Things I will miss and things I won’t

Our time in sunny Mexico is drawing to a close,  sadly we are on our last day. I love Mexico and Zihuatanejo with all it’s quirks and interesting culture.  There is so much I will miss, but there are somethings that you just have to say “Ah it’s mexico” and overlook. I will miss all the friendly faces that speak to you on the streets and greet you with a quick Hola! or Buen Dia even when they don’t know you at all. I will miss warm days at the beach with

View of sail boats from the beach

the breeze blowing, I will miss nights without ever needing  a sweater, I will miss 25 peso cab rides,  and riding water taxis, I will miss the pigeon who lives in our balcony planter and the iguanas that entertain us during dinner on the balcony at night.  Let’s face it I will miss my balcony!

I will not miss  toilets  with no seats in public facilities. Where do they all disappear to?  I won’t miss needing to discard TP in the waste basket instead of the bowl. I will miss daily fresh fruit. I will miss fresh fish cooked to perfection.  I will not miss Mexican bars that play music until 6 am, but I will miss yummy drinks expertly prepared. I will miss mercado shopping, but not  barking roof dogs, but I will miss the sweet, gentle street dogs.I will miss swimming long course at 8 am at the “Alberca Olympica.” I will miss walking all over town and taking 10 peso bus trips for longer distances. I will miss our Zihuatanejo friends new and old.

Faye  and I at Saifest

I will miss always seeing folks I know where ever I go in town. I will miss taking my camera every where as there is always something interesting to see.  I will miss the time I have here to read book after book with out guilt.  I will miss having time to blog about simple daily events. I won’t miss washing dishes by hand.I will miss coconut palms, flowers and greenery all winter long.

                                Saturday morning Market

I will miss my trips with Sylvia to the the little Saturday morning market, where everything is home grown, or made or recycled and hand made or organic. I will miss lovely sunny mornings as we return to gray rainy weather, but all good things must come to a close. So this is my final blog of the season Signing off until December 30 2016.  KO


The  Senor decided we (he) needed some V8 juice and we were out of eggs. There is only one store in Zihuatanejo that carries V8, The Bodega.  It’s about a 1/2 half mile from the pool where I swim. Since it was Saturday and I don’t swim on weekends I thought I would just walk up there as it was still early morning.    It was a pleasant walk and like all shopping trips you go for one thing and come back with 4 bags full. So of course on the return trip I took a cab.

We have a leisurely breakfast on the balcony  and I decide to do our laundry in house instead of the Senor taking it to the laundry as we have always done previouly.But last year there were some issues. I said I would do the laundry which is normally the Senor’s area of expertise. The roof top washer fills at a drip drip rate so to help it along I filled big buckets of water to add to the machine and it started to wash.  Of course the rinse cycle is again at drip drip rate, but I went and took a nap and when I work up the clothes were washed and I hung them to dry, starting the second load the same way. Fixed and ate lunch and the first load was dry and ready to hang the second load.  Watched some TV and went and retrived the second load from the line all except our big towels they needed another half hour. I find if you hang things nice and tight on the line they look as good as if freshly pressed. The laundromat folds and packages your clothes so everything ends up with fold marks.

We have been taking it quite slow for the most part but we decide to go out for dinner at Daniels. The Senor never seems to learn that he will always be disapointed by his steak. Beef here in Mexico just isn’t what we are used to.  On the other hand you can’t go wrong with fish, it is what they do here.

20141231_173641From there we strolled, watch a sand artist at work, found a nice street dog to give meat scraps to and at a small kids arcade a birthday party was in full swing, litterly. The pinata was about to be hung,  hit with sticks,

broken and candy and small trinkets scrambled for among the shrikes as a half dozen young boys.

