D.G. Kaye Returns from Puerto Vallarta, #Mexico

I’m back! I’m going to be sharing some info, pictures, highlights and observances from my winter escape away to Puerto Vallarta. As per my usual, I’ll begin with ‘travel day’ – never one of my favorites.

What a trip! I left home in a blizzard and minus 30F with zero sleep because my plane was to leave at 6:30 am, which meant I had to leave home at 3am to allow for airport madness. It turns out that I was lucky to have that early flight because it was the early flights that were getting out of Dodge that day as I noticed most other flights on the board all listed as cancelled. It took us 45 minutes to de-ice the plane, and gratefully, I was off to the sunshine and warmth, leaving behind what has been consequently named ‘the worst winter in eighty years’.

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I took this photo from inside the plane as they were de-icing the plane.

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I’d learned from my previous year’s flight, to never fly in to Puerto Vallarta on a Saturday – the airport is just too busy in high season. I left on a Thursday, and after once again having to disembark on the tarmac to pick up bags and proceed through the antiquated customs system, I was asked to open a suitcase there for the first time ever. Most likely that was because the universe must have heard me bragging to a fellow passenger how I’d never caught ‘the red light’. Yes, Mexican customs agents have booths set up before where we exit to the outside. There is what looks like a stoplight at each booth that we must press the button – if the light is green, keeping walking, if it’s red, you must open up whatever bags they want to search. My bags were HEAVY, and one was soaking wet when it came off the carousel, undoubtedly, left out on the tarmac at Toronto airport during the blizzard until it was loaded on. With no sleep for almost 36 hours and the mile walk at Toronto airport to the gate, and no strength left to carry another bag, the agent asked me to lift my suitcase onto the three foot high table. I told him that if he wanted to see what’s in there, he’d have to lift it himself. And he did. The usual time suck and I was out in a cab to my rented condo.

Ten minutes later I arrived at security gates of the condo in the blazing hot sun and the cab driver proceeded up the quarter mile drive up to my tower and helped me put my bags on the luggage cart I’d borrowed from the lobby. I was to meet my condo manager upstairs, but when I finally finagled that heavy luggage cart in and out of the elevator and down the winding hall to the condo, nobody was there. The door was locked and my manager was a no-show. As I sweated in my travel clothes from the sun’s rays beaming directly on me from an open hallway window, my mind was rolling with how I was to get in, and how was I to try and phone him while my mobile was turned onto airplane mode and I hadn’t yet got my Mexican Sim card, not wanting to turn on my phone to track a missing manager and cost me $20 just to make that call from my Canadian Sim card. Then an idea sparked.

I remembered that the previous year, the manager had Whatsapped me the wifi password for the condo unit. I inched right up to the door, scrolled through his old messages, and found the password. I hitched onto the condo’s wifi from outside the door and messaged him. His reply told me that he was sorry he couldn’t be there but he left the key at the quarter mile away security gate and advised me to go get it. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? I told him I was not leaving my luggage, nor was I walking that far pushing a luggage cart, and asked him to give me the digital combination to open the door. He told me the owner had changed the code, and I told him he’d better call the owner and GET IT! And so he did, and ten minutes later texted it to me. I was finally in.

Not ten more minutes had passed when my friend Shelley, who was already there for two weeks with hubby John, texted me to tell me she’s on her way over so she can walk with me to the grocery store and get me a Sim card. I opened my luggage, changed into shorts and a Tshirt, left it all and headed out for a hot walk to the supermarket. By the time I got back, finished unpacking, and had something to eat, it was evening and I still hadn’t slept. All I wanted was a hot shower and bed. I got in the shower and turned the dial to hot water, only to discover – there wasn’t any. I knew it! Once again my manager was ill-prepared and didn’t instruct maintenance to turn on the hot water tank. I literally thought I was going to freeze to death, but I needed a shower and bed, the hot water tank turn on was going to wait till the morning.

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This is a picture of me and Shelley, a.k.a. Shelster, on one of our later shopping expeditions with a Margarita pitstop.

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The next morning, I had hot water. Although I noticed the condo was missing face towels, face cloths and kitchen towels. The safe had the same corroded batteries that were there last year, so I once again replaced them with my own I’d brought from home, knowing what to expect. The wicker chairs on the balcony were in bad shape. some broken right through the seats, and the living room furniture looked like it was long overdue for a cleaning, so as I did last year, I covered one of the couches with a clean sheet so I had a place to park myself and my laptop without sitting on the unknown. I made a note to buy some towels on a Walmart walk with my friends Brenda and Saul, and remember to take the towels back home with me when it was time to leave.

