It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The festival of Guadalupe kicks off the Christmas season in Zihuatanejo although decorations were already beginning to pop up here and there.  But prior to that is the flower market along with the pinata stalls, a sight not to be missed.IMG_1023

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At night the Zocolo, Zihuatanejo’s main plaza, is all lite up as are several of the pedestrian streets that lead to it.  Looking especially festive this year.

Tonight as I write this the large restaurant is hosting a large party,  It has the look of an office party. The music started about 7 and will go to only midnight tonight. I’m sure the salsa music can be heard for a 3 block radious. They have killed 3 large pinatas, played something similar to musical chairs and are having a wonderful time the front door is 30 feet wide, but we can’t see in much as it is a very large establishment. The Senor has long gone to bed with earplugs and as long as the windows and doors are shut it’s not noisy inside, me I’m on the balcony trying hard not to get up and to quote my old friend Sly “dance to the music”! 

Signing off KO

Festival of Guadalupe, Unique to Mexico

IMG_0975For several days now we have seen or heard several of the “Guadalupanas” as they proceed thru town on the way to their church singing and carrying a shrine to the Virgin Mary preceded by the firing of guns or fire works to ward off ay evil spirits.  Tonight it was the community of Calle Nicholas Bravo’s day to participate.  We live on Calle (Street) Nichoas Bravo so all this began right on our block and then proceed the 3-4 blocks to the church where a bazaar was being held.  It sure beats the Friday night fish frys my Dad took me to.

The shrine is an easy 4-5 ft in height covered in live flowers and then adorned with IMG_0978lights.  I watched as lights were attached and finishing touches of flowers added. Our landlords brother was one of the four men that carried the shrine along the route. He found me in the crowd and brought me over to get a good photo another gentleman offered to take a picture with me in it. The landlords brother offered me a candle to march with them.  I declined as I wasn’t quite sure how acceptable it was for such a newcomer and I also wanted to get all the pictures I could. Time came for the processional to start, they marched singing their praises, holding lit candles following behind the shrine as fire works preceded the processional. Very moving experience.  Next year I will march with them. Mexico at it’s loudest and most colorful  Signing off KO

Muy occcupado

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  We have been busy and then for the second year in a row here I have been struck with something that makes me sleepy.  Over the last two weeks I have had each week a day where I have slept around the clock. Normally I’m alight sleeper 5-6 hours a night at best, then on day I wake up sleepy and just want to go back to bed and sleep/  So I do. But fortunately that has only occupied a couple of days.

We had a great day out at Ixtapa Island, our friend Juan has a beach side palapa restaurant where Tina greeted us like it was yesterday that we were there. We swam, ate drank, feed the small deer (venado) by hand and of course the rabbits, one took such a liking to me he camped out under by beach chair. It worried me they called the deer venado, that is the spanish word for venison not deer, but then I learned they were all named and felt better

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The Senor getting a massage at Ixtapa Island

Another lovely day was a ladies day at Escollera, one of our favorite spots as they have an infinity pool to swim in with a gorgeous view of the bay and Zihuatanejo high up on the hill. There is a number of single women who live here year round and a larger number who live here seasonally. They have given up the frozen north were their whole social life would consist of the TV and occasional lunch dates with friends to join an active vibrant group of women who love life and want to experience everything.  These are the smart ladies who have chosen not to wallow in sorrow over widowhood or suffer from a divorce but get out and

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Escollera older picture but shows the view best

enjoy life to it’s fullest.  It’s not just singles, several  are married , this smart, funny, vibrant group of women just want to get the most out of retired life.  I very much admire them very much and am thankful to be a part of them.

I’ve enrolled in a twice a week spanish class, the class is good, my progress is slow as I don’t study enough, but still I am learning.  There are some sounds that I simply can’t wrap my tongue round.  It is all conducted in Spanish, next  Tuesday we are meeting at a restaurant for breakfast.

We’ve adopted a laundry routine of having them do the sheets and towels and anything we don’t worry about being ruined and I do one load in the washer and bring it home to hang on hangers on our back porch clothesline.  Works quite well laundry costs about $150 pesos a week just under $7.50

We find we are quite entertained by simple things, the Senor commented look at this big dump truck coming up the street, it takes up the whole street. and with that the truck IMG_0929stopped almost in front of our balcony,  And with only one forward pull to the left proceeded to get that hulking truck angled perfectly to back down our alley all that with cars parked on both sides of the street.  The top of the truck was just inches under the corner of our balcony and slipped down the alley with just inches on each side. We were amazed and impressed.  I have son and a grandson who drive trucks and I know they get into tight spaces, I wonder if they ever are this tight.  Signing off KO

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

And in no special order! My friend Faye and I were walking back from the pool when we saw a man picking some seed pods from a bush in a vacant lot.Fay thought that it might IMG_0826be tamarindo and asked the man if it was. ( Her spanish is considerable better than mine) He brought us the seed pods, stripped one of them down to show the seed and offered us one after eating one himself to show they were edible all the while explaining to us in rapid fire spanish what they were. So we tried it, tasted about like any seed.  We have no idea what he said, but I’m calling it my first real “mexican

 

street  food” experience.

