Social Life in Mexico

With the weather here being lovely and warm, actually it is quite unseasonably hot this year many days in the 90’s, you get your business and shopping done in the early morning, then beach or siesta during the hottest part of the day. I’ve almost become a img_2114commuter to La Ropa beach where I have never spent much time in previous years. It’s a 10 peso bus ride about 50 cents, takes less than 20 minutes and almost unending choice of restaurants and lounge chairs.  It’s not my favorite place to swim or play in the water, but it’s great for relaxing with a cooling breeze, lunching or dinning or socializing or watching the sunset.

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Morgan at El Mangalar

Morgan wanted to eat at El Manglar where the crocodiles swim in the estuary right beside your table.  We chose to have dinner there and had a great dinner, but too dark to see any crocs.  The waiter promised her if she would come back for lunch he would call them for her.

I’ve been attending several of the” meet and  greets” at Paty’s with the cool breeze that blows in through her upstairs pavilion. It is marvelous in the late afternoon.  It is also a  great opportunity to meet many of the folks who enjoy Zihuatanejo.  I frequently find I’m the only American in the group as the large portion of the seasonal population is Canadians. It’s OK we all play well together and  enjoy the exquisite sunsets there.

Friday and Saturday nights Steve and friends play great rock and roll music at Rossy’s on La Ropa catering to a crowd that is primarily gray but can still dance like junior high. They play from 5-7 allowing folks to be back home before it’s too dark or go on to other places for dinner. I can still catch a combi back and not have to pay the higher taxi fee but at that time of night it is full of folks returning from work and you may be ridding with 20 or more folks on a 15 passenger combi. Such is Mexico.

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Solo Tres

Spent a lovely afternoon at El Pirita listening to Solo Tres, who sing the most beautiful Mexican music, one of those special groups where the blend of their voices is pure magic.

Several of the bars in El Centro, the downtown part of Zihuatanejo where I live, have live music on various nights. Jimmi Mamou is a long time favorite in Zihuatanejo, 10 years ago he was invited to play at Guitar Fest and he never left.  Folks are friendly and will invite me to join them and some times I img_2220-1invite myself which I did one night only to  discover the lady was from my home town, Port Orchard.  I don’t know who was more surprised, she or me. Life here is warm, friendly and casual.. Can’t ask for more than that. Signing off KO

Zihuatanejo, How I Will Miss You

Dear Zihuatanejo,

I will miss your lovely, warm weather. I will miss your colorful sights and sounds.  I will miss your parades, my early mornings and late nights on the balcony. I will miss all the good fish at the restaurants, and drinks and socializing at Brenda’s bar and Jimmi Mamou playing rhythm and blues. I will miss being called Catalina and attempting to inflict my newly learned Spanish on the local people.

It will be good to get home, we have a cat that has been lovingly cared for by my son Shawn and I miss him.  Well I actually miss both of them, not just the cat. I have missed all my kids, but cheap cell phone service here has kept us all in touch.

Of course I already have plans for next year.  The list of things we need to bring is growing. There is room in the entry way to our apartment that with 2 good hooks on the wall I could store a small kayak and then strap a small wheel to it to pull it the block and a half to the bay. I don’t need a sit inside one like I have at home, just a little 8 or 10 ft. sit on top plastic job.  Something to think about.

We are packed, traveling a lot lighter going home than when we came and if it wasn’t for gifts and such we are bringing home it would be lighter yet.

So Adios Zihuatanejo until late October and Hello Washington.  Signing off KO

 

Two Parties, One Night

I finally made it to Rossy’s for the sunset show.

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The great Kim Marcoux

Steve and Frendz were featuring Kim Marcoux  last night.  Having seen her last year with Al Alto, I knew I didn’t want to miss this show,  but I had made previous plans to be at Jimmy Mamou’s birthday party at the Baracruda. Not being  one to want to miss out on anything I managed to do both because one was a before dark event and the other an after dark party.

