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Sunday, January 10, 2016

NO COMPLAIN ABOUT RAIN..BUT MAYBE ABOUT SPOTTY WIFI


 After a 4-year drought, no one dares complain about rain and snow in California. We’re happy for the much-needed change in weather. We went up to Habitat, my home in Sonora, and were surprised by the snow flurries the greeted us. We’d been told it could snow a few days a year but not stick, but the temps had stayed so low for a week, we had lots of white on the ground including the back deck. By the time we left 4 days later, it had receded a few inches. It’s great having a house where we get actual seasons.

 We had planned a trip to Zihuatanejo for January—-good planning during the 10-day rains in CA. Worldmark has a ‘new’ to them resort that is smaller than most and very quaint in the hills above the main town. We’re here for 10 days and left during a huge rain storm in SF to head for 90 degree weather.
 It’s odd packing shorts and sleeveless clothes when it’s cold and wet outside, but well worth the challenge to find sun and warmth. Our friends Connie and Greg flew in from WA…we met at the Los Angeles airport and flew from there together on Alaska Air. 
 Let’s talk about American-owned airlines. They don’t offer much, even in first class. I’ve been in coach lots of times seeing the curtain that separates the two levels of flying, standing in line at the back of the plane to use the bathroom. But no one stopped those coming up front to use ‘our’ toilet. The food served for lunch was a mediocre  Mexican chicken salad that I heard is served on flights all month with no variation. The people in coach had to buy what they wanted, but had 3 choices. It’s nice to have the larger seats, but these had no foot rests and no screens for movies. The flight was 3.36 hours with no entertainment.provided. I always have plenty to keep my busy, but since I’ve decided to splurge for first class tickets, I expect to get more choices. Oh, and one of those coach bathroom-users grabbed the flight attendant’s ass when he was up there. Classy.
 The accommodations are typically Mexican with some rooms being much bette than others. Connie and Greg’s room is lovely—large room and bathroom that has a tub and separate shower, a deck with two lounge chairs and a sitting area in the main room. Ours had no balcony, a sitting area between the door and the bed, then a step down where the bed was, and the bathroom was a step-up a few feet from the bed with a slatted door light shines through —long and narrow with a shower at the other end and no tub. I don’t care about the tub, but the light shining through from the outside window in the shower to the bedroom is a deterrent for Matthew. The promise of a broken toe forgetting to step up in the middle of the night loomed large.
 The curtains in this room were quite short and the liner was a different uneven length than the main ones. They did little to block the morning light and didn’t come together in the middle at all. Luckily Matthew carries clothes pins for such an eventuality. Have I mentioned he hates light when he sleeps—for me, it’s noise.  Like loud air-conditioners. This room had both…and cracked floors, a toilet seat missing a bolt, so it swiveled, and a few other minor things.
 I think Matthew was at the desk downstairs before breakfast the first morning talking to guest services about changing rooms. We had mentioned it the night before, but the woman at the desk wasn’t in charge of changing rooms and didn’t seem to think anything different was available. After some consideration, Juan Carlos told us to pack after breakfast before heading downtown and they would move us while we were gone. He had moved something around to allow us a better room with a balcony. We’re one floor up in the exact configuration we had before, but a better room all around.
 Worldmark should be upgrading this resort soon, I would think, because it’s not up to their usual standards. Wifi is only in common areas, not in the rooms, which makes it difficult for those of us who like to stay in touch…and blog.
 Downtown isn’t too far, but it is 165 steps down to the main street and then a short hike into town. We spent the first day walking to the beach and a ways away until we deemed it time for guacamole and iced drinks. Unfortunately, we chose to walk back a different way, which somehow put us back up and so more stairs down so that we ended up following the same path along the beach. If I was in better shape, that would have been fine, but my calves hurt for the next several days.
 I started having a little tickle in my throat the night before we left home and hoped I’d make it without getting sick. If I have a cold, it’s a weird one because it’s mostly congestion in my throat exacerbated by cold air-con. It causes me to breathe only shallowly and cough often, then clear my throat. Connie has now gotten something similar and we’re both feeling pretty crappy on day 4 along with not sleeping well. Traveling…not always what it’s cracked up to be. 
 The food here is the best we’ve had in Mexico, in my opinion. Lots of spice and flavor. We had dinner two nights ago at Any, a local’s place downtown. I had two kinds of tamales—chicken (with the bone in) and a red sauce on the masa served in a banana leaf, which was the best I’ve ever had. Then pork with white, thicker masa, also good and served in corn husks. Last night we went to Papas Loca which serves stuffed potatoes, which we’ve never seen in Mexico. We had the special, which includes 3 kinds of meats, including pastor, over buttered, creamy mashed potatoes with cheese and pineapple. They were unreal…so good and oh, so fattening.
 I am not losing weight on this trip.
 We took a cooking class on Friday, which was fun. Monica took our group of 12-13 to the market, then back to her restaurant to cook fish tacos, ceviche, and one other dish. She really only had us slice fish, then Connie and Matthew did all the stirring of the dishes that needed to cook in lime. Monica did the hot cooking so it wasn’t much of a hands-on experience. Food was very good.
 Yesterday we opted for a tour in an air-conditioned van to the market, around Zihua, then to a coconut farm and a tile-making farm. We ate at a restaurant on the beach after a water tour of the lagoon, which during rainy season connects to the ocean.

 Today, Sunday, we’ve decided to stay at the resort and relax all day and hopefully get to a weekly fiesta they do downtown at the basketball field. They have their version of food trucks, music, crafts, etc. I haven’t stopped going since we got here, and need to rest and recover from this upper respiratory thing.
 Wifi here is spotty at best. Even in the "business office" I get next to nothing, so can't get the pictures onto the blog. I thought schlepping my laptop could be a waste of time, and well...too bad I was right. 


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