We had a wonderful and quiet Christmas. Christmas Eve we were invited for A & A (alcohol and appetizers) at good friends Faye and Paul’s apartment. Appetizers were so delicious and plentiful it definitely doubled for dinner. Christmas morning we joined friends Charles and Christine in Ixtapa for breakfast at the Krystal Hotel’s lavish buffet. A few phone calls with family but mostly the day was spent just relaxing. Then finishing the day with turkey soup leftover from Thanksgiving. Actually a great stress free Christmas.
Saturday mornings are one of my favorite times, it is the time for the little Saturday morning market, the Ecco Tianguis (sorry my computer doesn’t spell check Spanish.
Hand made clothing and accesories
Hat from coconut fronds
It is a home made, recycled.re-purposed and organic market. It is my source of lovely gifts for my family, much of the jewelry I wear. The Senor and I always enjoy the very healthy breakfast I bring home from it. It is bright, colorful full of music and friends. Just a very happy place.
Two days before Christmas tragedy struck Zihuatanejo. Children playing with fireworks hit a power line that set off a blaze that consumed 150 homes high on a hill that was difficult for the “bomberos” (Firemen) to reach. This was an area where some of the poorer folks live, but the community pulled together, both Mexican and gringo, and within 4 days enough donations had poured in to fulfill the basic needs of all the families with only 60 families remaining in temporary shelter. And the help and donations are still coming forth.
Everything in Zihuatanejo is labor intensive, This is how the city streets get swept each morning. Signing off KO
Let me state to begin with I’m happy just to still be on the planet earth when so many I have cared about are not. I am so happy to be here in sunny Zihuatanejo where the aches and pains of arthritis and other old age maladies seem to disappear. To a great extent this is a society that subscribes to the “be happy, don’t worry” train of thought. I couldn’t agree more, by nature I am not a worrier. Either fix it or forget it.
Our friend Brenda who is both our friend, local barkeep and our cleaning lady has this adorable 8 year old daughter Erica. Erica is going to spend the school vacation with her Abuela (grandmother) so we gave her the Christmas gifts today. How wonderful it is to see a child truly excited over the immediate gift, not just racing on to the next one. A few coloring books and some colored pencils and a carton of “hatchables” little toys that come out of eggs should help to keep her content while visiting the Abuela out in the country with no internet and minus all the modern conveniences. Her happy smiles made us happy.
How we all go on bragging about sunny Mexico. My standard phrase to my friends back home is “86 and sunny every day”. Evening sail boat cruises and roof top parties have been in the planning for weeks as we get excited about this fantastic full, blue moon event and with an eclipse no less. And here we are in prime viewing area. So what does Mother Nature do? She decides to mess with us a bit and sends Zihuatanejo clouds! Heavy thick clouds all day long, even the temperature was low, probably never got above 80 all day. Well maybe it will clear up a bit at night. Well, no that didn’t happen either
But somehow it didn’t dampen the party spirit and as we set out for the particular rooftop we were headed for as one of our group remarked “maybe I should have brought something to cover my shoulders later”. Almost unheard of needing any sort of a wrap at night. The food that folks brought was delicious and abundant, the company was jovial and the view of the bay and the town was extraordinary. But only the briefest glimpse of the fickle moon through a tiny parting of clouds. Quite the sense of humor Mom Nature, not funny. Signing off KO
The Chick Party is an annual Zihuatanejo event that has been going on for many many years and I can’t even tell you how it originally began. I’ve gone for the last 4-5 years, each year I try to bring someone who hasn’t been before. Vickie and Laura were the
newbies this years. It’s kind of a “see and be seen” social event for the ladies of
Zihuatanejo. Where they gather together to socialize, purchase some local and hand made items from the 4-6 vendors, have a bite to eat, drink some wine and possible win a door prize all while watching the sunset from the largest and most gorgeous patio high on the hill over looking Zihuatanejo and the bay. A very pleasant evening! I did marvel at the cat that wandered through this group of about 150 women, making it quite obvious that this was his home and no amount of noisy women were going to make him feel uncomfortable in his own home. Signing off KO
The Senior is TV addicted, and believes we shown own all the latest gadgets advertised. Admittedly some are very functional but many are not. He also like catalogs and when he saw the full face snorkel mask he thought I should have one. Finally we saw a sale price for one so I bought it. I’ve used it about 3 or 4
times with varying results. The first time was probable the best, just a tiny trickle of water at the temple near the end of my swim. Now I have since discovered that I can mount my go pro camera directly on it for under water pictures and have done so the last two times I have used it, but I now have a leak. One big enough where you have to empty it out. Need to do more experimenting, but possibly the weight of the camera on the mask causes it. I would really like to get some under water fish pictures.
Our tomatoes are flourishing, we have about 10,
we just hope they ripen before we have to return home. The attractive weed that we thought might be a coleus. Isn’t! It is still a mystery, it looks like it is a climber and now has developed spines on the stem. If it behaves it can share our planter box, at least for now? Any ideas what it might be?
