Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper

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OmahaBruce
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/17 11:25:28 (permalink)
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Tomas
Ah, yes. Reality hits home when it's time to leave paradise.
The only cure is to start planning the next trip.
Gracias, Bruce, for taking the time to post this report. It was such a fun one!




Indeed, Tomas!  Our next trip will be sometime right after the New Year if the company I work for hits our stretch goals. Employees and spouses fly down for a 5 day weekend in the Roo on the company dime.  We are currently on target but it will be close.  
Aside from that Brenda & I have been invited on a 5-day trip to Punta Cana in the DR and also on a 5-day trip to Nassau. The trick will be for Brenda to arrange the PTO for it all.  I have excess PTO hours out the wazoo but since she had to take so much PTO during her chemo in 2013 she is still climbing out of that deficit.
I don't get to do the planning on any of these trips but looking forward to them helps with the withdrawal symptoms.
Your next trip is in November, yes?  To HMB?

I'd much rather have sand in my shorts than snow in my shoes.
#76
Gwen
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/17 12:23:18 (permalink)
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Thanks for the adventure in paradise.  Love it and loved your report.
#77
Kwing
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/17 16:41:51 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing!  Really enjoyed your report and details.
#78
Pugs and Bulldogs
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/17 17:49:07 (permalink)
+1 (1)
It was great fun for all of us sharing in your fun.  Thanks so much for your very enjoyable report.  I, too, am sorry to see it come to completion.   You have a wonderful way with words.




Akumal - 1978; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; 2013; 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017; Merida 2009; 2010



#79
OmahaBruce
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/18 07:51:56 (permalink)
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Pugs and Bulldogs
It was great fun for all of us sharing in your fun.  Thanks so much for your very enjoyable report.  I, too, am sorry to see it come to completion.   You have a wonderful way with words.


Thanks!  That's very kind of you to say and I'm glad that so many of you have enjoyed sharing in our adventure.  Hopefully this TR has given some of you ideas on what to do (and NOT to do) for your upcoming trips to the Roo.  One more installment coming tomorrow.
I think it's mostly about inspiration and there are few things that are as inspiring as the beaches and waters in this part of the world.  
Cheers!

I'd much rather have sand in my shorts than snow in my shoes.
#80
OmahaBruce
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/21 16:15:28 (permalink)
+1 (1)
Well, here it is: the final installment.  I can't believe I actually finished it...
Day 10 & 11 – Vamos A Salir
Packing for the return trip is infinitely more difficult than packing to leave.  No, that’s not quite right.  It’s just the other side of the coin.  Packing to go is full of anticipation and excitement.  Packing to return is full of distraction.  You may be thinking about how to squeeze one more day in, or what kind of excuse you can give to your boss for not getting back to work on schedule, or perhaps even whether or not you could make some sort of more permanent change of venue.  Regardless of the degree, everyone just wants to stay and we were no different.

Checkout time at the condo is 10am and since there were people scheduled to arrive on the same day we left, we knew that we would need to leave on schedule.  This was especially difficult because our flight out was not until 3:30.  That meant we had to pack the night before in order to have any time at all in the water on Sunday morning.  So, yes, the picture above is actually from Saturday night.
 
We got up very early and had leftovers for breakfast.  Then we headed right down to the beach for our final snorkel.  All of our friends came out to say goodbye too.  The squid sent a smaller contingent of five to represent the whole family for the occasion.  Along with the usual suspects that last morning, I also saw several filefish, numerous rays, and a fierce looking barracuda at least 28” long.
I just remembered something that happened at some point earlier in the week.  Not sure which day it was but while I was snorkeling I found a startfish that had very beautiful greenish coloration so I scooped it up to carry it over to a spot where I knew I could find it again.  I wanted to show it to Brenda and she was up at the palapa.  On the way, I saw another that was the same size but more of a subdued brown.  I thought it made a nice contrast for a picture (that never got taken, darnit).  So I snagged it as well, placed the two of them belly to belly and swam toward the spot I wanted.  I hadn’t gone far when I noticed that they were fighting.  Interesting.  Out of the slits on the underside of each arm, they would extend their little suction cupped ¾” fingers.  Maybe they were embracing or maybe they were fighting.  I have no idea.  Wish I’d had the GoPro that I just bought two weeks after our return.  I shifted to only flipper power and gently eased them apart from each other.  Note to self: Don’t do that again. (but it WAS fascinating.)  I got to where I was headed and set them in a deeper channel.  By the time I had one up to get Brenda and got back, one of them had maneuvered up out of the channel and the other one was hot on his (her?) heels.    An extremist view would be to never touch anything in the reef.  At the other extreme are jerks that trample coral and cause a lot of damage.  I fall somewhere in the middle with a “Do no harm” motto.  We watched the chase for a little while then I took them back to where I found them one at a time.
Back to our last day:  We eventually got out of the water and walked the beach a little bit.  Then, when we could put off the inevitable no more, we headed up to shower and change for our day of travel.  Boo-hoo.
We called the front gate for a taxi almost exactly at 10 (no sign yet of the housekeeper) and said our final farewells to Palati Mou. 
Yes, they name their condos in Cozumel.
We made great time getting to the airport and it’s a good thing.  We got there by a little before 11 and the United check-in line was quite long.  It took us half an hour to get through it which only left about four hours to wait for our flight.  I sure hate cutting it so close.  Seriously, I wish I could have come up with a good idea on how to spend that time other than hanging out at the airport.  Actually, we checked in so early that our luggage went on an earlier flight than ours.  By the time I figured out there WAS an earlier flight and inquired about getting seats on it, the gate agent said it was too late; they were already boarding the plane.  It’s all good though.  Did some shopping, some people watching, met a young couple who told us all about their whale shark expedition they just had.
It was so incredibly sad to have to leave our little slice of paradise.  It was a bittersweet moment when they called our flight.  The wait was finally over but so was our time on Cozumel.
 
