Belated First Time Trip Report "A Week In Paradise". (Long Report)

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Escrito por Capt. Lee in SC desde ( el día viernes, 28 de diciembre, 2007 a las 14:06:05 horas :

Our first visit to Ixtapa/Zihua was in Feb. 2006 to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I'm sure, a lot has changed since then. We are returning Jan. 05, 2008 for round 2, this time with our two sons and their girlfriends. I wrote the following report shortly after our return home some two years ago, however, never posted it. I pulled it out of the file a few weeks ago and almost immediately was taken back to "A Week In Paradise". I would like to share it now.

Arrived home (South Carolina) late Sunday night, February 26. Finally in bed around 1:30 AM and back up at 5:00 AM to begin a new week at work. Let me tell you, Monday was pure torture. Tuesday, I overslept and was late to work. Wednesday, severe depression set in. Thursday, well, let's not even mention Thursday. It's Friday, March 03, 2006. I'm sitting in my office now, gazing into a lifeless computer when suddenly the magical screensaver awakens. As if summoned by some mysterious, spiritual force it slowly scrolls into downtown Zihuatanejo. The cubical walls that surround me melt away as a warm sea breeze calls my name. To my right, The Fat Mermaid stands watch over the narrow street. To my left, the opposing hoop at the basketball court. Across the street, fishermen and merchants make ready their goods under the thick palm cover at Playa Municipal. I exhale and then slowly draw the fresh salt air into my chest. The next breath, even deeper than the first, adds a sample of the nights catch of fresh Snapper. The morning coffee is brewing on every corner and my taste buds are screaming for just a small taste. I close my eyes for a moment and see the fleet of Pangas drifting toward the marina dock to gather the days host of anglers. I listen and hear the voices of many, Buenos dias amigo, Hola, Buenas noches, Hasta luego and my favorite, Chicklet Senoir. In response, I say good morning to my new friend, Zihuatanejo.
My wife Pat and I, and our longtime friends Mike and Lisa, celebrated our 25th wedding anniversaries last week in this wonderful place. We lodged in Ixtapa at the Las Brisas. The facilities, the staff and the services were great. A special thanks to mi amigo Baltazar, who took care of us during our stay. Sunsets at the Las Brisas were amazing. Lunched twice at the Solarium (by the pool), the fish tacos were exceptional. The surf at the Las Brisas was beautiful, majestic and lets say, potentially dangerous. I am a fisherman, with a deep respect for Mother Ocean. This beach can be invitingly calm one minute and bash your face in the sand the next. Please be careful. At the same time I understand that out past the breakers, along the rocks to the right, the snorkeling is great. Again, be experienced and be cautious. To end each night the four of us took chairs down to the edge of the surf, impressive even at night, along with a nice bottle of Vino Tinto and for Mike and I, some fine Churchills! A beautiful wife, a good wine, a great cigar, close friends, a starry, starry night, it just don't get any better than that! Well, one more thing. Whether you are newly, newlyweds or celebrating 25 years of married bliss, the Las Brisas balconies, under the stars, candlelight, a soft woven hammock and that ocean breeze, enough said. Late that first night my wife strolled out to the end of the balcony. She paused for a moment then slowly turned around exposing her bare body to the moonlight, and also to our neighbors on the balcony above. They smiled, applauded and politely returned to their room. What a day! What a night!
Buenos dias Lunes
The buffet breakfast at the Las Brisas was excellent and the view spectacular. With maps in hand, we decided to spend the day exploring. There are taxi's abound at Las Brisas and in short order we were in Zihuatanejo. Man, what a ride! I spent a lot time prior to our trip on this website and to finally be in downtown Zihu, awesome. Pat and Lisa dashed from the taxi and disappeared into the Artisan shops. Mike and I slowly departed the taxi and what to my wondering eyes should appear? Bandito's! Cerveza Mike. Si, dos Negra Modelo, por favor. After finding our spouses, we made our way out to the Plaza in front of Playa Municipal. The remainder of the day we leisurely strolled the beautiful streets of Zihuatanejo. It was good to finally see the restaurants and places that I had only read about. Shortly before dinner we eased into Rick's Bar. Rick was a very gracious and friendly host and the music was great. For some reason I just can't remember what we had for dinner that evening, but I'm sure it was good. Again, we ended a wonderful day out by the surf and talked of selling all that we own, save a few pairs of shorts, and moving in with Rick, for ever. Buenas noches Lunes.
Buenos dias Martes
