Browsing: Isla Mujeres

AGI Tours-Isla Mujeres

March30

There are many styles to travel from lugging backpacks around and staying in hostels (which I have done) to the opposite extreme of first class all the way (which I have never experienced)… until now that is.

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This photo of my sisters and me on our first trip to Isla is so old that my hair is a different colour!

My relationship with AGI Tours goes back a number of years: from the very first time I spotted my name being held up by an AGI representative upon my first trip to Isla in 2005. In my experience, reliability is not always a guarantee when traveling in Mexico. You may have incorrectly assumed that the translation of “manana” was “tomorrow” but what it actually means is “in the indefinite future”. I kind of get a kick out of the easy-going Mexican “manana” philosophy unless I am doing one of two things: arriving or departing from Isla Mujeres. If I am arriving I am so anxious to get there, I can almost not stand it and when I am departing, I want to savour every last moment on the island and then get to the airport as efficiently as possible. AGI Tours has always provided that reliability for me.

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This year they did even more. I managed to secure a golf cart through AGI. Having a golf cart when you are staying on the airport strip is ideal. Sometimes we still made the walk into town (okay I will fess up, Doug still made the walk) for the exercise. We were able to fetch my sister-in-law and her sister to have them join us for breakfast at Luna d’Miel, we picked up our daughter and her husband for dinner one evening and then another time so that they could just hang with us and we were able to pick them and their luggage up on their departure day. Doug used  it to fetch his coffee and newspaper in the morning, to see if there were fresh tortas at the Supermercado and acquire the fresh orange juice that we love from our favourite market stall.

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But we also used it to dine in Colonias, chase the sunset

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and cool off on a warm evening by driving along the east side of Punta Sur. We felt so blessed by this convenience we were like little kids with a new toy.

AGI have joined forces with the “La Fortuna” cart company owned by a family member. Instead of having to be hailed by the golf cart guys at the ferry and select a company in the eeney meeney miney mo style, a new, well maintained cart was DELIVERED to our hotel! When we needed to gas up, we simply returned it to Adam (who gave us his cell # in case we had any concerns), he gassed it up and we were off again in a matter of minutes. When our time to leave the island had come, we called Adam and he told us exactly where and when to drop it off.

AGI is currently rolling out their new VIP Door to Door Service including a golf cart in their special package. Even more luxurious, were our return arrangements. Eduardo from AGI met us as we returned the golf cart

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and walked us (and my luggage) over to a dock near Mininoes. Waiting there were two other couples and we all were escorted aboard a beautiful boat and whisked across the Bay of Cancun. I have always gotten a kick out of the ferry but we did not have to stand in line, lug our own bags on board and scramble downstairs to get to our luggage before the guy hoping for a tip did. We simply sat back and visited with the other two couples as we skimmed across the turquoise waters that I love so dearly.

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On the Cancun side, we did not dock at Puerto Juarez so we did not have to endure the people and confusion there. When we were dropped off, our air conditioned vans were right there waiting for us.  The van ride seemed a tiny bit longer and the route was slightly differently and more enjoyable. AGI is constantly improving their services to all their clients but especially their loyal VIP clients. So far this treatment has been handled as a surprise to customers as they analyze operation costing and logistics. Check out their website for final details.

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Me enjoying every minute of the transfer.

We also experienced an unusual circumstance that sealed our faith in AGI Tours. My daughter accidently left her IPhone in the van when we arrived in Cancun. She asked me to contact AGI as soon as I could. When we arrived at our hotel and I connected to wifi, there was already a message waiting in my in box telling me that the phone had been found. I offered to cross back over to the Cancun side to fetch it, but AGI offered to deliver it to our Isla hotel! When they did so, my daughter was at the beach. They put her husband through some security questions to ensure that he was whom he claimed to be. We were so impressed with the reliability and trustworthiness of AGI Tours.

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There are lots of companies now on the transfer scene. I am not saying that they are inferior, I am simply saying that I have found AGI to be in a class of their own as far as service and dependability are concerned

Kath’s quote: “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen”.- Benjamin Disraeli

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset Grill-Isla Mujeres

March29

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Love was definitely in the air on our recent vacation to Isla Mujeres. There was a family wedding held on the island while we were there and the romantic and heartfelt betrothal set the tone for the rest of our vacation. When we arrived at The Sunset Grill’s new location (Rue Medina South), co-owner Margarita escorted us to a table for two set just outside the restaurant with a view of the marina and water.

Years’ prior I had my first taste of coconut shrimp at the original Sunset Grill on North Beach. On another occasion with my girls, my sister and her daughter, I recall having a late afternoon lunch at the Sunset Grill when a wedding was taking place. The bride arrived by boat to meet her groom as strains of “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones floated all around us. We all swooned and agreed at once that Isla Mujeres would be the perfect place to have a destination wedding.

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Suffice it to say, that memory stuck with me as I watched my beautiful niece wed her handsome man recently, but I digress. At that romantic table for two at the new Sunset Grill, D and I shared our last dinner together on the island. It was a special time in every way and we hoped that the food would complete a perfect holiday and evening.

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We commenced with frosty cold beers as it was still warm in the setting sun.

We consulted Sunset Grill owner Felipe as to what he might recommend. He read us perfectly and the shared appetizer, soup and entrée was the correct amount of food with both subtle and bold tastes.

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We started by splitting the most enormous shrimp (oxymoron?), that had been stuffed with hearty bacon pieces and a tart and silky cream cheese. D carved it into four bites and each was delicious and satisfying.