Everything in Zihuatanejo seems so colorful.These Roseated Spoonbill birds are some of my favorites. They can always be seen at the Refugio at Playa Linda, but I have seen them at the canal on the way to Playa Madera too. This beautiful, colorful candy cart can be founds rolling all over town. It’s as beautiful as a painting.
I am an early riser, frequently up long before the sun. I used to say the roosters would wake the dogs and the dogs would wake the people and that is how Zihuatanejo comes to life each morning. But I’m not hearing roosters this year, and I miss that, but I still hear the dogs. Another sound I miss is the musical sound of the gas man as his horn tooted the “charge call ” followed by him calling out GAAAAAAZ. Some mornings we hear revelry from the Navy base, that’s familiar music to the Seniors ears.
Frequently I wake up to the scritch scritch of the street sweepers as they clean our street, shortly followed by the bakery man singing out “bollios” as he winds his way through the streets. He will be followed by the coconut man calling “coco, coco”.We have a neighbor with a parrot which adds a whole cacophony of interesting sounds. Next the sound of metal garage style doors being rolled up as one by one shops and restaurants begin to open. I still hear the tin whistle sound of the knife sharpener and the clown bell sound of the ice cream vendors. But I haven’t heard the steam whistle sound of the sweet potato man yet this year. All these sounds make up the rich fabric that makes Zihuatanejo so special.
The Senior’s tomato farm is flourishing, the Senior noticed his first tomato today. Granted it is the size of a pea, but the photo shows not only one
tomato, but two. Retirement is such fun, you get excited over the simplest of things. Signing off KO
There is nothing like a day at the beach with good friends, sunshine, swimming and cool drinks just can’t be beat. A table with a white table cloth was set up in the water for us to enjoy our drinks with our feet in the water. You actually do stay very cool even in the sunshine that way.
There is nothing quite as tasty as a beach margarita and with a banana boat in the background.
But to add to the excitement we had to take a ride on that banana boat. Five of the six of us ladies decided we had never done this and the time was right. So 10 folks got on the banana boat and the boat driver fastened the rope to his ankle and then swam out to the boat that would be pulling the banana while towing 10 of us on the banana. Quite a strong swimmer. He then climbed in the boat attached the tow from banana to the tow boat and we were on our way up and moving, well almost. The tow rope broke reminding Vickie that this was her second water mishap as their water taxi died mid channel and had to transfer to another boat then and there. But no problem the tow rope was retied and away we went. Got a fast, bumpy ride all around the bay and no one fell off. We were very proud that we all hung on.
I was very excited to try out my full face snorkel mask with my go pro attached only to discover the disc was full. Oh well maybe Monday at Isla Ixtapa I can photograph the fish. Still it was a great day. Signing off KO
Sometimes things happen that just give you a creepy feeling and set your imagination running wild. I’m a daily lap swimmer, most mornings around 8 you will find me at the “Alberca Olympica”, Zihuatanejo’s Olympic size community pool. Usually there are 3-4 lap swimmers, always the “pool dude” who has a student or two he is working with. And occasionally high school swimmers arrive for training. This morning I arrived at the pool about 15 minutes later than usual and no one was there. No “pool dude” no swimmers, I didn’t even see any of the usual maintenance people. It was empty. So I decided to use the “pool dude”s lane as it is the only one that the sun hits and is a tad bit warmer. Since they covered the pool the water in the morning is cold. I figured I’d swim in that lane until the “pool dude arrived and he would then run me off. He has a charming way of getting my attention. He just shouts hey, hey until I look up and points to another area of the pool and I dutifully move, never sure if I’m complying with what he has requested as I don’t understand his rapid fire Spanish. So I swam a few laps, and no one came, I swam a few more laps and no one came. Now I’m a pretty fair swimmer, I usually swim for 45 minutes but even though I had my music going on my swim I pod, Creedence Clearwater couldn’t keep my mind off the “what if”s” What if I got a bad cramp, what if I had a heart attack no one was there to help. Since my first swim lesson at 5 years old I’ve been taught you never swim alone, and here I was 70 some years later in an Olympic size pool swimming all by myself. Then the imagination came to play, why was no one there, did someone plant deadly fish in the pool, is the water toxic on and on like that until I said enough and cut my swim short. The only person I saw there, was as I was leaving, the friendly maintenance man. He was just arriving and joked that maybe everyone was still on holiday. I was very disappointed in myself for cutting my swim short as my “Sharkfest Swim” is just a week and half away and I need to be in good shape for it but I also need to be safe.
After a trip through the Mercado to get fruit and vegies I get back to our apartment, fixed breakfast and as we sit down to eat our attention was directed to the movie theater rooftop.
A very large dark bird had landed. Obviously we are easily entertained as our breakfast got cold as we kept trying to decide what he was and why he was there. Thankfully we have a camera with a telephoto lens and the ability to zoom in once the picture is on the computer so we could decide with certainty that it was a vulture breakfasting on a dead pigeon. It surprised me that several other pigeons calmly stayed around while one of there own was being devoured, but then I believe Vultures aren’t hunters but scavengers.
They are like crows, part of the “waste-management” of the animal world and do provide a useful service. Creepy, but useful! Signing off KO