Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm Here!

It was a bit of a bumpy ride down to Cancun since Alex was speeding on its way to a hurricane in the Gulf. We arrived late due to the fact that a passenger in Dallas decided he didn't really want to go to Cancun after the bags and passengers were loaded? Immigration was quick, customs was a long line, and I got the red light for the first time in my Mexico travels. I joked with the young guy, and he did a minimal search. Here are some scenes from my day of travel!

Sometimes airline food is damn good! This was a beef fajita salad with creamy cilantro dressing.

And yum! A warm crispy chocolate chip cookie. Of course the punchline is that I flew on an awards First Class ticket.

And folks, if you'll look to your right, you'll see the outer bands of Alex!

Watch out at the Ultramar ticket counter! The woman charged me 150 pesos for one way! And gave me a one way ticket, so it was't a roundtrip misunderstanding. When I called her on it in a nice manner, she sheepishly returned the rest of my change. Times are hard, but come on!

Once on the ferry, the incident at the ticket counter evaporated. I ran into my friend Joaquin who owns the Moto rental by Ricardo's. We rode up top listening to Jorge sing. And Joaquin helped me with my bags at the ferry dock. What a gentleman!

The view from my window as sun set on Playa Norte. After I got to the room, I immediately donned my swimsuit, jumped in the pool, took a swim in the Caribe, and back to the pool! The water was wonderful!

My lovely room at Ixchel. What's not to like! : )

And last of all, dinner at Mocambo. The grilled garlic pescado!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Outta Here!

Ahhhhhhhhhh. Bags checked. No delays yet! On my way to Paradise! : )

See ya later alligator!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sorry . . .

but I'm just been too dang busy to blog! Not to mention my mind is focused on one thing -- leaving on Tuesday! Packing, working on the yard, getting Craig to the airport for his Denver trip today, making lists on what I still need to get, getting Saby set up for Dog Bone Ranch, helping Craig get his Isla bag packed, etc... I can't wait to drive myself to the airport bright and early Tuesday morning and get this show on the road!

Here's my new favorite song! And it's so appropriate right now! : )

Friday, June 25, 2010

Frappes and Invests!

First the good news! I found these great little packets at Costco for making my morning coffee frappes! I'm trying one this morning at my McCafe (McHugh Cafe) and they're actually great! All that's needed is water and ice. I have a hard time on Isla without my blended coffee drinks, so problem solved! So I'll be packing my tiny blender! While I'm sampling my first little Cafe Frappe, I'm contemplating a pulsing red blob on the horizon.

And that's the questionable news. Invest 93. I'm starting to think I'm a jinx! In 2005, Wilma hit the weekend I was supposed to be arriving for a month on the island. Then I had that little skirmish with Ida in November, and now another one. But I guess it's IS hurricane season and nothing to do with me. Hopefully this thing will fizzle out and blow by as a little tropical disturbance and not impact the Yucatan or the Gulf and all the oil mess! And hopefully, my plane will lift off Tuesday morning and land in Cancun as scheduled! : )

I'm regretting now that I'm not flying US Air! I'd have a high probability of landing in Cancun on Tuesday no matter what the weather! Those people obviously have basketball-sized cajones! They landed flights during the time Hurricane Ida was passing through the Yucatan Channel in November. Evidently, the thought of getting a big old expensive plane stuck and/or damaged on a runway just didn't bother them. My flight, which I gambled would not arrive and takeoff that Sunday, left as scheduled right after Ida passed by. Why let a little hurricane ruin your flight schedule!

So I'm not going to sweat it! I will get there one way or another. Maybe late, but I'm going! And that seaglass hunting should be especially fine!

P.S. I did buy trip insurance! Don't leave home without it! Last year I incurred no extra costs whatsoever when Ida hit because the airlines and hotels on Isla really work with people when hurricanes are involved. I mainly buy it for medical and emergency medical evacuation purposes! Peace of mind!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday -- Not a Beach Day!

