What a glorious start to the day. The sunrise was spectacular this morning and promised to be a wonderful day to be visiting Cozumel. As usual we started with breakfast with people coming and going at the breakfast table. We all had different times to be on the pier for our tours.
Randy, I, Barry and Lana were going to the Hotel Cozumel & Resort for a day of making salsas and learning to dance the salsa. We were all excited.
Bill and Vicki were off to the Tulum Mayan Ruins, Frank and Paula was off to a dolphin swim and ride. Jim and Vilma were off to a jeep and beach adventure and Bill and Jane were off to the Royal Swim at Chankanaab.
Our tour did not start until 10: 50am so Randy and I decided to take a walk downtown to see if one of our favorite places to visit was still there. It is a small bar that features bar stools that are horse saddles. Randy really enjoys the guacamole and, of course, the beers are always cold. Then we stopped at Senor Frogs for a photo op.
We enjoyed the early morning walk down the street that ran along the waterfront. I especially like the artwork of brightly colored iguanas, birds and others I wasn’t really sure about but they were beautiful glistening in the sunlight. We took our time enjoying the walk and clear, blue green water of the Caribbean.
We eventually made it to the area where our Salsa and Salsa tour was to gather and waited for Barry and Lana. Once our tour guide had twenty people she put us into vans and off we went. We were driven only a few minutes away from the port to the Hotel Cozumel & Resort and escorted through the hotel to an underground tunnel that took us across the street to the beach front and restaurant for the hotel. When we arrived at our destination we were offered water, hibiscus tea or lime margaritas to start our tour.
The room was very large and filled with tables for groups of six and eight with two people assigned to work together. The tables were set with all the ingredients necessary to learn to make seven different salsas and two different kinds of margaritas. I was extremely impressed with the preparation that went into make the exercise easy, fun and informative.
The women who conducted the class were just wonderful. They were energetic, lively, fun making the afternoon one of the most enjoyable I have ever spent. Amanda had boundless energy and she walked from one end of the room to the other talking constantly, giving directions and like any good teacher going from table to table making sure everyone who needed it got assistance. There were 80 people in our class.
We learned to make traditional margaritas, frozen strawberry margaritas, fiery red salsa, tangy salsa Verde, Oaxacan guacamole, pico de gallo, mango/melon salsa and Rompope dessert salsa. As we made each dishbaskets of corn chips, soft shell chicken quesadillas, and taquitos were delivered so we could taste and enjoy the fruits of our labor. They were all wonderful. All during the class our glasses were always kept full. I really liked the hibiscus tea although I did try the strawberry margarita too.
After the cooking lessons were over all the tables were cleared away and we took a group pictures in a very unique way. Instead of taking a photo and then charging for it they had everyone who wanted a picture put their cameras on a table and then two staff members would pick up cameras two at a time and we would all shout different words that were associated with our cooking class. We would yell salsa, margarita, tequila, etc. It really was fun. The most fun I had was watching Randy and Barry having so much fun. They really got into the whole cooking thing it was great!
Before we started the dance lessons Amanda introduced us to Lela the pig. In a move that I thought was exceptional they explained that they started collecting donations after the earthquake in Haiti to help and that now they collect for various good causes around the world. Each month they choose a new cause with 100% of the donations going to that cause. Barry and Lana made a donation which I thought was very nice.
Then Amanda gave lessons in salsa line and couples dancing. I sat that one out since I have a problem with my knee. Once the cooking and dancing were over we were off to the pool to spend an hour just relaxing. This is a tour I will remember for a very long time and will probably participate in again.
Bill, Jane, Frank and Paula really enjoyed their dolphin swim tours calling it, “A thrill of a lifetime”.
When I looked at the dinner menu I was excited that they have traditional turkey and gravy until I saw the side pairings. They were offering sweet potato mash and Brussels sprouts. My traditional turkey dinner includes white mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, etc. So I asked Adji our wonderful waiter once again if he would check with the kitchen to see if I could change my sides and as usual he brought me what I wanted. Everyone at the tables found Adji to be extremely attentive to our needs and food desires and went out of his way to accommodate both.
Randy and Jim took a liking to the pecan pie and even though it was being offered anymore in the dining room Adji said he would, “send out my agents” to find this delectable dessert for the guys. So for three day they had pecan pie and ice cream. We all thought that this was very funny.
After dinner everyone went in different directions. We decided to just take a walk around the ship and then retire early.