Our Excursion to Old Town Mazatlan - 4/17/12 - 4/18/12
24 April 2012
The Melville Boutique Hotel
While Rick was retrieving a new auto pilot in San Diego, the kids and I went on a little adventure of our own into the historic El Centro of Mazatlan. After dad left for the airport, the three of us grabbed a pulmonia, an open-air golf cart type taxi, and made our way to the Melville Boutique hotel where a room reservation was waiting. The Melville was built in the 1870’s and first served as the telegraph office and then for more than 60 years was a Carmelites nun’s school. It’s definitely old but they’ve done a pretty good job with renovations, maintaining the 19th century flavor. It’s very affordable and perfectly located a block from Plazuela Machado.
Plazuela Machado is one of the oldest plazas in Mazatlan and is the center for cultural arts. This beautiful tree lined plaza is surrounded by renovated 18th century buildings with sidewalk cafes, a theatre and museum, and live entertainment throughout the year. After we checked in and explored a bit, Sydney and I left James curled up on the couch with his book and headed out with our map in hand to check out the art galleries in the area. Our favorites were the Casa Etnika and LOOK Gallery both offering traditional Mexican artisan handcrafts along with modern paintings, sculptures, and other home décor items. So much fun. Before too long we were back with James enjoying some ice-cream trying to find a program on the TV that wasn’t dubbed in Spanish! Oh well, we hadn’t really missed watching TV anyway.
James was invited, but he declined, so Sydney and I had a date planned for the evening. We had purchased tickets the week prior to the ballet, Don Quijote Suite, to be performed at the Teatro Angela Peralta. Named after a famous opera singer, this gorgeous theatre was built in the 1800’s, becoming a significant part of the plazas history. The three of us had a fabulous meal including a decadent desert at the Molika Bakery, which we all highly recommend, before Sydney and I headed to the theatre. On our way we escorted our boy back to the hotel for him to enjoy a few precious hours of alone time. He was happy and the girls were elated! The ballet performance did not disappoint! It was colorful, playful, and the dancers were outstanding. Oh we didn’t want it to end.
After sleeping in the next morning and lazing around a bit, we made our way to another amazing meal with great coffee at the Alegro café. We still had one more stop on our agenda before checking out of our hotel and heading back to the boat. We brought two bags full of clothes that needed to be donated so we hopped a taxi to the Orfanatorio de Mazatlan, the orphanage. What a place. We were welcomed at their big iron gate by two happy little faces who escorted us into the office where we met Rafaela Cornejo Valdovinos, the administrative director. She graciously gave us a tour while answering a million questions. At the moment they have 2 babies and 25 girls. They have been placed there by the government who declared these parents, for different reasons, unfit to care for their children. Receiving no financial assistance from the government, they depend solely on charitable donations. The organization was founded by a 15 year old woman, Romanita de la Pena, and from her great effort this facility was built in 1921. You can read more about the orphanage on their website www.orfamaz.org.mx . It was a beautiful place with lovely & caring people. Upon our departure Rafaela invited us back “to their house” whenever we want to return and welcomed us to “play with the children.” We’ll definitely take her up on that when we return next year.