For the discriminating shopper in Cozumel

Shopping in Cozumel can be an adventure, surely. We have it all from the kiosks to the Mercado, the high end stores to the tourist attractions. Today I thought I´d take you to a few of the more tasteful, exclusive shops that offer wares for those who appreciate the finer things in life. Items that might cost a bit more, although not always, but will certainly last a lifetime.

The first thing I became aware of, when I started this little jaunt, was that managers needed to agree. For practical purposes such as insurance risks, to a desire to have customers enter themselves to get the full effect, I needed permission. I didn´t always get it, but I still believe I have a nice sampling. Thankfully, four of the finer shops on Melgar, all offering a vast variety of different wares, agreed to let me ask questions, take some pics, and allow for a peek at some lovely items.

Let me start with one of our most famous shops Los Cinco Soles.

Located on the northern end of Melgar, this group of shops take up a city block. You could lose yourself for hours looking at the many fine wares.

Just one example of the many styles of sculptures and pottery available.
You can see, they have much to offer.

The Catrina dolls to the left are quite popular in Mexican culture. Originally dressed in ornate hats to demonstrate European backgrounds, they have evolved into fun dolls that do everything from riding bikes to playing pianos. The two lovely ladies above agreed to let me take their pic during my stop at Los Cinco Soles. You can see a bit of the colorful clothing they have to offer just behind them. They also offer accessories to match and much more. This was a great first stop. But, now it´s time to head a bit south to see some jewelry.

Just about a block north of Los Cinco Soles, the Milano Diamond Gallery offers spectacular jewelry, famous brand watches, and customer service that cannot be beat. They were also kind enough to let me take a few photos, although jewelry stores, for good reasons, do have to limit indoor shots.

I had started on the far north end and decided to just walk south until I´d find a store that offered some of the finer products that last a lifetime. I´m talking diamonds, sapphires and rubies, of course. Jewelry stores on Cozumel have become famous for selling gorgeous, original designs for much less than folks might find in their country of origin. After speaking with the manager of Milano, he was kind enough to agree to two photos inside. One of a lovely young employee holding out a gorgeous ring that I´d spotted (it called my name actually) and a quick shot of the ring itself. I don´t believe my photos of either will do them justice and, I must admit, I wanted to try on the ring so badly, but why push my luck. Have a peek.

the preview
Alejandra seemed to be in complete agreement, this ring is something special. But, Milano´s had much more to offer, you might just want to take a peek yourself.

After my visit to the Milano Jewelry Store I continued south until I came to an interesting store that featured gorgeous rugs and incredible lighting. Not a store I´d noticed before so I had to stop in.

With lovely mosaics at the entry and spectacular lighting in the window, I just couldn´t pass it by.

I met a friendly young man at the door and told him what I was hoping to accomplish. Introduce some finer stores to Cozumel shoppers both on the island and yet to visit. He was happy to show me around and, obviously, quite proud of what they had to offer. I could see why. Everywhere you looked were gorgeous carpets, every design and color imaginable. With free shipping offered on all, it seemed like the place to look for that centerpiece carpet that would become a family heirloom. In the corner I noticed some particularly lovely lights as well. Here are a few pics of what the Oriental Bazaar has to offer. I personally recommend stopping in and taking in the quiet beauty for yourself, but, until you do here is just a taste.

Such elegance was found on all the walls, plus dozens, if not hundreds of unique pieces.
These lighting features were stunning. Every shape imaginable and any color you could want.

All the shops I visited were worthy of taking the time to visit. But, I have a personal weakness for items that can be passed down through the family. Below is Roberto (I certainly hope I have his name correct, didn´t have pen and paper). He´s well informed and quite welcoming, which makes a visit even more pleasant.

My next stop as I was heading down Melgar, yet again, was a Cozumel icon, the Pama. This photogenic building houses duty free perfumes, high end wrist watches, jewelry, clothing and more. The manager was nice enough to agree to let me take a few photos, but, again for insurance purposes, I only photographed limited sections as she accompanied me. And that was fine, the store itself, even inside, is a work of art.

A combination of stores inhabit the Pama, I believe, which means there is simply a vast collection of desirable items. But, regardless of ownership, there are some wonderful things to find here. Let me show you glimpse into the world of Pama.

They even provide comfortable seating as you select your dream bag. Felt a little like I was in Sex in the City in this store, but that was fun too.
Only the best.
All the classics could be found, and some great new discoveries as well. Much of what they sell is duty free too. Something to think about while shopping.

