Feliz Navidad

Manzanillo, Mexico

As Craig makes his next Scrabble move, I sit on the balcony of our hotel room, overlooking Manzanillo Bay, with a full moon coming up over the eastern horizon, looking very orange as the sun is just setting in the west. Soon we will wander down and have a tasty feast of quesadillas and guacamole, washed down with margaritas, listening to the many Mexican kids staying at our hotel frolic in the pool until late at night. As the pool has absolutely no signage conveying various rules, the kids can stay in as long as they like. And they do!

This afternoon Santa and Ms. Claus rode by on a jet ski and the kids on the beach went nuts. Their innocence and enthusiasm is such a great antidote to all the nastiness in the news of late.

We arrived Wednesday, early evening, and realizing that our room came with a small kitchenette, we went in search of a “tienda”, a small grocery store. The hilly terrain that the hotel sits on meant that we had to climb a steep cobbled lane to get to the main road. It was getting dark, we had no map and no clue how far we’d have to walk. A large truck came up behind us and we moved to the side of the lane to let it pass, but rather than go by us, the driver leaned out his window, asked where we were going and offered us a ride. Hooray!!

We weren’t sure how we would get back to the hotel and we now knew from the ride up that it was a long walk back down and the sun was gone. There were a few cabs, but they sped by full of fares. The shop did not have a phone to call us one and by now it was getting quite dark. A truck pulled into the parking lot and I noticed a paragliding logo on the door. A gringo guy got out and Craig immediately recognized Jim, a buddy from Vancouver who Craig had last seen when he tandem glided with him the Fraser Valley many years ago. His wife Colleen was a colleague of mine at BCIT.

When we had drinks with them the next day and were laughing about the smallness of the world, Colleen said she had driven by me on the road, seen me frantically trying to hail a cab, thought it looked a lot like me, and even considered turning around to check out her hunch, but decided it was just too crazy. When Jim got to their condo and exclaimed “you’re not going to believe who I picked up at the store”, she shocked him by saying “Bev & Craig?”. What are the chances?

Jim & Colleen are staying at the fabled Las Hades Resort, where the movie “10” was filmed, way back in the 80s. We are next door at a place called Dolphin Cove. It is a bit down-scale and could use a refresh. Hot showers would be nice. But the view from our balcony is spectacular, the food in the restaurant amazing and inexpensive and the other guests are all Mexican, so it feels very festive and authentic. Quite perfect, in fact.

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