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Vacation Journal
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Our first trip to Isla - The Scavenger Hunt and Beyond

By: islacat (View Profile)
Date: 1/2/2008

We began with a great breakfast at Jax. Got our cart and went to meet everyone for the Scavenger Hunt. Had a nice meet and greet and headed out with our list. Wendy had done a fabulous job of preparing. We were to collect a number of items - sea glass, feather,(which is actually quite difficult to find)lizard on a stick, etc. and get a bunch of digital shots with one member of our group wearing a Santa hat, either with certain people or in front of certain sites- ei The Grass House, The Shell House. There was about 30 items in total. We had two hours and alot of ground to cover.
We fluked out on alot- like the Soccer field in La Gloria. We had a great time flying around in our green balloon decorated cart.
I payed way too much for fresh tortillas-
70 pesos, they were worth 20.
Found out how competitive our kids are- Hanna told them in Nautibeach not to give their business card to anyone else that came in after us!
and found out that some golf carts are definetly faster then others!
We met back at the alloted time and compared notes. Everyone had brought prizes so names were drawn and prizes chosen. It was neat to see someone from Texas going home from Mexico with a Toronto T-shirt! we got a very cool beer opener that plays the Michigan Spartans anthem at each crack. The wonderful family from Texas had the most items and won the hunt.
Another family told us how they had their rented house broken into the night before and had $6500.- worth of goods and money stolen. They had left a screen door open. They were still happy people and were not going to let this interfere with their vacation. It was a good warning for us to be cautious.
We all agreed to meet at Sunset Grill for lunch. Had a nice lunch and got to know the other families a bit better. Most enjoyable day and special thanks to Wendy and her family for all the work and preparation. Thanks also to Kip since many of his ideas were used!
Another amazing sunset! I can see why people clap.
We supped at Don Chepo's, it was okay.
We continued to buy pastries from our friend at the end of Hildago, he sold them out of the back of his van. These were perfect for early mornings with coffee, and each evening we would go home with a fresh bag.

Sunday was another beach day, we did have plans to go somewhere but ended up in front of Nautibeach all day. Our new friends from Texas arrived and their son and Jake spent the day digging a large hole in the beach. A wonderful day of relaxation.
Another incredible sunset!
We were really feeling like we were in the groove now. Off to clean up and go out. We had a great meal at Faynes. Super service, good music. Great steak and lobster for $21.-, we were really impressed.

The next day we headed to the Turtle Farm, we were actually surprised at the operation, it was quite interesting. Absolutely beautiful animals. So graceful and the colours again were lovely. We decided to walk up the beach hoping to find Wendy and her family as they had told us they were up that way. We were disappointed that we hadn't got to know them better as they seemed like such a lovely family. We had a great adventure and found a group of starfish and a live conch shell, got to watch the conch retract into the shell as we pulled it out. It was a great eco lesson for the kids to see these animals live in their habitats. Passed some interesting buildings - they looked like they had been damaged in the hurricane. We eventually came upon Casa O's (another reason for the hike)
Since it is fancier we thought lunch there with the kids might be better than supper. We climbed up from the ocean and were immediately greeted by the owner and her little dog "Jose Chico"
We really fell in love with this place. Fabulous food, we had Filet Mignon, Garlic Shrimp and Rib Eye for the kids. The Margaritas were powerful. The view is outstanding and the staff there just wonderful. Jake had to tell Lynn that we were doing a private review of all the restaurants on the island, she played along and was quite interested in how he felt about things after we were done. They were rated number 1.
Christmas Eve night we checked out the square and stopped in the lovely church for a bit. It was already packed at 10pm.A lovely atmosphere surrounded the place. It was so nice to see Christmas about Jesus and family -not the commercial mess it has become at home. Refreshing.

Christmas day was an early one, the kids were up by 6am, they were concerned that Santa may not find them in Isla, but that tricky guy had no problem. We had brought a little tree and decorated it with sea shells. It was more difficult to find a place for breakfast but we hit the Bamboo and Hanna chose an amazing caramel crepe with apple slices. Excellent!
We have never been away for Christmas but I think I could make "Christmas in Isla" - a tradition. You had to remind yourself as you relaxed with your feet in the sand, that this was Christmas Day!
Rolandi's was our choice for Christmas dinner. We both had pasta dishes and were very pleased. Hit Miquel's again for more Rock 'n Roll. And more Mojitos!
As we sat on the Hildago that night we both commented on what a cool place this is, the people, the restaurants, the people selling there wares, the beaches, the sunsets, it is all so wonderful. There is a incredible rhythm to this place.
We were going home the next day and we knew we had not had enough. The kids had really enjoyed every moment of this trip. There was so many places we didn't get to see or to eat at.
We knew by day two that we would be coming back here. Charming was a good word. Very Charming!

As we headed out to the ferry the next day it was hard not to be emotional. We had fallen in love. Quite unexpectedly we met our friends from Texas and were able to say good-bye. The are in the process of buying a lot and building on Isla.
Lucky Devils!
We know that we will be back, it is just a matter of how long can we wait? and how long can we stay?

A bit wordy, I know, but I enjoyed reliving it....

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