Saturday, March 6, 2010

Final entry for this trip


Our two months here has been a whirlwind to say the least. The trip down was uneventful, but always great to arrive. We have spent lots of time with family and friends this year, with the pinnacle being Ellie and Sean’s wedding on February 6th. Once again, a big Thank You, to all that were able to come and share this joyous event with us. Hopefully we will see some of the first time visitors back again some other time. Judy and I both think that the wedding was even better than we had hoped for.

We have seen some firsts this trip for us. RAIN! In all of our trips since 1997 we have never seen a drop of rain until this year. Starting with the little thunder, lightning, rain and wind on our first Friday night here. This also included a two hour power outage. Then 3 days before the wedding, it started to rain and rain and rain, for two days. We received about 12” in 36 hours. Then the sun came out and the weather was perfect for the wedding.

It is always fun for us to visit with all of the friends that we have made down here. Whether it is on the beach or running into them downtown, we always enjoy it. We have seen a few places in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa that we haven’t been to before. It is always fun to check out a new restaurant or rental unit. The water in the bay has been exceptional this year for cleanliness and for warmth. This week we have been enjoying more gentle breezes coming in off of the water. We have also seen a lot of our friends head home over the last week. Tonight is reserved for dinner with two couples that are still here, and will be leaving a few days after us. Thought we would go for one last dinner at La Escollera. Always a nice view, good food and service.

Timeshare update: Yes we did go for a timeshare presentation. No, we did not buy anything. It was really more to help out a new friend that makes his money booking the presentations. They are beautiful with a great view, but we are happy with what we have going on for now. The presentation was actually nice and really no pressure. They tried to throw a little bait out in front of us, but it wasn’t very fresh and had a bad odor to it. Besides, we have friends that own up there, so we can visit them and use the facility once in a while. Maybe someday we might be ready for a little more comfort and service.

Next year is already set. We will be moving back to a one bedroom suite just behind where we are now. Alfredo was a little concerned that he wouldn’t see us. I told him the other night that I will be watching him from up the hill now. He is fine with that. I might even get a scooter ride to town once in awhile. We will miss not seeing him every night, but knowing that we have a friend for life down here is comforting for all of us.

Judy and I carried out one of Ellie’s wishes this week. She decided that she wanted to give her wedding dress to someone that can’t afford one and needs one. After asking around a little, we took it down to Liliana’s. She cuts Judy’s hair and does her nails. She is also a seamstress. She understood what we wanted to do. After we dropped it off, we went down the street to Casa CafĂ© for a late breakfast. The owner’s daughter works there and we were telling her about the dress. One of their employees is getting married on the 27th of this month and can’t afford a dress. Lisa was also thinking about using it to renew her vows in their church later this year. They went and looked at it that afternoon. We saw both of them later that night at another restaurant they are part of and work at. They found someone to alter it for them and it looks like it is going to work out. What do you do with a wedding dress after you wear it once? It seems like we have been in that pay it forward mode this year. It does feel good, and doesn’t cost you anymore. We already paid for the dress last Spring. Thanks Ellie!

We survived the tsunami last Saturday afternoon. That could have been one of those events that would ruin your day real fast. Thankfully it was pretty much a non event here. The water did suck out a little, then, came back in a little higher. I wasn’t interested in going to the beach to watch. If it was going to be a problem, we could just watch it come up the street toward us from the safety of our elevated location.

Birds: Normally I have seen and reported on lots of different birds down here. This year was a little slow, with only a couple of unusual birds showing up. I have been watching a pair of wild parrots across the street. You can hear them squawking but can’t get very close. I have seen them the last couple of years flying by. There appears to only be one pair, but they always fly together. Occasionally they will sit in a large tree about a 150 yards from the house. Hard to get a good look, but you can see them.

Time to wrap up the blog for this year. Tomorrow we will be gathering up and packing barrels and bags. We head out of here on Monday at 5 PM, then overnight in LA and leave for Seattle at 10:30 AM the next morning. It is much easier than running for a late night flight to Seattle.

See you at home next week.


Warren and Judy

Judy feeding Ponchita an apple. She is also one of the residents up at La Escollera. Sean and Ellie made friends with her during their stay up there. She is very social and always comes over for attention from anyone that comes by.

Celine and one of her new members of their Ecological display behind La Escollera. This is a raccoon like animal called a Tahone. They like to stick their head through the fence to be scratched.

