Gringos in Paradise!

Mexico's flag
North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Isla Mujeres
July 2nd 2014
Published: July 2nd 2014
Edit Blog Post

Advice from the ocean:

Be SHORE of yourself - Come out of your SHELL -Expand your HORIZON - Don't get TIDE down -Take time to COAST -Avoid PIER pressure - Make WAVES and most importantly, SEA the beauty in life...

HOLA!! July 2nd & 1 more sleep till we see our girls 😊 How was your Canada Day? Ours was amazing; was there any doubt? (PS if you're getting my blogs twice, it's because sometimes it shows as "unpublished". Trying to figure out why, so I send it twice to be sure. Sorry for the annoyance.)

It's another beautiful day in the neighborhood, sunny, hot, and the humidity is getting revved up. So listen I have a dilemma and wanted to know if you could help me out? I have some big choices to make, here are my options.

a) Do I go for a swim in the pool?

b) Do I float in the pool?

c) Do I go up on the rooftop& take a dip in the dipping pool?

d) Do I laze around on the lounger with my new novel?

e) Do I make a margarita?

f) Or do I do all of the above?

g) OR, do I just shut up about all of the above? My guess is most of you picked "g" so I will shut up. I know about half of all of you are ready to throttle me. Guess you'll have to come to Isla and find me to throttle me (gotcha!)

This has been one of the best decisions Al & I have ever made to come here alone, rent this particular house, and take some time away from the rat race. Since Bill (my brother) died suddenly a few years back throwing our lives into a tailspin, I needed to find a place to find solace and every time we come here, I feel a lot of that angst, worry and grief begin to lift.

This trip to Isla has been the most restful, carefree, worry-free, calendar-free, vacation to date. Frankly I'm not sure my little feet have touched the ground since I've been here! I'm as lazy as a cat on a summer afternoon on a warm porch.

Life could not get any better unless, well, hmm, Oprah Winfrey adopted me. Now that would be great. Oprah and me hanging on the island, and I'd make her one of my famous margaritas that would end up on her 'favorite things list'. But in the meantime, till Oprah comes to the realization that I'd be a great adoptee, I'm just fine where I am.

Thanks Martha, Lara, Rory & Ava for allowing dad & I to have this time away. You gave us an amazing gift, and thanks to you Martha for being there for us. It will be our turn to treat you. Normally I'd insert a joke here (right Martha) but this time...NOPE, I refuse to do it. See you soon Jar of Mustard (that moniker never gets old 😊 and we will treat you like a queen 😊

Al and I being footloose & fancy free, have had so many laughs on this time away, and we've been able to lazily chat about life, our long term goal plans (er, keep coming back to Isla/Playa is about as far as we got), and our hopes/dreams for the girls, but hey, we know they are going to be just fine cause they are wonderful girls.

We are so comfortable in this beautiful house; it's equipped the way I'd want my house. Susan takes pride in all the details we can see. The house is so very well stocked, and it's hard to leave each day to go on our tours. Through the sliding glass doors all we see is the rippling pool and the expansive ocean. The bed is comfy, the house equipped with all the modern conveniences, the kitchen fully stocked, and further the internet works & it works out by the pool too! OMG that alone is enough for me to do a jig! And today I saw a big cruise ship off in the distance. Maybe it's the LOVE Boat!

Al went scuba diving this morning, and I was so happy to do my blogs, do some work for Playa Beach Getaways, read, swim in the pool while listening to some chill jazz music while sipping a drink. One of the owners of Mundaca Realty dropped over to say hi which was so nice. The pool is just the perfect temperature, and I am loving the dips in and out and floating on my chair, with my magazine in hand. Every once in a while I can't believe I am here, that we are here, that we are so blessed to have discovered a new "find"...a gem of a find.

So, now if I could only expand my work into Isla Mujeres? Heck I'd be willing to drive around in my golf cart handing out business cards. I'm friendly, I'm efficient, I'm hardworking, I'm funny (OK I know if I say it myself it doesn't count) and I can work without direction or anybody telling me what to do. (OK I hear all of you gufffawing about the nobody telling me what to do 😊 I can blog...I love to blog...Really Sherlock? And hey, we are starting to get to know people here, we are being greeted by our name, and the other day at the grocery store, they gave me a membership card! Hey, I'm a local now. Call me "Salita"!!!

And at Maria's Restaurant the other day, we were talking to Sebastian about drawing in business. I think he can really ramp things from a patron/tourist's point of view. First, it is a steep hill down to the beach club and the road itself is rocky. (He brought this up himself). If he fixed that up, it would be more inviting. Then his sign gives no indication that there is paradise mere steps from the road. Absolutely paradise, with a beach club, music, amazing food, ambience, a lagoon/bay setting with the beautiful water, soft sand, loungers and palapas, cheap beer, excellent cold wine in nice wine glasses (I need nice wine glasses; it makes me feel rich & important like I'm Oprah's special friend!). So he needs to get a big picture up on a sign laminated expressing this in big letters. And food pictures! Yes food pictures! If a picture is worth 1000 words, then heck have 2 pictures worth 2000 words! He seemed interested in my suggestions, who knows.

For all the wonderful food/club they provide, I'd like to see them succeed, and to keep these wonderful local people employed. Heck we've been doing our share! There's a lot of competition on the island re: restaurants, some good, some not so good but it's LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. If they were on North Beach they'd be awash in pesos.

