Gord Turner: Enjoying a Mexican moment, amigo

Whenever we've travelled in Mexico, we've spent time shopping in the markets.

Whenever we’ve travelled in Mexico, we’ve spent time shopping in the markets.

On our recent trip to Zihuatanejo, the market was merely a block away from where we were staying. One day at the market, a Mexican senor with a dark moustache said, “Amigo, give me a Mexican moment, and I will make you a good price.”

I thought about that “Mexican moment” idea for a while as we were walking back to our hotel in the old-town area of Zihuatanejo. I said to myself, “You know, we’ve experienced quite an array of Mexican moments this time in Mexico.”

We stayed in a small local hotel called Casa Celeste. When we arrived, we found the hotel on a narrow walkway of shops and hotels on a street sprinkled with tall palms. Meeting Esmeralda, the owner, was such a pleasurable Mexican moment as she had the broadest smile and the best English imaginable. Although we arrived one day late, that didn’t faze her at all. Nor did she charge us for that day.

It turned out we were just across the way from our friends, the K’s, and we spent most of the week touring with them, visiting interesting sites, and sunning on spectacular beaches. But the Mexican moment I enjoyed the most with them was our morning coffee at their suite. We used bottled water and heaping spoonfuls of coffee and a rickety coffee-pot to create the morning brew. Then we lazed on their balcony in the sunlight and chatted about paradise.

We visited several beaches in the area. Two of them we had to travel to by boat. The boats were small and quite open, but pleasant enough to get to the nearby stretches of sandy shores. At Ixtapa Island in front of the outdoor restaurant named Paraiso Escondido, I had my Mexican moment of sitting on a beach chair with my feet immersed in lapping waves. I drank cerveza (beer) and cheered the very hot overhead sun as it burned my very-white body.

We bought tickets for a cruise on a sailing ship around the harbour and out into the Pacific. It was a fundraising venture for a group of Canadian snowbirds who were helping Mexican children with their education. We journeyed on a magnificent boat owned by a couple who had recently sailed from the Canadian Gulf islands down to Zihuatanejo. When the captain cut the engine and unfurled the sails, it was like heaven itself as we silently dipped into the gentle swells of the Pacific. We cherished this Mexican moment even though snowbirds had created it.

A Mexican moment we never expected occurred when we went to a seniors’ soccer match near Ixtapa, a few miles north of Zihuatanejo. We had met a friend of the K’s named Juan Otero, who drove us free of charge here and there during the week. He was on the Mexican team, and when we arrived to watch him play, we discovered the opposition was a seniors’ team from Kelowna.

They were dressed in Canadian red, as were their wives and friends who were huddled beneath shade trees above the field and out of the sun. We cheered for Juan who had a goal and two assists, but we yelled “Go, Canada, go” along with the Kelowna supporters. Some of our best Mexican moments were relaxing many mornings having breakfast on the strand just above the main Zihuatanejo beach with its sand castles and fishing boats. We sat at tables at outdoor cafes in the shade of coconut palms and ate our los huevos and pan tostadas with bacon. We didn’t have a care in the world in those Mexican moments.