Day THREE: Saturday, March 14
Both Nate and I woke up around 6:30 this date, so we both walked over to the other side of the island to watch the sunrise. Seriously, so beautiful, although the clouds were pretty low and kind of obscured the sun a bit. I commented that the clouds hovering next to the ocean reminded me of mountains, and therefore Colorado, and therefore my parents;) We found a single man who was likely American (fanny pack and all) and had him snap our picture, and when I offered to return the favor he said, 'Oh, no. I already know what I look like.' Loved seeing no less than five other people taking pictures of the sunrise on this part of the island.
Walking back to our condo, I noted that it was really quiet and peaceful in the streets at this time of morning. Not that it's usually wild and loud at night, but everyone seemed to do a better job at sleeping in that we did!
We came back to the condo, tried the stupid safe a few more times, made and drank coffee, and chatted with Erin and Ben. My mom texted me this about Cecelia and it made me laugh. (Oh, and The X Song was a video Truman's teacher sent from the week prior in school. Each week they send home a video of the kids singing a song to the letter of the week. Adorable. Also adorable? My mom's use of the word 'poopoo'. )
The guys had discovered a snorkeling day trip when they were out and about yesterday, maybe during their three grocery store runs. They really wanted us to go on a boat at 10:30, which would take us to two different snorkeling locations, then a final stop at a different beach for lunch. We'd be back by 2:00 and it was only $35 a person, including lunch which seemed like a steal! Erin and I agreed to do it, so this morning we knew we had to get moving on breakfast before we left for the day trip.
At 9:00 the office to our condo opened, so I went down there at 8:50 naturally. There was a guy inside already and I told him that I locked our safe and we couldn't open it (whoopsies). He called the property manager and said he would be there in 20 minutes. Eventually the guy came and he was about 5'0" and very chipper. He assured me that 'this sometimes happens' as we walked to our condo. A few beeps and 10 seconds later the safe was open. Hallelujah!!
Let's take a picture of us outside of our condo to celebrate!
We walked into town and decided to eat at Rooster, which I'm pretty sure is an international chain restaurant, because Erin has eaten at a Rooster in St. Louis that looks identical to the logo of this one in Mexico. But our server was really friendly and the service was fast, food was good. I got an avocado, egg, and bacon sandwich on a bagel with potatoes on the side. I really REALLY wanted a coffee but figured my two cups at the condo would be enough and then I could avoid The Shakes while on a boat. (Sad trombone, as I freaking adore strong, black coffee in astronomical amounts. Highly caffeinated, I am, yes.).
The little snorkel tour shop was right across from our breakfast place, so we went over there and then walked to our boat with our guide and three other girls who were on our tour. The other three girls all spoke fluent Spanish which was quite helpful because our boat driver and the guide for the trip didn't speak a ton of English. I know one of the girls said she was from D.C. but I'm not sure about the other two, although I think at least one of them spoke Spanish as their native language and English as her second. Anyway, we drove out to the first snorkel stop and had to swim a fair distance while fish-watching, as our boat took off and met us a little bit later. We did see some pretty awesome fish: barracudas, iridescent/tropical-looking fish, schools of the tiniest fish ever....all in fairly shallow and super clear water. We had to be careful for the 'fire coral' which wasn't the easiest since I thought the current was crazy strong, but we survived.
Ben cracks me up here. Also: snorkeling masks are attractive.
Hoping my phone doesn't fly out of Nate's hand here.
Holy wind, but look at that blue water!
Back on the boat, we took a breather as they drove us to the next site and it seemed like the water was incredibly choppy all of a sudden. The second stop was at this 'sunken statue' location, where they had clusters of eerie human statues standing around in circle at the bottom of the ocean. Plus one car (??). This was a lot deeper than the first stop and ridiculously wavy and I kind of just wanted to get back on the boat. Once we did, I could tell that the D.C. girl who stayed on the boat during this snorkeling round was not doing well. Erin also stayed on the boat this time and said the chic was definitely sea sick. Then on the ride to the final stop, Erin didn't feel wonderful (i.e. was on the verge of barfing) and I sort of felt queasy, too. Once we finally stopped at Playa Tiburon for our lunch, nothing had ever felt better than solid ground. We lounged on the beach a bit, I partook in a beer with the men, took this video of the scenery, and then we had a fish lunch (grouper?) with the crew. It was good but I am not a big fan of fish with little bones hidden inside---very authentic and fresh, though.
Little dining hall was very cute.
We rode back to our part of the island and it was a much smoother trip than the vom-worthy ride before. We went back to the condo and I think we just hung out at the pool/beach/patio before getting ready for dinner (and yep, Pina Coladas were had). Nate and I were in the pool and met a couple from Wisconsin, and I believe this was the day our next door neighbor in condo #5 arrived. That family was from Texas and we had a lengthy discussion in the pool about fishing boats, fuel costs, and children. They had been to Nautibeach four times in the past 18 months and brought their two children, ages 5 and 7, with them. This was one of those times when I missed my kids while watching families have fun together.
After Face-timing the kids I sent this video of the little turtle pond by our condo to my mom for Cecelia. She was obsessed with the turtles I had shown her while Face-timing and then continued to ask for them every subsequent time we talked. She also watched that video hundreds of times, I'm told.
After showering and getting ready, Erin and I walked to the beach because there was a wedding happening directly in front of the Sunset Grill. Very pretty and we witnessed the maid of honor momentarily freaking out because she had forgotten the rings, asking a random person in the back row to go and get them. Erin and I both remarked that it seemed like our wedding took place in a different lifetime: 10 years for Erin and Ben this fall, 8 years for Nate and I in May. I vote that Erin and Ben renew their vows for a big 12 year trip in Isla Mujeres, yes??
Sunsets are awesome.
We then walked to dinner and were on a mission to find a little 'hole in the wall' place called Abuelos (I just typed 'Amigos' over and over again until I saw the picture I took of the restaurant), which had great ratings on Trip Advisor. It was definitely off the beaten path and didn't seem like that much upon arrival, but it was probably our favorite meal of the entire trip. I mean, the staff was fantastic, the food delicious, and it was shockingly inexpensive. Nate and I split my chicken tacos and his tuna filet. We had margaritas on the rocks and the big claim to fame for this meal was Ben's large pour of tequila (for sipping) at the end of our time at Abuelos. Something about the authentic atmosphere there, plus the yummy food and fun company made this a top notch experience of the trip.
Also think this version of guacamole is the fanciest and best of the trip.
Tuna! Gigantic, isn't it? Nate's dad though this was a picture of a beef steak.
Ah, little Abuelos/Amigos. You were so great to us.
Cheers. My iPhone camera is seriously struggling lately.
On the walk home, street dancers noted.
I believe we went back to the condo and sat out on the beach again this night. Most likely asleep by 10pm, too. Ah, early to bed and early to rise: my kind of schedule on vacation and always.