How would you spend a perfect day in Mazatlan?

(That was the question, the invitation. The rules? None! Your answer can be as long or as short as you wish. Responses are unedited and arranged by date received. If you wish to share your perfect day (name dropping is encouraged) please send an e mail to: editormazatlanlife@gmail.com)

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Singer, The Brenster:

My perfect day in Mazatlan, first of all does not have enough hours in it to do all that I would like. But it would start about 7:30 a.m. by being awakened by our 2 amazing kids, Natalia and Imanol, with a hug and kiss to start the day off right, and it would be a Tuesday (by the way). Tanya and I would have coffee in the backyard around the pool as the warm morning sun shines down like it does EVERY morning here in Paradise. At 11 a.m. I would go to Diego’s to do sound check and set up. Then walk south on the beach, so I could get my toes in the water – even if just for a minute. Back home for lunch, and then off to Brenster’s Beach Bash to do what I love most…play music ON the beach for the greatest people in the world. And, of course, invite my singing and life partner Tanya Carrum up to sing a couple songs with me. After the show, it would be over to La Catrina for bite to eat and a tequila and Coke. Spending time with friends laughing and reminding each other how lucky we all are to be living our lives here in Mazatlan. Then back home to relax and enjoy a hot tub under the stars. And finally upstairs to read a bedtime story to the kids, and off to bed to dream about another perfect day in Paradise.

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Professional Bohemian, Terri Moore:

So far, today has been a perfect day!  I have just returned from La Paz via the ferry this morning after taking four days to sail from Mazatlan to La Paz helping out as crew with a man who is circumnavigating the planet.  After arriving at my lovely home to find that everything is exactly how I left it and that my car battery is not dead… I jetted out to Allegro where I am always greeted by name, which makes for a welcoming return to Mazatlan.  Every day here is different for me and most days are indeed perfect. My neighbor lets his dogs out every morning at 6:30am SHARP, which serves as my alarm clock. Sometimes, I grab my surfboard and splash around at Olas Altas in the white water (I am a terrible surfer but still love to paddle around). Sometimes, I wake up slowly and either make coffee at home or practice yoga to wake up instead. Other mornings I set out to the Looney Bean to have several lattes, entertaining conversation and loads of laughs with friends and who ever else happens to be there.  When I return home I try to get in “Terri’s time for creativity”, this could be anything. Then I have an afternoon siesta. Sometimes I wake with my phone ringing, friends calling to make plans for later in the evening. Sometimes, I wake up and continue the creativity which also involves looking for my next yacht gig. Some nights I stay in and dance around the house as a form of exercise, or on other nights I ride my bike on the Malecon or roller skate to Valentino’s and back. Also, I hike around neighborhoods sometimes hitting up what I call the “neighborhood buffet” being various food vending stands, one of my favorites this time of year is at the corner of Angle Flores (opposite Santander Bank) in Plazuela Republica – anyway, it’s the homemade sorbet/ice cream guys who power their cart by a cable that connects their truck battery to the cooling cart. Sometimes, I pass by Macaw’s after hiking to the lighthouse to have a Michelada with Ceasar, my favorite bartender not only in Mazatlan, but on the entire planet! I always taste the love in everything he prepares. Then I go home and either read myself to sleep or watch movies on Netflix.  Some nights I feel like dressing up. I find that I am never alone when I venture out by myself as I usually run into people I know where ever I go. When I am really hungry I go to Morena’s for Indian food, I find that the chef’s balance of spices makes Courtney’s cuisine not only genuine but absolutely scrumptious! For something on the lighter side I frequent Delirium for unique and delicious tacos accompanied by refreshing juice combinations such as pineapple mint or cucumber. When I am really in the mood to put on my fancy pants I step on over to El Presidio!  A table for one please or if a certain couple are not occupying the corner chairs at the bar, producing the lovely aroma of Backwood’s sweet aromatic cigars…  I sit there. I am yet to have anything undesirable at El Persidio, oh those creative mescal cocktails!  A great wine list as well. Then there are the evenings when I crave a cheeseburger from El Beach Burger, the best burger in town!  Also, the first place I ate at when I arrived in Mazatlan around ten years ago, but who’s counting?  When I order in, it is La Mona or Picanton on Aleman. Theater nights, Il Mosto a tradition started with Jackie Peterson, oh how I miss her!!!  Oh and one more – I rarely go out for lunch but when I do, I go to Molika for tuna carpaccio with arugula salad. When I am away from home cooking for my clients I look forward to returning to Mazatlan! The chefs in this town are taking culinary ingenuity to new heights overcoming certain obstacles such as climate and figuring out substitutions for specialty ingredients that are not always available. Ok, enough about food!

I haven’t even begun to cover the explosion of talent within the Theater and Performing arts college. Our prized Delfos contemporary dance company!!!!  I have juggled travel dates to make it back in time for their ever evolving performances by both maestros and students.  Our up and coming theater directors such as Jorge Gorostiza Zatarain, even if you don’t speak Spanish, our talented actors and actresses directed by Gorostiza’s visions are understandable and entertaining. Aside from the famed Angela Peralta Theater, many people overlook the Antonio Haas Theater located across from the fisherman’s monument.  Another great venue for rising talent in Mazatlan!  What makes a perfect day even more perfect is to stumble upon various art students practicing or creating pieces for class, personal or professional performances whether it be music, dance or a powerful installation evoking profound thought in the simplest of minds – so inspiring to watch unfold around neighborhoods or even in the gazebo at the Plazuela Machado.

