Wednesday, February 17, 2016

first play, then work

Our weekend in Manzanillo was absolutely delightful.  Hotel was lovely, food was yummy, shopping was 100% successful, old car behaved perfectly.

The hotel has, among its offerings, what it calls a "villa."  That means it has a kitchen, which we always like to have.  So we switched rooms and settled in.  This is the view from the bedroom.

Not too bad.  Wonderfully comfortable bed ~ a very firm mattress on a cement platform.  Just the way I like it!  After a quick trip to buy a few essentials for the kitchen and some take-out for dinner, we enjoyed the late afternoon view.  Then it was sunset time!

We have beautiful sunset skies here, too, but we can't actually see the sun sink.  This evening's show was quite spectacular.

The first stop we made on Friday was to see the Notaria who is handling the sale of the car we want to buy.  This is going to be a very manaña undertaking.  It all must be approved by any number of persons ~ lawyer, notaria, even a judge ~  who (of course) will all have to be paid.  We're reconsidering.  Next we drove up to Santiago and checked out the Artisanias craft market.  It's the place we bought our original plates and glassware about 20 years ago when we were staying at Jack's.  We packed it all up and stored it there for our use during visits.  We still use it.  Anyway, it also sells odd things like lamp shades (we bought two), strange decorative dust-catchers, and the kind of clay dishware I like so much but that's  totally impractical.  And now it has turned into a huge flower market.

 Although they have a very wide selection of blossoms I didn't see anyone in the patio area actually buying anything.  I don't know if the flowers are for retail sale or if it's a floral design service.  But every year when we go back, the flower business has taken up more space.

For lunch we went back to the old Hotel Playa de Santiago, the place where we stayed during our first trip to Manzanillo in 1982.  What drew us to this spot and this particular hotel were the little hillside bungalows it offered.  We stayed there four times including once with our daughters.  It was THE place to stay until the Bolivian tin bazillionaire built Las Hadas over on the other side of the peninsula as a little private getaway for himself and a few of his best buddies. The Playa  fell from favor and has been struggling ever since.  But the dining room is still open, still serves delicious fish tacos, and still has a stunning view of the bay.  We have lots of great memories of our stays here.

Friday night's dinner was at an old landmark restaurant, El Vaquero,  basically a Mexican steakhouse.  Wonderful food, excellent service, quiet (we went at 7:30 and were the only patrons for about half hour, then others started trickling in).  I ordered my favorite~ tampequeño~ and it was delicious; juicy, tender, done just right.  Mr. C ordered the Cow Boy Chico, a small steak that came with a real baked potato, a treat.

With a little cup of very tasty bean soup, some guacamole and refritod, it was a lovely meal.  We will go back!  There are two sites in Manzanillo; we went to the original.  The new one is further into town and is noisy as it's mostly open air and on a very busy street.

Saturday was shopping day and we hit all the Big Box stores, stocked up on goods for the next few weeks, and returned to make our own lunch of left-over steak!  While sitling at the balcony I watched a group of boys, probably 12-13 years old, first play soccer and then hit the water.  They had the best time and it was such a pleasure to see them rolling around in the surf, laughing, not a care in the world.  And why should they have?  Look where they are and how young they are!

For dinner we returned to one of our favorites, Toscana, for a lovely surf-side evening.  I had a big bowl of mussels in cream, Mr. C had grouper in a mussel sauce.  Both of us cleaned the plates ~ no leftovers of any sort.

That's not us but you get the idea.
Sunday morning we packed up and headed home.  But not before I  stepped out on the balcony and snapped this (long range) photo of Las Hadas.(This is where the film "10" was made.)

Nice little playground for you and 100 of your besties, no?

Now the work part mentioned above.  Mr. C decided the screens needed cleaning (they do) so this morning has been spent removing, washing and reattaching all the screens on the 2nd floor.  That's a total of 16, including three sliders, the "front" door, and all the windows.

I, meanwhile, did the laundry and slaved over this post.  I'm exhausted.