Happy Birthday to me and Dad; off to Mexico
My birthday was a couple days ago and Dad's was yesterday. He would have been 82. Several family and friends called and emailed on Feb. 1 and 2 for my birthday. I've been so used to acknowledging both days, I am going to claim them both and I'm sure that Dad won't mind.
For my day, I worked on cleaning off my desk and emails in preparation for 11 days in Isla Mujeres. I am looking forward to some warm, if not hot, weather. The coldest day of winter was on my birthday with a temperature of -32C and a windchill of -42C. I would normally be complaining about the cold but since I am now at the airport in Toronto on the first leg of the trip, I am feeling good that I can leave the cold weather behind. Bena and Zaman will be meeting us there today and they'll spend the whole time with us.
I don't have any plans for the time there . The last time I was there two years ago, I was working on my focus group notes for my dissertation. A few days ago, I was thinking back on that trip and thought that it was only last year but two years have passed very quickly. Last year rushed by so quickly that I can hardly believe what a whirl it was. I will do some edits of my manuscript based on Arlene's feedback. It's good to have someone who knows me but is not familiar with many of the events that I wrote about so she can see areas where I need to clarify or provide more information. This is a learning experience for both of us. Besides the manuscript, I am writing a recipe book which is about 2/3 done. I have to add some more recipes and pictures but I am in no hurry with deadlines. That's a work in progress so whenever I have time, I work on it.
My routine in Isla is this: I wake up, get dressed, make myself a cup of coffee and go to the seawall which is about a minute and a half to walk. Then I watch the sunrise and the tide go out. Then I go for an hour's walk along the seawall. Then back to the hotel for breakfast (any of fresh fruit that I pick up from the market, fresh buns which I get from the supermarket, cheese, yogurt or granola which I get from a small cafe). We usually eat this on the veranda of the Carmelina. Then it's off to the North Beach for a couple of hours to sit under a coconut tree and read a good book. I brought two with me - Healing Remedies and the Vagina Monologues.
At lunch time, we either go to the local market which serves really good lunches or we buy a roasted chicken with rice, corn tortillas and re-fried beans and go back to the hotel to eat that. Then it's time for a siesta - nap, reading, writing or check my email. Then it's a snack in the late afternoon of guacamole which I make. We sit on the veranda and enjoy the people walking by. I might go back to the beach to sit for an hour or so and continue reading or I just listen to the waves crashing on the seawall. If you grew up by the ocean, you'll know how cathartic the sound and smell of the ocean is to soothe your mind.
In the evening, we go off to have dinner at any one of the wonderful restaurants that are on the island. I like Rolandi's for their fresh and utterly tasty caprese salad and their thin crust vegetarian or shrimp pizza with pesto sauce (that's what I ask for). Yummy. We also like La Negrita where Manuel serves the tastiest fried plantains. Or we also like Cockteleria Justicia Social which is a co-op. The fishermen catch the fish and bring it to the restaurant and depending on what they catch, that's what the restaurant serves. The fish is wonderful and fresh and the shrimp civeche is the best you can get on the island. The night is not done there. We usually go back to the seawall for an evening walk or sit and on the way, we get a coffee and a laeche flan or some churros. The woman who sells the leche flan knows when she sees me that I will be buying one of those. I know it's not safe to eat from the street vendors but if you taste her leche flan (similar to creme caramel), you'll understand why I dismiss that caution. So far, I have not been sick from the food in Isla but I suppose there is always a first time.
Soooo, where am I going to eat tonight when I arrive? What will my day be like tomorrow? Where shall we go for dinner? Maybe one question at a time. I don't want to overwork my little grey cells (as Hercule Poirot would say). Come back tomorrow or the next day to see what did. Hasta manana.