Sunday, March 21, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things....

The clouds rolled in this morning, so other than a brief visit with Darlene on the beach this morning, this was a no beach day. Nevertheless, it was full. After a walk-about, I decided to have breakfast at the Mango Cafe, which is mid-island. Which led to today´s first new thing. I hailed a taxi. Woo hoo! I am ready for New York.

The Mango Cafe is very popular. When I got to the restaurant at 8:30, I had my choice of any table. By the time, I left, all tables were full. I chose the dish that was recommended, though there were many others to choose from - French Toast. Here is a description from their blog: "Oven-Baked French Toast of Mexican Concha Pastries soaked in Eggnog Liqueur, Sprinkled with Caramelized Almonds and served with a Rosemary-Orange Syrup." Yum! Then I hailed another cab (getting to be a pro), and came back to the centro.

When the cab driver left me off in front of Hotel Francis Arlene, I went to see if Sami was vacationing at this time, and there she was! This is a woman who was here each of the two previous times I have been here. We caught up on all the news, and I walked about town. I found Wendy and Paul, and showed them the market. They hadn´t had the experience of Huevos Mortuleños yet so we went to the restaurant, and had a lovely visit, during a huge rain storm.

While we were there, a couple that I had seen at a restaurant the previous night also came by. I noticed them the night before, and recognized the man first - he used to read his book at Jigsaws in Nelson. When I said Jigsaws, they said, ¨"Are you from Nelson, too?" They just arrived yesterday so I did my best as a part of the welcoming committee. Running into people from back home is quite the head-turner!

More patrolling the streets. The Internet cafe was packed, and the other isn´t open on Sundays. Time for lunch. I went to Tino´s who apparently sell the best ribs - sold out for the day. Then I went to my local haunt, and they had only chicken left. *sigh* Chicken it was. My rib pursuit has gone quite badly, I would say.

I turned on HBO - and saw the beginning of a movie called, The Glass House. It was a bit of a thriller, but too late for me to turn it off so I watched it with a combination of the mute and volume buttons. The good guys won, I am relieved to say. Seeing as the good guys were children.

So here I am, having spent 11 days on this island. And what are some of those things that are inspiring here?

1. fresh squeezed orange juice

Everyday. There is nothing at home that tastes even remotely like this. This is a must-have every morning for breakfast, and then I buy a bottle to bring home. A big bottle is 20 pesos and a small bottle is 10. Ten pesos is approximately 9 cents Canadian.

2. Heuvos mortuleños

This is a new find, thanks to Tony our tour guide for the Coba-Tulum adventure. At the bottom is two tosadas (crunchy), topped with two fried eggs, a red sauce, ham, peas, cheese. Amazing! Just ask Paul and Wendy.

3. The colours of Mar Caribe

The Caribbean Sea is an amazing blend of green, blue and blue-green. I will try to capture it in pictures (again - Ryan and I did it last time); it is spellbinding.

4. The people

First, the locals, who are very gracious, friendly, and helpful. Today a vendor gave me a good low-down on what to say if I will not be purchasing. Some don´t speak a word of English but there are interactions that happen where we burst into laughter - the universal language. There are children every where, playing close to their parents´ work.

Then, there are the people who visit here; they are so enthused about finding this treasure that they are experiencing various levels of happiness. (eg. happy, happier, happiest)

5. What´s on the store shelves

Walking up and down the aisles in the local grocery store is a great source of entertainment. One of the Yoplait flavours here is piña colada - I had to have one. Liquor and beer are both sold here. At quite the cost-saving. Laundry soap comes in bars - in three colours: white, rose, and blue. But of course, I didn´t do my own laundry; I had it done at the local lavendaria.

6. The beach

The great thing about islands is that there are 4 choices for beaches. I never went to the south beach, which is 5 miles away, but depending on the weather and which direction the prevailing winds were travelling, I chose the beach. The sand here is super smooth.

7. The restaurants

So far, I have been to 19 restaurants, and I would recommend each one of them. There are many others, too much for 14 days here. My normal rhythm is to have two meals a day - breakfast and dinner.

8. Sunrises and sunsets

That´s definitely the benefit of living on an island - you get both. And for a mountain gal, this is a real treat!

Time for dinner. Another new restaurant!

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