Picture this, your gorgeous wife or girlfriend opens the balcony doors. She draws the curtains to the side as you listen to the rythemic crashing of the waves. The days first light forces you to open one eye and finally the other. A fresh cup of coffee is placed on the table beside you. Are you dreaming? Is it time to go to work? What have you done with my wife? That first taste of Zihuatanejo coffee brings you back to reality. After a quick stroll out on the balcony to greet our neighbors above, we were ready for a new day. Breakfast at the Golden Cookie in Ixtapa was very good, then off to Isla Ixtapa. The taxi ride to Playa Linda was again, fast and furious and very scenic. The snorkeling was excellent, as were the food and drinks. We lounged, ate ceviche and consumed numerous Negra Modelo's which made for a very relaxing, enjoyable day. Back to Las Brisas for a quick shower then off to dinner. Most of our meals, especially dinners, were selected based on the recommendations from this website. Many thanks to those of you who contributed. I made the decision that tonight's feast would be La Perla. Absolutely, without any doubt, the best meal of the trip. The soup, and the ceviche, and the seafood stuffed Snapper was magnifico. Our table was outside the main dinning area in the sand. And in my opinion one of the most breathtaking sunsets that I have ever seen. As we sat down the chairs sank into the sand leaving the table at just about chin level. I felt like I was six years old again and I knew what my wife was thinking. I can't eat like this. No problem. Mike and I stood up from our chairs, each pressing firmly on the table and it too sank to a proper eating level. Kick your shoes off, dig you toe's into the golden sand, have a nice bottle of Merlot and enjoy. That's what we did. Thank you Francisco, and your family and staff, for your hospitality and great food and great service. We will remember that evening at La Perla for a long, long time and hopefully will see you again next February or maybe even sooner. Back to Las Brisas and out to the beach with wine, cigars and good friends. Buenas noches Martes.
Buenos dias Miercoles
Mike and I departed early for a round of golf at El Club de Golf Palma Real. Very enjoyable, even with rented clubs. We are both at best average golfers, and I would say that we maintained our average status during the entire round. The cost was a bit more than my average play can justify, however, the course was in good shape and a good time was had by all. While we were playing at golf our wives had breakfast and then off for a day of shopping. We finished our activities around 1200 hours, back to the Las Brisas beach, Fish Tacos for lunch, secured a Palapa for the afternoon and after a few Negra Modelos it was siesta time. Pat and Lisa returned shortly after lunch and joined our siesta party for the afternoon. It was a good day. We attended the Mexican Fiesta at the Barcelo for dinner and for the evenings entertainment. Dinner was excellent and plentiful. The drinks were included and the entertainment was great. Before returning to Las Brisas and our nightly ritual on the beach our wives decided that they would like to go to Senoir Frogs. I have no further comment regarding this matter due to the fact that I was severely chastised by my wife and Lisa for not properly participating in this youthful regalia of disco and unrestrained humping. And someone please take those whistles away from the waitresses. Once back on the beach it took almost two bottles of wine and several cigars to regain the peaceful bliss that we had shared each of the previous evenings. Another great day ended with a kiss from my wife and a buenas noches from the neighbors above.
Buenos dias Jueves
Mama Norma and Deborah's for breakfast, shopping and a quick unguided tour of several resort on Playa el Palmar. Back to the Las Brisas beach for lunch and our favorite palapa for the afternoon. One of the many recommendations for dinner that sparked my interest was submitted by a gentleman that identified himself as a coniseur of fine Itallian foods. He described this restaurant as being off the beaten path, small, maybe six or seven tables, and the best Itallian food ever. Correct he was. I do not remember the street name but it was near Coconut's and just around the corner from Rick's Bar. Don Memo's is now, by far, our most favorite Italian restaurant in the entire world. The Lasagna and Pasta dishes, superb. A bottle of wine, several Negra Modelo's and four awesomely delicious pasta dinners, around 500 pesos. Amazing, and highly recommended. After dinner, we walked and shopped and eventually made our way back to Rick's Bar for a pre-taxi-ride nightcap. No problem finding taxi's at night, so back to Ixtapa. Tonight we shared the beach with a couple having the "Las Brisas Romantic Dinner". Torches and palm branches lined the path and encircled the dinner table which looked very inviting and, of course, romantic. This new tradition that draws us to the beach each night has become highly addictive. We will miss this time the most.
Buenos dias Viernes