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Snowbirdess, Joan Azulay:

I say that everyday is a perfect Mazatlan day. I start my day at 6:30 with a cup of coffee on my sofa with the sun rising. Later Rick and I leisurely walk to the Looney Bean on the malecon. There we meet up with all the usuals before our day starts; Kate, Jim, sometimes Sheila and Soren. I am then off to bridge and that friendly group and hopefully win a few games. That’s my morning. Wednesday mornings Rick is at the Writers Group joining Sue, Mike, and Angela, and he usually waits for me on the malecon with his morning purchases from the Mercado. We spend some time watching the goings-on at the restaurants and slowly head home waving to all the friendly faces. Antonio is getting ready for the lunch crowd at Puerto Viejo. Caesar is just putting out the tables at Macaws. We poke our heads in at Etnika and stop and chat with our neighbors Harry and Inez. Today Rick has scored dorado at the market so we will dine on that with rice and fresh greens. Mmmm. Then of course it is siesta time…Some days Christina arrives to pamper me with a manicure, other afternoons we head to El Recreo for a movie. We always check Mazatlan Life to see what’s going on. Our evenings start early as we are tucked in by 10 p.m. We stroll to the Machado to listen to music at Bohemia with Jim and Los Cryps or we head to Macaws to hear Rob play. On the weekend we do it up with dinner at Angelino’s, Topolo or El Presidio with Kevin and Linda, Jim and Jean or Sheila and Soren or attend a performance at the Angela Peralta. Our everyday life in Mazatlan is perfect and that’s why it is our winter home.

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Organizer and volunteer, Kathi McCaw:

Well, other than not being able to make it cooler, most days are super here!

My day starts a 6:00am with a long, walk to check out the sunrise, the ocean, “my” town and all my walking friends. Then, home to a refreshing shower, quick breakfast and catch up on my e-mails and internet concerns.

Once I am cooled down enough to head out again, I’d choose a belly dance class. Great exercise, entertainment and fun! Requires that second shower afterwards though! With the afternoon heat, I need a lighter activity in air conditioning, or at least shade! I’d meet some friends for a few hands of bridge and a light lunch. No bridge players in town? I’d have withdrawal symptoms, but there is lots to do in the comfort of home – work on my current sewing project, Spanish homework, or read my latest book (or all three of those, if there is time!)

In the early evening I’d head for a yoga class to calm and stretch. This is refreshing and sets me up for the evening. Dinner plans are with my sweetie, Bill. Mazatlan restaurants keep us happy and provide lots of variety – so any choices. Shall we meet friends at Las Brochetas, or a romantic dinner for two at Topolo? Aw – decisions, decisions!

Stroll home to settle in with a good book. A short meditation to end the evening and slow down for the night. Perfection!

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 Creative director, Noroeste, Alex Probst:

My perfect day would be a Saturday, no work today and no work tomorrow so my head is clear of stress.

5:00 a.m. Walking my dogs.

6:00 a.m. Nice full breakfast and a nice strong cup of coffee and a cigarette

7:00 – 10 a.m. Watch TV morning sitcoms.

11:00 a.m – 2:00.p.m. Some nice pool time with a couple of drinks

2:00 p.m – Nice lunch outside

3:00 – 9:00 p.m. back home, shower, layback and watch some good movies

9:00 – 10:00 p.m. Reading

11:00 – Dead asleep!

Perfect day!

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 Artist, Glen Rogers:

I wake up around 6:30 and have my coffee in bed, writing in my journal, surrounded by my 2 kitties. Then I go for a walk on the malecon – finding my favorite spot behind the Dolphin Monument, I do some yoga, then meditation. Returning home, I swim laps in the pool, shower, and meet a friend at Looney Bean or Allegro for breakfast. Afterwards, I do my email correspondence and see that I have 2 sign ups for my latest workshop, someone wants to buy a book and another is interested in some artwork! In the afternoon, I immerse myself in my studio, working on a new painting or creating monotypes, listening to anything from Van Morrison to Andrea Bocelli to Dixie Chicks.  In the afternoon, a friend calls and invites me to sunset drinks on the malecon, then dinner at Water’s Edge. Afterwards, we stroll down to the Plaza Machado and listen to music at Pedro y Lola’s or La Bohemia or catch a show at the Angela Peralta. All within walking distance, all within Centro Historico. Gotta love it!

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Chef, owner of Molika Bakery, Héctor Peniche:

Basically my perfect day consists of three things: kayaking or cycling, the cinema and eating. I’d wake up naturally without a clock at 6 a.m. I’d either go cycling or kayaking and return home around 8:30. I’d play with my daughter Sophia and talk with my wife Victoria. Later we’d all go for breakfast – I prefer an ocean view – perhaps Looney Bean, perhaps Fonda, perhaps El Shrimp Bucket, and I always have Mexican style eggs. I love eggs. Our family would return to our flat and just hang out. I’d read – right now I can’t put down John Connolly’s The Wrath of Angels. We may go shopping, and we like to eat lunch at Italianni’s – they have the best pizza, or we go to La Puntilla. All of us take an afternoon siesta, the flat is quiet.  After a sunset walk along the malecon, I’ll check in at Molika (if I am not working) and then sneak off by myself to the cinema. I’m really naughty – I buy a huge bucket of popcorn and sit in the air-conditioned cinema. I end the day by talking with my wife until 1 a.m.

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 Business owner, Wendy Kain:

The idea of a perfect day is such a beautiful thought. Most of my days contain everything I would want – I still find it surprising that I am so fortunate on a day-to-day basis!

My perfect day will begin with me waking some time after 7, and noticing our much loved dog Snickers quietly making her way out from under our bed, which she treats as her coyote cave. Sometimes in the mornings I need to go out and do things for our business(es) but my perfect day will have me working away in the office in company with, that is at a desk next to the desk of, my partner Bodie Kellogg.  Some days I need not water the greenery on the roof deck because the maid will do it.  Wonderful, because then I will not as invariably otherwise, send torrents of water into the street because I am filling one watering can while watering with the other.  I still have a drive to efficiency, but no longer any capacity for it! On my perfect day I will complete what I need to do substantially faster than my usual rate of completion these days. I am amazed at how little genuine work I get through now, in comparison with my capacity in my earlier life. On the other hand, I enjoy no longer hoping to have a reference to my work ethic put onto my gravestone.  Mexican Time is a lovely concept.

If I am brunching with a friend I will go out at perhaps 10 o’clock or 10:30, otherwise not until perhaps 12:30. Good food in the evenings is very important to me, but I find it less important during the daytime. On this day, therefore, I will follow my usual practice of encouraging my friend to choose where we should eat. For brunch lately I am enjoying the liver and onions at El Faro, the omelette at the restaurant at Casa Lucilla, and of course on this special day no matter what else I have I am going to have the wonderful Chai Latte at the Looney Bean.  If the temperature is very hot I might instead go for one of the cool frappe type breakfast drinks there.  Delicious!

