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Vacation Journal
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Part 3 - The Best Trip Yet - Xmas 2007

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Date: 1/7/2008

Part 3 Xmas 2007 íV The Best Trip Yet

A little more history. The last couple of years my trips have been one of two varieties. Family trips that involve coordination and negotiation and playing Mom just a little too much. Or solo trips to renew my spirit.

This trip is just us girls and we haveníŽt had one of these in 3 years. And they are my favorite trips. Elana and Danielle are obviously both old enough to take care of themselves, they make friends easily and they know the island. We travel well together with the understanding that no one is under any obligation to do anything other than what they want. And we all have the same vision of a great vacation íV lots of beach time, siestas in the late afternoon, and dinner at around 8pm.

I also made a decision this trip which worked out perfectly. We each had our own room. For me, it was a given that I would have my own room íV having the money makes that an easy decision. Now, normally Danielle and Elana would share. But like all sisters, this is guaranteed at some point to cause some friction and I wanted (I would even say needed) as friction-free vacation as was humanly possible. An excellent decision, if I do say so myself. No worries about waking anyone if one of us came home later than the others or got up earlier. We spent a whole lot of time together but then we also had our own space when we wanted it. Perfect!

Soooo, by this time it is Tuesday, December 18th. And all my intentions for writing detailed notes have gone out the window. For the rest of the trip, days would go by and then I would realize I hadníŽt written anything. And when I would try to go back and fill in the details, the days had blended together and I couldníŽt remember what happened which day.

However, this is what I remember about Tuesday. I got up and went to Yoga and the girls were still sleeping (Danielle catching up on the sleep she missed from the red-eye and both of them catching up from being out late the night before). I ate breakfast again at Elements and I remember the day was cloudy and looked like it might rain. I headed to the beach but no one (and by that, I mean no Marianne, Danielle or Elana) was there.

It wasníŽt really beach weather so I started walking down the main road, with the intention of catching a taxi at some point. I thought I might see Plu (friend and taxi driver) so I just kept walking. Still cloudy and a nice breeze and before you know it, I have walked from Playa Sol to Chac Chi. It would be a brutal walk if it was hot but it wasníŽt and I enjoyed it.

Back at the hotel, I think Elana was still sleeping but Danielle was up and the sun was coming out so we decide to head to the beach íV Playa Sol again.

We always have a dilemma about which beach. Rogelio is our favorite waiter and he is at the beach across from Posada del Mar. But you have to pay for chairs and umbrellas and there are lots of people (and lots of kids íV nothing wrong with the little monsters but hey, I am on vacation and I like things a little quieter). Plus Marianne hangs at Playa Sol and her spot (between the two piers) has a little more room and the chairs and umbrellas are free. So most days we end up at Playa Sol.

I doníŽt have any notes on that afternoon but I think it is a safe bet to say we read and talked and napped and probably had a pina colada or two. Might have even got in the water a time or two. I am sure that we headed back for a siesta around 4pm and then back out for dinner at around 8pm. I do know we ate at La Lomita íV which was great as always. Beto (the waiter) was even in a good mood. He can be a little moody but I think we got in his good graces because Elana started singing along with him to Selena íV who evidentially he adores (maybe she is like the Mexican Barbra Streisand or Cher or something íV LOL). He was impressed that we knew all about Selena and that we love her music. You just never know what you are going to bond with people over.

Wednesday was a full-on sun day íV the perfect day. Spent lots of time catching the rays and bobbing in the ocean. Seem to recall we started in on the pina coladas again. Bally HooíŽs again for a late afternoon snack and then back to the hotel for showers and siesta.

Plu and I hung out at MiguelíŽs Moonlight Bar and I had more pina coladas íV ok, I need a new drink. Stayed up way too late and had too many pina coladas. I am guessing I will pay for this in the morning íV oh wait, it is morning.

A few hours of sleep, no chance of yoga íV I could just see me doing a forward bend and tipping over. And back to the beach after another great breakfast at the Loncherias. The day flew by (as they all did).

