We are here! It’s been quite a journey, but we have arrived in Mexico. As for our landing en paraiso, in paradise? It’s hard to sum up briefly, but I’ll do my best ...

After an uneventful trip from Seattle, we arrived in Cancun and passed through customs and immigration with ease. We took a 7 PM ferry from the Gran Puerto dock in Cancun and disembarked on Isla Mujeres where we were met by Guido, a local Isleno (Islander) taxi driver sent to meet us by the company that handled our airport shuttle service. Guido was talkative, cheerful, even. I was able to give him directions to our house in Spanish and we slowed to a stop in front of our casa about 10 minutes later, bags and all (bungeed snugly in the trunk of his cab). The night air in Colonia La Gloria was heavy, infused with new smells and peppered with a cacophony of jumbled sounds. Children played in the street, an improvised game of beisbol, while their parents chatted in doorways and on stoops. We let ourselves in and were met by a pleasant breeze. Santiago, our next door neighbor had been in the house earlier and opened it up in anticipation of our arrival.

We eagerly explored the house, which includes a one-level suite on the bottom that is ours, and a second suite upstairs, inhabited by our landlords when they are in Mexico. The front door opens up to a living room and dining area, and the bedroom, bath and kitchen run parallel to the left. Two sets of large double doors open all along the back of the house onto a tiled patio and backyard, full of tropical trees and plants. The hibiscus that overhangs the porch is a lush, generous thing. Every morning new bright red flowers blossom as the old ones fall away. The hearty grocea tree at the heart of the backyard survived Hurricane Wilma and is beloved by the neighborhood kids for its sour fruit.

Up on the roof we sat, barefoot in chairs, our feet propped on the railing. We inhaled deep breaths and took in the view, which stretches from the distant lights of the north end of the island down to the soft glow of Punta Sur to the the south. All around us, La Gloria, our new neighborhood, buzzed with a subtle din. The muted sound of doors slamming, motos puttering, babies crying. Across the water, Cancun’s hotel zone twinkled in the distance. And as if painted by Kahlo, herself, the clouds above us drifted in heathery rows across a midnight blue sky, wafting like cotton in front of the moon. From our vantage point on the roof, we peered down curiously into the taxista (the local taxi cooperative) where a quinceañera  was taking place. Dance music blasted out into the night as revelers spun and the odd stray balloon drifted across the floor.

We looked at each other and expelled more air. It was good to be home.