Posted on May 27, 2011
Viva La Zihua!
With current temperatures in Vancouver far below the balmy Springtime usual, it’s difficult to not feel a little blue when looking out the window. Days that should be filled with sunshine and shorts are spend bundled up in layers.
It’s been a month since I traveled with J and a few of his family members to Mexico, so I thought I’d post some of my favourite shots from the week in an attempt to bring some visual sunshine to your computer screen.
After a quick bounce through LAX and a pass over Marina del Rey, we landed in the Pacific coastal town of Zihuatanejo. Instead of opting for a gleaming all-inclusive resort, we pooled our cash and rented a fully staffed villa for the week.
Our first day there was spent stretched out on the sand at Playa Las Gatas with cold beers in hand.
That night we hit the town to take in Game 6 of the Canucks v. Blackhawks series and made some culinary explorations.
J and I could handle our “street meat” quesadillas without a problem. At 25 pesos, it was hard to pass up. J’s cousin, on the other hand, had a different reaction…
One of the best things about staying in a small fishing village, as opposed to an “Americanized” resort is enjoying an authentic Mexican experience. Exploring the town on foot was always exciting, whether exploring shops, making friends with stray dogs or sharing a conversation with locals.
I was a big fan of the homemade mango margaritas at Miguel’s restaurant, crushed with fresh mangos grown in nearby Ixtapa. Muy fuerte!
Fishing is one of Zihua’s chief industries and the local fishermen set sail early each morning, bringing in their catch to Playa Principal. Restaurateurs and shop keepers meet them there to pick up the daily specials.
The best part of having a “home” to go back to at the end of each day was having a lot of space to chill out. The views were out of this world…
Around the middle of the week, J’s aunt and uncle threw a muy grande fiesta to celebrate many years of marriage and a love that’s still growing strong.
We donned our best party clothes, grabbed a few dozen of his family’s closest friends that they’d met in Zihuatanejo over the years and partied all evening.
Needless to say, there ain’t no party like a Zihua party. Cheese enchiladas, kegs of Corona beer, pepino juice, lively music, dancing and a ton of laughter were staples of the celebration.
The next morning the boys woke early to hit the waves for some deep sea fishing. While I could have taken the opportunity to sleep-in, it’s hard to ignore a Zihua sunrise…
…and while the boys were sailing the high seas in search of dinner, us girls grabbed a cab to Playa La Ropa for some girls-only fun in the sun.
While munching on lunch, we made friends with a couple of parrots named Mario and Luigi. Mario, in particular, took quite a shining to me.
Upon their return from the ocean, and much to my surprise, the boys had an incredibly successful fishing trip. J managed to reel in an 80+ pound sailfish – the biggest one the village had seen all week!
Our host, Carlos, sliced up a bit so I could whip up dinner in the kitchen while the rest of the fish was given away to local villagers. J whipped up some tasty mango salsa, I baked the sailfish. Teamwork makes for a mighty good family feast!
On our last full day, it was unanimous that we would hit up Playa La Ropa once again for a full beach day with everyone tagging along. However, not before stopping by the only fire department in Zihuatanejo. All of the gear is used and donated while the trucks were a generous donation from Zihua’s sister city in Palm Desert, California.
Zihua’s fire department had a resident dog who slayed me with his sad eyes, but I can’t remember his name for the life of me.
Before long we found ourselves back at Playa La Ropa, digging our toes into the powdery sand with cold daiquiris in hand.
The water is exactly as you’d imagine it to be – filled with fragrant sea salt and warmer than bath water. The waves, however, were more powerful than they look. One scooped me up, tossed me feet over head and stole my sunglasses as a souvenir.
Parasailing proved to be a popular – and cheap – way to see the beach in all its glory. J and I opted out and rented a SeaDoo instead. Zipping back and forth across Zihua Bay at full throttle was more my style.
This was definitely a vacation that will be hard to beat. I met so many wonderful people, dined on incredible and authentic food and had my breath taken away by the sheer beauty of such a place.
Though I doubt we’ll see 35+ degree temperatures anytime soon in British Columbia, here’s hoping that some summer weather will be on its way very, very soon!
You can view all the photos in my Mexico set on Flickr.