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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Travling to Mexico

We have been traveling to Mexico since 1973 and the destinations and activities have changed priorty for us as we aged.  I thought it might be good to get some of the experiences listed on a blog for others when they ask about a place to go.

Note:  At this stage of our life the perfect vacation includes reading on a great beach with a breeze.  The most difficult decision each day is where to go for dinner....  We did do a bunch of exploration when younger and that was GREAT!  Have fun and I hope these notes assist you.

NOTE: This site is under construction.... NOT even close to finished.

Pros and Cons

The water:  One hears about and I have experienced 'la touristas' or uncontrolled diarrhea.
Bottled water is for all people, including the locals down here.  Somehow washed  salads and dishes and shower water etc.. is not potable.  Don't drink tap water but water at restaurants is always (in my experience) out of the big 5 gallon jugs and ice with the holes in it is a sign that it was purified water being used or for a price you get a bottle of yhe stuff.

Just be careful.

There are drugs available at the pharmacy if you get a dose and it will stop you up and allow the fun to on again.  Lomotil is one of the ones that worked for me but there are other options.

Packing luggage:  I am now in the Rick Steeve's, the travel guru, camp.  Less is more.  Bring underwear and tee shirts and anything you can that will dry out over night.  Just wash it in the shower with you at night.  No need for more socks than two pairs.  One to travel down in and one to jog in if that is your thing.  Flip flops are my choice of footwear to any event for the entire stay.  We travel with carry on luggage only.  It is all you really need.  We get entertained by those tourists with stacks of luggage!  On the down side, if you lose your luggage in an airline snafu it is tough to get things to fit a 6'4" frame down here.  Been there done that!

Bugs:  I found that Fly Out ( or Off?) was a good local product (says "Natural" on the label and in a pump bottle)  found at pharmacy down there.  We had bugs (no see'ums) at sunset and a dose of this on the legs and arms was very good.  I have experienced bugs on the beach too but not in Zihua.   Mostly bugs are not a problem but I do recommend you have a place to sleep with bug screens. Cockroaches are all over down here.  Most good hotels spray for them.  Don't have a hissy fit when you see them.  They want to hide from you.

Condo sales tours :  We did about 5 of these and it was never worth the trouble.  We got, as I recall, a dinner, a car for the day, and other silly things for spending way too much time with nice people showing us the deluxe facility and then too much time with the closers who want your money.  Just say no.

Money conversion:  The peso is rising against the dollar at the moment (xmas of 2016) and is 20:1 while the prices here are the same as last year (xmas 2015) when it was 14:1.  Non bank money changers are about and in airports for a quick and easy exchange but the best deal is the ATM which gives you the exchange at the moment.  A good phone app is called XE and is free as a currency exchange.

It is a bargain to eat down here but most of the rooms are booked in dollars so you don't really gain there.

Sun is one of the best things MX has going for those of us from the NW.  One must be careful to use good SPF block.  The umbrellas will not block it all. I have been sunburned through the canvas!  We did sunbed tanning but that is just silly.  Just put on 45 block and be careful and all is good.  In a week you can maybe forget the block for an hour or so.

The locals:  These are the nicest folks you will meet.  Whether on the street , bus stops or beach or restaurants or at a party.  VERY friendly.  Always trying to assist with language.  Make an effort to talk Spanish and you will have a friend.

Getting around:  We have rented a car (pay for the insurance) and found the insurance is more than the car rental but the usual USA insurance policy will not extend to foreign countries.  This does allow a bit of freedom and the driving in Mx. is pretty easy to do.  The streets in PV are bit confusing to make a left turn out of but other than parking it is easy if a bit spendy.

Taxis are great as they know where that night club or restaurant you heard about is.  The airport taxi is a different breed.  You have no choice but to take them or a bus or get picked up by a friend.  The local taxis are allowed to bring you to the airport but there is a lock on the ones taking you to town.  Pay it or split with someone might work but usually they just charge each party going..  Local taxis can be negotiated ahead of time but I just feed them a $50 note and  don't  worry about it here on my usual route to town from our usual place in Zihua.  You can also get one for a day charter if you find a good English speaking driver.  It might be less than renting a car.

