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Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day 9 (Part 2)

June18

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It has been months since I wrote part one of this Day 9 Trip Report and what have I been busy with? We’ve lived through the most severe winter on the Canadian prairies in over a century; we’ve successfully renovated and sold my mother’s home of 58 years; we have opened up our little beach house for another season and the Wee One continues to grow and delight us.  We have already booked our time on Isla in 2015 and so I thought that it was high time to focus on getting my 2014 reports completed. We’ll see how this goes.

From Part 1: When our family is with us, we spend a lot of time in Centro but as soon as they depart, we find ourselves drawn to the Colonias for long walks through the neighbourhoods.  On this day, we actually walked into Colonias twice-once to reacquaint ourselves with the exact locale of Deysi & Raul’s and the next time to actually dine there.

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Overlooking one of the Salinas.

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Gorgeous blossoms were everywhere.

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I love the blue paint used on Isla-doors and windows duplicate the colour of the sea.

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There are explosions of colour everywhere, here at a local produce vendor.

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The painting of this stucco must have been pain-staking work.

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There is one specific place in the Colonias where you can see the sea to the west with Cancun in the distance

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while the Atlantic is just a glance to the east.

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This is the ocean view just steps away from some of the Colonia’s homes.

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More blossoms and more bright blue paint.  I can’t get enough of either.

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A tribute to motherhood in the zocolo.

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We walked back to our “home” on the airport strip, had a lunch of left overs, read and rested in the hammocks and then lapped up the exquisite sunset before venturing back to the Colonias again.

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Our long-awaited destination.

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The view from our table perch at this wonderful family restaurant.

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We started with chicken tortilla soup.

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Delicious sautéed veggies with the meat and cheese in the fajitas.

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You could literally make a meal of the fixings.

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Adorned with pico de gallo and one of many delicious sauces.

Kath’s quote: “Now shall I walk or shall I ride? ‘Ride,’ Pleasure said; ‘Walk,’ Joy replied.” ― W.H. Davies

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Love-that is all.

Guest Blogger-Sister #3 “Limon, Isla Mujeres”

May12

To say there are lots of dining options on Isla Mujeres would be a huge understatement. Trying to narrow down your selection is a challenge when you only have a two week stay. How do you try out the latest hot spot, that tiny little loncheria you have been wanting to try for years, and at the same time, visit your favourites?  There are places I love because of the atmosphere, places I love because of the staff, and places I love because of the food. Bring all three of those things together and you have Limón. 

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Located in the home of Sergio Cortreras Martinez and Charrissa Gillingham, going to dinner at Limón feels much like being invited to the home of friends for an elegant back yard barbeque.  We have always been fortunate to get a table in the courtyard and being we are often a party of 10 or more that is quite an accomplishment.  I always look forward to getting caught up with Sergio.  His hosting skills are not just about providing you with a lovely setting, great drinks and delicious food, but with fascinating stories of life in Mexico.  So great atmosphere, check, great people, check… now on to the food. 

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Our gang started the evening with a round of hibiscus margaritas.  Yes, that’s right, hibiscus is used in food and beverages in Mexico and adds a delightful floral note to everything it touches.

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On this visit I knew I had to try the tortilla soup.  My niece had it the previous year and spent the entire time between visits dreaming of this soup. Because our reservation at Limón was to take place after she left the island, we made a special trip to pick up a bowl to go that she and another niece enjoyed on their last day.  A base of tomato and juajillo chilli, this bowl of yumminess is chuck full of fried tortilla strips, cheese, chunks of avocado and ancho chilli rings. Creamy and hearty with just the right amount of heat.  I also had the vegetable tempura served with tartar sauce and wasabi.  Because Charrissa is a vegetarian, Limón has lots of meat free options to choose from.

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Another in our party looking for a lighter dinner selection had the tuna lettuce wraps followed by the impressive caprese tower.

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The meat lovers in the gang enjoyed the apricot and pineapple glazed pork tenderloin, cilantro chicken, and the rosemary kababs; a trio including skewers of beef, chicken and shrimp. The oohs and aahs around the table were a sure sign that no one was disappointed with their selection. 