Well, I decided just one more location would give a good idea of what is available to those who prefer the best things in life. I had no idea what store that would be, but continued down Melgar until I came across this little gem. Simply called Mi Casa, I was delighted to find lightweight, colorful clothing, beautiful metallic wall pieces, unique pottery, and more colorful Catrina dolls. The owner was quite sweet and he was assuring me they changed their products often, but they maintain the quality expected. Let´s take a look inside.

I hope you can see the beautiful turquoise clothing in the window. But, there´s so much more.
Lovely metallic wall art pieces were everywhere.
More lightweight clothing can be found in the back, the side, the front, just about everywhere.
Unique sculptures that are currently on sale, might want to come to Cozumel…

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at the other side of life (at least for me). Beautiful wares to last a lifetime are always worth more, therefore cost a bit more. Unfortunately, many of our tourists are from the cruise ships and are quickly snatched up for fun excursions, but those don´t leave much time for serious shopping. Maybe a glimpse into what is available here might trigger a thought to take some time and experience for yourself just one more reason Cozumel is such a beautiful island. I hope you enjoyed, salud!

p.s. Let´s go tourist shopping next, all the wild neon spots that remind you it´s vacation time!

Creating a sanctuary while landscaping on a budget

I´ve long been one who needs a sanctuary, a quiet place away from it all and it always included lots of greenery. Gardening has been a passion of mine for thirty years now. In fact, when I taught at the university, I knew I needed something to keep me busy in the summers. Idle hands and all that. So I worked with ponds, waterfalls, water plants, personal design, pumps, filters, you name it. Was even made supervisor of the boys who built my designs my last two years there. I only mention that because it seemed, no matter where I worked, it was always with young men in their late teens and early twenties, and it always made for interesting conversations.

Well, I´ve recently moved to a location that had a large piece of enclosed property that was, shall we say, mostly a gravel pit. Still, my landlords not only cleaned out the other odd things that had accumulated, but they also allowed me to make a doggy door so my guys had constant access. There are four lovely coconut palm trees, a few other large leafed plants that had seen better days, and one berry tree that likes to drop them on your head. The birds that feed on them drop something else entirely. Still, there was potential, but I´d learned my lesson and made sure most of what I designed could come with me when I move. But, pictures are always better so let me show you what it looked like then. The blankets were for their paws, and my feet, gravel is no fun at all on skin.

Ok, so it´s not Better Homes and Gardens, but it worked for a while
My Pasita checking out her new digs, literally. Never knew a pug could dig such deep holes.

It worked, could listen to music, do some reading, but it was lacking something. Style was the first thing that came to mind. So I started to really look around me. Once I knew what I wanted to do I talked with my landlords and they were thrilled anything would be done at all. So I contacted Mauricio. He´s worked with me before and he understands my Spanglish and mime. He watched me draw what I wanted, said he´d see me the next day and left. Meanwhile, I went hammock shopping, that was one requirement I was insistent upon. I´d slept in nothing but family sized hammocks my first three years in Mexico and my back never felt so good.

My favorite landscaping place, Plantas y Jardines, is located on the corner of calles 25 & 5 and, let´s just say, it´s a familiar place. In fact, the owner had me sit down for coffee and a cigarette to chat, then told me I could go where I wanted, it was my home. That made me smile. And, for me anyway, there´s nothing like wandering among hundreds of beautiful plants. It´s dangerous for my wallet, but, before that part, it´s like walking in heaven.

So, by the next day, plants were picked out, pavers, rocks, the cement guy had arrived, I had wall decorations, and Mauricio´s guys were ready. They patiently worked with me running around getting in their way, constantly. Sand was poured between the natural rock pavers and then smooth rocks were placed on top. No-one´s feet will hurt walking around now. I covered the chairs with fabric to match my new hammock. Dogs were walked four times since they couldn´t go outside their doggy door. Cement was laid, ornaments went up. And, when the day was done I had my sanctuary. It´s not finished, as with all projects it will be an ongoing activity. I´ll be painting some trees on large wooden planks, along with birds, iguanas and other tropical things, but, for now, it works. Here´s what´s been accomplished so far.

Can barely see the hammock, but it is in the shade most of the day, which makes it perfect. First time I was in it, I fell asleep within minutes. Woke up to my dogs´ noses poking my behind, it was dinner time.
Ok, so it´s still not Better Homes and Gardens, but it makes me happy and cost very little as well.

