SETTLED IN AND FEELING LIKE HOME

Thursday evening I went to Puerta Del Sol to her Solo Tres play. From the street as I got out of the cab I could already hear their magical harmonies. One never tires of such beautiful music.

Solo Tres

Upon my return home I noticed something on my balcony, in the dark I wasn’t sure if it was vegetable or mammal but it had to be dead as it wasn’t moving. So I got my trusty boom and swept it off the balcony only to discover it was a fresh cat turd. Now I spent all last year finding ways to keep the little night marauders from using my fern planter as their personal cat box. And finally succeed by topping it off with a thick layer of “Brillo Pads”. Worked like a charm. My plant had flourished over the summer and is truly lush and lovely this year. Please do understand I love cats and several of my own. I have no desire to hurt them, just discourage them. I need to teach them my balcony, my territory!

I brought from home two 6×18 inch plastic prickle anti cat pads designed to keep cats from digging where they are unwanted. I brought them just in case the “Brillo Pads” had failed to work long term. I have now taped one to my balcony railing where they jump up from a lower ledge. Well this morning it was still there and didn’t look like it had been disturbed. Time will tell, but I’m determined to detour them.

The Malecon
Mango Margarita

Last evening I took a walk on the newly redone malecon and it is a lovely wide strolling path along the beach front. All the beachfront restaurants are now in the sand and plenty of room for large families and skateboarders and stroller pushers to all enjoy the path simultaneously. The artist park is lovely, I’m anxious to see it in the day time with artist in it. Stopped at Casa Arcadia for my first Mango Margarita of the season while enjoying a face time call from my Canadian friend, just a little bit of heaven. Signing off KO

ZIHUATANEJO IN THE AFTERMATH OF RICK

Monday tho 25th, Zihuatanejo, took a full on hit from Hurricane Rick a category 2 hurricane.My plane hit Zihuatanejo soil just about 12 hours later and the disaster was evident, but the clean up was well on it’s way.

Huge tree;s with root balls the size of small Volkswagens were blown over. Large signs and bill boards bent and twisted. And the nice couple who stay on the 3rd floor of my building were rudely awakened when the roof blew off in the early hours of Tuesday morning soaking their apartment and all that was in it. They are now residing across the street while the landlord finishes the repairs that have already begun

I am still in the process of “settling in, Not only unpacking my suit cases and finding places for everything but also locating every thing you put away during your absence, connecting up WiFi, TV and a Magic Jack phone. Still working on the phone and TV.

Made a quick run to the Mega Soriana’s for the basic groceries. There it was obvious that folks had prepared for the storm and that supplies have and will be delayed partially due to the road to Acapulco being closed. The store stocks just about everything one needs, maybe some different brands and many familiar, but a block of cheddar cheese can be hard to come The solution is Adapt!!! Today I’ll go to the Mercado Publico for fruit and veggies, eggs and fish But first a stop at Waldo’s, Zihuatanejo’s answer to the $ store. I need to buy reading glasses as I believe I left my prescription ones at the hotel in LA. I called the hotel from the airport as soon as I noticed the glasses MIA, the front desk gave me a code for their hotel to enter into a site called “I Left My Stuff” and that house keeping would take care of it from there and mail them to my home address if found. If you don’t have a code you can look up your hotel by name. Who knew! Signing off KO

HALFWAY THERE

I always think I am well organized have have mu ducks in a row, but I don’t. My ducks just don’t behave as I expected.I get to Seattle no problem even though it is during the time the “bomb cyclone” is hitting our area, but we are on the outer edges and I don’t loose power at my house until i am in the Airport. So no problem for me, my daughter will have to handle it as she and her cat live there now. Once I’ve checked in and take off my sweater to go go through TSA i notice the back of it is full of cat hair. Ok go buy a lint roller at the airport store.

