Saturday December 29 thru Wednesday January 02
The water heater saga may have been resolved: After I emailed Andrea requesting another room yesterday, she wrote back advising they’d replaced the offending device. As an ex PHVACR repair contractor, I’m glad to see the plumber finally apply the last resort of Aclueistic (DW coined the word - meaning without a clue - while she was still teaching) repairmen everywhere: “If you don’t know how to fix a thing, replace it”.
Saturday was to be the day DW got her three permanent crowns, but instead Dr. Ibarra emails that his supplier has had a delay, and to come Monday at 10:00 AM instead; this is not the first time we’ve heard that story from the good doctor, and she’d been expecting it. DW hoofs it to Dolce Mama, brings back two of those pecan things for breakfast. We luxuriate in HOT showers (simple pleasures). For dinner, we bus it to the Inn at Mazatlan, to hear Sheryl (formerly of Sheryl and Rob, whom we followed at Macaw’s on many previous trips). We have a good dinner while catching her first set. Unfortunately, the set is marred by several groups of loud-mouthed individuals (at least some of whom seem to be American, I’m sad to say) who came here not to listen, but to continue their carrying on; there was surely alcohol involved. After the set, we ask her about that, and she recounts a few funny stories about past audiences (one of whom only quieted down between sets).
Sunday there are more hot showers!!! We hit HSBC and learn the ATM fee has increased from 26.56 pesos ($2.05) to 33.35 ($2.57), or 25.6%; we don’t care, because Fidelity reimburses our debit card fees and pays us more than $500 per year to use the associated credit card. Exchange rate is up to 12.96, gotta love it! Breakfast is Allegro (their Bacon Three Cheese Omelet is good, but doesn’t come close to the DW-doctored omelet at Molika, which is closed that morning). Ferd hits Panama on the way back to pick up pastries for tomorrow’s breakfast. DW does laundry (the dryer at Villa Serena is Mother Nature, you know) while Ferd catches yet another Siesta. It’s Angelina’s for Sunday dinner, DW has a taste for their regular Sunday Paella Special, which she’s eaten before. Alas though, it’s not to be: Even though Angelina had told us about it two days ago, there is no Paella to be had (“The pan is too big for the stove” is the reason given – You couldn’t make that up, n’est pas?). We decide on La Tremoya instead, and enjoy our meals. The plaza is packed, mostly with nationals enjoying a night out. It’s intermittently very windy and there are a few splats or rain. We hit Dolce Mama for desserts on the way back, and DW selects banana cream pie – absolutely to die for - Fred’s chocolate coconut cake is good, but pales by comparison. DW does the rest of the wash and leaves it hanging on the line for Mother Nature to dry overnight.
Monday is to be a busy day: Teeth at 10:000 and another visit to Athina Spa at 2:00 for DW, and the New Year’s dinner at Macaw. We begin with hot showers and breakfast (DW opts for the remainder of the banana cream while Ferd digs into a Panama goodie). The supplier finally delivers the crowns at 10:45 (Remember the 10:00 appointment?), the good doctor installs them and they’re fine; DW schedules some additional minor work for next week, figuring she needs some time off to unlimber (Did you know the word dates back hundreds of years, when “limbers” were used to haul cannon behind horses and disconnecting a cannon prior to using it was to “unlimber”). At 2:45 DW realizes she has to be at Athina at 2:00, so off she goes – It turns out there’s no problem, the good people at Athina understand “Mexican Time”, and Claudia gives her a good going over. Macaw’s puts out a great spread for the 16 in attendance, and the keyboardist eventually finds his stride. (Note to Ferd: Tens of thousands of chefs have spent 200 plus years working with the bounteous Delmarva crab population, you’re spoiled and you should lower your expectations when crab is served you in other areas). Did I mention it rained off and on much of the day? That means Mother Nature has not dried Ferd’s shorts, so he has to wear pants to Macaw’s (GRRR); however, most things work out for the best, and Fred comes to welcome the leg covering on what turns out to be a cool, breezy evening.
Tuesday is a slow day. We sleep late, finish the Panama goodies and have hot showers. We discuss upcoming travel plans, decide to defer the planned Tulips excursion to Amsterdam until 2014, to instead take advantage of the Volaris 50% off promotion for a return to Maz. DW tacks on one stipulation: The Amsterdam trip will now include a river cruise (Gee that only adds four figures – in dollars, no less - why not?). We want pizza, which we plan to order from Pizza Moreno in the GZ (They deliver), but first we head to Cueva del Leon so DW can take the edge off a gnawing appetite (After Ferd listens to “I’m hungry” repeated ad nauseum). We return, order the pizza, it’s every bit as good as we remember, and we eat it while watching a Rambo shootem-up on TV (In case you’re wondering, the Good Guys prevailed).
Wednesday Ferd buys tix for a May trip to Maz before DW arises, taking advantage of the Volaris 50% off promotion on its last day (TIJ/MZT) and a United deal (BWI/SAN), totaling $1,054 RT for two. We again have hot showers (Did I Mention “Simple Pleasures”?) before heading out to Rico’s in the GZ on the bus for breakfast. There’s this brilliant orb in the sky with no clouds in sight (What’s that all about?), and Wonder of Wonders, there’s nary a single “Shark Attack” in our brief excursion into the GZ. We hit an ATM (12.91), then hire a Pulmonia for Office Depot (Where Ferd has blueprints run off for some work he brought – with special dispensation from DW to do so, of course – at about half what he’d pay at home), then Mega for provisions [Gee, a liter of Anejo costs 151.15 ($11.71), less than four servings at a bar!!!], and then back to Villa Serena. DW gets a facial at Tippy Toes while Ferd has his usual siesta. Ferd’s been experiencing Burger Shortage, so we head to Beach Burger, where Ferd has a Cowabunga, DW opts for Shrimp Imperial and Life Is Good.
• Cueva del Leon has given up the adjacent storefront dining room for a Bicycle Shop (there’s still an opening between the two, so we figure the businesses might somehow be related).
• I haven’t mentioned streetlights, but it seems a lot of new ones have been added since our June trip.
• Must be the holidays, there have been vendors set up nearly every night on the plaza.
• Still hearing the odd fireworks at night on the 2nd.
• Time flies: We’ve been here two weeks now, but it seems like we only arrived a few days ago