Maria and crew finally showed up, laden with packages and smiles of contentment showing on their faces. The kind of face one has after successfully bagging some kind of bargain. We didn't bother asking what they had found. We split into groups for the trip to the restaurant. Maria and Lupe rode with us, since Maria knew where the restaurant was, she would act as navigator.
With Maria directing, and forgetting to tell me to turn until I was right on top of the corner, we made our way to the restaurant. It was a huge, almost open air thing covered by a palapa roof. It was filled with rows and rows of tables, like in a banquet hall. It ran the long way, north to south. On the west wall was a raised stage with a live band. As we entered, we formed a close little huddle, trying to talk above the roar of the band. As we were trying to decide where to sit, Lupe and Carlos broke away and sat at a table directly in front of the band. B and I were going to have no part of that. We had made enough concessions and, we thought, had been abused by the thoughtlessness of this family enought for one day and we were not about to sit right in front of two giant loudspeakers, blasting overly loud music at us, trying to turn our brains to mush. We chose a table well to the side and away from the stage. The children reluctantly gave up their prize table and joined us, pouts evident on their faces.
There were no menus and no choices of what you got to eat. This was a “botana” restaurant. Botana being a snack. If one ordered a beer for USA $2.80, one was brought food to enjoy with it. Not heaping plates full, but little saucers of different things. Since there were five adults in our group, we got quite a few plates! The first round was mostly tacos, panuchos and enchiladas. We got kivis also. I had always wanted to try these from the street vendors but never dared. It is like a spicy, deep-fried meatball that is split open and covered with onions that have been marinated with hot pepper juice. Delicious! I ate nine of them! With our second round of beer, the class of food got better and the portions bigger. I don’t even remember all the things they brought to the table, but there was not a spare inch of space for another plate, and we had three tables pushed together. Since I was driving, I stopped drinking after just two beers. But I continued to eat! What was not consumed, was carefully wrapped in napkins and placed in Maria and Lupe’s purses for later consumption. There was a also a children’s play area and Lizzie quickly disappeared into this. They actually had a supervisor who also worked with the children as they painted an ashtray that looked like Spiderman. Spiderman 2 being the movie of the day at the time.
After a very enjoyable lunch and time, we loaded back into our cars, B and I alone again due to no air conditioning in the Jeep. We followed Juan and easily found our way out of the city and back onto the road to Akil. We made a brief detour to Teabo, to drop off Uncle Roberto, and made it safely back home. We were exhausted and decided to take a nap. We needed to be rested for what was to come later that evening!
We awoke from our nap feeling refreshed and ready for whatever the night might bring. We had been told that there was a fiesta of sorts in the town square later that evening. We were looking forward to seeing what this small town had to offer in the way of parties!