Yesterday started off so promising! I found a really good airfare for my nephew's October wedding in Chicago. I also managed to snag a Southwest awards ticket for a trip back to Kansas a little later this summer. So I was feeling pretty good!

After my morning walk, bike ride, and swim, I headed to Kohl's to buy some beach towels on sale. I found the beach towels, but decided to take a look around at what else was on sale. Big mistake. I tried on some clothes in a dressing room and then stopped at the jewelry counter to look at earrings. A little bit of mindless wandering. Mindless being the key word. Long story short -- I managed to lose my expensive prescription sunglasses. I think I laid them on the jewelry counter when I tried on a pair of earrings. I walked a few steps to look at the silly baubles in the mirror and when I returned, no sunglasses! What the heck! I searched through the store for at least an hour retracing my steps, checking the lost and found, asking clerks around the store, and even going through all the dressing rooms. Gone! A clerk said someone probably snatched them thinking they were designer glasses, but actually, they're just cheap Kirkland Costco frames with very expensive prescription lenses. Ugh!

So, that was the start of my bad day. I realized soon after there's no way to replace them before I leave for Isla next Tuesday since it takes at least a week to order and get them. Fortunately, I found my older pair with the progressive lenses, so I will be able to see on my trip!

My luck continued down the same path. Later in the afternoon, the doorbell rang and it was the pool man. Some of the fittings on the pool have been leaking and Craig had no success over the weekend trying to fix the problem, so he called the experts to take a look. I was expecting Mr. Fixit to slap some caulk or an O-ring on and hand me a bill for $100 labor. But it wasn't my lucky day.

Shortly after he went in the backyard, there was a knock knock at the back door. Who's there? Pool man. The salt cell, a very expensive piece of equipment, is cracked and leaking. Of course it is! We tried to get it replaced last year when it was under warranty, but they insisted it was fine. Now that the warranty has expired, it's a goner. Cha ching, cha ching, cha ching! Not only that, our poolbuilder no longer distributes that particular brand of salt cell, so if we can't find it elsewhere, we'll have to start over with a completely new system. Where's that hair standing on end emoticon when I need it!

I guess some days are diamonds, and some days are definitely NOT! Later today, I'll head to Costco with my older prescription sunglasses to have them adjusted and tightened up.

Forget the Calgon! I am so ready for Isla to take me away! Ommmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Week from Today

It all started last night. I'm in the throes of the countdown to the Seaglass Smackdown! Since I'm now less than a week out, I'm dreaming of what I'll be doing a week from now.

What will I do next Tuesday night after I'm checked into the room? Head down to the docks for one of these?

Or hang around Playa Norte and wait for this to happen!

Or maybe dash off to Mocambo and have the sunset/pescado frito combo!

Hmmmmm. The dreaming continues this morning. Next Wednesday morning, what should I do first? Go get me a plate of this?

Or walk down here.

And pick up a plate of that!

It's list making time!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Roadrunner. I say this with the same reverence reserved for Grasshopper in Kung Fu.

Remember when the roadrunner was elusive? I spent hours at the regional park trying to catch a photo of one. Well, obviously no more! Roadrunner now comes to visit while I'm doing water aerobics in the pool!

It started one day last week. I heard all the little wrens in the ash tree squawking frantically. I called Saby wondering if she was the culprit. Saby ran to the wall, staring and whining. When I finally looked up, there it was! Roadrunner!

Do you think Roadrunner is a sign sent to me? Perhaps he's there to tell me the meaning of life. Or maybe a sign to tell me that I must run quickly down the road to my next destination in life! (I'm in full agreement with that since that destination is Isla!)

Roadrunner's got a serious case of bedhead!

Roadrunner, you can't hide!

Seriously Roadrunner, who does your hair!

Roadrunner, just like his cartoon counterpart, was taunting the coyote. Saby whined, groaned, jumped around, while Roadrunner smirked. After staring at us for about five minutes, Roadrunner turned and ran down the other side of the wall. Why bother to fly when you can scale walls and run fast!

