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Back in Ohio.....UGH!!!

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Pataskala, OH
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Back in Ohio.....UGH!!!

Been home for a week now and I think the thing I am missing the most, besides the beach and the sun, are the fish tacos. I was never really a fan until my visit and I find myself thinking about them all the time. Seriously, I am thinking about them right now. I guess that means I need to go back.

We had a direct flight from Columbus on Delta, which was great. Any time I can get a direct flight to the Caribbean, I am a happy girl. We used Best Day for our transfer to the ferry and I can't speak highly enough about our experience. We were the only ones in the van on both trips and our driver even stopped at the store on the way to the ferry. Quite a deal for $34.00! My husband wanted to sit on top of the ferry and I was all for it, until we took off and I was nailed by a deluge of sea water. Water was pretty choppy so I spent the rest of the ride inside.

Our first week-end was really chilly, with 30+ MPH winds. Not complaining....it was still much nicer than central Ohio, but I would probably choose to visit again later in March or early April. There was absolutely no one on that beach, but after a few cocktails, we decided to take a stroll. It was like getting a total body micro abrasion with sand and wind. The other bummer about the wind was that we had booked room 310 at Ixchel for our first 4 nights and you really couldn't enjoy the wrap around balcony with the stiff breeze.....but the view was unbelievable. Later in the week we moved to 506, which was fabulous as well. The view from the back of the room, on the outside hallway, 5th floor and above was so beautiful. Great view of sunsets. In fact, the sunsets were stunning every night we were there.

My week in Isla turned into a Mojito tour of the island. I had a LOT of mojitos and am now looking around for fresh mint in Ohio so I can recapture that island feeling. It seems like all the bars and beach clubs had 2 for 1 drinks all day long, which I took advantage of big time. I think my favorite mojito was at Bally Hoo...loved that place. And don't get me started on those fish tacos. I ate there twice. And I'm not a fried fish fan but there was something about those tacos...

I stopped by Isla Animals one morning and made a donation and talked to Allison for awhile. What a wonderful place that is...usually when I go to Mexico or the Caribbean, I am terribly depressed by the dogs I see, but I felt better knowing that there is someone there helping them out. I stopped in later in the week and took a little female out for a walk. She told me I could take her anywhere, so we visited my husband on the beach, gave her a nice lunch and headed back. She seemed to want to go down one of the streets that ran parallel to Hildago, so I just followed her down the first block....what a mistake. It seemed like every dog in the centro area appeared from nowhere and surrounded us. One dog was particularly aggressive and was trying to hump her head...LOL! My poor dog just flattened herself on the ground and refused to move. Luckily, some of the locals that lived nearby ran out and tried to restrain a few of the dogs. I finally had to pick up up and carry her back. I did think that the cat situation was sad. There were a lot of them on the street heading out of Ixchel. There were signs in the hotel asking guests not to feed the cats by the dumpster, but no one paid attention. Some of them were really skinny so it was hard not to want to give them something.

I thought I would want a golf cart for my whole stay but ended up just using it for one day. It was included in our stay at Ixchel. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had been driving, but it was a little stressful with my husband behind the wheel :) He's a firefighter and seems to think every vehicle is a fire engine. After hitting the first speed bump and wrenching my neck, I was a little paranoid. Since it was our first visit, we really enjoyed just walking around Centro and getting to know our way around. Next time, I will explore the rest of the island. I wanted to rent a bike for the day, but never got around to it...it's funny how the weeks slips away and you never get to all those activities you had planned.

One of the things that cracked me up was the TV programming. I would never even watch TV on vacation, but my husband had it on in the evenings and would sit and watch ESPN in spanish even though he had no idea what they were discussing. It seemed like the only thing on TV was soccer and wrestling. I had no idea that Mexicans were so into WWE. It was on in every restaurant and all the vendors were selling those face masks. I should have got one! Another funny thing about the programming were all these shows about women who kill......LOL! It was on every night and was one of the few shows in English. Maybe it was just the week we were there, but my husband was looking a little worried about all the tips I picked up about poisonings, suffocations, stabbings etc. A lot of good information ....Ha ha!

So, we really loved our trip and were happy with all the restaurant recommendations that we received on this forum. All the food was great and I don't think we paid over $50.00 for any meal, including drinks. Could have been happy eating for much less, but wanted to try all the places we read about. Loved Oliva's and Dopi. We like trying new vacation spots, but will definitely return to Isla as it was a great experience and so easy. Oh, and I found Budweiser for my husband at a little beer store next to Hotel Palmas. Thank you, whoever it was that told me about that place. He was in heaven.

new york
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1. Re: Back in Ohio.....UGH!!!

Thank you for the trip report. Sounds like a great vacation despite the first chilly/windy week. March can be very windy not only on Isla but all along the Maya Riviera. Will have to try Dopi's. Have been hearing really good things about it.

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2. Re: Back in Ohio.....UGH!!!

Great report. I find myself thinking about fish tacos a lot too.

A note: Mexicans are not into the WWE, they are into Lucha Libre. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucha_libre). My evening of Lucha Libre in Guadalaraja was my most fun evening ever in Mexico. At first, I could not believe our hosts wanted to take us to a wrestling match but it turned out to be a blast. If there was Lucha on Isla, I'd be there all the time!

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3. Re: Back in Ohio.....UGH!!!

Thanks for the trip report. Sounds like you had a great week and a free dermal peel to boot. The bumps can be an eye opening experience. After hitting a few of them you really become aware they are there. I took one a little too quickly many years back and almost went out of the cart into the street. Isn't Allison at Isla Animals a wonderful person. I always make a stop there everytime I'm down. Dopi's is also on my list of places to visit in June. I have been reading some great review and can't wait to give it a try.

Edited: 16 March 2013, 15:45
Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Back in Ohio.....UGH!!!

Sounds like your first Isl experience was like a lot of ours. The week just seems to disappear before you have a chance to try everything you had intended, so you begin planning your return. I have restaurants that have been on our list since Trip 1 that we still haven't tried. It doesn't get any easier on your return visits because you want to return to your favorites, leaving ittle time for further exploration unless you lengthen each subsequent visit. We snuck back for only 2 nights one year and it drove us crazy.

We took my parents with us last September. Whenever we mention Isla my father gets a faraway look in his eyes and says, "Mmm, fish tacos at Bally-Hoo." It's one of my favorite places on the planet. And his.

Southwest Michigan
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5. Re: Back in Ohio.....UGH!!!

We always are on Isla the first couple of weeks of March and I have to say this year has had some of the most unpleasant weather ever! Last year it was simply gorgeous. The cool temps and that wind are not the norm, IMO. We've always had some wind but this year it is worse. We are staying near La Lomita and have not been able to have our sliders facing the water open for days, finally can today :).

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Back in Ohio.....UGH!!!

Bally-Hoo the only place on Isla where you wash your hands in there sink and a gecko gets a free bath at the same time! LOL!

I remember our feb visit when i went to wash my hands and a cute little gecko was just chilling in the sink.

The waiter tried to get him out of the sink but was to scared to grab the little guy!

Those fish tacos just melt in your mouth....

7. Re: Back in Ohio.....UGH!!!

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