Here’s our trip report for Nov. 15-22-2006 It's Mon. Dec. 4th, I'll be adding lot's more photosin the next day or so. We stayed at the Westin, here’s some photos. We started off as usual. Tuesday after work we checked in at the Red Roof at DIA. Although we’re only 45 minutes from the airport, it’s like a pre-vacation. 3:30 wake up call! We park there, breakfast. get the shuttle, it’s no hassle. Leaving at 7 a.m. means no long lines. Security was so easy. Flight was uneventful. We did sit with a first timer. He was inexperienced to say the least. He deplaned without his cd’s, I grabbed them and caught up with him. Then he couldn’t find his last piece of luggage, it had fallen off the conveyor. I found it and again caught up with Jim. Faith and I decided that we should escort him through the GAUNTLET! He met his friend from Isla M and all was well with the world. I had a feeling we would see him again. So the weather was sunny but not as warm as previous visits, plus there was an annoying wind. We again stayed at the Westin, we’re always first off the bus from the airport. We always book the cheap room (EP) ask for an upgrade and ye shall receive. We were upgraded to a walk out to the beach, suite. From a lagoon view room. It didn’t hurt that they were 30% occupied. The first things we noticed were the post Wilma improvements. Added a swim up bar to the main pool. A new seawall. But the first thing we noticed... the BEACH. It’s easily 3X as wide as it was pre Wilma. They never had the widest beach but now it’s awesome! Our favorite bartenders were still there and welcomed us with open arms and a few stories of Wilma experiences, WOW. So, we picked up our entertainment plus card at the front desk. Well not exactly. It seems that the front desk never got it? Twice? I called Brant and talked to his wife. She said the driver was 10 minutes away, wait in the lobby. New card. They were great! So let’s try it out. We went to Isla Mall and popped into Come N Eat. We had the spring rolls, (Great) the Buffalo Wings (major surprise, really good) and taquitos, guac, chips and salsa (good to very good, 7.5 rating) and now the card has paid for itself. Cost of card, 15 US, savings, the tab was originally $41, Final was $29 and change. That’s about it for day 1 Day 2 We woke up about 7 to a huge thunder storm. Rained like hell ‘til about 9 and finally stopped about 10. The rest of the day was mostly cloudy with that annoying wind. We decided to head up the zone to find My Place. Found it using the new Map Chick map. I can’t begin to say how cool and useful this new set of maps are. We used them throughout our trip, especially the downtown map. Oh, about My Place, it looks small from the entrance but opens up to a very large space. We arrived at 11:30 but they open at noon. A gentleman stopped us at the door, I asked if he were Joe. Yes. I introduced us, mentioned cancuncare and we made a new best friend. First he sat us at the bar and treated me to a tequila tasting. Janet, his wife came in and as I said, new best friends. They are the nicest people. Offered us use of some of their free cell minutes if we needed. They said “if anything happens or you have trouble, call us” And the stories! the move to Cancun, opening My Place, and Wilma. Oh yeah the food that day, Guac, salsa and chips (way good, 8.5 rating), Stuffed mushrooms, way good, poppers just o.k. and the nachos were really good too. The portions were large and the price wasn’t. After leaving M.Place we found our way to Froggies. Great rebuild but way disappointed, 160 pesos for 2, 20 oz. Sols, no way! Finally, dinner at Lorito Joe’s. We used the 2 for 1 card again. Started with the crab cake (excellent) Faith had fajitas (great) and I had margarita shrimp (nearly excellent). Our tab including 2 beers and a shot, with tip and after the discount, $330 pesos. That’s about it, hotel bar, we met a first time couple. After many of their questions, other couples came around with questions of thier own, they said we should be professional tour guides, sounded good to us. Bedtime. Friday, cloudy and windy again (it stayed that way most of the day), likes that’s gonna’ stop us. Hopped the bus to Puerto Jaurez for the ferry to Isla Mujeres. After 5 trips to cancun, this was our deepest foray into the real Cancun. More to come on that. We love Isla and especially Jax bar. The owners are ex pats from Texas (how nice, see Joe and Janet) It was only 10 am so we had, of course, guac, salsa and chips another 8.5 rating. After, we hung at the beach we renting a golf cart at Ciros, recommended by map chick and Jackie and Mike at Jax. Just toured around the island. We stumbled upon this place on the lagoon,we just had to stop for a beer (1.50 US), very cool pit stop. Off to see the turtles. So fun to check them out and also make a wildlife donation. Headed up to the point above Garrafone. Very cool sculptures. The setting and view make them even more spectacular. Bouncy bouncy back to Jax. then were explored the shops and found Concochos. We had some excellent tacos. One taco that was recommended by cancunecare peeps I can’t even begin to pronounce, something like tix chix lixx pics, hell I don’t know but it was a great fish taco. Ferry back then on the R1 bus. I thought the guys were bad, but we got a rodeo cowgirl, barrel racing bus driver. Man, she got us to the Westin in 38 minutes! Exhausted, good night. Saturday, cloudy to start but would end to be a nice day. about 80, still annoying wind but mostly sunny. We’re going to Isla Contoy. A guided tour with a stop for snorkeling on the way and a stop at Isla Mujeres on the way back. From our arrival at the marina I could tell that this was a well run outfit. They served a modest breakfast. Then snorkeling off of Isla M. Water was clear and there was a great variety of fishies. Off to Contoy. After snorkeling, the beer and rum and cokes were free flowing. Arriving on Contoy our guide was very informative. Lots to see at this wildlife sanctuary. Nice little museum. The observation tower was great. Birds, birds and more birds. ] They then set up the buffet. Much better than most of the tours we’ve been on. The grilled blackened fish was excellent. They had fruit, salad, desserts, but I even went back for seconds on the Mexican lasagna! It seemed like forever to get back to Isla M. But here we are back at Jax. Then back to the HZ. Home, the lobby bar and bed. Sunday, a day of rest. It started mostly cloudy but we camped on the beach anyway. Weather got better. We freshened up and went back to My Place where we met up with Steve, Janet and their cute little daughter. On the way back we stopped at Subway for an easy meal before the Broncos game. Probably should have had a sit down meal with no TV. Monday. Started sunny so we hung at the beach. Red flags and huge waves. Around 10:30 we decided to go into town. Market 23 was packed at 11. Walked to 28 and felt completely safe. And thanks to Map Chicks map we didn’t get lost. If you go to market 28, you must eat at el Cajas. It’s well priced and the ceviche is second to none. Beware, the choice of three salas, the red one is like ketchup, the pico is great and fresh but the green one will light your candle. HOT. Went over to Wallmart for a few things like something for Faith’s bug bites. As she said “I feel like a bug buffet”. She got eaten alive, for me, nada. Stopped at a couple of malls for some christmas shopping and decided to stop at Lorito Joe’s for dinner. Faith had the New York strip and I had grilled salmon. Again, service, atmosphere and food were great. 2 for 1 card saved us $18.00. Tuesday was our last full day. Mostly sunny, yeah. Biggest waves I’ve seen in Cancun. We parked ourselves on the beach and just hung out most of the day. Dinner was at Carlos and Charlie's. I had the tacos that were great. and the staff had graet fun with me. Again on the 2 for 1 card. Saved $14.50. Time to pack and say goodbye to our bartenders. Last day. Up at 6 for a noon flight. Took a bunch more parting photos. I don't know why we get to the airport at 9:45 for a noon flight? By the time we checked in, we had 2 1/2 hours to kill. So back to Denver. When we arrived it was 70 degrees and we had 4 more days off! Til’ the next time, adios from Jimmy and Faith.