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My friends, wild woman Brenda And her husband Saul

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I noticed how much the prices had gone up in the stores and restaurants. Quaint little PV is fast becoming a big Americanized tourist town. Condos are going up quick, and I know Covid has put a hit on costs globally, but I also know that Mexican local cost of living could never afford such prices. The tourist areas were catching up with prices back home. Alcoholic beverages used to cost $3-$4 Canadian pre-Covid that are now $10. A restaurant meal for $15 now with a tip was costing $30. Grocery prices have doubled too, and not to mention, our already crappy Canadian dollar was down from 16 to 13 Pesos to the Canadian dollar – costing more, and getting less at the bank machine. But still, it was cheaper for me to live there for two months than what I spend at home to live.

Most days were spent at the pool, except for a few shopping and Margarita trips downtown a few times for the day with my galpals, and another group trip north to La Cruz Sunday market and Punta Mita beach for lunch (which I’ll share later). My good friends, Shelley and John were staying next complex over, and Brenda and Saul were staying in my building. I’d get my exercise many days walking to groceries, Walmart, Costco, and/or the fish market where I got some delicious Sea Bass for about $3 a fillet, now that was a good deal. I don’t eat shrimp, but you could get a kilo, fresh, and hand cleaned while you wait for $14 Canadian dollars! There seemed to be a mysterious week or two where no store had any gluten-free bread – or coffee creamer.

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I took this short video clip of the Fish Market

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Fresh Catch of the Day – Mahi Mahi

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I saw a lot of familiar faces at the pool and spent the afternoons in the water gabbing to them all, as well as made a few new friends. My friends Patty and Jamie were there too, although Pat came a few weeks late because of a host of health issues. It didn’t help that a week after finally arriving, she got Shingles. Oye! Poor Pat. She had to stay in, out of the sun for two weeks, and even when the blisters healed, she was, and still is suffering lingering nerve damage on her back. I also made some new good friends to add to my roster, Lucie, Liz and Grant, and the last week, I met Liz’s sister, Chris. And my girlfriend from home here, Alyson, also came down and stayed with me for ten days – more girl time!

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Me and Alyson, Al, as I always call her, out on the town

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Pat a.k.a Patty Girl, and Jamie out at a fancy restaurant up in the hills

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Me and Lucie at Margarita Grill Bar (More about that to come)

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Me and Liz and my water float

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Grant and Liz – my new friends and chair savers

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Liz’s sister Chris took this selfie of us three. Clearly, she has been fired from selfie photography. LOL.

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Now that I have introduced you to some of my friends, you’ll be able to put the names to faces in my stories.

I also had good intentions to read a lot of books while away, but February was a write-off for that activity because the socializing took precedence. But I managed to get through ten books in March, despite my busy schedule, and a few of which were added into my reading roster when a friend offered me two books she finished at the beach, which sparked my fancy. I’ll be posting my reviews for those books on Goodreads and Amazon as I finish editing my reviews from rough written notes, and I’ll be sharing each book on my Sunday Book Reviews here, each week. A few great reads to mention were books by: Lauren Scott – More Than Coffee, The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle, and Frank Prem’s latest book (not sure if it’s out yet), a powerful interpretation of the war in Ukraine, From Volyn To Kherson.

For now, I’ll share a few more pictures below of some of my favorite scenic captures – from my balcony. I’ll be sharing more pictures, outings, happenings and mishaps here, weekly. Stay tuned!

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Β©DGKaye2023

100 thoughts on “D.G. Kaye Returns from Puerto Vallarta, #Mexico

  1. So glad you had a good time and missed some of that awful winter weather. Spending time in the sun and with friends is the best medicine as far as I’m concerned. I just had a very good friend visit me here in Spain and it made me so happy!! I look forward to more stories and pictures. xo

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  2. Welcome back, Debby. I’ve missed you. Despite the first day hiccups (to put it mildly), it sounds like you had a wonderful time. I look forward to hearing more of your adventures.

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  3. Good to have you back, Debby! And thanks for sharing the pics and some of the adventures. It sounds as if you managed quite well despite the challenges, of course! I’m going away tomorrow with a friend, and I might not be around checking much, but I’ll catch up after Easter. Take care!