We caught the end of some of the free entertainment on Thursday night. They have been having a variety of entertainment on Tuesdays and Thursday nights. These dancers were very good. This was their final dance, the traditional Mexican Hat dance.

Here is the girl that is going to use Ellie's wedding dress. She was very excited to get the dress. Her friend and employer, Lisa, wants to use it after her.

Our friend Israel, fixed dinner for us last Tuesday night. He fixed a meal for us last year also. He has about 9 more months of culinary school. His plan is to open a restaurant this coming fall. We will certainly be there.

Bananas flambe for dessert.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday in Zihuatanejo


Sunday in Zihuatanejo

It is going to be another quiet day for us. Our plan today is to lay low and do whatever later. Probably a walk on the beach and a visit with friends down the street. Our friends Vera and Richie are heading home tomorrow. They, like many of the other east coasters, are heading home to snow. Hopefully they won’t have major flight delays.

We walked to town yesterday morning and had breakfast then headed for a haircut. I needed one more of Rigo’s haircuts before I head home. Then we walked down by the basketball court for a beverage and to watch some of the cruise boat parade from the pier. After talking with a few local folks, we found out about the earthquake in Chile. They asked if we had heard about the tsunami warning. Of course, we hadn’t. There were conflicting reports about when it might arrive here, but the most common one was about 4:15 PM local time. We decided that we would be on the safe side and start toward home. There was still plenty of time to walk for most of the way, so we headed for the beach walkway along Madera beach then caught the bus from there to home. When we arrived home there were a couple of e-mails from friends down here. They had headed up the hill with passports in hand to La Escollera. They spent the afternoon up there waiting out the all clear. Our house is higher than where they are staying.

There was a couple of reports of the water going out about 50 feet, then surged back in about 5 feet higher on the beach than when it went out. The Carnival Spirit was in the bay and wasn’t scheduled to leave until after the tsunami was scheduled to arrive. I heard that the Mexican Navy was a little nervous but there was no order to evacuate. In true Mexican fashion, there were no warnings until everything was over. I did notice that the ship had fired up their main engines, which you don’t normally see until they are almost ready to depart. We watched the news and reports on the internet closely but didn’t feel like we needed to head to higher ground after seeing some of the NOAA wave mappings from the quake area.

We had reservations to go to a restaurant down the street last night. There is a local singer that has been singing there on Saturday nights since we have been here. We saw here a few times last year at a couple of local restaurants. Mostly for just a couple of songs and a few tips, then she would move on. Her name is Michelle LaValle and she has a great talent. She sings in French, Italian, English and Spanish. She is originally from Montreal, so French was her first language. It was a wonderful evening of songs with some great backup artists with her, once they showed up. The lead guitar player was at least 40 minutes late and the base showed over an hour late. Right on time for Mexican time! It was still a wonderful evening of song. We sat with some friends from down here that work with Michelle and have helped her get some recording done. Here is a link to U Tube with some photos and her singing. Hopefully it will link up for you.

Another cruise ship in this morning, the Radiance of the Sea, I think they leave in the early afternoon. According to the cruise ship schedule, we will see one more ship before we leave.

We are heading to a timeshare presentation in the morning. We have made friends with one of the presentation solicitors. We stopped him yesterday to chat for a few minutes. He is a nice guy just trying to make a living. He also waits tables at one of the restaurants downtown along the water. He makes a $100 bucks for bringing people to the presentations for a “FREE” breakfast. He knows we have no intention of buying anything. If I’m going I might as well be entertained. I always like it when the closer moves in for more writing upside down on the paper in front of you. Sales is like fishing, some days you catch em, and some days you don’t. My money is on don’t. I will have more to report in the next entry.

Looks like I have run out of things to report for this entry. We head home in one more week, and that time is filling up fast with getting together with friends at least one more time. This year has been a whirlwind for us. Next year will be calm, as it should be.


Our evening last Saturday night, just down the street from our house. The singer is Michelle LaValle. She has a great voice and a great talent. She really can sing the blues.

This shot is from the walkway heading from downtown toward Madera beach. It is also known to the locals as "lovers lane". This is looking to the southeast.

Playa Municipal. This beach is right along the downtown area. It was real busy on Saturday mostly with locals. The cruise ship was also in and the beach restaurants were busy. This shot was taken from the beginning of the walkway that goes from downtown over to the next beach, which is Madera.

Judy made a new friend while she was waiting for me to finish my haircut with Rigo. She lives next door to the Barber shop and wonders in and out. They had fun. I think she is about 6.

