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Cozumel - March 1 - 22nd

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#1 Valli



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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:48 AM

Itís always hard to believe another trip to Cozumel has come to an end. But this trip had some very special meaning for me - I am not one who posts and shares family situations on Cozumel boards - but what I will say is that I am attempting to recover from a recent family tragedy, and my dear and special friends in Cozumel demonstrated their understanding, compassion and unconditional support. A very special and heartfelt thank you to Linda, Charles, Alicia, Paula, Jan and Miguel for being there for me during this difficult time.

I flew Frontier from Denver to Cozumel, the trip was easy and as we were the only flight at that time of day, everything went smoothly. Once I retrieved my luggage, I went out and was immediately confronted by the sharks. I politely said no thank you and that I was being met. He was persistent, and even when my house representative was there and we connected, he wasnít quite ready to give up. I was also pleased and pleasantly surprised that Linda was there, and it really felt like I was home.

The house I rented was a bit further out in the Independencia neighbourhood. I had never stayed that far out, but it was perfectly safe and the house and pool area were lovely. A bonus was having a washing machine and dryer. I would not stay there again for the reason of dogs that barked non stop night after night. These are not dogs that are wandering around, but dogs behind gates - one next door, one across the street, and 3 a couple of doors down and it was terrible and did impact on getting some sorely needed rest. However, the vacation company was excellent and very attentive. There was a welcome gift of beer in the fridge and a basket of snacks. If I called for something, they responded immediately ad it was probably the best service I ever received in all my years of renting. The company is called Cozumel Rental Homes and I would not hesitate to recommend them.

Although the weather was cooler than other trips, I really enjoyed the breezes, the sunshine and had excellent early morning daily bicycle rides and while doing my usual haunts, I had the opportunity to explore other areas further back in town. It only rained twice which over a course of 3 weeks was pretty good. I have had a lot of experience biking in town, but did have some difficulties this time around - mainly as a result of rude car/taxi drivers and careless and aggressive moped drivers. The majority will not adhere to basic courtesy and I had to constantly be aware, especially at stop signs as the mopeds will dart in front and turn and cut me off. I had one particularly close call that left me a bit shaken, and the driver on the moped turned toward me, flipped me the bird and said, **ck you b***h. How gracious.

I didnít choose to go out as much for meals, etc. as I really wanted some time for myself, and my dear friend Linda brought over so much yummy food which was such a help. I have to mention her fantastic brownies, key lime pie, my new favourite - an orange cake that is bursting with citrus and freshness, baked spaghetti, spinach soup, chicken chow mein, spicy chicken wings, crab cakes, blueberry muffins - so obviously I did not starve and everything was prepared with such love and care. Linda, my Dad is really savouring those brownies you sent home for him!

I had a few breakfasts out - Linda and I met Carey one morning at Le Bistrot and had a very nice breakfast and pleasant visit. Cost about 70 pesos per person with excellent coffee. Also went to the Museum one morning - it was a bit windy, but the view and food are worth it, also about 70 pesos. Also at La Choza one morning and had a nice breakfast at the bakery on 10th and 3rd with Charles. Both priced at about 45 pesos. However, I feel it is important to mention the bathroom facilities at the Cozumel bakery were disgusting and need to be addressed.

During my first week, Linda, Alicia, Jan and I went to the other side and spent a very enjoyable afternoon at Rastaís. They make a great hamburger for 5 dollars and it comes with fries. Linda pulled out some containers with her home made cole slaw and chili, it was so good, I couldnít really eat the hamburger. Jan, I love the bracelet you made for me, and I wear it all the time.

Linda and I also went to Popeyeís for our ritual shrimp cocktail, but unfortunately, we felt it wasnít as good as it had been. We also went to Chi for the Chinese buffet lunch which is only on Sunday. It used to be 10 dollars, but has been raised to 12 dollars. There is still plenty of selection as well as good choices of fruit and ice cream for dessert.
We also went to Kintaís and it was full and still one of my favourite places. Service was attentive, my only gripe was that a diet coke was 30 pesos.