It’s ok though,  now we get to start planning our next trip.
 
Brenda is still not used to walking across the tarmac to get on a plane.  It just seems so retro.  That's her about half way up the stairs...
 
We took off almost as soon as the door was shut; not a whole lot of planes jockeying for position on the island.  As we ascended I took this picture of the island’s incredible blue water. 

Then, moments later, the aircraft banked to the right and the other side of the channel came into view.  It’s still beautiful, and I would trade almost anything to call it home, but it was also startling to see the size of the sargassum mats that were rolling in, making their way in to spoil the pristine beaches of the RM.
I took a couple of pictures but they don’t translate the scene very well.  The sargassum was in long – VERY long – mats that were 20 – 30 feet wide and miles long, stretching beyond what I could see through the the tiny window..  I will post the pictures here even though they’re my least favorite.
 
That’s probably what we have been seeing wash ashore in front of Lol Ha over the past several weeks.  Damn depressing but that’s nature.  I settled back to try and catch up on some sleep during the flight back to the USA.
Arrival in Houston carried with it the obligitory herding process through immigration and customs.  I’ve done some international travel – not a lot but some – and I have to agree with other passengers whom I overheard as saying that Houston has the worst international entry point ever experienced in the US.  What once was a two stage process was turned into a three stage process through the addition of those stupid kiosks.  All the kiosks do is render as moot the effort of filling out the customs form on the plane in advance.  Bottom line is that there were just too many people for their facility.  Poor management.  In my opinion, an international terminal should be designed to scale people handling and plane gates congruently.  Houston doesn’t.  Period.  It took about two and a half hours to process through.  Ugh.
The cheap flight Brenda found was probably cheap partially due to the overnight layover in Houston.  This was a bonus for us because my brother and his wife live in Houston and we rarely get to see them.  I had arranged to have them pick us up at George Bush airport,  spend the evening and the next morning together then drop us back at Bush for our early afternoon flight.  Rick & Elizabeth also love Coz and have been there numerous times.  Their entire house is decorated in an ocean motif and they really loved sharing our stories. 

Hopefully they will be able to join us on a future trip.

The final leg of our journey was a fun one.  Rick had to work so Elizabeth took us to the airport.  I told her Terminal B and she missed it, taking us to Terminal C instead.   Then realizing her mistake insisted on backtracking to terminal B (a long trip).  It turns out we needed to be at Terminal C and ended up walking all the way back.  Sheesh, but don’t tell Elizabeth.  ;)
The only irritating thing is that we forgot about a large bottle of raw honey in our carryon which was confiscated and thrown in the trash.  Stupid TSA rules.

When we boarded our flight back in Houston, another passenger got all excited when she saw the shirt I was wearing. (She (Alex) is the one in the next picture that is turned around backwards in her seat)  You may have seen it in other pictures – it is dark gray with green lettering that reads, “You say RELENTLESS like it is a bad thing?”  My daughter is a psychological therapist at QLI – an internationally recognized brain and spinal trauma cernter.  The relentless T-shirts are their brand.  I took it in the hopes that it would be recognized somewhere, and it was!
Leaving Houston was not the cake walk as leaving Cozumel was.  There are numerous runways and the one we were using was the United runway primarily.  Still, our flight had to join a queue and wait for a turn to use it.

The flight home was really smooth.  It was easy to tell that we were in the midwest again when, as the plane began to descend, the earth below with its roads and highways resembled a colored in sheet of graph paper.  My youngest daughter and her friend were at the airport waiting for us when we landed.  It was great to be home, but I am already chomping at the bit in anticipation of our next trip to paradise.

post edited by OmahaBruce - 2015/08/21 16:19:16

I'd much rather have sand in my shorts than snow in my shoes.
#81
Mayan Boar
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/21 21:06:08 (permalink)
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Wonderful TR Bruce.  Thanks so much for taking all the time to share.  Such happy memories.  MB


#82
9KrazyCats
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/21 21:45:48 (permalink)
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Loved every minute of it! 
#83
Pugs and Bulldogs
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/22 01:53:01 (permalink)
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So enjoyable! Amazing that you can remember all those details. Thank you again.
 
