The morning arrived with my son and I sitting out on the balcony awaiting the arrival of the sun cresting the horizon. After another perfect display of color and light we began to talk about breakfast. Jr. had not stopped talking about Mango since breakfast two days earlier and was lobbying hard for a return visit. I told him I had a different place in mind. I wanted to try Lola Valentina’s. I’d had dinner there in the past and it was outstanding, but I’d never had the breakfast. I remember the French toast at Mango when Lori was in charge of the kitchen and I was hoping the breakfasts in her new place would be as good. We headed out and down Hidalgo to Lola’s. Lori was just putting her a-frame signs out when we arrived and greeted us warmly. I asked her about the French toast and she said she had tinkered with the recipe and thought it was better now then when she made it over at Mango. Jr. and I ordered a plate of the French toast and an order of the breakfast empanadas. While we were waiting for the meals we sat and chatted with Lori. She is such a great person and very knowledgeable about Isla. Not just about the tourist attractions, but the real day to day life living there. When the food arrived and she excused herself so we could enjoy the meal while it was hot and for the first time since I arrived I was wishing it had taken a little longer to prepare a meal as the conversation with Lori was fascinating. Jr. and I again split the two meals and dug in. Bliss does not begin to describe the feelings my son and I were experiencing as we sampled the two dishes. After several bites of each item he looked up and said “are you kidding me! I have never had anything like this, can we move here?” I’ve been sitting here at the keyboard for ten minutes trying to put down in words the experience of that meal, but there are none I can string together that can capture it. I will just say there is now a new number one on my list. We cleaned our plates and at one point I think I caught Jr. peering under the table to see it either of us possibly dropped a morsel he would have gladly recovered. Lori came back to the table to ask if we had enjoyed the meal. Giddy with delight, we praised and thanked her for the joy she had brought to the morning. As she walked away with the dishes Jr. said when she asked how it was I wanted to jump up and hug her, the food was so good. As we walked down Hidalgo toward the hotel Jr. asked what the plans for the day were and I said what ever he would like to do is ok with me. He said he had something in mind and would show me when we got back to the room.
At this point in time I would like to thank (or curse) llkoolaid for what follows.
When we got to the room he rummaged through his bag and pulled out several pieces of paper. As he handed them to me he said he would have to return home with his head hung low if he didn’t spend at least one day doing this. What was printed on the pages was all of the information found on llkoolaid’s Isla Mujeres pub crawl thread including the Excel database file. He had also marked with a little red dot the location of each bar on Mapchick’s map. Upon hearing his words, thoughts of out night earlier in the week over in Cancun and at Poc Na jumped into clear (or somewhat foggy) view and I felt a slight tremor run up my spine. However, seeing as I had been playing the role of the cool dad all week and this was Jr. first tip to Isla I shockingly heard myself saying Ok let’s do it. I did, however, add a caveat to the day by saying no more than one drink at any one place which he eagerly agreed to. As I walked to the door like a condemned man marching down death row I glanced at the clock: 10:38am. As we walked to the cart I noticed a spring in his step I’d never seen before and thought this is going to be a long day. We started our morning at Bally Hoo with a Mango Margarita which as always was great. We had parked the cart on Matamoros and I thought if I didn’t somehow record this now while my brain was still working we might never locate the cart later so I asked the bartender for a pen and I napkin. I marked down the location of the cart and put it in my wallet. From Bally Hoo we made our way down Playa Norte Hitting Buho’s, Sunset and one or two of the bars were you can rent the beach loungers. It was getting on towards lunch so I suggested we hit Hidalgo and grab a little food to absorb some of the alcohol. Surprisingly, I still felt as though my legs were firmly under me although I did notice Isla was beginning to list again slightly. (I think this listing problem should be brought to the attention of someone on Isla and perhaps they can check the underpinnings of the island to see it’s securely in place as this was the second time in a week I’d noticed the problem) We had lunch a Pizzeria Rolandi and washed it down with a Modelo Negro, My son went to order a second cerveza and I reminded him of the one drink rule and he laughed but said ok and told the waiter we would like to take the rest of the pizza to go. He I thought I was being sneaky and buying a little time, but he was on to me and cut me off at the pass. As we were walking down hidalgo and heading back to the cart one of the vendors asked Jr. if he wanted to buy a Cuban cigar. He politely said no and the vendor said come look at his shop. Had the vendor left it at that we would have been able to slip away, but he then threw out come look and I will give you a free tequila shot. My son looked at me and said I need the map I have to mark this one down. AHHHH! We looked around the shop did our tequila shot and moved along. Once back to the cart he broke out the map and said head to Soggy Pesos. Pina colodas at Soggy pesos and then it was on to Oscars. By the time we were leaving Oscars Isla had taken on a serious lean and I was beginning to worry if it continues we might slide off into the Caribbean and I didn’t feel I was in the best condition to be swimming. I know we hit El Varadero’s, but I’m not sure if it was before or after Oscar’s then we headed south. In no specific order we visited Playa Tiburon, Playa Lancheros The Joint ( where I think my son made us break the only rule of one drink/stop) It was around this point where I stopped recording data however there are a number of red dots on his map whit checks next to them so I’m certain I was still standing. Much of what I recall in my minds eye looks like what you see when you are riding a roller coaster and try to pick out someone in the crowd as you roar by. My next clear image is of having a conversation with Tiny as I was seated at his bar with a flaming Mayan Sacrifice sitting in front of me. On the count of three we took them down and before the straw was out of my mouth a second drink was on the bar. I’m not sure where along the way the one drink rule was abandon, but I am still thinking it was at The Joint. As I was sipping the second drink which all I remember it tasting like is cold I asked if we should grab something to eat and Jr. said wow you are hungry again? We just ate like a half an hour ago. Well this was news to me, so I said yeah I guess I’m ok. I think Jr. realized I had no recollection of the dining event and took pity on me. We finished our drinks and he took the old man back to the hotel. Clock on the table now said 9:44pm. … more to come.