Local Buses:  The bus lines here in MX get high marks for fun and cheapness.  A caveat is the busses are full at closing time going home and probably full in the AM coming into the tourist areas where the jobs are.  The mini bus (Combi) here in Zihua stops running to Playa La Ropa at 7:00 PM and is effectively non useful after 5:30 PM as they are full of commuters.

In PV the buses go in two directions... Up the coast and down the coast, Just get on with some change and there you go.  The worst experience I have had were two kids singing badly for money.... It would have been worth it to pay them to be quiet..

Dining:  OMG, the choices and the food are literally soup to nuts.  Expensive or cheap doesn't matter unless you insist on linen napkins.  We like street food and don't usually drink alcohol a lot at meals  Maybe a whole bottle of wine if splurging.  Eating down here opens new vistas in food prep.  The salads we have had lately were the BEST.  Shrimp, pork, thin carne asada all good!  Splitting salads and entrees is very common so don't be shy about doing that.  If you should get a bad meal and don't eat it they will usually take it off your bill. That happened once!

Accommodations:  These are very much different depending on budget.  Surfing the web will get you a good look.  Any beach front place will cost at least $100 US a night in most cases. Some can go to the moon with prices and private pools.  Private houses are OK too but make sure you have a local contact to assist you if needed.  Most are priced in US dollars but you can get some less expensive places downtown in most places if you are willing to walk about with your luggage.  Just don't expect a pool and maybe not AC.

We like BnBs best.  Less noise.  Pools are not needed for us as they usually attract children and we don't care for kids being near.

Destinations: These are listed from the north to south.

La Paz: On the Baja

Very Mexican with less tourists.  2xs or so visits.  Maybe 1984 we drove up from Cabo and again in 2005 we sailed in from PV to put the boat on a freighter to take it back to Seattle.

Went to a Mexican rock festival with Ranchero musica.   Good fun with 5,000 people there.

Cabo San Lucas: On the Baja

A favorite from 1979-85?  Got a bit crowded for us after that. We always stayed in Cabo San Jose  which is closer to the airport than San Lucas and it is north of San Lucas on the inside of the peninsula.  Our first experience spoiled us as we got the Presidente hotel for $35 US a night!  VERY posh and fine if you can afford this chain of hotels.

Lots of condos and golf courses now.  Diving is great here.  Downtown  activities will be a younger crowd most likely....

The marina is crazy expensive, in 2005 it would be $1200 US a month for a 40' boat.



Just say no.  I have been 3 xs and gotten sick each time.  We did have a good drive into the silver mine mountains to visit a town with a church built in 1500!  Good fun and good banana cream pie.

The mayor of this town was an Ex pat. who proposed to one of the girls I was with.  He had had 4 or more wives down there.   He was a hoot at 80!  It does pay to get out and get personal with the locals.

Puerto Vallarta Airport:

(from north to south along the coast, using the PV airport)

Tip for leaving the airport:  One can just walk across the bridge outside and to the left of the airport building and it takes you to the correct side of the highway to catch a bus to the north.  Cheap... $10 pesos or so each.

Also, most airports have taxis that serve the airport only.  These are exclusive and cost more than normal taxis.  One can take a normal taxi back to the airport and that is OK but leaving they got you.  Just be advised.

Guayubitos (sp):
We stayed at a BnB in this town right across the road from the sea.  It was very nice!  The pool had an island in it!  Not so many gringos in this town back then, say 1995? We had rented a car and took it north to find some ruins up in the hills fairly close.  That was good stuff and hard to find but worth it.

We also found a refuge which we took a tour in on a boat to see the crocs or gators.  Pretty cool.  We drove as far north as San Blas too.


2004 and again in 2009 (?).  We stayed at the Hotel Amor and then rented a house a bit north up the coast.  The Hotel was worthy, the house was OK but remote.  We didn't have a car for either trip, taking the bus from PV in and out.  Great surfing here, maybe the best on the West Coast in Mx.  Lots of fit tan bodies in town.


