Yesterday our ship ported in Cozumel with about 19,000 other tourists coming off the various cruise ships in port. We have never been fond of these mega-ports such as St. Thomas and now Cozumel with the capability to have a half dozen ships in town on any given day. We had chosen what turned out to be an awful shore excursion, but we were so grateful for what came afterwards. Friends of ours from DC had noticed in my last posting from Galveston that we were headed here. They quickly emailed and invited us to lunch and to spend the afternoon by the pool and sea at their mother's home as she lives in Cozumel full time now. We met at CASA MISSION which is east of the town center and consists of a large old hacienda converted into a beautiful oasis in the middle of town.
We sat on the porch surrounded by flowers and plants and a cool breeze wafted by as we sipped what had to be the most powerful Margarita I had ever had; it was simply fabulous. It was noontime, but Mexicans still eat breakfast so while you could choose from Fish Tacos (made with fresh Dorado), Enchiladas and more, there were also several local breakfast dishes. There was cut fresh bread (no chips here) with a wonderful smoky salsa made from arbol chilis. This was also excellent on all the dishes as was the more powerful salsa made with habaneros, but it was not intense or overpowering as the ones back home are.
I had the Chilaquilis which come with red or green chili and are simply taco chips with shredded chicken, salsa, and a superb side of refried beans all topped with queso fresco, that wonderful white freshly made cheese found all over Mexico.
I gobbled my dish up as everyone else at the table did and even managed to finish off a half of one of Samuel's cheese quesadillas as he could not eat all three. The food was fabulous, the atmosphere perfection and all of the agony from the morning's excursion disappeared. Our afternoon with our friends was perfect and we returned to the ship having a new view of Cozumel; it can be great if you escape the thousands of tourists and the omnipresent pier shopping!
We must also thank our friends' mother, Jean, who is a warm, generous and kind person, and truly a good "soul." It was so special to meet her. Indeed I am already reading her book entitled "Saying 'I Do' In Paradise" on our last day at sea and am thoroughly enjoying it.
We head back to DC tomorrow and will be busy observing Passover this week, so to all those who celebrate, we wish you a wonderful holiday.