Ahhhh. Roadrunner. Beep beep!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gettin' Beachy!

Craig and I spent the weekend relaxing getting in the mood for our upcoming trip. But before I get to that subject, it is Father's Day, so I'll show you some photos of the men in my life.

My dad gettin' beachy with it in WWII. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor.

My dad and I. He must have just gotten home from work because that's his office outfit. He was a civil engineer for the Kansas State Highway Commission.

Craig and Michael gettin' beachy with it on the Oregon Coast back in the 80's. Don't tell either of them I posted this pic!

For lunch on Saturday, we had a tropical rendition of BLT's. YUM!

I spent some time reading this cool article in Coastal Living on Costa Rica that showcased a less touristy beach area. Guess we'd better go now since the rush will be on! Maybe in November, December, or January?

While Craig was trying to fix a leaky pool pipe, I did some water aerobics. I got showered with the yellow flowers from the palo verdes across the wall.

After the swim, I pulled out my bag of tricks and beaded a few bracelets. The one above is really beachy!

This one's a little fishy!

And this one will also be perfect for the trip!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lunch at El Zocalo

Guess what! More food! Wednesday, a friend and I went to lunch in downtown Chandler, Arizona at El Zocalo. It'd been awhile since we'd eaten there, but the food hasn't changed. It was still great!

I love El Zocalo's decor. It's located in a historic building and decorated with lots of carved wooden armoires, talavera pots and plates, and brightly colored Mexican art.


Gwen ordered this gorgeous bowl of chicken tortilla soup. Next time I'm there, I'm ordering that!

And here's my Maximilliano salad. It tasted as good as it looks!

Gwen pulled a Goldilocks and found a chair that was juuuust right!

We ignored the 100 plus degree temps and took a look around the rest of the area. This old truck sits in front of another restaurant -- Murphy's Law.

Gorgeous summer pots! Since I didn't plant any new flowers this season due to all my summer travel plans, I love looking at other people's!

Look at this custom made bike! It was in a glass gallery.

Guess where we headed next? Hmmmmm. More to come on Monday! : )

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Eats and More Antiques

And now, back to Memorial Day weekend's roadtrip home through Old Cottonwood! Craig made a quick U-turn in the parking lot of the old town jail. I stayed in the car to snap the photo just in case Sheriff Joe's second cousin was lurking there with his liberal detector! Look at all these blooming cacti!

After browsing through Larry's many acres of antiques, we were ready to eat! What a nice surprise. The last time we went through Cottonwood on our way to Jerome, we ate at the Sonic! I'm glad I found the good part of town. In Old Cottonwood, there were several places to choose from. We chose Crema Cafe, a coffee house/bakery that serves sweets, salads, sandwiches, etc...

Craig ordered a ham and jack panini.

And I opted for the chicken salad croissant.


And then I was hoofing it back down the street to another antique store.

A Checkered Past.

Cute little suitcase!

Why the heck I don't just buy one of these is beyond me! I keep taking photos. This one looked exactly like my grandmother's old Remington that sat on her dining room table. I guess I'm waiting to find an old mission oak library table to set it on in the den?

It was Memorial Day weekend and they were ready for a picnic!

Ding ding ding! Here's the winner! (And I'm glad my mother wasn't with me to comment on my choice!) It went home with us and is now sitting in my garden with a blue bucket full of aloe perched in it! It was rustic and the price was right! : )

We bypassed a few more antique stores on our way out of Cottonwood. (Compromise is part of marriage. I've learned this after 35 years.) We (Craig) were in a rush to beat the traffic back to Phoenix. It didn't work. We once again ended up in a long jam caused by roadside fires probably caused by fools throwing cigarettes out their windows on I-17. After creeping south on the asphalt for 40 minutes or so, this is what we saw.

The photo's extremely strange, but I swear I didn't alter it. The only effect is evidently looking through a moving car window at the smoking remains of the grassfire.