Just a day in the life (and the Sunset Beach)

13Well, I’ve lived on the island of Cozumel for about sixteen months now and, in that time frame, have been able to write about a multitude of local events.   We sure do have a lot going on and it’s been a lot of fun just trying to keep up.  For example, if you go back through the archives you’ll find a variety of posts that cover a multitude of topics such as Mayan ruins, beach life, restaurant offerings, holiday celebrations, volunteer activities, vacation lodging, and the ever frantic, but wondrous “Carnaval.”   Like I said, we have a lot going on.  But, while sipping some coffee this morning, it occurred to me that I haven’t written in my original format for some time now.  I’ve not focused on the “day in the life of an expat,” which was how this whole thing got started.  So, with that in mind, let me take you along on what’s become a typical day for me at a special little place while I try to make a decision about the one thing we all need, a home.

Yes, I’ve lived on the island for over a year, and have never regretted the move, but I’m not too sure I’ve found that perfect place to lay my head.  1Not yet.  Currently, I do have a cute apartment with a huge deck that’s in a great location.  The landlord is nice, the rent is absolutely fair, but something is missing.  I know, maybe I’m too picky, but we all have that desire to feel safe,2 warm, and serene, but, in addition to that,  I like that extra special “oomph” as well.   It’s hard to describe what I mean, obviously, but I think it’s a combination of factors that include my love of art, colors, foliage, and quiet.  But, I’m a girl on a teacher’s pension, which means I’m limited in my choices.  So, in the meanwhile, my landlord has been gracious enough to allow me to try to put in that extra something where I am now.  Let me give you an example.  I had a mural painted by Mariano Petit de Murat, which came out quite nicely.  I spend many a morning on my deck just listening to the birds while looking at what he’s created.  It’s been a great way to start my days.    I’ve added a bunch of plants, some “hippie” cloths, a few gardening statues and I am happy with the results.  It’s not the Ritz, but I’m not Rockefeller either.

3Inside I’d started to build little areas of interest too.  Let me show you one.  A carpenter by the name of Chris, on 10, has been helping me to put together a nice little collection in a corner of my living room.  I’d found a couch in Chedraui that’s made of styrofoam, if you can believe that, but I like the pattern and it’s really very comfortable.  But, when it rains, and the apartment leaks, the couch was floating so I had Chris build me a wooden box for it to fit into and then had him paint it to match the table and chairs he’d also made for me.  He’s going to build me some ultra modern step shelves to match and then, if I still need it, I will have him make me a room divider as well.  Chris and I don’t share a language, but we seem to communicate quite well when it comes to our love of wooden furniture.  I’ve added a few b&w photos of my own and, like the deck,  it’s starting to come together, but I’m working slowly.

Across the room I have a little breakfast nook with nothing more than a garden set and a plant.  Again, nothing fancy, but it’s been fine for me and that was where I was sitting while having my coffee this morning and trying to decide why I needed to move.  So, okay, the place leaks a little, but the next place might as well.  And, okay, the pups downstairs are noisy, but  they4 are also adorable.  So much so, in fact, that I’ve changed my mind about moving on several occasions based on just how much I’d miss them.  The rent is great, but the street is noisy, the deck is large, but sun on that much cement is just plain brutal.  My head started swirling with the back and forths.  So, what is it?  What am I looking for?  That was when this expat packed her day bag and headed out since the answers just weren’t coming.  There’s a place over on Melgar where the breakfast is cheap, the view is great, and the waters are perfect for snorkeling.  I don’t know about you, but that combination can help to clear my head every time.

5A day on this island in July means it’s warm.  Already wearing my bathing suit, I pedaled my bike down to my destination, the Sunset Beach, which is a little bar and restaurant  that now serves great breakfasts.  You can find it, too, by driving south on Melgar, going just past the Villa Blanca, and watching for their palapa roof.   Oh, and before I go any further, I want to point out my bicycle.  That’s it on your left parked in front of the Sunset.  The bike is sort of a Wicked Witch of the West contraption that a dear friend gave me when she left the island.   It’s done me good and been far more agreeable than the ten speed I’d bought new, but I swear I hear that dang song in my head every time I ride it, which never ceases to make me smile.

Once I’d snapped the shot of the front of the Sunset, I grabbed my stuff and headed under the palapa.  The bar is painted a cobalt blue and 11has all the liquor one might need, if one drank, along with the requisite t-shirt offerings from the tourists  who’d had a few.   Although not many were sitting there yet, it was just 9:00 in the morning, I know it will have a hefty business by 2:00.  But, that wasn’t where I was heading.  I started down the steps to what I like to think of as “my table.”

10There it is, my table on your left.  It may not have my name on it, but that is where I’ve sat on four different occasions just in the last couple of weeks.  And, there’s a reason for that, their food is great and you can have one of five breakfast menu selections for fifty6 pesos, including coffee.  Like I said, I’m a girl on a budget, but there are usually places for people like me and many still have a great ambiance.  Oh, and that’s Oscar on your right.  He greets me every time by name and with a smile.  He knows to put my coffee into my SB mug and he fills it up.  He still asks me what I want to eat, although I’ve not changed my selection yet.  I got to sit with a group of fun folks last week while we celebrated a couple of birthdays and that was when  I saw the other options from the breakfast menu.  They all looked good, but once I get something I like, I do tend to stick with it a while.

12And, there’s my breakfast of choice, a three egg omelette with cheese, mushrooms, and churizo (they offer other options, of course).  They also include a small bowl of fruit and a touch of guacamole with salsa.  It’s really a great combination and, for fifty pesos, you almost can’t go wrong.   So, once I had a great meal and a perfect view, it was time to settle the debate in my head.  But, with just a few moments of eating, and a sip of coffee later,  it was a “yes, I’m going to move.”  It doesn’t matter that I can’t put a finger on why I just don’t feel quite at home in my current place.  It’s not that I need more space, or anything fancy, it’s just not quite right for me, and that’s okay.  It’s time to give my landlord notice and look for what will be right for me.  So, with the decision finally made, and this has been going on for a while now, I finished my breakfast, and spent the next hour and a half snorkeling to celebrate.