Now on to other projects such as taking you shopping. We´ve been to the Mercado, thought I´d hit a few of the high end shops on Melgar sometime soon. Curious to see if the jewelry stores will let me take a few close up shots. After we hit the high end stores and their beautiful wares, I´ll be off to see some vendors and their kiosks. Always fun products for sale. Well, hope you enjoyed this tiny view of my sanctuary. Have a pleasant day in yours, salud!

Shopping at the Mercado!

It was time to do some shopping and there´s no place more authentic, more colorful, and with more variety than the Mercado. Truly no visit to the island of Cozumel can be considered complete without a stop at this lively location. It can be found on calle 20, but it takes up a few blocks total. It´s where you can find anything from fresh fish to hula hoops, flip flops to pasta strainers. Other than furniture, if they don´t have it, you probably don´t need it.

lunches are cheap, but filling – tacos, empanadas, hamburgers, fish sandwiches and way more choices than I can list here

I love the energy here, folks eyeing the produce, checking out the meats, picking out their spices. But, there are also a few local slot machines, a couple of musicians, and kids that seem to be everywhere. Lots of laughter, folks in a hurry to eat and get to work, others setting up their stalls. There isn´t a quiet space at the Mercado, at least not that I´ve ever found, and that makes it a fun place to visit.

Every snack imaginable, and every child´s dream come true. Would make a few adults I know pretty darned happy too!

Healthy choices are easily found as well. From fresh veggies to mangos, bananas, even dragon fruit was there today!

If you´re looking for some flip flops, I know just the place. Every color imaginable, and darker ones were around the corner. Something for everyone.

Past all the colorful purses, shoes, t-shirts, trinkets, humming bird feeders there´s the meat and fish areas. Fish arranged artistically in ice, meat hanging from the hooks. It´s where you´ll find the main course to any Mexican meal.

Not sure what these are, reminded me of cave fish that didn´t need eyes. I took this pic quickly and moved on.

I had gone to the Mercado for two reasons. I was looking for a hammock for my new garden sanctuary and I´d promised to take you shopping and this seemed like the perfect place to begin. I didn´t find the hammock I was looking for (I get picky with colors), but at least I get to share a day at the market.

the hula hoops I mentioned, I wasn´t kidding
This is located in the central area of the mercado, devotion to Catholicism is found everywhere.

Finally, I think I´ll end with a pic of some fun, and flirty, guys who I swear were on the same bench 7 years ago, which was the last time I wrote about this shopping gem. Their smiles were a nice way to end my morning. Hope you visit soon, it can certainly be an adventure. Thanks for coming along, salud!

The many moods of el mar

The ocean is what draws us to the island. Calm, unpredictable, beautiful, threatening, our ocean has it all.

I thought, before I start wandering around taking new pics, that I´d share some of those I´d accumulated during my writing dry spell. Our island is surrounded by such beauty and uniqueness from the calm of the west side to the wave action on the eastern ´´wild side.´´ But, regardless where you are at, one seldom really knows the mood of el mar on any given day. So, we watch for port information, read about diving conditions, and consider the cruise ship count. Fishermen stay up to date, snorkelers look for the perfect spots, couples seek out sandy beaches while families look for fun locations. No matter our plans, we all remain constantly aware of the waters that drew us here. I thought I´d share some photos I´ve been able to capture over the last 4 or 5 years. Only exception is the pic at the top, it´s a personal favorite taken back from my first month here. Ok, now that´s been said, here are just a few pics of our beloved el mar.

Some photos both above and below I took with an underwater, pocket sized Canon camera I was using for a while. I could snorkel along, do a dive, take a shot. Or, rise just above and get interesting photos from the actual, literal sea level. Those are always fun, here are a couple examples with a bird shot thrown in. You can get really close to the guys who perch on poles when just floating along.

kept his eye on me the entire time, I bobbed back and forth trying to get a clear shot, he never moved though

Back on land I tried to get myself outside when the colors were unusual, or it looked to be a promising sunset. I always wonder if one can take too many sunset shots. But, I don´t think so. You´ll notice I already have some above. I do, however, make a point to just go and watch one without a camera sometimes. A whole different perspective when not adjusting for light, finding the right angle and so on. I can just sit and drink in the beauty, I highly recommend it. But, aside from that, here´s just a couple more of our island´s beautiful sunset shots for you.

This was a gorgeous evening, I´m not sure I did it justice, but that´s how I learn.
it was a rainy night, eventually, but I still wish I was on that sailboat
I enjoyed the light dancing on the waters

Daytime is gorgeous too. Whether sailboats are riding the waves, or people are just enjoying a romantic walk. There is much to love midday as well. Best way to stay cool too.