If my perfect day is a hot one I might encourage my friend to want to eat north for lunch, so that rather than walking to a place to meet here in Centro, we need to drive down in the doorless car, perfectly suited to travelling along the Malecon. I will jam a hat on to my head and perhaps go down to El Corriente for one of the large number of interesting dishes available there, maybe Chili’s Pepper for one of several very good lunch meals and great breezes, or even to Playa Bruja for the molcajete mixta.
That wonderful Mexican tradition, the siesta, needs to be a part of any dream day. On this day I won’t have much to do so I will have no guilt or other ramifications at having only actually worked for a few short hours in the whole day. What a great life!

In Australia 5 o’clock (when not at the office) would be “beer o’clock”. In Casa Blanca in Mazatlan, 5 o’clock is “cocktail o’clock”, and Señor Kellogg is known throughout Mazatlan for his rather wonderful Cosmopolitans. He does not make a cocktail shaker full at a time – rather he makes an entire jug. I would be very ungrateful if I did not show him how much I appreciate those drinks. Of course on this special day I might ask him to make me feel particularly healthy, and up the fruit roughage content by making Mango Margaritas. We would drink those à deux up on the roof deck, under the palapa, with what on the very worst of the hot days will still be an almost raging cool wind from the water. Absolutely wonderful.

Then on to dinner. Although we frequently meet friends for dinner, on this occasion we will be alone, and will probably choose Topolo, or perhaps the wonderful new(ish) Italian place (Italianni’s) off the car park at the Gallerias, or the great sushi place on the corner of Sixto Osuna and Belisario Dominguez, or depending on who is doing the music that night, we might be at El Presidio. If so, then we might stay there for dessert. Otherwise we would leave wherever we are and go to Molika for the Creme brulee and a glass or two of beautiful sweet wine, so hard to get here. If we had the car because we had eaten outside of Centro, and it is not too late, we might after we have finished eating, drive up to the top of one of the hills, just to look at the beautiful view. In that event we might go into the boot and open a last bottle there, using plastic glasses which are kept under the back seat. How convenient!

Even if, on this hot summer day, rain comes later, I will be very fortunate and it will not come until just after we are home and the dog has finished her walk, so that we then have the most interesting and romantic finish to the day. All these events would give me a perfect Mazatlan day!

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Translator, wife and busy mum, Isabel Hudgins Osuna:

I open my eyes and give thanks. I stretch, and if my husband, Jorge, isn´t awake yet, I gently pat him to get up for our morning walk. I enjoy our morning walks on the Malecón. I breathe and take-in the energy from the ocean and all the familiar faces we walk past. Breakfast and coffee, a little radio music, our 2 parrots and dog for company. Shower and off to work in my home office! My work is usually pre-planned to keep my stress levels down. Just think of it as my work “mise en place”.
My kids are all grown, but some still live at home. They wake on their own, go to school and work on their own, yay! I couldn´t work if it weren´t for Rosa, who is my godsend. I don´t have to worry about cooking and cleaning thanks to her, so yes, she definitely IS part of my PERFECT day! Afternoons are wildcards in my daily life, and that makes me happy. Sometimes I work, sometimes I get together with longtime girlfriends.
My perfect evening is dinner with Jorge and a glass (at least one) of Merlot. Reading. Watching an amazing TV series (Downton Abbey, in my personal opinion), and oh yes, giving thanks. Again. I can never be grateful enough for all my blessings.

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Frequent Mazatlan visitor, Zoe Jussel:

A perfect day? Of course, all days that one is still mobile, has a sense of smell and can embrace life, is a perfect day. As I get to Mazatlan infrequently now, I try to plump the time out to the fullest, starting the day when the sun has just risen, with a walk along the Malecon with a passel of pooches in tow, to get the blood flowing. I am a Centro/historic district kind of gal, so that remains my haunt.

A quick shower and off to Looney Bean for a chai latte and bagel with one of the many friends I want to catch up with while there, which comes free with an ocean view. I can feel my feet and fingers urging me to hop the green bus and get to Gaby’s in the Golden Zone for a superb pedicure and manicure, prepping me for lunch at Molika or Water’s Edge with yet another old friend or two. Always a “have to” as I am somewhat a creature of habit and there are always so many new places that I can’t keep up, although I make it a point of trying a few, at least. Can’t miss my old friend Mark Jay’s gallery LOOK, and always leave with a package. Good thing I fly, as the packages would be bigger and pricier! He has the touch.

Then a few hours with my Kindle, and charging internal batteries, while anticipating “wine-thirty” and mulling over a dinner choice and because there ARE so many newer choices, I like to leave that up to whomever I am meeting that evening. When it is Sheila, I can count on her choosing something memorable and perfect. Finishing dinner, off for a visit to the rooftop of the Jonathan, or a walk through the Plazuela, stopping for music, a hug and hello to friends met along the way, and a slight regret that I made the decision to move to Baja. But you know, these visits back are even more special because every day seems new to me and Mazatlan is in my heart. Yup, a perfect day, indeed.

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Spanish teacher, Alfredo Herrera Martinez:

I wake up at 6, and read the headlines in El Debate while sipping my cup of instant coffee. My wife, Miriam, (La Patrona) joins me for an hour walk along the Malecon. We go back to our house and I have another cup of instant. Then I drive to Olas Altas and meet my friends at Fonda. I have another cup of coffee and two cigarettes. We talk politics and sports and resolve nothing. If I have no students I go home for more coffee and a breakfast of eggs. La Patrona and I then go shopping: could be Mega, Sam’s, the Juan Carrazco market. From 1 – 3 p.m. I play dominos with my friends, sometimes I even win. Now it’s time for lunch and I hope Miriam will make me my favourite – chiles rellenos. She says it’s a lot of work so I don’t get to eat them too often. After a short siesta I am at La Patrona’s service. There is always something she forgot during our morning shopping. We often go out for a light dinner – to Sanborn’s or the restaurant in the new Liverpool. Then I like to watch two hours of tv – usually news or sports.

If my perfect day were on a Sunday I go to church, then to Club Muralla to play a little soccer and meet friends in the clubhouse. Usually we have a large family dinner (I have three daughters, one son and three grandchildren) and I have two tequilas with Coke Light. That makes up for not being able to smoke at home! The tequila is my Sunday treat.

