Sunday, March 27, 2011

Girl Trip 2011- Isla Mujeres Part 4- Livin' the Dream

I woke up to another deleriously beautful, sun filled day and headed downstairs to hang out and have some coffee. Breakfast in the garden was a treat- coffee, delicious fruit and bread with butter brought to us by Evaristo. Doesn't get much better than that! Lolo was headed over to Cancun to do some shopping, so we headed over to happily lounge the day away at Playa Norte. This is the gigantic new palapa at Buhos. Where there used to be two bars, now there is only one. The eastern bar is gone and is now a hammock area. Some Mayan ladies brought by their beaded keychains. So intricate and colorful. I bought a parrot for my friend, Dale. Evaristo showed up and joined us at the Buho's swing bar for a drink (Yep..vacation. Drinks mid morning. Likey) We struck up a conversation with two couples at the bar and it turned out they had reservations at Lolo's for dinner that night! Fun coincidence. "See ya there!" We had lunch reservations at Qubano, for the Friday Special. Mmmm! Cuban chicken and rice with fried plantains! Good home cookin'. (Wow, I'm making myself hungry) Then...back to the beach to hang out. Life is definitely good and we took a moment to laugh at...I mean feel sorry for all of our friends back home who were snowed in. This little angel was playing nearby us and I couldn't help but snap a pic of her. Look at those blonde curls! Nothing to do but read, nap, lounge, talk, swim and enjoy a gorgeous, sun filled afternoon. This is heaven for me. Angela and Laura View from my lounger The beach in front of Na Balam has come back! Hurray! This guy has a tiny baby in a wrap laying on his belly Pam models some lovely little shoes that she found underneath our lounger I'm not at all sure what was going on here. The guy kneeling down was doing something to his partner's legs. If anyone has any ideas, please offer them up. The sun started to leave the beach, so we did, too, and returned to Lolo's just in time to get ready for dinner. Steve joined us, as did Brad and Tiffany and the two couples that we had met on the beach. There were several other people there, too - a really fun crowd. Steve had many bottles of chilled champagne and luckily, he sat by me. We stopped to feed 'Christine's kitty' on the road to Ixchel before heading back from the beach. She is a sweet little thing. Lover's Salad - shaved carrot and conch. Delicious! Gnocchi in a cheesy sauce. Comfort food heaven! Absolute Princess Valerio fell asleep and Lolo carried him to bed. He is such a precious little boy - we are all in love with him. Steve strikes a sexy pose and opens up another bottle of bubbly Steve's entree - Shepherd's pie. I had Seafood Cassoulet and it was fantastic. Yummy course - I think this was first. :) Lolo was diggin' Pam's Pirate Princess Tiara Dessert is both a work of art and an adventure in tastes. Everything was delicious and I love, love, love having several small desserts. It's really difficult to imagine a more relaxing day than this. Friends, beach, food, fun, champagne. Livin' the dream! Oh...and we get to do more of it tomorrow...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Girl Trip 2011 - Isla Mujeres Part 3- Carpe the Freakin' Diem!

