2006 was a year of change in our household. Craig accepted a job in Phoenix in August 2006, so we packed up and moved from Bellevue, Washington, where we'd lived since 1987. Saby, who moved in shortly after we returned from Isla in May 2006, accompanied us on the long roadtrip to our new life in Arizona.
Despite everything new going on in our lives, my compass still pointed due southeast towards the Yucatan. On a last minute whim, I found a frequent flier ticket on Continental Airlines in late January and headed to Isla the second week of February.
Pulling into the dock, my eyes focused on changes to the Isla skyline.
The Navy base had been expanded, the ugly frog was dead ahead from the ferry dock, and Ixchel II construction was in high gear. As a fellow traveler on the ferry put it, that little island may sink if they add any more new buildings. (We all know that didn't happen.)
Ixchel II construction looming over the cemetery.
Erosion was also starting to eat away at Playa Norte, especially in the area of Maria del Mar.
It was high season and the island was packed! Where you ate any given evening was determined by which restaurants had any tables left. Hidalgo was crammed shoulder to shoulder with high season visitors cruising the street. Carnaval was also in full swing.
These women from Holbox came over on a Saturday afternoon to dance. I love the expression on the woman on the right's face.
Most days, I joined the party at Playa del Sol.
Remember the boat planter?
At lunchtime, a friend and I would migrate to Bally Hoo. It took me a few trips to discover the place. Who'd think the views and food could be so good behind a gas station!
One morning on my daily walk, I ran into the Navy headed to the zocalo for a ceremony.
This house on Juarez never seems to change. We saw the owner touching up the paint in November.
The candy store across from the school on Juarez.
Pelicans on a boat in front of Picus.
Puppets lined up waiting to be adopted.
Other days, I'd head to the Posada del Mar beach to visit Chapoy and have lunch. I was addicted to Pinguino's chicken tacos. I evidently ordered the dish one too many times because I haven't eaten there in years.
Loncheria Chely across from the market.
One day, a couple of friends talked me into riding along on a golf cart tour of the island. I later suspected I was recruited as the designated driver since everyone knows I rarely drink alcohol. I actually think you need a drink to look at this ugly Ixchel at Punta Sur. I'd never noticed it until this trip.
It was a beautiful day, as evidenced by the turquoise views out at Garrafon. That day was a progressive tour with cocktails at the Cuban place on the boat channel, a late lunch at Casa O's, and Happy Hour at the Almar Lounge. I hadn't driven a golf cart since the teen years, but I took over after El Veradero. Talk about a learning curve! The only prescription glasses I had were sunglasses, so after sunset cocktails at the Almar Lounge, we had to decide whether it was better to drive blind or drunk. Blind won out, so I drove the cart back to town in the dark wearing shades.
Sunset from the Almar Lounge.
Sadly enough, one of the two friends from that fun golf cart day died suddenly a few years later of a sudden massive heart attack.
Another valuable lesson learned. Seize the day because we're all just passing through.