Day #2: Tuesday
Beach Day at Ixtapa Island
We decided to schedule an outing for Tuesday, so that morning we all gathered in the lobby to meet up with our transportation for the day. Our guide introduced himself as Juan Lopez, and added a few of us to the open seats in his van while the others took a cab. We all reunited at a dock area, where we would catch a small boat to Ixtapa Island for the day.
Before we hopped on the boat we stopped to check out the TONS OF CROCODILES (and iguanas) in the area. I enjoyed the crocodiles, but I stand firm on my stance that iguanas are not to be trusted.
Crocodiles in natural state!
Piles o' crocodiles
He's looking at me. What does he want from me???
When we all had arrived, Juan told us what we were going to do and how our day was going to play out, then we walked down the dock to catch the teeny tiny boat that would take us over to the island. Holy seasickness-waiting-to-happen, batman.
Our group getting instructions from Juan
View on the way to the boat
Eric, me, Zita and Jacob on the boat
When we arrived at the island, Juan led us over to the other side, pointing things out (snorkeling areas, bathrooms, etc.) along the way. Ixtapa Island was very pretty.
View from Ixtapa Island
How badly do you want to live in one of those hammocks?
Juan led us to a little covered restaurant-type area, where there were tables and lounge chairs reserved for us. He gave us our lunch options, then instructed us as to where we could get massages, rent snorkel equipment, etc. (At this point, the rest of the group that came in the van but was not "us" decided to make Juan return them to the mainland, because they had been expecting Ixtapa Island to be their own private island! That was odd.)
Our group wanted to do some snorkeling, so we did that right away. They got us suited up with all the equipment, and our guide (not Juan, a snorkel-specific guide) led us back to the good snorkeling area. The snorkeling was really good - we saw lots of awesome fish, and our guide even grabbed a starfish for us to hold! I was a chicken and didn't want to hold it, but he grabbed my hand and put it on me anyway. It was weird. We also got to feed tortillas to fish! That was awesome; they swarmed all around us. Very cool.
Unfortunately, snorkeling did not quite agree with everyone in our group. Eric and Heather soon returned to shore, feeling a bit seasick. I stayed out quite a bit longer, then started to feel a little queasy and thought I had seen plenty of fish, so I joined them on shore. Zita and a rather seasick Jacob came out next, followed lastly by the die-hards Chris, Molly and Arturo.
Eric and Heather, post-snorkeling
I had fun!
Zita and a not-feeling-so-hot Jacob
Molly and Arturo. It was Molly's first snorkeling experience, and she loved it!
We all went back to our tables/chairs then, and relaxed for a bit before lunch. At the table next to us, there was this rabbit that I swear was really a small kangaroo, and it was begging for food. I saw it eat a piece of onion! It was interesting. There was also Speedo guy providing spectacular scenery, so that was nice. (Don't worry, he had a fanny pack cover-up. Very modest.)
Bunny kangaroo wants your lunch
Just be glad I didn't take a picture of him laying in front of our table, all spread eagle and such.
Cousins Club with beers and relaxation
Before long, it was time for lunch. Our lunch was included with the price of the excursion, and consisted of either guacamole or nachos, fish, rice, salad and a beer (or soda, if you prefer). Naturally, it also came with tortillas, because (as Arturo said) "you can make a taco out of anything."
Guacamole and nachos
Fish, rice and salad
Catching up with each other during lunch
We spent some time after lunch just sitting around and chatting, and before we knew it, it was time to head back to the boat to return to the resort. It was a fun afternoon on Ixtapa Island - I wasn't ready to leave yet!
Walking back to the boat
Arturo, Molly, Jacob and Zita
When we got back to the dock, we spent more time admiring the crocodiles, and some of the group checked out some birds across the street. Then it was back into the bus to head home.
Back on the mainland
Ready for the bus ride back to the resort
When we got back to the resort we went out to the beach to relax for a bit (or play in the waves, for those inclined to do so), then we caught another stunning sunset.
How sweet is this picture Eric took?
Sisters with margaritas and a sunset
The old married couple
We then went back to our rooms to prepare for dinner. Another theme of the week was the ever-increasing dinner crowd - as more and more people arrived, our dinner tables got bigger and bigger! That night we only added one: Molly's Aunt Lori. We all went across the street to a restaurant called Chili Beans, where the margaritas were HUGE and 2-for-1. And, if you complained they weren't strong enough, they came by and poured another shot in there for you. My friends, it was magical. That is definitely not something you'll see in New York.
Pretty, pretty drinks
Heather and Chris became dinner (and margarita) buddies
Kicking that drink up a notch
For dinner I had the house shrimp, which included a tableside flambe! Eric ordered shrimp stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. Yes, seriously, and it was delicious. The food was yummy and the conversation was fun, so we had a great time at dinner!
Preparing my shrimp tableside!
My finished shrimp - it looks weird, but it was rather tasty.
Eric's shrimp stuffed with cheese, wrapped with bacon
After dinner (and all those margaritas) we weren't quite ready to call it a night yet, so we all went up to Molly and Arturo's suite for a little afterparty. It was great to spend so much fun time with my cousins! We talked, we laughed, we made faces, we compared stupid human tricks and degrees of flexibility. It was good times.
Zita, Jacob, me, Molly and Heather
I don't know.
I was please to find out that Jacob and Molly are as inflexible as I am, although you can't see that here. Zita is clearly the most flexible, and therefore clearly married into the family.
Eventually, the party wound down and we all went our separate ways for the night. Many more people would be arriving the next day, so we needed more rest! It was a great first full day in Mexico!
Coming up next (either tomorrow or Monday, depending on my level of weekend motivation): Various parents arrive, and Eric and I go horseback riding!