Pam and I woke up early and decided to carpe the freakin' diem and go sea glass hunting. We knocked quietly on Laura and Angela's door, but no answer, so we took off toward the sea. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was nothing short of glorious. The sea glass hunting wasn't stellar and I'm going to blame that on Becky, who had left the island the day prior to my arrival and most likely stripped the island bare of sea glass.;) But we had fun anyway. At one point, someone stopped on the malecon and looked down at us. It was Brenda! She jumped down off the malecon wall like an Olympic gymnast to give me a hug. Isla magic. Back to Casa Sirena for breaky and coffee. Breakfast was yogurt crepes and fruit, but I wasn't in a sweet mood (weird, I know) so I opted for bacon and eggs. But when Jose showed up with a birthday cake for Steve, I was ready for dessert. Yummy tres leches cake. Dessert for breakfast? Yes, please! Birthday Boy After our feast, we headed out for facials at Casa Luz Spa. JoAnne was meeting us and we found her cute little self wandering down the street. Casa Luz is only a block away from Sirena, which is very convenient. Josefina welcomed us to her spa with big hugs and cold bottles of water. If you are a frequent Isla traveler and an animal lover, you should get to know Josefina. She is an angel to the local animals and operates a cat shelter from her home in La Gloria. Josefina takes in injured, sick, abandoned cats and kittens and gives them food, love and medical attention. She works closely with Dr. Delfino to have them neutered and spayed. All of this is at her own expense and with donations she receives for food for the kitties. I highly suggest that you make an appointment at her spa because you will love it AND you'll be helping to support her worthy cause. If you're not a 'spa person', you can donate a few dollars or cat food! This is her website http://casaluzspa.blogspot.com/ and you can also find Casa Luz on facebook or look on facebook for 'Isla Mujeres Cats Need Help'. Last September, I found this tiny little baby in the vacant lot on the North end of Hidalgo the night before we came home. I emailed Josefina when I got home and she went to trap it, returning day after day until she was successful. She brought this tiny thing home and gave her meds, food and love and she is now spayed and ready for adoption. Gorgeous! JoAnne enjoying her facial Miss Pamela is very relaxed Josefina and Laura Spa Zombie!!! Gettin' Pretty!! We were moving over to Lolo's today, but were in no rush (Island time, Baby), and lunch sounded like the next obvious choice on such a perfect day, so we headed to Barlito on Hidalgo. I can't really say enough good things about Barlito and the owners, Brad and Tiffany. We sat at an outdoor table and enjoyed the perfect weather. Remember, I'm usually on the island in the heat of summer, so it was a real treat for me to sit outside and enjoy lunch and not even be hot! My dining and traveling companion, Pam, enjoys the day This is my review of Barlito on Trip Advisor: BARLITO, BARLITO, BARLITO... Remember the name, you'll be murmuring it in your dreams. Barlito is a fantastic addition to the island of Isla Mujeres. Owners Brad and Tiffany are a multitalented duo, creating the food, baking the bread, taking the orders and making everyone feel special. My friends and I enjoyed lunch at one of Barlito's outdoor tables where we could watch the world go by. I had the delicious Mundaca Torta, a sandwich on homemade bread with roasted chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and blue cheese mayo. Many side dishes are offered and I chose the roasted beets, which were yummy. (I had never eaten a beet before, who knew they were so good?) I also sampled the couscous salad, which was delightful. Dessert was a plate of gooey chocolate brownies and freshly baked cookies accompanied by milk shots! What fun! Brad and Tiffany are no strangers to good food and the island. In addition to running a catering service, they bake all of their own bread (including bagels for breakfast), smoke their own meats and fish, and create all of their dishes from scratch. Food is available to go, which would be perfect to take to the beach for a picnic. I truly wanted to try one of everything on the menu and look forward to returning. Jeff Current was kind enough to meet up with us while we were at Barlito and we got to chat with him. He has been a favorite facebook friend of mine because he always makes me laugh. I really wanted to meet his wife, Alison, also. Jeff and Alison run an organization called Isla Animals. http://islaanimals.org/ The work they do with adopting, neuter/spay clinics and education is nothing short of miraculous. Go to their website and look at the before and after pics of dogs they have adopted and 'rehabed'. I dare you not to tear up. Next time I'm on the island I am going to go by their house and meet Alison and the dogs. We packed up and moved down the island to our next location, Lolo Lorena's. We were like gypsies, sleeping around the island, because we're cool like that. Pam and I bunked in the 'Treehouse' room, which was really cool. It is situated above the kitchen and has a loft for sleeping and a huge downstairs area with a gorgeous bathroom and large living/dressing area. The upstairs ceiling is just over 6 feet tall and Pam looked like an Amazon in this pic, which made me laugh. More pics of our room: We were welcomed with a large, chilled Limonada, which was delicious and we hung out by the pool and visited with Lolo and Evaristo. Evaristo made mojitos for us and it was difficult to even want to get up and go anywhere for dinner, we were so relaxed. We headed into town later for dinner at Mocambo. Feet in the sand, delicious food, best girlfriends and cocktails. Really? What more could you want? Dessert! That's what more we could want. We went by Mogagua Grito and shared some crepes, sat on the lounge chairs and watched the world go by. I won't lie...we also watched our cute waiter. After dessert, we were ready for more drinks and some tunes, so we went by Ohm to watch Chucho play! Got a nice big round booth and chilled out, listening to awesome tunes and sippin' on a Sambuca on ice. Another beautiful day in paradise. We cabbed it back to Lolo's and crashed out. A delicious breeze blew through the open windows of the Treehouse room as I drifted off into a blissful sleep.

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Some of these entries are vintage travel reports and have been restored from a lost blog. I hope you enjoy them.