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Doctor, Jorge Garcia D’La Rosa:

First of all, I am an ocean guy. On my day off I like to wake up at 4 a.m., drive to La Marina, meet my friends and go deep-sea fishing. We go at least 40 miles out. We have a cooler filled water, wine, beer, soft drinks and sandwiches. During the trip the captain (who’s also a great cook) makes us ceviche, sashimi, and other fish dishes. The world out there is marvelous, it’s amazing – with the dolphins, we listen to music, we relax, it’s a party. I love the feel of the fight – catching a marlin, a swordfish, or a dorado. Tradition asks we place flags on the boat of the number and type of fish we have caught. We go back to the dock and are met by fishermen and their families. The captain often starts up the bbq and we share – they take our fish to sell or to feed their families. We can’t possibly eat it all. I like talking to the fishermen; they are burned from the sun, their hands are raw from the hooks and salt water, I want to hear about their love and respect of the ocean. Then I return home and shower the sea and fish off, lay around the pool and go to bed early.

My second perfect day would be to start and end at Diego’s Beach House. I like to get there around 11 a.m., claim my sun chair, my towel, have a cold beer and just watch the ocean. Often I rent a kayak and head for the islands – I love the view of Mazatlan from the islands, I love the feel of the waves and I love to swim in the ocean. I’ll stay at Diego’s until sunset have a “gourmet” hot dog or a hamburger. The staff is careful and they look after all of my stuff. If I am on the ocean it’s a perfect day.

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Writer, Marie Hermanson

Woke up it was a Mazatlán morning with the sun shining through thin clouds and a cool ocean breeze ruffling leaves but not masking the sound of chirping birds. No need to jump out of bed but fragrant El Faro coffee and sweet tropical fruit awaits me in the kitchen. Who can resist?

After a leisurely breakfast and a check of the email I throw on my sundress and head down Constitución past the Plazuela Machado to Casa Etnika. It’s Wednesday and time for the weekly Mazatlán Writers Group meeting. It’s so good to see old friends and to be part of this creative cohort. I read a draft of a story I wrote to receive honest, caring and constructive feedback. I listen to others read their writing and get an opportunity to hear more insightful suggestions. I leave the meeting with my mind spinning full of ideas and inspiration. A few of the writers and I go to lunch at Molika’s. I have a delicious roast beef sandwich with a green salad then we share an intensely chocolate mousse. Yum!

Afternoon provides the option of listening to live music. La Canoa is the perfect spot on the beach to hear Honest John and the Truth or Kannon. All of my friends are there and we dance with abandon. When there’s a break in the music we catch up with each other, make plans for activities throughout the week and gaze at the gorgeous waves crashing on the sand beyond which are sailboats, parasailors and the islands.

Dancing stimulates a hearty appetite. Luckily Fat Fish is just across the street. Should I feast on ribs, steak or shrimp? The smells of smoky BBQ ribs win over. Well-fed and treasuring a take home bag of left overs I head home on the Sabalo Centro bus, but the night is young so I stroll down to the Machado to hear more music and enjoy a glass of wine.

What a perfect day!

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Night owl, Kathy Thompson:

I am a night person, so my perfect day would begin with climbing out of bed around 9 or sometimes even 10 (my partner, Luis, would be long gone). My first morning activity would be to greet my animals, 2 dogs and 1 cat, take them outside to do their duty and then feed them. After my animal family is taken care of, I would enjoy my own light breakfast…outside when it is cooler…inside looking at my beautiful garden when it is hot.

If it is Monday, Wednesday or Friday, I would go to water aerobics with a group of women, after which we would soak up a little sun and eat lunch. My afternoon would be spent relaxing, catching up on e-mails, or reading a good book.

If I don’t feel like cooking, which is most of the time, Luis and I would choose one of our favorite casual places for dinner: Las Brochetas, Chayitos or Ocean Grill to name a few. Television or watching a couple of movies would be next on the agenda before retiring, normally sometime after midnight.

If it is Tuesday, Thursday or the weekend, a perfect day may include attending one of the many activities always going on here in our beautiful city: A charity event, Karaoke, “Girls with Pearls,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Red Hat, a trip to Stone Island, a function at the Angela Peralta Theatre, or a stroll through the Plaza Machado

The truth is, every day is a perfect day for me in Mazatlán and that is why I love it so. I have been living here for 28 years (the first 16 years winter only, the last 12 full time.) My idea of a perfect day used to be going to the beach all day and dancing and partying all night. Times have changed, but I do still manage to have one of those days every once in a while. I might spend the day with friends at the pool at Las Flores, come home, get ready and head out with Luis to El Centro for dinner, music and maybe even a few dances. Who could ask for anything more?

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Owner, FrutaRica, Kimberly Brown:

My Perfect Day actually occurred recently. I was invited to a house-warming party by a good friend and we were asked to bring an appetizer. Of course, I knew that I would be bringing something from the business as that is what I do best. There were going to be forty to fifty people attending, so it seemed logical to make a large platter of a variety of chocolate-covered treats.

I woke up at 6:00 am and went outside on my back patio for my morning cup of java. I love doing this every morning as our house overlooks a canal that leads to the ocean. I listened to the sounds of birds and watched the sun rise as I collected my thoughts and planned the day.

At 7:30 am, I was off to the fruit and vegetable market to get the fruit I would need. Greeted by my vendor, he showed me the strawberries he had chosen and asked for approval. The strawberries were as usual, large and beautiful. After paying it was time to go to Mega to get the bacon. Yes, I said bacon.

At 1:00 pm, I picked up my employee and we headed to the kitchen to begin creating. We always listen to music while working and we are often singing and dancing and laughing together during work. It is also a great time for me to practice my Spanish as she practices her English. After two hours of work, we had a beautiful platter of chocolate-covered strawberries, apples, grapes and bacon.

At the party, I received so many compliments on the platter from old friends and new friends. They were amazed at the quality of product, the taste of the chocolate and the design. The hit, though, was the chocolate-covered bacon. I think everyone was shocked that it was so good.

When I went on Facebook, my platter from FrutaRica was posted by the hostess and there were so many positive comments about it. I also received two new orders for the upcoming week, and to me, that makes A Perfect Day.

