Trip report


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Escrito por Mike in MN desde 69.180.163.213 (c-69-180-163-213.hsd1.mn.comcast.net) el día sábado, 09 de abril, 2005 a las 01:11:51 horas :

We just got back from 9 days in Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo.... Z actually. We only
went to Ixtapa for dinner one night, and that was so-so.

The 2 areas are night and day different. Ixtapa is Miami Beach... but in
Mexico. High prices, glitz, high rise hotels, fancy shops, whatever. It works for some people, not so much at our house.

We prefer the real Mexico, thank you. We stayed at the Hotel Irma... A great choice. It fit our wants and needs to a "T." A clean, basic hotel with a million dollar ocean view, within walking distance to downtown.

Zihuatanejo is the original, small city built on a mountainous, scenic bay. Older, small shops, quaint small hotels, friendly people, priced right.

Our favorite restaurant... Casa Arcadia, is downtown, right at sea level.

Plastic tables and chairs with different colored table cloths every day, 2 for 1 all day, 75' from waters edge... (or drag your table and chairs down there and they will still serve you). Attentive, personalized service from waiters that remember you from year to year (tipping helps) and food made in a small kitchen by moms and grandma... the waiters mix their own drinks.... Food and drinks done right, priced where you don't have to worry about "What are we going to have?" Not fancy, but done right... What's wrong with this picture?

Shrimp dinner... 80 pesos $7.21 Choose your style.
Fresh Red Snapper 100-150 pesos $9-$13.50 That's the whole fish, depending upon the size, including all the goodies to go with it. The fish came in on the boats 100 yards down the beach this morning.

If you move just a door or two towards the pier, the prices double, and then triple for the same items. Same view. Same plastic tables and chairs. Same beer.

Our last night there, Mary had a dinner for 2 by herself. It was 2 full fresh lobster tails, and 8 fresh jumbo shrimp. The platter included rice, refried beans, a roll, and a salad. Total cost... 280 pesos...$25.22. 4 of
us sampled the shrimp and lobster. The lobsters came split (4 half shells)
with the heads intact.... it was heck of a platter. The shrimp were grilled with garlic and butter... heads intact, you clean them yourself... melts in your mouth, sweet.

On our first day in Z, we went down to the Casa Arcadia, and each of us had a Bloody Mary, a couple of beers, a plate of chips and FRESH salsa (pico) and a plate of fresh guac...cost was 70 pesos.. $6.30. In
fact, when we ordered the guac, it was taking awhile, and Mary asked Luis (our waiter/fishing captain) if he had missed her request for guac.. his response "No problem, we had to send the boy to the market for avocados." No problem, we can wait.... we know it's fresh when it arrives.

This restaurant is number 25 on the Zihuat downtown maps... it's not really listed... it's the next to the last restaurant along the downtown beach, furthest from the pier, near the Museum. It is away from the bulk of the downtown restaurant action but they really do things right.

Mary went fishing with Luis (of the Casa Arcadia) and caught a Sailfish... Now, that has created excitement at our house. I don't fish, so I was content to see her off at 6 AM and go back to bed knowing she was being well cared for by Luis and his helper.

They caught a few small gamefish, and decided to up the ante, and go for the big ones... after a couple of hours of work for Luis, and lazing in the sun for Mary... the moment arrived when Mr. Big made his presence known, and changed the whole party. About 8', and 85 pounds.

My wife grew up fishing in Minnesota, with a teacher who allowed no mistakes, oversights or errors. So, to hear her tell the story about this one that didn't get away is a real treat. A total success.

Oh ya, we ate a small portion of the fish.

Casa Arcadia prepared the fish 3 different ways (garlic and butter, Vera Cruz style, and breaded and fried... per our request) served with rice, beans, and a salad for 35 pesos each. 4 of us left stuffed, fat and happy.

Did a little shopping, no tours or sightseeing. Ate at mostly small, backstreet restaurants. Our biggest night out was a wonderful evening at the Blue Mamou for ribs and great music.

We were invited out to tour Amuletos by a couple we met at the Casa Arcadia (they were staying there) and it is really quite a place.... amazing. Beautiful. I think I could spend time there.... but not on my expense account.

Life is good. Had a great time. Looking forward to our next trip.


Mike in MN



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