Browsing: Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres 2017-Trip Report Day One

June26

We have been visiting Isla Mujeres since 2005 when my sisters and I booked at Villas Punta Sur not knowing that we were the opposite direction from Playa Norte. In spite of our short time on the island and our inconvenient locale, the three of us instantly fell in love with Isla. Since that time husbands, other siblings, extended family and friends have visited too. Some have been enchanted and others not so much.

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Our entourage minus the grandbabies.

But our 2017 visit was a very special one, because we accumulated for the wedding of my niece/goddaughter.

We arrived a couple of days before the wedding, right on the day that a welcome party had been planned at the two villa property where the bride and groom’s families were staying, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The early morning departure did not go all that smoothly and so our eventual arrival was especially sweet.

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The grandbabies did particularly well considering that had been plucked out of bed in the middle of the night.

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The port was really busy so we missed a couple of ferries and eventually caught the 1:30 pm.

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D took the golf cart full of our luggage

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and everyone else walked to the Xbulu-Ha hotel. We had booked four suites and everyone settled in quite nicely. I went to the Supermercado to buy some lunch supplies to sustain us until the party that evening.

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Boo at the party.

The Welcome Party was a perfect time. The guests included all the Kapilik/Resch/Gray families, as well as Isla friends Jan and Bruce

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and long-time Toronto friends Richard and Melinda (who just happened to be on the island at the same time AND staying at the hotel right next door!).

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Dinner was a Taco Bar featuring Cochinita Pibil (authentic Mexican pulled pork which is typically available from locals on Sundays), (thanks to Isla friend Wanda) , locally made tortillas, pico de gallo and guacamole made by chef/friend Ziggy and all lovingly assembled by Sister #3.

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The bride and groom.

As we broke bread together we were introduced to various Australians (the groom is Australian) who we had often heard of but had never met in person. As speeches commenced, we all soon realized that this was not going to be a typical wedding or even a typical destination wedding. This was gong to be an opportunity for new lifelong friendships to be created and cemented. I personally was not surprised as every perfect detail had been in the planning for months.

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As the merriment continued a beautiful orange moon rose from the ocean. I for one felt as if our assembly was being divinely blessed.

Kath’s quote: “For love is a celestial harmony
Of likely hearts compos’d of stars’ concent,
Which join together in sweet sympathy,
To work each other’s joy and true content,
Which they have harbour’d since their first descent
Out of their heavenly bowers, where they did see
And know each other here belov’d to be.” -Edmund Spenser

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Love never fails.


 

 

Mango Grill-Isla Mujeres 2017

June14

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On one of our final days on the island, D declared that we had not yet visited Mango Cafe. I love Mango but because I knew we had all kinds of fixings in our fridge and cupboard and because our departure was fast approaching, I was hesitant to go. I simply cannot waste food. Doug had a great suggestion as to what to do with it, so I agreed knowing that the food fixings would be going to a good home.

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We have two favourites that we ordered each year-the stuffed poblano and the coconut French toast.

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We have always marvelled as to how the stuffed chilies are made-does the filling go in already cooked to simply be reheated when plunged into the deep fat fryer? This is our best guess.

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I try very hard to eat these with the fruit and not the syrup. The syrup takes it from hearty breakfast to decadent dessert!

We love the varied colours of the cozy restaurant and always feel at home. Perhaps it is the décor, perhaps it is the staff that are as cordial as the restaurant’s owner. We befriended Polo a number of years ago and are so excited to see his lovely little family expand.

Kath’s quote:  “I will stop loving you when an apple grows from a mango tree on the 30th of February”.-author unknown

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

Bertha’s Isla Mujeres

May26

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Bertha’s is owned by the same  family that has Rooster and is equally fine. When we started out we had a little difficulty being understood bu the Italian server.

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Then Enrico came along and his English is exceptional and he made us feel right at home (even though we were the only table in the restaurant).

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Sister # 2 chose camarone (shrimp) on seafood rice

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and my bro-in-law a chicken with an unusual pasta presentation.

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They shared a grill vegetable salad. D and I followed suit and we were delighted with the taste and presentation.

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Another friend was gutsy and selected the whole octopus. He LOVED it!

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We rarely order dessert at an Isla restaurant because the entrée portions are typically huge. But on this night, six of us shared an order of churros with dipping sauces which we all enjoyed immensely.

Kath’s quote: “With the exception of octopus, I don’t think I’ve met any food that I didn’t like. And by the way, sometimes I do like octopus. I’m just not crazy about it by itself. I love sea urchin. I love uni. If I’m going to die of anything, it’s going to be gluttony”. -Justin Timberlake

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Love never fails.

