Category Archives: 2023 Cozumel

Cozumel, Day 5

As our Kat isn’t feeling well, Jason designates himself our chauffeur for shopping while the guys head off to fish. Kayla has enough Spanish to explain to housekeeping not to open the door to Kat’s bedroom as she’s resting.

Before we head out we have a quick game of Daddy Gate.

While Jason, Kayla, Griffin and I are getting ready to go, Griffin spies Colt’s blue icing cupcake on the counter. And he wants it bad. Blue cupcake! He doesn’t cry or even whine, doesn’t melt down or throw a tantrum. He just repeats. Blue Cupcake!

We promise we will get him one while we’re out so he’s okay with going. He takes a little spill on the gravel outside, looks up at me as he gets up, and says: That was a close one.

The kid makes me laugh a lot.

On the drive, he and Kayla have a very fine time in the back seat.

We get to the shopping area, which is lined with little shops and stalls, and boy, are the merchants hungry for shoppers! We’re told the cruise ship passengers flood in about one—we’ve got just over two hours before that flood, so we’re good.

I’m after my traditional I’m Away Christmas Shopping. In the first shop I try, I do find a couple things, but the merchants are just too helpful, to put it mildly. I like to poke and browse and consider, but they insist on showing me this, and that, and things I’m not really looking for.

So I take what I did find, and we move on. Lots and lots of shop choices, and as we breeze through one, Griffin spots a Peppa Pig toy that’s just at his level. He’s dealt with the shopping so far without complaint (Blue Cupcake ahead!) so Nana indulges.

Another shop where the merchant is friendly, but not pushy, at all. And there I feel we made his morning. Left to ourselves, I find several gifts, and he offers a good price. Jason finds a lovely birthday present for Kat.

And while we’re waiting for them to bag all the pieces, there’s a show about to begin out in the plaza.

Out we go to watch acrobats, young men in native costumes. They climb up a very high pole, and descend part way and circle—hanging upside down—from ropes. Around and around, pretty high up, while one plays a flute. It’s impressive, dizzying and a little bit scary.

Climbin up. Photo by Kayla.
Mid spin. Photo by j a-b

We park in the garage, which Griffin decides is haunted. He spots ghosts, a vampire!, more ghosts.

In and up we go. They check your purses and bags at security. Not sure why, but fine. The bakery has the blue cupcakes. Final Mission Accomplished!

And back through the haunted garage. More hilarity from the backseat on the drive.

I reward myself for a good shopping job with a Bellini, and Griffin settles down with his Blue Cupcake. Jason goes to check on Kat.

I run up to put gifts away, and while I’m gone, Kayla attempted to wipe the blue mustache from Griffin’s face. He responded, as she showed me, by doing the boy thing. Swiping his sleeve over his face. So he now sports a blue icing sleeve, and a blue beard, and is fully enjoying the cupcake.

A boy and his cupcake. Photo by Nora.

I decide it’s too late to start any work—and I’ll earmark time for that tomorrow. I read instead until the fishing crew returns.

With three red snappers.

Okay, good job! But do not present me with fish that still have their heads. I ain’t touching that. Kayla, the vegetarian, and I have similar reactions.

We learn nothing was biting for quite some time, and there was a four-five foot roll. Colt and Logan got pretty seasick, but Colt rebounded and caught a snapper.

Colt and his catch. Photo by BW.
Logan, chillaxing. Photo by BW.
O Captain, my captain. Photo by BW.

I don’t have the supplies to deal with the fish—which someone else will have to dehead and filet (the tour guys cleaned them). But I make a list, so it’ll be back to the mega store for the spices, and potatoes, more carrots for sides I’ll make. I figure I’ll sauté the filets, roast potatoes and carrots. They can pick up some nice bread. That should do it. We’ll see how that goes tonight.

But for dinner, we head into town—with Kat who’s feeling rough, but better. Drinks, Nachos, soup for Kat. I order a rib eye—haven’t had any red meat in quite some time.

It’s really good, and really big. BW polishes off what I couldn’t manage.

We miss sunset, but there’s still time for Nana and Griffin chases apparently, and more Daddy Gate.

I sit out for just a bit and watch the crescent moon and the star that dogs it.

Up early, so since I conquered the strange-to-me-oven, I make bacon for the bacon lovers before my workout.

Today, for me, is put in some writing time, then make a meal. Yeah, we’ll see how both of those go.

