Vacation was EXCELLENT! Again, we went to Cozumel. We stayed at the same resort as we did last year, the Iberostar Cozumel. But this year we were “armed” with our knowledge gained from our experiences last year. It definitely worked to our advantage this year.
On Friday, we drove to Des Moines and stayed with Zach and Jessie instead of getting a Park-Sleep-Fly. Definitely better to stay with them than some hotel! We left after work and got there some time after 8pm. While it wasn’t that late, we were pretty tired from packing and traveling there so we just visited for a bit and then went to bed.
Saturday morning at 5:30am, Jessie and her dad Jim drove us to the Des Moines Airport to begin our journey. No bad weather this time. We flew US Airways this time and the connecting flight was in Charlotte, NC. All in all the flight there was pretty uneventful. We landed at the Cozumel Airport on time and got through customs without any issues. I asked the driver of the van to drop me off at Rentadora ISIS, where I had reserved a rental car for this stay – no scooter this time! The driver dropped me off there and I spoke with Magarita, the owner of Rentadora ISIS. She had the car waiting. Got the car and headed to Iberostar Cozumel, the same resort we stayed with last time. Here, we met with friends Corey and Andrea who had the trek to this resort the day before; they were there with Corey’s parents Ken and Elaine. Basically, the rest of the day was loll around the beach and the pool recuperating from the uneventful trip.
Sunday, Casey and I went to breakfast the the others but we had plans. We went to Punta Sur (South Point), an eco-park on the southern tip of the island. Basically, you go to the Rasta Bar and turn south. The road there was plenty bumpy and going was slow but we did get to the beach. Had a wonderful morning snorkeling. Each time I go back I’m amazed at how clear the water is there; five feet of water looks to be a few inches because of how clear the water is. After a morning of snorkeling, mostly by Casey, we decided it was time to go. On the way back we went by the lighthouse Faro Celarain. We actually went up the 128 steps to the top of the lighthouse and took some amazing pictures there. Leaving the park, we took the “scenic route” around the island instead of going straight back to the resort. Lots of work has been done on the road on the east coast, but it’s still pretty much the same.
Sunday night, the whole group went to the city San Miguel. Casey and I had been told the locals have live bands on the town square by friends Tom and Dawn. They were more than right. The band was very good. There was dancing and a lot of people just hanging out listening to the band and having a good time. We enjoyed that very much. But, as it got later our tiredness got the best of us so we went back to the resort.
Monday, I took Corey and Ken on a “guys day” over to the east side of the island. We stopped at the Rasta Bar and had a beer and visited there. We all agreed that it was a great place to have a beer and watch the waves. Then we went up to Coconuts, a bar farther north. Again a good beer and great view; Coconuts is up on a bluff so you have a great view for miles over the Caribbean. Rough weather came up, though, and soon we were leaving Coconuts due to sand being blown up in our faces. Yuk. The ride back to the resort was uneventful. We spent the rest of the day just hanging around the pool and at the swim-up bar.
Tuesday, Casey and I returned the rental car and did some shopping. Got some really nice silver from a place recommended by Tom and Dawn: Sergio’s. It’s off the beaten path and both Casey and I felt we got a fair price for the stuff we bought. Later, back at the resort, we spent the rest of the day reading around the pool and swimming in the pool (and going to the swim-up bar!) and just taking it easy.
Wednesday and Thursday were pretty much carbon copies of each other. We did a bit of snorkeling and laying around the beach in the morning, and a bit of swimming (well, maybe wading) in the pool and going to the swim-up bar in the afternoon. Evenings we got the group together and played cards after we ate; of course, making sure we all had drinks!
Friday we were up and packing early. After packing, we had plenty of time to get to the airport. The flight home was uneventful. The only bad part was customs in Charlotte. I think the Marx Brothers created that mess. The lines were long and not fast-moving and the officials there seemed to always create another zig-zag lane making it seem like we were moving but all we were doing was walking down the newly formed lane and not really making headway. Finally, though, we got through customs. We ate in the airport there and then boarded our plane to Des Moines. Uneventful trip there as well.
All in all a GREAT vacation filled with sun, sand, water and good friends. Couldn’t ask for more!