Friday, May 2, 2014

The late-afternoon "ah" factor

End of the day ritual 
It's become our end-of-the-day ritual, sipping a glass of wine and watching the sun set on another great day.  Ah!

The island has many great locations to watch the sunset.  Most of our favourite places are on the waterfront facing towards Cancun or Isla Blanca; locations where the brilliant colours of the setting sun are splashed on the ocean and echoed on nearby reflective surfaces.  

2002 at Villa Makax on westside of Isla
Our first trip to Isla Mujeres was in 2002. We stayed on the west side of the island at Villa Makax and the Rolandi Hotel.  

At that time golf cart rentals were not very common so we seldom left the neighbourhood.  I have very pleasant memories of standing barefoot in the surf with my glass of wine waiting for the sunset, and we all know good memories induce return visits.

We returned to Isla in 2005, after taking a trip to Bali, and then, as it turns out, one final vacation on the Pacific coast of Mexico.  We decided that Isla was better, much better!   

2005 Sunset Grill view 

On our second trip we explored more of the island, discovering other restaurants such as Sunset Grill at the north end of the island and Casa O's near the southern end of the island.  

2009 Lawrie at Casa O's Restaurante

Both restaurants were delightfully romantic places to spend a few hours savouring good food and beautiful sunsets.  

(The Casa O's property was sold a couple of years ago and has been converted to a lovely private home.) 

View near Brisas Grill and BallyHoo

Now that we are full-time islanders we have several other favourite places.  

A table on the beach at Brisas Grill on Rueda Medina is the perfect location to watch the sun ignite the sky with fiery pinks, oranges and reds before slowly extinguishing itself in the ocean.   

At Ballyhoo we usually try to grab the corner table to really appreciate the evening display.  

Besides the great show of the sun going down, there are usually boats coming and going, kids hanging out with friends, and fishermen bringing in their catch. There is always something to see, to photograph.

Sunset view from Soggy Peso dock

A little further south on the island are other good locations for sunset watching.  We are very partial to the Soggy Peso Bar & Grill, especially since the two large derelict boats that were blocking the great view have been towed away and turned into reusable scrap.  Sitting on the dock with a glass of wine is such a relaxing way to end the day - watching kayakers, and boaters enjoying a last bit of evening light. 

Jeff Current at Marina Paraiso
More recently Barlito's at Marina Paraiso has turned into another favourite sundowner hangout for us, especially on Friday nights when Jeff Current is belting out great beach tunes.  The location is spectacular. 

The jewel-toned lights hanging randomly from overhead tree branches creates a whimsical atmosphere.  The lights are far more romantic than the unfortunately standard florescent tube fixtures found in a number of local restaurants.  Recently Barlito's has added tall bistro-style tables and chairs tucked under tiny waterfront palapas, making the sunset viewing even better.  

My waiter sharing the rooftop view
We have one more favourite sunset location on the island.  It's private.  

Exclusive.  Our rooftop deck.  It's a great place for sunset viewing, for the late-afternoon "ah" factor, however, efficient bar service at this location is always a challenge.  The waiter grumbles when I ask for a refill.  He has to trek down thirty-eight stairs to the kitchen refrigerator, and back up thirty-eight stairs.  Sigh!

It's a good thing I know him quite well.

Lynda & Lawrie


Randy McFadden said...

Great Post!!

Randy McFadden said...

Great Post

Chris said...

Hi Linda, I enjoyed reading your post. Sounds like you have found your perfect retirement spot. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Good Morning Randy - Thank you! Thank you for the nice comments, and for reading our weekly blog. Cheers Lynda

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Good Morning Chris: Thank you as well. I took a peek at your blog .... nice work. I'll check in with you as well. You are a busy busy person. Cheers Lynda

caribbeancowgirl said...

Hey Lynda,

We have visited Isla several times and love it. We are now looking at it as a potential place to relocate full time. I would love to talk to you at some point about your transition. Would you be willing to email a bit? My email is


Life's a Beach! said...

Can't wait to see those sunsets in another week! Maybe I should start packing!

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Hi caribbeancowgirl ... sure, would love to chat. Will pop you an email tomorrow. Cheers Lynda

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Hola Becky ..... start the countdown and get packing. Looking forward to seeing you and the bionic man. Cheers Lynda

allie boardman said...

We also enjoy your blog, love the pictures, but they make us very jealous. We are minus 3 in Winnipeg.

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Hi Allie, Long time no hear, I lost your Email when my computer crashed. Please contact me Thanks Lawrie