SAILFEST and ANOTHER MILESTONE

Sailfest is the annual fun, fundraising activity in Zihuatanejo that raises money for schools, school supplies, lunch programs, scholarships, etc benefitting Zihuatanejo’s poorest children.

It began this year with a walk/run that was joined in by several of Zihuatanejo’s running clubs. Next was a meet and greet on the pier with music and dancing. Other events were the sailboat races around the rock, the band M-Dock’s concert had everyone dancing on the pier again. A gala dinner was held on the pier, which has turned out to be a great location for events. The nightly music cruises were again a very popular event with many talented local and visiting musicians performing for small groups while sailing in the bay. This year the auction was limited to just the live auction and the “Chili Cook Off” was held with out the silent auction. Most events were held with only limited numbers of participants allowed at each event, held out doors and well spaced to keep in line with current “covid” protocols. And of course the concluding sail parade where all the participating cruisers take passengers for a day long sail out past Ixtapa and some on to Ixtapa Island other choose to fish or swim.

My tiny contribution to Sailfest this year was to man the t-shirt and souvenirs sales desk and to help with the walk run event. Right smack in the middle of this fun filled week I had to make a quick, 3 day trip back to Washington state to do some legal work all in preparation for my making Zihuatanejo my real home. I wish the timing had been better as Sailfest is such a fun event.

My February birthday was the original impetus for staying in Zihuatanejo longer than just the month of January. Then it was “we don’t do anything special on Christmas anymore, why not come for December too”. And pretty soon you find yourself enjoying the entire winter in lovely, warm, friendly Zihuatanejo.

This birthday started with an early morning swim with Suzanne, my always willing swim partner, and iced coffee. We moved on to lovely beach mimosas. Just before leaving to take a siesta the staff at Madera’s brought out a slice of birthday cheese cake. I wasn’t sure the day could get any better.

I had selected Agave for dinner as I hadn’t been there yet this year. And they didn’t disappoint. Good meals, good prices and service. And great friends.

The birthday girl

We adjourned to Eloina’s where Linda presented me with my handsome date for after dinner drinks. A fun day with great friends including phone calls from most of my kids. Couldn’t ask for anything more, only many more just like this.

Signing off KO

Another Busy Week

Zihuatanjo is such a fun,vibrant place full of fun things to do, new, interesting people to meet. I have come to love it so much that come this fall I will make it my permanent place of residence.

So I have much to do during this time period and number one is applying for my temporary residency card. Hopefully this goes smoothly, most of it must be done on line, but some will have to wait until I return to Washington to access my records

Attended the Birthday and Retirement Bash for Jimi Mamou, a Zihuatanejo legend. He is retiring after 60 years of being the music man. He is not only a musician and singer, but a true entertainer, bringing, joy, laughter and dancing feet to the folks in Zihuatanejo for the past 17 years

Can’t sit still when Jimi plays.

Pool parties and friends gathering

Warm sand and warm water.

What is not to love about this magical place, can’t think of a single reason not to make it my home.

signing off KO

My “Dance Card” is Full

One of the great things about Zihuatanejo is you can be a busy as possible or not. Busy one week relax and refresh the next. The opportunities are there. This has been one of my busiest weeks.

My Sunday begins as it often does with a day at Escollera enjoying friends and the lovely infinity pool.

Monday was a lovely at home day on my balcony where I can read, watch the busy Mexican street life or enjoy the company of a couple of the roof cats who visit with me frequently.

Tuesdays are usually spent with lunching with an ebb and flow of ladies who are here full time or full season at one of our favorite beach front restaurants. For me it is frequently followed by a swim in the lovely salt water of the ocean where you float effortlessly.

Thursday was a day on the bay sailing swimming and snorkeling and enjoying Zihuatanejo’s exquisite sunset.

Snorkeling off Playa Las Gatas saw more colorful fish this day than I have ever seen before
Even a small school of dolphins joined us

And it’s only Friday, but I have plans to go dancing tonight with friends and Saturday is dinner with other friends.

And folks wonder why I am so happy here! Everyday here is an adventure where you can choose to participate or not. Go out and do or stay home, relax, curl up with a good book, walk the beach. For me it’s as close to paradise as it can be.

Signing off KO

Christmas Zihuatanejo 2021

Christmas in Mexico is noisy, loud, colorful, musical, festive and fun.