Dinner that night was at AngeloíŽs íV we all got hooked on the spaghetti and returned 2 or 3 more times. Topped off with our nightly chai tea at the Steakhouse.

Early to bed for me íV late nights just kick my behind. But I am pleased to report that I had no hangover íV doníŽt understand it but no matter how much I drank (and there were a few nights where I definitely over did it), I never felt any the worse for wear in the morning, except for being sleepy. I am guessing that the gallons of water I drank every day helped, as well as the Excedrin I took before I went to sleep and then the sun baking out the alcohol the next day.

Friday was another perfect sunshine day. As usual, I started with yoga and breakfast at the Loncherias and then on to Playa Sol to meet up with Marianne and the girls. By this time, we have struck up a friendship with Miguel, one of the beach waiters. He is now starting to set things up on the beach for us before we get there íV a couple of umbrellas, a couple of loungers with really comfortable pads, and a mattress.

I have always had this thing about going to the same places over and over so that I am recognized. It makes me feel more connected to life somehow. I do it here in the States with restaurants. I like it when people know me. And on Isla, we perfect this. At Playa Sol, at the Steakhouse with our Chai, at the hotel. I love walking down Hidalgo and stopping over and over to greet people íV not random people of course â║. ItíŽs another part of the wonder of Isla for me. I feel like I am coming home and will get to see all the people I have missed while I have been away. Like if I had grew up in a small town and returned for a visit. And as I mentioned before, I get more hugs and kisses on Isla in 2 weeks than I do in a year in the States. Heck, on one of the last days of the trip, I got into a random taxi and the taxi driver said to me (before I said a word) íV ížChac Chi?íĘ How cool is that?

Most of our trips we either hang together as a family or we end up meeting other tourists. This trip it was all about hanging with islanders (I consider Marianne an islander, not a tourist). The great part is they were there our whole trip íV the bad side: they got to stay when we had to leave (heavy, heavy poutíK.itíŽs not a pretty side of me but the truth is I am still upset about having to leave and EVERYONE around me knows it. Sorry!).

So, Miguel íV beach waiter and our new friend. We had so much fun with him. Elana seemed to go home several nights in the middle of the trip (and by early, I mean 1 am-ish). But Danielle and I got on a roll. Not really sure at this point if it was Thursday, Friday and Saturday or Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Not that it matters. What is impressive about this is that I went out THREE nights in a row (unheard of for me).

This is how it all started. I was sick of drinking pina coladas. Marianne mentioned Hurricanes. Elana, Danielle and I were at the Steakhouse, drinking our Chai after dinner. At some point Miguel shows up and at some other point (either before or after Miguel showed up íV who can remember?) we decide we should try Hurricanes. Let me just say they are very aptly named!!!! I am not sure exactly what is in them except a whole lotta of alcohol íV 4 or 5 different kinds. They pack quite the punch. And we are offíK.

I seem to recall having a couple of Hurricanes, then heading over to Kokonuts, where more drinking was involved. Danielle and I decide that we need to expand our Spanish vocabulary and Miguel is going to be our teacher. Of course, we doníŽt want to know just any words íV we want to know swear words. Poor Miguel íV I caníŽt tell you how many times we made him blush beet red over this trip. I always thought Danielle was a shy, quiet, demure young lady. Hahahahaha íV I was SOOOOOO wrong.

We laughed so much that my face and sides hurt for days. I actually lost my voice after the three days of partying. If we ever find ourselves working in a Mexican brothel, we can speak the language. And Miguel now knows exactly how bawdy and explicit American women can be.

All three nights we ended up at La Pena íV I believe closing it down one night. And always we had Tacqueria Medina right before we went home to bed íV usually around 4am. That was the most fun I have had in forever!

Each morning after, I thought I would have a killer hangover or sleep really lateíKbut that never happened. We would be on our way to breakfast by 9am and hitting the beach by 10am. What a life!

After three days of serious partying and with my voice gone, I decide that my old body caníŽt take anymore and I slide back into the previous routine íV yoga and beach and siesta and dinner and chai and home by midnight. But oh, how glorious it was to recapture my youth like that, even for a short time!

To be continuedíK.


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