We stayed here twice at a good little hotel (name will come to me hopefully, Los Picos?)  Cheap and clean.  2006 and another time.  Just north of PV.  Not so much of a beach.  Lots of shopping for Lori.  Bus from PV is easy and cheap.  I think we had a car tone time and drove out to a tequila factory on the way to a hill town call San Francisco which is pretty remote above PV somewhere.

Access to shopping night life in PV is easy from here.

Neuvo Vallarta:

Most will not want to stay here but I did as I was taking a survey of my boat at the time, being purchased in Feb of 2005.  It does have some nice hotels but I was staying at a less expensive place near the marina.  It was fine.  There is a private zoo at the big hotel with cats and loose ostriches walking about.  Very weird.  Also there is a nice little mall there too.  The marina is much nicer than the one downtown but spendy to keep your boat in.  Back in 2005 it was $650 US a month.

The location is a longish bus ride to PV for night life and shopping.

Puerto Vallarta: (maybe 5-6 visits?)

Near airport:  We stayed just south of the cruise ship docks with a 2 minute walk to a beach.  Economy pricing and was good just to be in Mx.

Hotel D'Arco:  A favorite right down in Old Town. Aged property but with a great location.  Just up the beach from the 'blue chairs' a good gay area apparently.  There is a great martini bar and many great restaurants and romantic walks on the river here.  We took a boat south to the Arches and to a remote colony called Yalapa with boat access only for a day trip.  We have also stayed in a condo in this area too.  I think the hotel was more fun as there was oddness here and there instead of perfect condo living.

The Malacon is a great way to spend time, just walking about as is the River walk.  Too many bars to speak about and the names change each year.  The central Mercado is fun to visit as is the beach south of town where Elizabeth Taylor shot the Night of the Iguana.  Mismaloya is the name of the beach and is a good destination in itself.   There is a road into the hills at that beach that goes to a waterfall area with a wrecked helicopter.  This is where Arnold Schwartzanager shot Predator.  The waterfall restaurant is a great place to spend the day.

PV is a great place for a first look at Mexico but staying in the large American hotels is pretty sheltering and not for us.  Nice places with nice pools and good service though.

We like eating the street food over fancy restaurants but it is all good.  Tacos al pastor are hard to beat on the street!

Bara de Navidad:  We first went here in 1973 and then 25 years later.  The first time we got a room on the beach for $10 US a night.  No roof on the bathroom and the bed fell off some 2x4s at night and there were a bunch of cockroaches... We were young!  It was fun.

25 year later it is still nice but hard to get to. We took a 1st class express bus south from PV and it took 4 hours.  Might have been better to fly to Manzanillo (never been there) and bus the hour north.

Zihuatenjo:  (same airport as Ixtapa, just say no to this area)  (we don't care for all inclusive resorts or golf so this is off our radar.)

Zihua is our favorite city  in Mexico now. We have been down here maybe 10 times and for the last 5 years have stayed in the same room at the same BnB for the same dates.  12 days of reading and walking on the most perfect beach you can imagine.  I am referring to Playa La Ropa.  80+F water and beautifully clean!

Many ex-pats move down here for the winter.  Some own, RV, or condo rent or stay downtown.  The downtown hotels are very inexpensive, around $30 a night I think.


Villa Mexicana, on Playa La Ropa.  On the water with a 3/4 mile sandy beach.  Very good choice on location.
Hotel Irma:  Edge of cliff near downtown.  On the water but up. Great infinity pool with amazing view  and budget friendly
Las Brisas Del Mar:  Very nice with pool and 5 star $$$$ restaurant.  Located near downtown on Playa Maderia (on the water with a sandy beach.
Casa Iguana:  BnB about 1/4 mile off the beach.  No pool or views out.
Here  are some links to my other blog articles for Casa Iguana
click here for 2014 and 2011

click here for  2014, 2012 and 2011

click here for 2011 with maps

Too many blog articles by me may contain uninteresting details to read here but maybe one can get some sense of it by looking at the photos in the articles.  These articles are mostly for me to see what I did when I am locked away in assisted living...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Zihua 2016

It is hard to believe we have been down here now for 24 hours.  It is a bit surreal   I hope to collect my shards of memory in the morning after each day to jot down the details of our inactive life here in Zihua.