I went out for dinner Christmas Eve about 6:00 as the family party across the alley from me was just starting their festivities and the music was cranked up volume large. When I returned around 10pm the party was in full swing, music still going. I woke around 3am and the party was still going strong with the music blaring, at 5am when I got up the music had stopped, but they were still visiting, talking and laughing. I have to admire their stamina. I’m sure a good time was had by all. This is so typical of a Mexican fiesta, happy it doesn’t happen every night.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Signing off KO

Strolling around Zihuatanejo

I walk by this banana tree on my way back from the swimming pool. It never ceases to amaze me a bananas growing just off the side walk.

This odd, bumpy fruit tree is growing in a crack in the concrete between the parking lot for a furniture store and a pharmacy.

This cannon ball tree, growing along with a couple of others, is in a court yard of medical practices just a few door away from my apartment.

The flowers are quite fragrant, but the fruit while edible has an unpleasant smell and it fed to pigs and live stock.

While at the beach I noticed this odd pair just wandering around. I don’t think they are “seagoing” ducks and couldn’t help wondering if they were just on a beach vacation like so many of us

You see beautiful walk ways and bridges, this one takes you to the La Madera neighborhood.

Iron Maidens grace other walkways. No matter where you stroll there are lovely sights to be seen.

Signing off KO

JIMI MAMOU SINGER MUSICIAN SOUL MAN

Jimi has always been a bit of a Zihuatanejo legend. Starting when he and wife Judy came to Zihuatanejo at the invitation of Guitarfest and never turned back. Jimi plays, blues, soul, and rock and role from it’s heydays of the 50’s and 60’s into the 2000’s and still draws a crowd. It’s the music we grew up with and many believe, as I do, we had the best music ever.

Wednesday night a film crew was here from California to complete a documentary about the music scene in the North Beach area of San Francisco which Jimi was a big part of.

North Beach was the “happening place” with great clubs that gave many a star their start. Places like The Hungry I, and the Purple Onion, Big Al’s and of course the Condor, famous for Carol Doda who originated topless dancing. It was also the home of the Keene Art Gallery among others. An exciting vibrant place during simpler times. My sister was a chorus girl, dancing at Bimbo’s 365 club the summer of 61.

I grew up in a small town 40 Miles north of San Francisco, and even though we were under age and couldn’t get in to many of the clubs it was still a thrill on a Saturday night to roam the streets of North Beach and listen from the sidewalks and alley ways.

I imagine only a small handfull of those musicians are still around and not many would still be playing. But here in Zihuatanejo we have had the pleasure of spending our winters listening and dancing to the music of our youth, with one of the greats, Jimi Mamou.

I would be remiss not to mention that not only has Jimi blessed this community with his music but he and Judy have been a vital part of the community, one of the original and continuing sponsors of Sailfest serving on boards and committees, working in the background helping to strengthen this community for all the citizens here.

Signing off KO

FUN BUSY WEEK

I wrote this segment of my blog yesterday, had it all perfect. I was really pleased with it. Pictures were all in the right place except the very last one which I wanted to change out. Usually it says “remove picture”, but discard came up and logic said yes, I want to discard the picture. But it discarded the entire page not to be found again. I don’t enjoy rewriting what I have already written, I never think it is as good as the original. But my goal has been to try to publish at least once a week so here it is.

I prepared this BLT dip to take to my friend Suzanne’s get-together earlier this week with grand intentions of taking dozens of pictures. But I got busy visiting and getting reacquainted with folks. Many who missed last winter because of Covid, so lots to catch up to do with old friends that I never even took out my phone to take any pictures.

Expo Vino Zihua 2021 was held at the Mercadito Zanka this year, commonly called the food court. I think the venue worked great, it was spacious enough that you never felt crowded, set up well so there were never lines to wait in. Food was available from the Mercadito’s vendors, fans were placed all around the area, but it was still very warm as the event started at 4PM. I would have thought 7PM a better starting time as it begins to cool down then. But then I realized in future years I would simply wait until 7 to arrive as did many folks on this night.

The Wine Festival’s music was wonderful, this flute was my favorite, but he also sings and plays guitar. Later he was accompanied by a young lady. The main band didn’t start until 9 PM.

There appears to be a never ending supply of wines to taste and from all over the globe. California, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, red wines, white wines sparkling wines which you tasted from the wine glass that you received upon entry. I was disappointed that the wine glass was plain without a logo as souvenir I mention to friends that I was sitting with that I would like to have one of the T-shirts’ the staff was wearing as they were a striking white on black shirt and would make an excellent souvenir. Shortly there after this kind, charming gentleman came back with one of the shirts for me. I was ecstatic!

Loosely translated it says “age is only important if you are a cheese or a wine“. I just love it and believe it.

