Photo Friday Challenge – Recreation

“Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time.”

 

I set my gear up on the beach and got ready to start shelling on Sanibel Island.

 

 

 

 

Hanalei Bay – Home of Puff the Magic Dragon

Yesterday’s photo shows one of my two favorite county park beaches on the island of Kauai. My other favorite has always been Hanalei Bay Park. It’s where Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the sea and frolicked in the autumn mist.

Hanalei Bay and Napali Coast where it's almost always calm. Good for children.

Hanalei Bay pier

A great family beach

Good for picnicking

Wordless Wednesday – Monterey Aquarium

Isla trip with family and friends October 1 – 10, 2010

I have been traveling to Isla four times a year for the last several years but I only post a trip report about once a year. This trip was very different for me. My daughter Tara, her husband Kelly and two other couples were there staying in a house on the airport strip. Allie, my 22 year old nice and her friend Lisa came down for just a quick four night stay. They stayed with me in the apartment that I rent year round with a friend. Usually my friend Denise and I are on the island at the same time or I am staying by myself.

Seeing Isla through Allie and Lisa’s newbie’s eyes was fun. Also two of my daughter’s friends had never been to Isla before.

Although Tara, Kelly and two of the friends flew down the same day that I did we were on different flights/airlines. I was scheduled to arrive in Cancun about 30 minutes after them. My flight left Houston late so they all had to wait for almost two hours at the bar outside the arrival area.  Oh, darn they had to start drinking cervezas before me.

I had booked a complicated set of rides to and from the airport with AGI. Thankfully Javier and Lisa understood what arrangements I needed. I was leaving on the 10th on a 1:30 flight, Tara and Kelly leaving the 10th but on a 4:00 flight, Kim and Rob leaving on the 13th and Allie and Lisa arriving on the 4th and leaving on the 8th. When we got to the ferry dock I paid in full for all of the roundtrips so that was taken care. Our driver on the way to the ferry asked if we wanted cold beer. He stopped at OXXO and ran in and bought us two six packs of Sol for the drive and ferry ride.

Tara and Kelly and their friends stayed out on the airport strip at Villa Tranquila. VT is a beautiful home with killer views from every floor.

Kelly was excited to be on vacation on Isla for the first time in almost four years. The highlight of the vacation for Kelly was that he got to hold a baby turtle and release it at the turtle release October 2nd at Playa Media Luna. He has a video of it on his cell phone but said the file is too big to email it to me.

Looking south from VT

The three guys rigged up a pulley utilizing a golf cart to get the massage table up on the rooftop. My daughter was scared to watch since she thought that the rope was going to break and someone would get hurt.  Once they got the table to the rooftop they said it would have been easier to carry it up the narrow spiral staircase. But hey guys will be guys!

Sunday night we went to the Soggy Pesos for the barbeque ribs. Some of us had the combo plate, ribs, chicken and sausage. Both the combo and the rib plate come with a healthy scoop of really good potato salad, black bean corn salad and corn bread. It looked like we had a ton of food on the table but I was the only one who took leftovers home. We were the only customers so Fredy wanted to buy us a drink. He made these shooters with tequila, Kahula, Coke and one other ingredient that I can’t remember.

Allie and Lisa had plans to do “everything” which included swimming with the dolphins and Garrafon’s zip line. After the first day on the beach at Sergio’s being served strawberry daiquiris by Rogelio they were content to just spend every day at the beach.

Each day I drove them around and showed them the island. They loved to just take the full loop drive around. I took them into the colonias so they could see more of the island. One night I tried to find the “crayola” house but got started too far south and we drove around and around for a long time and didn’t find the house. We were laughing hysterically at times because we started to use the dogs lying in the streets as our landmarks to tell if we had already driven down that street. A couple of days later after visiting the turtle farm I drove down a street on the opposite side of the salina where I knew I could see that back of the house to get my bearings.  Then I was able to find the house so they could see it close up. They also wanted to go into the Super Express in La Gloria so that they could say they shopped at a real Mexican grocery store.

Allie, Lisa and I visited the turtle farm. Lisa must have asked me a dozen times if they could hold the babies. Every time we went to a different tank she asked, “do you think we can hold these?”

The girls and I had breakfast at Bally Hoo one morning. I had the Island wrap and the girls had scrambled eggs with bacon. Thanks Isla Gringo for the recommendation. He even showed up that morning and said hola and we chatted for a couple of minutes.

Two girls, four nights and a whole lot of their crap.

Allie and Lisa sad to leave Isla. They will be back!

My daughter, her husband, her friends and I having tequila shots at Adelita’s.