Nora

Cozumel, Day 4

We experience, and test our mettle with, a day without power.

No AC, no water, no internet, no nothing!

Our hopes that this will be a quick fix are dashed. It’s island wide.

So we have the pool, we have the Gulf, we have books and toys and cards. And make use of all.

I finish the last fifteen minutes of my workout with an admittedly lazy swim. It felt just fine!

We have bread, cheese, crackers, peanut butter and jelly, chips, fruit. Nobody starves. Lots of drinks, including big jugs of filtered water. No one will die of thirst.

Griffin’s disappointed he can’t go on-line for his usual morning entertainment, but as a child of the internet, he gets it.

I read awhile, watch Kayla paddle board awhile. Colt asks me to teach him another card game.

Gin Rummy it is! After a couple of open hands to explain, he proceeds to kick my butt. I’m pretty good at Gin. I feel he’s going to be better at it.

We keep the patio accordion doors all the way open, and open the front door. There’s a blessed cross-breeze. It’s not nearly as hot as it has been, so we can be grateful there.

But by late afternoon it’s starting to get pretty steamy.

I make a big salad. Washing everything with our filtered jug water. Jason uses the gas stove top to make boxed Mac and cheese. BW does hot dogs on the grill. I do some raw veg with some Ranch dressing, some cheese and crackers. Again, no one starves.

Jason and the older kids head to the store—more ice. We have a cooler and can store some of the perishables in there if the power stays off much longer. They buy a couple more flashlights and candles—in case.

As it’s Kat’s birthday we have cake—and some very soft ice cream.

Birthday ice cream! Photo by j a-b

Griffin decides on a combo of chase and the locked-gate game we play at home. Jason becomes a gate at the library door and locks us in. We have to find the right color key—which Griffin chooses by some color on a book cover or something on my library shelves.

In this version Jason is the gate that locks me on the other side of Griffin. I have to find the right color key, unlock the gate, and give chase.

Hey, it worked off dinner.

The end of the day. Photo by Nora.

And suddenly, just after 8, boom! Power! There is joy and jubilation throughout the land.

Close the doors and feel the cool start to happen. Plug in all devices that weren’t. And bless him, Jason does the mountain of dishes.

When I head up, I take the little flashlight I carry in my purse and put it on the nightstand, light a candle, in case.

And boom, power goes down. Oh, the moans! The curses! I use the candle to find the flashlight, start to head down to help any who need it. And boom, it’s back on. Whew.

Tiny moon among the trees. Photo by Nora.

And so far it’s stayed on.

This morning the guys are heading out on a boat/fishing trip. The girls and Griffin are going to drive into town and check out the shopping.

But that’s after, I hope, a full workout AND a shower!

Nora

Cozumel Day 3

The three oldest kids and BW try out the Gulf. What fun—for them, and for me to watch. The practicing snorkeling in the pool worked great. Kayla, however, goes in, comes out and ditches her mask. She decides she’d rather not know those fish are in there!

Kayla and her grandda. Photo by Nora.

Logan finds a conch shell with an occupant. Very cool! And puts it back in its watery home.

Beach meeting. Photo by j a-b

There are kayaks and a standing paddle board. All are put to good use. Those kids are good! Excursion boats fly by, making a nice wake for the water play.

A very fun way to spend a chunk of the morning.

We’re thinking since Griffin has his float jacket, he might like to try a dip there later this week. We’ll see.

Housekeeping’s here, so I read outside awhile. When they’re finished in the room I’m using to work out, and will use to work, I go up, and travel from Mexico to New York in 2061.

I put in a hour and a half, am well satisfied. And the screen freezes. This has happened once or twice in the past, but THIS time I neglected to copy from my thumb drive to the hard drive, then work on that. Just a mental blip that cost me 90 minutes work because it’s gone, baby, gone.

I have to come down, pour myself a drink and take some good, deep breaths.

While I was working, Kat, Jason, Colt and Griffin have gone out to take a submarine ride. But I can whine to BW, Kayla, Logan, and do.

Then I put on my big girl pants, go back up and reconstruct. I tell myself this is probably better anyway. Come down, reward myself with a Bellini, then bang—something flashes in my brain and I realize I can add just this revelation—Eve’s—to the end of the chapter.

Well, you don’t waste that kind of flash, so back up yet again and finish it out. So maybe that annoying 90 loss was worth it in the end.

Everybody’s back and had a fine time on their underwater excursion. There’s pool time, reading time, hang out time before we clean up for dinner.