 

 

Amar Peruvian Restaurant-Isla Mujeres

May25

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The Amar Peruvian Restaurant on Isla Mujeres was very obliging when they said that they could accommodate our large group on a Sunday evening. The place had a nice vibe and was comfortably appointed.

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When we arrived the place was not terribly busy but by the time we ordered, every table was occupied. This caused extensive delays and our dishes came out of the kitchen one at a time. In fact one dish ordered by the Frenchman, never came out of the kitchen at all!

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Niece Dani ordered the vegetarian ceviche and the quinoa salad to share with the folks at her end of the table. She especially enjoyed the citrusy dressing of the latter and made note of the variety of textures and crunchiness.

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She thought that her main of shredded chicken was one of the best meals she had eaten on the island.

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Sister #2 selected the crispy chicken but thought that they over did the soy sauce in both the chicken and the fried rice.

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My Bro-in Law also had a chicken dish and his portion was three times the size of his wife’s.

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Many enjoyed the fish of the day with garlic sauce.

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D and I asked our server to suggest the most “Peruvian” item on the menu. He suggested the tapas of three ceviches. We loved all three but particularly the crispy version which had been coated in panko flakes and fried.

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For our main we shared a bowl of seafood paella which was very hot (temperature not spiciness) and was chock full of seafood especially calamari rings. The taste of saffron which is characteristic of the dish was not apparent. I would also say that it did not have that paella pan taste of haven been lovingly turned over throughout the day.

Service was very apologetic about the long delays. They tried to make amends with caramel and passion fruit panna cottas. D and I quite enjoyed our choices but the table got pretty grumpy because of the trouble in the kitchen. With so many fabulous choices on the island, I am not sure that we twill try Amar again.

Kath’s quote: “The 3 basic ingredients are rice, saffron and olive oil, with seafood, chicken, vegetables and a wide variety of other ingredients that may also be included (pork, rabbit, duck, etc.). Paella originated in the Valencia region, traditionally cooked outdoors and eaten right from the pan”. Food Reference

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Love never fails.

 

Sardinia Smile – Isla Mujeres 2017

May15

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D and I arrived before the time of our reservation because we were so darned excited for the evening to commence. Plans had been made the year prior and that’s a long time to anticipate an evening. We met these precious Australians in person by “accident” in Tuscany in the Fall of 2015. Read the whole story here: http://foodmusings.ca/italy/tuscany-trip-report-day-3-part-2/

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In the time in between their son became engaged to our niece and planned a destination wedding on Isla Mujeres; which was another beautiful story: http://foodmusings.ca/food-celebrations/anywhere-in-the-world-he-chose-our-beach/.

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The first time D and I dined at Sardinia Smile on Isla Mujeres, the evening was so delicious that we sat back and reminisced about our time in Tuscany, and then we remembered that we would be together with G & H when the wedding took place. We sent them a FB message asking them to dinner at Sardinia Smile a year  in advance!

The evening had finally arrived. D was grateful that we were early so that he could study the wine list in advance and make a couple of Merlot selections for the evening. As guests started arriving and we had an opportunity to spend some extra time when G & H and their lovely friends G & A and B & K, the evening just flew by, so it was a good thing that we had the opportunity to gather our thoughts at the beginning.

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This was exactly how I predicted the time would be when we finally were reunited.

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We started with bruschetta and octopus ceviche and whatever else was ordered by the table which included Sister #2 (the Mother of the Bride), my wonderful brother-in-law and old friends of theirs.

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Once entrees came along it was considerably later in the evening and the lighting was not opportune for food photos. This was the shrimp ravioli that D enjoyed.

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H chose the spinach ricotta ravioli and loved it as did I with the fruita de mare fettucine.

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The best choice of the evening was made by G who decided upon this simple mushroom ravioli with truffle sauce. In deed we were all enthralled with our selections, the wine an our time together. I felt badly when I heard that dinners at the other end of the table were less than stellar. Perhaps our anticipation of the evening made everything taste that much better.

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Mini desserts ensured that the time would be remembered as sweet and delicious.

Since that evening we have been planning and dreaming about another traveling adventure. We intend to meet up with G & H, their family an their delightful friends B & K in Melbourne. How soon this will occur? No one can predict, but when it does, I know the time will one again be sweeter than honey.

Kath’s quote: There isn’t any questioning the fact that some people enter your life, at the exact point of need, want or desire – it’s sometimes a coincendence and most times fate, but whatever it is, I am certain it came to make me smile.” ― Nikki Rowe

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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