Cozumel has a variety of fan gardens, ask your dive master, or tourist guide where the best can be found…Punta Sur was where I captured this shot

I think I´ll close this walk down memory lane with a few of my personal favorites. With my next blog I´m considering taking you all shopping. We have so very much to choose from whether you like high end, or economical locations. Those will all be new pics that will capture both the colors and wares offered on Cozumel. Until then, hope you enjoyed, salud!

sunrise here holds such promises of a beautiful day

Titanic choices, arrange chairs, play music, or get in the boat…

Spent all my money on a mural and plants, so this was how I lived for a year. We all have our priorities.
Eight years and five months ago, this was my new home. That´s my new dog, Nity, posing in the background.

I´ve debated for days writing about this experience, but, since I´m just starting to write again, I thought I´d catch you up to where I am today. I am literally dusting myself off and starting again. This can be, in some eyes, a grand and exciting journey. Moving, that is… It really is all in the perspective. But, however one views it, it was the learning experience of a lifetime and for that I will be forever grateful. Here are my words of wisdom, points you probably already knew, but worth repeating anyway. Never having been blessed with a lot of common sense, these will be written down mostly for my sake. Here they are : contracts are good, never spend your own money on a rental, and friends, furry and otherwise, will get you through it all.

My cactus garden complete with the trimmings.

I´m going to start off with a story from my past. I find it amusing, and slightly relevant. It shows how I get through the emergency on auto pilot, then fall apart later. This is a tad embarrassing, but those who have read me before are used to that, so, here goes.

I lived in an apartment, back in my college days, with two roommates. A couple who had just fallen in love and the woman´s son. Candlelight dinners, candlelit bedrooms, candlelit baths all enhanced by fragrances and flowers filled the apartment. I stayed in the back in my very large bedroom\living room area for two reasons. Their budding romance was sweet, if you like diabetes, and I had serious matters to attend to such as passing my Psych. 101 exam.

To no-one´s surprise, we had a fire. With all those candles, well, it was bound to happen. I smelled something, then Keith yelled out ´´fire,´´ then Karen ran around naked trying to figure out what to save while their bedroom was blazing. Meanwhile, I called the fire department, got their son out and across the street with neighbors, knocked on the apartment door downstairs to warn them and then had coffee with folks while the firemen did their thing.

Yea, these weren´t our firemen, but, ladies, and a few of my favorite guys, you´re welcome.

Emergency was over, I felt good about my actions, and we all stood in what was left of our dining room. Smoked like sausage, curtains torn, wallpaper peeling and a saturated carpet. Typical scene, I´d imagine. The firemen congratulated me on my actions, gave a bit of advice to my roommates and then said this, ´´now, go collect your personals, you can´t stay here for the night.´´ I don´t know how much later it was, but I was back in the dining room with my roommates, all the firemen, the remaining paramedics, some friends who had shown up for support, a full crowd. But, they were all giggling, and at me. I had no clue what was going on and, frankly, was getting a bit indignant. Finally, Karen just grabbed my arm and raised my hand to my face. I had collected the box containing my Summer´s Eve douche and nothing else. I mean, they said personals. Yea, I fall apart later.

Eight years later and my pergola was built, my air conditioning put in, all had been painted, and all by me. It was my home, or so I thought.

So what the heck does this have to do with today? Well, I´d been under the impression that my home here would be my home for life. We´d discussed it often, my landlord and I. I continued to pay rent and continued to make it my own, on my own dime (peso). Then, three weeks ago, the need for a contract became glaringly apparent. I was informed that my apartment was nice enough to use as a vacation rental now (I didn´t respond, I swear) and that, since I had paid up until November, I was welcome to stay. However, I wouldn´t have stairs for an unknown period of time since they would also be constructing downstairs. It was suggested I bucket supplies up from Room Service. I wish I was making that up.

My Nity and Pasita, BFFs

First concern, my dogs. I had three at this point. Not many places accept a woman with three dogs. But, it seemed my luck had changed. A man immediately contacted me about an apartment with an enclosed field next door that was also owned by him. Perfect! Yea, not so fast. My Nity, the larger dog above, got confused in all the confusion and, when he, my new landlord, bent over to fix my internet, Nity bit him in the butt, hard. Now, they have a young son, so I understand their concerns. Watching my new landlady hide behind her door wasn´t good for anyone either. Plus, thanks to Dr. Ivan, she (Nity, not my landlady) has a new home, but I do miss her much. She was my first pup from here on the island. A little rough around the edges, but always meant well. If you´re the new owner and you are reading this, she loves to share coffee in the mornings.

