Monday, January 28, 2013

Wish I Was There!

As much as I like sleeping to the sound of rain, especially the drops on the grapefuit leaves outside my window, five days worth is overkill!  I thought I'd post a video of sand and sea from November.  Wish I was right there today!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tulum Town

In November, we visited the town of Tulum for the first time, primarily because we took the bus from there to Coba.  We were exhausted after all the walking we'd done earlier in the day, so we didn't explore further than the shops on the highway.  Based on our short glimpse of Tulum Town, I was glad we made the decision to base ourselves on the beach in Akumal and use the collectivo back and forth for tours from Tulum.  Lodging prices in Akumal  were much more reasonable than similar places on the beach in Tulum, and Craig really enjoyed wading in right in front of the condo for snorkeling.  We're beach people!

I did manage to snap a few photos in downtown Tulum while we were searching for some quick grub.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Give Me a Sign

Wish someone would give me a sign to light my way!  I even got a fortune cookie the other day without a fortune in it!  Here are some signs from my favorite little island.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Rerun -- Another Film Strip

Hope I'm not turning into that teacher you loved in junior high who showed a film strip everyday. My personal favorites were the National Geographic series. The young boys loved those too because there was always the allure that there might be a slim chance of some topless women from an Amazon or African village.

No topless women in this filmstrip, but for those of you not acquainted with Isla Mujeres (the island of women), Playa Norte is known for being a top optional beach.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Wheels on the Bus

On our first trip to Isla Mujeres in 2002, we rented a golf cart.  During our tour of the island, we stuck to the outer road.  You could say we weren't very adventurous, but in actuality, my suburban eyes hadn't adjusted to the colonias and I wasn't sure it was safe. 

We lost our Isla virgins status in 2004 when we started making more frequent trips to the island and staying out island away from El Centro.  We combed the colonias on foot and on bikes and discovered there's no heart of darkness.  It's safe, just like a suburban street in my hometown.

I can't say we haven't had some interesting encounters over the years.  My favorite was the time we were staying at the new Mar y Sol and trying to locate La Bruja on foot.  We got lost in La Gloria (someone told me it was close to La Gloria English School instead of the Little Yellow Schoolhouse).  I made the mistake of asking a man who was sitting on a curb in La Gloria for directions.  Let's just say he'd had a few too many drinks.  Number one -- he didn't speak English and I don't speak Spanish.  Number two -- he was semi upright on a street curb. As Craig said, "Who do you think hangs out practically prone on a street curb?"  Long story short, he ended up wobbling down the street after me with his hand out yelling 50 pesos, 50 pesos!  I'll admit to being freaked for about a block before I burst out laughing.  We ended up not finding La Bruja that night and hopping a bus into town for dinner on Hidalgo.  

I thought I'd do a little primer here for Isla newbies by posting the cheap tour of the colonias.  We're going to take a bus ride, so you might want to pop a dramamine.  The bus ride's a little bumpy.   : )

If you want to ride a bus from El Centro to take your own island tour, the stop is just south of the Ultramar ferry terminal on Medina.  The bus comes by approximately every half hour.  You'll get a cheap tour of the colonias and eventually end up at a stop by the Isla Palace on what I call Mundaca's circle.  Playa Lancheros and Capitan Dulce are just south of that bus stop if you want to have a drink or some lunch.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Rock

Sometimes simple is best.  One of the most economical rooms we stay in on the island is one of my favorites.  The Rocamar.

Here's what I'm talking about!

The sound of the waves!  They lull me into deep relaxation and sleep.

The sensational sunrise views.

The infinity view!  While the balconies might not appear to be private since they overlook the malecon, people walking past rarely look up.  And they can't see you on the third floor when you're sitting in your comfortable chair.

I love the people watching opportunities.  Tell me what's wrong with this picture.

Here's the answer.  Busted!