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Next up we shared a decadent seafood soup which is Felipe’s own recipe utilizing a splash of brandy. As chunky as a chowder, it tasted closer to Lobster Thermidor with tastes of heavy cream and butter. The abundance of seafood was a lovely surprise-every spoonful containing a piece of huge shrimp, baby shrimp and other fish. The creamy stock was so luxurious that I had wished we had some bread on the table so that we could have mopped up every dollop.

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The Sunset Grill is definitely a family affair as the next dish was a recipe of Felipe’s mother. Usually the dill sauce would adorn grouper but in this case it enhanced red snapper. Everything on the beautifully assembled plate was delicious.

Felipe added that next time we may want to try a dish such as his beef tenderloin in cherry wine, chicken livers and Dijon. In truth I spotted a number of dishes that I would love to try again including the Coconut Shrimp, which brings us back to the beginning of this story and

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our on-going love affair with Isla Mujeres and the Sunset Grill.

The Sunset Grill has much more to offer, stay tuned for the next installment.

Kath’s quote: “Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There’s, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There’s pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich… That’s, that’s about it.”-Forrest Gump

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Love never fails.

 

 

Pre-planning for Isla Mujeres 2017

February20

I get almost the same pleasure out of planning and then recollecting our yearly sojourns to Isla Mujeres as I do actually being on the Island. We started researching where we would all stay in 2017 back in 2016 when we were still on the island. As you likely know, we have specific needs  for our gang as we are travelling with a three year old, one year old and we require wheelchair accessibility for Daughter #1.

The lovely owner of the Xbulu-Ha Hotel has assured us that he will modify his front entrance so that #1 can zip in and out and she desires. #1 and her attendant will have a main floor room complete with an accessible shower. J & J and the girls will have a 2 room suite where a play pen can be set up for Jo Jo and the Wee One will have a futon. If the kids need closer contact with J & J their bed has a pull out trundle to accommodate the kids. We will likely designate our room for coffee, light breakfast and lunch fixings and cervesas.

In addition the hotel has a cozy guest lounge where the front desk is located equipped with microwave, toaster, blender, kitchen  sink, table and chairs. They provide free wi fi, beach towels and back pack beach chairs too!

We have also booked our shuttle service through AGI. I have utilized the services of AGI since I first started travelling to the island in 2005. Since then they have continued with each year to expand their offerings and now have many more offerings including VIP DTD (door to door) Service:

  • Meet & greet at the CUN airport,
  • Transportation to the ferry dock on our A/C Mercedes Benz Sprinters
  • R/T boarding passes for the ferry to Isla Mujeres
  • Assistance in Isla Mujeres by our AGI Tours staff
  • R/T transportation to your hotel/villa/house in Isla Mujeres on local A/C taxis
  • For the return leg we will pick you up at the villa and bring you all the way to the airport using the same logistics than on your arrival
  • For groups of 10 or more we can afford to bring you all the way to Isla on the car ferry (given the situation that your flight matches with the ferry itinerary, of course).

AGI’s vehicles are always spotlessly clean and air conditioned. Their drivers are polite and courteous. I highly recommend them.

Counting the sleeps!

Kath’s quote: “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” – G.K. Chesterton

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

Isla Mujeres 2016-Day 14, Departure Day

December27

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We were up a half an hour early so that we could still have our morning routine of coffee and the sunrise

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and our last visit with H & G.

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The taxi came a smidge early so we had a half hour wait for the ferry. I used the time to take some last shots of Medina.

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One last pouty pic.

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We love the new ferry terminal.

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We had a lovely ferry and shuttle ride. Adios Isla Mujeres. Can’t wait to be with you again.

Kath’s quote: “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen”.-Benjamin Disraeli

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Isla Mujeres 2016 Trip Report-Day 13

December23

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Up for another glorious sunrise.

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We walked into town to say goodbye to Brother #3 & L (with their sad pouty faces on).

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We snagged a cab to Mango Cafe.

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I chose the eggs bennie on chia leaves, mushrooms and curry hollandaise.

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D had the Stuffed Pobalno Chili. Everything was absolutely excellent as always.

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We made it for the last 20 minutes of church.

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We strolled home.

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I headed out for a last opportunity of beachcombing.

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It was a hot one as the clouds had subsided as well as the breeze.

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So we conserved our energy and simply hung out for the rest of the day at Luna d’ Miel.

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Me, showing off my tan (and my wrinkly neck).

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We packed for our morning departure and strolled into Centro for our progressive dinner:

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Our fist appetizer was a shared Bimbo Dog.

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Next course was a shared order of Coconut Shrimp & Dos Xs at Miminoes.

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We were fascinated by these two little girls that we could see from our seats. They were apparently fishing with a piece of fishing line.

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Our next stop was Bally Hoo for a shared Pasta Marinera, margaritas and wine.

 

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We caught one last glorious sunset and then headed to the square for Churros.

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On the way home we grabbed Pizza from Suny’s for the next day. We shared a lovely bottle of Camenere with the stars and waves. We had a fabulous holidays and it was so leisurely we kept saying: “We’re still here!”

Kath’s quote: “I think that when two people are able to weave that kind of invisible thread of understanding and sympathy between each other, that delicate web, they should not risk tearing it. It is too rare, and it lasts too short a time at best….” ― M.F.K. Fisher

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Love never fails.

 

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