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  4. Good grief, Debby, what a trip! I’ve never been to PV and doubt I ever will. After reading your story, it’s definitely not high on my travel list. As I read, I kept thinking of Chevy Chase movies — but your experience is real. Unbelievable. Welcome home — you were missed. 😊

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    1. Lol Gwen, the condo shenanigans were definitely in a Chevy Chase category, lol. Thanks for the lovely welcome back. Lots of funny stories with injections of rants, to come. πŸ™‚ xx

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  5. I’ve missed you! What amazing photos. The sunsets are incredible, and I love how colorful the fish market is. It’s great you met so many new friends, and you look fabulous and happy in all the photos. Glad you missed the worst of winter! ❀

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    1. Hi Amy. Thanks so much for the warm welcome back. Sunsets are my favorite. I’m so glad you liked. The one with the ship blew me away the most, it almost looks surreal, but it was. Thanks again for all the kudos Amy. Hugs ❀

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  6. Welcome back, Debby. As I read your post, I kept thinking of our many past trips to Mexico, and all of those annoying things you mentioned came to mind as being almost normal or expected. To be honest, even though we had some good times in Mexico, I’m “Mexicoed out.” Lots of good things to reminisce about, but also a lot of not-so-good things. I guess we each have to consider how badly we want that kind of holiday and whether the tribulations are worth it to us – and that varies from person to person. It also depends on whether you’re going to Mexico, leaving behind a -30 winter or a temperate coastal winter. -30 adds some desperation to the need to get away to someplace warm. Your photos are great. I really like the picture of you with your hair up.

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    1. Hi Anneli. Thanks for the warm welcome and sharing some of your own thoughts here. It felt like everyone there spent a good chunk of their vacation searching for a place for next year, lol. I let that go. I didn’t rent anything for next year as much as I love my friends, I feel it may be time to move on to new territory. πŸ™‚ x

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      1. I think you get to a point where you’re glad you experienced it and enjoyed it, but then it’s time for something different. I hope you still had a good time, and I’m sure you enjoyed missing out on all the cold weather at home.

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  7. Sounds like there is a good job going as an agent who has customer service as a motto Debby and thank goodness you were prepared after your previous visits… newbies would have been totally baffled… at least being there for two months meant you could put the outbound trip and hassle in the rear few mirror and enjoy the company of good friends and sunshine… great guide for anyone thinking of going there… β™₯β™₯

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    1. Hi Liz. Thanks for the lovely welcome. It was a great time. It was also warmer there than typically. I felt February had March temps and last two weeks in March were so so hot and humid. Average temps were 90F. Quite pleasant when the breeze would come. πŸ™‚ x (Btw, thanks for the book, I just got my mail yesterday, will be reading soon x)

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  8. Oh my goodness! What a wild start, but you made it work, and managed to get into your condo on shear brilliance! I would have sat on the floor and cried! The sun, friends, and joyful atmosphere sound fabulous but we missed you and I’m glad you’re home! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures! Much love, C

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  9. Despite the usual travel troubles, It sounds like you had a great time. I’m sure being surrounded by friends did wonders for your mental health. Too bad that your condo had a few drawbacks. I imagine the owners of these places go as long as possible without replacing anything.

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    1. Hi Pete. Thanks so much. Yes, it seems there are two types of owners, the type one would rent directly from (always the best option), and owners who live out of town or country who rely on their managers to keep check on things and take the money. Often managers are lazy, and often they will add money to what the owner is actually asking, so they can pocket extra cash. I know this because over the years, a few friends have had to reach out to owmers when managers played dirty games. Only then some owners get an eye-opener about their property shenanigans and pricing. πŸ™‚

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  10. A bit of a rocky start, but it sounds like you settled in pretty fast. I’m a little surprised to hear that the prices have gone up so much for meals and drinks, but I suppose it’s to be expected. Looking forward to hearing more!

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  11. Good to have you back, Debby! Sorry to hear about your travel day horrors, but those pictures of you with your friends are lovely and must be some compensation – like those incredible sunsets! xx

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    1. Hi Trish. Thanks so much. Oh yes Trish, friends and sunshine are a winning combo. I love the different sunsets daily. I hope you enjoy my upcoming posts and Mexican tales. πŸ™‚ xx

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  12. Glad you’re back, Safe Debby and looking forward to hearing more about your trip. That was an amazing fish market and your margarita chalices made me envious. Your photos from your balcony are spectacular. You might not have had the most luxurious room but your view was. At least that’s something that hasn’t increased in price! ❀

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  13. Welcome back, sweetheart! I loved the photos (not so much the weather you encountered on travel day) and so glad to see you smiling ❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️

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  14. Hi Debby, Wow! What a trip in the beginning, but your photos are fabulous and those sunsets are spectacular! I think I’ve taken a million shots of sunsets. We can never have too many, right? And I’ll have a margarita! (smile) Besides some of the chaos, it looks like you had a wonderful time with many great friends. And you are brave because just the word “de-icing” would have me sprinting off the plane! LOL
    Anyway, welcome back, and thanks so much for reading my book and for the mention. I look forward to the review and more about your trip. Keep the photos coming. You look terrific! ❀️🍹❀️