Jimi with a friend joining in

A couple of drinks at Zorro’s and on to the Barracruda to catch the great Jimi Mamou and renew old friendships. Agreat night on the town, Zihua style.  Signing off  KO

On being a snowbird vs a

There are several different categories of folks here in Zihuatanejo, the locals, the gringo year round residents, tourists and vacationers, and snowbirds.We used to vacation in Zihuatanejo Mexico , now we have officially become snowbirds.The the difference between snowbirding and vacationing  is a bit subtle, but mostly length of stay time and also a change in attitude.. Snowbirders embrace the Mexican culture and adapt to it with little complaint.

The main difference between a snowbird and vacationers  that vacationers work hard at being sure he is having a good time every minute of the day. Snowbirds just live here. . Vacationers are  so busy filling an agenda even if that agenda is only to lay on the beach and read every day, or fill a shopping basket with souvenirs to bring home to friends and family, or see all the cool sites and eat in all the popular restaurants. Snowbirding is way more relaxed.

You do the same things you would do  at home but with the additional  perks of the area and climate. Much of our time here is spent in the daily tasks of living, cooking,eating, cleaning, dish washing with out the luxury of but the floor still needs to swept during the week, the bed  need  to be made and the dishes washed.. We have laundry to do, we  some times take it out, but the Senor has always assumed the job of  laundess?  so he either takes and delivers it to La Laundaria, or uses the washers upstairs, hangs out things on the line às they dry in 2 hours .  All this done  during TV commercials.   Grocery shopping needs to be done as we certainly can’t  eat out ever  meal as vacationers tend to do. We do eat out more as the evenings are so wonderful they draw you right outside.

We do go to the local drinking holes  more often than at home, and listen to the many musicians  more often, and dance more often than at home, but not as often as when we were vacationers. We truly have the luxury of time and have adopted the manana attitude. My favorite phrase is “manana does not necessarily mean tomorrow,  it just means not today.”

Food is so fresh here, and I shop daily for fruits and vegies daily here ,getting just what we need for a day or two. I have my little rolling bag I  pull behind me, I have my egg man, my cheese man, 2-3 favorite veggie/fruiterias. I buy fish that had been swimming just hours before I purchased it. Here shopping is fun, at home a chore. We snowbirds walk  or take buses and only the occasional taxi. Snowbirds take pride in supporting the little mom and pop businesses.

We have our favorite kids we buy Chicklets or other trinkets from, and periodically pay then not to sell to us. We support local causes and volunteer to help as we have the luxury of time, but we stay out  of politics.

signing off KO

Back in Sunny Zihuatanejo

 Cruise ship from our balcony

Cruise ship from our balcony

And it feels like home, almost. We arrived to a few quirks at our apartment. Yesterday the air conditioner burnt out literally. This is the second time we have had an air conditioner go out in a shower of sparks in Mexico. Took all day but it was fixed good as new. We’ve eaten out the last couple of nights so we weren’t aware until this morning we the Senor went to cook breakfast that our stove doesn’t work.  No problema we have a microwave.  But lo and behold the microwave has been inhabited by goblins or spirits of some sort. He plugged it in set it for 3 minutes and the time came up 22 minutes.  So we shut it off and a couple of minutes later it started it’s own. You have to stand there and watch it and open the door when you want it to stop.  Then unplug it. Not the easiest way to cook eggs, but possible.

Our first day here we went to the commercial, the Mexican equivalent of a super market. Like Walmart it carries everything, but varies from time to time what is available. But they do have fresh Christmas trees and cheaper than we see at home which is amazing considering they may have been shipped from home. Less than $14 for 5-6 ft trees. It is also one of the very few stores that have cash register.  All the shops just use little calculators.

Today we went to the Mercado for fruits and vegies, my favorite shopping place, it is definatly  a sensory over load. There are baskets of spices that I have no idea what they are, yellow chickens complete with heads and feet, strips of beef hanging, flies flying and ladies waving fans over baked good to keep them away. Every thing from food to hardware under one roof.

