So much ME time

Some boys just never grow up and continue to play with squishy things like an octopus.

1 28 11  One of my biggest pleasures in Mexico is the amount of me time I have.  At home  I feel obligated to be doing something productive  and there is always something that needs my attention.  Here life is simple, no garden to tend and the most housekeeping I do is make the bed and a few dishes each day and the maid comes weekly do change out the linens and clean.  We eat one maybe two meals in most days and and one out some times more sometimes less.  It’s our big decision of the day.  Yesterday afternoon we spent our time with our neighbors at a beach side restaurant drinking beer &

mojito’s for me and visiting and shopping from the wandering vendors when we wanted to.  Very laid back afternoon.  Watched a DVD movie later that night.  I’ve managed to read 4 books on my kindle and will start a new one this morning.  At home I find very little time to read. I walk around town when I fell, do some shopping for gifts or groceries, have just enough language skills to as the necessary questions, I still have a little trouble with the money, I’ve mastered the paper money, but not so good with the coins.  The shop keepers don’t keep much change on hand and prefer exact change or close to it.

In just about an hour we are to set off for our “outback adventure” with an american guide/naturalist who is married to a Mexican lady and has lived here about 10 years.  I’m hoping to get some great pictures.  Signing off KO

View of the bay

It’s evening time in Zihuatanejo

1 26 2011 It’s a little after 9 Zihua time and I’m sitting on the balcony and enjoying music drifting in from a half block away, it’s Jimmi Mamou again. Very pleasant. 

We dined in tonight and I don’t care how long I marinated that hunk of meat, actually it was quite thin, but should have been designated for shoe leather. Of course meat no longer touches my lips and my egg salad was delicious, thank goodness or maybe my pre-planning that The Senor also had a great salad to finish off his meal.

There is no recycling here in our corner of Mexico, if I could find where our morning roosters lived I would be happy to treat them to some fresh salad greens and such.  Also I have a nice piece of (tough) meat for a pero (dog) but I know of no such dog. So it all goes to basura (garbage).  My language skills are so limited, but I am so much more comfortable trying, asking and laughing at my self while trying out my words, poorly pronounced as they are.  Babe if you are tuned in, I mailed Michelle a post card.  In my fractured spanish I learned where to find post cards, where to buy stamps and where to mail them ,it should go out in the morning mail, don’t hold your breath as I’m told it is sloooow.  I will try to post some random  pictures, still not an easy task.  Signing off KO

early morning fish sales
Doyle with octopus

Quiet day in town

1 25 11 Spending a quiet day close to the apartment, our balcony is a fantastic place to read or write or have meals or cool drinks. Untill about 2 in the afternoon, then the sun is too hot until about 6 in the evcening. We have a little shopping to do today.  I saw a blouse I want, but couldn’t find the store again last night and I don’t wander too far a night alone.  So in the light of day, found the shop and bought the blouse, it looks kind of hand-woven, very light weight. Then went on to buy a dress I saw last year, just a cotton wrap around dress, but I wanted it last year and didn’t get it as it was more than I wanted to pay.  Since I still wanted it this year, I got it heck with the price  We made reservations to take a back country tour on Friday and to participate in a sailboat parade on the bay on the following Friday.

While Doyle napped I went back out and picked up a few groceries at the mercado and bought 11 eggs that were placed in a plastic bag for me to carry back to the apartment, no carton just a plastic bag.  I meant to ask for a dozen “doce,” but I slipped and said “once” and got eleven.  Eggs cost 10 pesos each, less than a dime each, not quite as good as our own, but not bad.

Went out to dinner again a La Hija del Capitian, I think it is Doyle’s favorite place, he plans to watch the super bowl there.  Their fish menu consists of 3 different types of prawns, this time I tried the coconut prawns, they were good and I’ve never been fond of coconut before. We had planned to go to Pacolo’s for music and drinks they have a two-man band of which one is from Bremerton.  He drives truck in the summer in Kitsap County and goes to Zihuatanejo every winter to play music.  Best of both worlds, I should have kept up with my music lessons! The place was too crowded, so we headed over to Bandido’s where there was a one man band who was excellent.  Very mello, played a lot of the old Frank Sinatra. Nate King Cole type standards.  Had a great evening. He came over and introduced him self during the break, which is very common here.  The musicians are very friendly with the audience. We also ran into our friend who runs Zorro’s Bar.  Most places we go we see people we know or have met.  We are beginning to feel like regulars instead of just tourists. I got  wore my new red dress with my new mexican jewelry I bought at the beach. All in it was just another day in paradise! signing off KO

Una adventura al Refugio de Potosi

Simple translation I took an adventure to the whale celebration at the wild life refuge near Barre de Potosi.  Doyle had planned to stay in town to watch the play-offs, but I was going to tag along with our canadian neighbors and friends of theirs.  Well our neighbors didn’t feel up to it so I set out on my own to tackle the bus system and get my self 3o or so miles out to the Refugio.  As luck would have it I spotted my neighbors’ friends as they were heading out to the bus and tagged along with them. Riding the bus here is quite the adventure.  This was a big bus and along with the driver was a young man (think conductor but with out any of the class) the front door remains open at all times as he hangs out the door whistleing to attract attention and shouting Penta, Penta which is short for Pentalon the final destination. As he passes you wave if you want on and the bus stops, sometimes if it is a young person it comes to arolling stop and ther person jumps on the slowing moving bus.  To me that is quite a trick as  the step on the bus is equal to 3 steps up.  Not so easy for old knees to climb. There were no pig or chickens on this bus, but a man with a very large machete hopped on.  The blade was wrapped in newspaper and he was probably on his way to work.  We got off at a tiny village called Las Achotes and paid as we got off the equilvent of $1 for our ride, as it depends on how far you go.  We next walked into the dusty little village for the next segment of our ride in what I think is called a passajara, a big pick up truck with a canvas canopy and benches on each side.  The 3 of us were the last to get seats, 2 young men hung on the back bumper.  It was about 5 miles to the Refugio over a bumpy road but we arrive save and sound and enjoyed our vist, I managed to get a decent picture of one of the butterflies in the sanctuary. but since it was noonish most of the other animales were asleep The big event was becoming a “bone godfather” by buying a bone.  All the $25 small bones had been bought so I resisted, at least for the time being.  They have a complete skeleton of about a 70 ft sperm whale they are trying to have preserved and displayed permanently in it’s full 3 dimensional full form.  Right now it is wired together and displayed, but not yet museum quality.  That is what they are striving for and need to raise the money for.  There was plenty of good food at reasonable prices, tequila tasting and for gamblers frog jumps and chicken bingo.  It was a little hot on the dusty road waiting for the passajarra to return us to the village but the bus was there and we jumped on it for the return home.  Back in town we stopped at the “Flophouse Bar” for s cooling Margarita.  I then went to check on the ballgames progress knowing that Doyle would be a the La Playa Bar among many amigos.  Games wern’t over so I took my self out to dinner at “Agave”, an upstairs balcony restaurant and ordered my favorite cold avacado soup and some Guacamole with chips.  Can’t think of a better meal and I now have a recipe for it. Just another day in paradise where the weather has remained a steady 80 degrees.  Signing off KO

Beach life & Zihua Saturday night

1 22 11 Saturday night in Zihuatanejo is a unique experience. Sort of a cacophony of sounds. From our balcony I can hear about 3 different bands, and a couple of radios. Some of the music is pleasant, one is just a loud band with very repetitious drum beat. 

Earlier this morning as I returned from my walk, they were setting up enormous speakers, with huge banners hanging from tall scaffolding. Guerrero state elections are at the end of this month. In the late afternoon and early evening there was a huge political rally at the zocolo.  Looked like everyone in town and more were there.  We could view the scene from the balcony, which was as close as I would want to get involved in Mexican politics.

Sort of started at the end of my day working backwards.  After my morning walk, we headed to Las Gatas beach to swim and snorkle.  Since it was Saturday the beach restaurants were busy with many Mexican families.  Not many tourists.  We tried a new place, Mesa de Pescador and had good beach chairs with umbrellas, plenty of beer and margaritas and a nice fish fillet for lunch.  While I snorkled “The Senor” was picking up little pieces of coral for my bird houses.  A little girl about 3 or 4 watched him and then started picking up coral and bringing it to him.  She was soon joined by her sister and brother all bringing him coral.  It was really quite sweet, but had a little trouble telling them enough. We met up with “my jeweler” Juanita.  I’ve purchased necklaces from her every year we go to Las Gatas.  She greets me like an old friend. And of course I bought 2 beaded necklaces and a pair of earings. It’s always a bit of an adventure riding the boat out to the beach, well the adventure isn’t in the ride it’s the getting on and off. The pier and the boat are not quite at the same level, but for a few coins there are young men to assist.  Still can’t do it gracefully!