I'm totally missing my hammock time.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Turtle Bay for Breakfast

As I'm sitting here drinking my peppermint mocha morning frappe, I'm dreaming of tropical breakfasts.  I'm not a breakfast eater at home, but when I'm on vacation, I love those scrambles, fruit plates, cinnamon rolls, omelets, muffins . . .   You get the picture!

Akumal has turtles in its bay, and it also has an excellent place to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.   Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery!

While researching Akumal restaurants on Trip Advisor, someone described it as being located along the main road.  I somehow misconstrued that as sitting along the main highway.  Not.  You'll find Turtle Bay Cafe in the central part of Akumal village inside the main gates in a garden across the road from the beach.

One morning while Craig was snorkeling, I walked into the village to browse the galleries.  First stop was Turtle Bay for the fruit plate and sticky bun.  Is this fantastic or what!

The sticky bun's a little out of focus, but so yummy!

After finding Turtle Bay Cafe on Day 2, it was our go to morning favorite!  Wouldn't it be wonderful if I was an organized blogger and took photos of menus and made notes?  ( I'm not.)  I'm going to take a flying leap and say the above dish is the Turtle Bay Skillet.

Hmmmm.  I seem to remember this as El Omelette!  True confessions.  I'm a cheater.  Here's their online breakfast menu.

I truly regret we never made it back for dinner at Turtle Bay because the menu and specials sounded wonderful!  Next trip, I'll try not to fall off my bike and trip in a hole so we can make the walk into the village at night.

Look for the monkey along the path and you're almost there.  If you're ever in Akumal, be sure and check out Turtle Bay Cafe for tasty fresh food!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

El Fruto de la Vida

What do I miss most about Isla Mujeres when I'm not there?  Warm sand, gorgeous pale turquoise saltwater, the sound of crashing waves, friendly people, the charm of fishing village life, fantastic food, peace and tranquility, quaint colorful streets, the simplicity of life -- all those top the list.  But I can't forget my morning C -- the fruit of life.  It's easy, cheap, and a lot more effective than a multi-vitamin.

We often buy our juice from a little shop on Juarez, but this man's an Isla icon, selling fresh-squeezed orange juice from a cart on one of the side streets off Medina.

I'd never noticed this man before, but he's carrying packaged fruit spears in a Coca-Cola crate on his head.

Fruits plates are also cheap at the mercado.  I'm assuming I ordered this one at the Poc Chuc stall -- the third one in from the street.

Fruit can also be purchased from stalls inside the mercado.

This lady's also an Isla icon, selling her fruits and vegetables on a Juarez corner in El Centro.

I think I'll cut up a grapefruit this morning.  We picked almost all our Ruby Red's off the tree in our side yard yesterday because we're in the midst of a Phoenix freeze.  The entire contents of my linen closet, along with some burlap and anything else we could find, are draped over the trees and shrubs in our yard.  The siege is supposed to last for at least four nights.  I hate it when this happens!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I'd Rather Be Looking at Isla Art!

Of course I'd rather be on Isla Mujeres!  And if I was on the island, I'd be attending the Barlito Artist Series later today!  Here are some photos from one in November.  It's a fabulous opportunity to see some unique art, jewelry, and even seaglass!

Sorry I don't have all the artists' names, but I loved everything I saw that evening!

 Gorgeous etchings!

 Handmade tote bags and other textile objects.

Sally Margolis makes gorgeous jewelry.  Some of the pendants are even hand-stamped with Isla!

I bought the heart locket filled with seaglass and some gorgeous beaded earrings.

He's lovin' life and sells seaglass and handmade seaglass art.

Judy sells really unique necklaces and bracelets made from beads, seaglass, and shells.

And look at these paintings!  I love the beach scene!

Handcrafted baskets and lamps!

Very unique mixed medium art!

The artist and her muse.  Once again, I apologize for not knowing names.

If you're on the island between 4:30 and 6:30 tonight, wander down Hidalgo to Barlito and take in the show!  It's a don't miss!