Back at our “casa” Aurturo, the owner came and got both the stove and the micro wave up and running.  I got busy on skype and called dish, Centurylink and Verizon discoverer ou tv problems here are because our internet at home still hasn’t been repaired. I think that will happen tomorrow. If Trish got my message and can hang around the house in the am. Problems all solved, feeling good.  Signing off


Zihuatanejo from the roof just before sunrise
Zihuatanejo from the roof just before sunrise

Yesterday the cleaning lady was due so we went out for breakfast, while I ordered breakfast, in Spanish I might add, the Senor did his task of running the laundry to the laundaria.  At home he does the laundry and has continued doing so here.  But here all he has to do is deliver it in the morning and pick it up in the evening.  Everything is simpler here.  After breakfast we decided to check out a hotel near the “hole in the wall” bus station .  Brand new hotel offering $250 (mexican pesos) a night rooms if you stayed 2 weeks or more.  This was a hell of a good deal so we decided we had best check it out. The desk clerk spoke no English, but my 2 or three words got the message across and she showed us a room. Nice room with great bath and a balcony, but small and no micro or refrigerator.  I asked her if they had any rooms with cooking and she said no.  So we thanked her, briefly considered if the lesser cost would make up for eating out every night as it did have a pool and wifi and cable.  We decided no, it just wasn’t for us, but very nice for someone who just needs a room. Then on to the archeological museum at the end of the malecon where both the history of the area is displayed but also lots of art work for sale.

A 1936 movie projector in the museum
A 1936 movie projector in the museum

We then went for a stroll on the malecon and ran into a couple I had met on the boat parade.  I introduced them to the Senor , we visited briefly as they were just finishing their lunch and we took over their table when they left. Our waiter brought out a white board sandwich board which showed the selections offered that day. Cheese quesadilla for me  and a BLT for the Senor.   He was very happy to find a real sandwich. We people watched, watched the fishermen and enjoyed a very leisurely lunch.  Soon a friend we had made through other friends stopped by and we visited with her for a while remarking we hardly go anywhere any more where we don’t run into someone we know.  A very pleasant feeling.

New vendor came by the flop house, cakes by the slice
New vendor came by the flop house, cakes by the slice

We opted to go to the Flophouse for drinks, and get dinner at the restaurant next door.  Not my favorite place to eat, but we always have a good time at the  and meet friends and enjoyed, Allan on the guitar, Nelson on the sax and a couple of singers joined in. As we expected several of our friends showed up so it was a pleasant evening.

Morning has us filling out our shopping list and heading to the Commercial, we are on our downhill side of our vacation  so we are trying to buy only what we absolutely need, purchasing in small sizes. On the way we discovered a new type of Mexican Roof dog.

Different type of "roof" dog
Different type of “roof” dog

He really startled us as we walked by.  We  tried to shop carefully, but still came back with more than our rolling bag holds, but sure love that bag, it makes getting the groceries the block to our apartment from the taxi stop a breeze.

We have set our dates for next year, December 15 to March 15, we’ve never been here during the holiday season nor have we ever been away from home for Christmas.  It will be a new experience for us.  Now my job is to try to negotiate a better rate at our apartment as we are staying longer. My Spanish dictionary isn’t any help with phrases, we will see how we do.  Signing off KO

Quest for Jimmy Dean Sausage and other shopping experiences

The Senor’s quest for sausage in patties rather than links has brought him to becoming a Sam’s club member.  This would not be my choice of a place to shop.  I love the Mercado, I like buying six or even 7 eggs or any number I want and getting them in a  plastic sack.  I like telling my cheese man I want a meter of cheese as he rolls it out. I enjoy picking up items in the little miscellaneas and conducting my transactions in Spanish. Of course we do a lot of our shopping at the Commercial, we can find every thing we need there, but I won’t get fruits or veggies there and the eggs at the Mercado are bigger and I think fresher.