Next stop is breakfast and a Bloody Mary and I will sleep like a baby on the plane. Flight is uneventful, I ordered there cheese and fruit box and decide to tuck it in my back pack for later as I am not hungry. I collect my baggage and head out to the hotel van pick up area only to discover it looks different and after waiting quite a while for the shuttle and don’t see any and Call the hotel and learn it is now located on the departure level one floor up. My feet are already cold, my back pack is feeling heavier by the minute and one of my m suitcases appears to have bent a wheel and isn’t cooperating in forward movement. I was assured the shuttle van would be clearly marked La Quinta Inn. Well it is but above La Quinta is Holiday Inn which might be the reason I missed one and waited and hour for the next one. Once picked up I was unceremoniously let off in the parking garage of La Quinta with no directions to the lobby. My searching with wobbly luggage. My room was nice, modest, but nice neither lamp by the bedside worked and water was slooow to heat up in the morning. But here I am at the airport ready to fly to Zihuatanejo only to discover I had left my glasses behind on the bed on the hotel. I called them, filled out the “Ileftmystuff” app and they should be mailed to my home. So I will need to pick up readers or refill my prescription which expires in one week or have my eyes rechecked. Either way I don’t care I will be warm and happy in Zihuatanejo by afternoon. Signing off KO

PS be kind about my editing and correcting, remember no glasses.

Zihuathyme 2021-22

I’m in the countdown phase of preparing for winter in Zihuatanejo. I’m ready, my bags are packed, but my ticket isn’t until Monday the 25th with a overnight in LA. Don’t know what I was thinking to wait until late October to come. Well I do know why, I felt it was important to get as much of my delivery route done by me instead of my very reliable substitute. Going to Mexico has become a family project, son Shawn is doing my route for me this winter, my daughter Jeanette and her cat have moved in with me as will take care of my house this winter and my other son Brian is contemplating a 10 day visit to Zihuatanejo

I’m so excited to meeting up with my Zihuatanejo friends, some I haven’t seen in two years as they missed last season. I have an appointment to get my booster shot on Friday. I’ll be about 5 days short of 6 months from the last shot. One pharmacist refused to give it to me because of those 5 days, hopefully this one will be more compassionate.

I plan to write more regularly this year, COVID put a damper on so many things last year I felt like I had little new or particularly interesting things to report. I did meet many new friends last year and Zihuatanejo is beginning to feel more home like than home.

I am so looking forward to the Dia del Muerta and all the festivities and colorful activities. Halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine, I loved dressing up and making costumes. But the Mexican Dia del Muerta is quite a different event, a colorful cultural and religious celebration paying respect to departed family members.

Looking forward to seeing everyone, and all the colorful changes in Zihuatanejo. If you see me, stop and say hola. Signing off KO

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

The cutest birthday party ever took place at the Beauty Salon across from Eloinia’s Bar at the Fish Therapy Salon. I once had a pedicure done there by hungry little fish. These cuties were having such fun at a “spa” birthday party getting their manicures and pedicures all in their spa pink robes.

Snacks while waiting their turn

I have the pleasure of celebrating my birthday during my time in Mexico each year. I’m am so fortunate to be in this wonderful place with good friends new and old. I’m so thankful that I am physically able to still enjoy life to it’s fullest, have new experiences and am looking forward to “keeping on”. Since none of us know our “pull date”, I believe it is important to go, do, see and enjoy every aspect life has to offer you.

Best candle ever

My Christmas poinsettias are thriving, lots of new growth, but my fern tree is not. I know I’ve had some issues with it and cats. But I thought that problem was resolved, I’m just not sure how best to take care of it, how much water it needs and how often. But it’s growing, just not looking lush like so many do. Any suggestions?

Signing off KO

The Good and the Bad in the Ugly Season of Covid

I am enjoying the smaller crowds and folks being spaced apart at the beaches and restaurants. But my heart goes out to those who have lost their jobs or have had their wages reduced as a result. Right now Zihuatanejo has moved back to “red” until the numbers drop. Every bar is closed up tight, eliminating more jobs, beaches are closed at night. They say masks are mandatory but while most folks wear them, some don’t, and I don’t see any signs of enforcement.

Plenty of “enforcers”, but little enforcement

Sailfest made a valiant effort to spread some fun and raise money, but it was a very scaled down version of all the usual fun activities. The organizers did find clever ways to do it both virtually and visibly. Kudos to them.

Masks are an entire subject of theirs own. I wear a mask faithfully, I believe in the protection they provide. But wearing a mask when walking or hiking of any distance, I find miserable. I have a bit of trouble breathing and find my self gasping for air like a fish out of water. My mask becomes drippy wet from perspiration, clammy and uncomfortable. But still I wear it and carry a spare. The down side of wearing the mask is I don’t drink as much water as I should as I’m no longer carrying a water bottle to sip along the way. And I sure miss strolling through the streets of Zihuatanejo with an ice cream cone, I really miss that.

What I don’t miss at all are the sidewalks being tented over to form a stuffy, crowded temporary bazaars to sell tacky stuff around 3 Kings and Valentines Days.

What I miss most is friends that didn’t feel comfortable traveling this year and Canadian friends that are leaving much earlier than planned to avoid the possibilities of the high cost of government fines or enforced quarantines.

My favorite view of Zihuatanejo

Signing off KO

Thursday Is Pazole Day in Zihuatanejo

Now if you only serve one dish and you are only open 1 day a week and week after week you pack the joint you must be doing it the very best And Santa Prisca does.

I’ve liked pazole since the very first time I had it at “Any’s” 15 years ago. I have had it in several places in Zihuatanejo and always enjoy it but for the best pazole experience one needs to go to Santa Priscilla Pozoleria. It is only open on Thursdays, and only serves pazole and a few sides. But I consider it a must do and convinced a couple of friends that they needed to do this with me as they had never been.

The menu

For those who are unaware of pazole, it is a homony based soup or stew with either pork or chicken and you order it red, white or green which relates to the broths flavoring. We all had the green and ordered a plater of mixed botanas. Of course ended up with way more food than the three of us could consume. Top it off with a couple of margaritas and great music from Zihua Juanito and it was a perfect day.

Zihua Juanito
Bonny & Greta

Since we all overindulged on the food we decided to walk back to El Centro we knew we were just a block off “the yellow brick road” (more commonly known as the new bike path.) but it just keeps calling us back and knew it would take us safely home.

Even though I was really impressed with their “social distancing” with only a quarter of the useable tables out I would still suggest reservations as it is so popular with the locals. Yesterday we were the only gringos there. But they were doing a big “take out” business. I hope you go and enjoy a unique Zihuatanejo experience.

Signing off KO

Zihuatanejo life

I have been happily busy of late. Eating, swimming, and have even learned to play a board game. Friend and chef Tonio Diaz catered a fantastic Mexican dinner for a group of us at Casa Roja where friends are staying this year. The food was fantastic, the company great and the view to die for. I highly recommend Chef Tonio and Casa Roja.

Couple of nights later a group of us enjoyed an excellent dinner at Casa Bahia again with that gorgeous view.

I’ve almost become a regular at Playa Madera this year and have even acquired a bit of a tan. Well tan for me is more of a light beige. But none the less I have been getting large quantities of vitamin D. Even in these restricted times there are the strolling musicians but I must admit I never expected to see and hear a harp on the beach, it is just heavenly.

Heavenly harp music on the beach

Speaking of musicians, these two brothers are among some Zihuatanejo’s finest professional musicians. But here they play for the pure enjoyment of watching this tiny tot dance when they start to play. She stops when they stop and starts again when the music begins. I’m not sure who was enjoying this encounter more.

Dance to the music

Progress along Zihuatanejo’s waterfront is moving at a snail’s pace. Change is difficult to adapt to especially as many of us saw no need for this massive redo. At this point the entire waterfront is torn up from the museum to where the fishermen are. Not one segment of it has been completed. Some how it strikes me that if they would complete some part of it and show that the end product is going to be truly lovely, it might ease a lot of minds. Right now it is all just an ugly mess where beauty once was.

Had lunch with friends at Hotel Irma. On the walk to the hotel this crane posed for me on a pipe crossing over the canal. Hotel Irma has a Cavellina tree, one of two that I know of in Zihuatanejo. One can watch this fascinating tree’s blossoms slowly open at night, producing a bottle brush type bloom in bright pink. The other is on Calle Adelita by the bridge.