Previous visits:  (there is an error somewhere as I am missing 2015 and 2013??)

Click here for a look at dining costs in Zihuantenjo for 2017.

click here for 2014 and 2011

click here for  2014, 2012 and 2011

click here for 2011 with maps

This blog article describes a day by day activity list of what we did for the stay on this year. 

Monday: December 12, 2016
Activities are minimal this day but fun for us.

Arise at GH at 3:00 AM, airport flight out at 6:30, LAX at 9-9:45, Zihua at 4:00 PM

Taxi from airport was seemingly cheap at $25 US (140 pesos)
Dinner on the beach at El Vira's to start then asleep by 8:00

2 mile walk finding a burro and pack of dogs en route at 7:00 AM
Breakfast and shower in the room then another nap for 45 minutes.

Grabbed a bus to town (bus fare is $8 pesos per person).  Got pesos at the bank cash machine, current rate is 20.26 pesos per dollar.

Lori shopped and got a new horse blanket, a change purse and a thing to put her earrings in.  I watched.
We had limanadas at the other El Vira's and said hey to Nahume (manager) and Moses (head waiter).
She found a cool horse staue about 12" tall, with wings and also a nice dog sculpture but wants to look at everything before buying.
Last thing in town was get supplies for the room, micro popcorn, cookies, beer, chips, bug spray, etc..
Found a taxi back for $50 pesos.

Headed out after putting on bathing suits and had lunch at La Pearla ($210)
Had the best massage ever!  Jahdita(sp)  She was GREAT.  Price $200 plus tip
Cocktail hour after showers.

We went out to Tratorria de Gianni which is about 1/4 nile walk.  No reservations but we got in early enough for a fine table.  YUMMM.  Brucheta, grilled romaine hearts with cheese and walnut salad for me and a Caprese salad for Lori.  We split a block of spinach lagsagna and a full bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Total was $543!

Home early and we played some cards and then in bed by 10:00.


We have Jimi Mamou to listen to tonight in town.  Get some more pesos too is on the list.  $5000 went pretty fast!

We slept in to 8:00!  Decadent.

We had to spend the day at Paty's which is the beach restaurant next to El Vira's (our usual haunt).
Beach walk, swim, eat, drink, read.  Head back up to the room around 3 for a nap, cocktails/popcorn, then another nap.  Up and at 'em hard at 5:30 and off to town.

 After watching the bus go by FULL we opted for a Taxi ride to town.  We found a bank and got some more pesos and then a bit of shopping and watching the goings on at the downtown plaza where there had to be 75 teens dressed in white tails and flimy white gowns doing some sort of dance for Xmas.

We went to Daniel's to watch Jimi Mamou and have dinner.  A great time

Home late for us.... 11:00 PM!


Up at 9 am.  A new record for sleeping in.  Breakfast was ceraeal, banana, and yogurt with some fresh squeezed OJ and papaya, and some toast.

Off to the beach to get in some frisbee throwning with a 66 year old fellow, John, from the BC Okanogan.  Did that with a 175g for 30-40 minutes and then he begged off with sore feet.  Not because he had to run very much though, my throws were good and hot.

Next on the list was another massage from Jahditta.  Killer workout for me as she put the pressure on !
One hour for $200 pesos again.  I will do this every other day as long as we are here!  OMG she was fining issues iny old body.

Back to El Viras and sent Lori to the massuse.  I sat had a beverage or two and some chips and guacamole with pico de gaio.  Then went out and swam two laps to the rope swim  barrier and back to shore.  A good work out for me.  One can float here in the 80F water and all is good.  Speed is not needed.  The waves were not in evidence today.  Very flat water and little wind.

We read for a bit and then went back to the room about 3:00 for a shower and nap.

Next we will go downtown for some Posole as it is Thursday and that is supposedly Posole night in town.  I will take in the Thursday night football as the Seathawks are playing the LA Rams.

The posole was good and was cheap but the sopes there were amazing.  Total dinner bill was $135 plus tip.  Under $10 US in all.  WAY too much food, couldn't eat it all.  Posole alley.

