Friday, January 13, 2017

Mexico 2017 – Day 8 – Shopping Day

Today was the day we were to relinquish our lovely van, so we ate another big breakfast and took off downtown. John and Maria stayed home as John had now picked up Ana’s cold and his foot was still a little swollen, but much better then yesterday as Ana had gone to the pharmacy and gotten some cream meant to bring down swelling.  I told him that if he put more cream on his foot to make sure he washed his hands before went to the bathroom…they did have the whole apartment to themselves all day – you never know.

It was a beautiful, hot morning and the forecasted rain for the afternoon seemed like an impossibility. We returned the van to the parking garage, went to the office to close the contract, and then let ourselves loose on 5th Avenue. I finally had a chance to do some journal writing so I set up shop in an atrium close to an electrical outlet while Ana and the kids went shopping. Magnus was determined to spend his trip money; so far he hadn't found anything that appealed to him but he had a feeling the perfect souvenir was right around the corner.

I was happily typing away for an hour or so when Mom, Don and Donnie walked up and surprised me. They were going to meet us downtown for lunch and came early to do some shopping. Rick decided to take a day off from all the activity, so I supposed he would get together with John and Maria and they would hit the tequila hard all day and we'd find them all passed out by the pool when we got home.

After they left I wrote for a bit longer and then moved over to the open air restaurant that was beside the car rental place and ordered up a lemonade, which was sickly sweet and disgusting, but icy cold. At around 12:30 I was wondering where everybody was, as we were supposed to be going for lunch, and at that exact moment Ana and Stella arrived and gave me an earful. Something about not telling them where I was going to be. I took the verbal beating fairly graciously and then we grabbed the others and wandered around the back streets to try and find more of a local restaurant instead of all the kitschy places on 5th. We found a good one called La Patrona del Playa (the Lady Boss of the Beach), right across from the giant, tacky Coco Bongo nightclub. The wait staff pushed three tables together for us and we got seated and then put in our drink orders. The tables were nearly all full, the atmosphere was local, and the barely moving air was saturated with grease from the fryers. A perfect Mexican loncheria.

After a huge feed we walked over to the nearby Mega grocery store to pick up yet more groceries and then we rode the bus home with a plan to return to our respective apartments to change and then meet down at the pool. Moments after we walked in the door the heavens opened and we were hit with a punishing, tropical downpour that turned the streets into rivers and sent people running for cover. Pool party be damned! Instead we hung out in the apartment, did some reading, enjoyed a drink or two, and listened to the sound of the rain battering the rooftops. When the rain finally let up we scurried over to Mom's and helped her get all her devices figured out. Mom is big on devices but over the weeks things had gotten out of control – there were locked iPads, lost passwords on iPhones, Blackberries, lists of phone numbers and a small baggie of SIM cards from god knows where. The whole scene was much like one of those Escape Rooms where you are faced with insurmountable puzzles and have to think your way out. With a combination of sheer determination, Google searches, a bit of luck, and some rum and coke, we succeeded in getting everything up and running. They should be good for a week.

We finished up the day by walking over to the local pizza joint and enjoying some unbelievably good pies. Our experience with pizza in Latin American countries can be summed up in one word - corn. Why the hell would you ever put corn on pizza? Every time we've ordered pizza in the past in any Spanish speaking country, it has arrived with kernel corn sprinkled all over it. Thankfully the pizza man here got the memo – corn belongs on cobs and in chowder…not on pizza.

We walked back home and passed that beautiful Christmas tree from the day before, except that overnight somebody had lit on fire and it was now just a charred, needle-less trunk with sticks. Once settled back at the apartment we finally figured out why Magnus had been such a quiet and strange mood – he was totally dehydrated, evidenced by the small quantity of brown urine he expelled into the toilet. We realized that we hadn't been getting the kids to drink much water so we tied them down and water boarded them both for half an hour, which they didn't appreciate, but it certainly put a bit of life back into Magnito.

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