Welcome to my new blog…
Some of you may remember me from my other blog, Choosing Doorways. I decided to start a new blog which is totally dedicated to my travels in Mexico. Since I have come to love the country and all it has to offer, I thought it deserved a blog all to its own, separate from my life in Texas. Between you and me, however, my life in Texas is not nearly as fun or interesting as my visits to Mexico, so I haven’t had much to blog about at “home”. To be honest, in the past five years I have felt more at home in Mexico and spend much of my time thinking how I can end up there some day. I still have a lot to explore and am looking forward to learning much more about Mexico.
I’ll start out with my most recent visit a week ago to Isla Mujeres. It was a spur-of-the-minute kind of trip because of a surprising drop in airfares between Austin and Cancun right before Christmas.
This was my seventh trip there, but I just wanted to go to relax, eat some good food, and soak up some sun (and cervezas and Margaritas, of course). Because all the electronics in my house were stolen the week before I left, I did not take a laptop this time (which I missed). I did, however, get a new camera (a Canon G12 to replace my G10), which I gave a good workout during my stay. I thought these shots just before landing in Cancun were pretty interesting.
I wonder what those pink areas are??
My first day was pretty uneventful as I didn’t arrive on the island until about 4:00 p.m. I used Best Day for shuttle service again and I was very happy with them. I’ve heard some people complain about them, but I’ve always had the best of service. In fact, most times I’ve used them to get to Puerto Juarez, I’ve been the only passenger. Same thing both ways this time, as well. In fact, my solo ride to the ferry was in a big black unmarked SUV…made me feel like people might think we were with a drug cartel…hahaha!
Adios, Puerto Juarez…
This guy was playing soft samba kind of music…it was actually very nice.
Rueda Medina is a mess right now with the northbound lane under construction. They did make some progress while I was there, so hopefully, they will be finishing soon. I think it has to be hurting the businesses on that side of the street.
I stayed at the Hotel Plaza Almendros…which I will never do again during times when school is not in session. WAY too many kids there this time. I should have taken someone’s suggestion of staying at the Suites Los Arcos instead. Live and learn.
Sidebar: As if it wasn’t bad enough that the kids could be noisy, the couple that checked in to the room next to me a couple days after I arrived were even worse. The first night, they woke me up at 3:00 in the morning with their arguing…which lasted about an hour…seriously. Actually, the woman was doing all the arguing. The guy would just mumble something every ten minutes or so, which would just set the woman off again. I should have complained or knocked on the wall, but I kept thinking they would stop. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I could have actually heard what they were saying because that would probably have made it MUCH more interesting (haha), but the concrete walls muffled their words. Then I didn’t hear or see them for a couple days and I thought they were gone, but then they showed up the day before I left. Weird.
I walked around a little bit before heading over to Picus. This is the new sculpture where M&Js used to be.
And they “recycled” the old destroyed sculpture in the wall next to the malecon…I’m guessing they’re going to leave it there.
And here’s the new statue in the area that goes to the malecon from the zocalo.
I forgot to take pictures of my food at Picus, but I did get a shot of the view from my table.
And when I checked out the bathroom, I saw that they changed the mirror. This is what it looked like last year…
And here’s what it looks like now. Maybe too many tall people complained!
Then I checked out the Christmas decorations in the zocalo…
My next visit (never soon enough) will be my 7th. My wife’s 5th trip.
Your pictures are wonderful. All of those things you describe are what makes me want to return. We keep thinking of other places to go, but never find anywhere as relaxing as Isla.
January 4, 2011 at 8:55 pm
Deb, love the new blog! I stayed at Almendras in February 2007 and it just wasn’t my thing. It’s noisy and just didn’t feel very private. Also stayed at Suites los Arcos in 2006 for a night and got treated rudely by the staff and vowed I’d never go back! I’m having a hard time figuring out where to stay in January when Craig leaves the island. I booked Bahia with a one night deposit, so I’ll probably stay there if I can manage to get my bags across that mess! I figure the bayview rooms probably won’t be as noisy if there’s no traffic on one side!
January 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm
Thanks, Chuck. I know what you mean about not finding another place like Isla…I totally agree.
Hey, Beck! The past couple of time I stayed at Almendros, it wasn’t crowded and it was nice being right downtown. I had a totally different feel about it this time. I don’t think I’d stay there again because it’s just getting too popular for families with young children. And thanks for the heads-up on Suites los Arcos. The Bahia is a really nice hotel, but there are no refrigerators or microwaves…plus, I just felt a little isolated there. I think it would be okay if you’re staying with someone, but when I’m by myself, I like to be a little closer to activity. You hear plenty of “activity” on Rueda Medina when the sliding doors are open, but it’s very quiet when you close them. Hopefully, they have gotten some outdoor furniture so that you can sit on the balcony to see the view…otherwise you’ll have to put the inside chair out there. Haha! Looking forward to your photos!
January 5, 2011 at 1:44 am
We love Isla too!! We will be making our 4th trip there in late January. We’ve always stayed at Villa Vera just outside downtown and on the bayside. Very nice, but not close enough to town (and the water) so we will try something new… Staying for 4 nights in town at the Na Balam and then 3 nights at Rolandi. Great deals at each… we’ll see.
January 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm
Love your blog. Mirrors perfectly the many fond recollections of Isla. We will be returning for our second trip in as many years and are planning to stay 7 weeks with maybe a few side trips. Plus finally getting our PADI certification on the Island.
For what its worth we love staying in La Gloria. Definitely off the beaten track but loaded with little shops and vendors who cater as much to locals as to tourists. A favourite is one close neighbour who vends local shrimp from the front door… Stand outside and shout ‘Hola’ then Voila, 2kgs of the best ceviche makings ever!
Our choice in La Gloria is Casitas del Mar on the Caribbean side. Amazing sunrise and fabulous hosts. The laid back atmosphere of La Gloria is contagious, besides the short walk from there to Playa Norte forces us to get our daily exercise and justifies the cerveza. Cheers!
January 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm
Jim – Na Balam is a very pretty setting and Villa Rolandi is absolutely gorgeous. I’m sure you will have a great time at both!
Jazzgate – Thanks! When I was there in May of 2008, I stayed part of the time in a little apartment in the colonias for only $18.00 a night…a place called Casa Laguna. Very tiny and basic, but I loved it. It really made me feel like just part of the island.
January 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm
Very nice Blog! Will definitely check back. Pictures were amazing. I always say that the first day of the trip to Isla (not the travel day–but the first real day), is my favorite day of the year. Better than Christmas, birthday, last day of school–I’m a teacher. 58 days!
Thx for the blog–
January 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm