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La Manzanilla Memo - December 30, 2017

All is Merry and Bright

December 26 officially marks the beginning of Christmas vacation here on the Costa Alegre! The caravan of buses fully loaded with families from the inland towns and cities have been streaming into the town since early last evening. 

The hotels are solidly booked, and recently empty campgrounds are now jam-packed with colourful tents in all shapes and sizes. Smiles are everywhere and high-pitched screams of delight soar through the air as children frolic in the surf, some for the first time in their lives.

Our streets are now lined with pop-up restaurants and juice bars, and booths with all manner of beach necessities and trinkets.  There is a fair set up around the Jardin in the middle of the downtown with rides for all those young at heart and games of skill and chance. Food and drink is available, and as always here in Mexico, music is everywhere.

Crowded? Yes! Noisy? Definitely!   But it is a happy noise, of families enjoying each other’s company, of people living in the moment and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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Wine & Cheese Reception

On Thursday, December 21, the newly formed La Manzanilla Fine Arts Group held its first exhibition, hosted by Linda Kauffman.   Kauffman, an acclaimed artist here in Mexico and the United States, formed the idea of gathering together other artists in the pueblo who would be interested in displaying their work on a regular basis. With a core of 12 other members, the gathering was held in her home, which created a more intimate atmosphere and allowed the numerous attendees to view the works in a realistic setting.  The result was a success for both the artists and the public.  Kauffman says that there will more exhibits throughout the season, with the next being planned in time for Valentine’s Day.

Along with the founding members, other artists will be invited to participate if there is an opening.  Space is limited to 12 displays, but each reception will showcase new and refreshing items. The exhibitions will continue to held at Kauffmann’s home, located at Rufino Tamayo 15.  Her studio is also in her home and she invites the public to visit any time.

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Circus Entertainment

One of the charms of Mexico is that you just never know what you will experience on any given day.   You could be sidelined by a herd of cattle on the main street being relocated to greener pastures, to being entertained by a trio of young men performing on unicycles.  Such was the case a few nights ago in our Jardin.   Jonathan, Erick and Eduardo, all hailing from Zacatecas, have been touring for the last ten years.  All self-taught in their skills, they have used their talents to travel throughout their country.  Like all buskers, they rely on the generosity of the audience.    Jonathan smiled as he admitted that some days they eat better than others, but it’s the life of freedom that is most important. Only staying in town for one evening, then heading to Puerto Vallarta and eventually reaching Mazatlan.

Pickle ball?

I have always considered myself to be relatively knowledgeable when it came to the sports world.  Want to have a cold beer and a conversation about baseball, football, basketball, etc., I’m your girl.  But pickle ball?  Totally stumped on that one, never heard of it.  Apparently, according to my friends, I must have been living in a cave the last few years not to know what pickle ball is.  Pickle ball is the latest sports venue for all ages, and is thriving in La Manzanilla.  The game is a racquet sport that combines tennis, badminton, and ping pong.  Two to four persons play on a court, with wooden paddles, a perforated polymer ball similar to a whiffle ball, with a lower net on the court.  Here in La Manzanilla, the basketball court in the public park has been modified for pickle ball.  Games are played every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.  Follow the main street straight through town, cross the river bed, turn left at the first street, drive one block and then turn right, you will then see the park.

On the Grapevine

There are a number of upcoming events that you don’t want to miss.

There is a polo tournament going on this week with the semi and finals being played on Saturday, December 30 and Sunday, December 31.

Costa Careyes Polo Club is just 40 minutes north of us on Highway 200 between kilometers 49 and 50 – watch for the sign.  Players from Mexico, Argentina, Peru, the United States, Italy and Portugal fill the teams’ rosters.  Two games are scheduled to be played each afternoon, starting at 3:30 p.m.  Entrance to the games is free; dress, casual elegant.  There are two restaurants near the polo field for refreshments or you can bring your own.

The Spoken Word Charity Series begins at Casa Luz with an Open Mic evening on Monday, January 8, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Artists will have 6-12 minutes to tell their stories.  Open to any and all!

Remember to mark Sunday, January 28 on that new calendar of yours.  It is Fiesta de Arte Day!  A colourful showcase of art, music, dance, food and drink.  The Fiesta begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m.  Come join us!

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