Mercado shopping
Mercado shopping

We just needed a couple of items, fruit juice and a storage box to leave some items here with our landlord.  The Senor decided it would be cheaper to buy our Sam’s club membership here and more convenient as our home Sam’s Club is over 30 miles away. We wandered through the whole store, it is amazing the array of items they have there, but guess what? No sausage patties!  I told the Senor next year we will simply freeze some Jimmy Dean sausage at home and see if we make it through with it.  Worth a try and cheaper than a Sam’s Club membership! We didn’t even find the right size storage box there and the juice you had to buy 4 ,so we left empty-handed and walked over to the Commercial.

Energetic 6 yr old racing to the taxi with our cart art Commercial
Energetic 6 yr old racing to the taxi with our cart art Commercial

We found our storage box and a dozen other items we didn’t know we needed until we saw them. At home we shop in military commissaries and are used to tipping the baggers and carry out people, but it still blows my mind to have an eager 6 yr old grab your shopping cart, saying taxi,taxi and rushing out with your cart to load your groceries in the cab.We had a won a dinner at an Ixtapa restaurant and decided we would do an early movie, then dinner.  We saw the latest Bruce Willis “Die Hard”  movies which is full of impossible chase scenes and impossible situations. Caught a cab back to Zihuatanejo and stopped at the little balcony bar next to the stairway to our apartment.  Kind of a dark hole in the wall type place, with a very friendly accommodating bar tender and with a view of the Galeana side of the street.  We noticed some friends sitting on the bench below us and shortly went to join them.

Scruffy, the street dog
Scruffy, the street dog

While visiting with them my scruffy little street dog that I’ve become fond of showed up.  I told him to wait and visit with my friends while I ran upstairs and got the meat scraps I’ve been saving for him.  He dined well that night, with some chicken, ribs and steak.  We walked into Zorro’s for a night-cap and Scruffy followed, but just  to lay down and sleep off his great meal. He has developed a bit of a limp, the thought crossed my mind to take him to the vet, but I wouldn’t be around to give him antibiotics, or even know if I could find him every day so I decided to let nature take its course.  I’m sure plenty of other people have noticed this sweet funny looking dog with a very gentle, happy disposition and save their dinner scraps for him. Signing off KO


Sunrise Valentine's Day

There can be no need for alarm clocks in Zihuatanejo! Just before sunrise there is an entire army of roosters waiting to do the job, then the neighborhood dogs take over and the town starts to come to life. Just 2 blocks away is the training field for the military, while I missed revelry this morning, I must have been in fixing my coffee, I do hear them chant while doing their calisthenics and can’t help think of my grandson Tyler who is probably doing the same thing just in a different country and in a different language.
We stocked our cupboards with the essentials and have to laugh how half the cooking utensils disappear every year and turn up in a different apt. There is always silverware, but ours is quite rusted and rather than trying to go apt to apt to find the best we went to “Waldo’s” the local equivalent of a $ store and bought what we needed and will leave it with our personal things this year.

My shopping trip was a solo trip as the Senior decided he would stay in and nurse his cold that did have him laid up until our departure. I took my rolling shopping bag to the mercado and found the mirror I needed for our bathroom, then purchased some fruit and onions and then a foot long bathroom loofah. All from different stalls all transactions done in my one or two-word spanish phrases and I didn’t even screw up the money, then on to the fabric store where I found a floor mat for thee bathroom. Wheeled it all back, but stopped at a restaurant where I saw our balcony neighbors and joined them for a glass of juice while they ordered their breakfast. Stopped to see Javier our landlord, paid our rent along and requested he switch out our balcony table with a one “mas grande” from another apartment. And headed upstairs for siesta and some reading time. I’m so pleased with myself and how confident I felt on my shopping transactions, not that I speak so much spanish, but I am comfortable with what I do know and worry less about my pronunciation and just keep trying. Even the Senior is learning a few more words and uses them.

Many businesses close and we have taken a hint from them that we will, rest, read watch tv during the heat of the day and plan our shopping for mornings afternoons for beach and relaxing. I will be ready for beach life tomorrow.

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