Zihuatanejo has moved back to Corona virus “red” warning from now until Feb 14. Most likely due to the long Christmas holiday that brought in folks from all over Mexico. This red designation limits the occupancy of hotels, restaurants, pools to 25% occupancy, beaches must close at 5. Masks are required. Bars are supposed to be closed. Still I feel just as safe here as I would be at home. I eat better here, get more fresh air and am more active all which boosts my personal immune system. So happy I decided to come. To enlarge pictures just tap them. Signing off KO

Following the Yellow Brick Road

The newly complicated bike path has beckoned us like “the yellow brick road”. I frequently have walked on it to Soriana’s and one day asked where it ends and was told Ixtapa. Challenge was on, other friends had done the walk and survived so I rounded up my adventurous friend Bonny and suggested we do this and she agreed (with a barely audible groan.)

We had heard it was a 5 mile walk. Now I am no spring chicken, but Bonny is several years younger than me. We figured it was a challenge, but one that we were up to.

The turn to Ixtapa

We started off early Tuesday morning, 7:00 am and expected to arrive in Ixtapa about 9:30. Weather was pleasantly cool at that hour of the day. I did need Bonny to walk at my pace, but we chatted on and it what seemed like minutes came to the place where the path heads left to Ixtapa instead of straight to Soriana’s. I had no idea what parts Zihuatanejo this path would take us but soon we crossed the main road where we could see the statues of the 4 ladies and knew where we were.

The 4 ladies

That was the last time we knew where we were until we spotted the new high school high on the hill overlooking the highway. Along the way we walked through Mexican neighborhoods where we were not only the only gringos, but the only ones using masks, watched a young lady doing her wash on a stone in a trickle of a creek. Saw a beautiful spread of purple and white morning glories but soon we were in a tunnel and going under the highway and approaching “THE HILL”.

Wash day
Morning glories

The hill had been our concern as it is long and quite steep, and by this time it was about 8 O’clock.

Going under the highway
One rest stop on the hill
Me approaching the crest of the hill
The lovely view of Ixtapa

To our surprise the hill wasn’t bad, we just put one foot in front of the other, stoped only once for a breather and soon were at the top. We stopped to take a picture of 3 Mexican girls doing it on bicycles, used their camera so all 3 could be in the picture and we headed down to Ixtapa. It’s a lovely trip down to Ixtapa and finally we were on flat ground.

Starting the long walk through Ixtapa

But I swear we walked 2 miles (or at least it seamed like it) through the back residential area of Ixtapa before our path brought us to the “Los Patios” area. That was the longest part of the trip. By this time we knew we had been walking for a couple of hours up and down hills and the body was reminding us of that fact.

But here it was 9:26 and we are at Deborah’s ordering the largest breakfast they had. After breakfast we wandered through some of the stores congratulated ourselves with Margaritas at Zorros and finally went to my favorite store when it opened. I went in to buy a blouse and came out with a dress instead and across the way I bought two hats and Bonny found a gift for a friend.

Combi’s looked empty so we took a combi back to Zihuatanejo and were home by one ish. I will admit to having my knees remind me every time I get up from a sitting position that I gave them a real work out today.

It was a great adventure, it’s great to have friends like Bonny to adventure with. Signing off KO

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I’ve been both busy and lazy. Doing quite a bit of reading, with American Dirt being the stand out book of the season. Currently reading Mitchner’s Poland, almost took much history and war to wade through but interesting all the same as I have never known much about Poland and I have a very special Polish friend.

I’ve been doing the majority of my beach time at Playa La Madera. I’m always amazed when people think it is OK to place their towels on the only available beach lounges at 9 am but not come to sit on them still 1:00 or maybe not at all. Further more it amazes me that the restaurant owners allow it. Watched several days where all lounges were occupied by towels only and possible patrons by passed the restaurant as no place to sit.

Pet peeve, towels reserving chairs for people who come very much later if at all

The music scene in Zihuatanejo still exists, Jimi Mamou at Daniels, Steve’s Friendz at Rossy’s, Solo Tres on Wednesday afternoons, weekend dancing at Baracruda for those who don’t mind waiting until 9:30 to start, Jose Louis Cabo at La Canta de Las Sirenas on Mondays, early for the gringos and others here and there that I haven’t quite caught up with.

My Christmas poinsettias are thriving, but I found it necessary to give them a bath last week. As they live on my balcony which over looks a busy street I discovered their leaves were covered in dust and dirt, coming from rain country I’m not used to dirty plants.

Have had the Poinsettias since November 30, that’s my friend “Pidge” who I have lovely morning conversations with. This is what happens when you live alone.

Signing off KO