Thursday, October 30, 2014

Girl Time in Zwatt!

Good times have been had in Zihjuatanejo with the arrival of my girlfriends a few days ago! We are celebrating two birthdays and have been enjoying exceptional dining, taken in the local color, done some ever so important artisinal shopping, embibed in massages and had a ball of FUN in water activities! 

Here is the Ixtapa marina we are docked in. In order to get to Zihautanejo, we take a taxi and the drive is about 15 minutes to downtown when at the marina. 

As for the marina environs...Can you even believe what resides in the marina waters?! This pic gives you an idea of a croc lurking on the docks... He'd make a better purse in my opinion.  Ha! 

We told two of the girls that there were crocs, but they weren't convinced and put their feet in the water while sitting on the side of the dock for a few minutes. Then the marina police noticed them and told them to get out of the water immediately. Danny ran out to get them back on the boat. Goodness!!! 
They won't be doing that again. 
Danny to the rescue...
Shortly afterward, two smaller crocs were swimming right around our boat and they were beyond shocked. 

We took a taxi the first night into Zwatt to La Casa Que Canta.. Otherwise known as "the house that sings." It's a sublime hotel with 25 suites and as romantic as ever. Dinner was MUY especiál!!! 

The day after we arrived we took the boat out of the harbor at the crack of dawn when the tide was high as the clearance between the bottom of our boat and the entrance to the harbor is ONE foot! 

As usual, Brad had it all under control and we didn't get stuck... He always plans ahead and makes allowances for these things. We cruised over to the bay in Zwatt and anchored out where we will remain until Friday. It's beyond gorgeous and looks like a tropical jungle everywhere... The sunsets are magical and we feel like we are truly checked out & enjoying every morsel...Taking nothing for granted and counting every blessing! 

That afternoon we arrived back at La Casa Que Canta for our private cooking class.  It couldn't have been more perfect and we overlooked a beautiful bay with a gorgeous ocean view! It was a ton of fun cracking up with "Chef Antonio" and we learned how to cook a squash blossom risotto with sautéed shrimp in tomatillo sauce, along with homemade churros in a caramel "yum" sauce. Lunch consisted of our cooking endeavors along with a wonderful bottle of white wine. Perfection!

Karen, me, Laura, Linda & Chrissy. 

View of hotel from the water. 

We left our cooking class after a wonderful long lunch and headed downtown to the artisans market by the beach for our purveying adventure. Below is a sweet local artist painting some decorative plates... We spied him in action and all of us found some great treasures. The art of negotiation was in full swing!

Meanwhile... Brad & Danny had their own  lunch on the sand. Mano a mano.

The local fish market.. Brought in fresh all day long. Can you spot that small square canvas on the ground with fresh fish on it? All I can think of is food poisoning as it lays there in the HOT sun... No bueno. 

These are what are called Panga boats. You see these all throughout Mexico. They are used as boat taxis, fishing boat, family campers and much more. 

After a long day of fun & shopping, it was time to head back and jump in the water!

This is what memories are made of!

The next day we spent the whole time at The Viceroy hotel on the beach under a palapa. We swam, lunched, enjoyed afternoon massages and swam some more. 

There was no shortage of shopping opportunities from our lounge chair either! 

My favorite was the friendliest guy who was beyond excited to tell us about his very special homemade string cheese from Oaxaca. He keep it in a plastic lined bucket (I'm agasht at the sight of it!) and pulled it out to tempt us. Really?... We are all cracking up when we set eyes on it and two of my very brave friends Karen & Laura decide to buy some and embibed. It looked like intestines.Haaaaa! So far they have evaded a virus. 

The setting was so idyllic that we cancelled our "fancy" dinner reservations elsewhere and stayed in our swim suits, wet hair, disheveled as can be...swam even more and enjoyed a late dinner with our toes in the sand and tiki torches around us. Their service was spot on and we couldn't have had any more fun!!! We headed back to the boat about 9:30pm... Only to jump back in the water and swim more. Luckily there aren't crocs here!! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Manzanillo at Casa Pelicanos

We had a great time anchoring out in front of our friend Dicks home in Manzanillo. I've enjoyed 20 years of friendship with him & his amazing family... 