The Senor and I rarely go out to La Ropa, it’s more difficult for us to get to.  Either a bus ride or a taxi to to get there. Where here in El Centro we can walk everywhere. But right now walking is very difficult for the Senor, he is experiencing sciatica again and this time quite severely. So he is rarely going anywhere.

Steve and Friendz were in fine form, inspiring many dancers.

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Steve and Frendz

Their music makes us feel young, brings backs memories of our previous lives.I wish I could have stayed to the end of the show. I do like the time frame of the sunset show, and Rossy’s is a beautiful location as long as you are

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Janet dancing with the handsome cheese man

under a palapa  for shade and catching the cool breeze off the bay.

As always Jimmi Mamou is always high energy, fun music also

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Jimmi Mamou

of an era most of us remember well. He had everyone up and dancing with or with out partners. The event was videoed so we all have that to look forward to.  Well, maybe.  Signing off KO

 

 

 

LAUNDRY AND A NIGHT ON THE TOWN

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.

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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

MI CUMPLEANOS FEBRUARY 26 and GROWING OLDER

Thursday was my birthday, I woke to sunny skies, went for my morning swim, breakfasted on my balcony. I just can’t think of a better way to start any day. I want to thank my many face book friends for their birthday greetings, it’s so nice to be remembered with kind thoughts. While I miss my family and friends at home we have made many friends here and it was nice to share a meal and an evening with them. We had dinner at Agave, a favorite with a good menu and

Jimmi singing Happy birthday to me
Jimmi singing Happy birthday to me

good food. Highlights of the evening were being sung Happy Birthday to by Jimmi Mamou. I’ve never been serenaded before, sure makes you feel special, I never expected gifts but from Judy and Jimmi a cleaver fan that transforms into a hat. And from Joanne and Will some of the most beautiful earnings and a very cleaver convertible necklace. She makes these unique hand crafted pieces, simply amazing. The only problem with a group that large is that it is hard to visit with every one at the table. But thank you to my friends who have made my day so special with your friendship.

On growing older.
I rarely ever feel old. Sometimes I’m shocked when I look at the mirror and wonder when that person looking back at me arrived. I’m happy to be a senior citizen, with the SS deposit in my bank each month and getting my senior discounts. I like being retired, we’ll semi retired and not be a 9-5 person anymore. (Well in my case it was 6-2.) We have reduced our business to part-time with just enough work to keep me out and about in the community. At my age I’ve lost all vanity and I will wear sleeveless t-shirts and I will appear on a public beach in a swim suit all white and flabby. But I do take pride that I can swim circles around most of the super tan bikini wearers. I still consider myself a “work in progress” and I want to learn, explore, and to grow  (except in girth), make new friends while never forgetting the old. Thank you to all my friends here and friends at home and all my children for making my birthday special. Signing off KO

77 AND STILL ROCKS THE HOUSE

 

The great Jimmi Mamou
The great Jimmi Mamou

Friday was Jim Mamou’s  77th birthday, and it was quite the party.  One we almost missed. Being both retired and on vacation mode we can get a little fuzzy on days and dates, and we were sure that it was only Thursday, not Friday. Sure glad we figured it out in time to be there.

The Senor dancing with our friend Josephine while Jimmi played "Josephine"
The Senor dancing with our friend Josephine while Jimmi played “Josephine”

Daniel’s  was packed with admiring fans. Jimmi has been entertaining fans in Zihuatanejo for the past 12 years after having come as a featured performer at “Guitarfest” and never left. And for that we are thankful.

Jimmi and Kim
Jimmi and Songstress Kim Marcoux

Nobody plays good old rock and roll, and blues any better. Jimmi had everyone was on their feet dancing.  Jimmi wife, Judy also entertained us with a song and graciously shared with us a short bio on Jimmi’s music career and the greats he has played with. Also joining Jimmi in song was the blues songstress Kim Marcoux. The entire event was filmed , so maybe next year we might find or selves on his next CD.

