Happy New Year-Isla Mujeres-Day 7

January19

I knew Tino as “the Rib Man” for years before I knew his name.  Now a days, he has this sign to mark his location.  There was a time when we would walk up and down the streets on Sunday and look for the smoke. 

The guys purchased this bag full of food.  The accompaniments are in the little bags.  If you are new to Isla, this is how the locals package up “fast food”. 

Our Son preferred the bone in ribs.  He thought that they had the most flavour and since there is almost always a layer of delicious fat close to the bone, he knows what he’s talking about.

D and I prefer the boneless ribs as we are trying to smarten up and eat leaner in our autumn years.  They are an incredible value.

Are you getting tired of these photos of my gorgeous family? Sorry, I’m not.

We spent early afternoon around the pool and then headed to the beach for the last sunset of the year.  We spent the same day this way a couple of year’s previous.

Our youngest and her cousin December 31, 2007.

2011 was a year filled with joy and sorrow in our family.  There were definitely rain clouds on our horizon. 

But as always, Isla heals and refreshed our souls and poured glorious colours and memories into our lives and we came home ready for a fresh, new start.

Our entourage in the square December 31, 2007

Just “us” December 31, 2007 before the Newbie had joined our family.

We had long-standing plans to walk to Chuuk Kay for a late New Year’s Eve dinner. They are working on the west sidewalk and so we stuck to the gorgeous new east sidewalk on Medina.  But beware, that side is not very well lit and every once in a while there is a breach in the path without warning.

Now I must explain here that our time at the restaurant was not what we were expecting and I take total responsibility for this.  Last year, we went to Chuuk Kay twice in in 2 weeks because we had so much fun.  Javi (and his “band with no name”) has become our good friend and he made a pretty ordinary afternoon feel just like New Year’s eve!  I so badly wanted to experience this again for our Son and Newbie that when I was lucky enough to make a reservation on Facebook while we were still home, I didn’t take the time to ask for many details.  Well Javi wasn’t playing that night, he was at Fayne’s starting at 11 pm.  He had been there all afternoon and I am sure that great fun was had by all.  By the time we arrived at 9 pm the place was almost empty and by the time we left, it WAS empty-even the liquor had been removed from the bar.  You could hear that the staff were assembled elsewhere, anxious to begin their own festivities after working full shifts that afternoon.  They wanted us gone and who can blame them?  In the mean time, we were willing to make the best of things and decided to have a quick dinner and then walk back to Centro for midnight.  Chuuk Kay has an extensive wine list and we splurged a bit to begin the evening.

These quesadillas and creamy guacamole were a big hit.  They were bulging with ingredients and perfectly grilled.

The seafood nachos were heavy on the beans and not so much the seafood but delicious none the less.

The Fettuccine Alfredo was a savoury surprize with the addition of ham and mushrooms (and spaghetti noodles).  Our son really enjoyed this rendition as it is close to a ham and pea fettuccine that I make at home.  And you know that “Mama’s” cooking is always best.

D and our Newbie both chose the coconut shrimp and were delighted with their decision.  Both had half of their servings to take home for left overs.  The secret to good coconut shrimp is to butterfly the meat and then firmly press each piece into the coconut batter.    The cleanest of oil must be used and they can’t be cooked too long.   The chefs at Chuuk Kay obviously know these tricks-these were perfect.

Daughter #1 chose the Grouper which was quickly sauteed in garlic and butter.  She appreciated the abundance of vegetables that the fish was served with.

I was craving fruite de mare (again) and asked that the marinara sauce be replaced with white wine and garlic.  They did so but also replaced the rest of the seafood!  The result was all shrimp BUT it was absolutely succulent. Good thing we would only be kissing each other at midnight.  We were too full for dessert and anxious to get back to the square.

We were surprized by the crowd of locals and travellers alike who had assembled in the zocalo. The seawall had been blocked off that afternoon so that the fireworks display could be set up.  For us it was magic-colourful bursts of energy and light to heal our hurts and herald in another year. 

Kath’s quote: “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”-Bill Vaughn

 


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