BACKGROUND

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Desperately seeking...Cozumel?

Lately, I have found it rather interesting how people get to my blog. The terms they use to search that land them here are funny sometimes. I use Feedjit to monitor the traffic to my blog and people from all over the world are stopping by. Here are the most popular blog posts recently and some of the terms used to search that got people here:

1. By far, the most popular blog post is Hola Cozumel. People land on that one most often by searching for Cozumel and Cozumel images.

2. The second most popular blog is Keeping your own counsel or, in plain terms, SHUT UP! This one is most often found by a search for the term "Keep your own counsel."

3. Recently, this post has generated some interest: Clear Lake is a bit muddy. Someone in Missouri found that post by searching for "Clara Harris, Texas Dentist, Lisa, cheating woman."


I find it interesting that people from all over the world are randomly landing on my blog. I have had visitors from Macedonia, Italy, Germany, the UK, the U.S., Greece, Mexico, France, Hungary, India, and various other world locales. Thank you all for visiting my blog and please feel free to comment or come back anytime! I love hearing from people in different parts of the world and of course, from the U.S. too. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Documented!

I love learning new things. I know a little about a lot of eclectic things. One of the ways I learn things is by watching documentaries. I really enjoy documentaries on a variety of subjects. Lately, I've been watching quite a few documentaries on Netflix and I want to share some of the more interesting ones. I am sure I will have more at a later time, but for now here are four that I have recently enjoyed.

UNFORGOTTEN: 25 YEARS AFTER WILLOWBROOK:  An expose of the Willowbrook State School where developmentally delayed children were placed in New York. The school closed, but some of the wounds inflicted there never did. Watch this before Cropsey as Cropsey has a lot of connection with Willowbrook. This can be viewed on Hulu as well as Netflix.

CROPSEY: The story of children who were kidnapped and murdered in Staten Island, New York. A man by the name of Andre Rand was arrested for one of the murders and tried for another. This is a fascinating look at the crimes and the man who was accused of them.

THE VACCINE WAR:  An interesting view on both sides of the vaccine debate in America. People on both sides discuss the issues related to vaccinating children or not doing so and what that means for the families and the public at large.

THE MEDICATED CHILD: Psychiatric drugs are being prescribed to younger and younger children in large numbers. What does this mean for the children, for society, and for the pharmaceutical companies making these drugs?

Both The Vaccine War and The Medicated Child can be viewed on Frontline on PBS.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

7 Days on the Island - Part II

Continuing on with our Adventures in Cozumel:

Thursday - I actually got out of bed before 9 a.m. to have breakfast with Dad in preparation for our afternoon scuba trip. We then returned to our rooms where we both napped until around 11:30 and then I got ready for scuba diving. We headed down to the dock to get on the boat and met the people who would be accompanying us. They all seemed very nice. This was only my second time diving and it was quite an experience.

The dive master was really great and my Dad was on the dive of course so that helped too. We went down about 60 feet and I thought my head was going to explode with the pressure in my ears at some points. OUCH!! But then it equalized and everything was basically OK. Saw some great fish and wildlife in general, really neat stuff. Dad and the rest of the group did a second dive and I just hung around on the boat, reading, relaxing, and watching the water. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon. Dad and I then headed to Casa Denis where we had fajitas. It's our favorite place in Cozumel for fajitas. DELICIOUS!

We returned to the hotel and decided to book our final two excursions. We decided on an ATV ride through the jungle for Friday and parasailing on Saturday. We were both looking forward to these activities.

Friday: Dad and I had breakfast early and he did some paperwork for his advanced diving certification. I took a nap and we headed over to Margaritaville to meet the group doing the ATV rides. We took a taxi to the ATV place where I was introduced to Petra the Python who I put around my neck. She was quite friendly. There were also parrots, an eagle, and a lizard that we met before getting on the ATVs. 

Dad and I shared an ATV. We had decided prior to going that I would drive. Dad was a terrible backseat driver, but we had a lot of fun! The road we traveled down was full of dust, mud, and rocks, but it was quite a ride. We stopped at a cenote, which is a sacred Mayan sinkhole. We also saw some underground caves that the Mayans used when hurricanes would hit the island. It was very interesting.

