Saturday, March 7, 2009

Port of Call 3: Manzanillo

Manzanillo, Schmanzanillo.... that's all I have to say about that.

Just kidding. I'll say more.

The cruise director (who got my vote of "room for improvement" on the comment card) sort of, kind of, in-a-way hinted that Manzanillo could be boring. Yes, he told us that it was more of an industrial port. Yes he mentioned that we might get off the ship and say, "What are we doing here?" Yes he personally knocked on each of our doors and held the flare gun to our head until we signed up for a shore excursion. Oh wait... no.... he didn't do that. BUT HE SHOULD HAVE!!!

We had been quite smart to show ourselves around our 2 previous ports. Not only did we save ourselves a lot of money, we were able to squeeze in several activities in a day. If we would have booked an excursion through the ship we would have done and seen about 1/4th of what we actually did and saw on our own. So we figured that we would do the same in Manzanillo.

It didn't work out quite the same way. But we are resilient. When life hands you avacados, make guacamole!! (Or make a turkey sandwhich.... avacados are delicious with turkey!)

Manzanillo does not rely on tourist dollars to survive. This was a very refreshing thing. I felt better about myself in Manzanillo. I didn't feel like the same rude American who pretended to ignore the street stalkers vendors of Acapulco. I wasn't made to feel "taken" after giving the handi-capped Zihuatanejan a few dollars only to discover his electric wheelchair hidden behind a small palm a few yards away. (Just so you know, I would have still given him the money even if I saw the wheelchair first or if he had been sitting in it, even.) One of the first things I noticed while riding in our taxi was that the cars there were much newer, nicer, and cleaner.

Manzanillo clearly didn't need me there and I liked that.

We were in Manzanillo on a Saturday. We decided to walk around the town center and finish up some shopping since we hadn't found anything for the boys yet. I was expecting to endure some cheesy shops luring in all of the sunburned tourists with the same doo-dads the other ports offered. Of course they carried some of those nasty little items, only now printed with 'Manzanillo', and there were some people actually purchasing them but those things just weren't the typical offering here.
I liken Manzanillo to a miniature San Francisco. Minus the fishy smell.

I enjoyed walking shoulder to shoulder with the locals who were out participating in the universal sport of the female gender...... shopping. I tried to blend in as much as possible--I wonder if the camera hanging around my neck gave me away as a tourist rather than the transplanted gringa I was hoping to portray. Oh well.
I couldn't resist buying a bag of fresh "Gorditos"... small, smooth biscuits with a sugary dough. My taste buds had quite the party with these delicious little delights.

I also was able to use my very rusty, heavily American-accented Spanish more here than the other ports. That felt good. It made me want to sign up for Spanish classes again. What was my grandmother thinking for not teaching me her native tongue when I was a wee babe?

Here are the only pictures we took while in Manzanillo....

I hope the beginning of this post didn't give you the wrong idea. I enjoyed Manzanillo. All 3 of our ports were very enjoyable in very different ways.

But what I enjoyed the most about this trip was being with very cherished and treasured friends. I am awed at how we can pick right back up where we left off as if there was no time spent apart.

And what I enjoyed the very most was the reality that the honeymoon doesn't end.....even 11 years later. I fell in love over and over again with my boyfriend, my fiance, "my babies daddy", my best friend. I'm still crushin' on him after all these years. Thanks for an awesome, stress-free, fun, relaxing vacation, Babe. 1-4-3.

1 comment:

annette said...

I love the way you write! You portray fun and enthusiasm throughout! You're awesome!!!