“So I’ll just sit right here and have another beer in Mexico…”

Or maybe I’ll have another piña colada, because this is our third full day in Mexico and I have yet to touch the beer.

Our plane touched down Saturday afternoon and we were picked up at the airport and taken to the ferry from Cancún to Isla Mujeres, and our rented house. Casa Cristal is a beautiful two-story villa that is white inside and out, with many windows, two stories, rooftop patio and bed, and a relaxing pool that did much to refresh me after our day of travel and my one to two hours of sleep. We spent much of that first day in the pool, ordered pizza for dinner, and then went to bed.

Sunday, however, was our first full day on the island. Two golf carts were delivered in the morning for our use during our stay, and Dylan’s father and siblings, J., N., H., and I took one out immediately to find breakfast and explore.

Confession time: whenever I traveled to France, I expected to hear, either in the streets or in my head, the serene music from Disney’s The Aristocats whenever I went out. The kind of French music that plays in movies. I didn’t, of course, and wasn’t surprised not to, but that didn’t stop that same part of me from expecting to hear lively Spanish music everywhere in Mexico. Needless to say, I’m not disappointed that I don’t hear it. It doesn’t take away from the experience for me. What I do see that I expected is color. Residences and buildings painted in bright, cheerful colors; some other vacation homes for rent like ours are the same white, and all of it is set against a backdrop of Caribbean blue.

Breakfast on Sunday happened at a café called Rooster—“World Famous Benedictines,” advertised the street sign—a stone’s throw from Playa Norte, and it was delicious. J., N., H., and I all had mimosas, and after that, they each ordered a Bloody Mary; I declined one, but tasted H.’s, and it was a yummy spicy. My crème brûlée French toast tasted more like simple French toast and less like crème brûlée, but still, I ate every bite. The service was as excellent as the food: everybody was very polite and helpful, and afterward we were given first one voucher for four free margaritas from a new place down the street, and then a little while later another voucher for five free margaritas from a person who seemed like a manager or owner. He first assumed that I was under 18 (the legal drinking age in Mexico), so he offered us “three free margaritas, and… [looking at me] a smoothie, yes?” The four of us laughed, and when he discovered that I’m 22, he upped the voucher to five, saying that I get two. The next morning, we returned for breakfast with Dylan and his mother, K., and I think they enjoyed it as much as we had.

Grocery shopping in any country is still grocery shopping. Did you know that Mexico has Walmart? I didn’t, though the store we shop at on Isla Mujeres is actually called Superama By Walmart, and isn’t quite the same. Of course not, of course not. J., H., N., and I stopped there after breakfast and loaded up on some groceries and snacks for our stay: pineapple, bananas, and cantaloupe, cereal and milk, water bottles, suntan spray for H., beer and wine, etc. We’ve still eaten out for most breakfasts and dinner, and the food on the island is yummy, just like at Rooster.

Yesterday after breakfast was spent at Playa Norte, and it is the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. I think I would have liked to have spent today there, as well, except that I’m already sunburned, much as I tried to avoid it, and ought to stay out of the sun as much as possible now. Playa Norte is the kind of beach I wish our Surfside was: white sand, and the bluest water I’ve ever seen. We lounged under umbrellas with cold drinks, cooled off snorkeling in the water, and H. and a sweet lady braided H.’s and my hair into cornrows. Everybody napped in the afternoon; Italian for dinner.

Today, Dylan and I took one of the golf carts in the morning and went out on our own. We ate breakfast at this little café called Lola Valentina, just across the street from Rooster, and I had the best stuffed French toast with fruit. Dylan ordered the blue corn pancakes, and they came with sliced plantains, the way pancakes would with bananas at home! We did some shopping afterward, and met a guy from the island who has visited Austin, TX; we purchased a couple of small items from him, mostly drawn in by the fact that he spoke to us more as people and less as tourists.

Everyone has returned to the house now, after our various activities. I missed out on the turtle farm, but tired as I was, I probably made the right decision for me. A hot shower, and relaxing in pajamas as I finish this. H. and N. are in the pool. Dylan is nearby.

Time to make a sandwich and read my book.

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