Banditos for the game as I met some people there I had Seahawked with in the past.  These folks were from Vancouver and built a 6 unit luxo condo on the rocks above the water.  They keep the top unit for themselves.  Their names are Barry and Sandra and the name of their units is the Sandbar.  Barry used to play wide reciever for the Huskies when Warren Moon was QB.  He really knows football.

Hawks won handily 24-3

Nani nani time at 11:00 PM again!


Up at the crack of 9:00 AM.  Hopefully paddleboarding and some frisbee tossing.  Dancing tonight!

This didn't get chronicled until Sunday AM,  We shall see if anything is recalled.

I went down the beach to shoot some frisbee with John from Okannogan for about 1/2 hour and then Lori came down on her beach walk and I went back with her.

We had limeadas and read, walking a bit and then I did my two laps out to the swim ropes in the bay and back.  Lunch was minimal, Chips and pico do gaio..

Back to the room around 3:00 for a shower and nap, then cocktails and popcorn.  Wine provided by our host at  Casa Iguana.

We went to dinner early aruond 5:30 so Lori could buy her tiny martini glasses at the Mercado Tourista. Then down to Memo's  for dinner.  She ordered a fish fillet in wine sauce and I had a calzone. My calzone was too large ($80) and I ate about 1/2 while Lori thought her fish was mushy and didn't eat it.  The cost was taken off the tab so total was $120.

Don't adjust your computer screen.  This car was shrunk in half sideways.

I will enquire if it is for sale as I like it!  Looks like a '67 maybe?
I left my personal card under the single wiper blade on this car.  Maybe the owner will contact me.  It is just too unusual.  It has been sitting a while here.  The underpinnings appear to be stock.  It won some top 5 award at a Zihua auto show.

Then over to Daniel's to watch Jimi play.   The usual suspects were there, Judy (his wife), Coletta and Brian (Brian played a song or two again), Marty and Betty were there and Jan and Mary flew in from the Bay area with some donuts for Judy who went nuts for them.

We taxied home and time for bed around 10:30.


I was up at 8:45!  This is decadent.  Joel, our host, provided some special muffins for breakfast.  Heated in the micro and with butter.... YUMMM

I headed off for a massage again with Jahditta (my third) and that was successful.  There are 5 massueses there that are all trained by the same fellow (professor) but I stuck with the one that really did it for me.

 I finished off the walk of the beach by talking with Steve from Denver (72) who is among many who live here 6 months a year.  He sits at a table beyond Rossy's and was telling me about Steve and Friends who are a band that was playing Saturday night from 5-7.  I made reservations (not needed)

Lori and I had fresh juices at our table at El Viras on the beach, a bit of reading then some fish tacos and chips with pico de gaio.  Our big activity was to charter a Hobie and go out for an hour's sail.  $500/HR or $25 US.  Apparently the cost is the same if you take it out or if you have one of the guys (Havier, Ramon, Renee, or Armondo take you out but then you would tip them too )

It was a good sail with enough wind to rip and tear about a bit.  Not enough for flying a hull but there was a lot of water traffic to dodge and keep things interesting.

We went home and showered, had cocktails and popcorn (our daily toast of our feeling good) and then went off to Rossy's on the beach.

There was a Xmas party for some outfit on the upper floor where the band would play and the band was put back an hour.  Not a problem as the view out was great and the wind came right in to cool us off.
Rossy's with 4 pc. band called Steve with Friends
We were home about 8:00 and played some cards and read.  In bed at 10!  Some night life creatures us?


We decided to take a break from the beach today and went out looking for art downtown.  Lori shopped and I watched.  I don't think we bought anything except lunch.

Having lunch, the usual... Quesidillas and chip with beverages.

We finally made the art show and historical museum which was well done.

We got home around 3:00 and took a shower and a nap, got up for a cocktail and popcorn.  Then dinner around 7:30 at a roof top place about a block down the street.  Gorgeous view!

The view at night of Zihua from our table on the roof.  Dinner was 330 pesos plus a 70 tip so $20 US.
We split a ceasar salad and a fresh fish fajita with veggies.


I am off for my massage this AM after a bite of breakfast.  The weather here is the same from day to day.  85ish and sun.

