Ixtapa, Mexico

13 12 2009

Yo Quiero Ixtapa…y Zihuatanejo

 December 5, 2009 – December 9, 2009

I have found a new love in my life. Ixtapa is a little city in Mexico, and it’s neighbouring town – Zihuatanejo is just as lovely. If you’re having trouble placing it… it’s about a two-hour drive from Acapulco. Farhan and I had a few buddy passes with Westjet and their expiry date was fast approaching, so we thought ‘Hey, why not go to Ixtapa… it beats the -30 degree weather we have in Calgary.’ On Saturday morning, my amazing dad managed to pick us up amid the nasty blizzard we were having ( the same blizzard I got stuck and had to leave my car in the night before)…and have us at the airport by 6am just in time for us to start our mini vacation!!

 Imagine being in a city that is -30 degrees but feels like it’s -45. You just spent two hours trying to get your car out of ditch that is blowing snow so thick that you can barely see in front of you. Imagine being in yet another ‘sticky-snowfilled’ situation not even 10 hours later only to discover that there are several cars all around you – stuck and immovable… at 5:00am. Oh and did I mention that AMA (Roadside Assistance) decided that the roads were too crazy for them to even bother answering the phones. Now imagine going from that, to +30 degree weather, clear aqua waters,palm trees and coconuts, and everyone around you is speaking in a language that automatically makes you 50x better looking than you would be otherwise. This is Ixtapa!!

This city is best described as being quaint and beautiful. We stayed at ‘Las Brisas Hotel” and aside from the pricy hotel food, it was exactly what we needed. Very friendly staff, clean rooms with an oceanview and a hammock on the balcony! What more can a person ask for!!

Our first night in Ixtapa was spent having dinner at a cute little mexican place in town called “Aborito”. Everyone in Ixtapa, like most tourist hot spots, wants to sell you something and they want you to eat at their restaurant. We couldn’t walk five feet without someone telling us about their lobster special or their fabulous ‘spaghetti’. I have no idea why they think we want spaghetti in Mexico, but we settled for some fajitas and enchaladas….soooooooooooooooooooooooooo yummy! If you’re looking for a place that has good food – Ixtapa is it!! We went and got some ‘home made’ ice cream afterwards… kind of like Marble Slab without all of the fanciness… just good ol’ frozen milk with fresh fruits n chocolate – heaven!!

While we were walking down the  street in ‘Ixtapa Centro’, we hear loud music and we see some fireworks from a distance. So naturally we walk towards the action, and of course… it’s a wedding reception!!! Hooray!!!! We spent our evening semi ‘crashing’ this mexican wedding while hanging out on the beach at the same time… brilliant!!

We spent our days at the beach or at the pool of our hotel and I can’t even explain how perfect our Monday was. The whole day was spent lying by the pool… reading, munching on nachos, going for a swim. And then right before the sun was about to set, we went to play at the beach. The ocean here is not like most resort spots. The waters are actually really rough and it’s easy to get swallowed up in them if you’re not careful. I actually lost my flip-flop while we were walking along the beach the day before… but lucky for me I was traveling with my personal hero and he saved the day!!

Watching the sunset was honestly magical on this day. On the first day we were at the beach I was a little intimidated by the big waves, but on the second day… it was so refreshing to just let the waves creep up on you (barefoot of course) and then run away back into the ocean. Farhan and I had so much fun playing in the water, taking silly pictures and writing our names in the sand… we were typical tourists and it was awesome!

Our last night in Mexico was spent in Zihuatanejo… Ixtapa’s neighbouring city, about 15 minutes away. This is also where the airport is.  There was a big ‘town get together’ in the middle of the city…sort of a Xmas kick off I think. Little kiosks of fried bananas, fajitas and fresh fruit juices everywhere, and in the middle of it all there was a sort of talent show happening, right on the town basketball court. There were traditional dances and games… but the best by far was when they started playing ‘fire ball hockey.’ Guys and girls kicking around a ball of fire with a stick… on a basketball court, in the middle of their Christmas Season, in +30 degree weather, at 9:00 at night! Fan-Fricken-Tastic!!!!

This night ended at a Canadian owned pub called ‘Zorro’s’… though we were the only Canadian’s there. Spicy Peanuts, Canadian flags, hockey on the mini t.v’s and… beer for $1.00CAD!

Since Tuesday morning was leaving day, we went into Ixtapa Centro for some breakfast at ‘ The Golden Cookie Shop’, spent a little time shopping and then the last half hour at the beach… now off to the airport. Good By Beautiful Ixtapa!!

Now, if you recall, I mentioned at the beginning that Farhan and I were flying standby on Westjet because we had a couple of buddy passes. Because there were about 25 vacant seats on the plane back to Calgary, we weren’t too fussed about getting a seat. Little did we know that the airline would switch to a smaller plane at the last hour, leaving all of the stand-by passengers stranded, as well as being overbooked by one person! Normally we would have just stuck it out and caught the next flight… but that wasn’t going to be until Saturday, when the number of vacant seats would be even less than it was on Tuesday. The flight after that… the following Tuesday and by then – the buddy passes would have officially expired. Not to mention that we didn’t really have another entire week to dedicate to the beach. This was only intended to be a brief ‘stress-relieving’ getaway.

In the end, we got a flight to L.A. two hours later… got there at 10pm, stayed in a hotel near the airport, went back to the airport first thing the next day and finally made it back to Calgary on Wednesday night.   Did i mention that it’s Minus 29 degrees in Calgary today??? Ugh… I need another vacation!