A drive into town and another open-air restaurant with two for one drinks. Ho boy!

Family meal. Photo by j a-b

Super nachos for the table, and another big ho boy. HUGE. And yum.

Big ass nachos. Photo by j a-b.

There’s a band here, and though they’re a little loud to allow conversation, they’re good, and they’re fun. Chips come with two kinds of sauce—mild and burn your tongue off. I am alone in enjoying the burn your tongue off.

Sunset by Kayla.

At home BW, Jason, Kayla, Colt and I play some poker. Kayla’s getting it pretty good as we pretend bet from a penny to a million dollars.

A fine meal in a lively place with more awesome views. Can’t ask for better.

Shortly after, I follow Logan’s example and give it up for the night.

It seems I slept through the power outage. BW had settled down to read, but luckily had a flash light. Jason and Kat were about to take Griffin to the other villa for bed time—and Jason got the flashlight from the kitchen. Colt and Kayla used their phones to get back here.

BW tells me the dark was DARK, and brought the stars to brilliance.

A couple hours later, it came back on, and I never knew the difference.

Up just before the sun to enjoy the birds and that slowly creeping light.  Nice quiet start to my day. I’m about two-thirds done with my workout, and the screen freezes. Not just the internet. Power’s down again.

We’re fortunate it’s not blazing hot—at least not yet.

We’ll hope the outage doesn’t last too long, but there’s the pool, there’s the Gulf. I think we’ll manage.

Nora

Cozumel Day 2

The view. Photo by Kayla.

A fine day had by all. Some lazing around, some swimming.

Part of the gang hits the grocery store for the big run. While they’re out I teach Colt 5-Card Draw. Every boy should have this skill—and every girl, too, so we’ll teach Kayla.

Grandda comes out and we switch to 7-Card Stud.

When the gang comes back, we’re loaded. Lots of food to put away, and now nobody should be hungry!

Griffin picked out a pool toy—a big Orca float. This proves fun for all. Logan and Colt practice snorkeling in the pool to get a handle on it before trying the Gulf tomorrow.

Resting before pool time. Photo by Kat.
A new friend! Photo by Nora.
Snorkel prep and whale riding. Photo by Nora.

The neighbors are having a fine time, too. I hear lots of kids laughing. Nice someone’s enjoying themselves as much as we are.

I think it’s more getting our bearings, setting things up, figuring out a routine-ish, learning where everything is. And appreciating the lovely views.

We gather ourselves and head to a restaurant in town. I spot the shopping area we’ll hit on whatever turns out to be shopping day.

Dinner with a view. Photo by j a-b.

Fun restaurant, terrific water view and seriously good menu. Again, no one will be hungry! It’s two for one drinks. Logan and I—18’s the legal drinking age—order margaritas and Kayla a banana daiquiri. Didn’t realize we’re getting two drinks so we’ve got a lot! Jason takes a margarita. They’re excellent!

Hanging out. Photo by j a-b.

Logan and I appear to be in solidarity as we both order the grilled lobster. Beside me, Colt goes for a steak burrito. Not sure what everyone else ordered, but everybody was happy. Ice cream for dessert, but I try the flan. And it’s just fine!

Colt, waiting for his burrito. Photo by Nora.

I all but waddle out to the car.

After dinner sib group shot, Kayla, Logan and Cold. Photo by Kayla

Back home for some sunset picks—low clouds block the sun, but the sky turns into a painting of pinks and golds with orange highlights.

Sunset show. Photo by BW.
Sunset show, Nora’s version.

Griffin has some ice cream and entertains me with an on-line game that amuses the crap out of him. And Kat gives Logan a kitchen haircut at his request. Good job!

Another early night. The heat’ll do that.

Up early, enjoy the birds—a yellow warbler watches me as I watch him.

Logan’s already up, made his breakfast and coffee. Taking an early dip while I figure out how to work the oven. First challenge, translate centigrade—-but BW has his tablet handy. Then figuring out the symbols. BW and I both try various things, and I’m about to give up when I finally hit on it. Bacon will happen!

It takes longer than at home where it’s put the parchment paper lined sheet in a cold oven, turn it to 400 degrees for 20 minutes. It takes about 30, but I’ll adjust for it next time. And still a little floppy.

Time to work out, get cleaned up, and see what the day brings.

Nora

Cozumel – Day 1

Cozumel in sight. Photo by Kayla.