The massage was fabulous and I wish I could afford this treatment at home.  $10 a massage is the going rate down here and one gets solicited about 5 times in walking down the 1.5 mile beach by ladies in white.  Not all are equal but Jahditta really works it for me.  I get her 'strong' version every other day.

I was able to find Angelina the 'fruit lady' today.  She wears a blue skirt that goes nearly to the sand and carries a 5 gallon bucket with cups of fruit prepared for immediate consumption.  $70 pesos and beautifully done.  I brought it  home and put it in our fridge for breakfast on Tuesday.

I got home with the fruit and covered in massage oil and took a shower so I could appy SPF.  That worked pretty well and we got to the beach at El Viras around 1 PM.  We had lunch of BLT for me and Quesdillas for Lori.  Really filled us UP.  Add to that 'frozen' peach juice for me and limenada for her, plus the usual chips and pico de gaio.  Our bill was $400 for the day whch included tip.

I got in my two lap swim out to the ropes and back and did a bit of a beach walk and it was 4:00 and time to take a shower and have cocktails.  We were out of popcorn but made do with mexican Ritz crackers called Crackets and gin and tonics.  Followed by our usual chocolate of M&Ms which we brought from Costco up north (56 oz bag) and she is concerned it might not last until Friday.  The candy is tough to find down here, forget the big bag of it!

We were out of pesos so had to arrange a taxi ride to town for a stop at a bank ATM buit found the Scotia Bank didn't take our BECU card so we went to the ATM at the Commercial and found an HSBC ATM and got $7000 which should do us to the end with some spare to take home.

After getting flush with cash again, we went to El Canto de las Sirenas where we paid a cover of $100@ and listened to some very good guitar music. There were two acts, a three pc. band and then the owner who plays solo and is one of the best guitar players I have ever heard.

Three pc warm up group.  Very tight and good.
Note the drummer playing a box for a base.

Owner JOSE LUIS .  He can whistle too.
A Master at his craft.
 A good night to go as usually they start around 10 PM.  Pizza can be ordered but we didn't, choosing to out to Rufo's after with Mike and Barbara who are also staying at our BnB.

We have eaten at Rufo's in previous years and they had some live music too.  The chicken breast was FABULOIUS.  Lori and I split an order and it was plenty of food.  Home to Casa Iguana and more M&Ms and lights out around 10:30.  Another good day!


Up at the crack of 8:30 and catching up with this article.  Another gorgeous day.  We will have to camp at Paty's today as El Viras is closed Tuesdays.

Camping at Paty's is not a hardship, in fact it is a bit nicer than El Viras but we like the staff at El Viras I guess.  The food is about the same but there are differences.

Lunch at Paty's was very good.  I had a mixed salad with grilled chicken that was excellent!  Lori had quesdillas with corn tortillas. The cost of camping, lunch and drinks for the day was $310 plus tip.

The day was very slow in activities but I did manage to bring technology to my aid.
screen shot of phone

I have often wondered how long the perfect white beach was here at Playa La Ropa.  I took my iPhone with app (Map My Walk) and did a walk up measuring and then a walk back measuring the same distance.  The result is .75 mile of perfect beach.
This was taken on Dec 20, 2016 at the most crowded part of the beach.  Playa La Ropa is such a fine walk to take several times
a day.

The locals were out for the weekend and the gringos have not landed yet.  The beach is still pretty empty but the parachutes with passengers were very busy as they have been since we arrived.  Lots of locals like to do this apparently but so do many gringos.

We took off from the beach around 3:00 in order to go to town to get some daylight photos of the incredible amount of xmas flowers and pinatas for sale at the edge of downtown.

Amazing colors and sizes of all sorts for local Xmas cheer.  I wonder when they all get sold?
We wandered about looking for art and then she looked again for the skull refridgerator magnet and finally found it.  Of course she had to shop a bit more so I sat on a corner and waited.  That done, we went to the local supermarket and got some more popcorn for the microwave.

