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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Zihuantenjo for 2014 (xmas)

Vacation is an odd term to describe this trip as what I am getting away from?  It will suffice for the nonce.

Here is a link to a couple other previous visits if you care to see more photos, including a photo tour of our BnB in 2011 (click here).

I am sipping my first cup of joe on morning #1 and discovered I made it a bit too strong. Maybe only use 4 moderately heaping teaspoons of coffee next pot.  Not too bad though.

Putting any clothes is almost too warm at 8:00 AM.  I had intentions of getting up for a run, first thing, but that was foiled by sleeping in until 7:30.  The sun has already gotten to the streets by then and is a bit tough to deal with.

​My computer freaked out and did some unexpected moving of my typing and sent off an incomplete thought.  Ah, the joys of the unexpected​.  Perhaps a main reason for a 'vacation'. 

One of the new things on this trip was booking 1st Class on the plane for down and up instead of just coming home in 1st.  We used our points on the Alaska Visa card and our companion fare ($100 +taxes for the 2nd body).  This was a huge improvement in comfort although getting up at 2:30 AM to catch the 6:10 flight was tough no matter what the seat.

The best payoff for sitting in the front, besides the continuous screwdrivers for breakfast, was getting off the plane first when arriving at Z-town.  There was NO line at the customs desk and we zoomed through, then using our carry on luggage we got through the next screening of stuff while others waited for luggage.

I suspect we were the first to get away from the airport in a taxi as we knew the drill.  We were having gin and tonics with chips on our veranda around  5 PM.  Time for a nap and then headed out to get bug spray in town and have some dinner.

We went to Daniels Restaurant on the Playa  Principle (sp) where we found Jimi Mamou, our favorite blues musician, playing and we sat with his wife Judy and 4 other friends who were in town.  I suspect we were the youngest at the table.  Jimi is over 75 now and still playing 3 or more nights a week.

Lori and I danced there and in the gazebo at the  town square, showing off all our moves to applause in both venues.  We both had salads at Daniels which was EXCELLENT.  I had a 'Princess Ensalada'
​which was lettuce, covered in croutons, tons of bacon crumbles, grilled sliced chicken, avocado, and grapefruit around the edges.  This needs to be a staple for me at home.​

 On the downside of our sojourn was the fact I had not packed a swimsuit, mistakenly having put in two sets of jogging shorts.  We had to shop and found a stylizing pair of swim trunks at Anbifios which had a large selection at pretty tall prices for a guy from Arlington.  I chose a fine set with blue plaid, four pockets and a stretchy waist band and tie strap for $675.  (pesos)

I had to go back the next morning for them.  Lori was having some stomach issues (only lasted the morning...thank goodness).  I did some other shopping getting two nice belts for another $800 and had to go back to the Cambio Store (Money Exchange) for another infusion of pesos.  Also I stocked up on basics like microwave popcorn, salted nuts, potato chips, cranberry juice, and limes for our cocktail hour.

We got to our favorite beach bar around 1PM and discovered some exceptional sand sculptures.  A full sized (30') nurse shark and other creative sand events.  Who knows how long they will survive.
Sand sculpture left behind after a movie shoot?  A fine life size nurse shark!

The water is warmer than most of our visits and cleaner too.  Love it!

I swam my two laps out to the ropes and floats  that keep the ski boats and jet skis off shore and noticed I was tired from that.  More swimming is needed.  1.7 beach laps of walking and greeting old acquaintances we have seen many times.

Our first day on the beach gave us a bit of color.  We had slathered with a 45 spf and it was a good thing.  More color on our bodies each day.  One can pick out the newly arrived by the white skin.  Now, on the 4th day, we both have enough color to take out a Hobie for a sail without worrying about getting too much sun (still with plenty of sun screen).

We are no longer the only guests at our B&B.  Two other rooms have inhabitants.  Got in a good swim today.  I think it tired me some because I took a one hour nap after cocktail hour.

Tomorrow I will watch the Seahawks play at a beach Sports Bar.  That will be a first for me.  One of the other guest here is from northern CA and figures it will be a blowout for the Hawks... We shall see, as they have played down to some of their competition this year.

I woke at 6:42 and it was just getting light out.  I got in my run this AM and was drenched when I got back.  Sweat from running in the warm moist air.  All that working out took less than an hour, hopefully I will not gain too much weight down here.

Last night we took the local mini bus to town.  Cheap at $8.5 each and we got the last seats.  A taxi would be $50 for the same ride but is needed for coming home as the buses seem to stop at 7:00 PM.

Lori did some shopping at the two Mercados but no buying, so no lugging of bags.  A good thing.

I was camped out in front of the main church waiting and saw a party with a girl in a very fancy dress waiting.  She was having her Quintessa (sp?) party for turning 15.  What a program with a lot of pomp and decor!  Unfortunately, no photos from me but there were at least two pros shooting it.

