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Old 04-27-2009, 04:07 AM   #256
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Amazing photos! I love the video of the blow-hole. You were really on a great adventure that day!
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:34 AM   #257
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Love the update!Now I'm reconsidering the plan I have made up for Cozumel. We're tentatively planning to do the jeep tour through cozumel-tours.com but it looks like a lot of fun to go out on your own. The jeep tour is very $$$ but it covers a lot of territory and includes lunch and adult beverages. We can't do the DCL jeep tour because of age restrictions.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:47 PM   #258
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Can't wait to hear how the rest of your day in Cozumel went.
Yep we aren't done yet! Coming soon!

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Loved the update! The pictures of the blow holes were awesome!!!!
Thanks, they were a lot of fun! (And I didn't even get wet!...well not counting the rain!)

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LOVE all the pics. You guys really got around the island.

UGG and I know im lagging, just life keeps happening LOL. Ill try and get something up this week! But with working on my mothers and grandmothers day gifts no clue when that will happen or IF lol.
Yeah, we covered a lot of ground. It went so quick!
I can't believe Mother's Day is coming up so soon! Where does the time go????

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Amazing photos! I love the video of the blow-hole. You were really on a great adventure that day!
Thanks...yep the most adventurous part is yet to come..LOL!
We didn't get quite as immersed in the culture as you were able to get on your trip, but it was a lot of fun!

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Love the update!Now I'm reconsidering the plan I have made up for Cozumel. We're tentatively planning to do the jeep tour through cozumel-tours.com but it looks like a lot of fun to go out on your own. The jeep tour is very $$$ but it covers a lot of territory and includes lunch and adult beverages. We can't do the DCL jeep tour because of age restrictions.
Well...that's kindof a tough one. One positive thing about the jeep tour is I assume you get a little history and other knowledge about the areas you are visiting. We didn't have that really because we didn't research most of the island before we went. We just read reviews of the beach "resorts" (more like beach bars) on the west side to try to figure out which ones would be best to make a quick stop at. We read a lot about Coconuts where we went for lunch (coming up in the next segment) an knew it was "safe" to eat at..it was a little pricey but not horrible. We paid for that..for gas (about 8$) and for the rental...so around $150 total for four of us, plus we got to go and see what we wanted and took as much time as we wanted. We were out with the car from about 10:00 AM til about 5:00 PM.

Would we do it again? Well...Up til recently I was vehement that we would NOT. I did not like all the yelling, begging, and harassing to get you in the stores, although we encountered much of it uneccesarily due to our decision to walk to a rental place so far away. Also we weren't prepared for it, now that we know it is so obnoxious, I don't think we will be as suprised, and consequently dissapointed. There is one other negative that I haven't gotten to, but I wasn't involved in it and Ron has gotten over it now, though then he felt like it soured the whole day. I will touch on that incident coming up. But looking back now, we remember it as jsut a grand adventure and had so much fun...

So I don't know. The positives that day sure do outweigh the negatives and we are glad we did it!! We sure feel comforatble about doing it again if we want to..NOW that wa are familiar with the island. Maybe it would be good to do the jeep tour this time to get acclimated to it and see what is all out there, and if you ever make your way back to Cozumel do it on your own?

Just let me know if you have any specific questions....we'll do what we can to help you guys plan it if you decide to do it on your own!

I don't know. Good thing is there is a lot of time to decide!
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:37 PM   #259
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Just a little peice of advice, If you ever decide to go to the "wild" side of the island be careful walking on those rocks!!! They are sharp and jagged. So you may want to hold off on those margaritas until after you've checked this out. Lucky for us this little adventure was before lunch and drinks.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:12 AM   #260
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The Coconut(s) Telegraph

It was mid-afternoon by now and we were all pretty hungry. Luckily our planned lunch destination was just up the road. Soon after we left the bluffs, we saw the hill emerge from the horizon. Coconuts Bar & Grill was where we were headed, where any respectable gringo on the east side should stop there for a cold one and some Mexicaní eating.







