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.

Mi apartamento en Isla Mujeres

After the long shopping day last week we finally have everything cleaned up, unpacked and somewhat organized for now. We need more storage units, some shelfs and other miscellaneous items. A quick trip to Walmart is all that I am willing to make. No marathon shopping next time. We are hoping that the man who has rented another one of the apartments will trade us one of his two single beds for our extra full size. If he does we will make it into a day bed with cushions for the back. That way we can use it for a couch as well as a guest bed.

The apartment although very basic is ours. I like knowing that I can leave most everything here when I go home and it will be here the next time I return. 

It was a bitch putting this wardrobe together but it works fine


Basic but clean bano


Living room area


Dining area in to kitchen


Fridge we bought from Inge, works great and is spotless


Need some shelfs and pareos to hide the under the counter storage space

Leaving on a jet plane…

Off to Isla before the crack of dawn tomorrow. I checked in online with Continental and upgraded to 1st class. My original ticket price was pretty  low for flying from PDX so the upgrade was so worth doing for 7+ hours of flying time. Continental does a good 1st class.

I am so ready for vacation. It has been a really long week. The weather has definitely changed to PNW fall this week. Beach, sun, good food and fun is going to be so welcomed.

I may post depending on my wireless internet options. The internet provider I used in April has gone out of business as did one of the restaurants I used.

Kauai July 2009 – Heading to the North Shore

As Willie K sings North Shore Reggae Blues –
Under the Mango Tree, waiting for the sunrise, headed for the North Shore
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa

My body’s aching for a freedom ride, My brothers calling me to join them

The party’s jamming on the other side, over on the North Shore

The Myna Birds are leading all the way, they’re telling me how to get there

I’m concentrating on my early drive, driving to the North Shore

Under the Mango Tree, waiting for the sunrise, headed for the North Shore

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa

I hear the surf calling me, singing a new song, headed for the North Shore

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa

I wipe my hair away from my eyes, I like to feel the wind on my face

The salty air begins to make me breath, down in the North Shore

I lay my mistress on the surface swell, and as I move she starts to mile at me

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Let it ride much higher and higher

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Take me now Im your’s take me

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Look at me Im higher than a mountain”

There is something about the north shore of Kauai that makes me feel like I have come home again everytime I visit there. Years ago when I thought seriously about moving to Kauai I would have been perfectly happy settling in Hanalei on the north shore. Oahau has its Haleiwa and Maui has Paia. These three cities have a lot in common. They are surfer towns and laid back hippieish, new age feeling places with a strong sense of community and ohana (family).

And of course now there is all of the controversy about the meaning of the song “Puff the Magic Dragon”.   Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea, And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee”. When Tara was little I used to sing this song to her everytime we went to Hanalei. That was every year until from age 9 – 16 and at least 3 or 4 times a trip. She hated me singing the song especially as she got to be a teenager. At dinner one night Kelly brought up the drug reference and Tara said “Nu Huh! You used to sing this song to me all the time when I was little.”

Tara and Kelly drove beyond Hanalei to the end of the road. The plan was for Tara to take Kelly to a couple of her favorite places, Lumahai Beach and the Blue Room. However it was so busy that Sunday that there was nowhere to park. So they came back to Hanalei Bay where they had dropped me off a couple of hours earlier.

Kilauea Lighthouse

Kilauea Lighthouse

During the winter months Kilauea is a good place to spot whales who have migrated south for the winter.

First stop on the way to Hanalei

First stop on the way to Hanalei

Kalihiwai Bay – summer months it is a great family beach
Kalihiwai Bay , water looked like glass this day but during the winter this is a popular surfing spot with big waves

Kalihiwai Bay , water looked like glass this day but during the winter this is a popular surfing spot with big waves

This has always been one of my favorite Hanalei Bay homes.

This has always been one of my favorite Hanalei Bay homes.

Fabluous views of Na Pali from Hanalei Bay

Fabluous views of Na Pali from Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay pier

Hanalei Bay pier

I want this great beach house. Problem is I dont have the millions of $ it would take to buy it.

I want this great beach house. Problem is I don't have the millions of $ it would take to buy it.

Shop in Hanalei

Shop in Hanalei

Heading back from the north shore we make this stop at a scenic overlook. Those are taro fields in the valley.

On the way to and from the north shore we pass the Sleeping Giant. “Legend states that this giant once roamed the land and was much loved by the Hawaiians.”
I took this photo from a moving vehicle so it’s not real good.
Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

The end of a great day on the north shore. Goodbye North Shore until next year when I plan to return again for a summer vacation.