One time in California I was sitting on the beach with friends watching the sun set and sipping a really nice New Zealand sauvignon blanc when a beach cop rode up on his 4-wheeler and told us to dump the wine on the sand or he’d give us all citations. Because, you know, we were obviously going to go crazy and start singing out loud or something.
In Mexico, not only is it okay to drink a cerveza or a margarita on the beach, hell, someone will go and get one for you. You don’t even need to bring your own.
In Sayulita, you can rent a chair and an umbrella for less than $5 and then just sit there all day waiting for the food and drinks to come around. My favorite is the tamale lady. She walks the beach with a little styrofoam chest and sells chicken or pork tamales for about a buck each. Man, those tamales are killer. Then you ask a kid to run up to Don Pedro’s and get you a Negro Modelo, and you are set for lunch.
But you can get all kinds of other things to eat and drink on the beach as well. Usually there’s someone slicing up fruit—watermellon, papaya, cantaloupe—that they stuff into big plastic cups. And there are guys walking around selling camerones on a stick or fat tortas stuffed with chicken.
Maybe the most interesting food vendors are the guys selling candy. There’s one guy who walks up and down the beach carrying a white pole studded with red candied apples. They cost 10 pesos or about $.75. Just think how many candied apples he has to sell to make a living. That’s a tough job but even worse, in my opinion, is the guy who pushes a wheelbarrow through the soft sand selling gummy worms and pastel mints, pepitas and chili peanuts. You pick out what you want and he fills a paper cone with the candy or nuts and the whole thing might cost a buck at most. Then you go back to your chair in front of Don Pedro’s and the kid comes over and nods toward your beer bottle and says, “Uno más?” and you say, Sure. Uno más. Knowing no Mexican beach cop is going to come over and tell you to spill your cerveza in the sand.
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