Thursday, December 29, 2011

Life's a Beach!

Adios Cozumel, Hola Cancun!

After four days on lovely Cozumel, I and my BFF arrived Cancun, our final destination of our trip.

Cozumel gave us a whole bunch of unforgettable memories and we met people we will never forget. If someone forced me to pick my three favorite things about our visit to Cozumel it would be: Diving the Palancar Reef, Diego and Eric's family and fantastic food! If you ask me to rank amongst the three, I will have to refuse!

As you might know, we received our PADI Open Water Diving certificates just last week. Two days ago we did our first dive as certified divers. We booked a two-tank dive with the Deep Blue Dive Shop and we found ourselves missing our beloved Dive Master from Tulum. But brave as only unknowledgable can be, we braced ourselves and made our deepest dive to date, with a new Dive Master and a  new dive group. It was absolutely amazing! Aldo, the Dive Master, was reassuring and calm. Our dive group was made up of the two of us, Mike and Rose from Denver and a Canadian. The Dive Shop receptionist, Ricardo, also joined us and added a big smile to the whole experience. We loved every second of it! We still have a lot to learn, but we are starting to understand why people who love diving, love diving!

We were lucky to have such a great experience when diving, but the great experience of Cozumel would not have been possible without Eric, Diego and their family.

Let me introduce Eric. He is a young adult who is still at school, but during his spare time (read school breaks) he works as a receptionist at the hotel where we stayed from 8am to 3 pm, and later at night he works at his family restaurant from 7 pm to 11 pm. It was such a pleasure to see his big smile every morning and he was ever so helpful with absolutely EVERYTHING. No task was too big och too small.

Eric's father, Diego, ran a family restaurant just a block from the hotel. Calling it a restaurant is a slight exaggeration, it's more like a food cart, some plastic furnitures under a plastic tarp ceiling. Diego and family was just as lovely as their son. And they were also ever so helpful and service minded. They made us feel so welcomed, it was difficult to say good bye after our four day stay.

This brings me to the third thing I mentioned, the food! I love good food! Good food can made any day a better day. And if good food is combined with dirt cheap prices, I am in heaven! Diego's family restaurant served the freshed fish and shrimp tacos I have ever encountered. The cost of three hearty tacos was 45 pesos! If you had the pork or beef taco, it would only cost you 36 pesos! Insane! We ate at Diego's everyday except one. I have missed his food at every meal ever since!

While on the subject, I should mention another fish and seafood restaurant on Cozumel. Pricier, but heavenly good was "La Perlita" restaurant. Our hotel manager sent us there for our Christmas Day dinner and  Oh Boy, was it worth every single pesos! I had the best octopus of my life!

I could go on and on about Cozumel, but it's time to leave that island behind, not only physically, but emotionally. We are now in Cancun and about the celebrate New Year's Eve in a few days. Who knows what new adventures await us. The only thing we do know, is that we will fly back to San Francisco from Cozumel on Jan 2nd and hopefully we will have enough time to swing by Diego's for our final meal in Mexico.

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