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Strathmore Hall is in Rockville, Md. far from Dupont Circle, near where I live, in fact, the OH has had some work there off and on after he lost his job. Not that I need to let that out, but oh well.

 

eta: Not that he's out of a job at the moment.

 

Oh well, this feels wrong to even say.

 

The Textile Museum is another little D.C. gem that not many people visit.

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I thought it would be cool to have a thread -- akin to the Breakfast and Supper threads -- where we talk about the trips we've booked that we're looking forward to taking.   Cameron and I are going

Excellent!   False modesty will get you nowhere on this board. A Latin scholar spending a year doing research in Rome, eh? I look forward to your posts. By the way, when the woman said the pigs w

I hope you'll be sending us occasional reports about life in Rome.

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Paris for a few days and then a whole raft of work travel -- Barcelona, Seattle, San Francisco and then Boulder for nearly a month in July, then in the autumn Kyoto (actually Nara), Barcelona again and finally Portland, Oregon. All nice towns so I am not too gloomy about it.

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Paris for a few days and then a whole raft of work travel -- Barcelona, Seattle, San Francisco and then Boulder for nearly a month in July, then in the autumn Kyoto (actually Nara), Barcelona again and finally Portland, Oregon. All nice towns so I am not too gloomy about it.

Academia's a hard life but someone has to do it.

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Paris for a few days and then a whole raft of work travel -- Barcelona, Seattle, San Francisco and then Boulder for nearly a month in July, then in the autumn Kyoto (actually Nara), Barcelona again and finally Portland, Oregon. All nice towns so I am not too gloomy about it.

 

If you want company when you're in Seattle, let me know!

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The three of us recently jetted out of town last minute.. I was sitting in a hotel room in chicago 7 days before we left, i booked the trip.. I had airline points and hotel points and the only tropical locale that was not blocked out was the Hyatt Cancun..

 

Knowing Cancun's reputation for puking college kids and just crappy tourism, we went anyway.. After all, our main goal was not an eating vacation, it was not for culture, it was to sit on a beach and spend time as a family.. Anything after that was gravy..

 

We were really happy to discover that the hotel was empty.. We had just missed the college breakers and the Hyatt I don't think would have been the place for them anyway..

 

When we arrived, we were told that the hotel was running a promotion.. Everything was half off.. Literally, everything was half the price.. The hundred dollar bottle of wine we ordered with dinner, it was 50 bucks, the buffet breakfast (which was good) worked out to be 12 dollars for the three of us.. Drinks at the pool were 2.50 dollars..

 

We spent the first 3 days happily on the beach.. Playing in the crystal clear water, buying slices of coconut with chile and lime from local vendors walking by.. Fish empanadas, cotton candy, bags of mango with chile and lime were also a regular item we purchased..

 

At night, we tried a few different restaurants, they were terrible.. The waiters would come by and place sombreros on our head and try to sell us family photos for 15 dollars a pop.. The food was pricey.. I had spotted a bag of frozen shrimp in one of the kitchens... Here a restaurant a block away from the gulf of Mexico was selling frozen shrimp.. I could promise you that they used canned oysters in my roasted oyster dish.. My first clue was there was two tiny oysters per shell.

 

We did have one semi decent meal, Lorenzillos. the only problem, this semi decent meal came out to 300 dollars..

 

On the 4th day, we took a snorkling trip to Isla Mujures.. A small 3 mile island off the cost of Cancun.. We had about an hour to walk around the island.. WIth just an hour, we realized, this is where we should have gone.. Hotel or not, it was time for our adventure to begin..

 

The food there was amazing.. Lumita was our first stop.. Here was essentially a women's house.. There was a small dining room, a slighty opened door let us look into her bedroom.. A bedroom by name alone as, people on Isla Mujures tend to sleep in hammocks.. We had a wonderful ceviche.. Bits of cooked lobster and shrimp mixed with the island's favorite, grouper. All mixed with cilantro, red onion, and what we estimated would have been 5 dollars worht of lime juice back home. Surprisingly, there were no serranos.. Surprisingly for me I guess as I have never had ceviche in Mexico.. My only prior visit consisted of me and Miss A driving a in from California and following the border until we hit Texas.. Or, having the homemade food of our house keeper who is from what is known to serve the hottest food in Mexico.. It was delicious, it was a huge plate, it was 7 dollars.. We also ordered a delicious chicken mole served with rice, a lime soup, and Missie K happily ordering her favorite dish, pollo frita.. I am not sure if we decided to stay on the island before this meal or after the meal, but, i think it was pretty much known once we stepped on the island.. Perhaps it was when Miss A spotted one of the several guys who had wooden push carts selling Mamey..