The toughest decision each night (we are totally spoiled and acknowledge same) was where to go for dinner.  We walked toward the water and took 'Lovers Lane' around the point at gloaming.  It was a gorgeous sight.  Then wandered a bit until we got to Casa Vieja and we had a totally decadent meal.
Casa Vieja.  Excellent!
We were not hungry but since I wanted a pork chop and she doesn't eat them we couldn't split an entree.  We did split an excellent mixed salad and each had wine.  Lori had the tuna and I ordered a 350g porkchop (no idea on how large until it arrived).  We could barely eat half of each!
My finger is adding scale to show the size of this cut.
Don't forget the chps and salsa and garlic bread served along
as well!

The setting here was quiet and peaceful with nice music and great service.  Not crowded.  The food was superb!  The cost was the highest we have had with a tab of $710 plus tip.  I was glad I slipped in a $500 note prior to leaving the room.  We had enough or a taxi and then we went home to play cards.  

I won two in a row of Skip-bo.  


Started this day by getting to the massage table for a 1.5 hour workout on my legs (cost was $300).  I hope it helps in the long run.  The short term feels good!  Came home to get a shower and wash off the massage oil and apply SPF again.

Off to the beach and El Viras for lunch and a fresh strawberry daquiri with vodka and no sugar.  YUMM.

Lunch was quesidillas and chips w/ pico de gaio.  The daily bill was $330.

We got in one lap of walking the beach and two swimming laps to the rope and back for me.  Back to the room around 3 PM for showers and cocktails with popcorn.  This is not a diverse way of life but it seems to work for us.  The bulk of the time is spent reading.

My books so far:  The Amazing Maurice , Terry Pratchett.   Joy in the Morning, P. G. Wodehouse.  One Shot, Lee Child, and now Exit Music, Ian Rankin.

Off to town at 6:15 for dinner at Any's whcih is one of our favorite place but usually we get tortilla soup.  Tonight it was too warm for soup so we split a chcken burrito and an order of Sopes (2).  VERY good.  The bill was $125.  One doesn't need to spend a lot to get good food here.

We finished at 7:00 and hoofed it over to watch Jimi Mamou play at Daniels.  We danced, had ice cream and iced tea.  Met some new folks and some from previous visits and had fun with Jimi's music.

Dancing and fun until 9 PM and then sitting around in converstation a bit and then home in a cab ($50).

Jimi Mamou on the keyboard at 78 years young!


We now have neighbors next to us in the BnB.  A group of 3 Mexican girls.  So far not an issue with noise as they are still sleeping.

Also, a couple of friends of ours from yoga in Stanwood have arrived too.  The BnB now has 2/3 of capacity and feels full to us as we had it to ourselves for most of our stay.  That was pretty deluxe.!

Not much going on for our last full day.  Beach by 11:30, A walk up the beach and back. A fresh strawberry dacquiri with vodka and no sugar was a good start.  Lunch was chips and pico de gaio and quesdillas.  Total for the day  $330.   Reading and then a swim and back to the room for showers and a nap.

Dinner was at El Viras on the beach and we split a huge mixed salad and a plate of coconut shrimp.  Too much food with a glass of wine each it came to $510 plus tip.


Our last day.

I started with a walk to the massage table and didn't find Jahditta but when I asked for the best massuse Vicki stepped up and holy toledo, she didn't let me down.  No English spoken here but even though I asked for a leg only massage, she did the routine they all apparently are trained to do.  I couldn't believe she found issues in my shoulders that I thought were all taken care of.  NOT!  OMG she did a job!  I was jello at the end.

Back to El Viras to find Lori had lunch already so I ordered  and then went swimming while it was being prepared.  I got my two laps out to the rope and back in and had an iced coffee with my sopes.

Left the table at 1:00 PM and tipped Fernando who provided us with water to rinse our feet all during our stay. He is the guy in the alley who had the key to the restrooms too.  \

Got showered and packed and in a taxi ($320 peso fare) to the airport for our 4:15 flight which was delayed by 30 minutes.   That airport was CROWDED!  Flew into LAX and it was crowded too, through customs and waited about 30 minutes and boarded to Seattle where we landed without snow.

Driving home there was snow on the sides of the freeway up north and our driveway had 2" so it was a bit tricky in the two wheel drive car but we did it.  It did take 3 runs at the garage hill to get in the building!  Good to be home at 12:25AM