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    1. Hi Lauren. Thanks so much for your kind words and welcome. Yes, I have a thing for sunsets for sure… and margaritas, lol. I loved your book and am working on reviews getting sorted this week. Once they’re ready, I’ll post on Goodreads and every Sunday will feaure another I’ve read, here. ❀ xx

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  15. Wow! From heavy precipitation to no water at all in the condo, you had quite the start to your winter break Debby! I’m glad you settled in and found a fun routine for the rest of your stay. I would be EXHAUSTED from your description of getting up at 3 am onward, lol. Looking forward to more tales and getting in touch about intuition. πŸ™‚

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    1. Hi Melanie. Thanks so much for the lovely welcome. Yes, travel day(s) seems to get more difficult as the years pass, but I had a great time. There will be plenty more to share, lol. And yes, looking forward to our little joint venture. Hugs ❀

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  16. Hi Debby, welcome back. You trip there always seems a bit fraught, but at least you weren’t delayed in the airport for hours. That is horrible. Your pictures look lovely and its great to see so many friends.

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    1. Hi Robbie. Thanks for the lovely welcome. It seems I’m always a travel disaster waiting to happen, but thankfully, I always get through it – without a delay or any stranded luggage! πŸ™‚ xx

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  17. Welcome back, Debbie! I love that top photo of you!

    Well, it sounds like you had a really good time with fun, shopping, chatting, and relaxing. Crazy about those prices going up. We’ve seen it everywhere while traveling – even here in Colombia from one day to the next- and especially in Mexico.

    Friends who traveled to Baja for the winter are reporting similar extreme price increases. Too bad that PV keeps becoming more touristy and gringofied.

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    1. Hi Liesbet. I’m sure as a nomadic world traveller you’ve seen all the different prices on your travels. Yes, I’m afraid PV is getting too gringofied, which has me wanting to move on to somewhere new and not so touristy. But plenty of fun was had! πŸ™‚ xx

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  18. Aaah. I’m not surprised that you made it through the travel and room glitches, Debby. You’re resourceful AND firm. After that, it seems like you enjoyed friends, smiles, and sunny. I almost felt like I was there in the warm sun by the pool enjoying a margarita. Welcome back to the dreary northern spring. Be sure to hang onto that vacation feel! ❀ ❀

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    1. Hi Diana. Thanks so much for dropping by. Yes, in my head I’m trying to stay in vacay mode. I’m also catching up with real life, reviews, blogs and more. And of course working on more travel posts. Hugs ❀ x

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  19. Whew what a trip, Deb! You made it and took charge to get in the door. You are so lucky flights weren’t cancelled. The heavy winter snow hit everyone in the north so hard. When I saw the pics of you in the sun with your friends, I breathed a sigh of relief for you! I admire you for continuing to go on these trips without your puppy. You are brave and possess a keen, adventurous heart and can spin quite the tale. Cheers to you, my friend. ❀️πŸ₯‚

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    1. Wow! Thanks Terri for all your lovely accolades. Yes, for once, it wasn’t my flight getting delayed, lol. And trust me, it takes a lot of anxiety to go through preparing to travel alone, and travelling alone, so I appreciate your saying so. The sun is a tonic for many an issue. ❀ xx

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  20. I’m finally getting a chance to read you. It looks like you had a wonderful time. Your travel day there sounds like an experience you’ll look back on and laugh at for years to come. Every trip has been like that for me too. I guess you just gotta brace yourself for the inevitable. I’m glad you’re home safe n sound. ❀️

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    1. HI Michelle. Thanks so much for dropping by with the warm welcome. Sounds like we may have some travel woes in common lol. But you’re right, sometimes you just have to laugh. Hugs ❀

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  21. Welcome back Debby – certainly with some ups and downs … but overall a fun time – so pleased it all worked out – cheers Hilary

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  22. Welcome back, Debby! Despite the troubles in the condo and the leap in prices, it sounds like you had a grand time. How was hooking up with your friends from last year (who I think were all new, as you were on your own)? Looking forward to the next post!

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    1. Hi Jennie. Thanks for the lovely welcome back. Oh yes, all my new buddies were there except one couple who’ll return next year. I also made friends with some others too, so the variety of friends was wonderful. ❀

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  23. Hi chuchie…all tanned and lovely! What fabulous sunsets… Apart from the obvious, great to hear you recharged your batteries. Sunshine, friends and the odd cocktail are a winning combination. Welcome back! Hugs Joy xxx

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