Monday, July 23, 2012

Life is what you make it!

This weekend was our first weekend staying in Carmen. We knew that we wanted to explore the beach and find a spot to go when people come to visit. We woke up Saturday morning and headed down the island to where a few people had told us were the best beaches. Apparently there was a miscommunication, because after going down a shady, dirt road and being the only people in this eerie place, we decided to get the hell out of dodge and continue our search. We tried one other place on the side of the highway. It was a beautiful beach, but a little too quiet. After an hour we were on the road again.

Our first thought was to get a margarita at a restaurant we had passed on the way called Los Tortugueros. When we pulled down the road for Los Tortugueros, we expected it to just be a restaurant. Boy, were we surprised! We found the perfect place to spend our weekends! Immediately, our waiter brought us the most delicious margaritas, and we sat in the shade admiring the view of the beach. It had some of the prettiest views we had seen all day. Music was playing and families were visiting. It was just a great place to relax. You could take your margaritas and stroll down the beach with no worry of if you’d pay your bill or bring the margarita glasses back. We went for a swim in the gulf and found some gorgeous seashells and even a few hermit crabs. They served us the BEST ceviche either of us has had... huge, fresh shrimp with the refreshing combination of lime, cilantro, and tomatoes that makes me wish I could eat it every day.

The fun didn’t end there. At around 2:30, I asked for the bill, and the waiter told me something about  sea turtles in Spanish. I thought he was saying that sea turtles come to nest or something. One thing was clear, he was very insistent that we should stay until 6pm for this event. We passed the time with swimming, walks on the beach, and more drinks. When it was near 7pm, a guy came out with a speaker phone and announced that we should all follow him to the edge of the beach. On the way, we overheard some people speaking English, and after a few margaritas, we didn’t hesitate to say hi. These new friends explained that we were actually going to release baby sea turtles into the wild. The turtles hatch from mid-July to August and once a week for a few weeks, Los Tortugueros hosts the release of the turtles into the wild. I immediately became a giddy child haha. They passed the turtles out to children first, and I silently hoped they’d mistake me for a kid, no dice. Next women got their turn to get a baby sea turtle. They were SO cute. One of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. For those of you who haven’t seen the video on facebook, the announcer counted to three, and the turtles raced to the water. Mine was almost the last turtle into the water, but it was so exhilarating to watch. Made. My. Day!
As soon as the turtles hit the water, the heavens opened up, and it began to pour down raining. We rushed with our new friends under a hut to take cover. After about 5 minutes of talking to them, we somehow found ourselves invited to ride on their boat with them on Sunday to see the blessing of the fleet for a Carmen festival. How LUCKY!!! We ended the day with a new place to take our friends and family when they visit, and more importantly, new Carmen friends!

Sunday we woke up early, bought/packed an ice chest for our adventure, and headed to the marina. It was our first time in the marina which doesn’t seem to belong in Carmen. The boats are huge and the area itself is beautiful. I even saw a peacock walking around. We met about 20 more expat friends who were so welcoming and almost all from the South. We spent the day riding up and down the bay. I seriously think every person in Carmen who owns a boat came out that day. They had festive balloons decorating their boats. The big crew boat with the Virgin of Carmen came out of the port, and the crowd cheered. Onlookers that didn’t have boats crowded the shore. It was really, really cool. I think we were in awe most of the time. Growing up in South Louisiana, being on a boat makes me feel at home. I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face.

Some boats at the marina.

One of the boats with our new, expat friends

Virgen Carmen on the back of the crew boat.


The bigger birds in this picture are Brown Pelicans.

After the blessing of the fleet and boat parade, we headed to a “beach” which really reminded me of Lake Bash. Boats tied to each other and people crowded the water. The difference was we could see the bottom of this water. We hung out all day with our new expat friends and got a little too much sun. We all agreed that we love to cook/eat, and we have dinner parties in the works for when we move into our house. Overall, it was the perfect day and the perfect weekend.  

Billy and George

This weekend was a huge blessing. How wonderful to find a fun place that we can go on warm days in Carmen. It's also exciting that we made new friends.  I really wondered before we moved here how I’d feel about our first trip back to the States. With how much I missed home when I was in Spain, I figured I’d be itching to come home. I guess the difference is having my best friend here with me. Billy and I talked about how life is what you make it. We could have been miserable here, but we continue to venture out and try new things every day. The reward is living a very adventurous life in Carmen. We are having the best time and feel so blessed. I think we agree that it didn’t take long for us to make new friends, and we are fortunate for that. So, don’t worry about us. We are doing just fine J.

Happy birthday to my dad! Love you Daddy! See you soon :)


  1. Awww great blog Katelyn! Sounds like a great time indeed! :) Keep sharing all ur adventures with us!!!

  2. Better not get worm and Juice replacement friends!!