A catch up photo. This is Alfredo's old scooter. The "Flintstone" scooter. One of the last straws was the kick stand breaking off.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Catching up


Not a lot going on this week. I finally went and got a blood test for the blood thinner I am taking. It took me a while of dragging my feet and finding the right lab to do the work. After going to one lab downtown, and getting a glucose test, which I didn’t want, I went to the right location. I sent an e-mail to the doctor we have used down here, and he sent me to a lab across from the fire station. They did the blood draw and the testing for 168 pesos, or about $13. Something is wrong with health care costs in the US. Maybe you have read about it. Back to the blood test. The level was high, so I made a couple of calls and some e-mails back home. Hopefully I will have a better reading on Monday. No waiting just walk in.

Monday we did go over to Los Gatos beach for the day. It was nice over there, and we always enjoy a day on a different beach. We hiked over along the shore.

Tuesday we had a potluck here at the house. One of our friend’s had caught a dorado when he was here and froze it. We had the fish and to much other good things. There were eight of us that night.

Wednesday we were invited to another potluck at the Villas De Arca. It is where a lot of our friends stay just down the street from us. We know the owner and his wife. They also work at the airport during the day. We had lobster and steaks and of course a bunch of other goodies. It’s always fun to get together with friends from down here.

Yesterday and last night we stayed home except for a walk on the beach at sunset. We stayed home today all day and went for another walk on the beach at sunset. We were invited to go into town for dinner tonight, but begged off in the afternoon. Our time is winding down now, so we are just enjoying some quiet time at home.

2-27 This morning the Carnival Spirit is scheduled to come in and another ship tomorrow. I think we see one more ship before we head home on March 8th. The departure time has arrived for many of our friends, starting this weekend and then a steady stream over the next few weeks. A few of them are heading home to snow storms on the east coast. Hopefully some of the good weather that has blessed the NW this winter will hang around for our arrival. I know that the lawn will need attention as soon as I get home.

Time to get this published before the internet slows down. My wireless internet is a little spotty at times for downloads, so morning is the best time.

Lobsters, or better known as Lanugustas. They are spiny lobsters, with no claws. Pretty tasty.
Our potluck at Villas de Arca on Wednesday night.
Potluck here at the house on Tuesday night.
Sunset last night on La Ropa beach.
Heading home from a tough day at Los Gatos beach. Franco, our waiter, grabbed our camera off of the table a snapped a couple shots.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Alfredo's new ride


A fun day for us

Today I went with Israel, a friend, on a special mission. I went to look at a scooter. Our caretaker, Alfredo has an old scooter that is falling apart. His son calls it the Fred Flintstone scooter. I had been asking around and saw Israel riding one the other day. He stopped to say hello and I asked him about scooters in general and prices. He knew a guy that had won a scooter in a lottery and wanted to sell it. We went and looked at it today at his carwash / taco stand near the Comercial. It is brand new and only had 7 kilometers on the odometer. I made a deal on it for a lot less than the original price. I saw the receipts for the original purchase. Gave him what I thought I would get it for and rode it home. I could have had a free goat meat taco as part of the deal also. I of course had to do a little quality control test drive and it worked great.

We hung around here most of the day not wanting to do much more than swim in the pool and read. Alfredo showed up around 7:30 this evening. Sunday is his only day off during the week. When he showed up I handed him the keys and said no more Fred Flintstone scooter! He couldn’t believe what he was seeing and what he was hearing. I told him to ride it home and show Lupita. He came back about 45 minutes later with a big smile on his face, plus it makes it up the driveway. The other one wouldn’t make it anymore.

It was worth every penny to see his face. He is turning 55 in a couple of weeks and works two jobs, construction during the day and caretaker night watchman here at night. I’m sure his coworkers up the hill on his construction job will be doing some chop busting when they see his new scooter. I bet he handles it with a big smile. At this point I am wondering if his smile or the smiles on Judy and my faces is bigger.

Our plan this morning is to head over to Los Gatos beach for the day. We can walk over there along the shore line just down the street from us, haven’t been there yet this year.

I don't know who was happier, Judy and I, or Alfredo. I think Alfredo will edge us out.

The two photos below appear to be a new feature on the blog. Bug of the Day. I took these this morning.

Sunday, February 21, 2010



Here’s a little catch up for the Blog.

Caught up with some friends off the cruise ship on Friday. There were a total of ten of them in the group, but only four of them came over to the beach and the house. I treated them to a bus ride out to the house, then down to the beach for a few beers and snacks at Paty’s. They really liked being able to come to the beach and not look like deer in the headlights on the beach wondering where to go. They headed back to downtown mid afternoon for a little shopping and then back to the ship.