Lunches with friends, beach days, eating and swimming at Escollera’s, life in Mexico is vibrant, busy and filled with friends. I’m so happy to be here.

Signing off KO

THANKSGIVING 2021,ZIHUATANEJO

I’ve spent the last 5 or 6 Thanksgivings here in Zihuatanejo and almost everyone has been different. I have done the local restaurants version of American Thanksgiving, not to be confused with the Canadians October 12th Thanksgiving. Since I am not a fan of turkey, potatoes and gravy it is pretty much a waste of money for me to eat out as that is what you get. I love the cranberry, the stuffing and the home made pumpkin pies and all the side dishes that you do not get in the restaurant meals.

I have cooked the turkey dinner for friends, I have gone to Playa Las Gatas for fish dinner just by myself. This year I was invited to join some other ladies for Thanksgiving dinner in one of their homes.

My contribution was a “snack box” of olives, nuts, cheese and salami’s and a bottle of wine. Thanksgiving dinners are notoriously late for many reasons due to turkey defrosting times , ovens temperature, potatoes taking much longer than expected and Aunt somebody being late arriving. This I knew would stave off hunger pangs.

Well none of the above happened except the one guest was almost late as her flight had just arrived as we gathered. Our host Jane, had everything so under control that we had just enough time to acquaint ourselves with one another and dinner was on the table.

We had a lovely traditional dinner complete with desert and then “LET THE GAMES BEGIN”. Jane’s goal was that we would have enough good spirited fun that our noise would be complained by her Mexican neighbors. Well I don’t think we quite succeeded in that but we did have a raucous good time. Good food and drink, great friendships, and fun in beautiful home with fantastic views of the city. Thank you so much for a memorable Thanksgiving 2021.

Signing off KO

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

I attended a lovely birthday celebration at Puerto Paraiso on Playa Larga for Elizabeth Ashe ( in red). What a fun place, beautiful grounds, great pool, great food and of course fabulous company. I highly recommend spending an afternoon here.

On Monday my longtime friend Faye suggested we go to Espuma for breakfast. I’ve been hearing wonderful things about the breakfasts there. Espuma overlooks Zihuatanejo from the hill above La Ropa. The view is to die for and the food quite excellent.

Zihuatanejo is a paradise for those of us who have come to know and love her, but as in all places nothing is perfection and I had this come to me loud and noisy in the alley beside my apartment last night. I was reading late at night and I heard loud noise in the alleyway. Every night the folks whose homes are on this alleyway sack up their garbage and pile it neatly at the entrance to the alley for the garbage truck to pick up. My landlord is fastidious amount making sure it is stacked neatly, cardboard broken down every night. Just before midnight I heard a ruckus of crashing bottles and cans and a couple of loud voices. Looking out from my window there was a man and a young girl ripping open the bags and throwing the contents around. In a short amount of time they had ripped open every bag and strewn the contents all over the alley, took what they wanted and left. I stifled the urge to yell at them to go away, wondered why no neighbor came out to protest, even the neighborhood dog barked but didn’t show his face until it had quieted down. But this isn’t my country or culture so I remain an observer. I am aware there are people who live and raise and educate families at the dump living off discards, but there is far more dignity in that than what I witnessed last night. It looked like a pack of raccoons had had a picnic in the alley.

Even the dog waited until the marauders had fled

I was curious to see what the reaction of the nightly garbage collectors would be when they saw the mess as they were due momentarily. As they pulled up I heard one exclaim something alike “awww”, but quickly they came with rakes and boxes and had the mess loaded and gone with in 5 minutes. Quite impressive! So is Mexico! Signing off KO

PLAYA BLANCA TO PLAYA LA ROPA

Spent a lovely afternoon at Escondite Resort and Beach Club on Playa Blanca for lunch and a dip in the pool at the suggestion of my friend Faye, who is alway up for something or someplace new and interesting. A beautiful location, a lovely pool, although a bit awkward to get in and out for those of us who are no longer graceful and prefer something to hold on to until safely ensconced in the water. Had a nice lunch, relaxing and watching the waves roll in.

Walking the beach at La Ropa I enjoyed watching the “sand architects” and following a baby turtles trek in the sand towards the towards the sea. I was happy to see the turtle rescue efforts on La Ropa. I can’t help but think with so many people wanting to help the turtles their numbers will increase.

Turtle tracks in the sand

When I arrived from a very raining northwest in October I happily hung my sunshine flag off my balcony to celebrate the change in weather but now it is getting on to Thanksgiving Time so again the flag is changed. Signing off KO (tip: tap the small pictures to enlarge)