Coconuts, known for itsí party atmosphere and strong drinks is perched atop a cliff near the intersection of Transversal Rd and the coastal road. The highest elevation on the island, it sits at about 45 feet above sea level. We had been warned on Cruise Critic that this restaurant can get a bit raunchy and R-rated at times. Iíll admit itsí reputation gave me pause when I read the caution of nudity. I figured, however that the joint wouldnít really be hopping with girls dropping their tops for shots at 2 in the afternoon. Thankfully, I was right.

The approach:




As we arrived the clouds parted revealing blue skies and the sun emerged and shone brightly above us. To get up to the top of the hill where the restaurant is, you have to climb a bunch of old stone stairs with rope handrails. The stairs are uneven and were slippery from the rain, making this even more of an adventure.

Halfway thereÖ





The light at the end if the tunnel:




If a restaurant has this sign, I know it is the place for me!



As we emerged from the foliage we were greeted and promptly sat at a table overlooking the gorgeous craggy plunge to the crashing waves below. I realized right away we had been given a tip to ask for a seat with a view, Iím so glad it worked out that way since we forgot to do so.



As we settled and took in the atmosphere, there was certainly nothing to be concerned about here. There was a small scattering of folks at the bar and one or two tables occupied, one of which was other cruisers from the Magic (their Castaway Club lanyards and KTTW cards inside gave them away). Certainly no raucous behavior was imminent!

The restaurant itself was pretty much a dive, not that I expected otherwise. The tables and chairs were the plastic patio variety; the uncovered ones arranged on the sand overlooking the cliff had umbrellas for cover. Toward one side was a hammock or two, a parrot and a dog, and the ďAmericanĒ restrooms. I had read there was a gator hanging out somewhere but we never ran into him!

While we waited for our server, we got some pictures of the locale.








Itís a longer way down than it looks. I advise not leaning over that rope too farÖBecause this is what is on the way down!


Our waiter arrived with the menus, hand written on wooden paddles.
Sadly, we were a day too soon!



For drinks we ordered a Margarita (Ron) and a Sex at Coconuts (Sex on the Beach) for me. I also ordered iced tea and the kids got sodas. For food I ordered the jalapeno poppers (living on the wild side, I was!) and Ron got a grilled fish burger. The kids chose nachos and a hamburger

Our drinks arrived shortly and they were huge, as we had been warned. One sip revealed they were EXTREMELY strong (as we had also been warned)...but boy were they good! My iced tea was once again that weird fruity-lime concoction but the more I drank my very alcoholic beverage, the less I cared. We were also brought homemade chips and salsa. Two little cups of Salsa. One was HOT and one was REALLY FREAKIN HOT. Wow. What little of it I could stand to have in my mouth tasted fantastic, though, as did the chips alone.

I have no doubt if we had the misfortune to have been pulled over that day, we would have blown the breathalyzer away (assuming they have 'em) with our alcohol fume/fire hot dragon breath. We were drunk as skunks in no time. Did I mention the drinks were strong!?!?!?



Geez, I'm already shooting off-center...





As we waited for our food order we checked out the place and met some of the indigenous critters! (of which the creepy mannequin -ahem...we'll just call her that, OK- is included!!!)






Hey! Wait a minute! Iíve seen this same sign in Key WestÖ



Iíve had to crop this one. Some of the surrounding memorabilia on the wall is iffy to post here. I didnít want to deprive you of the Big Angels, though!



Our food was a bit slow in arriving, which was actually a good thing since it gave us more time to slowly consume our drinks. My poppers were good enough, they werenít homemade or anything just the standard frozen variety (and that was probably a good thing!). Savannah did not care for her nachos since they were more authentic with beans and peppers, etc. Ronís opinion on his fish as best as I can recall is that it was just OK.








After we finished eating we enjoyed the kooky ambiance of this place a bit before deciding to head on down the road. Our bill was reasonable for a tourist trap- around $60.00 USD. Of course my poppers were on special.