 

We ended up not getting back on the boat and spent the next three days on Isla Mujures..

 

Without luggage or change of clothes, we rented a golf cart, tooled around the island until we discovered a small hotel right on the beach.. We checked in to a nice suite (the only room available in the hotel)... The room was 75 dollars a night..

 

Isla Mujures is beautiful.. 3 miles around. there is a lot to see.. The island changes dramatically from side to side.. Lots of beautiful rock formations and cliffs.. On North Beach you could walk out a hundred yards from shore and still have the water as high as your calves.. It of course did dip from time to time but, getting no higher than your waist..

 

We spent the next three days driving around and stopping wherever we thought it looked like a beautiful place to swim, or wanted to look at Iguannas, or wanted to stop into the tortilla factory, or stop by and watch the man make Chicharrones in huge vats of pork lard, or if the sign outside the ladies house or the smell made us stop.. This happened often...

 

Along the way Miss K swam with dolphins, made friends with the French Family staying in the room next to us, and got to drive the golf cart from time to time..

 

This island was amazing.. Every night after we would shower, before dinner, before going to the night market to play fuss ball on the old warped tables that reminded me of the ones I played on in Benidorm when I was her age, we would sit at this long bar, with a 30 foot thatched vaulted cieiing with a faux chrsytal chandelier. We would sit on these wooden swings that attached to the roof.. We would have a couple of beers and speak to the parents, or couples, or random people as Miss K and her friends played nearby.. We met a whole bunch of people, people who traveled from France, New Zealand, Australia, and even two people that lived three blocks away from us.. We felt guilty that we did not have to travel so far to get to such a beautiful place.. To hear from the Australians that they love this island more than Bali or Thailand, places I long to go, it was kind of surprising.

 

We managed to purchase a couple of shirts and under garments while on the island.. Even a toothbrush..

 

Finally, we went back to our hotel at the Hyatt.. We went back to the crappy food of the touristy restaurants and the luxurious hotel.. The beach was still beautiful, the water was still crystal clear and warm.. Though our hearts were still in Isla Mujures, I loved both experiences..

 

Just 3.5 hours away by plane.. What a beautiful place... I hope to return and when we do, it will be all Isla Mujures.

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Now that is spontaneous!

 

Actually, I've heard from a number of people who buy those highly discounted travel packages to resorts on the coast, and they don't bother to check in to the hotel at all - just go down the road a bit to the nearby local beach and find a place. But I like your style! We couldn't pull that off (obviously, you don't travel with a bunch of prescriptions! Neither do I for that matter, but M does.)

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Next month you'll pretty much have the place (the place being Cancun, Isla, Playa, Tulum, etc.) to yourselves. Reminds me I have a bunch of restaurant recommendations to post in the Mexico thread.

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Here a restaurant a block away from the gulf of Mexico was selling frozen shrimp.. I could promise you that they used canned oysters in my roasted oyster dish.. My first clue was there was two tiny oysters per shell.

Reminds me of the McCormick & Schmick outpost trumpeting its crab flown in from Mexico - to Baltimore. :o (We weren't at that restaurant by choice.)

 

Anyway that's a wonderful writeup. Thanks for the virtual vacation.

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Thanks for the kind words..

 

So exiting that you are going on a Yucatan Trip, I imagine it is going to be a little warm:cool: .. I wish I could offer more advice for Isla Mujures but, we did not have a camera, our phones, or really anything when we arrived.. I know where places are in my head but, not the names of them... I would say to get a golf cart one day and do circle the island.. get off the main drag and drive around where the locals live... some wonderful places.. But that is pretty much advice for going anywhere.

 

For Cancun do not go to Mocambo, Destileria, or Paloma Bonita.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In Austin right now, I will be doing a KCBS bbq judging at the Sam's Club today. I am looking to have some awesome bbq from all the Texas teams. Life is good to be a certified BBQ judge.

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The first week of June I will be staying in Aspen at my employers house dog sitting while they take a side trip. Rocky and Rosey are sweet Hungarian Pulis so it should be fun. Never been there and want to do some exploring in that part of Colorado during the day.

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