Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tom "the burro"?

Thursday – Week 3: As we head towards the weekend the planning for the arrival of Tom & Mall Boyd speeds up. On Thursday, we did have the opportunity to meet our rental agent Jennifer Rockett. She had stopped by in the morning to show the casa. It was nice to put a face with the voice (and email address) that had put us into this wonderful casa. No realtor wants the current tenant hanging around, so we hot footed out and down to the Mercado to start the food shopping for the weekend festivities. Mary Ann really went after fruit and vegetable selection. We also bought from our favorite strawberry lady, bought tortillas and other goods from Bonanza, and made a sweep of the bakery. Tom “the burro” was properly loaded. In the Jardin, the animal shelter was showing off their adoptable animals. We talked with Natalie, who assured us that their veterinarian could put together all of the paper work so we could take a wonderful puppy back to the U.S. I think NOT!

In the evening we went out to dinner (research you know!) and had a very nice dinner at Bella Italia, just a block away from the Jardin. Being typical Americans, we have a tendency to want to eat a lot earlier than the Europeans and apparently the Mexicans. We always seem to one of the first to grace the tables of any establishment. On this occasion we had lasted until 7 p.m. and were the third group in the restaurant. We did not have a reservation, so we were put to the side of Bella Italia, which was just fine as we could see and observe everything that was going on. By 7:30 p.m. the restaurant was mostly filled and by 8:00 p.m. there were no tables left. Interestingly, most of the diners were groups of four or larger, so it was a place you plan ahead for. How was the food? Excellent, Mary Ann had ravioli and I had fettuccine di mare which came in a skillet with mussels, shrimp, squid, clams and other unidentifiable fish, some still in their shell.

Quirky Living Note: The Blue Door Bakery, our favorite located on Hidalgo Street, has an interesting selection system. You grab some metal tongs and a metal tray and then wander all over the bakery, wherever you see anything you want, pick up your selections and then find an employee. You are permitted to go behind the glass counters, to the back shelves, to the dinner roll bins, and fight your way around all of the other customers with their trays and tongs. It is very social as you discuss with others what is really good. When you are finished the employee (a nice Mexican lady) wraps up your selections, puts them in a bag and yells to the cashier how much you owe. You pay some small pittance in pesos and off you go. It is very efficient and fun. At the Super Gigante and Mega Food Store, you also get a tray and tongs to make your selections, but the ambience is much different.

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