Trip report, 11/27 to 12/3

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Posted by Cara from ( on martes, diciembre 09, 2003 at 15:36:49 :

Back home and still missing Zihua!

This was our third trip (my husband and I); we were married in Zihua on Dec 1, 2001 and went back this year for our 2nd anniversary. It was a fantastic, relaxing trip, and we plan on making it an annual event! I've broken this into sections for easy reference:

Seattle to Zihua via San Francisco on Alaska. Departed early morning on 11/27 -- we love traveling on Thanksgiving, because the crowds are light and everyone is nice to each other! First class on both flights, thanks to our Alaska upgrades. Uneventful flights, we sailed through customs and I'd arranged for airport pickup to surprise my husband -- 11/27 was also his birthday. The flight home was not so peaceful -- still had first class, which was comfy, but we flew home via LAX and customs was a NIGHTMARE. Five or six flights landed at once and customs was swamped. Luckily, the Alaska flights were held, because it took us over an hour to get through customs, immigration, and get our bags back onto the next flight. Once back in Seattle, our bag did not arrive -- it was opened by security so did not make it on our flight! But the Alaska baggage folks were great, the bag was arriving on the next flight so we opted to wait for it -- only 40 minutes. We were given vouchers for Starbucks so we loaded up on treats and hot drinks.

Stayed four nights at a one-bedroom condo behind Villa del Sol. Rate included use of all Villa del Sol facilities. We love these condos and of course we love the VDS facilities! Had a slight snafu with our condo key (it didn't work), which resulted in my husband hoisting me through one half of the bathroom window to get in! Hilarious. Thank goodness I'm in reasonably good shape -- that window was TINY and I wasn't sure I was going to make it! Otherwise the condo was lovely -- ocean view, nice kitchen, CD and DVD player, safe, etc. etc. A small pool in the courtyard outside for late night dips.
For our last two nights in Zihua (including our anniversary), we moved to La Casa Que Canta, where we had our wedding. No honeymoon suite this time, but just a standard room -- our favorite room at the top of the "Mar" building. Amazing view of the water! We just love LCQC. It is truly the most special hotel I know. When we checked in, we were told "Welcome home!" which was so sincere that I practically started weeping. Everyone knew it was our anniversary and took the time to congratulate us. Of course the flower petals on our bed spelled out "Happy 2nd Anniversary," and there was a complimentary bottle of Don Julio in our room. Very nice. I really appreciate all of the nice touches at the hotel -- the mini-bar comes stocked with water, soda, and beer, and it's all free . . . where else do you find that? It's such a nice touch. Yes, the rooms are expensive, but they don't nickel and dime you to death once you check in. La Casa Que Canta has done some remodeling since our last visit, and it's all very effective. More seating in the bar and for dinner, an extra stairway, and they've enlarged the infinity pool a bit (which amazed me). The spa is complete, and they've added more equipment to the gym.

Activities? Well, let's see. Our days went something like this:
1. Wake up
2. Realize we're in Zihua -- smile
3. Eat breakfast
4. Select a palapa or lounge chairs
5. Swim
6. Read
7. Walk on beach or wander around
8. Lunch
9. Repeat 5-7
11. Watch sunset
12. Work out and/or nap
13. Dinner
14. Read, play backgammon, watch geckos

We had planned to go to Barra de Potosi, and play some tennis, and do the cooking class at VDS. Somehow we were lulled into a hypnotic state by the sunshine, sand, relaxation, and all-around bliss. Okay, perhaps that Don Julio helped a bit. We did spend a fantastic afternoon and evening in town, just walking, walking, walking around and exploring. Nothing but a pick-up game at the basketball court but lots of other people-watching as we explored.
We did try the spa at La Casa Que Canta -- I had an 80-minute massage, my husband had a back/neck/shoulder massage. Both were wonderful; my husband would have liked stronger pressure, but he ALWAYS wants stronger pressure. The spa is well-built --treatment rooms were very quiet.

Oh boy, do we love to eat out on vacation. One thing to note is that we ate normal portions at breakfast, small lunches, and small dinners. Dinner often consisted of two salads, one or two appetizers, and one entree which we split. We just couldn't do a full meal when our days were so hot and lazy. It certainly kept the bills a bit smaller!
We did several breakfasts at VDS -- the breakfast buffet, which is very good (and they've figured out a way to keep the BEES out! hooray!), or pancakes, french toast, fruit, etc. Yum. Great for people watching, too. Lunch was typically on the beach, something reasonably light. Club sandwich, salad, or fish tacos. I can't get enough fish tacos in Zihua. Dinners were great this year, but we went to some old favorites -- Kau-Kan (twice), La Casa Que Canta, and Villa de la Selva. One night we walked to Tamales Any, but we just weren't hungry enough for dinner. We ended up at a bar called "Jungle," across from Coconut's on that funny side street, and had some drinks; we walked around some more, then went home (aka condo). We did try Casa Bahia this year, and we were really disappointed. I've been wanting to do dinner there for two years, but it was just not that great. We weren't starving, so we had salads (caesar and blue cheese/pecan), quesadillas (shrimp) and tostadas (steak). The salads were mediocre. The quesadillas were fine, but very heavy on the cheese. The tostadas were not so good -- strangely, each tostada had some steak pieces, lettuce and tomato, topped with a lot of ranch dressing (?). We did get a basket of garlic bread with a small dish of marinara sauce -- interesting choice, but very good. Perhaps Casa Bahia is best for italian dishes??? I had thought it was more Polynesian . . . who knows. Service was incredibly slow, even though the owner was in attendance. I would not go back -- there are many better spots in town, on the beach, etc. If you do venture to Casa Bahia, be advised that they do NOT take credit cards. Also, they close if things are slow, so that may be why so many people have had bad luck finding them open. We actually walked by the restaurant one night (during our long walk around town) and they were closing, even though it was about 9pm.

It was a magical trip and I couldn't have asked for a better anniversary. We did a lot of nothing this time, ate out a lot, and kind of pampered ourselves. We've been planning for (and saving for) this trip for awhile, and have lived through a pretty stressful year work-wise, so it was a well-deserved six days. Things I relished were walking on the beach, watching the geckos (we also had a FROG on our condo deck one night!), reading to my heart's content, seeing Hignio and Alfredo at Villa del Sol, sleeping so soundly, walking all over town, taking a dip in the pool at 11pm . . . the sights, the sounds, the people.

Can't wait to go back!

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