Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Deep Thoughts

In all my wisdom gained from 62 years on Earth, I've finally come to the conclusion that life is all about Perspective with a capital P.

This lovely ancient Mayan goddess on the Isla Mujeres municipal building looks wonderfully proportioned from the proper angle, but when shot from a skewed angle -- rather badonkadonk-ish.

For me, travel provides a whole new perspective on life.  Maybe the proper perspective.  I realize my values get skewed at home. Badonkadonk-ish.  Out of proportion.

I get caught up in obsessing about the perfect rug to place behind the couch or not wearing black sandals with navy tees.  Material first world problems.

Then a door opens on Isla Mujeres into a corrugate casa with a dirt floor and I feel so foolish.

Then I feel grateful.  I realize how fortunate my life has been.  I grew up in a home with solid walls and a roof, adequate food, clean running potable water, medical care, a good education, and loving parents, relatives, and friends.  I didn't want for the real necessities in life.

With age comes a little wisdom.  My mother called yesterday.  She thought it was her birthday (next Saturday) and I wasn't there.  I calmly explained that she had the date wrong and we'd be there next week to celebrate her 90th birthday.

Our of the mouth of the mother came wisdom.  Getting old and confused is not fun, but I guess it beats the alternative.  You are so right mama!

Life's like a road that you travel on

When there's one day here and the next day gone

Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind

There's a world outside every darkened door

Where blues won't haunt you anymore

Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore

We won't hesitate break down the garden gate

There's not much left today

Life is a highway

I want to ride it all night long

If you're going my way
I want to drive it all night long 

(Tom Cochrane)

(Hopefully, life to be continued!)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Go Eat!

I have no clue how I managed to eat all this and more and not need an extender belt when I waddled onto the plane in Cancun in February!  

Fresh as opposed to frozen fish seems to be a hard commodity to come by on the island now.  That makes me sad.  I'm almost afraid to order fish anywhere unless I know they actually buy fresh as opposed to purchasing a bag of frozen basa (pescado from Asia) at Chedraui. I quizzed the waiter at Bally Hoo and what I got was fresh, wonderful, and cooked in garlic.

The shrimp tacos are my lunchtime favorites at Bally Hoo.  I douse them with their tamarindo sauce.

The Chicken Poblano Quesadilla at the Mango Cafe is a must eat every trip.  Yum!

One night when we weren't incredibly hungry, we stopped at a new place around the corner from Mama Rosa's -- Pico de Gallo Tacqueria.  I can't remember what the name of this tortilla/pork/pineapple bit of goodness was, but I'd return for it!

Dopi's has been one of our favorites for years and everyone likes it now!  They make the most amazing gourmet quesadillas and burritos!  This photo does not do it justice, but my favorite is the chicken quesadilla in curry sauce.  Dopi's is also known for their steak.  Next trip!

Pizza at Mama Rosa's is another of our fallback favorites!  We like the mushroom and Italian sausage.

We usually end up lunching at Vivian's Qubano at least two times a week.  Craig's favorites are her sliders and Hungarian potatoes.  I didn't get a photo this trip, but my first love is Vivian's Salad with the fried goat cheese croutons.

Barlito's Cool Breeze is one of my favorite breakfasts on Isla Mujeres.

Barlito also has great nachos.  We ordered them during one of the NFL playoff games.

Barlito's shrimp basket (tempura type batter) was amazing!  I didn't get a photo, but Craig's grouper fish and chips were the best we've had on the island.  Fresh grouper!

We were strolling past Bobo's on one of our last mornings and decided to try his famous sausage/egg breakfast biscuit!  Oh my!  It certainly beats the McDonald's variety with a big stick!

Green Verde out Medina north of Kash Keken Chuc is also a favorite.  Craig likes the steak burrito, but I can never resist the mole enchilada sampler pictured above.

Last but certainly more important, I've discovered my love for Mojitos.  They're amazing at Varadero.  (In the neighborhood behind the jr. high off Medina.)  Add guac and chips and it's an early dinner.