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The seafood options we tried this visit included the coconut shrimp and the marinera, a perfect plate of pasta with shrimp, octopus, mussels and squid rings.  Definitely on my wish list for next year.

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Every plate was as beautiful to look at as it was to eat.  Little touches like the addition of a spring roll here and a bacon-wrapped chilli there bring the food to that next level.   It’s also fun to visit with Serg as he is preparing your meal on his grill just across the courtyard from our table. 

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We were all stuffed at the end of the meal but a few members of our table insisted we indulge in the grilled pineapple with banana ice cream for dessert.  So two orders and 9nine spoons were soon delivered to our table.  It was the perfect ending to the perfect evening.  Needless to say Limón is top of the list for every year to come. 

Kath’s quote: “To invite someone is to take charge of his happiness during the time he spends under your roof.”-Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin

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Love-that is all.

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Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day 9 Colonias (Part 1)

April28

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Guess how we started our day?

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When our family is with us, we spend a lot of time in Centro but as soon as they depart, we find ourselves drawn to the Colonias for long walks through the neighbourhoods.  On this day, we actually walked into Colonias twice-once to reacquaint ourselves with the exact locale of Deysi & Raul’s and the next time to actually dine there.

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I have fun on these walks using different filters and settings on my camera.

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Some photos, though, just speak for themselves.

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No wonder Isla was dubbed one of the most colourful towns on earth.

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I love the sun through the trees and am fascinated by shadows on the island.

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These vintage tiles were re-used for a kind of sidewalk.

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Aren’t the reflections in the glass fascinating?

These are only half of the photos that I took on this day.  Some have to be reformatted as they are too large.  So, I will post these for now and continue with part two after I do some more work.

In the mean time…..

Kath’s quote: “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake…” Francis Bacon Sr.

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Can you see the hearts in this sun rise-not one but two to doubly bless our day?

Love that is all.

 

Isla Mujeres Trip Report Day 8-Clubhouse Sandwiches on the Beach

April14

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We waited patiently for another glorious sunrise.

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We were rewarded beautifully with the commencement of another splendid day.

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D could have happily spent the entire time, just so.  But I managed to talk him into venturing to North Beach.

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I wanted to spend some time with my brother and his wife and I knew exactly where to find them on the beach.  This was what my sister-in-law had waited for, for months.

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My brother has opposite colouring to mine-he with black hair, dark brown eyes and skin that just loves to soak up the sun.  Me with blue eyes, fair hair and freckled skin.

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I had made Clubhouse sandwiches for lunch with left over rotisserie chicken, excess Canadian bacon from our Olympic hockey breakfast, the reddest/freshest market tomatoes and lime mayonnaise.  They were so delicious that two separate groups of people asked us where they could buy the same sandwiches.

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As the sun started to descend in the afternoon sky, D was back in his favourite spot.

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We watched the setting sun as we walked along Medina to meet our extended gang at La Brisas on the water for dinner.

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What  a beautiful sight right from our table set on the beach.

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J2 and the Wee One joined us.  We hadn’t seen them all day and we had missed them.

 

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Both D and the Wee One’s Other Grandma ordered and loved the garlic fish.  Unfortunately the latter’s wasn’t served with the rest of us.  After Sister #3 firmly expressed our disappointment to the kitchen, they quickly responded.  By this time though, Wee One was long past her bedtime and they had to make a quick exit.

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Sister #3 and I both ordered frutti de mare linguine.  She accurately pointed out that the kitchen had been a bit too heavy handed with the chicken stock and the dish was a bit on the salty side.  The noodles and seafood were both cooked perfectly and I was pleased with the abundance of both.

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My sister in law and Dona both ordered the fried fish, encouraged by D who had savoured it on his snorkelling trip.

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J2 did enjoy her chicken fajitas until she had to high tail it back to the hotel with an overtired baby.

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In the mean time, there was still lots of evening left, so headed to one of Centro’s many fine gelato shops, this one right at the corner of Hidalgo and the square.

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Sister #3 delighted with her choice and another remarkable day.

