EDITOR’S NOTE: Frtiz and his wife, Maria, have been coming to ZAMAS for years. This year he copied us on his letters to loved ones and he agreed to let us reprint here for the inside scoop from a seasoned Tulum Traveler. Muchísimas Gracias Fritz!
Cruising at 34,000 feet and still in Zamas heaven. It’s 5:00 and we just polished off our steak torta and empanadas de papa y queso, ordered with breakfast #2 at 11:30 this morning. The 4″ crescents of pastry-wrapped cheesy-potatoey goodness came with a thick pumpkin- colored dipping sauce, presumably achiote. Pansa llena, corazon contento. Rather than suffer the heinous buzz-kill of airline food, years ago we discovered the strategy of ¡Que Fresco! take out on getaway day.
Last night the party was on. For once, we almost overate, enjoying the night’s special, Laura’s killer jicama salad, old reliable pizza Margherita, and a whole fish, grilled al mojo de ajo.
We had to share the perfect fish with new friends Giovanni and Tatiana, stylish young New Yorkers. He’s got movie-star looks and Colombian, rapid-fire Spanish to go with perfect English. Siberian immigrant Tatiana says that she learned her flawless New Yawk-ese as a defense mechanism against the bitches-from-hell at the private high school in which her father placed her. The tender slender was resplendent in short-short shorts, high-high heels and miles of leg in between. Dan knows all the cool kids. And they are sweethearts to boot.
Camilo Nu brought in a new musician, trombonist Ray David from salsa star Willie Colon’s band, upping the ante considerably. Apparently he works with them whenever he is available, as he knows the material quite well. The ‘bone reinforces the Latin Jazz element of the band’s Flamenco fusion, which has already been enhanced by Chucho Valdez’ student, pianist Gabriel from Argentina. They played late and we partied later, closing the evening with jazz on the iPod dock and sad good-byes at our crib. We have grown close to all the band members, especially our adopted sobrino Gabriel and brother bass player Gabo. I was able to sit in on bass two different nights with Gaby and Gabo’s Latin Jazz trio, kickin’ the funk on Herbie’s “Chameleon” both times. Drummer Angel (El Panda) and I locked in pretty damn good, IMHO. At least good enough that the Carioca bartendress at Luna Maya refused to let me pay for our Flor de Caña.
Dan tells us that we lucked out on the weather as this has been a very cool winter in The Yucatan. I had been concerned by Gabo’s Facebook postings about penguins in Tulum We got warm days and cool nights that many would consider perfect, but we would have preferred it a little warmer. The in-room ceiling fans were severely under-utilized. The mild weather at least eased the packing and schlepping of departure day. No complaints here, though, unlike the shivering locals who are totally unprepared for anything below 60 degrees F. Dice mi Gabi “Está haciendo un friazo, fijaté”.
It’s not a blog… it’s an iPhone travelogue.
This will be the last of my notes on our vacation. A few people have called it a blog, but I have been resisting that terminology, which implies a desire for a wide audience. We are only hoping to share the fun and happiness of our experience, in what turned out to be the best vacation ever, with family, who know much of what we speak, and with you other dear ones who haven’t had that good fortune. Thanks for reading. Oh, yeah, and thanks to Susana and Dan for their amazing creation, to Dan our endearingly brusque perfect host, and to their wonderful staff. As the Duke said “We love you madly”.