I’ve been unable to send any email for the last couple of days, receive yes, but no able to send, with the help of my neighbor nI fixed the problem or more correctly was able get around it.  So if any of you recieve a Help message from me, ignor as the problem is corrected.

Friday night we went out to dinner with our Canadian friends Dwight & Lynn at a courtyard restaurant.  The waiter was very entertaining and renamed the gentlemen in our party El Rey and El Guapo, said it was easier than trying to pronounce their names.  Had a good dinner, good company, all is well and right with the world. Life is Zihuatanejo is most enjoyable.

 I’ve tried to post several pictures to illustrate much of the above, I’ll give it one last try.  I wanted the pictures in the appropriate places, but I guess I don’t know how to figure that out yet.

Evening time in Zihuatanejo

1 20 11 Evenings in Zihuatanejo are just short of magical. It’s 9 pm, it’s just 80 degrees with a soft wind blowing, I’m sitting on our balcony overlooking the pedestrian street we are located on ( 3 blocks either direction no cars) I can see the Zocolo ( think town square) where there is always something going on.  A show of singers or dancers or fire throwing baton twirlers accompanied my a whole slew of teenage Romeos pitching woo in every dark corner.  Lots of people activity, not only in the Zocolo but lots of folks walking around as the shops are still open.  Right now I can see the fire batons being thrown in the air.  We are only a block from the Zocolo and the beach beyond.  From our third floor balcony the view is excellent.  The people here are very warm and friendly.  In the grocery store you are apt to run across someone who speaks about as much english as I speak spanish, but they want an opportunity to practise their english and they start talking to you.  Where are you from , how do you like Mexico? Today “the Senor” and I each bought a pair of pants at a store where the shopkeeper spoke quite good english, so she speaks english to me and I speak my spanish to her.  We both get to practice.  Life is very relaxed here, mannana does not mean tomorrow , just not today!  Zihuatanejo has many Americans visiting, but many more Canadians.  2 of the 3 couples in our building are Canadian.  Our building has 6 apartments finished with 1 still under construction.  They are newly renovated, very comfortable with air conditioning and internet service.  No cable TV so our sling box is doing us very well. The Senor is happy to get all the news, gloomy as it may be.  He has picked out his favorite bar for football viewing for the weekend ball games.  Speaking of bars, I’ve had to adjust, wine is too expensive here and I have had to go to margaritas.  Pity!  The Senor and I spent a couple of hours earlier today at a beach establishment watching parasailing, jet skis, kayaks and a fleet of sail boats bobbing at anchor while enoying beverages at very reasonable prices.  Like I said it is a tough life here, one month is not nearly enough.  Signing off KO

1 19 11 Shopping, eating, and music

We are settling in to this very relaxed way of life.  “The Senor” fixed me breakfast on our balcony and then we set out to the Comercial Mexicana”  which is very, very close to our super markets.  This store has a connection with Costco as you do see some Kirkland brands.  The Senor likes this store, I don’t.  I prefer the more mexican ones.  I’ll be damned if while in Mexico I’m going to eat Oscar Meyer Cheese!  Finished our morning of shopping, and we are now completely stocked with the necessities and just daily trips for fresh items.  Took our afternoon siesta and went out to dinner at La Hija del Capitan. (The captains daughter) It is upstairs overlooking the street scene, just three walls and a railing. These folks run a restaurant here all winter and do a summer restaurant in Wrangel Alaska. Had a great dinner, Shrimp Tempura, but just as we were finishing our Canadian friends and neighbors came in to eat, we finished our drinks while they ate and then we went to the new Rafa’s bar which was the old Rick’s bar.  Redone very nice and listened to Jimmy Mamou play the 50’s and sixties rock and roll and the blues. Drank and danced till it closed at 11.  This is really a tough life. Signing off KO

A trip to the dentist Mex style

“The Senor” knew he needed a crown on a tooth so we made a dental apointment before arriving in Mexico with a highly recommended dentist.  Actually a pair of dentists, they are twin sisters.  The directions we were given were pretty vague, so we assumed it would be obvious.  WRONG!  The cab dropped us off per our directions and we wandered asking at every business for the location of the dentist.  No one knew of them.  We had allowed lots of time which was a good thing as we are wondering around a very Mexican neighborhood where no one speaks english trying to find the dentist.  Finally I stopped at a paint supply store and not only did the clerk speak english, but she called the dentist office to get exact directions, then went out on the street and hailed a cab for us and gave him directions on where to take us and we arrived on time, barely.  The visit cost about $70 us and “the Senor ” has to return next Monday for his crown.  Total cost will be less than $300.  While I waited for him I had the company of 3 different americans either waiting for a spouse or for their appointment.  I had planned on reading my kindle, but the company was very enjoyable.