Computer issues are sure slowing me down, we arrived with a laptop, a net book and a tablet and of course the smart phone.  The Laptop is the Senor’s TV which we access through streaming from our home TV system. The others are for me to play with.  Well the net book has died, stuck on “resolving picture issue” that even a “control alt delete” won’t stop stop it.  My tablet is so new, I’m just barely able to use it, and still haven’t been able to edit pictures with it. I do better (not good) editing on the smart phone. So getting time on the computer can be a challenge so my blog seems to run a little behind.  I guess it is also on “Mexican time”. 02 09 15 Signing off KO

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM BEAUTIFUL IF NOT SUNNY ZIHUATANEJO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday it drizzled on and off all day, not the kind of rain that is cold or that gets you wet. But the skies were cloudy and it was definitely cooler.  But by the time we were getting ready to go out for the evening the drizzle became rain.  Not the tropical down pour that soaks you in minutes, just  plain rain. It wasn’t cold, no wraps were needed but to keep dry getting to our destination, dinner,at Daniels, we had one street and the plaza to cross out in the rain. And who likes to arrive looking like a wet dog, so we used our beach towels as serape and arrived no worse for the weather.  Everyone is grousing about the strange weather, they say  it is never cloudy or rainy this time of year.  The forecast is warmer today and back to normal tomorrow.

Daniels Christmas Eve
Daniels Christmas Eve

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We had a great Christmas dinner, most of the folks we know were there. They moved all the tables inside, which made the dance floor small but adequate.  As alway Jimmi Mamou’s music was outstanding.  My lobster was good, the Senor enjoyed his turkey, even if there was no cranberry sauce, and the chicken and fillet that came with my lobster came home in a box for the Senor to enjoy today along with a large slice of rich gooey chocolate cake. There was a really great fruit salad that  came with the meal.  I could enjoy just that for another meal some time. sometime during the evening the rain stopped so we arrived back at our “casa” dry and no worse for the weather.  I will admit it seemed strange to people wearing long sleeves and some folks in jackets and women wrapping up in shawls.  It was cool, but not that cold. Had a brief chat with Santa on our way back, Signing off KO

Santa in the Plaza
Santa in the Plaza

VERY EARLY ZIHUATANEJO MORNING

The sun isn’t up but I am.  Spent the last hour writing on my blog, thought i saved it but it disappeared instead.  I’m working on  new tablet and as of yet I haven’t figured out how to edit my pictures, or zoom in on pictures.  All this technology is pretty steep learning curve for me. But here on my balcony with the solar christmas lights we brought 20141217_164101from home give us the feeling of Christmas. They work wonderfully on at dusk off at daylight

I like the early morning time, it’s so early the chickens haven’t woken the dogs to wake the neighborhoods yet. a nice time to ponder, reflect and plan. My balcony is beautifully decorated with rope christmas light that are solar power.  With all the sun here they stay on all night and don’t go off until day light. Many businesses put up Christmas lights and there is a huge display of poinsettia and pinatas that I will walk out to see tomorrow

We plan to go to the beach today so it’s good I’m up this early to pull the chicken from the freezer. I like to do a chicken in the crock pot on beach days as we come back tired from all the sun and fun and don’t want to go out again.

Jimmi Mamou
Jimmi Mamou

Had dinner last night at Daniels on the beach, where Jimmi Mamou was playing.  Caught his show the night before at the Baracruda. It’s like we’ve become part of a “groupie” that follows Jimmi Mamou where ever he is currently performing as we met up with the same friends again tonight. We still love that old-time rock and roll that he plays so well. We made our Christmas Eve reservations for Daniels, the Senor will be having the traditional turkey and stuffing, while I, being  fisheterian, will have the lobster. And Jimmi will again be entertaining us.

