February 24, 2011

Water dog!

Punta can swim laps around me! I tried to show her how to use the noddle first. You've gotta be kidding, right?
I can do this on my own, Mom. Just watch.
So she swam circles around me and went back to sun herself on shore.

Rest and repeat. Oh, wait. I think I'll sneak up on that heron!

Yeah. Right.

February 21, 2011

Rapid growth

Chuuk Kay Restaurante has grown before my eyes in its 8 or 9 months. It is far beyond its wooden decks with palapa roofs and onto the Playa Norte type of sand that was hauled in. More chairs, more umbrellas, a couple more palapa "private" rooms. It is definately a venue with enough staff to wait on the crews of the yachts that pull up. On weekends, the Band Without a Name plays from 3-5 or 6. So those of us who can't wait up for them to play at Fayne's at 1o:30pm, get to hear them while we are still awake. And the food! Well, you'll just have to try it. And the bathrooms? Your wish is their command. Toilets and faucets do all the thinking for you. Hey, that is a big deal here!

February 19, 2011

We had joy, we had fun

Punta and I visited our friends at Mar y Sol for a chili dog party with bubble gum music. We had joy, we had fun, we had moments in the sun. And little stud muffin Buddy liked Punta a lot. But he had to take a nap while his mommie Eva snorkeled.

So we focused on the Peg's french frying and Les's hot dog grilling. Sandee make the chili for the hot dogs.
Afterward, lots of naps happened. Punta frolicked in the sand bars and swimming holes and went far out alongside my raft as if we were heading for Cancun.
It was magic.

February 17, 2011

My Mexican Big Mac

A sometime reward for a good, hard day in Cancun is a Big Mac to go from the Ultramar dock in Puerto Juarez. Blasphemy, you say. Ha!
Look at the box. The burger was made especially for me. It's not a joke. I watched the seniorita do it. See, in Mexico, fast food is not so fast. It is made to order. And taken to go to eat on the ferry.
It has never seen a heat lamp! It is luscious. And to kick the Special Sauce up a notch, envelopes of jalapeno relish are provided. It is a great reward at the end of four hard hours in Cancun. Delicious! Curiously, the box is made in Costa Rica

February 15, 2011

TP Patrol

On the way to the market this morning, we saw the Aquacan Residuales/Agua Negra trucks. They are pumping what you flushed, provided it gets to the street. If you flush toilet paper on the island, their job becomes highly unpleasant and clogs their equipment. Know, too, they make stops pretty close to each other. What I'm saying, if you flush, they could flush you out! Wouldn't that be embarrassing?

February 12, 2011

Cheap storm luxury

It wasn't quite legal, but it wasn't really wrong. A kid came to the side door while Sergio was fixing the pipe to the water storage tank with conch in a plastic bag. He had gotten it when the north wind washed it up on shore. 'The right thing to do is throw it back and pay tax on it through a fisherman's co-op," Carmen said. I didn't know this at the time. It was cleaned pretty well. And only 60 pesos.
No conch tax was paid, I am pretty sure. But I only learned of that from Carmen today, wife of a fisherman.
Want to split it? he asked. Want to make conch ceviche and split it? I asked. I've got limes, tomatoes, onions, cilantro. Yes? Done.

He put the conch with onion, lime and salt first. Some black pepper.
Then he had me taste it. It was tender, yummy. Perfect. Then he added the tomatoes, jalapenos and some habanero chilis.
So he added the other ingredients. Toss before serving.

Restaurant price: 140 pesos per person. Home price, 70 pesos for three. (Final version is the first picture.)

February 5, 2011

The Wringer

INM. Migracion. It is the agency we deal with to stay here, to legally make money (or lose) off our property, get jobs, pay taxes. Every year, it involves paperwork and trips to Cancun to get our visas.
It is highly unpleasant. From Mexican nationals who want a passport, to us gringos. We are all there. The ones who can't take it hire lawyers.
And this week was my turn. My lawyer did all the work and I only set foot inside twice to sign papers. Carlos Telliz, my sainted cab driver, stayed busy outside.
And then after each visit, Carlos took me to see my surgeon. Yesterday, he waited outside the office as Dr. Jose Manuel Mendoza cut my belly button, pushed serous fluid, uninfected, out of my abdomen, and removed tissue that had died due to poor circulation in the middle and installed a drainage tube. Oh, I hope you weren't having breakfast!
Mendoza, it turns out, did a 10 year hitch on Isla Mujeres as the Navy gastroenterologist, before his surgical career. So we chitchatted about island life while he worked with the assistance of Julieta.
Anyway, I'm a wearing a tube and a self massaging belt to get fluids out. Tomorrow, 8am, Carlos takes me back to Dr. Mendoza to remove the dressing and then I begin my beach life. Woohooo!

February 1, 2011

Candelaria aka Groundhog Day

February 2nd marks the mid-way point between the winter solstice and spring equinox! Yay! And it's also thought of as the day we predict how much longer winter will last, which is why so much attention is paid to how groundhogs act today, especially in " you know where" Pennsylvania.
But in Mexico and other places, it is traditionally a time start spring planting. Earlier today, inspired by these blooming aloes on the edge of Garrafon Park, I came home to ponder what to do with the yerba buena (think mint mojotos!) I had bought from the Maya Plant Lady and deal with the standing chilies I got from her earlier morning.
Luckily, Sergio came by to clean the deck and I put gave him extra work, getting ready for candelaria! Rather, getting a jump on it!