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Old 11-15-2017   #16 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
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Day 8 - Isla Mujeres

FINALLY the sun is back! It was the most beautiful day all day with no rain!!! Our goal was to eat breakfast and head to the beach.

We went to Rooster for breakfast. Hubby got the Huevos Rancheros and a berry smoothie and I got the Creme Brulee French toast and also an iced chai tea. Everything was very good and our server was friendly and efficient. We both agree we like Lola's breakfasts better, though.

On our way back to the condo, we paid a visit to the cemetery behind Ixchel. We've walked by it so many times and it looks so interesting, so we stopped in. They have to "bury" people above ground here, I guess because the ground is rock so it's an interesting site to see. They also have little shrines built in and many are elaborately decorated.

Back at the condo, we got ourselves to the beach as quickly as we could and that is where we stayed all day. To say it was beautiful would be an understatement. There are no words to describe the beauty of the beach here when the sun is out and the intense turquoise color emerges. It is my favorite thing to look at in the world and one of the big reasons we come back every year.

The only things we don't like about this beach are some of the music coming out of the Mayan Beach Bar...mucho mal (bad Mexican electronica with auto tuner vocals) and the non-stop beach vendors. No joke, we were solicited about every 2 minutes.

The ocean temperature is just a tad chilly but only takes a minute or two to get used to. When we got hungry we walked 5 steps to the Mayan Beach Bar. We sat on the swings today and had fish and chips (excellent t) and a couple of drinks. The servers are very friendly. We asked the hostess if they had "otra musica" like Bob Marley and thankfully, she happily obliged.

Later in the day we swam in the pool and had it all to ourselves. The pool is still a bit chilly and that keeps people out but it's not so cold that it keeps us out. Even hubby ventured in, at least halfway.

For dinner, we went to Lola Valentina (which is fast becoming our favorite place) and had a fantastic dinner. I got the fish filet stuffed with shrimp and hubby got the grilled grouper. Both were amazing. We had the tall waiter who is super friendly.

One of the things we love about LV is the array of resident gatos. There are 4 or 5 that hang out there as we are getting to know their names..Banshee, Domino, Tiger...they make rounds to all the tables and stare at you until you are guilted into tossing them some food. Hubby is better at resisting them than I am. They look pretty well fed. Some are even a little pudgy.

For dessert we shared the Apple chimichanga. OMG, words cannot describe how good this was!!! Like apple pie only better!

After dinner we walked around a bit. We witnessed a dog fight on Hidalgo. The lady walking ahead of us had a cute, scruffy little dog and when he approached this big dog who was walking the street, the big dog attacked him and then another dog jumped in. Luckily, the lady with the scruffy dog was able to pull her dog out of the fight and it broke up. All the neighbor dogs got worked up and started barking including a couple on a roof. (Only in Mexico do we see dogs in roofs).

It's supposed to continue to be nice the next couple of days, thankfully. We have 2 more non-travel days so we're going to spend a lot of time on the beach.

Last edited by Sassygirl18; 11-15-2017 at 07:41 AM..
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Old 11-15-2017   #17 (permalink)
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..All the neighbor dogs got worked up and started barking including a couple on a roof. (Only in Mexico do we see dogs in roofs).
What to do with a dog in heat? Put it on the roof - at least that's what they do here in Mexico. Love your reports!
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Old 11-16-2017   #18 (permalink)
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They are on the roof because they are in HEAT? OMG!
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Old 11-16-2017   #19 (permalink)
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Day 9 - Isla Mujeres

Happy to report another GORGEOUS day in what is fast becoming our new favorite place. Yes, Isla Mujeres has seeped into our hearts in a way that we were worried no other place would after Playa. Our assessment is that Isla has all of the things we love about Playa but almost none of the things we dislike. Of course, we know that nothing in life is permanent and we suspect Isla is on its way to rampant overdevelopment. It seems pretty busy here for low season and as we walk the charming main drag we picture the worst - mom and pop businesses bulldozed and cruise ship-sized American shopping malls installed in their place.

Until then, we are going to enjoy the hell out of this place because at this moment in time it's PERFECT to us.