 Recently while Craig was trapped in Phoenix on federal jury duty, we discovered Blanco Tacos.  I ordered the chicken enchiladas.  Oh my.  And the street corn was the best side I've ever put in my mouth.  Oh dear.  There's one in Tucson.  Maybe tomorrow's lunch?

Meanwhile the diner at home sits empty waiting for me to get off my rear and cook.  I'd feel guilty, but I'm having WAY too much fun!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Playa Norte Postcards

People often ask what the best beach is on Isla Mujeres.  Playa Norte's not the only beach on the island, but it's the longest stretch of sand with the calmest water and a choice of services at different beach clubs.  For a Saturday treat, I'm posting Playa Norte postcards from our recent January/February trip.

My favorite entrance to Playa Norte is located in between the two Ixchel condo towers at the northern end of Hidalgo.  I always take multiple shots of these guys in the FeliPez beach rental hut, and the guy in the chair always performs his bunny ears for me.  Someday I need to introduce myself!

The Maria del Mar entrance to Playa Norte.

A shot of the Ixchel beach from up above.

This photo is Fenix Beach Club across from the new Mia at the eastern end of Playa Norte.  I've heard they'll be moving.  The palapas in the distance are in front of NaBalam Hotel.  The area below on the other side of the bridge next to Fenix was formerly known as the Avalon Cove.

The bridge now leads to the new Mia Reef Hotel.

The famous House on the Rocks (privately owned by a local family) sits on the edge of the reef that forms the entrance to the cove.

The beach in between Tarzan's and Maria del Mar shown here had seaweed at the shoreline deposited by a recent Norte.  Loungers in this area can be rented from a concession, or you can bring your own chair or towel!

The Chimbo's entrance at the end of Guerrero.

What's SUP?

The western tip of Playa Norte can be reached by walking straight down Medina past Privilege Aluxes.  One day we were sitting on Juarez with friends and a woman said -- The beach is gone!!!  This portion of beach is experiencing serious erosion.  The entire area between the shoreline and the black whales in the water was sand in June 2014.

Waves lapping at Chi Chi's palapa.

Here's a nostalgic glimpse of the remains of Sergio's Playa del Sol.  A new beach club's been rumored here for years.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Little Surprises

Isla Mujeres is in a mural state of mind.  In addition to the large murals that were painted last year on buildings and walls, little surprises are cropping up all over in nooks and crannies.

Free the fish!

This wall painting's not new.  Can anyone guess where?

This wall looks official.  The art sometimes kicks up a notch when you park something in front.

Actually, I like Tarzan's jip with this background better.  Now all we need is the yell and a Jane!

An ode to kitties?

This mural covers the entrance to the Mercado.

Graphics creep up a stairway on Juarez.

The motos blend with the mural.

Mural in progress on a little casa across from the downtown cemetery.

Holiday mural on the side of a house on Juarez.

I'm liking mural fever!

Monday, March 2, 2015

More Clothesline Fetish Snaps

At home, I hang mine on a rod in the laundry room because in my tight little world, clotheslines in public view aren't allowed.  After all these years, I'm still getting my clothesline kicks on Isla Mujeres.

Red, white, and blue -- my favorite colors!  This little house by the Chimbo's entrance to Playa Norte always has a nice line.

It took almost a month before we wandered out to the colonias where some of the best clothesline action can be found.  We lunched at the Mango, cabbed to the Coopertiva de Las Mujeres (taxi lingo that got us to the bead ladies' shop), and walked La Gloria for clothesline photos.  These people must be very happy because they have very colorful clothes!

Hope these people got their clothes picked off before the rain fell!  We grabbed a cab back to town right before the deluge.

Some of the best lines can be found on the malecon -- a prime location for clothesline peepers.  Fortunately, the walk was right outside my door and part of my daily routine.

Stripes and indigo are so in this year!

I caught Las Palmas' sheets billowing in the wind on our walk down Guerrero one day.

These people on this Hidalgo balcony must do laundry everyday!

More malecon madness.

Meanwhile back at the Dulceria across from the elementary school, I finally managed to sneak a clothesline photo.  I just wasn't on my game this trip!

I never show my own clothesline photos on Isla because ours come home squeezed into a tight little bag.  I guess I'm just as tight when I'm on island!