Some more of the locals:





The view looking south along the east coast (the reverse of the view in the first picture in this post)




**continued in next post!**
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:14 AM   #261
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The Coconut(s) Telegraph Part 2

As we left and headed up the brief remainder of the coastal road before arriving at the crossroads with Transversal road (also called cross-island road which would take us west back across to the downtown and port area), we passed a curious sight. It was, on one side of the road the “Mexican Kmart” and directly across the street, the “Mexican Target”. I don’t know what’s more intriguing…pondering what these places are like, or wondering where the “Mexican Wal-Mart” is!







Right past the discount store drag, we arrived at the intersection with Transversal, where Mezcalitos and Senor Iguana’s Bar are situated. Both of these are more wild tourist bars, Mezcalitos having a reputation not unlike Coconuts.

Here’s the visual if you want to see where we are.




We stopped here for a brief time; Ron wanted to check these places out. Sarah was sleeping so I decided to stay in the car with her while he and the kids explored.
We quickly noticed we were now in “real” Mexico, and here is some evidence of that!



While they were gone, I amused myself by watching the iguanas loping around the abandoned building we were parked by.



Mezcalitos was even more dead than Coconuts. There was certainly nothing titillating going on here, even a trip to the naked beach yielded no results.








I never said my TR’s weren’t educational:





Meanwhile back at the car, some policia approached and pulled over not far from where we were parked. I watched them intently as they hung out with a local who was certainly comfortable enough to relax his elbow on the hood!





I hoped and prayed they did not decide to target us for some of the awful scams we read about on the internet…you know the ones where if you are caught for drinking and driving they impound the vehicle and bring you back to the station and refuse to release you until you provide them with the bribe money they request, which is some random amount they deem well enough compensation for their time. These guys seemed pretty laid back, as I watched the conversation they hardly took notice of me, la gringa. As Ron and the kids headed back from looking around the area, the kids stopped to check out some Mexican dogs, much to the amusement of the federales looking on!





We pulled out and watched the rearview intently for more than a few kilometers before relaxing enough to breathe comfortably and no longer be concerned with dealing with withdrawing large amounts of money from our account and skeevy Mexicano pokeys.

As we drove back towards downtown and our exciting adventure was coming to a close, we were marginally drunk (I was still buzzed, but I was shotgun of course!), full, happy, and having a blast.

But we aren’t done taking (or being taken) for a ride just yet.

Next (finally!): The Great Filling Station Holdup
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:30 AM   #262
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I really enjoyed this installment - it is so good to see the island off the beaten track and the local life and landscapes, and you seem to have had a real adventure exploring everywhere. Thanks for sharing. Loved the photos!
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:39 PM   #263
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Yay! Great update. You are definitely getting me excited about Cozumel. Did you find English speakers at most locations? My spanish is limited to "Una mas margarita, por favor." and "Donde es el bano?"
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:23 PM   #264
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Ok, just to let everyone know, we hung around Coconuts for quite awhile to let the drinks wear off (of me anyway). I was no longer feeling buzzed after eating all that food and hanging around for over an hour. Be careful to do the same if you make this trek or get a taxi. The last thing you want is the the Mexican polica ruining your vacation or worse yet getting into an accident. These drinks a potent...
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:14 PM   #265
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I really enjoyed this installment - it is so good to see the island off the beaten track and the local life and landscapes, and you seem to have had a real adventure exploring everywhere. Thanks for sharing. Loved the photos!
Thank you! Yes it was great fun! We were a bit apprehensive at the time since we had never been out on our own in a foriegn country before but we really should have totally relaxed! It was so neat!

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Yay! Great update. You are definitely getting me excited about Cozumel. Did you find English speakers at most locations? My spanish is limited to "Una mas margarita, por favor." and "Donde es el bano?"
Oh yes, everyone spoke english. Actually I don't recall hearing much spanish at all. We were at tourist magnets or alone most of the time though (of course really, everything there is a tourist magnet) And you certainly won't have to ask "Donde es el bano?", the places that have them advertise "CLEAN AMERICAN BATHROOMS" in big letters. I did run into a not-so clean Mexican bathroom later on so when I get to the next installment (hopefully not in another month! ) I'll explain in better detail just what makes a Mexican bathroom Mexican!

