On the twelfth day of Christmas, Isla gave to me:
I wonder if Santa Claus could fit one of these beauties in Lawrie's stocking?
Any Sunday afternoon at North Beach a collection of yachts and mega-yachts can be seen anchored just off shore while their passengers enjoy a dip in the warm aqua-coloured sea water. These yachts are a fairly recent phenomenon as Isla was originally a fishing community. Walk any beach on the west side of the island and you will see numerous small multi-coloured panga-style boats pulled up on the beaches waiting for the work day to begin.
Eleven Loungers Laying:
Starting at seven in the morning the employees of the beach restaurants and bars begin to get organized for the day, setting out sun loungers and umbrellas for potential customers.
Every business has their own colours to identify their area. Waiters will deliver food and drinks to the loungers allowing holiday travellers to just relax and enjoy the sun, sand and surf.
Lawrie tried to train me to do that at our casa. It didn't work out so well for him.
Ten Taxis Racing:
Even though the island is only seven kilometres long and a kilometre wide, the taxis are always in a hurry to get somewhere - where ever that somewhere is. Taxis are reasonably priced and can usually be flagged down from anywhere on the island. The main taxi stand is located near the passenger ferry docks. It is still best to ask the price before you ride as the rates can be higher in the holiday season.
Nine Snowmen Waiting:
These nine little donut-snowmen lined up on a baking tray at the Chedraui Super Store made us laugh.
Snowmen, in the Caribbean? Thank goodness they are not real, and are only in someone's imagination.
We've done our time with snow: no mas.
Eight Palm Trees Swaying:
Nothing says “the tropics” like a sugar-white beach and stately palm trees swaying in the breeze. Beware – those picturesque, and very hard, coconuts hanging above your head can knock you out if they connect with your softer noggin.
Usually around this time of year the city workers are out and about removing the almost ripe fruit from the trees in an attempt to prevent injuries. Still, sitting in the shade of a coco tree is just so darn romantic it's hard to resist – potential head injuries be damned.
Seven Hammocks Hanging:
Swinging in a hammock strung between two coco palm trees, sipping on a cold cerveza: ah, bliss.
We recently planted two little cocos in our small patch of sand on the ocean-side of our house. We daily check their progress to see if they are hammock ready.
Unfortunately five feet high doesn't quite qualify. We have a few more years to wait.
Six Massage Tents Ready:
Stressed from gift shopping or flying economy class? Why not hit the beach for a massage.
Located on the beach, across from Jax Bar & Grill or the Posada del Mar Hotel, are five or six massage tents where the staff will give you a relaxing light massage, guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit.
Five Freezing Coooold Beers:
Merry Christmas to our good friends Freddy, Joao Gustavo, Alex, Daniel, Pepe, and Inez and of course Sal and Mal Richards at the Soggy Peso Bar & Grill.
They have the biggest smiles while they serve the best freezing cold beer on the island!
Four Trees in Centro:
The smell, the shape, the decorations of a real Christmas tree brings back great memories for anyone from northern climates, but I always wonder how did a Christmas tree become synonymous with Christmas in the Caribbean?
As ex-pats we really enjoy seeing the trees, in centro, at the passenger ferry docks, and on top of the City Hall. It's a beautiful thing.
Three Church Bells Ringing:
Christmas time is very special to the islanders. It is the time of year when many children are baptized, or confirmed into the Catholic Church. It is also the start of a six-week-long celebration that includes The Feast of our Lady Guadalupe on December 12th, Posadas Navideñas December 16th to 29th, Noche Buena December 24th, Christmas December 25th, and ending in January with the Night of the Kings on January 6th. The three large Catholic Churches on Isla Mujeres are beautifully decorated and overflowing with worshippers during the holiday season.
There are two Christmas parades: the official Municipal Santa Claus Parade, and the Christmas Golf Cart Parade organized by a local carnival dance troupe. Last year we participated in the golf cart parade for the first time, dressed as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, tossing candy to the crowds of kids. This year the parade was scheduled for Saturday December 20th, but due to the high possibility of rain has been moved to Saturday December 27th starting at 5:30 in the afternoon. It is so much fun to ricochet around the island in a decorated golf cart, trying to follow the lead vehicle when the route is being planned just as the parade starts. The crowds of little kids waving and yelling hello make it all worthwhile. We'll be there again!
On The Twelfth Day of Christmas Isla Gave to Me - One Brightly Lit and Noisy Party Bus:
It's bright. It's noisy. It's fun. Every year around this time the party bus, or as some people call it the disco bus, or the funny bus, comes out of storage and begins doing nightly runs around and around, up and down the island.
Loud music. Bright lights. And people have fun. It's become a favourite with Bachelor and Bachelorette party celebrations.
It drives me nuts when I am trying to sleep, but it has become part of the annual holiday celebrations so we have learned to laugh, and go back to sleep muttering: “It's just the party bus.” We have plans to use it soon, and it will be our turn to be silly.
Feliz Navidad to you all – may your Christmas be Merry and bright!
Lawrie & Lynda
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