Cheesecake -- Mexican-style
Cheesecake — Mexican-style

WE’RE OFF TO the beach today for a brief vacation from … well, nothing really. It’s just a change of scenery and temperature.

And because we can.

Our Hacienda is ideally situated. It sits high in the cool mountains — 7,200 feet above sea level — but it’s only a 3.5-hour drive to the Pacific bay of Zihuatanejo and its upscale neighbor of Ixtapa. And the drive from here to there is 95 percent down a toll autopista, which is called an interstate above the Rio Bravo. The toll keeps the traffic sparse, another plus.

The drive goes through high mountains and valleys, orchards of mango and avocado, a lovely lake or two, plus plenty of old, high cactus.

In brief, it’s a nifty drive.

We always stay in the original town of Zihuatanejo, not the chichi, artificial Ixtapa, about a 15-minute drive away. We usually do visit Ixatapa, however, to see how the other half lives and to buy tacos in a great stand on wheels we found in the parking lot of a resort hotel.

And there’s Ixtapa Island, reached by a motor launch. It’s small, provides good snorkling over a reef and great food in a number of funky restaurants under the palm trees. Our favorite is the Restaurante Princesa.

The little island also has a nudist beach, but you cannot see it from the Restaurante Princesa.

We’ll be back when we get back.