Kath’s quote: “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal.”-Voltaire

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Love-that is all.

 

Isla Mujeres 2014-Departure Day for the Kids

April3

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The day started with a gorgeous sunrise and

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early morning guests to watch the Olympic men’s hockey finals on our TV in the spacious living room at Luna d’Miel. I cooked up a batch of Canadian back bacon and eggs to celebrate our team’s victory.  By 9 am the kitchen was all cleaned up and we were ready to start our day.  D had to head into Centro to arrange to have the golf cart looked at, where it had stalled the night previously in the Colonias.  Lucky for us, they compensated for our break down by giving us another day with the cart.

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The gang did not all get up to join us for the game/breakfast and since they had access to the cart, they headed to Mango for brunch because they were all hankering for a fix of Polo’s breakfasts before they left the island.

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Everyone had the yummy Coconut French Toast

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with the exception of J1 who went for the Breakfast Quesadilla.

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When you are at Mango, have you ever been drawn towards to beautiful church on the opposite side of the street?  The church attendees had just departed and so I knew that if I went to have a look around, I wouldn’t be disrupting anyone’s worship.

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The sanctuary is absolutely exquisite and I very much want to attend a service the next time I am on Isla.

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I can only imagine what it would be like to worship here on a regular basis, with the beauty of the sea just behind the altar.

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D and I went back to fetch more ribs for lunch from the Rib Man.  This was the busy scene as I waited for D in the golf cart.

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We went back and forth a number of times to deliver the kids and all their luggage to the ferry with the  golf cart.

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It was very hard to say good-bye to the kids as I was so sad that their time had gone so quickly.  But like the ebb and flow of life, while we bid farewell to some, we said hello to others.  We had a second task to perform at the ferry, as my brother, his wife and the Wee One’s other Grandma were arriving that afternoon!

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We had a brief time to while away between ferries so we headed to the Fisherman’s Co-op with J2 and the Wee One to sit in the shade and enjoy a cervesa.  The latter were staying on the island for another five days and moving into the Roca Mar with J2’s Mom.  After we delivered them to their hotel, we made one last trip around the tip of Punta Sur before returning the golf cart.

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After wandering around Centro for a bit we decided to see if J2 and the Wee One had settled into their new digs okay, but the room was silent and we didn’t want to disturb the baby if she was sleeping.  We headed towards the marina and Playa Sol to catch the sunset and were drawn into Marina Muelle 7,  a place that we had walked by many times but never stopped.

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Even though we love our Sol and vino tinto, these cocktails were calling our names.

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I opted for a mojito served in what I call a fishbowl chalice (just the way I like ’em).  I even eat all the smashed up mint.  D gabbed the camera and took this rare photo of me because he said that my drink matched my dress.

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We felt very luxurious, sprawled out in beach recliners and watching the sunset with no plans for dinner, no plans for a rendezvous, no plans for anything except savouring the moment.  And just when we thought we had enjoyed the most amazing sunset and it could not possibly get any better….

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…it went and did.  So it is, on Isla.

When I am back home and in the city, I sometimes have popcorn for supper.  This is when I have no one at home to cook a nutritious meal for, D is out of town and I am feeling particularly worry free.  A popcorn supper is symbolic for not really needing to give a !@#$ for anybody but me.  D and I were feeling this way on this evening.  We toyed with the idea of going many places for supper and in the end decided to pick up some papas fritas at La Lomita and share them on the walk home.

Lo and behold, Veektoria (the way the Islanders love to pronounce Wee One’s other Grandma’s name), J2 and the Wee One were waiting for an encore of La Lomita’s Garlic Shrimp that J2 had enjoyed so much on our first night on the island.  So we got to have a little visit with them after all, only to find that they had been steps away from us the entire time, enjoying the sunset over mango margaritas at Bally Hoo.

We meandered back to our fabulous little apartment and enjoyed a glass of wine, all alone under a canopy of stars, so different from our northern sky back home.

Kath’s quote: “Second star to the right…and straight on ’til morning.” -Captain James Kirk, Star Trek

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Love-that is all.

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