I was looking for something new to tell you about and thought of my friend Diane, not Rocky’s 2nd favorite human Diane, but my other friend Diane. Now I know Diane has done quite a bit of traveling both before she got married and then later with her husband Joe so I thought I’d see if she would be willing to offer some travel stories from her trips.
I was so pleased when she said yes that we set up a time to meet right away.
Diane was such a natural that I offered to let her “guest blog” so she could tell her story in her own way. She will think it over but in the meantime she was very generous with her time and gave me a great interview. We decided to talk about her Birthday Trip to Mexico.
DR: Hi Diane. It’s great to see you again. I’m so glad you are going let me talk to you about your trip to Mexico. Now where was it you said you stayed?
Diane: We stayed on an island at the Villa Rolandi which is a boutique hotel off the coast of Cancun. The Island is called Isla Mujeres. It’s off the beaten path, not close to the town. The Island is pretty small. The resort had 35 rooms and the packages can be all inclusive if you want. There’s breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner. The restaurant is rated # 1 on the whole Island . Joe and I were spoiled rotten.
DR: How did you hear about it?
Diane: Joe’s boss had been there a couple of years prior to us going. He recommended it. The first time we tried to book it was completely sold out. The next time we tried we lucked out. We went in May, the weather was perfect. We had one rainy morning where we had to leave the beach for about 5 – 10 minutes. It was a totally indulgent week. They made us feel like royalty!
DR: How do you get there? Did you fly in?
Diane: We flew into Cancun. The hotel arranges for a taxi to meet you and they take you to a dock where the hotel’s private yacht picks you up to take you to the island. They call it a yacht but it’s really more of a speed boat. It takes you right to their private dock where the porter greets you with a cool towel and a tropical drink while you wait for them to prepare your room and take your luggage in. There were two other couples that were going at the same time so we all went over together. It’s about a 20 minute boat ride.
DR: What were the accommodations like?
Diane: The rooms are pretty. Each room had a hot tub on the balcony. We were on the 2nd floor. There aren’t any high raises on Isla Mujeres. It’s almost like taking a step back in time… like Mexico probably was years ago. You can’t rent cars on the island but you can rent golf carts. We took taxis mostly.
DR: Did you do much shopping?
Diane: We went into the little town. It was only about 3 blocks of little shops and restaurants. The North beach is the big beautiful beach but the one at the hotel was certainly adequate.
Diane: Back to the golf carts, if you rent a cart it’s $50.00 for 24 hours which is a good way to see the island, go over to the side with the waves and the rocks but we were fine with the taxi which was only about $5.00.
Diane: There’s only 1 bank in the town but most of the little shops take dollars. The dollar is king down there. You don’t have to change them to pesos.
DR: So everything was right there on the Island. Once there you didn’t have to leave?
Diane: There is a ferry that goes back to Cancun but Joe and I were looking for a quiet vacation, a chance to relax on the beach and be catered to. They have a really nice pool and an excellent health spa. Like I said , we went into town a couple of days just to poke around and try a little restaurant. It was just beautiful down there.
DR: You said you went in May?
Diane: Yes we went May 8 -15th. It was my birthday celebration.
DR: Did you use a travel agent or book your trip yourself?
Diane: I used Expedia.
DR: What was it like going through customs? After all Mexico is another country.
Diane: It’s not like going through customs here, It’s kind of antiquated. They randomly select you to go through your luggage. You can be walking along and you come to spots that you can either stop or go. You get a red light and you bring your whole suitcase over and they rummage through it.
Diane: Another thing to keep in mind when you’re going to Mexico is that when you get there they give you a tourist card and you have to keep it on you while you’re there and then return it when you leave. I guess it’s a way for them to keep track of who is in the country. I don’t know how long it’s valid for but I’ve never had a problem. I’ve been to different parts of Mexico probably 15 times in my life.
DR: Really! You’re really well traveled there.
Diane: Pretty much. Both east and west coast.
DR: So this vacation was pretty much a beach vacation for you.
Diane. Pretty much. We ate more than we normally do because the food was so good. Every night there was a special. I love fish so I had a lot of seafood. The waiters were very , very nice. In fact one of our waiters, Jesus, offered to take Joe and me to the turtle sanctuary on his day off. He came down and met us and took us to the sanctuary and gave us some education about it.. That was really above and beyond.
DR: Were you concerned about the unrest we hear about?
Diane: I know you hear about the crime and the drugs but I can’t say enough about this little hotel and the staff. Joe and I always felt safe. I think the problems we hear about are confined more to the border states and maybe some of the cities. I think Cancun may have some slight problems. On the island the only crimes we heard about was petty theft and maybe some pick pockets.
DR: Is there anything else you want to tell us?
Diane: I think you should go. The peso is so weak your money goes a long way. You really get a good bang for your buck.
DR: Well thank you Diane. That’s a great recommendation. It sounds like a wonderful place and that you guys had a great vacation. I’ll be looking forward to talking with you more about the other places you’ve been including other trips to Mexico.
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