Second concern, how to make it a home without spending permanent monies. Here´s where the Titanic image of arranging chairs comes into play. Let me share a few of the details of my former home. You can see what I moved into up top of this piece and what it became below. For photographic reasons I left out the air conditioner, sealed roof, new fans, new faucets, paint, mold removal, newly cemented deck etc.

Mariano Petit de Murat painted a Cherokee Rose for me along with other symbols of my heritage and a gorgeous mural of a sunset.
Ok, not for everyone, but it worked just like espresso!!

I liked it, it was my home. But, I´m not there anymore so it´s time to look ahead. Play some music, hold on to good thoughts, in spite of everything, and move on. So, here is where I will take the opportunity to share my new home and ´´garden.´´ Well, just the garden although the inside is cute and I have water pressure. Not just gravity, actual pressure, sigh. But, since the lesson has been learned, nothing will be added that cannot go with me. However, let me say this, I am just so thankful that dogs could care less about their surroundings as long as they are free, loved, cuddled and fed. So, without further adieu, here it is. I call it trailer trash chic, although I use the word ´´chic´´ with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I do want to point out, I´m absolutely not complaining. I have two of my dogs and for that I´m grateful. And, I´ll point out (with false bravado at this point) I take on challenges with passion. And, let me tell you, this is going to take a lot of passion.

I´ll start by mentioning that I discovered the first day that the main tree has berries that drop on your head, and birds who like to eat the berries but drop something else entirely. Aside from that, it´s a good sized space, has four coconut palms, one scorpion (that I know of) and, I do believe, it will become ours, to a point. The landlords were nice enough to build a doggy door so that my furry babies can access at will. So, practicalities are complete and I´m certainly happy about that. What to do aesthetically, however, is what wakes me up in the mornings. I´ll be certain to share the end results if you´re interested. Thinking Christmas lights, murals on removable boards and walkable tiles people toss out. It´s a start.

So this voyage is just about over. I´ve rearranged the furniture, played the music, it´s time to get into the boat already. Salud!

Dusting off my bootstraps

Let´s start with a sunrise, a new beginning, a new day. Or, how about just a pretty picture…

Once upon a time I wrote weekly blogs all about Cozumel. The many places to see, the variety of things to do, and the people you might well want to meet. In fact, you´ll be able to find those on the right side. Looking for a particular place? Just type the name in the search column and if I was there, and I enjoyed the experience, I wrote about it. I never accepted invitations though, that kept me honest. They also come with stories and pics.

But, then life happened and I stopped for a while. However, with little to no fanfare, I´m back. This time will be more simple (and less expensive for me). I used to visit lots of locations and I always paid my own way. So, now, these will be a little different. Just casual walkabouts with a few pretty pictures for those who love the island is my plan. Whether you live here, wish you did, or have visited and miss us, these pics are for you. Not a professional, but, ever since my dad put a Rolleiflex in my hands when I was 6, I´ve been hooked on capturing moments. I hope you enjoy.

Today´s photos are a variety of what could be seen while riding a bike around the island at about 8 this morning. There is one exception, the flower you see above. It was one of my cactus flowers and I just like the pic. But, back to the moment. We have many new, and gorgeous, murals by artists from around the world, and you´ll see a few of those. Otherwise, just the beauty that is all around us, along with a few fun things such as hauling big boats and hawking restaurant wares.

Some folks agreed to have artwork on their homes!
If there was space, now there´s color. Beautiful works everywhere you look!

I finally got to see how they tow the huge boats from the water to the dry land. Took far less time than I´d thought, but then there was hook up and drop off. I didn´t stick around to see those.

People were both patient and curious, not a single honker in the group.

One of the things I enjoy the most is the locals who are happy to pose, especially if it is in front of their place of work. This fun guy was busily using his best Spanglish explaining how good their lobster is, all while finding the best place to stand. Now, I have eaten here, great guacamole and ceviche, but I haven´t tried their lobster, yet.

Right on the ocean, close to the Blue Angel on Melgar. Certainly friendly service!! I do want to point out, it was early, he was cleaning. I´m fairly certain he´ll be washed and dressed once it´s open.

Here is another mural I discovered on the backside of Chedruai. I must admit, this is one of my favorites. Beautiful art that will last years by world renowned artists.

Personal fan of this piece. Drive along the back of Chedruai, on 17, I believe, to see this work of art.

I have to include an homage to our divers. It´s certainly a beautiful day above the surface, hope you enjoy the colors below as well.

Folks got a kick out of me waiting for the sun to take this shot.

