belated trip report--really long

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Escrito por TimTex desde ( el día martes, 28 de junio, 2005 a las 00:31:32 horas :

Trip Report 06/08/05

Our family of 5 plus my mother-in-law arrived in Zihuatanejo on Wednesday, June 1 after an uneventful flight from Houston. We got the green light, but Grandma got a red one. After not more than a few glances in her bag we were on our way to Costa Real in Ixtapa via suburban.
We rented a condo at the Costa Real from some individuals that we found on Zihua Rob’s website. We had the unit on the top floor (6th) facing the beach overlooking the pool area. We found it big enough for all of us, clean, and the view was spectacular. We were very pleased with these accommodations. The room was definitely worth the extra money we spent on it.
Here is a listing of the things we did while there:
Played in the huge surf on Playa Palmar, Ate seafood & Mexican fare at Huachinango Grill in Ixtapa. Had dos por uno margaritas & pina coladas. $1000 (pesos) for 6 people plus tip. Returned to hotel and walked the whole Playa Palmar as darkness fell. (this became a nightly ritual).
Slept late. Then took bus to Zihuatanejo. Got off on Cinco De Mayo and walked to the pier. Took ferry to Las Gatas. Walked entire beach and listened to all the waiters tell me why their spot was the best….Finally decided to stop at Otilia. Our waiter, Franco was unbelievable. He spoke good English and made us feel right at home. Their kitchen and restrooms were incredibly clean. Franco offered to eat off the floor to show how clean it was. We stayed there for about 4 hours, had margaritas and my wife had pina coladas in huge pineapples. We rented 2 snorkel rigs for the kids to share and just hung out. We had their seafood platter that was enough for us all for lunch. Total bill was $970 plus tip. We took the ferry back, got 2 cabs. One came back to Ixtapa, my daughter and I took the other to Commercial Mexicana to get supplies for the week. Ate supper in our room then walked the beach after sunset.
The family decided to hang out at hotel most of the day. My daughter (18), son (12) and I took the hotel’s bike tour to Playa Linda via the nature trail in the morning. We stopped and saw the crocodiles and iguanas, walked on the beach for a few minutes, then returned. Our bike tour guide, Chely was a great girl. She spoke very little English and I speak very little Spanish, but we managed to keep up a conversation all the way there and back. My daughter and I returned to Commercial Mexicana by cab to get the things that my wife didn’t put on our list the day before. We ate breakfast and lunch in the room. We ate supper at Dal Toscano Italian restaraunt in Ixtapa. The food was very good and inexpensive. Had dos-por-uno cervesa and lime daiquiris. $690 plus tip.
Got up fairly early and took cabs to the pier in Zihuatanejo. Walked around and booked a fishing trip for Monday with one of the boat owners who had an office on the fisherman’s walk. Took ferry to Las Gatas and walked directly to see Franco at Otilia as we had promised him that we would do. We were the first ones there at their place. We got set up, had a coke and then Franco took us up the trail to the light house. The trail was very steep and grandma had enough when we were about ¾ way there and began feeling light-headed. Franco pointed us up the trail then assisted grandma back down to the restaraunt. She claims that he practically carried her back. We continued on and got some great photos. We returned to the beach pretty soon as we were worried about mom….We found her sipping fruit juice with a cold towel on her head and feeling much better. We had margaritas, ate lunch (a Mexican platter that was more than we could eat) and lounged all day. The kids snorkeled again, we all swam some and generally had a good time. The total bill this day was $1400 and worth every penny. We were on almost the last ferry back. We took cabs back to Ixtapa, had light supper in the room. My wife and I walked the beach after sunset, the kids were wiped out.
We slept late, took a swim in hotel pool then took cabs to Playa Madera and walked the beach then took the walkway into town. We wandered around town for a while with the intentions of hanging out until the show at the basketball court. The kids and my wife were getting overheated so we went back to the hotel in Ixtapa and soaked up A/C for the rest of the afternoon. Later that evening we went to Frank’s and had pasta and his wonderful pizza. I was disappointed to find out that they had watched the Nascar race there that afternoon. I thought the only place to see it was at LaPerla and had not been able to talk my family into going there. So..Nascar fans, if you are stuck in Ixtapa, go see Frank. The food was great, drinks were 2-for-1 and we spent $880 for the six of us.
Then walked the beach at dark……..
Got up way too early and went fishing. It is amazing how few cabs there are in Ixtapa at 6:00 AM. We caught a bunch of Bonito. We could have caught a lot more, but I guess I don’t have the stomach of a true fisherman…….Augustino’s remedy for seasickness was to start drinking coronas. It helped a lot, but I still just needed to get back on dry land. Luckily we were almost to Ixtapa Island by this time, so he took us there and arranged to get our fish cooked for us. We hung out there until mid-afternoon and then had him take us to the water taxi pier close to the island so that I didn’t have to dire the boat all the way back to Z. He seemed to feel that we weren’t getting our money’s worth by not getting our full boat ride, but I was perfectly happy that way!
We hung out at the hotel until later in the evening, then we went back to Frank’s so my son could watch the NBA playoff game. We ate and drank until the game was over. $840.00.
Walked the beach, and then collapsed into bed.
By this time, the kids and grandma were wiped out. Too much fun, I guess. We all slept late, then my wife and I took a cab to the pier in Z and went across to Las Gatas to see Franco one last time. We got to see the big Mexican navy ship that was in the harbor after the big drug bust that was discussed earlier on this board. We stayed and talked with Franco, smoked some really good cigars from his father’s tobacco farm and drank more of the best margaritas and pina coladas that we had on our trip. We hated to leave. I really feel like we made a friend in Franco. He told us about his family and life in Mexico and we told him about life in Dallas. If you go to Z, be sure to go to Otilia’s on Las Gatas, see Franco, and tell him that we send our best wishes.
We stayed so long that we missed the last ferry. We wound up riding some fisherman’s boat back with Franco and the other waiters from Las Gatas. It was with great sadness that we said goodbye to him and caught a cab back to Itxapa.
We got the kids and grandma and walked the beach to Carlos & Charlie’s. The food was good, but it was expensive. The drinks were strong, but they were so strong that they didn’t taste good. I didn’t ever think I would say a margarita had too much tequila in it……$1080.00. We took our last night-walk on the beach then returned to the hotel.
Slept late, packed our stuff, and then went out in search of lunch before heading to the airport. I was surprised to find there were very few placed serving lunch at 12:00. Most places were still serving breakfast. Finally found Mama Norma & Deborah’s. We ate lunch for $400.00. Good food, very inexpensive, and I got my last 2-for-1 margaritas. (but it still would take 3 of them to make 1 of Franco’s). We got our bags, hailed 2 cabs and went to the airport. We were sad to go, but after 8 days everyone was about ready to get home.

My top observations from our visit:
1. Before our next trip I’m going to get a shirt printed in Spanish that says “I shoot every 3rd timeshare salesman….the second one just left!”
2. Playa Palmar is excellent for walking at sundown, but it’s too rough for swimming anytime in June.
3. Every young taxi driver thinks he is related to Mario Andretti. Especially watch out for the one who looks like an Elvis impersonator. He scared the crap out of me, and I’m fearless.
4. Spend all the time you can in Zihua……..I didn’t spend enough.
5. We met many interesting American/Canadian people who have moved to this area every time we went to the commercial Mexicana.
6. Las Gatas is a great place to hang out. I just hope the developments that seem to be starting near there don’t mess it up.
7. My son says that Franco is “pimped out.” I think that is good.
8. Going here in early June was great, there were no crowds anywhere.

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