After the ATV adventure, Dad and I headed into town where we collected two non-alcoholic margaritas at Margaritaville (they were free as part of the ATV tour package), did a little shopping and then went to Palmeras for dinner. I had steak and he had chicken. I love Palmeras and I try to eat there at least once when I am in Cozumel. Dad had never eaten there and he loved it too! We headed back to the hotel where I took a much needed shower and relaxed.

Saturday: We woke up and had an early breakfast and I took a nap before we headed down to the dock to wait for the parasailing crew. We had scheduled for 2 p.m. and by 2:30, we were a little concerned since the tour crews are almost never late. Finally, I went back to the room and called the company. They apologized and said the boat captain was on his way. The boat finally came at 3 p.m. and picked us up. We were with a group of six people. Two of them were a brother/sister duo who had been parasailing before. They went first and unfortunately, both of them got a bit of motion sickness. I felt badly for them because the boat captain would not take them back to their hotel dock. 

Finally, it was my turn to go and I must admit that I was scared. I have a huge fear of heights and I knew that I would be going up at least 100 feet so the prospect was frightening. But, I also think it's good for me to try and overcome my fear of heights so every few years I do something to spit in the face of the fear like parasailing or riding a roller coaster. 

They strapped me into the harness and away I went into the sky. IT WAS AMAZING!! I was not afraid at all, it was just a beautiful time in the sky, looking down at the water, feeling the breeze. My Dad went after I did and he really enjoyed it as well.

After parasailing, we made our way to Palmeras once again where we had a delicious dinner. We did a little shopping after that and then returned to the hotel. 

We leave tomorrow. I have had such an amazing time here in Cozumel as always and I cannot wait to return!

Friday, August 12, 2011

7 Days on the Island - Part I


My Dad and I have been in Cozumel, Mexico since Monday, Aug. 8th.  We had previously been here in May so Dad could go scuba diving. He is a certified diver and Cozumel has some of the best diving in the world so he wanted to check it out. I love Cozumel and have been several times before so he invited me to tag along in May and then again this week. This time, we opted for a longer stay. In May, we stayed for four days, this time we were here for seven. It has been such a wonderful trip and I wanted to chronicle it for my own memories and to share with y'all.

Monday: Flew from Houston to Cozumel. It's about a two-hour flight. We arrived in Cozumel and got settled at our hotel around 3p.m. We are staying at the El Cid, which is the same hotel we had the last time we were here. It's a nice place and I really enjoy it. Monday was a rest day, we went to the hotel restaurant and had an early dinner then I bought some water and ice cream at the hotel shop. It was an early bedtime, which was good for me because I was tired.

Tuesday: I slept in, while Dad went on his first dive of the trip. It was a navigation class for him to refresh some of what he learned in his scuba diving certification course and to prepare him for the advanced classes he was going to take on Wednesday and Thursday. I got up around noon and got ready for my Discover Scuba class. I had never been scuba diving and it was AMAZING! Dad went along with my group of five people and we had such a great time. It is incredible to me that humans have figured out how to breath underwater and see all the amazing life beneath the waves.

After the dive, Dad and I returned to our rooms, showered and changed, and headed once again to the hotel restaurant. It's great food down there! We had a nice leisurely dinner and chatted, then came back to the room to look up information on our next adventures, which were parasailing and horseback riding...not at the same time though. LOL! We chatted some more and then Dad returned to his room. I watched the boats on the water from my balcony and listened to the guitar player downstairs. It was all very, very relaxing.

Wednesday - Dad woke up early for his 100-foot dive. I slept in and then Dad returned and we headed to town for shopping and some Subway sandwiches. We decided to eat light today! The walk to Subway took about 45 minutes. We try to get in some exercise while we are on vacation, but that was a killer walk! It was very hot and we were both drenched in sweat by the time we got there.

After eating at Subway and taking a rest, we did a little shopping. I found the cutest bag, some t-shirts, postcards, and a hat for the scuba diving boat ride tomorrow. Dad and I returned to the hotel where I had a banana split for dessert. It was heavenly. We then decided on taking an ATV ride through the jungle on Friday and booked it instead of horseback riding since we rode horses the last time we were here. ATVing through the jungle sounds like a blast and I am looking forward to it!

STAY TUNED FOR PART II!