8But, my morning wasn’t quite finished.  When I got back out of the water a couple of ladies 9approached me with a smile to see if I wanted a massage.  Now, I have friends here on the island who do that for a living and I will tend to give them my business.  But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t show you the lovely place these gals have set up right on the beach at the Sunset.   I can just imagine how nice an experience it would be to get a relaxing massage while listening to the waves tapping the shore.  And, I’m not sure what oils they use, but there was a very pleasant scent going on.  I asked them if I could take some pics and, as is always the case, they agreed.

So, okay, I’d had a good morning, and my decision was made. so it was time to head home and put it all down in writing.  But, as usually happens, on my way back to the apartment I spotted one of those little things that I like about the island and it was really quite simple.  A wooden door painted in a tropical blue on a little house on a back street.  I stopped my bike, took out my camera, and took a pic.  Something about it was both welcoming and mysterious.  I took it as an omen.  Here’s to new adventures, and new homes, salud!14p.s. I don’t receive compensation of any kind, and I don’t intend to promote, but I do like to share good experiences………

Newsflash:  just as I’d finished writing, but before I’d published this, I received some great information about a very special place that’s owned by a very special lady…………..a house that I’d fallen in love with back when I first came to Cozumel just might become available, I’ll be sure to write………..

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laurie
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 13:14:00

    as usual, your writing pulls me in Celia….thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Reply

  2. Sherri Kiker Griffin
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 15:34:04

    great writing. Cannot wait to hear more.

    Reply

  3. Corki
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 16:32:07

    looking forward to spending some time with you when I return….unlike you I found my “place” 8 years ago and although I made a “quick” move for a couple of months found I needed to go back to where I began…. Hope your dream house comes through for you…

    Reply

    • mexcelia
      Jul 30, 2013 @ 16:39:22

      thanks, Corki, and it will be nice when you get back, sounds like you might need the rest! And, think I may have found the place I was hoping for, fingers crossed since there is still just one more detail………but, I have a great feeling about it………..hope to see you soon!

      Reply

  4. Valli
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 01:50:25

    I look forward to having breakfast with you at “your table” overlooking the ocean. Thank you for sharing and allowing me to “escape” for a few minutes. Every time I read one of your blogs, I laugh, I smile, and sometimes get a bit tearful, depending on the subject and your experience. It’s all so good!

    Reply

    • mexcelia
      Jul 31, 2013 @ 04:49:38

      Hmmm, I don’t know, Valli, you want me to share?? 🙂 Looking forward to it, truly a great way to start the day, and I think you’ll like the spot…………

      Reply

  5. susan
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 08:51:20

    I’m renting for 4 months this winter in hopes of finding MY special place/home. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, its been fun to read about some ones real life on Cozumel.
    Susan

    Reply

  6. Jacque Bryant
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 09:40:23

    Celia,
    I enjoyed your story very much. My husband and I are closing soon on a lovely little condo (in town). I will definitely try the Sunset Beach for breakfast. Maybe I’ll join you at “your table”.
    Take care.
    Jacque

    Reply

    • mexcelia
      Jul 31, 2013 @ 14:06:17

      That sounds like a great idea, Jacque, I think you’ll like the Sunset………..and congrats on your new home, I hope it is all you’d imagined it would be, and more! Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  7. Janet Cassidy
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 10:00:24

    What beautiful writing Maria…it seems so effortless to you as you describe your experiences in Cozumel. The pics are amazing…lately, I’ve been hearing an inordinate amount of praise and good things about Coz as a destination site for a trip! Once the ‘financials’ are settled re: the Will…you WILL be seeing me! I LOVE how you decorate too…same as me…but we knew that!! 🙂

    Reply

    • mexcelia
      Jul 31, 2013 @ 14:10:22

      Cannot wait for you to come down, Janet, we will have much fun. But, bring a big suitcase, you will Not want to go back north………..and, yea, us old hippies do tend to stick with the same style of decorating, yes? 😉

      Reply

  8. Andrea Boudreau-Barskiy
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 16:07:31

    What a delicious post this one! I would love to sit at that little table by the sea. Though, you said you went snorkelling just after breakfast and when you came back, the massage ladies where there…. is there direct access to the water/beach from the Sunset Beach? If so, I need to look at places there in the near future. Cancún is nice but it lacks so much of beach access, having the hotel zone on the other side of the lagoon and all… I need the water close to me!!! Might even look at Playa but we need to move eventually!! As always, Maria, Beautiful post!
    Hugs,
    Andrea

    Reply

  9. mexcelia
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 16:45:01

    when I sit at that table I’m only a couple of feet from the ocean and my toes are in the sand, for snorkeling there’s easy access to the water with the stone steps provided, and you just mentioned one of the reasons I left Cancun and moved here, the beaches were hard to get to there, but we’re, literally, surrounded by them here, you could always check us out for a day, weekend, month, year………….always good to see you, Andrea, and thanks for reading!

    Reply

  10. BettyfromToronto
    Aug 03, 2013 @ 01:50:28

    I love reading your blog. I cannot wait until we retire in Cozumel early next year.

    Reply

    • mexcelia
      Aug 03, 2013 @ 02:23:34

      thanks, Betty, that’s nice of you to say, and kudos on your decision to move here, I don’t think you’ll regret it! And, then you can start a blog and let us know how it goes, yes? I enjoy reading other folks’ thoughts about the process………thanks for reading!

      Reply

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