Well, there are 2 small exceptions. Too many beach vendors (very sweet people and I feel for them because it's a tough way to make a living but OMG they are non-stop all day long) and not a large enough variety of restaurants. There are plenty of restaurants here but almost all of them are either Mexican/Latin/Caribbean or Italian. Not much of anything else. BUT the restaurants that are here are great!

Okay now for today's report.

Our goal was to have breakfast at a new restaurant that is getting rave reviews, North Garden, but for the life of us, we could not find it. We walked up and down the entire street it is supposed to be on and did not see it. Eventually we came upon Ruben's, so we decided to have breakfast there. Good choice! The food was delicious, service friendly and prices cheap.

Hubby got chilaquiles with mole sauce and I got fruit salad with yogurt and granola. We also got fresh-squeezed OJ, aka liquid sunshine in a glass.

On our way back to the condo we passed Olivia's so we stopped in to ask if we need a reservation to have dinner there (Olivia's is one of the top restaurants in Isla). She said it is advisable, so we made a reservation for tomorrow night, our last night in Isla.

Then it was back to the condo to head to the beach. Beautiful sunny day in the low 80s with a soft breeze and puffy white clouds. The ocean was calm with those big rolling waves that I love to float around in. Fabulous!

There weren't as many beach vendors as yesterday but still a lot. I would estimate they were soliciting us about every 5 minutes.

No formal lunch today...We just snacked on stuff in the condo.

For dinner, we had a tough time deciding where to go so we decided to go back to Angelo's. I couldn't get that pizza off my mind from the other night and hubby could not stop raving about his grilled fish. So back we went and yes, I couldn't help myself...I ordered the same exact pizza - the 4 Formaggio. Hubby ordered the spinach ravioli and a couple glasses of wine. Again, the food was fantastic! Service is nice too. I took a photo off the pizza men working the oven.

After dinner we headed to the gelato place on the corner by the square. That was our dessert. Seriously good stuff. Is there anything better than good gelato? The answer is NO.

BTW, our orange gato friend, who we found out is a girl named Churro (cute name) is officially in love with us and visits every day. I know it's not just for the food because we leave the food outside in our patio 24/7. When she sees us open the sliding door, she comes RUNNING into our condo and cries to be picked up and cuddled. We are hopelessly in love and are going to miss her!

Lucky for us we have dos gatos waiting for us at home and I hope they show us half the love that Churro is showing us. We miss them terribly (can you tell we are crazy cat people?)

Last edited by Sassygirl18; 11-16-2017 at 06:10 AM..
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Old 11-16-2017   #20 (permalink)
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Glad you have had some sunny days. Thanks for a fun to read report.

Looking forward to seeing the pics..you did kinda commit to posting them later Hope you don't forget!
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Old 11-16-2017   #21 (permalink)
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We have stayed at Nuatibeach twice and loved it. Both times we were with other couples, who post here occasionally.
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Old 11-16-2017   #22 (permalink)
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Yes I will remember the photos..that's the best part of a trip report! ☺

I hope I can get my videos uploaded too. My GoPro-like camera died on me a couple days ago and even after charging I can't get it to work.
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Old 11-16-2017   #23 (permalink)
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We love Nautibeach too. Not a lot to dislike about it!
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Old 11-17-2017   #24 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
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Day 10 - Isla Mujeres

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Today was our last day on the beautiful island of Isla Mujeres.

And a beautiful day it was! A little breezier than yesterday, but the brilliant sunshine continued and we enjoyed very comfortable temperature of around 80 degrees.

We took another shot at finding North Garden (after inquiring with the Islaholics group on Facebook) - success! The problem was that Yelp's map is wrong and sent us down the other end of the block.

At any rate, North Garden was a lovely experience. They told us they just opened 6 weeks ago. Positive word of mouth has already been spreading. We met both of the owners...a youngish couple who I believe are originally from Argentina. They couldn't be sweeter or more adorable. There is a real energy of excitement and eagerness to impress and they are really doing a good job. We both ordered the green juice which came with a cute paper umbrella. Hubby ordered an omelet called the Flamboyan (sin jamon) and I ordered the pancakes with strawberries and cream, which actually contained blueberries as well. My pancakes were delish...very fluffy and one of the strawberries was carved into a rose. So pretty! Hubby said his omelet was also very good.