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Chef, Linda Lee:

My perfect day is waking up early, turning on the coffee machine, and welcoming the morning with my two dogs, Rambo and Rocky while the coffee brews. Once the coffee is ready, my husband Paul, the dogs and I sit on the balcony for an hour or so, while we plan the day and I chat with friends on Facebook to see if anything of any significance has happened since we said “good night” to each other. Paul and I go over the shopping list, as he does all the shopping for the household. Then it’s time to head downstairs and begin my day.

During the “high season” my days are extremely busy. I spend all day in the kitchen (I have two kitchens and three ovens going at the same time!) baking up a storm for pre-orders, or the week’s markets and catering events. I also feature a few meals each week that the “North –of- the- Border” folks miss so much. I like giving them a taste of home here in Mazatlan.

I also spend a lot of time “tweaking” and perfecting my gluten- free baked goods, adding more each time I perfect a recipe. It pains me to think that those who have allergies and other health issues must go without the foods they would have access to in the United States or Canada. I mean, we live in Paradise…why can’t things just be perfect?

After a busy day, Paul and I wind down by a quiet dinner on the patio and taking the dogs for a walk. I embroider in the evenings as we watch TV, try to recharge our batteries and start gearing up for the day to come. On those rare days off, we enjoy going to as many functions as possible. There is so much to choose from: cultural events, piñatas, barbecues and parties at friends’ houses. If it’s a REALLY good day off, we spend the day relaxing at Stone Island with friends.

Life is good here in Mazatlan, and I am so proud and honored to be part of such a vibrant and diverse community.

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Editor, Mazatlan My City.com, Lisa Lankins:

Every day in Mazatlan is potentially the perfect day. I work almost every day but because I enjoy what I do, and where I am, it’s easy to see the perfection my days bring. “Bloom where you’re planted” is a favorite saying of mine. I start work very early. I wake up at the same time every day to the sound of singing birds and my 17 year old cat, Dante, wanting her breakfast and some affection. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I am a coffee lover. Rich coffee beans from Chiapas, freshly ground in my kitchen, brewed slowly, a little cream and sugar and a large coffee mug… pure joy. I sit in front of my computer and I look for messages and photographs from my family in Oregon. When I see their smiling faces my heart completely opens to the love and friendship of the people I meet throughout the day here. Everywhere I go I see the melding of cultures, beautiful people in a beautiful place. I love to sneak away to the beach, to sit under a palapa and watch the waves while sipping on a coconut if I have a few hours free. The music of Sinaloa, Banda, is a favorite of mine, but musicians from all over the world live in Mazatlan or come to play here. There is Rock, Jazz, Blues, Country, Salsa, Classical, Opera.. you name it. Really good live music can be found any night of the week, whether it be from one of the street musicians, a band playing at a favorite venue, or one of the fantastic cultural events at the Angela Peralta Theater. I’d go out every night if I could. I almost never miss watching the incredible Mazatlan sunset or having a drink and some laughs with friends in the evening. I make sure to get a good night’s rest in preparation for the next perfect day.

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Writer, and social media expert, Sandy Hill Pool:

My perfect day in Mazatlan? That is a really tough one for me. My attention span can be short and my taste in music, books, and entertainment is very eclectic. I think that is why I never get bored in Mazatlan! It has many different personalities within its boundaries, so no matter what sort of mood I find myself in, I can find something to do!

Because of my job at Solutions Mazatlan (social media and marketing) I find myself on the computer a LOT, so it goes without saying that any of my perfect days would have one thing in common– I will be unplugged! One more thing that is almost a definite….I would have my camera on me.

Breakfast with a view after hiking El Faro would be a must- maybe El Velero on Isla de la Piedra, Café El Faro in Olas Altas, or possibly my personal favorite; grabbing a latte con cajeta and a burrito from Looney Bean in Cerritos then sit on the beach at Playa Bruja and watch the morning surfers.

After breakfast? An adventure of some sort; wandering around the beach and city taking photos can keep me entertained for hours. There is nothing more fun than finding new places, people, and food. I am not one for ”making plans”, I prefer to just follow my nose and see where it leads me and for that, this city is excellent. I find the people open and friendly and more than happy to share their world with me.

Wandering around gets one hungry, but that is another thing about Mazatlan that I dearly love. Street food. Tacos al pastor, papas locas, hot dogs, ceviche and more can be found within a few blocks of almost anywhere you may be. Finding a street cart with a couple stools where you can drink some cold jaimaca while watching the cook prepare your order is a fabulous way to spend lunch….all for just a few pesos!

Next on the agenda? Happy Hour for drinks and to watch the sunset, and for me, that is an almost every day event. Sunsets here are spectacular shows, especially during the summer months and I hate to miss any of them.

Perfect day means no limitations on budget, correct? Presidio for dinner. I love everything about this place, food, service, atmosphere. even the bathrooms are the best in town! Unless, it is a Thursday, of course, then it is off to La Mona Pizza. Thursday is Flip Night when you flip coins for the price of the drink and what can I say, I am a gambler.

Once the sun goes down, it is time for some music! I really enjoy all music but I definitely lean towards rock and blues with a good dose of reggae, so off to the Zona Dorada or Sabalo Country for me! Many places have live music but probably my favorite haunts are Roots Café, Diego’s Beach House and Baja Style. Other places in that area such as Social Cafe, F.I.S.H., GusGus and Katrina’s also have music so it is perfect for barhopping.

Another perfect day? Who knows? Maybe a road trip to Concordia followed by late lunch at Cutchapetas?……..a day of sailing followed by a Venados game?………pool hopping through the resort area then mariscos at Todos Santos or Barracrudas? Thank you Mazatlan for keeping Short Attention Span Sandy entertained!