Up before daybreak today, made coffee, out to the balcony and into the hammock. What a pleasant way to start a day. Our activities began with breakfast at Daniel's, very good. Then a short walk to the marina, into the water taxi and out to Playa Las Gatas. I remember reading several posts regarding Playa Las Gatas and the many recommendations about Otilia Restaurante and its host, Franco. Franco was spectacular. He catered to us as if we were family. First we toured the kitchen area where fresh fruits and veggies were being prepared. Next a brief demo of one of the few, if not the only flushing toilet on the Island. Impressive. The platter of fresh fish, fruits and veggies that we had for lunch was outstanding and Franco's father's hand rolled cigars, excellent. Franco made our day one of the most enjoyable, relaxing, entertaining and informative days of the trip. When there was a break in the action, Franco would pull up a chair and sit with us for a while. We discussed politics, food, fishing, crime, cigars, Mexican history, Mexican women, etc., etc. I almost forgot about the massage. Pat and I shared a wonderful hour massage, on the beach with Rosa, excellent. When all was said and done, we had a day to remember with great food, great drinks, great conversation with the greatest host in all of Mexico. Muchas gracias, Franco. Hasta luego. Now, its time for dinner. During the week we discussed having one special night for a very special anniversary dinner. We chose Viernes noches (Friday night) but had not agreed on the restaurant. We discussed Beccofino, Villa de la Selva, Kau-Kan, Il Mare and Amuleto, all highly recommended restaurants with spectacular views, exquisite decor and the finest cuisine. It was my decision. My wife Pat, mi amigos Mike and Lisa put the burden of choice in my capable hands. I looked back at all the wonderful meals we had already had and I knew that the views from atop the hill could not be any grander than what we saw and experienced at La Perla. I knew that the food could not be any better than the fish tacos offered by mi amigo Franco. I made my decision. Don Memos here we come again. After dinner we stopped by Rick's for one or more Negra Modelo's and greatly enjoyed the music, the wine, women and song, etc., that is "Open Mike Night" each and every Friday night at Rick's. Oh, Oh what a week, was the topic of discussion that evening under the stars. On most vacations, toward the end of the trip, you will normally experience a brief moment of reality when you conciously think about returning to work or to school or to wherever your plight might be. However, this night, it will not be tolerated. Those were my last words of the evening.
Saturday, our last day. Mike and I went fishing. I booked the trip through the Ixtapa Sportfishing website based on recommendations from the message board. The fishing trip was outstanding. The Securestro de Amor was a fine fishing vessel and Capitan Temo Verboonen was very professional, knowledgeable, friendly and worked very hard to locate, catch and boat the fish we were looking for. The local fishing reports indicated that the conditions would be less than desirable due to colder water temperatures moving in and apparently the fish were aware of this also. None the less, Capitan Temo provided us with a fine Pacific Sailfish, my first, along with several Jacks and Bonita. He also taught me some new techniques to try back in South Carolina. By the way, the Sailfish was released in good condition. Allow me to make an observation here. Like Capitan Temo, I am a Charter Capitan in South Carolina. My purpose, reason and joy is taking people fishing. It is definitely not because of the great financial rewards. Most of the new clients that I take fishing have no idea of the preparation, cost, clean-up and work that is involved in a days trip, and their tips usually reflect this. If your definition of fishing is based on the quantity or even quality of the fish you catch or don't catch, then you have completely and literally missed the boat. Fishing is a gift to the body and soul, not a trophy on your wall, think about it. Capitan Temo works very hard at his profession and is an excellent choice if you are considering a fishing trip, and please, at the end of the trip, make it a gift to him in return, and not just a tip. While we were fishing our wives went shopping and were to meet us at the Marina at 3:00 pm. They were fashionably late and were completely blistered, and I'm not talking about from the sun. They were literally staggering down the Marina walkway, arms around each other, for support, singing, shopping bags hanging everywhere and wearing smiles that said, "Let's do it again". That last evening down by the beach was different. Quiet, no discussions, no boisterous singing, no wives (passed out upstairs, must have been some shopping trip), Mi Amigo, Mike and I, one more bottle of Vino Tinto, and one more fine cigar to end a great, great vacation and anniversary. "Let's do it again".
Alas, we must now say good bye to our new friends Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo
I feel blessed to have visited and experienced them both and thanks to those that touched our lives.

Capt. Lee and Patricia Kennedy, Michael and Lisa Caston

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