Service was great and prices were reasonable. The restaurant has a very pleasing, "elegant garden" atmosphere. They play nice chill music too, which we enjoy at breakfast.

Another day to plant ourselves on the beach and that is where we stayed all day.

We had dinner leftovers for lunch. Took a couple walks in the beach ...one time to the end toward the MIA resort and the other time in the opposite direction where we stopped at a small ice cream place. We talked with the couple that runs it and the guy said he is native to Isla. I asked him how it has changed over the years and he told me how it has grown and how busy it gets during high season. He said during low season there are about 1,500 - 2,000 visitors on the island, but in high season that number can climb to 15,000! I think this includes day trippers. I asked him if he thinks Isla could become underdeveloped like Playa and he said he doesn't think so, because the island is so small and also because much of the land is protected from development. I thought to myself (cynically) that that won't stop development. $$$$$ will trump protections. I hope I am wrong.

I don't think we would enjoy visiting during high season. It's busy enough for our tastes now and we already feel there are too many people on the beach. We almost always travel in low season. Part of this is because we don't have kids so we are not tied to school schedules.

The ocean was pretty warm today and we both went in. We also went into the pool...me all the way and hubby half way. (Still too cold for his taste). We hung around until sunset and I got some pretty photos.

We had dinner at Olivia and it was great. This restaurant has a beautiful atmosphere with the thatched roof and candles and twinkle lights. They also play awesome downtempo music that we enjoy. We shared an appetizer of Greek tapas which was sooo good. Hubby ordered the Moroccan Fish which he said was delicious but very spicy and HUGE portion. Honestly, his entree could feed 3 people easily. Unfortunately, he couldn't eat much of it because he overdid it on the tapas (which come with a big roll of crusty bread). I ordered spanakopita, my favorite, and it was scrumptious! For dessert I ordered the chocolate mousse which was flavored with Nutella and it was divine...a close runner up to that amazing mousse I had at Taverna in Akumal. Hubs was too full for dessert but he enjoyed some espresso.

The lighting was too dim in this restaurant to get any good photos (and I didn't want to kill the mood with my flash).

We were both super tired so we headed back and turned in early. We head home tomorrow and are sad this wonderful vacation is coming to an end, but we feel happy and satisfied and ready to be home. We love 10 day trips and it always feels like just the right amount of time to me. Hubby says a couple more days would be good for him. I am looking forward to seeing our furbabies and sleeping in my own bed, although I will say we had comfortable beds at both condos during this trip!

I will get the photos (and hopefully videos, if I can get my videos camera working again) uploaded soon, so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading and until next time, Adios!

Last edited by Sassygirl18; 11-17-2017 at 06:08 AM..
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Old 11-22-2017   #25 (permalink)
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Photos ready yet? Great report!
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Old 11-22-2017   #26 (permalink)
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I don't think we would enjoy visiting during high season. It's busy enough for our tastes now and we already feel there are too many people on the beach. We almost always travel in low season. Part of this is because we don't have kids so we are not tied to school schedules.
Ditto! (even the no kids part.)

I've been to Zihua so many times in November because it's lush and green but the rains are done, and it's lovely and quiet in town, yet they are all ready for tourists and restaurants open, etc. It's the best time to go there.

I leave for Isla in a week and I'm already thinking all the people there are going to annoy me...I've been reading about how it's pretty much high season there all year long, like PDC and the rest of the area. Isla is just too small to get so many visitors, it quickly feels over-crowded. I guess we will be spending lots of time in the southern part of the island (we are staying at Nautibeach because I NEED to spend my beach time on Playa Norte!)

Thanks so much for the report. I'm so looking forward to Olivia and North Garden and Roosters and El Varadero, etc etc.
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Old 11-22-2017   #27 (permalink)
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Not terribly busy in PDC this week.
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Old 11-22-2017   #28 (permalink)
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Not terribly busy in PDC this week.
Maybe Playa needs a naughtybeach?
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Old 11-22-2017   #29 (permalink)
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Maybe Playa needs a naughtybeach?
It is a nautical beach
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Old 11-23-2017   #30 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
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Hi all,

I haven't forgotten about the photos. I have a nasty cold right now that has wiped me out. I will get them into the report soon!!
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