in an hour (on no, not an hour again). This time it worked out well. The morning had now slipped away as it was just passed noon. The sun was peaking out again and we were gathering our gear to get ready to leave. Captain Manual, who is a little older than most captains ( I am guessing mid 50’s) went back and shook a stack of chase lounge chairs. Off of the top popped a (maybe 20) young man who had been sleeping. Apparently he was going to be our guide and get in and snorkel with us. Before he could even wipe the sleep from his eyes he let out a “Buenos Dias amigos”. To which I replied “Buenos dias?” “No es Buenos Tardes!”. Manuel laughed and thought that was very funny. Even in Mexico us older folks think the youth sleep in way to much. We continued to have great time with Aaron , Jaclyn and I working on our Spanish, and they their English, trying to tell stories and ask questions as we headed to the reef. The snorkeling was great; the kids did well getting in and out of the boat. The best part there was only one other boat snorkeling and they were way ahead of us. When we returned to shore I tried to pay Manuel the 600 pesos we agreed to but he would only take 500 pesos. He simply replied “Mucho Gusto” many times and I realized he enjoyed the trip as much as we did.

We enjoyed a late lunch at Alexis & Giovanni. Leona served us a wonderful meal and we enjoyed her playful insistence that the children order and speak in Spanish. We enjoyed the rest of the day on the beach and at the pool. We enjoyed the guitar playing at the Sunset Grill. Clouds moved in just as the sun was beginning to set and blocked what was to be a beautiful sunset. We enjoyed tacos for dinner at Medina’s “the super tacoria”. Louis our waiter was excited as he was taking a trip tomorrow to Merida. I think he was saying it was his first time off the island..

Our last full day on the island brought us blue skies and a soft breeze. It was the perfect weather to go out on. The golf cart had been returned as we walked into town to enjoy my favorite breakfast at Cazuela M&J. We were not disappointed. We hung around and walked the sea wall a little. We drank some fruit juice out of the bag from the Popsicle Store and that was fun. (my first time). For lunch we had a “chicken to go” from the shop on Heldago. It was kind of a day of nothing. The kind of day you love on Isla de Mujeras. That evening we enjoyed an outstanding meal on the sand at the “Sunset Grill” as we admired the most beautiful sunset of the trip. We finished the evening off with one last trip to “Cool” the awesome homemade ice cream store. It was hard to believe our trip was coming to a close.

The last morning brought another beautiful day. In fact it was hot. We did the last swim. The last walk on the beach, eat all our leftovers type of morning. Fidel showed up right on time at 11:30 to help us get our luggage to the ferry. The water on the ride back across the ocean was more aqua blue than I had ever seen it. Our transfer was waiting for us at the ferry dock. When we arrived at the airport there were huge lines at other desks but none for our “Frontier”. No one even looked through our bags which is always an embarrassing ritual. You never know what is going to fall out or if you can get it closed again. We emptied our pockets as we went through the metal detectors and hurried through to finish up last minute shopping. We enjoyed a little lunch at “Bubba Shrimp” and as I waited to pay, the rest of the family went out to shop a little more. All was going well until I hear” last call for the Blanco family”.over the airport speaker. I thought “is that us? “. I went by the gate to see if the rest of my family was there and they were not. The agent informed me I had one minute to get my family there or they would leave without us. The rest of the passengers had already boarded. We had not realized when you are leaving Mexico because they use the busses to take you to the plane; they board an hour before take off.. I frantically looked around the area but had no luck. I went back by the boarding gate and asked if they could call out the individual names, maybe a better chance to hear them. She said “no” just tell them they better hurry. Obviously something lost in translation. Off I ran on another loop and this time I spot them just finishing a transaction at the cash register. After a frantic yell “Hey Tina , they are going to leave us” we made a frantic dash to the gate. As we boarded the bus, we did our best to look around and look as if we also were trying to figure out, who was making us wait in that hot bus so long. It worked, no one caught on to us. We enjoyed a pleasant flight home. My oldest son and Jillian’s boyfriend were even at the airport in Kansas City waiting to greet us and hear about The Fab Five Family Ruins & Isla Tour”



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