Day 9: I awoke to find Jr. not in his bed which was strange because every day from the first he was still asleep when I woke. I walked to the balcony to find him sound asleep in the hammock. As I slid the door open he opened his eyes with a panicked look and after quickly turning his attention toward the Caribbean, seemed to relax. He turned to me and said “I thought I fell asleep and missed the sunrise” I assured him I wouldn’t have let him miss it and asked what time he came out on the balcony. He said “around three, I just wanted to lay here and listen to the ocean.” It was still early, only about ten past five, so I asked him if he wanted to see the sunrise from the beach today. He agreed so we walked down the Malecon to the beach behind Posada del Mar and out onto the rocks there. A short time later the brilliant red/pink streaks, now so familiar to us both, began to creep out across the sky and for the first time Jr. noticed how much those colors were reflected off the ocean. Even the slight elevation from our balcony changes how the sunrise is viewed and I was both impressed and proud he picked up on it. The colors were not as brilliant today as they were the last few mornings, but still something we were glad we didn’t miss. As we walked back down the Malecon Jr. said he would like to head back down to the south end of Isla today and out to Punta Sur. He wanted to walk out on the cliff walk one more time before we had to return home. Walking along he began to reminisce about all that had transpired over the two weeks and I secretly laughed to myself, my 24 year old son and first visitor to Isla was getting all nostalgic. It was then I knew for certain the magic of Isla had seeped deep into his bones and he was hopelessly hooked.
After a quick trip back up to the room we headed out for breakfast. Jr. asked about a little taco cart he’d seen a group of fishermen eating at earlier in the week over on Matamoros so I said lets go have a look. As we turned off Hidalgo we saw there were a group of five or six local men having breakfast there so we picked up the pace to investigate. We both got two tacos with pork and queso. There were several different types of salsas and pico de gallos to choose from and we painted the tacos with a little of each one. The tacos were delicious, but left us still feeling we needed something more so we strolled over to Tacos Tumbras in the Mercado for breakfast number two. Jr. We both had the huevos Mexicanos and we split a fruit plate. As always the food was excellent and so cheap I always feel I’m robbing them as I leave. We headed back up to Rocamar to grab the sun block and cameras as well as the keys to the cart. We headed out, driving back past the Mercado and down past PA to Medina and then south toward Punta Sur. Taking a left after the navy base we drove along the Caribbean side and as we turned onto Payo Obispo Jr. pulled the cart to the side and said “you drive I want to be able to just watch the blue water as we go” The morning and ocean were picture perfect, sunlight gleaming of the waves, as we cruised down the road. We again passed the dream house and Jr. commented it will be cool when I am living there and he can come to visit with Cayden (my grandson and his son. Yes I said grandson first. Grandparents deserve top billing!) We parked at Punta Sur and checked out the little shops on the left before we entered the park. We headed straight for my spot out on the cliff by the caves and parked in the chairs overlooking those amazingly blue waters. As we sat there Jr. said although I am really wanting to get home and see Cayden, I can’t believe how much I’m going to miss this.” I knew that feeling well, but also knew this would not be the last time he and I would be sitting here staring out on those waters. We walked around the entire point snapping picture as we went and when we got back to the cart Jr. said “we need to hydrate”I looked at him and when I saw that grin I said “the Joint?”and he replied with you know it. We got to The joint just as they were opening and were the first customers of the day. Mangos Margaritas were the drink of the day and as we sipped them we soaked in the reggae music and smiled. Once the drinks were gone we were back in the cart and cruising through little side streets of the Colonias. When we emerged across from Chedraui he said “pastries?”in a somewhat desperate voice. We pulled into the garage and headed for the department. As we were walking through the store I swear I some of the employees pointing and saying those are the guy I was telling you about that bought out the bakery. (haha ,we were marked men). Jr. somehow had developed a sense of restraint since the day of infamy. He perused the isle and selected a single brownie. I elected to forgo the pastries and we made our purchase (much to the dismay, no doubt, to the ones expecting a repeat performance). We made our way back to Centro and Jr. suggested that as this was going to be our last lunch on Isla we should end it where we started. I could not agree more so we parked the cart at the hotel and strolled down to Bally Hoo where Jr. again had the shrimp tacos and I the fish variety. Two Margaritas each and we were feeling like kings after the feast. We walked along Medina and made our way up through Hidalgo picking up a trinket or two for those unfortunate souls to have been left behind at home. Returning to the hotel Jr. suggested we throw on some swim trunks and head to Playa Norte for the remainder of the day. So we changed and headed to the beach where we grabbed chairs just to the left of Buho’s (Jr. was very conscience of the hot sun and always wanted to be sure I was close to rehydration, as I am fairly advanced in years and likely more susceptible to the effects of the sun). We kicked back and allowed the beautiful breeze to wash over us and occasionally heading to the water to cool off and to Buho’s for the essential hydration. The day seemed to drift by like a dream and about 5:30pm we broke camp and headed back to Rocamar. On the way back I told Jr. I knew where I wanted to go for dinner and been thinking about it all week. He had learned to trust my instinct about these things by now and nodded in agreement. We showered, changed and headed for the best coconut shrimp(IMO) on the island. Seso Loco was to be our final dinner on Isla and I told Jr. the shrimp was the way to go. We ordered drinks, guacamole and the coconut shrimp for the meal. The guacamole was as good as I remembered it to be, but we both agreed that no one on Isla could touch the Guacamole we had at Playa Lancheros. The shrimp plates arrived and they were massive and awesome. After dinner we headed over to Bahia Tortuga to see if they had live music, which as I thought, they did. We parked ourselves and ordered up a couple of Pina Coladas (in keeping with the coconut theme). We hung out and listened to the band (sorry I don’t remember their name, but they were really good) for a couple of drinks and then we drove back and parked the cart at the hotel. We walked back down into Centro and along the waterfront and up to Hidalgo once again. As we walked by Lola Valentina’s the memory of those chocolate empanadas called to me, but I was still so full from the shrimp we reluctantly walked past. It was getting late and we still had to pack things back at the hotel so we started back. We were almost back to Rocamar when Jr. said “Wait we can’t go back yet. We have to go back into town.”I asked why and he replied we couldn’t leave without visiting Tiny one last time. I smiled and apologized for the obvious oversight and we headed to Tiny’s for one last drink. Two original Margaritas on the rock made the correct way with Don Julio, Controy and lime were the perfect final drinks to have. We said our goodbyes to Tiny and made our way back to the hotel. We packed everything and took the remaining two Sol from the fridge and went to the balcony. We sat out there for the better part of an hour just listing to the waves and talking about the past two weeks. I don’t think if I tried I could have planned a better way to end our time on Isla. Father and son hanging out on the balcony with a couple of beers reveling in the glory of the time we’d had. I can’t imagine it getting any better that that!
So that’s it. You now have the whole story of the RickS and Jr. Isla vacation. Thanks for following along and for all the great comments along the way.