Let me leave you with a few more pics that include the water, our lighthouse, and someone´s tree charm. This was fun, for me, to once again see the island´s beauty.

Isn´t that sky gorgeous? BTW, it took me ten minutes to decide whether the tower should be straight, or the ocean look like it´s draining. So I walked all the directions I had to choose from and the leaning tower of Cozumel was my final pick. But, isn´t that sky gorgeous?
Simple beauty is the best!

Not sure when I´ll be back, but it will be soon. Will try and get the feel of the island for those who miss it. And capture the images for those who live here and love it! Salud!

Cozumel: a guide and a goodbye………

DSCF6306Well,  this is my 112th blog about what it’s like to live on the island of Cozumel.  I’ve covered everything from charities to beach clubs, ruins to coffee houses, safety tips, illnesses, and holiday events. Sandwiched in between those you’ll also find a few posts that are simply about life as an expat.  Some of those moments are humorous, some, well, not so much.  So, at this point it seems  to be a good time for this expat to move on to other writings for a while.  But, for reference purposes, I thought I’d list a few of the various activities I’ve had the privilege to participate in over the past two years, as well as include a few of my favorite pics.   If you want to know more about a specific location, or topic, on that list (and would like to see the related photos), simply type the name in the search bar on the top of this page and you will be taken to that blog.  Simple, yes?  And, finally,  before I go I want to take this time to thank all of you for your support.  Your often enthusiastic responses have been greatly appreciated and you’ve made my “job” fun.   So, with that said,  here’s to the very special island of Cozumel, Salud!


Historical and Environmentalflower1

  • Chankanaab
  • San Gervasio
  • Punta Sur
  • El Cedral

Beach Clubs/Hotels

  • Buccanos
  • Barracuda
  • Blue Angel
  • Hotel B
  • Paradise Beach Club
  • The Money Bar
  • Sunset Bar and Grill
  • The Caribbean Sunset


  • Wet Wendy’s
  • Woody’s Bar and Grill
  • El Volado
  • The Thirsty Cougar
  • Zocalas
  • Kelly’s Pub


  • Christmas in the Park
  • Fourth of July
  • Carnaval17
  • El Cedral
  • Day of the Dead
  • Thanksgiving
  • Good Friday/Passion Play


  • The Chrysalis Group
  • It’s All About the Kids
  • La Esperanza
  • The Horse Sanctuary

Coffee Houses/Restaurants

  • El Cafe
  • Starbucks
  • Bisbees
  • Rock n Java
  • Cha Cha’s Kitchen

Neighborhood Lodgings

  • The Coral Reef Inn
  • Villa Zaztun
  • Alicia’s Bed and Breakfast

Local Artists and Openings

  • Mariano Petit de Murat
  • Sarah Williams Pritchett

Local Craftsmen/Home Improvement/Computer Repair

  • Carpenter Chris
  • Cozumel Home Improvement
  • Edgar Ch L (computers)


  • Tammy Cervantes’ Yogayoga 1
  • Ego


  • Mercado
  • Malecon

Illnesses and Doctor’s Care/Costs

  • Dengue
  • Parasites
  • Shingles

sunset fury







doggies doing time
dscf6976.jpgegret going to work


p play17
beach entrance
going home
water colors
ladies under wraps
horse and truck


Cozumel’s Passion Play

It’s Semana Santa (Easter week) here on the island of Cozumel.  And, with Mexico having one of the world’s largest Catholic populations, it is quite a sight to behold.  Between the crowds of tourists (I hear we have 90% occupancy) and the crowds of the faithful, let’s just say that it’s a good idea to give yourself some extra time before going anywhere.  But, in this case, I consider myself quite fortunate since I live directly across the street from a large Catholic church in the so-called Corpus Christi neighborhood.  That gives me the extra benefit of easily walking over to photograph one of the local customs, the Passion Play.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Passion Play is a reenactment of the  trials and suffering that Jesus endured just prior to the crucifixion.  Now, this is not to be confused with “The Passion Play,” which, up north, is also a dramatic interpretation of the same events, but that play uses professional actors.  Our little production consists solely of devout parishioners dressed in homemade clothing to depict the historical time period.  These folks may indeed share the passion, but little to no formal training is either expected, or required, which leads to a sense of reality that I, personally, enjoy.  Picture this: altar boys, dressed in white and carrying candle, are then followed by Christ, joined by the two men who were crucified along with him, and all are led down the road by Roman guards while Mary and the devout walk behind.  The guards soon stop, flog him, and force him to wear a crown of thorns and carry a wooden cross.  Today this procession was also followed by well over a hundred local folks and a pickup truck with loud speakers that played somber music.  It really is quite an event to see.

