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Vacation Journal
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#6.............snorkeling, our last Mar y Sol day and the end of it all

By: lee (View Profile)
Date: 3/26/2008

Finally! the bay is calm and we plan a snorkeling day at Garrafon but first we have our first cuppa and contemplate the bay view and the distant Cancun. We figure we'll leave when the yelling, crying and screaming begin. Turns out, we're at Garrafon at 12:30. The snorkeling is wonderful. I'm never blase about this experience; I always feel as tho' I'm in an aquarium. Saw fewer sea urchins and a lot of barracuda.

There are nearly as many people as fish! We had to wait for a table for lunch, got our own beer, three really busy waiters running back and forth. I'm getting hungry and Denny's tummy is doing a twostep. We leave for Mar y Sol where he wants a nap and we're hoping there will be some quiet. I read on the porch hammock and contemplate our move to town for the last night at Plaza Almendros.

The bay side of the beach and the families:

all the Mexican families gather for the holiday weekend

On Saturday, the day before Easter, will be Almendros pool be more crowded than the beaches? Probably not. We hate to leave Mar y Sol but it hasn't been the quiet retreat we've known. We're not surprised that it's been discovered, but we weren't expecting families with children. Most people aren't willing or able to feed large groups in a limited kitchen and it's a long walk with children into the colonia for meals. The places closest to us in the colonia have pizza, hot dogs and even Chinese takeout but none of this is available before 730pm. The lack of lunch at Garrafon has us heading to Bruja. Not long after we sit, we are joined by 3 more U.S. families. We've filled the place! Denny has the chicken enchiladas verde and I have Pescado Veracruza. Both are excellent. Back to Mar y Sol for more napping. There is a large Mexican family at the grills making a feast. Smells wonderful! I'm envious but figure that one of these days I'll get the hang of cooking Mexico style. The noisy US family has gotten takeout from Rolandi's in town: pizza and spags. They set up the meal outside. The moon shows itself again, lighting their tables and chairs.

We're off to the side studying the water and talking about returning to reality: Ohio. The reason we so desperately needed Isla this trip was various problems at home with family. That which cannot be ignored must be endured. Our ten days here have been grand (even with the racket) and we're fortified. We'll also return eventually.

Our last day at Mar y Sol was the usual peace and quiet with the sound of mourning doves in the background as we had our first cuppa and toasted breads. By the time we had our third cup, the baby and 4 yr old were in full voice: screaming, yelling and crying. At 1030 we'd had enough and left for town making our displeasure evident to the teenager sitting outside.

Almendros did not have our room ready but it was quiet and cool at the pool. Denny's hunger drove us to Chilli Loco's where he had a cheeseburger and fries. I had an order of fries. Good size burger but bland; same for the fries. The room was not ready but we were able to use the bathrooms off the lobby to change into suits and cool off in the pool. Lots of families with well-behaved children. Then they got to know one another! Lots of happy laughter and splashing. Too much noise for this tired woman so I joined Denny for a nap. Out on the streets at 430 to walk and gawk. Not too crowded. Everybody must still be at the beach. I bought a small wool rug and that was the shopping for the whole 10 days. I really don't like to 'shop' but I've always wanted a wool rug.

I think I forgot to add our Picus pictures from the day before. I love this place!

lunch at Picus where I never tire of the view; boats and people in constant motion

I think this is the picture that will go on my locker at work:

Picus for the food and view

or maybe this one:

and eat shrimp cocktail

After Denny's favorite desert at Colour de Verona we head to Playa Sol where we see another pink & purple clouded sky and a rapidly disappearing scarlet ball.

keep it in the sky!

Heading intow town again, we stop at Fredys and I have my pork chop dinner; as usual it's really good. We're the only customers so he sits with us to talk. We'll miss that guy for his meals as well as the conversation. As we walk Hidalgo, Denny realizes this is his last chance for Bolognese at Angelos (he wasn't really hungry). The place is jammed and we wait for a table. Waiters are running six ways from Sunday. We're actually seated and orders taken by the owner. That's a first. The table near ours has 6 children; 7 yrs to maybe 13 yrs. They each have their own pizza and are quickly bored after only 1 piece eaten. They are acting silly passing and tossing food around their table. An adult from the 'parents table' comes around to see how they're doing. Plates are cleared and the children begin running around the back of the place playing with a serving tray and the tables. Angelo waiters are able to avoid the children and the parents are completely oblivious to the antics.

I repeat: I will NEVER return to the island during Easter/spring break season. It's not just the crowded streets, restaurants and beaches because we've been here at Easter and Festival. This trip had more U.S. families than I've ever seen with too many children behaving badly and little or no discipline from parents.

Way too early the next morning, we leave for the 6am ferry. Arrive at the airport before 7am and are thrilled with no lines at checkin. One tiny problem (completely our fault) was losing the 'get out of the country' form. I have NEVER lost paperwork but after much futile searching, I just didn't find it. The young man at the counter is nervous, glancing from my face to the countr. "No form? You're sure you can't find it?"

I'm sure. Denny asks for and receives a window seat.

"I have friend in immigration. I can help you with him."

okey dokey. More nervous glancing. "I will help you."

Finally he gets to the point: it'll cost us $20 US for the boarding pass. He's already said he'll give Denny the window seat but now he has to have $20 to 'solve big problem'. The $20 bill is passed inside a passport to him, he easily slips the bill into his pocket, all the time chatting with one of the counter guys. We get the boarding passes and leave. I'm angry but I got to thinking, we could have had real problems if he'd been honest. If we'd had to talk with an Immigration Officer or someone in Security it could have been worse. What the heck; $20 got us on the plane. Won't lose the damn thing again, I'll tell you! By the way, I found it under a box in our suitcase when I unpacked at home.

Now ready to take off, everything is going smoothly considering there are 3 USA3000 planes waiting to leave. Frontier is creative:

Frontier is creative

For sure, I'm taking the sun home to Ohio:

I'm taking the sun home to Ohio

Till the next time, farewell Isla and sunshine and moonshine, warm water and cold beer, old friends and the ones whose names we haven't learned. Lots of memories fly home with us. Tah.

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