Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Secret Beach on Isla Mujeres

Last year Marnie found out about a secret beach on Isla Mujeres, that few people, including locals, know about. She went there, and loved it, and told us about it later. She gave us the idea that it was up near Casa de Suenos (house of dreams) at the south end of Isla, facing Cancun.

Everyone had left Isla, and Sandy and I had rented a golf cart. Our mission was to find that beach. We asked several locals, but no one knew what we where talking about. All we had was a cellphone photo that Marnie had sent Sandy that showed a flower-covered wall with concrete steps going down to the blue water across from Cancun.

I am not sure how we finally found it, but we did, and spent a few hours floating and exploring totally by ourselves. You need to wear your Tevas on this beach because of the small rocks, but the water is lukewarm. Who the hell is Luke? And why is he always warm?

On our way out, we talked to the pleasant  Mexican/Mayan women at the front desk, and had a look around, and took mental notes about a possible future stay there. This is actually Hotel La Joya’s beach.

The next day our mission at Playa Norte was to find a favorite former waiter from Restaurant Zazil Ha at Na Balam, who was now working up the playa somewhere. We found Elvis! (Well, his mom loved Elvis. So she named him Elvis and that is the truth.) Don’t you LOVE the Mexican names? Hortencia, Veronica, Iris. Iris is pronounced “edys.” Rommel is Ro-mell. Luis is Lew-ees. Jessica is Yessica. Braulio, . . . no one on Isla can pronounce his name. Not even his mom. Ja Ja. Abel is Ah-bell.

Sandy got sick one year on Isla, and between Elvis with his chicken soup and the help of Enrique (another former waiter from Zazil Ha, as it was called back then), we survived. Where do you think Elvis’s wife works? . . . At the front desk of Hotel La Joya. You can’t make this stuff up.

In the 1980s, Jose Chevez was the patron of the swimming pool gunite crew. His Mexican mom was an English school teacher, way up in the mountains beyond Puerto Vallarta. While gunite-ing, we would share burritos off the hot diesel engine of the truck. My Mexican connections are many. He also named his son Elvis.

Amy came up with a new outing next year for the Joga group. Catholic Mexican Mass on Domingo at the church facing east, with all the glass overlooking the ocean. We have to offer up one Mayan sacrifice from the group. Who will it be? This will be followed by breakfast / lunch, of course, right across the calle at Mango’s Cafe. Mmm mmm good. The name of that church is Guadalupe. Guadalupe also happens to be the name of Enrique’s esposa but he calls her Lupe. They own the tiny laundry up near the super mercado near the vocalo on Calle (yippee kye aye) Guerrero.  Sometimes at night, when you walk by, she is sitting in his lap. Sweet, sweet Mexico.

Clara Gamboa from Maria Del Mar “Cabanas” had a baby boy!

Your servant and ferry boat greeter,
Roberto Francisco Tocino               

p.s. Carnival happens the same week as the yoga retreat.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Donna Adams

I know the birthdays of 193 people. With a few death days and even more anniversaries. Who knows why. Every new year I transfer them into my business appointment book. I will think of you that day. Maybe even call you or simply ask Sandy to send one of her beautiful cards.

Last Tuesday three years ago our good friend Donna Adams passed. I thought of her often as the exact anniversary day approached.

I called Randy. I had it all figured out as to what I was going to say. But when the phone picked up it was Donna who answered.

What a treat. It made me smile and laugh.

. . .

There was a story a while back about a young girl who was having an argument with her dad. The next day he died. She was, of course, heartbroken. Later she remembered that he had left her a message that she had saved on her phone. She tried everything with the phone but she could not retrieve it. She just wanted to hear his voice again.

The phone store could not figure it out either. Finally a blue haired young man full of tattoos came over and worked on it. No luck. Then he had a idea. He turned up the volume and there it was.  Happy Fathers Day.

It was so very nice to hear Donna’s voice again. Thank you, Randy, for leaving Donna on your answering machine.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Oh Donna

A 1958 Richie Valens tune.

So a couple of years ago I am in line at Dunkin Donuts and the older waitress looks at me and simply asks, “Senior?"

Now I get 10% off. I did not know this. It doesn’t sound like much but 365 x 30 cents =  $100 per year. Should I tip at Dunkin Donuts? Do you tip at McDonald’s or Burger King?  No.

Christmas was coming up. Donna told me her husband or significant other had died. Donna says everything that she thinks. I felt bad and thought that I should give her a good tip. But then she was gone.

My Mom was a waitress. She worked at a truck stop. I think she loved the attention as much as the tips. As a family we did not talk about it much. I think Dad was a little sensitive about all the attention she was getting.

A few weeks ago Donna emerged as the sandwich maker at Subway. She welcomed me and even remembered my name. I am a semi-regular when I am on the road again in the spring.

The last time I was in Subway she mentioned that she had worked at Friendly’s. I did two years on their management slavery program when I first got out of the Navy in 1968.

Today when I went in, I ordered a Fishamajig and a Fribble. Donna laughed and said she wished she was making the money that she was making at Friendly’s, and that she did not have enough money for dinner tonight. She offered me a fork with my sub because she said she had loaded it up for me and I would need it.

I ate lunch there. I had had another good day money-wise. I gave her the fork back wrapped in a $50  bill. I made up for missing her tip from a Christmas or two ago. It made us both feel good.

I will bet that Mom would have approved also.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

43 Days in Mexico

43 days   
No cell phone.
No computer.
No texts.
No fax.
No newspapers.
No TV.
No snow.
No cold air.
It did not rain for the whole 43 days.

The only way to see Mexico is to go to one of those all-inclusives and do not leave the property.