Taking pleasure in new experiences I never encountered back home has been my passion ever since moving to Mexico.I simply must share some of them with you.
I first met Amanda Selitzer when I took a cooking class in La Cruz. Not only was she delightful, and a trained chef, but she was also born and raised in this beautiful coastal town.
“As a young girl I became very passionate about food and decided to pursue a career in hospitality,” Amanda says. “After university, I traveled and worked as a cook in some of the top hotels and restaurants in the world, and after almost ten years away from home, I realized that Mexico has my heart and I returned. For the past six years I’ve had the opportunity to share my passion and culture with people from all around the world by hosting Mexican cooking classes and working as a food tour guide. I designed these experiences to help people enjoy authentic Mexican food, drinks and spirits, just like locals do.”
See mexicanculinaryexperiences.com for more information.
Pampering time beyond lazing on the beach is tops in many travelers’ minds. And the good news is that the treatments here are darn cheap compared to Canada and the United States.
Many folks love getting a beach massage and word on the street is that the one offered in front of Karen’s Restaurant in Bucerias is one of the best.
Some people prefer to go to a salon and Magnolia and her team at the Oasis spa in Bucerias, and her new spa in La Cruz, are superb. Diva’s in Bucerias comes highly recommended and there are many hole-in-the-wall spots that provide great service at affordable rates.
If having them come to you is desired, just ask at the spa. Most will accommodate this with a slight extra cost.
Los Arroyos Verdes in Bucerias is one of the best venues on the bay, located in an oasis with abundant open-air space and poolside options. Owner Lupercia includes an artisans’ market on the day of her concerts, creating a fabulous event. Although many locals attend, Lupercia realizes that tourists have limited time, so she offers them an all-in-one venue, with tantalizing food, fabulous music, Mexican shopping treasures and, of course, pool time and sun-tanning.
Another great upcoming event is the second annual Banderas Bay Music Festival, which takes place at Los Arroyos Verdes on Friday, February 25, and Saturday, February 26. The venue is limited to just 250 seats, creating a special and intimate experience. Bar service and a variety of food vendors will be available adjacent to the stage. Most seats are shaded by 5 p.m. As I write there are still tickets on sale, at a cost of 500 pesos, available at Los Arroyos Verdes or online at banderasbaymusicfestival.org. The gate opens at 3:30 p.m., with the music beginning at 5 p.m. There is ample parking and parking attendants.
The music line-up is exceptional and includes the globe-trotting, Juno Award-winning Paperboys—one of Canada’s greatest musical exports, who travel the world with their unique Celtic/Latin sound. You can also see the amazing Cheko Ruiz Band performing gypsy rumba, jazz, Latin rhythms and Mexican music; New York guitarist Charlie Higgins, whose band Sunset Station blends roots of rock ’n’ roll, blue-eyed soul, vintage country and classic blues; and Kim and Jason, who hail from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and play old timey Americana at its best. Dan Maguire will emcee and play a few of his original tunes.
The festival supports the Manos de Amor orphanage in Bucerias, and the children will sing a couple of songs.
For a super fun night join Mandy at the Britannia Bar in La Cruz for their annual Mardi Gras party, Tuesday, March 1. Reservations: 322-133-7249.
Although going out to eat isn’t exactly a new experience for many, there are new eateries popping up all the time in our area. This week I’m hearing folks raving about these restaurants in La Cruz. (Find them on Facebook.)
• Langosta Diez, for their fabulous chef and tantalizing food.
• Cascada, the new restaurant that has replaced Roberto’s on the hill overlooking the bay.
• Cava de las Martinez, for their traditional molcajete.
• Bombahia, for poke bowls and salad rolls.
Experience giving back
The Kids Club, a division of Amigos de la Cruz, has a special place in my heart for many reasons, but, most recently, for teaching our handyman’s son to speak English, and also helping him with his studies.
As schools remained closed and students were forced into distance learning with limited support and resources, Amigos de La Cruz decided to assist local children with this often confusing system. While following protocols and limiting class sizes, Amigos have dedicated the last year to providing children with tutoring and support to complete their assignments, as well as continuing with traditional Kids Club activities such as art, dance, and music.