Yesterday, Judy went to a cooking class over in the Madera beach neighborhood. She went with Vera and Dan to learn about making chiles rellenos. She had a great time and signed up for a couple more classes. Next week they are going shopping at the Mercado for ingredients and the following Saturday they are making tamales.

This morning we are headed for a couple of laps on the beach then I have some errands to do. Looks like we are eating out today if we want anything cooked. The gas tank up on the roof ran out this morning. I wondered why the gas guy was here the other day. I thought we were on a gas main. No such thing down here. We also ran out of water a couple of weeks ago. The water does come to us via a water main, into a cistern then it is pumped up to a day tank on the roof. Little did we know that the water had been off for at least ten days. The city will just shut off the water to areas to push more to Ixtapa to the rich gringos that don’t want to be in Mexico. Alfredo called a water truck to get us by until the water came back on. It appears the water is only on at night right now. We will have enough to take care of the two of us.

Yesterday was the hottest day we have seen so far. The good news was that the humidity was low, but it was 91 in the shade. Looks like another hot one again today.

Went into town last night for dinner and then walked around a little. Stopped at the basketball court and watched a game for awhile. There are adult basketball leagues here. At halftime, I watched one of the players sit down in front of us. He took off his uniform and gave it to one of the other players that was waiting on the sideline. There appears to be a shortage of uniforms for one of the teams. In Mexico you just make it work.

That’s about it for this morning. We are down to two weeks left and I am sure that is going to fly by. We are set for our move next year to the smaller place. Our landlady for Casa Ita is coming on Tuesday. I know she wants us to stay, but we just don’t need this big house anymore. We are working with her on getting it advertised better and passing the word around about the house. They understand our situation.


Patiently waiting at home.
The finished product from the class. Three different types of chiles rellenos.
Instructor for Judy's chiles rellenos cooking class.
One man band at Berra De Potisi. He played for at least an hour for the three bus loads of seniors at the restaurant next to us. They had a great time with him and most of them were dancing.
Linda and Ginny swimming at Berra De Potisi last Tuesday.
This little guy was crawling on the outside of the screen door yesterday morning. It was about 2" long. He looked friendly but didn't find out. This kind of stuff really "bugs" me!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


The last of the wedding visitors left on the Alaska flight yesterday. It was Judy’s sister Linda and her cousin Ginny. They were here for two weeks. On their last full day, Tuesday, we took them to Berra De Potosi. The trip on the bus and the truck is always a novelty for all parties. We had not been down there for a couple of years. A lot of changes have happened. For one, there are realtors trying to sell lots in small developments across from the beach in Berra. The sales office consists of a palapa and a table. Time will tell how it works out.

The beach restaurants were busy that day. There was three buses at the one next door to where we went. It appeared to be Mexican seniors on a day trip. They were having a great time. We enjoyed the water and the beach and had a big red snapper for lunch. After spending most of the day there, we headed home and went for a light dinner down the street from the house.

Today is a what ever day for us. Judy just headed to town with Vera and I am heading to the beach soon. It is overcast today and a light breeze blowing off shore. There is a cruise ship in the harbor this morning. I believe it is the Radiance of the Sea, owned by Norwegian line. Tomorrow we have some friends from Bellingham coming in on the Carnival Spirit for the day. They want to come to the beach. Hopefully the clouds will be gone. The forecast shows partly cloudy.

Town is full of a lot of new faces this week. Presidents day week is one of the busiest weeks in February. Lots of sunburns!

I’ve run out of news for now, and it’s time to head to the beach.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Some wedding photos

The upload stars were in the right alignment this morning so I added some wedding photos. There are lots more, but for now you can get the idea of what we had.

Oops! You have to load the last pictures first and the first pictures last. Makes perfect sense. This is the Mariachi band that played for an hour after the wedding ceremony.
flowers floating on the pool and candles around the edge.
Issac played prior to the wedding and for the procession in.
Sean escorts Judy into the ceremony.

Sean and Ellie exchange their vows. Notice the Yenta in the front row admiring his work.
Sean and Ellie with Joe and Fanny. Joe was the Yenta. Joe called Sean 2 years ago after they were here. "Listen, you have to marry that girl". Joe and Fanny had front row seats of honor for the wedding. They are from Montreal.Some of our sedate friends at the reception.