Didion is talking about a place in Mexico, but this could be anywhere.
Anywhere you can find a listless do-nothing kind of afternoon.
A place where you can spend time in a way that only the rich and poor can afford to do.
The description reminds me of an old hotel I stayed at in San Buenaventura many years ago.
I was on a church mission trip with a handful of classmates.
The hotel was a square with a sunny courtyard and the rooms had floors of large stone tiles.
Friendliest family running the place as you have ever met.
One evening after the sunset, we ate fajitas, and I drank the best frozen lemonade I have ever had. The older I get I think the sweetness may have been my youth.
It was not by the sea, but I would have stayed for the entire summer if I could have.
That place was a mirage, too, lovely and cool with thick whitewashed walls and dark shutters and bright tiles, tables made from ebony railroad ties, pale appliqued muslin curtains, shocks of corn wrapped around the heavy beams. Pepper trees grew around the swimming pool, and lemons and bananas in the courtyard. The food was unremarkable, but after dinner one could lie in a hammock on the terrace and listen to the fountains and the sea.