Tuesday, November 11, 2014

After Trip Miscellaneous Thoughts

Pet dogs are a new thing here. In my past experience with Mexico it was unusual to see a cute dog on a leash (maybe a mean one on a leash). Most dogs were mangy, flea-bitten mutts running loose. Now it’s like Carmel. There’s tons of dogs, mostly small, with fancy collars and some are even dressed up. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me it’s remarkable. I never thought I’d see the day! 

Cats still run amuck, but they do it with more style, and they catch mice. A couple of stores have a pet cat. You can tell because they’re not skinny and they have all their fur. This cat met us at the door and seemed to be giving us a personal tour. It stopped at key points and looked up at us as if to say, “Here is the grassy area with tables for you to sit at,” and “this is the receptionist’s desk, she’ll be right back.

We first saw this man a couple of years ago. He was old then, now he seems ancient. The music he produces with his homemade instrument is mediocre at best, but you’ll occasionally see some kind people pay him to play. This scene touched my heart. The old man sitting exhausted off to the side while the young bucks garner the ladies interest.

Beach bars are a favorite for Joe and me. We love to sit and watch the world go by, especially on the sand. There are completely different styles and we like them all. Mamitas is the high-end, classy place where you sip your beer while sitting above it all on beautiful tile floors. Zenzi’s is great at night for their live bands and free Salsa classes and you can choose between sand and tile.
Canibal’s is a quirky sand bar with a little informal marina out front, but it’s a long walk from the old part of town.

As you know from past blogs, our other favorite past time is people watching from terraces. We found several with a great birds-eye view of the hustle and bustle of 5th Ave (Quinta Avenida). It can be a little overwhelming to be down on the street amongst the people.

Musicians wander the beach all day. Some are solo, while others are fragmented Mariachi bands. We normally tell them “No thanks,” but there is one artist we like a lot. His name is The Bronco. He has a romantic strong voice and can sing either modern or old songs.

Food! As stated before we loved the fish taco’s at Hotel All Riviera. Also liked Barbaqua del Tulum for their quesadillas and tacos. Aldea on 5th was excellent for their fajitas and amazingly romantic atmosphere in the jungle. Don Sirloin had great cheap tacos pastor on 10th ave. Breakfast at the Imprevist is a must . . . I loved their chicken enchiladas divorcados.

A highlight of the whole trip was our friends 30th wedding anniversary. We celebrated it at a Brazilian steakhouse called th near Coco Bongo. If you’re not familiar with Brazilian steakhouses, it is an all you can eat meat extravaganza. Ipanemas handled our party of 8 as though we were the only ones in the restaurant. The level of service was outstanding. Every time I sat back down after going to the salad bar, my chair was scooted under me and my napkin replaced on my lap. Water glasses never went empty. The meat was presented at table-side at an alarming rate. We had to remember they would be happy to return with the filet mignon, not to worry.
Ipanemas Grill. It is located on 10

I had told the manager, Santos, when we came in that it was their 30th anniversary. He treated them like royalty. At the end of the meal (hours later) they came out with two slices of cheesecake, side-by-side with some sticks on fire (presumably as makeshift candles). They wrote a charming little note on the plate. Then they placed a figure-eight made out of straws around the couple. A wine glass full of weird red fluid we were told to NOT drink was set before them with paper towel roses stuffed into straws. The edges were burnt slightly to give them a gilded look. All-in-all it was adorable, albeit hokey. We loved the effort.

On another note. Did you read my blog about bed bugs? It was an interesting battle won by a simple product called DE (diatamacous earth). I brought it with us on this trip in a little shaker. I was telling our friends about it and I demo'd how to sprinkle it on the floor in our room. That night an enormous cockroach ran across our floor and under our bed. After I asked Joe if they bite (they don't), I went to bed. In the middle of the night I went to the bathroom and took my flashlight because I was afraid I would step on the little monster. Guess what? It was dead next to the powder!!! So now I'll add cockroaches to the list of things DE will kill.
Girl holding baby monkey
Halloween Decorations
American Savages

We’ll talk next year sometime. Not sure yet where we’ll go, but I suspect it will be language school J

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