Ah, the island life,palm trees swaying in the warm breezes. Gentle waves washing ashore over coral covered reefs. The quiet! Laying under palapa covered huts ,shaded from the sun while thinking of nothing other than the waiters return with our cool drinks.
Stop the press! Not so fast lazy one,open those weary travelers eyes, what about 700 taxis lined up in a procession along the waters edge waiting for one ride from 30 thousand anxious passengers crowded around the nearest Sr. Frogs. Riding down escalators to find hundreds of vendors prepared to make the deal of the day. So what amigo!
Welcome to Cozumel,Mexico my new favorite spot on earth or should I say in the sea?
Its easy to find the bliss here, only minutes in any direction and a few steps into a turquoise colored sea, the quiet under water is compelling. I took my snorkel and headed out around the rocks. I happen to know that all fish hang out around the rocks. Most divers will tell you its because of all the food, but my conversation with a baby squid was other wise.
They hide there,they know we are coming. And that we do! in droves and boats with tanks, fins and all kinds of funny looking equipment.
What a strange site we divers must be.
I remember once on the island of St.John,also in the Caribbean, we took a ride to a national park where the novice snorkelers could read signs planted underwater. We saw large brain coral and read about it while swimming to the next sign. At times it was hard to read with all the flapping fins of fellow snorkelers around us stirring up the sand. But once you venture out away from the crowds, the beauty of the underworld brings about a peacefulness unlike any other.
Cozumel offers that peace to those able to grasp the moment. The manta rays peeking out from under the sand, the stag horn coral and abundance of brightly colored,spotted and odd shaped fish, make for some of the best diving in the world. Yes ,now this is island bliss!
Now for the island Blast!
Whether your sitting with your feet dug in the sand or salsa dancing, your going to have a blast either way.
Its true there are hundreds of taxis and thousands of cruise ship passengers coming down 3 enormous piers. But one hardly notices them as the music and beauty on the island hide this intrusion.
Along with the hundreds of taxis there were also hundreds of poinsettias lining the streets. The main boulevard is so clean and painted a crisp white with built in benches that stretch for miles along the ocean front. The main square is loaded with ornaments and the holiday spirit in Cozumel is found in the islanders themselves rather than in the bottom of a margarita glass.
Wow what a place, what a wonderful adventure to see what paradise actually looks like. Both above and under the water.
Cozumel has everything for everybody.
The tour companies, impressive restaurants, the shops are modern and well appointed. You might think for a moment that you’re walking on Rodeo Blvd or 5th Ave. Every designer on the planet has a presence there and the stores are packed with eager shoppers, buying up the most modern Rolex watches to carved coconut heads.
The restaurants we tried like Kinta, offer distinct European flavors while a few steps away you can feast on yummy tacos in the street. Starbucks and Planet Hollywood,Mayan ruins and rare birds all welcome the island travelers.
What a pleasure to see a place that has everything and what a blast people have when they visit. We sure did.
Now I understand why our Salsa and Salsa Tour at the Hotel Cozumel Resort is going to be the highlight of a visit to Cozumel for anyone arriving in paradise. The food and dancing,the underwater experience,don’t forget about the largest pool on the island.
This is the bliss and blast all in one, the makings of lifelong memories..
Happy Holidays or should I saw Holidaze?
The Dancing Chef
Wow! I can’t believe it’s taken me THIS long to write to you all about Cozumel!! Things have been a flurry of packing, unpacking, training, uniforms, new people, new friends, great new location, a new dancing chef partner and more!
I want to share all these moments with you all!
Since my departure from Mazatlan, I’ve gone through a whirlwind of changes in my life. From getting married in Vegas (more on that in a later post!), to packing up all my belongings in Mazatlan, to moving into a new place in Cozumel, to starting Salsa and Salsa in a brand new location…not bad for 4 weeks !
Cozumel is a magical place. I arrived late in the afternoon, after leaving Mazatlan at 5am (yep, that’s a 3am alarm clock!) with a stop-over in Mexico City and then Cancun. We caught a 10 minute taxi ride from the airport to our new home, a one bedroom apartment smack-bang in the centre of town, right on the ocean!
Dinner and a bottle of wine…ahhhhh…..Cozumel.
The following day was straight to it, meeting with Cruise people, hotel people and so much more! Our new dancing chef Judy was right there with me, and you’ll all get to meet her soon enough…she’ll also be writing here from time to time 😉
Training for the new Salsa Team was to begin the very next day, so I got right into OLE Mode, with Manuals, Questionaires and more. Training was a hoot! I want to share some pics with you from our training sessions. Our new Salsa Team are a fun, energetic and young team, that have proven to be quick learners and have all the enthusiasm we have looked for in our Dancing Chef culture.
I knew these guys were the “ones” when I rang that little bell for the first time and a roar of “OLE!” came from their smiling faces.
With training complete, we dared to invite hotel guests and friends to a “training show”, so our new team could practise and make perfect. A total success! I’m pleased to share with you the fact that we had nothing but good things said about the training show. Our guests left happy, yelling OLE and smiling and dancing down the stairs.
In the same week, Cozumel was filled with exciting events. Revolution Day (Nov 20th, 2010) surprised us with a glorious parade of young and old alike. We have a cute balcony overlooking the main street in Cozumel, so we happily sat there and watched the kids in their costumes. Here are a few pics of that day. So much color, so much music, and so much happiness – it’s all just so contagious, I love it!!
Iron Man Cozumel 2010 was also upon us here that week, so again, we spent time on the balcony cheering on men and woman who had already gone for the swim and bike portion of the race. The running was the last leg and their run was on the main street of town. I spent 1 hour on the computer and 1 hour on the balcony yelling words of encouragement “Keep on going!”, “Don’t give up!” and to the ladies “YOU GO GIRL!” (I got a few giggles from a few for that one!).
Thursday was our first official show, and we have seen a total of nearly 60 people in 3 days…not bad for a new tour 😉 We know that in a matter of a few weeks, word will spread and the popularity we are so blessed to have in Mazatlan, will quickly follow us here. We’re humbled by all the comments and words of encouragement we receive from guests and friends alike, thank you all.
This has been a challenge…a life changing, exciting and glorious challenge. But we’ve done it!
We’ll have Lela here too – for the first 3 months in Cozumel, Lela will be collecting donations to help build a Blood Bank here on the Island. There is no Blood Bank and locals are required to catch the ferry to Playa del Carmen, then bus it to Cancun…a trip and expense that most locals are unable to afford. With a Blood Bank here on the island, we can hopefully save some lives and make a difference to those who need a helping hand.
Keep an eye on those Lela pictures and reports…it’s going to be exciting to see what she will accomplish here!
Well, I think you are up to date now with Cozumel. We are waiting on Tripadvisor to list us in Cozumel to start our new challenge…we want to get to #1 in Cozumel too! Hehehe. 169 things to do in Cozumel…we may start at the bottom, but by-golly, we’ll get to the top, just you wait and see 😉
Head Chef Leonique made a cameo appearance this week at the Cozumel show…needless to say, we got a good injection of new energy there! Stay tuned for more fun Cozumel news!