Isla Mujeres 2008---Part 1
The Caste of Characters [which they are]
Sandia/Sandy and Brian- Islaholics since our first trip [which was a day trip from Cancun] in 1991. I am self employed as a long-term Medicaid consultant and Brian is a maintenance foreman at a local factory. He can fix ANYTHING [and is very handy to have around the house]. He also makes a habit of looking at wires on Isla and saying “That’s not up to code.” We have been married almost 17 years and are now “empty nesters” since my brother passed away in July 2007. We still talk about Ernie everyday and we even use “Ernie sayings” which cracks everyone up…all of our travel pals knew Ernie so we spent a lot of time reminiscing and laughing about my brother’s antics. I think that we are healing from the pain, and Isla has had a lot to do with that…
Madelyn [aka “Mom”] - my mother-in-law who will be 80 in March. She has been coming to Isla ever since we brought her and Dad in 1998 for their 50th wedding anniversary. Dad George stayed home to take care of our yellow Lab Sheffield. My in-laws live next door to us, they are great people. George will be coming to Akumal with us in May though. He is only 85.
Sharon [aka Shoo-Shoo]- my Wednesday night ambulance partner and long-time friend. She is a quiet thoughtful soul and this was her third trip to Isla. She is my conscience while we are on Isla, which is probably why she stays by the pool reading while the rest of us are out at the bars and restaurants-LOL….she also collects medical equipment year-round for Isla – she routinely takes our “Isla Donation” box at the ambulance garage and sorts items and then boxes them in the back room so they are ready when we take a trip.
Sue and Randy- this was Randy’s second trip and Sue’s third trip to Isla. They are both police officers and recently married, although they had been friends for years. They are still honeymooning so they were out and about doing their own thing but occasionally joined us for dinner or drinks. They are self-sufficient which I love, I never worry about whether they are having fun, and they would have fun if they were stuck in a cardboard box. I never stop laughing when we are together. I am just glad I am not a prisoner; I have seen their tough side too-LOL. I have known Sue for years; she was once the President of our local ambulance service. She had a brain tumor which was treated from 2002 through 2004 so she has a unique and wonderful perspective on life as a result- I can always count on Sue for those deep philosophical talks, usually after a few Sols or tequilas….and I can always count on Randy to bust my A$$.
The newbies: Doug and Patty. When I invite someone to share our trip with us, I start to worry about whether they will love Isla or if they will be disappointed, or even worse, cling to us when we are on vacation. You all know that type, the folks who are afraid to go outside the box and just EXPLORE and EMBRACE. I hate vacations where people say “What time are we going?” or they invite themselves along even if you just want to be alone with your significant other, or they just seem to Velcro themselves to you without allowing breathing space. Well, this was not the case with Doug and Patty. Doug is the guy who makes up the Barracuda Bash T-shirts, his graphics business is in my hometown and since I am also a small business owner, I try to give my business to others like me. He was so excited about going and I knew that he would “get” Isla as he spent a lot of time in Baja California when he lived in San Diego. Doug got right into Isla and he was ALL over, he was not afraid to talk to new people, and he used his Spanish to communicate and frankly, I was impressed that he experienced so much in such a short time. He has already indicated that he will be returning with us next year. I was a bit worried about Patty as she is a beautiful woman, kind of girlie-girl [that is an observation, not in any way a negative] and always seems to have the “perfect” outfit. I worried that the Roca Mar would be a little rustic for her. Well, it was initially but she got into the spirit of things and we were able to joke about taking 20 minutes to rinse shampoo out our hair due to the terrible water pressure at RM. She seemed to enjoy herself and she had Doug to pull her along and explain the culture and encourage her to try the new food, etc. This was her first time in Mexico and despite the culture shock, she ended up being a great traveling companion. And her hair and makeup always looked nice even if she just got out of the pool! Amazing….
Lots of minutiae, I know, but I know that I love LOTS of details from others’ trip reports! And it sets the stage for one of the best Isla trips we have ever had….