LA MANZANILLA, Mexico - We spent two nights in a beachfront apartment at Palapa Joe's, the kind of place where you want to spend the rest of your life.
The ocean - 100 feet from the front door at high tide - was warm. The restaurants and tiendas in town of excellent quality (and by American standards, very cheap). And the people of the town (tourists included) were all very friendly.
We first visited the town about five years ago on a road trip and have hit it yearly since, usually coming in and anchoring Sabbatical in front of the town while we went in for a one-day foray for supplies and lunch.
The pueblo has grown some, though not anything like what we experience in the states. In California, when you drive to work and see a bulldozer on a vacant lot, you can be pretty sure some construction will be ongoing within a day or so. A week later, a new Taco Bell or 7-11 is born.
In La Manzanilla there are a couple of more restaurants and bars than two years ago, even two internet cafes now! But the tortillerias, stores and farmacias are pretty much the same with the same people running them.
Five years ago we thought about buying a piece of land. Should have. Be the family expression is: shoulda, coulda, woulda...
Now prices have started to climb and the only view lots left in town are on the side of hills so steep four-wheel drive vehicles can barely get up them.
One posting I saw at Palapa Joe's said "Creative Architect Could Do Something On This Lot."