cozumel, part 2.

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These are our friends! I loved their home so much. Sam and I have always talked about taking a sabbatical somewhere like Cozumel, between jobs or something. And, I think I'm convinced now.

This family was so good to us, and I loved hearing about their life in Cozumel. They showed us around town, and helped out in so many ways. They played with Eliza, and held Sadie- even though Sadie suddenly developed separation anxiety. I also loved being able to walk around with locals who spoke the language well, because people would treat us differently. Everyone always assumes I can speak Spanish, and I'm ashamed when I can't. This trip has given me a renewed desire to learn!

They ordered a unicorn cake for Eliza's birthday, that just happened to be the same cake that Eliza had been obsessing over after watching some Pinterest video we found awhile back. On her birthday, we walked over to the town plaza and all the kids played on rollerskates and longboards. We let Eliza ride a Barbie jeep from the kid who was renting them for 15 minute increments. When your time was up, he would come sprinting across the square to grab it from you. Eliza was in heaven, especially when we let her ride with Sadie. Sadie was white-knuckling the car door the entire time, while furiously sucking her thumb.

They took us to some of their favorite beaches. We drove out to the opposite side of the island, where you can find more local-friendly beaches because their are bigger waves and no cruise ships. Eliza collected piles and piles of treasures- coral, shells, seaweed, bottlecaps, flowers. We poked around in the tidepools, watching the tiny hermit crabs and snails. Sam got to board with Jeff, while I cuddled with Sadie in the sand. 

One of Eliza's favorite thing to do was ride around in their minivan. Ha! Jen would offer to take Eliza with her while she ran around town picking up kids from their various after-school activities. Eliza was in heaven, eating popcicles in the backseat while watching movies on their DVD player. 

Also, Jen booked us massages! We each got a 1-hour massage, and the masseuse came and set up in their home. It was a great massage, and only $25. Crazy cheap.

And, they gave us the best recommendations for food! So, I figure I should return the favor. If you're ever in Cozumel, this is where you should eat:

La Estrella - A Cocteleria, famous for their ceviche. Sam was so, so happy to have endless plates of ceviche on hand. They also had really good grilled fish, and this dish...

Kondesa- We came here thinking it was something else, but was still pleasantly surprised to find this fancy fusion place. It had beautiful outdoor eating, and the food looked like it should be $50 a plate. The fish was perfectly seared, and they had this cheese fondue that is the stuff of Mexican comfort food dreams. Eliza ate nothing but quesadillas and chips for an entire week, by the way.

Del Sur- This Argentinian restaurant used to be a tiny place that only sold empanadas, when we came here for our honeymoon. It is now a much larger, beautiful place that's known for their steaks- but we still feel like the empanadas are the way to go. They are seriously so good. Try the plum, bacon, cheese or the spiced beef. And for dessert, the dulce de leche, chocolate banana, or the cinnamon apple. We came here three times!

Buccannos at Night- This place is the best. The dishes would go for way more in the States, and the service is amazing. We loved the chorizo and parmesan stuffed chicken and the lobster skewers. The restaurant is right on the oceanfront. 

Casa Danis- This place is a little more tourist-y, but it's a solid family-friendly option. They have pretty good food, and a good sampling of Yucat√°n food, along with "regular" Mexican options. Since it's in the main square, you may also get serenaded by strolling musicians or see a performance by some street dancers.

La Flor de Michoacan- Pretty much anytime you pass one of these shops, you should stop in for a paleta. We ate so many of these fresh fruit popcicles. The guava and watermelon were my favorite, and Sam liked the lime. Eliza liked anything that was pink. We would walk down the street, all sweaty and hot, with popicle juice running down our arms, while Sadie squawked from the stroller because she wanted another taste. Delicious!

Taqueria Diaz- The BEST tacos we had, and so cheap! I got three huge pollo, asada, and arrachera tacos all for around $2. 

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