Our next stop was the Mercado for fruit, and meat. I will post a picture of a butcher slicing up a carcus in the open air market with a young girl somewhere between 12 & 14 apprenticed to what I assume is her father.  Life is very different here. Most bag boys in the markets are 12- 14 and work for tips.  And these are not after school jobs, they are full-time.  After picking up enough groceries for a day or two we had lunch at one of the “fondas” at the Mercado, very mexican, very good, probably as close to “fast food” as you get in Mexico.  I had a Chile Relleno and the “Senor” had Albonigas soup.  No english is spoken here or is the menu translated for you.  My knowledge of spanish while not good steadily improves.  I can translate menus for “the Senor” as he chooses to limit his Spanish to “cervesa por favor”

So back to our apartment to put away groceries when we discover we didn’t buy olive oil or salad dressing.  So I set off again to seek out the missing items, as I return I decide to treat myself to a margarita at a local outdoor establishment, when our Canadian neighbors and friends of theirs arrive and join me.  Three margaritas later I return having given enough time for “the Senor” to have napped.  So we dinned in having steak and salad.

It’s now 11pm, I’m sitting on our balcony drinking a glass of wine with just summer clothes on, listening to music drift up from 2 or 3 establishments thinking life just can’t get much better than this!  Signing off KO

First day in Zihuatanejo

1 16 11  Our adventure begins.  We arrived at the airport and as we have learned to do hit the ATM there for pesos and then walked off the airport property to obtain a cab at a reasonable rate instead of the thirty dollar 10 minute ride into town.  We tried the a little combi bus with some good and some not so good results.  The ride was only the equivalent of $3, but it only went as far as about 4 blocks from our apartment.  Thank goodness for rolling suitcases.  We arrived to find the shop below us closed as it was Sunday, but as we were getting our first beer and margarita of the trip at Zorro’s, (the bar next door) and worry over how to contact the shopkeeper who manages the apartments, Arturo the owner arrived to let us in and solved our worries.  Our apartment was just like we remembered it and we busied ourselves un pacing and settling in and then out to dinner. Our first dinner out was just a block or so away at Porto di Mar right on the malacon, beach level at the principle beach.  This is the exact spot where the fishermen come in with their catch each morning.  Dinner was good I had cream of avocado soup and an appetizer of thin sliced tuna in a tapenade. “The senor” opted for spaghetti saying he would have plenty of time to eat fish.  Dinner and a couple of drinks and we were ready to turn in.

1 17 11 I was up before sunrise and out on my balcony listening to the sounds and watching the town wake up.  First are the roosters who wake the dogs who wake the neighborhood. 

We spent our morning stopping for a good breakfast and then shopped at a couple of markets and the mexican equivalent of a dollar store for the supplies we need.  That was so exhausting we returned to our apartment for a late lunch and a siesta. 

The “Senor” is very happy, his slingbox is working and he can keep up with the news (and his westerns) and god forbid his wrestling just like home TV only on our computer. But I’m truly in control as he still doesn’t know how to work the computer.  Signing off KO

Last Port Orchard post

It’s our last full day in Port Orchard, rained so much that the lake is over the dock.  But no problem, is 84 in sunny Zihuatanejo.  We are completly packed and I’m at loose ends as I have nothing else left to do. And I don’t do “nothing” very well. At least not a home.  Begining Monday morning this is where you will find me.  I took this picture last year from the road to La Ropa on one of my morning explorations before the “Senor” would wake. Every day I take off on a new direction to explore. The view from our apt. is a little different as you will see in the weeks to come.  I intend to share my travels with you thru this blog rather than inudate you with e-mails as I have done in the past. This way if your interested follow along if not I haven’t bored you.  Look for me Monday.  Signing off KO