On the other nights I went out, we went to El Morro, which still has excellent grilled shrimp, (170 pesos) and also the Mission (80 pesos) on 30th. My friend and I both had fajitas and the portions were huge and it is quite reasonable. We also went to a recently opened restaurant one night on 65th and 11th called La Jarocha, and I will definitely return. It is reasonable, portions are generous and food was excellent. We each had a shrimp cocktail (and it was fantastic, actually better than Popeyeís) for 45 pesos, and grilled fish fillet with butter and garlic - it was huge and it was 60 pesos, comes with rice, french fries, a nice tomato salad and great coleslaw. They are only open until 8:30 at night. Another night, I picked up chicken at a place on 65th near 19th and it was great. Ĺ chicken was enough for 2 and I seem to recall it was 40 pesos. I donít care for the sides, but the fellow at the grill was cooking some steak and gave me a piece to try and it was absolutely delicious. I had also purchased some good sized shrimp from Chedraui, for 50 pesos, 2 people are fed easily.

I also hit the St. Martin bakery on 30th and they still make the best flan and great buns. I think the buns are a peso each, flan is about 10 pesos. One Sunday night we went to the square and ate at Plaza Leeza. It is always consistent, we each had enchiladas, they were about 80 pesos. There were lots of booths set up selling various foods and I purchased a piece of home made flan, but it was not as good as from the bakery.

During the first week, Charles came over and we went to the TelCel and registered my cell phone. We used the CURP number method as the employee advised that was more reliable than the passport route. I received my confirmation within one minute and it was very easy. Having Charles with me was an enormous help. Probably the only time I took taxis was with Charles, and he seems to have a way of being very charming with the drivers and we had a couple of very nice drivers. I enjoyed my visits and telephone conversations with Charles, he has very innovative approaches in getting things done on the island and he has a wealth of knowledge and history where the island is concerned. I think he could write a very comprehensive guide to the island with an honest and true perspective.

On one of the very hot days, Paula invited me to go to the beach with her and her friend Judy. We went to La Palapita. It was very enjoyable and the sun was very hot and the ocean was beautiful. They have no problem if you want to head across the street to Oxxo and pick up snacks. There is food to order, but I stuck to diet coke and lemonade and picked up a snack across the street. Paula, thank you for a lovely day and understanding my wishes to have some solitude. I got a real dose of sun and left by about 3 p.m. I had checked on a cab and was quoted 70 pesos, but ended up calling my friend and got picked up, so it worked out fine.

I also witnessed the aftermath of a serious moped and vehicle accident on 30th and 10th norte one morning. It was roped off and the moped was in pieces on the road. So I will take this opportunity to repeat what many have stated - do NOT rent a moped.

I didnít do a lot of shopping, but purchased a few items at Los Cinco Soles, which is one of my favourite stores. There is a good sale section and I found a really nice woven container for tissues which is now sitting in my bathroom at home, also one pair of earrings and a nice covered pottery dish. I went back to the bead shop on 10th - across from Kellyís and brought myself windchimes - they have a great selection and very good prices, it was 45 pesos. A couple of doors down from Kellyís is a very neat little shop with some unique items such as masks, skeletons, framed black and white photographs, etc., the store has been there for years. It doesnít open until about 10:30 a.m. The owner speaks a blue streak and she is a lovely lady.

I was on a quest for my Colgate Herbal toothpaste, had some problems finding it - Linda and I went to ISSSTE, and there it was, so I was able to replenish my supply.

Before I knew it, it was time to leave. Trip home did not go as smoothly - Landed in Houston and was able to get through immigration and recheck my bags in about 45 minutes which was unusual. Normally it takes close to 2 hours, but this was a fluke, because while I was in line, other flights arrived and it became very busy. My connection from Houston was delayed 3 hours, so courtesy of Air Canada I had to stay in Toronto overnight and my suitcase didnít come with me. They booked me on the first morning flight out of Toronto, so I arrived mid morning and my suitcase came the next day, but I had a few anxious moments, not the best way to end a trip.

Again, I wrote more than I had intended. I hope to return to the island later this year and I wish peace and good health to all.
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#2 Kandy


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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:36 AM

Dearest Valli,

I'm sorry to hear you didn't get the rest you had hoped for. I know how that feels as it happened to me as well. I feel badly that I never got the opportunity to call you during our brief overlap, but we had a couple of guests which kept us running. When we went to check in at the airport on Sunday, Chuck took a bump to Monday, but I had to return along with my niece. When he checked in on Monday, they needed a seat again, so he ended up staying until Friday!

We'll be back in May for a week, then for a month in July/August. Perhaps next time our paths will cross. My thoughts remain with you.
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