Friday, January 06, 2006

Take Me Down to the Paradise City

To see photos from my day at the beach and celebrating Three Kings Day, click on the title of today's entry, or copy and paste the following site into your browser:
I woke up at 9:30 a.m. and was happy to find that the water had been restored so that I could take a shower before we left for the beach at 10:00 a.m. Blanca’s niece Astrid with her 15-month old, Diego, in tow came to pick us up. We left promptly at 10:30 a.m. with Astrid driving, Blanca in the front seat while Blanca Yazmin, Azul, Diego and I squeezed in the back of the 2004 black Toyota of a model I haven’t seen in the U.S.

Forty-five minutes later we arrived at Paradise Beach and drove to the end of the twenty or so restaurant locales. They all look the same: white plastic chairs and tables, a thatched roof supported by white painted wooden poles with the dark sand serving as the floor. They also all have essentially the same menu consisting of seafood and fish and bottles of pop or beer. We sat at a table at Pancho’s and the server greeted us personally, even asking if José was coming and what time he got off of work. I had fried shrimp for lunch, doused with lime, of course.

The area looked exactly the same from when I was here five years ago. Even then I thought that calling the place “Paradise” Beach was a bit of a stretch. Its dark grey sand, a shade off of black, makes the area appear dirty. But when you’re escaping from Chicago’s brutal winter and Mexico City’s cold weather, this sure seems like “paradise”. While the others played cards, I played in the sand and basked in the sun until it was too hot.