Wednesday, November 17, 2010

To Manzanillo for Pixie's Birthday

We took our annual trip to the beach for Pixie's birthday on November 10.  This year we tried a new place, Manzanillo, between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco on the Pacific Coast.  Manzanillo is actually closer to us than Rincon de Guayabitos where we have gone the last two years.  Manzanillo is a working port and is not as picturesque as some other beach towns.  It is Mexico's largest port, I think, and we could see many container ships coming and going.  there is also an active Navy base there, so we could also see gray military ships as well.  

Here we all sat each morning under this palapa to chat and watch the ships. 
We stayed at a wonderful little hotel, La Posada, affectionately called the Pink Posada.  It's right on the beach and provides a good breakfast every morning.  With a discount for those of us who live in Mexico, the room rates are about $40Us per night.  We met a number of people who visit year after year, some have returned for over 20 years.  Here are some photos of the hotel with some of of the people we met there. We had a good view of the harbor and watched ship pass through.

Old Manzanillo in the background
Our friends, Ron and Jean, from Kennebunk, who just arrived for the winter season. 

Jessie and Bernie, a couple form Portland, Oregon

We spent a good deal of time playing Canasta with Ron and Jeanne.  They taught us to play this last summer when we were in Kennebunk.  We tried a different restaurant each night.  They were good, but a little pricier than we are used to here in Chapala.  They did make a big splash in an Italian restaurant for Pixie's birthday, with he entire staff marching out to the table and singing for Pixie.  
One day we went into the old city.  It wasn't really very attractive,but we did find an unusual place to visit, an iguanario, a preserve for over 400 iguanas, some up to several feet long, who live in the treetops, except when the staff feeds them lettuce and other vegetables.  A tame raccoon also lives in the preserve and is very attached to the staff.  One unfortunate incident occurred when I was standing under the trees taking some photos of the iguanas.  It appeared to start raining, but it wasn't rain.  To my chagrin, one of the iguanas was urinating on me!  The Mexican staff found this absolutely hilarious, as did Pixie and Ron and Jeanne.  

Well, we do have other big news.  While we were at the beach, we were on our cell phones every day with our real estate agent.  After having our house on the market for less than three weeks, we have a buyer.  We plan to close just after we return from Indiana and Maine in the middle of December.  There is one hitch, however. the buyer is a Mexican woman from Guadalajara who has her investments in pesos, so there is a clause in the contract which allows her to cancel the contract if the peso exchange rate is over 12.5 pesos to the dollar at closing. It's been trading recently at 12.2-12.3, but it could fluctuate.  If it weakens enough, the deal will be off.  We are being optimistic, and we've found a very Mexican house in the village of Ajijic. It's a house which is owned by a friend of ours, Bebe, from our fellowship.  She was having no luck finding renters this year, so it works well for both of us at $600US  a month.  So we're now packing up, since we will have to be out of the house in mid December.  We're keeping our fingers crossed that the peso remains relatively strong.  Finding this house will allow us to stay in the village for the winter, which will be fun.  Then, in March or April, we will have our pick of house rentals as the snowbirds head north.  We will be in walking distance from just about everything, although it clearly won't be as quiet there!    

I'll end with a photo of my student, Francisco, who is making spectacular progress in his English.  he is also a member of the choir at our fellowship.  This gives him even more practice with his English.  

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