We take off for Mexico on a wonderfully clear day. Always a relief for me when flying. On this trip, we’re eight. BW, me, Jason, Kat, and all the grandkids—Kayla, Logan, Colt, Griffin.

Nora watching the approach. Photo by Kayla.

It’s not only Colt’s first trip out of the country, but his first plane ride. He handled it more than well. At take off, as usual, Griffin starts grinning—he’s a plane vet. Going super fast, and up, up, up.

Grandda and a cool Colt. Photo by Kayla.

We have some snacks, then Logan brings out cards. He wants Poker, Kayla wants Hearts. We end up with Hearts—Kayla, Logan, Colt and me—because Poker seems too complicated for those (K&C) who have no idea how to play. Plus Logan’s only Poker is Texas Hole ‘Em, which I can’t remember how to play.

I hope to teach them all 5-card draw on this trip.

Kayla and I watch Logan and Colt play Chess on another of Logan’s portable game deals.

Colt and Logan Photo by Kayla.

Games pass time well, and really before you know it, we’re on our way down.

It was clear and warm in MD when we left some 3 hours ago, and clear and HOT in Cozumel. I can soak that heat right in!

Through Customs, through the airport, and Kayla, Logan, Colt and I wait with the luggage while the others hike across the parking lot to where our rental car company’s based. Two cars due to eight people and a serious mountain of luggage.

Waiting with Nana and the luggage. Photo by NR.

We pack it in, people and luggage, and wind our way through town. Busy! A tree limb, good-sized, falls into the road in front of the truck in front of us. Guy gets out, hauls it over to the little central island.

I guess it happens.

We arrive at our home-away from home for the next couple of weeks. We have two villas—right beside each other. So it’s take a tour through, decide who stays where. Everyone wants a view, and everyone can have one!

Walk around—we have two pools, a hot tub and best of all a view of the Gulf, and a lovely little pergola on one side, a little roofed hut on the other for sitting by the water, or making your way down to it to swim, snorkel or kayak.

Everything is very blue and very green, with splashes and flashes of red from flowers.

Haul luggage, start the unpacking process.

One issue: The company was supposed to stock one of the villas—where we’ll gather as a family-with food and drink as outlined on the list provided. And someone didn’t get the memo.

Now we have some hungry people!

Off go BW, Jason, Logan for emergency groceries and a take-out meal from an Italian place. A lot of restaurants close at five on weekends, but this one has longer hours.

Everybody in the pool! Photo by Nora.

Meanwhile Kat, Colt, Griffin, then Kayla try out the pool. Water’s warm. Kat says it’s the best pool ever. There’s a wide ledge where Griffin can stand—he steps off it once, and under he goes.

Griffin and Colt. Photo by Nora.

Colt hauls him back up. I’m pleased our boy didn’t freak at the dunking, but just carried on.

A black bird drinks from the shallow end. Being a bird’s thirsty work.

Emergency food arrives, so we eat at the big, live-edged dining table. That’s better!

Big grocery run today, but there’s enough to sustain all until.

Jason and Kat set up the Switch in the living room, and it’s Kayla v Colt in Mario.

BW and I sit down by the water as the sun gets lower. Perfect weather now—warm, a little breezy. The gang—sans Logan who’s crashed in bed—comes down. We admire the sunset, watch the boats ply the water.

Sunset. Photo by Kayla.

Travel days wear you out so it’s not long until the rest of us follow Logan’s example.

Evening boat ride. Photo by Nora.

I’m up early, sit out on our little balcony and watch the world slowly wake. That starts with a lot of very happy birds. It’s pretty sweet to wake and not immediately think of work or duties.

I have an unoccupied room for workouts, so take advantage of that. I give it about 20 minutes on the balcony before even I have to say: Too hot for this.

I finish up inside.

Get myself a shower, get myself dressed. I could hear Griffin’s arrival during my workout. BW comes up and tells me he and the boy played several games.

I find Logan in the kitchen, making eggs for his breakfast. I like a grandson who cooks!

BW went down to snorkel, and I choose a book.

Logan’s had a turn in the pool, and Kayla must still be sleeping.

Another black bird, or the same one, used that shallow end as a birdbath for a bit. Hot and thirsty!

The gang’s about to take off for the grocery run, and I believe I’ll sit down in the shade outside and read.

It’s so lovely, such a blessing, to be able to take a trip like this with so much family.

Nora