The drinks we had at one bar at North raised my eyebrows like "you call this a margarita?" HOLA??? I asked them, what/how did you make this with? Some people it seems like to add real orange juice to a margarita. Sacrilegious. Cut up some fresh limes, reserve some to rim your glass with kosher salt. Then squeeze said limes into a shaker. Add 1.5 ounces (OR MORE 😊 of blanco tequila, then 1 ounce of Cointreau (not as sweet as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier) but your choice. We add very little of a good quality lime/margarita mix just to add a bit of sweetness. Then shake it up, and pour it over ice ("hielo" in Spanish). Now take said glass and lift it up to your mouth. Ahhhhhhhh. Simply delish. DO NOT fool around with margaritas bartenders, & don't be cheap with the booze because people know you have ripped them off. And fresh limes are key. Given the lime shortage we've been having, apparently limes have been more expensive than the tequila itself.

Anyhow, I'm extremely happy to be working for Playa Beach Getaways; love my boss Tonya!!!!!!! Her only complaint of me is I work her too hard 😉 It's true, I keep after her to get new things on the go, and I think she sometimes hides from me, but when she comes out of hiding, she's always so happy when we come up with a new action plan.

Aww there comes my hubby after his dive. He looks sun-kissed (he'd better not be kissed by anything other than the sun or he'll be taking another dive, and not the ocean variety if you catch my DRIFT (Sal's advice, nothing to do with the ocean!) Heh heh.

So back to Maria's it was...close, comforting, reliable. We saw our friends Kris and Lanah, and we chatted happily, just us 4 and one other couple who showed up, ordered the calamari, and claimed it was the best they've ever had. Apparently every place they travel, they order calamari. I ordered the grilled shrimp kebobs, with fresh potatoes, and Al had the smoked salmon fettucine. Listen up folks, our taste buds were doing the mambo. I have to say, after eating shrimp for years, without a doubt, it was THE best shrimp I've ever tasted. Garlic butter, perfect grilling, fresh & large, with grilled vegetables, and boiled potatoes with butter and green onions. Al's fettucine had the salmon (fresh as all get out), in a creamy roasted red pepper, herbs, and an amazing Parmesan taste. Al always adds fresh Parmesan to his pasta; but it was perfectly seasoned without any extra Parmesan. THEN, if that's not enough to wow the flip flops right off of you, he brings out freshly (in-house) made buns, right out of the oven with fresh butter. At this point we were delirious with the food and not sure if we should wind our butt or scratch our watch. We did neither (hello, we are in public for god sakes). It was such an amazing meal all around.

Our friends (Lanah/Kris) swam with the beautiful whale sharks yestoday and they were beat. They enjoyed a fresh seafood platter for two (see pic below) that was fantastic. They wanted to share but we said we were good. As they were leaving, they told us that our first round of drinks were on them. Awww...what a lovely couple. Hope to see them tomorrow.

Afterwards, Al and I had this beautiful stretch of beach to ourselves to float in the beautiful sea. Al then snorkeled with his "Go-Pro" which is an underwater video camera that he holds while he snorkels. He saw some a beautiful conch shell, a lobster and lots of tropical fish.

We headed back to the grocery store for some coffee cream to take to Playa (hard to find there sometimes), and I bought some new sunglasses and some breakfast items for the morning. The night was calm; not as many stars as the night before last, but still relaxing to float in the pool under the stars.

I swear, Al & I are going to go home, trade in the van and get a golf cart. How the hell will we get winter tires on the golf cart? Hmmm, something to ponder. (PS did I mention we had bungee cords to tie our luggage onto our golf cart when we arrived. Let me tell you, talk about bungee cord envy of every tourist just arriving, eyeing up my bungee cords. (Well I have to admit, I do have reallllly nice bungee cords!) Al thought I was a genius to think of bringing them. Otherwise trying to hold 2 50 pound suitcases on a small golf cart while you zip around would've been chaos. Anyhow, it was brilliant, how could I disagree with him? They also came in handy to tie Al's case of Sol beer down! It's a wonder Al didn't haul along a car seat from home to strap his little "baby" (i.e. Sol) in.

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Canada Day. It is a day to show your national pride. We showed ours. (As soon as I open my mouth to speak, people will say, "oh you're from up north ey?" GO CANADA!

Adios for now, your friends from up north, below, guestbook comments at top right.

Confirmed "Isla-holics"

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


2nd July 2014

living the good life...
hello Sally in Paradise; look at you! back to Mexico! I would love to be experiencing sun & fun with you- but at least I get to live via your blog posts & photos. Do enjoy every moment! Cheers to you & Al.
2nd July 2014

Living the good life
Hey Cindy Gilbert, how are you doing? I thought you were hoping one of these summers to get to Playa? Well nice of you to follow the blog! Keep in touch.
2nd July 2014

to Sal in Paradise.
yes, I am hoping/ planning (fingers crossed) to get there this September for my guy's birthday. nothing carved in stone yet- so many choices. You have opened my eyes to Cancun - but I think Playa is still my first choice. Will let you know if we do- I could sure use some input!
2nd July 2014

Sal in Paradise
Cindy, email me, and I can give you some options. Sept is much cheaper; and Tonya will work with you to get you the best accommodations for your budget. I have lots of tips for you. Keep in touch. (Cancun was nice for one night, but not for long term rental for us, but others love it. Playa, Isla...the best.
2nd July 2014

Wow... Love the Plumeria ( look like Orquids or Magnolias) flowers and the Hibiscus (my fave!! as a kid)
Lovely photos. You must have a great Camara and great photographer. You are good you. Mexico is so beautiful. You are good to go to safe spots..I will pass this unto a really well to do client who wants this info...I only wish I was there with your 'besties' to enjoy on the parranda tropical! lol (Tropical Grand party) xoxo Enjoy my friend.

Tot: 2.82s; Tpl: 0.022s; cc: 8; qc: 109; dbt: 0.0523s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.6mb