This blog entry comes to you from Cozumel, Mexico where I arrived on Sunday afternoon for a week of scuba diving, shopping, eating, and fun in the sun! My father and I share the hobby of scuba diving and we enjoy one another's company so traveling together is a natural thing for us to do. This is our fourth trip here since last May and provided that I have the time in the future (when I am working), we will continue to make Cozumel a frequent destination.
Anyway, I usually chronicle our trips on my blog from Day 1, but I was tired when I got here and haven't been keeping up on the vacation blog. This may be boring so you've been warned, but it's a good way for me to remember our vacation memories.
SUNDAY: Up very early (5:45 a.m.) to finish packing and catch my 9:10 a.m. flight. Arrived in Cozumel around 12:30 and realized that I had forgotten to send the required e-mail to the transport company to pick me up. A very nice worker at the airport came up to me and offered to e-mail them on his Blackberry. He did so and they showed up quickly. I was grateful for his assistance!
My Dad was flying in from San Antonio so he arrived about an hour after I made it to the hotel. We donned our scuba gear and took a shore dive. The current was VERY strong so it kept tossing us around, but we managed to at least get a taste (literally at some points) of the water. Shore dives on the first day serve as a good introduction to the water so that the subsequent longer dives later in the week are a little easier - there is not a lot of water adjustment.
We headed back to our rooms and I showered and took a short nap. Our plan for the first night was to walk into town and eat at Casa Denis, which serves our favorite fajitas. Unfortunately, it started raining heavily so we went to the hotel restaurant instead, which was fine since it also has good food. They were serving a buffet and had the Super Bowl on the television so several Americans were gathered inside watching the game and cheering for their teams. It was a fun atmosphere!
MONDAY: We were once again up very early for a trip to Cancun where we planned to dive the Underwater Museum. We caught the 7 a.m. ferry to Playa Del Carmen, where we wandered around the town for awhile and then settled on breakfast at this great restaurant. It was excellent food for a good price! We then headed to the meeting point for our AquaWorld shuttle van, which was to take us to Cancun. It's hard to travel from Cozumel to Cancun as there is no direct route except for flying. Otherwise, you must take the ferry to Playa, then a bus or some other transportation to Cancun.
Our shuttle bus showed up and we took the ride to Cancun where we traveled around picking up other people who were also doing AquaWorld activities. It was a very bumpy ride on many of the roads, but we finally made it.
Once were were on the dive boat, it was a long journey to our dive site, but it was worth it! We had chosen to dive the Underwater Museum. The statues are incredible up close and Dad and I both enjoyed the dive. The second dive was to a reef and we enjoyed that as well. In total, we saw three turtles, a lobster, a lion fish, and even a shark! The shark was small and hiding under a ledge, but I got a close up view. He did not seem pleased to be the main attraction for a bunch of divers.
We completed the dive and headed back inland where we caught a bus to the Cancun bus station and then another bus to Playa Del Carmen. We took the ferry from Playa back to Cozumel. At this point, it was nearly 8 p.m. and we were starving! Thankfully, we had planned to have dinner at Palmeras, which is literally right across the street from the ferry dock. We ate a GREAT meal there (in more ways than one. It was tasty, but also a lot of food).
We headed back to the hotel where a hot bath was a welcome relief from all the traveling. We had been up for about 14 hours at that point and we had been very active during the day so I was exhausted. It was wonderful though and I wouldn't trade a minute of it! I took a hot bath with some Aveeno oatmeal bath powder to soothe my skin. I did a few things on the computer and then crawled into bed for a good night's rest.
TUESDAY: Dad and I decided to make today a day of leisure and rest after the long day on Monday. We had breakfast around 8 and then visited the dive shop to make our diving arrangements for the rest of the week. I will be diving on Thursday and Saturday with Dad. He is diving every day this week. Then, we headed back to our rooms. I had to have the hotel staff drill out the lock in my in-room safe because the maid accidentally threw away the safe key that I had left on the coffee table in my room. Of course, I cannot prove that she threw it away so the hotel is charging $100 to drill the lock and replace the key. Thankfully, my father is willing to pay for this and took it all in stride, but I was a bit miffed. Oh well, such is life.
I took a short nap and then Dad and I walked into town where we did some shopping and finally got our fajitas at Casa Denis! Excellent food as always!! We did a little more shopping after that and did a small recon mission to Guido's Italian Restaurant, which I have been wanting to try for awhile. We will be eating there on Friday.
We met a nice woman outside the restaurant and she suggested we eat in the garden area in the back of the restaurant. I asked if she had eaten at Guido's before and she said that she was the owner! So, we got to chat with her for a few minutes and she was very sweet. I can't wait to try out her restaurant!
We headed back to the hotel in a cab where I spent the evening taking another short nap and resting. It has been a good day. Tomorrow, Dad will dive in the morning and I will go on a solo adventure. Stay tuned!