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La Manzanilla Memo - December 16, 2017

Long Arm of Winter

Every expat arriving in Mexico has one main objective: to leave winter far behind them.

Unfortunately for those who reside in the areas around Guadalajara and Lake Chapala, they are getting an unwelcome visit from Jack Frost.  While they are not yet building snowmen, the cold front that has settled in the area is frustrating.  Daytime highs struggle to reach 62 degrees Fahrenheit, while the nights plunge to a chilly 40, with no sign of a warm up in the next two weeks.   

Since you can’t change the weather, why not change your location?  Come visit La Manzanilla for a few days, or more.   Our weather is marvellous, an average 80 degrees under clear blue skies and the starry nights  boast  a pleasant 70.  Come to warm up on our golden beach and stay to experience the sights, sounds and flavour of our pueblo. You won’t be disappointed.

We started the season at a bit slower pace this year. The town was relatively quiet for the month of  November.  Perhaps those folks returning took a bit more time to settle in or spent a few extra days just to relax, soak up the sun while enjoying a refreshing margarita or two at their favourite beach haunt.  I know I did.  But as of last week a flurry of happenings happened, so whether you are into music, art, cooking or yoga, just to name a few, you can find it, enjoy it or participate in it here in town.

Galeria La Manzanilla


Last Friday evening, Abby Ramos, owner of Galaria de La Manzanilla, was pleased to present the works of Geraldine Classen to our community.   Originally from the United Kingdom, where she studied art until age 21, she migrated to Canada and continued to study and work. One visit to Mexico and she was captivated by the vibrant colors and culture.  She now calls Lake Chapala home. Classen not only has a studio there, but is one of the founding members of the Lake Chapala Painting Guild and a member of the Ajijic Society of the Arts. Inspired by the colors of Mexico, she usually paints on location, then develops the work to its completion in her studio.  Motivated by Matisse, David Hockney and “The Fauves,” Classens says that it has taken her many years to develop her unique whimsical style.  If you didn’t have a chance to visit the exhibition you still have an opportunity to view her work.  The paintings will remain on display until the second week of January.

Painting for Balance

In the Ndebele belief system in Africa, this older form of painting has spiritual significance. The mandala painting is a circular matrix with a center point from which all things are possible.  From the sacred center comes forth healing, wellness and balance.  Mandalas are a symbol of unity used to connect oneself to the universe.

With this in mind, local watercolour artist Annie Olsen invited the public to join her in painting the mandala.  Olsen supplied all the items needed for the 20-plus folks who arrived at Cato’s restaurant to join her.  Olsen believes there is power and energy when like-minded people join together with the same intent; that intent being to send out positive energy toward creating balance in world that at the moment is a little out of balance.


Music, Music, Music

No need to put a nickel in the nickelodeon here in La Manzanilla, for music is virtually everywhere. The talented musicians who winter here can accommodate everyone’s taste, and the shows have begun.  Wanting soft and sweet? Then be sure to be to head to Palapa Joe’s on Wednesdays to hear Scottie Turner serenade you throughout your evening. Don’t be surprised when your significant other slips an arm around you or rests their head on your shoulder.

Ready to dance Friday night away to some good old rock ‘n roll?  Again Palapa Joe’s is the place to go.  A newly formed band, The Fourth Quarter, featuring Willy Mason, Scottie Turner, Denise Brown, Lyle Brulhart and Cuba, had the dance floor packed before the end of the first set.

Las Cabañas restaurant regularly brings bands like Los Banditos, a rock band with a Spanish twist, to town.

This past Sunday and Monday nights, patrons of Martin’s Restaurante were delighted with the return of The Blonde Gypsies, Andrea & Latcho, an internationally known rumba flamenco duo who now reside in Puerto Vallarta.  Their music comes from their hearts and enters your soul.  As always when they perform here, both shows were sold out.

Attention all vegetarians

Very happy to report that the Buddha Dog Café has opened for its second season. Still in the same area, two doors from The Helping Hands Bookstore, they have moved into a larger venue.  They have also extended their hours and menu to offer light breakfasts.  Don’t worry, the favorites – perogies, pizza, and the OOey Gooey Grilled Cheese sandwich – are back, but there are some tasty new additions.


As well as the set menus there will be weekly lunch and dessert specials.  Even if you are a “carnivarian,” I guarantee that you will enjoy your meal.  Little hint here – try the Zen Tacos.  Hours of business are Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Upcoming events

Make sure you get to the Kris Kringle Market on Friday December 15, starting 6 p.m. at Magnolia’s Kitchen and Drinks.  There will be a silent auction of hand-crafted Christmas goodies, with proceeds to benefit Activos Gym.

Get there early as Alex’s appetizers and desserts are quickly gobbled up. Tickets cost 100 pesos

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