This was my Breakfast Trio at the Rooster Cafe my last morning. This was the morning that I went out of my apartment to find my golf cart was gone. My friend Jeri and I drove around until we finally found it across town parked in front of some apartments. It had gas and started so I was ready to go eat.

Tara’s friends Kim and Rob were scheduled to fly home today but due to Hurricane Paula their flight was cancelled. They are “stuck” on Isla until Friday afternoon. I can think of a lot worse places to be stuck.

That’s it for this trip. Next trip booked for Christmas time. I will be on the island for almost a month then.

Beach behavior rant

Reading Sue’s blog this morning was an inspiration to my rant.

Yesterday I observed two very rude, inconsiderate groups of people at Sergio’s Playa Sol. About 10AM five 30ish couples came to the beach already drinking beer, they took 10 chairs and 10 coveted cushions. One of the guys left and came back with 3 or 4 six packs of beer which they started to open and drink. One of the waiters tried to explain that the chairs were free for customers who BOUGHT food or drinks and they could not drink their own beer. They hassled Lionel, the waiter for awhile even offering to pay for the chairs. Finally they did order a few buckets of beer and several lunches. But they continued to drink their own beer as well. I so badly wanted to say something to them. I mean would you even think about bringing your own drinks or food to a bar in Canada or the US? By the time they left to get the ferry back to Cancun they were all very wasted but were talking about how they were going to go out partying later. Please next time just stay the heck in Cancun and party all day at the beach at your AI.

The other group of people who were offensive were 3 mid 30’s couples from the US staying on the island. One of the women was told she was a hero because she had drank 5 margaritas by 2:00PM. The women were OK. A bit drunk but not rude or offensive. The more the men drank the more the F word was used very loudly. They seemed to have no concern what so ever that they might have been offending anyone around them or even noticing that there were young children near by. When I left the beach they were continuing to order more drinks.

Don’t get me wrong… I like to have a beer or drink or two when I spend the day at the beach. To those rude and offensive people yesterday I would say “Sure you are on vacation but have a little respect for others who are trying to enjoy a day at the beach. Not everyone enjoys foul language and drunken behavior”.

This and that on Isla

Some of the boats that the Navy has confiscated. The number of boats changes with every trip to the island. Notice the multiple big engines on the boats? Not your typical fishing boats.

Some other boats anchored bayside

Villa Vera is a great place if you want to spend the day at a pool instead of the beach. The grounds are immaculate, the chairs are comfy and the drinks are not too high priced. There is a day trip boat from Cancun that stops here for lunch but they only have about an hour to spend  here.

A very nice pool

Frigates galore!

Isla Mujeres holiday 12/29 – 1/15

This was a very different vacation for me. We took two trips to Cancun to get stuff for the apartment and the weather pretty much sucked most of the time. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to sit on the beach and soak up the sun. I can do that for 8 hours a day, day after day. Well not so this trip. I can count on one hand the number of really good beach days over the last  16 days that I spent on the island. Even some days when the sky was blue the wind was too fierce to go to the beach. 

For the Isleanos there was  hope that this holiday would be the high, high season to make up some for the previous really slow months. I have spent the holidays on Isla for the last six years and have never had this kind of cold weather long-term or seen it so quiet. 

There  have been very few daytrippers coming over from Cancun the last several days. Golf carts and motos are sitting unrented, restaurants and bars are suffering from lack of business, especially those along the waterfront on Medina. 
I leave tomorrow as the next cold front moves in. For a lot of visitors this is their once a year trip to Isla and they won’t be back until next year. Unfortunately some may write off Isla and not return at all after their experience. I will be back maybe as soon as March and then a couple more time this year. I am one of the lucky ones. 

Updated 1/15: 

True story… I shared a van to the airport with a couple who stayed at Privilege Aluxes. This was their first trip to Isla. They said they enjoyed themselves and did not have a bad meal or poor service anywhere. They asked me a lot of questions about Isla. When I asked them if they would return to Isla they said probably not since they didn’t feel the whole island vibe because the weather was so cold. They “didn’t get” the island so I didn’t try to persuade them otherwise to return.

Things I did that I don’t usually do: 

  • Wear long pants out to dinner
  • Wear a long sleeve sweatshirt out to dinner and during the day while driving around in the golf cart
  • Shop in Cancun and the hated Walmart twice, Telebodego and Chedarui
  • Eat breakfast in several mornings. I usually love to go eat breakfast out but I cooked eggs and bacon and had toast or bagels several mornings

Things I didn’t do that I usually do: 

  • Spend every day at the beach
  • Spend a day or two at Villa Vera enjoying the pool
  • Eat dinner out every night. We ate home cooked meals and leftovers several nights

This was sunset yesterday 1/13. It was gorgeous.