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Vacation Journal
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lee&denny return March 5-14, 2012, arriving and settling

By: lee (View Profile)
Date: 4/10/2012

Monday, March 5 2012

((One point I have to make right now is the poor quality of my pictures that I made from "snapshots" of video. I wont do that again! In loading here, I may have duplicates.))


Sunday was pretty cold. Snow falling, but not sticking. Sunday night the snow was sticking. Getting up at 330am, I see several inches of snow on the ground and roads. I hate driving on snowy roads.

This was a common site for previous winters, but not the winter of 2011-2012, the mildest winter in history in Ohio.
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At the first state route, the roads are wet. Whew. At the airport parking lot, it’s a chilly wait for the other people taking the van to the airport. Now the snow is sticking on the airport tarmac. There is a 40” delay while the plane is deiced. Take all the time you need boys! We make the Atlanta connection with time to spare.

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On arrival at Cancun Immigration, there are long lines. Forty minutes later we’re heading for the red/green light lines which are moving quickly.

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Out to Best Day where we wait about 30”, passing the time talking with excited families headed for Cancun Riviera who never heard of Isla Mujeres. One lady has just opened a bottle of water and hollers “is this purified water?” We laugh.

On arrival at the ferry, we have a short wait. The winds are making for a choppy bay. We don’t care, (it ain’t snow!) we’re sitting up top. The ride across the bay is always a thrill. Other excited tourists are smiling and enjoying the scenery. We’re grinning and poking one another “we’re almost there!”.

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When we finally arrive at Picus, it’s real. We’re here, safe and sound!

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I’m always hungry when we finally get to the island and decide to order the whole fried fish with garlic. The waiter brings me a fish and says “100 pesos”, I say “you betcha amigo!” When it comes, it is a delicious as I remember. Denny’s chicken fajitas are really good too.

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Sipping a cold XX, we watch other people arriving, incoming ferries, bobbing fishing boats, vendors, music from the singer at Picus. This guy was a great entertainer.

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Private performance.

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Oh yeah, it’s still here: the magic, the peace, waiting for our return.

Finally sated, we get a taxi and head out for Hotel La Joya which means “the jewel”. Perfectly named. We have stopped to look at this place, showing friends, for several years, always hoping to stay here one day. Well, that day is here, for five nights. They have given us room #1 which we love: domed brick ceiling in the bedroom and bath.
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Everything is immaculate and lovely, from the carved entrance door to the colorful bathroom tiles, the pristine white bed coverings and curtains, to the spectacular view of turquoise water of the bay. We feel as though we are in a private aerie.
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The hammock and deck chairs are calling, however, after unpacking, we head for Chedraui. As we enter and ride the ‘people mover’ to the main floor, I am overwhelmed by the displays, choices and variety. And, just like Walmart, I can’t find anything! Slowing down, we wander the store buying fresh breads, beer, yogurt, soda water and juice. This place is unbelievable!

There is a communal kitchen at La Joya which we are encouraged to use even though they are serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Alex speaks perfect English, happy to help with any request. He told us that we were welcome to anything in the kitchen including ice and bottled water. "You paid for everything in your room rate". As for meals: if they dont have something on the menu that you want, just ask and they will try to make that meal. The chef was really nice and made attractive plates. There is a young couple living on the property with well-behaved children who are very friendly, not much English speaking, and always available.

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The chefs stove in another part of the kitchen.

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The dining room.

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Breakfast brought to our room, supplemented by breads from Chedraui.


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La Joya is making us lazy. We spend the afternoon reading and idly gazing around from our vantage point. Still windy, but warmer on Tuesday. Walking down the many steps to the pool, we find the water a bit too cold for a swim.

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Yes, there are lots of stone steps:

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Near the pool are bathrooms which are nice and clean.

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Down more steps to the little beach,

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the kayaks are available for paddling around in the bay

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we walk North, getting close to Almars, which we noticed earlier was open again.
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The steps seen here lead to a property that is not finished. Pretty impressive steps, huh? Fine craftsmen here.
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Walking South, we get quite close to Garrafon. The tide is out and it’s easy walking on the flat, rocky sand. There are many black sea urchins, most golf-ball size, some soft-ball size. A nice walk, finally stretching our legs.

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Lunch at La Joya was served to us on the balconey. It was wonderful with Denny having a huge burger served with fresh-cut fries with sea salt.

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I had mixed ceviche

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and we shared a huge portion of guacamole and chips

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By evening, Alex says he isn’t able to get octopus for dinner, maybe Thursday, as the kitchen is closed Wednesday. That’s fine, we’ll walk to Almars. Still a beautiful place. Now, instead of a beach, there is a huge deck for loungers beside the dock. As we look at the menu, I’m thinking we’ll share the appetizer of finely sliced aracherra curved over a bed of shredded lettuce with a drizzle of oil. There is a pile of cellophane noodles and a dipping sauce of chopped sweet peppers in oil for $140 p. I ordered pasta marinara ($160 p) and they brought pasta primavera which was just the sweet peppers in oil with finely shredded parmesan over all. XX was $25p each. Denny at the pasta and I had the appetizer. A disappointing meal because we have eaten there before and had good meals, the best Porterhouse I’ve ever had was at Almars. The bill came to $410p and had a 15% “service tax” added. I gave him a $500p note and he asked “ok?”, I said “change please”. They already got their “tip”. Sorry for the lack of photos, my video came out too dark. Still, while we were disappointed in the meal, the place is really pretty. A nice place to have a drink and watch the sun set.


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