Now, without me rambling on any further, I think I’ll just let my photos tell the rest of the story.  I’ll start with a few faces in the crowd, work up to the nervous antics of the participants just prior to the event, and will end with the Christ, himself.  I hope you enjoy and let me also take a moment to wish all of you a meaningful, and peaceful, weekend.  Salud!



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Back to Buccanos Bar & Grill

tin lizardMonday was my birthday and I decided to spend it quietly.  I might live on an island filled with possibilities, but it just seemed to be a day to spend at home.  So, after a morning swim,tree I lounged on my deck, did a bit of gardening, and a little light reading.  When it got a bit too warm  I went inside, put on the air conditioner and watched some classic movies with my dogs complete with a great big bowl of popcorn, we shared.   All in all, it was a good day!

fountainBut, when I woke up the next morning I had an urge to go to one of my favorite places,boat and chair  Buccanos.  A great little beach club located on the northern side of the island that has all the food and activities that one could hope for here on Cozumel.  I’ve been there before, and even wrote about it a couple of years back, but it is just such a lovely place that it seemed time to take another look and share it with you.  If you’ve been there, this will help remind you of why you went in the first place.   If you haven’t stopped there yet, maybe this will help show you why you should include it for your bucket list.

birdsNow this business is not new.  In fact, once known as Club Cozumelsign Caribe, they’ve been around for so long that they have a list of celebrities that have visited including Jackie Onassis and Princess Grace.  Yes, it really is that special.  Located on a quiet strip of land right next to the blues of the Caribbean, it has lots to offer including a lush view.  That view was what I was after so I grabbed a lounge chair on the beach under a palm tree for shade.  I could see both the ocean and the folks coming in from one of the seven cruise ships that had docked here for the day.

staffMy waiter was Tony and he was by my side in a matter of a fewmother and child minutes with a big smile and a friendly manner.  I started out with some coffee and settled back for a bit of people watching.  After snapping a few pics of the tourists, and finishing my coffee, I then headed off to take some photos on the grounds before the light got too harsh.

muralThere are lots of choices for photos at Buccanos, which is one of thegrotto reasons I enjoy visiting.  The owners really know how to make the day special with plenty of those little touches that combine the colors of the tropics with the beauty of the man-made.  Colorful murals decorate the walls, large stone arches give way to scenic walkways, huge vases are filled with flowers, and there’s even a grotto with a waterfall and a giant tin lizard.  In fact, everywhere you look there is something special that will make you appreciate island living.

poolNow, in addition to just wandering about snapping photos theremassage are lots of activities.  There is a large pool, snorkeling, massage options, great food, and cute little shops.  Oh, and that pic on your right is of my luncheon choice, lobster with mac & cheese, two of my favorite foods.  Pure genius was at work the day they came up with that combo, it was excellent!  I did everything but lick the bowl.  Once finished I did a bit of reading and then headed off for an hour of snorkeling.  I lobster mac and cheesewasn’t worried about my stuff since the staff makes sure to keep an eye on things for you.  So, without worries, I leisurely swam about checking out all the colorful fish and coral.  The current was strong, but I swim in the ocean a lot, so I wasn’t concerned.

Back in my lounge chair I spent another hour with a bit of reading.  Then the cruise ship dining roombenchcrowd was starting to thin so I just sat back and watched folks reluctantly pack up their things.  Another hour of that and it was time for me to go too.  I paid my check, reluctantly packed up my things as well, and headed for a taxi.  Like a little kid I shuffled down the road that takes you past a fountain, a wall climbing challenge, and more Bougainvillea than you could possibly imagine.  Finally, a cab stopped and I headed off to a friend’s home.  She’d promised me a free massage for my birthday and I just couldn’t say no.

wood benchNow, this is where I would usually sign off, but I have to say that after my perfect morning I also got the most relaxing massage I’ve ever experienced.  Yes, it was a free birthday gift, and, no, I wasn’t asked to write about it.  But, it was just wonderful so I’m going to mention it anyway.  For a deep tissue massage, let me recommend Barefoot in Cozumel, a local  business that can be found on Facebook.  That’s all I’m going to say since I really don’t accept suggestions, or compensation, but I do still like to pass on good experiences.  And today was  filled with just that, good experiences.  My birthday wish is this:  I hope all of you can have a day like I just did.  We all deserve it!  Salud!

p.s. I don’t receive compensation and I don’t write upon request, I just like to share good experiences!  And, if you’re thinking about going somewhere on the island and want to get an idea of what’s in store for you, just type the name of the place in the search bar above.  If I’ve been there I’ve written about it and included pics.  Happy hunting!

