RPM TurtleAnd the adventure continues.

We’ve had plumbing problems that got housekeeping up to our hotel room twice, my camera is fritzing out, and it’s only been 75 degrees today.

I made this turtle by the pool this morning. I love him, and I especially love how the guy who sells them decided to add his own swirly bits to the shell and head. RPM pre-lacquerHe has been the highlight of the day. He was difficult to paint because it’s suddenly decided to get insanely windy here today. All my paints kept tipping over, and the rags blew all over the place.

We have dubbed him RPM Reeve, named after 3 fabulously cool Euro/New York City kids sitting in front of usĀ on the plane coming down here (their dad spoke French, Mom looked Latin American but sounded New York, and we learned during the flight that their names are Rafael, Paulo, and Matteo). He may need a friend, I don’t know yet. But the 2nd picture is what he looked like before the vendor decorated him and lacquered him.

Today was Jackie Day, where we did all the things I wanted to do (tomorrow is Adam Day). So we went into downtown Cancun, away from all the hotels and close to where the locals are. I was underwhelmed. All the guide books we read made downtown sound like a cool find, a treasure trove of local eateries and artisanal open-air markets selling great handicrafts. “Handicrafts” is apparently loosely defined in Fodor’s, if fridge magnets, t-shirts with naked people, and sombereros count as truly authentic handmade items. I did get a pair of very cool sterling silver earrings of decent weight (prices are by weight) for $350 pesos (about $25 bucks) after haggling with a low-key silver stall guy. But the trip into town was disappointing. A lot of walking, confusing local street signs, cab drivers pestering us, and side streets that didn’t look like excellent places to walk in broad daylight.

chicken tacosThe other highlight of the day couldn’t have happened without all that excitement, though. In the midst of Mercado 28 (the market we visited) is a string of small, dive eateries serving cheap, real Mexican food. We got these killer chicken tacos for $36 pesos (less than $3!). We also got a plate of quesadillas for the same price, and they served the spiciest salsa man has ever tasted. It was great fun, as you can see by the look on my I’m-on-vacation-so-no-makeup face.mmm...tacos

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer, less windy, and sunny. So we’re heading to Isla Mujeres, and I have a feeling I’ll be telling my husband that Adam Day was more fun than Jackie Day. But Jackie Day had RPM Reeve and $3 tacos. So it’s still a win-win.