I awoke seamlessly from a comfortable and full night’s rest at around 9 am and we made our way to the buffet in the main lobby, the food was not quite as promising as the dinner the night before. There were lots of heavy food options, but not much that looked yummy to me so early in the day. I tried some fresh fruit over yogurt and oats as a sub-par substitute for a fruit parfait with a mixed juice of pineapple, passion fruit, and beet juice. The juice was good but the parfait was nothing to brag about. My parents each tried an omelet, made fresh and to order, and said that that was delicious.
Following that, we visited the VIP club and were told what was exclusive to VIP guests and what inclusions we had to look forward to. We booked our morning dives for Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and then went to the tourism desk in the lobby to book adventures for the rest of our week. The staff were knowledgeable and made the experience easy and convenient, even booking a taxi and ferry tickets for our day trip to the mainland.
By this time it was about 12:30 and we decided to travel into town, about half an hour from our hotel at the south end of the island, to find a local taco shop. The streets were chaotic and when heading inland many only went one direction. Watch out for mopeds and pedestrians on bicycles because they do a poor job of watching for you. We found Isi Hay around the corner of Quintana Roo C-1 and Setenta Avenida Sur. The tacos there were the best I’ve ever had and probably the best I ever will have. They were the kind of food that you can’t quite decide whether to sit and savor or devour like your mouth is a vacuum. The storefront was bright pink and there was a man behind the counter with a big grin, it was late in the day for lunch so it was mostly cleared out because all of the locals had gone to work. The man immediately pulled out a beautiful piece of chicken and cut off a large piece for each of us to try and I was sold. A waitress brought us chips, guacamole, and salsa and a large pineapple drink each and then we were served our tacos with a variety of toppings (pico de gallo, guacamole, etc.) and a potato with sour cream. I would travel back to Cozumel just for these tacos. I will dream about these tacos. These were the kind of magic that can only come from years of cooking and perfecting one dish.
After that, we went on a shopping mission. But first: parking. Parking was difficult to find and most of it was questionable. Finally, we found a parking lot next to a mall that was free so long as you entered the mall. Yet another reason to use the taxi service available. We entered the mall and were immediately disappointed by the shops available, the same touristy goods and fake jewelry seemed to be available at every storefront, and outside I found a Hooters! This was not a very exciting beginning to my local shopping excursion. Finally, I found a dress that appeared to have some craftsmanship for $30 that I purchased but by that time I was fairly defeated by my shopping misadventure.
Back at the hotel, I changed into a swimsuit and went for a swim in the main swimming area. I got a tequila sunrise from the swim-up bar, doddled around for a bit, and took a power nap on the beach chairs before we headed back to our room to relax before our dinner reservations. The pool was quiet and relaxing, especially for it being an afternoon.
We went to the Tex-Mex restaurant and I tried the chicken burrito, it was slightly better than average and quite a large meal. I wouldn’t recommend the Oreo cheesecake, which I had for dessert. The Cheesecake Factory still has a monopoly on good cheesecake. I finished off my day with a drink at the VIP lounge and typing my journal entry in some extremely comfortable chairs. If only my college’s library had chairs like this.
Overall, I think this day was a success, especially for having found a secret local taco shop that overwhelmed my palette with deliciousness.