For my momentous 65th (see the essay just below this one, "Rights of Passage," for commentary on THAT thought), Robert offered a Repeat of a Most Wonderful, Romantic Day.
Last CENTURY (in the 19´s, that is to say: 1997) we celebrated our 5th Anniversary Together --right here in Zihuatanejo.... That was actually years before we discovered our present surfing beach, and even more years before we bought our little casita en el pueblito --the sweet home I call Eden, in a little village filled with people who describe themselves (accurately) as "tranquilo y amable" -- tranquil and friendly.
On that day, we had wandered all the colorful tourist shops, treated ourselves to pure-fruit popsicles (paleta), and dined at a beach restaurant, toes in the sand... a margarita for me, excellent fish dinner, a rose in a vase --- and furthermore, Robert engaged the wandering troubadors to personally serenade us together on our anniversary. "Malaguena" brought tears to our eyes...
"Let´s just relive that entire day," was his invitation.
Improvement: instead of paletas (paletas have degenerated into frozen artifically-flavored sugar water), we had Italian Gelatto with local exquisite fruits mixed in. Yummmmissimo.
The rest was, shall I write, a DIS-improvement.
Putting a positive spin on it: EVERYTHING that we looked forward to (now gone to flinders in Zihua, to put it mildly) can be found in diamond-style perfection in our village!!
For example, our closest village friends (Sara y Guille and their kids) are delightful, funny, laid'back family to us. Guille is a skillful fisherman with his hand'thrown net, and Sara is a cook extraordinaire. Thus, we are frequently invited to superbly prepared FRESH fish dinners with fresh-made hot blue-corn tortillas, salad and various sides, fresh-squoze fruit drinks.... and so on and so on!!!
So...contrast THAT to what I was served in Zihua -- soggy fish with glutinous onions globbing atop, and soggy salad leaves with bits of tomato, and one tiny slop of pureed bean "dip."
I didn´t dare bother with a margarita... Dos Equis did me fine.
As for the endearing craftspersons wandering table-to-table with their (mass-generated in China?) cute bobble-head animals, and stone (real stone or disguised?) necklaces and ear-rings etc... Well, we have plenty from years here, but still we bought a few more....
......only to be REALLY surprised by a cute, crisply dressed, nicely coiffed little girl who raced to my side and attempted to steal my coins as I counted them out! When I intercepted her thievery she PINCHED me and tried again. When I pushed the coins further from her grasp she pinched me all the more, and tried again, shoving her body against mine to reach further! In Spanish I told her that these things were not hers. Don´t touch. And I added, (not knowing the word for "pinch"), "Don´t HIT me!" She paid me no mind. Charming, to say the least. Great way to encourage sales from the gringos....
But the penultimate disappointment on this Would-be Romantic Night with my Husband-Lover was this.....
No wandering troubadors!!! No traditional quartet of musicians going from table to table, offering the old corridas with their banged-up, well-played instruments, singing in heartbreakingly beautiful and tight harmonies... No "Malaguena" for me on my birthday...
Instead, there was a nice, young man with his guitar and squawking loudspeaker equipment, seated on a platform. He sang modern songs. It was hard to simply talk to my love, and harder yet to hear the gentle whisper of water retreating, and then the crash of gentle waves upon the sand.
It was good to be back home again. We brought home really good ice cream (wrapped in a fleece sleeping bag...and that WORKED) and took it over to Sara y Guille´s house. All their kids gathered 'round, and we just laughed it up around their table in the front yard, with all of the village life going on all around us. Kids learning to ride bikes, boys chasing each other for whyever, babies playing in the dirt with little horses or whatever, moms leaning against a wall gossiping. Our friends live right in the very center of the pueblito. Where it´s AT!!!