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Ok, just to let everyone know, we hung around Coconuts for quite awhile to let the drinks wear off (of me anyway). I was no longer feeling buzzed after eating all that food and hanging around for over an hour. Be careful to do the same if you make this trek or get a taxi. The last thing you want is the the Mexican polica ruining your vacation or worse yet getting into an accident. These drinks a potent...
Oh yeah, we were there for a couple of hours total. And I am really a lightweight. I didn't mean to give the impression that we were wasted lushes driving all over the foreign country with our kids in the back! LOL! No, the drinks packed a punch but we did wait until they wore off before moving on. Mexico is pretty notorious for thier extremely strict drunk driving laws and they aren't known for their ethics when it comes to arrests and prosecution. It is very corrupt (or so I have heard, we did not have a negative experience with law enforecement down there in any way). We weren't about to take any chances, trust me!
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:22 PM   #266
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WOW you really did some research. Love that you got off the beaten path really were able to see more of Cozumel (and share it with us!) Those drinks looked good.. not all watered down like the tourist place we went to.. yet they did their job LOL.

Oh and the federalies scare me too.. even when Im with E or my parents that speak spanish... corupt beyond words down there. lol
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:12 PM   #267
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Jen, loved the update! The pictures of the kids and the Mexican dogs were great! Too bad you couldn't have brought them back on the ship!
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:59 PM   #268
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WOW you really did some research. Love that you got off the beaten path really were able to see more of Cozumel (and share it with us!) Those drinks looked good.. not all watered down like the tourist place we went to.. yet they did their job LOL.

Oh and the federalies scare me too.. even when Im with E or my parents that speak spanish... corupt beyond words down there. lol
Oh yeah. Ron couldn't believe I didn't mention how we saw those cops pull over two tourist girls in a jeep right as we pulled off. I totally forgot about that! We had seen the girls approach in the jeep and they certainly were not speeding or doing anything wrong so that did raise our eyebrows at the time. It probably had more to do with them being young and hot than it did the idea of them pulling a scam...but who knows!

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Jen, loved the update! The pictures of the kids and the Mexican dogs were great! Too bad you couldn't have brought them back on the ship!
Oh yeah! (I don't think our SR host Calvin would have liked that too much! ) She would have loved that, though. The only thing she would have liked more was some Mexican cats, alas we never did run into any gatos.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:11 PM   #269
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Okay, so I've just spent the last three hours reading all 18 pages of this thing, and all I have to say is..... EIGHT MONTHS?! Eight months writing a trip report and it isn't even done yet.

Is that a record? PLUS, no one has yelled at you about it! When I had huge gaping gaps in my TR I was threated with death by stoning and other such vicious demises. A woman could have grown an almost fully formed child by now!

All joking aside... amazing TR... perfect reading to get me pumped for my sail in 17 days!!!
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:53 PM   #270
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Okay, so I've just spent the last three hours reading all 18 pages of this thing, and all I have to say is..... EIGHT MONTHS?! Eight months writing a trip report and it isn't even done yet.

Is that a record? PLUS, no one has yelled at you about it! When I had huge gaping gaps in my TR I was threated with death by stoning and other such vicious demises. A woman could have grown an almost fully formed child by now!

All joking aside... amazing TR... perfect reading to get me pumped for my sail in 17 days!!!
Wow! RV! Thanks for the compliments!

One of your TR's was one of (if not THE) first I'd ever read!!!

Yeah I am bad. I admit it. I only think there has been no backlash since I lost most everybody over these long months.... Actually I am doing pretty well if you consider last years TR took from Oct-May and that was only a 3-night cruise so if you break it down I am way ahead of schedule!

(and of note, last year I *was* growing a child during that timeframe!!)

I hope you have an awesome cruise!!! Can't wait to read about it! I was totally lurking on your PTR yesterday!
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