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North Banderas Beat - December 04, 2021

Experiences are, in my opinion, far better than physical gifts, especially given the last few months of zaniness. With Christmas upon us, here are some ideas to give friends and family.

pg21a Magnolia of Oasis Spa has reopened La Cruz day spa, and her Bucerias location is doing well serving folks. Whether you want to spoil yourself or give a gift certificate to a friend, I highly recommend a pampering treatment. I recently enjoyed a facial, massage, manicure and pedicure. The staff are trained to treat their clientele with grace and compassion.

• Tickets to a concert would be the gift that keeps on giving. Your friends would anticipate their night out and then enjoy the event and hopefully get their dance on too! In Bucerias, Luna Lounge has fabulous concerts from the “Crazy Bitches” to their upcoming “Queen” Tribute on January 9 and 10, for which tickets are selling quickly. The La Cruz concert and event center, the Tree House Bar, has musical events galore: dancing nights, an orchestra, a tenor and their famous Lucido Burrito and Chimichanga on Tuesdays.

• The Britannia Bar in La Cruz not only has musical events and a games night, but also raises money for the kids. Come be a Bingo Bitch for the day and help raise money for Christmas presents for the kids of La Cruz. Doors open at 2:15 p.m. and bingo starts at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8. Stay tuned as Mandy, the Britannia bar owner, organizes a night of bands fundraiser as well.

• YoYo Mo’s in Bucerias is the place to go to watch sports. If you have a sports-minded friend, consider gifting them a pizza and beverage certificate they can use for the next big game.

pg21b Gift bottles of good alcohol are perfect for stocking stuffers or hostess gifts. Locally made raicilla made in the Sierra Madres is a good choice. In 2020, heartbroken, as they watched tourism collapse, Jamie Jones, Dave Pletz and Don Lalo teamed up to create the magical formula that is aptly named Secreto del Oeste. Buy a bottle or try the wee sample size: 200 ml (about five shots) for 200 pesos. Although there are many great wines at local grocery stores, consider purchasing Mexican wine from Masala Restaurant in La Cruz. Julio and his sommelier taste wine from Querétaro, Valle de Guadalupe and other areas, bringing back their favorites to share. You can order as you dine or purchase to take away.

• The La Cruz Inn has added a dancing horse show on Fridays and musical nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There are numerous additional shopping options from sitting on the beach sipping margaritas and shopping from the vendors, to the local markets and the Thursday night Bucerias art walk. Says Jan of Jan Marie Boutique: “It was with much excitement in November we welcomed back so many old friends, and new ones, who visited the gallery to enjoy wine, beautiful art and design objects. After missing a whole season, it was wonderful to see everyone again. Hope you can join us every Thursday.”

• Wednesday and Thursday evenings, see Armi Grano and De Jazz Trio at Encore in Bucerias, and on Fridays and Saturdays hear Armi with Gerry Palken on keyboard. All shows start at 7 p.m. with a voluntary cover of 50 pesos.

pg21c• Sandra of Sandrina’s in Bucerias is offering art and cooking classes and, as always fabulous food. Sunday, December 5, join amazing artist Efren Gonzalez as he paints from 4 to 6 p.m. Enjoy a late lunch or early dinner watching him create a beautiful work of art. Open at 3 p.m., reservations are necessary to arrange seating. The special will be a delicious Reuben sandwich with potato salad, and their regular menu is also available.

• At Karen’s Place in Bucerias, enjoy the sunset and a meal while being serenaded with a variety of music. Mondays, Fausto is on the saxophone. Wednesday showcases Alejandro’s Latino americano music, and on Fridays Rigoberto’s classical guitar woos the audience. Visit on Saturday and enjoy Frann performing Mexican ballads, and on Sunday Mexican Mariachi.

• Looking out to the bay is always a treat. You may see whales, dolphins, turtles and, always, beautiful sailboats. Commencing December 15, 3 p.m. – and every Wednesday during the season – there will be Beer Can sailing hosted by Michael Danielson of PV Sailing. After sailing enjoy great conversations at the Marina poolside deli from 5:30 p.m.

Learn Spanish outdoors in a relaxed setting on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the La Cruz Marina poolside deli. Starting 10 a.m. for intermediates and 11 a.m. for beginners. Cost: 120 pesos. Bring your own chair.

Facebook is the go-to for learning what’s happening when for all the above.

As we enter the Christmas season, whether you’re spoiling yourself or another, be kind to those who serve you. They’re eager to make you happy as the area welcomes the throngs of folks returning to paradise!

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