Maria de la Paz's Apartment

Maria de la Paz Itubarría was our gracious hostess for our first week in Colima. Isabel had arranged for us to stay with her, knowing that it would be crowded but hoping that it might work out. She had told us in advance that if this didn't work for us, we'd make other arrangements. It didn't take long for us to realize that the space was too tight, despite the helpfulness and flexibility of Maria de la Paz. On Thursday, January 18th, we were up at 7 and out for a jog around the neighborhood. We checked out Avenida Sevilla del Rio, the main east-west road for this northern part of the city. That was good for orientation, but Maria pointed out that for jogging, a better choice was to go north a couple of blocks to a little park. The rest of the week, we did our jogging there and it was ideal. Maria had a nice breakfast for us for the first day, and then she took us to the Aurrera supermarket where we stocked up on food items for the week. Then we set out and walked to the center of town. It took about 30 minutes, walking down Sandoval. We visited Jardin Nuñez, Jardin Torres Quintero (named in honor of a local teacher!), and Jardin Libertad, the main square where the bandstand dominates. Got maps and brochures from the Tourist Office. Running low on energy, we found the "vegetarian" restaurant Samadhi, noted in the AAA Travelbook. Enjoyed a hearty lunch with large and excellent fruit "licuados". Took a taxi from there to the university. The whole campus is deserted, since classes don't start until January 29th. We walked back home to Maria's, and relaxed a bit. Ate some light supper. Then we set out for downtown again, since Thursday is band night in the Jardin Libertad. We took a bus (#17) to El Centro (downtown), and walked around a bit. We were surprised to find folding chairs set up all around the bandstand. We got good seats, arriving at about 5 minutes to 7. The band started playing right at 7:00, beginning with some Sousa marches and band arrangements of Tchaikovsky overtures. Later they moved into fox trots. By 8pm, most seats were taken. But by then lots of the seats nearest the bandstand were emptying as many older couples (regulars, apparently) got up to dance. We joined in for 2 or 3 dances. The crowd was very appreciative of the band, and demanded an encore. The band played until about 8:45. We found a taxi and got home, although the taxi driver had no idea where Calle Juan Rulfo is located.

Wednesday, January 24

Our last full day in Maria's apartment before moving on Thursday to Calzada Galvan. I got home at 7pm and sat and chatted with Lois and Maria. By 8pm, several of her family had arrived and we had a very pleasant evening of visiting (and light snacks and rum and coke) until 10pm. There were Edgar and Raquel from across the landing -- Edgar is a nephew, Raquel is from near Barcelona, Cataluña. Maria's sister was there, along with her daughter (Maria's niece) Gabi, who works in Intercambio Academico. And with Gabi were her husband Ricardo and kids Ricardo and Alexa. It was Alexa who had an awful glandular problem a year or two ago -- she is quiet but seems OK. Ricardo (Jr) is a wry, funny kid (14). Ricardo (Sr) thinks there is something magnetic about the "Zona Magica" on the road to Suchitlán, but Ricardo(Jr) insists it is an optical illusion. Lois suggested there's a guy behind a tree with a huge magnet. A guy who has no life. Lots of laughs.

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