A new sight for us, the army was in town last night supervising the city, as Saturday is apparently pay day, so there was squad of about 10 with two trucks, one with a fixed mount 50 cal. machine gun and belt feed.  One doesn't see that in the streets of Arlington!

We ate dinner at AnY's and had tortilla soup overlooking the bank and the squad of army dudes.  Tired looking weapons with wood stocks was interesting with only one dude with a side arm.  The army took off halfway through our meal so a non-event.  I did caution Lori to hit the ground if any firing started.  Not needed advice, thank goodness.

Later we saw two large trucks from the State Policia come past our view with several officers.  I have to say walking across the street I was able to look down the barrel of a 30 caliber machine gun which was pointing forward and down a bit.  Very disconcerting.

 It seems the government is making a point of saying 'keep it cool' around here.  I am good with that.

Exercise for the boy on this trip is a priority as ski season will hopefully be in place on our return.  After dumping the prescribed statin drug,  due to leg cramps, running is OK again.  One must arise pre 7:30 AM or it will be too sunny for serious work.

Daily early AM workout will either be a walk or a jog walk on alternating days to start with.  Then a walk up and down the mile long beach.  We are realizing about 1.5 circuit walk a day on the beach.  Then there is the swim which is put off until later in the day followed with a walk on the beach to dry off.

The swim is maybe a 400' lap out and back to the ropes with floats which are tethered out in front of El Vira's.  Two of these laps were a serious test of breath and muscle the first day but getting easier.

Unexplored experience:
Talking to other gringos on the beach resulted in a conference about what to do.  This couple, Tim and Donna, who own a marina up in the Gulf Islands and a 1982 Baltic 42 had been seen running on the street in the early hours by the Count so when encountered on the beach it was easy to start a conversation.

They recommended a 'Floorshow', family friendly, of cross dressers put on by a the Transgender/Gay/Lesbian community at a pub called El Pueblito, near the Mercado, downtown.  Two shows on Thursday night, one at 5:30 and one at 8:30.  We found out about it at 4:30 and were only going to be here for the one Thursday but it did sound interesting.

Beach report:

The beautiful white sand beach was beautiful for the first day or so and then a bunch of headless (80% or more) bait herring washed up for the next 4 days.  Thousands of them and the local beach crew were out picking them up several times a day.  Then there were no more.  A mystery with several theories.

a.  Tuna going through a school knocking the heads off and then having a leisurely meal.

b.  Warm water currents making a fish kill (Doesn't explain the missing heads)

c.  Trawlers off shore renewing their bait on long lines with lots of hooks.  The sheer number of fish makes this suspect but does explain the uniform size of bait fish and the lack of heads.

d.  other ideas?

Meal costs:

Friday:  Daniels, two salads and one limada and one agua con heilo = $317
Sat:  Elvira's Beach Bar = $230, AnYs, two Sopa de Tortilla and two beers = $237
Sun:  Elvira's Beach Bar (dinner)= $535 for Camarones Diablo and clam chowder and ensalada plus wine  La Perla Sports Bar (on the beach for the Seattle Seahawks vs the 49ers) = $200 for carne asada tacos and two cervasas.

Mon:  Lunch was at Daniels = $135 for omelette, quesidillas, and limeada.  Dinner at Paty's (on the beach) = $310 for cheese and onion enchiladas in verde sauce (spicy!) and shrimp cocktail in a sweet tangy sauce, french fries with two glasses of wine (happy hour 5-7 with a 2/1 deal and we arrived at 6:57)

Tues:  Hanging out at El Marlin at the far south end of Playa la Ropa = $225 for some most excellent dorado deep fried fish sticks, quesidillas, liminada, and two Negro Modelos.  Very cheap and good!
Dinner at El Vira's in town = $200.  Had to dance to Jimi Mamou again, he was playing at the Barracruda (hangover, not the fish).

Sailing was $300 for an hour on a Hobie cat.   Great fun in SUPER warm water!  One hour was plenty.  Surfed in on a large wave that surprised us but managed to keep it straight on to the beach.

Wednesday:  We ended up at Daniel's and we both got the salads again.  $285 (?)  A small day on the beach at El Vira's cost us about $180.  Had to dance to Jimi Mamou again.  Excellent!  No cover but donated $100 to the kids

Thurs:  $505 for coconut shrimp at Lety's with mixed salad and limenada.  $95 at El Vira's

Friday:  We changed to La Perla for the day hangout, found the best beach bathrooms and had a good lunch with beers and limenada $250 while we each had EXCELLENT massages for $200 each.
Dinner to be salad somewhere.... Had to dance to Jimi Mamou again..
Lori had a salad and limenada while I had a limenada =$108
CF also had a hot dog at the stand by the basketball courts.  Supposedly ranked #1 in the world.  It was good with bacon and all kinds of condiments.  $15

Saturday:  El Vira's $205 for fish tacos, chips and pico de gaio, limenada and two beers.

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