Re-entry into Zih
Arrival and the Art of Social Kissing...
Again, we stayed at the eight unit, Bungalows Ley, located on Playa Madera. Returning for a third year in a row, it felt a little like coming back to your old Aunt Mary's dated but endearing beach cottage. It is clean, comfortable and roomy but lacking anything remotely close to resort ambiance. Over the last twelve months the owner, Gladys Gomez, had installed new air conditioners, redid the palms on the beach palapas and there was evidence of some fresh paint on the exterior but all in all it was (thankfully) the same. We stay in the Club Madera Suite # 1, a two bedroom condo with a kitchen and private bath for each bedroom. The real draw is not the rooms but the view. From the vantage point of our spacious tiled deck you can see the entire Zihuatanejo bay, Playa Madera activity, and as evening approaches, the spectacular nightly sunset show over Almacen hill.
We settled in, and after a heated debate as to whether Cindy was allowed to hang up all her clothes before the traditional "First Cervesa in Zih" we took off for downtown. We headed directly to Calle Cinco de Mayo home of Bandidos Restaurante and Bar (Jared's maps of Zihuatanejo). We walked through the door and were greeted by a rush of hugs and enthusiastic greetings. Cliche as it sounds, we truly feel like family here. I love this place and year after year they make it easy to want to come back. The three of us were giddy with the attention and felt very 'celebrity". But as is the case when I begin to swagger and prance I am always destined to embarrass myself. Marcos, the suave, handsome owner came gliding over to say hello.After hearty greetings to both Gerry and Daniel he turned to me and in true Mexican fashion leaned in to give me a traditional kiss on the cheek. US culture cues being deeply ingrained in me, I instinctively turned my head anticipating a 'hug'. Based on Marcos' bewildered expression I'm sure he was wondering if this was some kind of odd Americano variation on the traditional social kiss - offering a head full of hair and an ear lobe rather than a cheek. Blushing mightily, I grimaced hello and pretended to examine something on the front of my dress. After a wine or three I managed to recover from my social gaff, enjoying a night of salsa dancing and perfect attentive service from our waiters Enrique and Miquel.