Have just about become settled in our “casa”, everything is finally working, but our internet t home is still out preventing us from getting our home TV on the computer. With the help of skype I’ve called and set up another appointment to have it fixed, between our phone service going out and the internet just days before we left Century link just couldn’t quite send us the right repairman for the right job and only got the phone service up and running.  Most difficult task was to find someone at home who would be available to let the repair man in. Our neighbor Trish who is usually at home has an appointment that my interfere with the time frame they gave me.  Oh well one more day won’t hurt the Senor’s TV addiction too bad.

The sky is now pink with first light, this a favorite time of day for me especially here as sun rise is so beautiful.  Signing off KO20141218_045047

Playa Las Gatas

The Senor and I at Playa Las Gatas
The Senor and I at Playa Las Gatas

Yesterday was beach day, and probably for the last time this year.  What is so great here in Zihuatanejo is every day could be a beach day, the weather is always perfect for the beach.  The senor has struck of a friendship with the Jose at Gloria del Mar so we headed there so they can visit while I swim and snorkel.  There are so many more fish in the water, not just on the reef, but on my way to the reef some fish were swimming all around me so i sort of clapped my hands at on in front of me and he turned and challenged me. I thought you are quite nervy as you are only 6 or 8 inches long and I am over 5′ 7.  Who are you to challenge me? But  he stood his ground and I back peddled realizing I’m swimming in his pond and have no ideas what is behind his fishy lips and swam  on a different. Which turned out to be very cool as that’s when I spotted a big ray laying on top of the sand.

For our lunch we had Huachinango, which I probably can’t spell and spell check won’t help. Lunch was great, way to  much food for 2 and when the Senor flipped it over I realized it was head and all was there including teeth. Very tiny, very sharp teeth!  Made me think that my earlier decision not to disturb the fish was a good one.  I brought the bone with the teeth back to the apartment with plans to boil all flesh off it and bring it to my granddaughter. She is always asking me if I can find her a shark tooth, so this would be the perfect gift, trying to convince her it was a baby shark teeth.  But I out smarted my self, I decided I would let the army of ants that we have been battling daily as they march from the planter box across the railing do the job.  I’ve done that before with shells that I have collected that weren’t empty.  So I placed it in the planter box and when I went to check it this morning it was gone.  And clear evidence that we had been visited by a neighborhood cat.  So I figured he had just buried it with what ever else he was burying, but no luck.  He must have run off with my treasure.

The Senor taking picture of the brothers
The Senor taking picture of the brothers

We spent much of the day watching 3 brothers enjoying playing in the sand and water, kids about 13,10, and 2.  The older 2 boys had snorkel masks and since we have an abundance of swim goggles, the senor gave the 2-year-old a pair of our swim goggles which the brothers helped put on the little tike and then told him to put his head under water .  Which he promptly did. The kids tried to return the goggles but despite the language difficulties we convinced them it was a gift. They were very appreciative, real nice kids.

Tres Hermanos with goggles
Tres Hermanos with goggles

There are always interesting sites to be seen on the beach at Playas Las Gatas.

 

 

Playa Las Gatas Marching Band ?
Playa Las Gatas Marching Band ?

As we returned home we could smell the barbecued ribs I started early that morning in the crock pot, a short siesta and an easy dinner on the balcony which I thought would bring this day this day to a pleasant end.

Beach vendor with a visa maechine

But then I had to make a quick trip to the Misceleana for a couple of items we can’t survive without, and the evening was so lovely I decided to go down the beach and listen to Jimmi Mamou  and was invited to join folks there as they recognized me from this blog.  Thank you Norma, Patty and Wally you made my evening most enjoyable.

Jimmi Mamou
Jimmi Mamou

Upon return to my home my apartment friends & neighbors were gathered outside where we sat and visited until the liquid refreshments gave out bringing this day to a wonderful end.  Just another truly wonderful day in Zihuatanejo.

Will being the "mixologist"
Will being the “mixologist”

PS Thank you Curtis for stopping me to say hello, this blog has given me a wonderful opportunity to meet wonderful people.    Signing off KO