Special thanks to Lynda and Amethyst




More of what’s new: My day at the Caribbean Sunset

caribbean sunsetCozumel has so much going on that it can be difficult to choose, especially when so many great new places are springing up.  Yesterday I spent a day at one of those new hangouts, the Caribbean Sunset.  A wonderful little restaurant and bar that is just north of el centro on Melgar.  In fact, when looking for it, all you have to keep an eye out for is the first palapa on your left as you leave the downtown area behind.  For convenience, there is a little turn around just past it.  And, yes, it’s right on the ocean with  all the beauty one would expect from the Caribbean.   But, don’t just take my word for it, I’ll include some pics too.

best viewThe Caribbean Sunset has only been open for about five weekssunset side now.  With two floors, if you include the shaded, and sandy, beach area with tables and chairs, it’s a great place for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Now, I’ve not had their dinner yet, but their breakfasts are great and reasonably priced, including a discount for the locals.  Oh, and if you get breakfast, let me recommend the hash browns.  Real potatoes with chunks of onion along with lots of spices that were the best I’ve had in a long time!

The owners, Stephane and Odessa, are a lovely young couple.  You can see them in the pic on yogayour right, and they are pulling out all the stops to make their location a “must see” place to sunset ownersgo.  There is yoga in the mornings at 7:30, (separated from the breakfast crowd by curtains that wave in the breeze) and on Wednesdays there is a recovery based meeting at 9:00 (which we have over breakfast) that is then paired with a special yoga class to help get rid of the “issues in our tissues.”  I participate in that, and I’ve been amazed at how much stress my body will hold on to until it is released in that class.

But, yoga is not all, not by a long shot.  Starting this Sunday, the 30th of March, there will be live music at 1:30, yoga class endingthen again in the late afternoon, and then once again at night.  In fact, they are planning to showcase live bands throughout the day Wednesday through Sunday!  A great way to get to hear local musicians while dining casually looking out over the ocean.  Not a bad combination, yes?

pelican standingIf snorkeling is your thing, they have that too.  But, since I spent yesterday scouting it out, let me recommend you enter the water that reaches out directly in front of the staircase that leads up to the street.  It is quite easy there, but it can get tricky elsewhere.  Lots of little rocks and coral to check out once in the water though,army training which made the search worthwhile.  Oh, and they have modern facilities too, which are roomy enough to change in and out of your bathing suit.  And, while snorkeling, you just might find yourself alongside the young military guys who are getting accustomed to swimming in their fatigues.  There is an army base quite close and you can either watch their drills from your table, early in the day, or do what I did and swim alongside.  Let me tell you, I was so glad to have on just a bathing suit, they looked a little out of breath in their boots, fatigues, and hats, although I’m not all that sure why they had to have their hats too.  Just a thought.  Now, I’m not certain that they do that every day, but I have seen them the past two Wednesday mornings, so, if that’s something you’d enjoy checking out, that’s the day to do it.

But, for those of you who just want to relax, maybe play on your computer (they have free wi fi),watch the cruise ships come in, the pelicans more seating at the sunsetfeeding, or the occasional plane bringing in the next group of pelican and shadowexcited tourists, you can do all that too.  If you come in the afternoon, or evening, they also have a fully stocked bar where you can sip a margarita, or two, while watching the sunset and listening to the band.  Now, although I usually get those pics, I was already a bit tired after my morning mexican army trainingyoga and early afternoon snorkeling, so I didn’t get those shots, but the location is just far enough from el centro that you can enjoy the sunset without staring at the ferry dock, or a bunch of tethered boats, which, to me, is always a plus.  In other words, it’s a clear shot of the ocean all the way to Playa del Carmen, with maybe a yacht, or two, drifting by.

hostess at the sunsetYes, this expat would like to say, it was a great little place to spendtammy with coffee my morning and I’m going to make a point of going back to check out the bands.  It’s always nice to find a new favorite, especially when it comes with friendly people, good food, local music, and a spectacular view.  With choices like this, Cozumel really is paradise, don’t you agree?  Salud!

p.s. if you would like to know more such as: bands playing, dinner specials, or yoga times, just contact Stephane (for English) at 987 118 4100, or Odessa (for Spanish) at 987 126 0382……….and, I never receive compensation, nor do I write these at the request of friends, or businesses, I just like to share good experiences.  Following those simple rules helps to keep me honest!

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