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Singer, songwriter, Cheryl Gaudet:

As everyone here knows, being in Mazatlán is about as perfect as it gets! My day starts out with a delicious smoothie made from fresh fruit purchased at my neighborhood fruiteria in Playa Sur. Then it’s off to Stone Island for a nice rejuvenating walk with my best four legged friends, Lucas and Zorro, who are both rescue dogs. It’s always tranquil there early in the morning and I enjoy watching the team of horses running past, especially the one who is always lagging several paces behind. There are dolphins swimming just off shore and fishermen pulling in nets full of fish. I walk a little further, stop to do some yoga, go wading with the dogs and slowly make my way back to the launcha saying “hi” to Rudy, Luis at Molokay and others as they prepare for an abundance of customers who’ll be arriving from cruise ships, hotels and all throughout the city. Later, Jorge picks me up and we head to Los Pinos or Loco Lupes to swim and take in some sun. Then we go to China Restaurant on Revolution and split a huge plate of chow fun. I go home and have a nice chat with my mom in Nova Scotia. Later I spend an hour or so running over tunes, including the one I just wrote, and preparing for my 6 o’clock show “Up On The Roof” at the Jonathon Hotel. When I arrive the entire restaurant is reserved and I spend the next two hours doing what I love the most, entertaining and spending time with the best people, in the best venue that any musician could ever dream of. Once back home, I relax for a while in my hammock under the stars and give thanks for yet another perfect day in paradise, before crawling into bed. www.cherylgaudet.com

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Owner, LOOK Vintage and Modern Gallery, Mark Jay:

On my perfect day I’d play tennis with my friends and then have breakfast at Allegro. I love the three cheese scrambled eggs with bacon and an iced green tea. Then I’d go to Athina Spa and have a deep massage and a facial. I’d spend the afternoon painting. Not walls, but preparing for my show in February; a group show with Sandi Vandiver and Lia Probst. After that, a much needed siesta and meet friends for dinner at Molika. I have several favorite dishes: the tuna carpaccio, the country-style French pate, or the fish de jour. I would go home and read all night. I read four novels this week, it relaxes me. Or, my second perfect day would be to go shopping at Zara!

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Founder Mazatlan My City.com, Simon Lynds:

It’s late December, my daughter is on holiday as it is near Christmas. Weather in Maz is lovely and the ocean lulls me out of a pleasant sleep.English Premier League season is in full swing so it’s a hot cup of tea and first row seat in front of the TV to watch a live game. About now my wife and daughter are waking up and after the footy it’s (a little late but still respectable) time for breakfast at the Looney Bean.

Afterwards probably visit the market and then browse around the Gran Plaza. Time for a light lunch and an afternoon swim. Dinner at the Plazuela Machado and a stroll round the square where my wife and daughter always find something to buy. Big smiles all round as we head for home, knowing that tomorrow our Mazatlan will be just as beautiful and embracing as it was today.

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Operations manager, Playa Mazatlan Beach Hotel, Lance Vient:

It’s Sunday and I sleep in until 7:30 a.m. – which is late for me. I make coffee and play in the backyard with my three dogs. Eventually my three daughters join me and we ‘roughhouse’ for awhile. I’ve taught them martial arts, I didn’t raise them to be sissy children!

I always cook breakfast and we either have a plan for the day or the kids dip into the ‘spontaneous jar’. Everyone writes a few lines during the week about their dream Sunday; it could be about shopping, going to the movies, taking the boat out to Deer Island to fish, to snorkel and return to a big bonfire. Whether it’s a ‘plan’, or ‘spontaneous’ we load up my 1976 CJ5 Jeep, “Buster” and off we go. We are always home for dinner and it’s always a home cooked. I love to bbq – ribs, seafood, chicken anything, and my wife loves to bake. We eat between 6 and 7 p.m. because we go to bed early.

If we are alone without my daughters, there is nothing more romantic than going to Athina’s Spa for a doubles massage and returning home for a quiet dinner. Eating dinner in the kitchen by candle light, or outside on a blanket is the best way for my wife and I to spend time alone. Basically, my perfect day is the beach, my wife and the kids.

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Author (The Kabul Beauty School, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, Margarita Wednesdays: Making a New Life by the Mexican Sea) and owner of Tippy Toes, Deborah Rodriguez:

The beach is at my doorstep, the sun shines nearly every day, the people are wonderful, and I am surrounded by a gorgeous culture. All this makes it very hard to pick just one day that is “My perfect Mazatlan day” but, if I have to, I would say that my perfect day begins when the summer starts up and the heat is turned on. There is something very special about the warm summers in Mazatlan. The city is steamy, the rains begin, and everything starts to turn so green and lush.

My perfect day starts waking up and walking outside to a damp patio and a cloudy sky. The air is so fresh from the rains the night before. The first thing I do is brew a strong cup of locally roasted coffee from my favorite coffee place, The Looney Bean.

I spend time reading my emails and getting caught up online with current events, and then begin to make my way to Tippy Toes. I love walking through my Centro neighborhood on these cloudy days. Everyone’s doors and windows are open, and you can hear all the different music rolling out each house. I stop and buy water at my neighborhood store and can hear my grandbabies running downstairs squealing, “Nana, Nana!” Music to my ears. Lots of hugs and a few pesos later, for the kids to buy some treats at Tienda Juanys, and I’m off.

I wander through Centro while making my way to work. What a magical city, from the stunning Cathedral to the sweet smell of the local vendors’ carts. I walk through the Plaza Machado past the Angela Peralta Theater, where you can always spot a random ballerina on her way to dance school. It’s quiet now, not like in the evenings when it really comes alive with music, dance, and fantastic food. In the mornings, as I am walking to work, I have to force myself not to stop and shop every time I pass one of my favorite gift boutiques, Casa Etnika. The window-shopping is always a temptation, but I have to get to work. Honestly, calling it “work” doesn’t seem right, when you love what you do. I have enjoyed being a hairdresser and a spa owner in Mazatlan because of the people I have met since opening Tippy Toes. It feels more like a day out with friends than going to work.

Summertime gives me the luxury to leave Tippy Toes early for nice long lunch. I don’t cook in the summertime, so I have really been enjoying the summer menu at Water’s Edge, as well as their superb air conditioning. After lunch, I make my way back to Tippy Toes, to do a little more work before heading home. However, my day is never complete without popping my head into Macaws for one of their famous cosmos.

The best part is yet to come. My entire family, which has grown quite a bit since I moved here five years ago, all takes a stroll to Zaragoza Plaza to watch, and sometimes participate in, the dancing that happens there every Thursday evening. The kids run and play, and my mom nearly jumps out of her wheelchair to join in the fun. The music is fantastic, and it is such a delight to see the very young and the very old dancing, singing and swaying together. In fact, if you were to ask me what is my favorite thing to do in Mazatlan, I would have to say it is the dancing in the park on Thursdays.