One of the things I love about Mexico is how helpfull and gracious the Mexican people are.  As I was walking to my first Spanish class last week I noticed ths old tree was tied up so cars could pass under it and in noticing how it was tied up I noticed the pretty little flowers that were starting to bloom.

The lady came out from the hose to tell me the name of the flower ( and probably the whole history of the tree) she pointed to her elbow and said cudo then said what sounded like fraley so I guess its name is cudofraley.

I frequently am pulling a small rolling cart behind me on my trips to the market or the laundry and if I encounter a curb that is high there is always someone who thinks I need help and will lift the cart up for me.  Truth is my cart is one of those “up carts” and I can haul it up any flight of stairs but I graciously accept the help as it was offered in kindness.  On a crowded bus, some one will get up and offer me a seat.  I’ve decided being old in Mexico is almost as good as being young and pretty.

On my last trip to the pool I noticed in the median of the main drag the edges of the raised planting area has been painted black and then a design painted on it

.  It was only partly complete which leaves me to wonder if this is a civic improvement job or a night-time tagger,  Either way I don’t care I just think it is pretty and hope they finish what has been started.

I read on the local on-line message board that the selling of fireworks is now illegal.  Yet I’ve seen two or three of these booths set up very publically, and in very close proximity IMG_0838to other vendors and no one seems to care.  But it’s nice they post the signs not to smoke.

We visited the Kyoto Circle today to pick out our poinsettia, 2 large size for the casa and 2 large size for out balcony and a lovely green frondy type plant all for about $23.

IMG_0829This is Erica, she is 8 and the daughter of the young woman who cleans our apartment and is a friend.  We have been happy to do our little part in helping with her education.  Signing off KO

What a Day!!!

Today was my first day in my new Spanish class.Previously I’ve taken Spanish classes at OC and can do restaurant menus, read signs, ask very basic questions and keep from getting us lost.  But that is about it.  When I went to sign up, Diego, the very handsome young man who runs the school gave me some sentences to put into Spanish verbally and decide I what level I was at,  Obviously very basic and I was assigned the teacher Diliann.  My friend Faye and I are starting this project together, but she will advance quicker than I as she has a much larger vocabulary.  We thought we would be in the class room practicing by asking each other questions, but no we were taken out in the public inflicting our attempt at spanish on unsuspecting locals. Following our teachers demonstration, each of us had to stop someone along the way and ask for the directions to the market.  With out fail everyone we spoke with stopped and cheerfully gave us directions. The mexican people are very open and generous  even with their time. Once  at the market we were then to ask what this and that were using the proper form of this and that.  Picked up some new vocabulary and gained the tiniest bit of confidence in talking in spanish to locals.

Our afternoon plans were to go to the beach,.

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Catalina and the Senor

We are on our 3rd week and have been so busy shopping and getting organized we needed to take some fun time.  Our beach of preference is Las Gattas which we get to by water taxi crossing to the other side of Zihuatanejo Bay.  Our favorite waiter Jose spotted us coming and waved us in 1/2 way down the beach.  It was an overcast day so moving an umbrella around to shade us wasn’t important today, but he is always attentive to our needs, shares his knowledge with us and has become a good friend.

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Soon Juanita joined us selling her unique jewelry and telling us of how her baby boy Oskar is now almost two.  I have been buying her jewelry for 16 years. Then Jorge, our favorite silver salesman, comes by and we make a IMG_0833couple of purchases. I love going to the beach where the stores come to you while you sip a margarita with your toes in the sand.  I don’t think life can get much better. Signing off KO

Really Begining To Feel Like Home

The Senor and I have been coming to Zihuatanejo for about 16 years.  It started with 1 week, the 2 weeks then 3 and now we are here for 5 months.  But now we are full-time IMG_0916renters we have been able to make our apartment our own.  The kitchen is complete both with cooking equipment enough to do a Thanksgiving turkey dinner to share with friends and properly decorated with new curtains giving it the look I was after. It’s a good workable kitchen, but definitely a one butt kitchen.

Today was laundry day.  Previously we had a washer on the roof top and i would do the laundry at night after it cooled off, hang it all on the line and it would be dry by 10 am the next morning.  This year we are using the local laundaria.  We have used them before but have had a few issues.  And of course this year my new bright orange pants came back an odd shade of rose as did my formerly coral top.  Can’t fully place the blame there as the Senor did have a new raspberry shirt in the wash.  Anyway decided we would only send sheets, towels, etc to them and I would use one of the machines to do our clothing and hang it up on a pole in our bathroom to dry.  So for about 140 pesos (6.79) we have a weeks laundry. But it much slower drying in our shower than with the wind blower though it on the roof top.

IMG_0917New curtains in the bathroom are the finishing touch there,  now I need to tackle the living room curtains.  A tad more challenging as I should probably line them to avoid the sun bleaching them. Right now we get no direct sun on our apartment but come summer the sun will hit the balcony door.  Our apartment is so situated that we get a breeze from the bay that flows from our back door through the apartment and out the balcony slider.  To date we have not turned on the aire conditioner once.  And needless to say both doors are always open to keep us cool.

Garbage pickup here is interesting!  We put out our garbage sack outside our door each night, our landlord takes it to the alley and it is picked up about 2AM each day.  We are fortunate our landlord is fastidious about the garbage and where the garbage is placed each nite is washed each day.  Quite different from previous years.  Signing off KO