We had to go thru Houston 13 years ago on a return trip from Costa Rica and it was a bad experience then.
post edited by Pugs and Bulldogs - 2015/08/22 19:50:28




Akumal - 1978; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; 2013; 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017; Merida 2009; 2010



#84
tooter
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/22 10:01:30 (permalink)
+1 (1)
bravissimo Omaha Bruce and Brenda; your sad face photo was so relatable; time to go back and reread your report
#85
crunch
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/22 15:05:17 (permalink)
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I'm going to start saving money to send y'all back to Coz just so I can enjoy another one of your absolutely fabulous trip reports.  Thanks and gracias!
#86
Tamie
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/22 17:46:18 (permalink)
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Great report the whole way through!  Love the pictures.  You two obviously had a fantastic time!  
 
Though I have to say, the Houston airport details are a bit disheartening.  We usually go through Dallas on AA, but went with United this trip and coming in through Houston.  Luckily, we have a long layover.
 
Can't wait for you to go back for another report!

 
[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/]

 


#87
wetone
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/23 09:40:55 (permalink)
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I loved your ability to tell a story----it made me feel like I was there-------thanks for posting!

 

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#88
AKimbo
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/23 15:50:51 (permalink)
+1 (1)
What a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing, been so long since our last Mayan holiday I am in serious withdrawal. Unfortunately I will just have to live vicariously thru trip reports for the foreseeable future. Again thanks for an enjoyable read.

 " />
 
#89
uphillklimber
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/23 16:16:15 (permalink)
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Many, many thanx for sharing!
 

Lovin life,
Bob
 
 
#90
1runjuan
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/23 16:32:33 (permalink)
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right on , OB , what a great report........should I put it back on the trip list ?
ya know all them horrible things said about COZ  
#91
OmahaBruce
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/23 21:52:34 (permalink)
+1 (1)
Thanks for the kind words yall.  I really do love to write of topics that I am passionate about.  Especially when I know those who are reading share in the same passion.  I kept at it all the way to the finish partly because of all of your encouragement.
Crunch, you crack me up.  I only wish you were stinkin' rich and serious about that.  
And, 1Run, no, never!  Encourage everyone you meet to go off to Punta Cana, or Ixtapa, or even the Mediterranean.  ANYWHERE except Cozumel.  We wont be able to keep it a secret forever but dammit, we found it, we should get to keep it! 
 
I just bought a GoPro so TR for next time should be better still.
post edited by OmahaBruce - 2015/08/23 21:55:08

I'd much rather have sand in my shorts than snow in my shoes.
#92
Tomas
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/24 09:03:30 (permalink)
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Dang, that was a fun ride! Gracias, Bruce!


"Turn up the heat,
chill the rose,
stretch out on the beach
and let those metatarsals play"
(Rev. J. Buffett)
#93
Linda S.
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/24 11:06:34 (permalink)
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Loved your report!!!!  Hope to visit Coz some day.

 


 

#94
palapaboy
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/24 11:48:22 (permalink)
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Wow, that was good fortune for you guys on the condo upgrade.  Good info and pics Bruce.  Much appreciated.
 

"I know one thing - indecision may, or may not, be my problem." Jimmy Buffett

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OmahaBruce
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/25 16:36:02 (permalink)
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https://youtu.be/lvdyG7cDGdA
 
Here's a fifty second video snorkeling around that pier at the Residencias Reef beach.  The fish on the fishing line that I helped appears in the last ten seconds.  Don't blink!
 
There's a YOUTUBE control here but I don't think I am using it correctly.  The tiny url should work though.  Please let me know if it doesnt
post edited by OmahaBruce - 2015/08/25 16:40:42

I'd much rather have sand in my shorts than snow in my shoes.
#96
OmahaBruce
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/25 16:41:59 (permalink)
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[tube] removed
post edited by OmahaBruce - 2015/08/26 08:47:14

I'd much rather have sand in my shorts than snow in my shoes.
#97
crunch
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/26 07:25:40 (permalink)
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All 3 of those worked Bruce.  Gracias!
 
#98
Tomas
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/26 07:50:27 (permalink)
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Tried to repost your video with the preview, Bruce. As is typical with LG, now it doesn't work even though I do it all the time.
You're supposed to be able to click on "share" on youtube and copy that link to LG.
post edited by Tomas - 2015/08/26 07:53:38


"Turn up the heat,
chill the rose,
stretch out on the beach
and let those metatarsals play"
(Rev. J. Buffett)
#99
OmahaBruce
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Re: Cozumel 2015: The Life of Riley on the Purse of a Pauper 2015/08/26 08:46:18 (permalink)
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Tomas
Tried to repost your video with the preview, Bruce. As is typical with LG, now it doesn't work even though I do it all the time.
You're supposed to be able to click on "share" on youtube and copy that link to LG.


Tomas that's what I did, sorta, with the first one.  The link in post #96 was originally inserted via the YouTube icon (even though the help text says, "Enter a YouTibe Video"   ) but there was no preview; just the html tags bracketing the hyperlink. Tell Kim that I'm sorry she wasted her time watching the video three times. lol

I'd much rather have sand in my shorts than snow in my shoes.
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