Now that we are all hot and sweaty from dancing our butts off, it’s time for a cold drink and a little snack from Hector’s taco stand across from the park. The day is ending, the grandchildren are worn out and ready to go home. As we leave the park we can hear the rumbling of the evening storm brewing in the background, the raindrops start to fall, and we begin to move a little faster.

I batten down the hatches and head up to my bedroom to watch my favorite show, True Blood (I love vampires). As I listen to the raindrops getting stronger and harder and the thunder growing closer and closer, I keep my fingers crossed that the power doesn’t go out. Then the most amazing light show begins.

To me, every day in Mazatlan is perfect. I feel so privileged that this city has adopted me to be apart of its wonderful family.

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The lovely Linda Crossley:

My perfect day?…Almost every day in Mazatlan is perfect!

It’s difficult to narrow it down, but I would have to say waking up in our beach house, Casa del Lago, south of Mazatlan near El Caimenero is a beautiful way to start the day. Sipping coffee over looking the Sea of Cortez and waiting for the dolphins to swim by. They come by every morning! I love making breakfast at the beach…no rush at the beach.

Technology affords us the added luxury of being in touch with family and friends from either home. I do love to Skype with my son in Winnipeg in the morning, or one of my brothers in Calgary or Maui.

My other perfect morning is waking up in our home in Mazatlan drinking coffee fresh roasted from the Looney Bean and having my Pilates class with the beautiful Anabel. Then riding our Harley’s out to Cerritos for breakfast at Playa Bruja, Mr. Lionso’s Restaurant…..and don’t forget lunch at La Corriente just off the Malecon with the most unique tacos anywhere!…(okay,back to the beach house morning)

After a lazy morning, we love to take our little Polaris Ranger down the beach to El Caimenero for lunch with sweet Martha at La Perla Restaurant. Very rustic for sure, but fresh pico de gallo and fish cooked over a wood fire ‘zarandeado’ style. Absolutely delicious…as good, if not better than fish we have had in a 5 star restaurant, plus the view, more beach.

Later in the afternoon we drive back to Mazatlan, only 1 hour away, door to door from our beach house to our beautiful home in Centro Historico…yes, we are very spoiled! Enjoying a relaxing swim in our pool…shower…my hair dresser, Nora, comes to the house to blow-dry my hair. I love that!

It’s hard to zero in on the perfect evening after a perfect day, but we love to meet friends for dinner either at Water’s Edge, El Presidio or Ill Mosto Restaurant in Plazuela Machado. Too many great choices here, all within walking distance! I love the vendors around Plazuela Machado in the evening…, seriously I have so many earrings from these wonderful artisans, I could probably open my own booth…

I almost forgot enjoying a cold glass (or two) of Sauvignon Blanc… Looks like our life involves a lot of eating and drinking!

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Artist director, Mazatlan Film & Theater, Linda Baker:

My perfect day in Mazatlan is one in which I have nothing on my “To-Do List,” no meetings on my agenda, nothing to be done at the theater, and no obligations to others . . . where the day stretches out empty before me, I can go at my own pace and act spontaneously.

On such a day I would refresh my senses with the unique stimuli of this interesting Mexican city, reminding myself why we came and why we stay. I’d notice the kingbird that serenades us from the telephone wire over the bedroom terrace for an hour every morning, the sun on my neck as I collect the newspaper from the doorway, and the smells permeating the kitchen…the strong, rich coffee from Nayarit and the night-blooming jasmine on the patio.

I’d join the cat in exploring the garden, where one of the fruit trees may have left us some sweetness . . . perhaps an orange-gold mango as big as my hand, or a bristly, lime-green guayabana as big as my head. I’d listen to the melodic flow of Spanish from my neighbor’s yard, the blast of lively music from cars passing, the swish of bus tires on hot pavement . . . all the sounds of the day beginning in the busy Centro. And of course I’d eat and drink . . .abundant fresh veggies, refreshing hand-processed juices and refrescos, and lean meat and fish bought cheaply directly from the growers and fishermen whose stands are only a short walk away.

And so it would go all day. A chance for mindful re-connection with my physical self, the city and its people.

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Owner of Pedro & Lola and driving force behind Proyecto Centro Historico, Alfredo Gómez Rubio:

Because I often have late nights at Pedro & Lola I like to sleep a little later; I wake up around 7 or 8 p.m. The first thing I do is either take a long swim along Olas Altas, or go kayaking. That’s when I relax and de-stress. Other people do yoga, I prefer to swim or kayak. Time permitting, I’ll then have a massage, then return home and make myself a smoothie. It’s packed with all kinds of fruit – papaya, mango, banana, strawberries, and I also add an egg white and a teaspoon of bee pollen. Google that, bee pollen has amazing health benefits. I have my coffee, and listen to jazz or classical music.

I go to the office (my time is split 50/50 between the restaurant and Centro Historico), and I go home for lunch at 4 p.m. My wife or I cook fish, and various other dishes. I enjoy a small glass of wine with my lunch. I then may read – I like articles about science and nutrition – take a siesta and head to Pedro & Lola around 8 p.m. until midnight.

If I take a night off, my wife and I enjoy going out for dinner at Water’s Edge, El Presidio, or Villa Italia. I like to let it all flow.

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Co-owner of Mazatlan4Rent, Kristen Decker:

My perfect day is always on a Wednesday – that’s my day off, away from the office and clients. I start my day with a quick coffee and throw a granola bar and some yogurt into my golf cart. I play 9 holes with my woman’s group at El Cid, have lunch with them and then play another 9 holes. I then drive to Athina spa in Centro and have a massage, mani and pedi. It’s my time to be with Athina and catch up on what we’ve been doing all week.

I drive back for my 7 p.m. exercise class at the Mazatlan Combat Club, it’s next to Los Acros. It’s owned by ex-heavyweight (UFC) champion, Sean Alvarez, and it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before; it’s a gym, but it also has a jiu-jitsu and kick-boxing area. There’s a steam room too. I take the 7 p.m. class every single day! I can’t describe it – I do crab and bear crawls, I lift weights, I am sweating and exhausted by the end of the hour. I love it!