Pulling up in Santiago Bay. 

Casa Pelicanos was one of the first homes built down here. I've enjoyed many New Years and Super Bowl fiestas here over the years with friends new & old. You can hardly see the basketball court to the right of the house, but that's where I beat Lyle Wagner (yes, that Lyle of Wonder Woman /Carol Burnett show fame.. Hilarious!) at a basketball game of "horse" umpteen years ago. What a crack-up that was!! I should have been a baller...

Brad & I anchored out and paddled our kayak to shore. I was ready to do a cannonball when I got to the pool. It's super HOT & humid out!! 

Last time I put my toes in this pool there was an iguana at the bottom. What a sight that was! Thank goodness that's not the case now. 

Our friend Diego & Katie's restaurant / beach club...Oasis Ocean Club. It's extremely popular with the locals and the food is nom nom!! There are always large groups here celebrating and enjoying the festivities. You can even be served your food & drinks on the sand. That's my kind of service!

Here's my amigo Diego and his beautiful wife Katie with their little Leo. They are too cute for words! 

Diego and I met when we were both 24 years old and used to have a fun group of friends that we'd rip up the dance floor with. The local discos down here were always so much fun!  

On the right is our fave buddy Dick, his daughter Genna, myself and Brad. As you can see from our empty plates, lunch was terrible. Haha!

If you should find yourself in Manzanillo, this is the spot! 
And now we head south to Zihuatanejo where we will arrive Tuesday morning right when the fuel dock opens!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Back in Barra!

We arrived late yesterday afternoon to the Marina in Barra de Navidad. We had a great flight with our friend Dick and daughter Genna who we will coincidentally be visiting tomorrow.
We also had our fave "landscape engineer" (also known as our gardener) Tino, on our flight who was going to visit his dad in Manzanillo for his 81st birthday.  So sweet. He visits his dad often and we love him as our "landscape engineer"! Haha!! He's the only gardener we know who is a snappy dresser and even wears white jeans to work. He always looks like he's ready for a ranchero fiesta. Olé! 
There were a ton of dogs on our flight and probably about 15 of them had to be checked through a separate customs line for pets. It was hilarious to hear all the barking dogs at once...You'd have thought you were standing in the middle of a dog adoption on the 4th of July. Such a racket! And there were two federales with their drug sniffing dogs as well. I watched a sweet looking black lab sniff an elderly mans luggage..who then had to open his bag for la policia, only to find out that the dog was smelling his daily medications and not narcotics. Impressive what sniffers those dogs have though! Luckily the man didn't have an appelplexy over having his bag searched. 
The airport baggage claim had quite the back-up and the "red-light / green-light" button you push when you go through customs was on the fritz. Red means that they will search your bags and green means you're free to escape the masses... Luckily we had a green light and were set free from the throngs of seasonal vacationers & were headed to the next leg of our grand adventure!

We arrived to the boat and all was well. The marina is very quiet and most boats have yet to arrive for the "season." Late October and early November will be when the action heats up! 

We went to the harbor masters office and paid our bill, had a margarita at the Grand Bay Hotel and then took a water taxi to town for dinner. We ended up back at Marlenas as she knows us and the food & service are great.. Especially her German dishes which are MUY authentico! Oktoberfest anyone? 

We depart tomorrow at 10am and will cruise south for about 2 hours to Manzanillo where we will anchor in front of Casa Pelicanos. Looking forward to being back on the water! 

Views from the plane. 

Genna waiting to clear her dogs through "pet customs"... I didn't even know there was such a thing. Everyone had their pets as it was the beginning of the season and they were ready to honker down. 

My fave herd of goats as you drive onto the highway to Barra. 

A beautiful church in old town

No... these aren't the streets of San Francisco. 

A palm tree plantation... As far as the eye can see!

This is how the locals roll...ridin' dirty. 

An absolutely gorgeous day here & 85 degrees. 

Brad & I in our signature pose...Ha!

As you can see the marina is quite barren at the moment. 
Our boat looks lonely in the marina. 

And Brad surveys the scene..

The town of Barra de Navidad. 

And Barra at sunset .. 

A perfect day!