Friday, February 18, 2011

Mexico 2011

Mr Pants and I did something we hardly ever do: went on a beachy vacation! We're not the type to sit and gaze at palm trees.  I don't think I've ever sat and gazed at palm trees on a beach, ever.  So we thought we'd see if we can do it without clawing our eyes out with boredom.  Or killing each other. 

Turns out there were no full days of beach dawdling, and not too much lolling about in the sun.  We petted and chased fish while snorkeling, we traipsed around the ruins in Tulum, we walked up and down Tulum Playa road, we taxied into town to replenish our pesos at the ATM, and to check out the town.  

We dove into blue cenotes, and gawked at the stalagmites and stalagtites within the clear water, and saw eerie lights of the divers beneath us.

In Cozumel we stayed at the Hotel Playa Azul, (with stellar fish soup and tacos camarones) and we could walk right out into the ocean in front, don our flippers and goggles and play with the fishes darting in and out of the coral. No underwater camera (stupid stupid stupid!) so you'll have to take my word for it. 

A snorkel tour took us out on the reef (Palancar shallows, I think it was) and while the boat blared Jimmy Buffet, the snorkeling itself was awesome.

Best meals: In San Miguel on Cozumel: a tiny little place called El Foco, where we had poblano and beef tacos and this simple but transcendent guacamole, below. 

In Tulum on the playa road- El Tabana, (grouper in pipian sauce, poblano crepes, caldo de pollo) and at the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve restaurant— after floating in mangrove-lined canals and scoping out large pink birds. They served the best grouper in cilantro sauce, and a fantastic, nutty, pipian (pumpkin seed) dip and tortilla chips. 

Worst meals:  Mr Pants requires constant snacking, like a toddler. I've often thought we should tie a little bag of oats around his neck or something.  He required a mid afternoon meal, and this soup he ordered, in the debris strewn market, had the hide of an unidentified beast still swimming in the bowl. The flavor, was ok, but come on! Unidentified animal hide, with visible fur.  I'm an omnivore, but this did me in. 

An admittedly silly order of Super Nachos along Tulum Playa Road had me seriously enraged.  As if they meant to produce the idea of what trash-eating gringos would eat if they had a can of cheese sauce and a microwave.  (Yes, I said "can" of cheese) Terrible. 

Highlights: Sun! Margaritas! Super fresh fish. Snorkeling. 

Disappointments: Super nachos, animal hide in soup. More touristy area than we usually visit. 

Mr. Pants: Sunburned, docile. Grudgingly conceding that vacations are good things, and that I was right to drag him kicking and screaming to the lovely beaches of Mexico. 

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