I return home for a Mexican style dinner with my family at 8:30 a.m. My husband, Lionne, is a wonderful cook and he cooks everything from home- made soups, to steaks, to sword fish. My 14 year- son is used to eating at 8:30 p.m.

We have typical family outings – the beach, either Playa Bruja or Surf’s Up Cafe, or we go to the movies or hang-out with friends in their houses. My son opts for the mall, or tennis, or golf, or boogie boarding – he’s never bored.

For a romantic evening with Lionne we usually go to Topolo or El Presidio for dinner.

I am lucky, my whole family is in Mazatlan. We all love it.

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Visitors, Ethel Baptie and Shirley Petitclerc
Ethel Baptie is 82 years old and has visited her daughter in Mazatlan many times. Her friend Shirley, 77, joined her for this holiday. It was Shirley’s first time in Mazatlan – “ when San Francisco get’s boring it’s time for change. I’m definitely coming back and renting for three months.” They agreed on all the highlights so one voice is speaking for two.

I don’t eat shrimp in Calgary, I always wait for my holiday to Mazatlan. The Shrimp Bucket is my first stop. I like to sit there and people watch. It’s fun to meet other expats and hear their stories, and where they have travelled. My second favourite stop is sunset at the Freeman, that’s a must. I like to have a margarita on the roof, I try to go a couple of times. I always buy coffee to take home from Casa Etnika and I enjoy buying the leather masks at Nid Art. The highlight this year was dinner at Topolo. It was the crème de la crème, perfect on every level – the music, the food, the service the atmosphere. My daughter took me to El Aljibe for sangria; I’d never been in a cistern before, or seen one! I loved all art, the false teeth and the irons. What makes Mazatlan perfect for me is the weather. I sit on the rooftop every day sunning and reading. One thing you don’t see back home is the camaraderie between men –that Mexican men display as they greet each with hugs and they talk to each other for a long time over coffee. There’s none of that touch feely stuff back home. There’s a spontaneity (even with expats) that you don’t see anywhere else. People are happy to meet up. Oh, the Red Cross Bingo Tuesdays were terrific. There’s nothing like it, this is fun, I’ve never saw the purpose of northern bingo. I’ll miss the weather and the shrimp.

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Piano player, composer, Rob Lamonica:

My perfect day would start with an early breakfast (early for me!) with my girlfriend Agata at Angelina’s.  Then we’d make our way to Stone Island and have lunch at Lety’s. Chill out and head home for a nap. The entire time my two dogs, Jazz and Maya, would be with us. If Agata wanted to go out at night, then we’d go where she wanted – her happiness is my happiness. I really prefer to mellow out and cook at home, usually fish. Watching the sunset in peace and quiet, reading, that’s my idea of a perfect day. [updated on Nov. 2, 2016, from his FB page “Today marks the 14th anniversary of my arrival to Mazatlan. I had never been here before, and showed up with 6 bags, my piano and my dog, Leslie. Tony picked me up at the airport, waiting for his table saw that I was late bringing down because of a hernia. My ‘fairy-godmother’, Mariana, was my contact, and even tho had never met me and was in Europe, had the keys to her house waiting for me, rent free for two months. She also passed my CDs before arrival to the Jazz Bar (my first job), and Pedro y Lola’s (my 2nd job!). My first full day, I had breakfast at what is now Chaleo’s place on th Malecon, and he treated me so well…he still hugs me every time I walk by. My waiter my first night was Manuel at PnL’s (Lor’s big guy!), and I had chicken fajitas. The ammount of acceptance, love, openness, hospitality and generosity was overwhelming; I don’t think that I had expected so much. I certainly never thought I’d be here, HAPPILY, for 14 years. I never thought I’d get to do what I love for a living. I never imagined all of the friendships I’ve had, the wisdom I’ve tried to apply from what I’ve learned, or being known from one side of a city to another! It has also opened up a whole new world, called ‘Canada’ jeje, where I now get to spend some summer time, applying and growing what I’ve learned here.
It was arguably the best decision of my entire life to come here. I truly love this city, the people, the energy. I am so humbled and lucky to have the opportunities I do here, playing 7 nights a week with the kindest folks, the sweetest souls. I’m 44; I’ve now spent 1/3 of my life, right here in Mazatlan. Nobody ever could’ve predicted that, especially me. I wouldn’t change that decision for all the tea in China. And I owe it all, every bit of it, to this awesome little ‘pearl’ of a town. THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH for helping make this ‘home’.ALL my love, sincerely and with grand appreciation, admiration and joy,” r]

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Musician, songwriter, singer, Alexis Félix:

I’d be totally unplugged – from everything, my iPad, my iPod. I’d pack up my family, my wife Heather, my three boys and we’d head for the beach. Either Playa Bruja or Stone Island. We’d have a cooler full of age-appropriate drinks and another cooler full of seafood including ceviche and other goodies my kids like. We’d play in the sand, swim, play soccer. I’d spend the entire day disconnected. Then I’d come home shower and crash.

Marte Stuart from British Columbia has chosen to write a poem, 2016

Overcome at the Museo de Arte,
these sumptuous flowers
with gaped-open allure;
images poised to trigger
an afternoon’s longing
Velvety slits petal-pink
do not hide the tender touch,
once dip-dabbed into paint pots,
stroked in slow deliberate arcs
across a primed canvas.

He takes his ice cream in the plaza
strewn with frangipani blossoms.
Its ripe fullness tasted bottom to top,
mouthing one long lick, capturing
wayward drips in the enveloping heat.
Hungry for this day’s mango sweetness,
beside the revered Peralta Teatro
promising ballet later tonight
an eye-feast of more arched amore, all
tangled legs amid swish-swirling satins.

Nearing the malecon, one sunbeam
escapes past a high crumbling wall
to anoint my nape in a flush kiss.
Humidity seeps under arms,
trailing moisture nether.
A teasing acordeón lulls distant,
through palm-whispered breezes
whisking a light skirt to thigh,
side-stepping the broken cobbles
and wanton bougainvillea.

Beyond the linteled passageway,
a ceiling fan greets fine body hairs;
tucked ones escaping in wisps.
A discarded shirt across the bed,
as salty skin’s shower-rinsed, cool
water streaming over flowered tiles,
with bright painted petals like tongues.
Already foretaste swollen,
awaiting the pulse of him
before siesta.