More #Mexican Tales – More Puerto Vallarta – Fun and Foibles

Welcome back to my blog. I’m slowly making my way back into blogland and catching up as I go along. Part of the winter escape was intention to do less with digital. It was so nice to be away in the warmth with friends, sunshine and Margaritas, and mostly, off the computer. Admittedly, most outings involved a Margarita, except when I got on a Bloody Caesar kick because I found places were making the Margs too sweet with fake Marg ingredients in a pre-mix instead of just lime juice, and then my friends Lucie and Liz, both told me to ask for a ‘skinny’ Margarita – apparently that meant the non sugary stuff. During the day while out at the pool I drank mineral water. Okay, maybe there were a few Margarita’s involved at the pool too- some days. My friend Liz enjoyed hers at the pool, and some days I joined her.

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Me and Liz assuming our chair positions. She dislikes wearing hats but when the sun got too much, she wore her shorts on her head. And yes, you will most certainly see my husband’s Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Towel on my chair.

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Me and Lucie

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Shenanigans

One day, Lucie was in the pool and came out and said there was something possibly gross in the water and she wanted to find something to swoop it up with. Patty Girl was in the pool with her. Lucy came out of the water and grabbed a plastic cup, got back in, and plugged her nose and went under water. In that moment, Patty was looking down over her. I was laughing in hysteria and grabbed my phone to snap a photo of my ‘shit inspector’ friends. We were cracking up around the pool, watching. Turns out, it was a short piece of wood that somehow found its way into the pool. Thankfully, not the gross thing we thought it was.

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I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of my beach seller friend and a.k.a. business associate – Juan Valdez. You gotta love the name. As soon as he introduces himself emphatically as Juan Valdez, you immediately get that visual of the TV commercial ad of Juan Valdez coffee beans, lol. Juan was a great hustler on the beach. Because I typically enjoyed a lounge chair at the end of the pool where I had a good lookout post and no umbrella obstructions, I met Juan. Juan came by daily, and once I bought a coverup (and ultimately, 5) from him, I stayed loyal to him and helped him sell a dozen more to women at the pool who’d ask me where I got my coverup and how much. The deal was, a fair price, same as I paid to save everyone the haggling. He thanked me for getting him more business then dangled a carrot and said if I get him ten customers, he’ll give me a free coverup. Of course I got him over a dozen. He’d pop by ‘my office’, as my friends referred to where I sat on the deck.

In this photo is one of Juan’s best sellers, as I sold six more for him after buying. When our gang went up to La Cruz market, Lucie, me, Shelley, and Patty, we wore our same dresses in different colors. We were very popular and got stopped a lot that day by other women at the market. Also, it was easier to find each other. These are the dresses. And more about La Cruz in the next edition. One size fits all!

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There was some residual hurricane and earth quake damage done in PV. The last hurricane caused the river next to my condo, which used to run directly into the ocean, to hang a left and run across our part of the beach. Plus, the tides had made the shore a ten foot drop from the washed up beach. It was gravelly to walk on. I only attempted that once. Once when I thought I had a shortcut that turned out not to be. My friend Shelley was staying in the complex next door this year. From the pool, without the new river in the middle blocking the exit gate, it would be a three minute walk on the beach over to Shelley’s place. But walking there on pavement involved walking down out the gates to the street, down two blocks (across the river), and the same quarter-mile walk back down to Shelley’s entrance. This is a fifteen- minute walk. Shelley invited me and Brenda to come to her pool to join some other friends there. I told her we’d try to walk a bit further down to the far beach exit of our complex, and come by beach way. Wrong! Brenda and I walked long way around then bypassed the river, by walking a few feet on the shore, then back up the sand over to Shelley’s pool. By the time we walked out the far gate and around and back up the hilly beach in 90 degree heat in gravelly sand, we were huffin’ and puffin’ and laughing and sweating, and took a good twenty minutes. Lol, we learned to not take that route again.

This was Shelley and John’s beautiful balcony where Brenda and my trek finally brought us. From left, John (Shelley’s hub), Brenda, Shelley, Patty Girl and Jamie

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The earthquake that hit Mexico City last fall, tremored all the way to the coast, sending tremors right through Puerto Vallarta. It appears after meeting a few owners, I found out that the buildings shook and misaligned the heavy, wooden front doors to many of the condos. Three owner couples I met and befriended, told me they had to put new locks on their doors because of the shift.

One day I was trying to get in my front door after the pool. The door would not unlock. The batteries were flashing, rendering the combination lock pad useless, and the key wouldn’t turn. Unreal. It was boiling hot and me and my friend Alyson had an hour to get ready to go out with friends. No dice. I texted my manager/agent and he sent a locksmith. He put a new plate on the doorframe and dug out the hole where the deadbolt goes in a bit more. He told me to get new batteries – again, which shouild have been looked after before I got there. Another time it happened again. I tried for an hour to open the door, then I called for the locksmith. Of course, it opened when he came, as it jams randomly, particularly when it’s extra humid out. The manager told me that the owner said, next locksmith call, I have to pay because there’s nothing wrong with the door. I told him how many door stories I’d heard from owners already that had same troubles, but it was fruitless, then told him I’ll be sure to take a course in ‘door opening 101’ when I get home. Then, for the last few weeks, I’d got locked ‘in’ every time I was going out. I’d have to turn the lock and wait about 10 times till I could get out. My friends couldn’t believe it when they’d come over and ‘try’ to leave, lol. Nope, there was nothing wrong with the door. The same door I had trouble with the year before and nothing changed or was looked after. The same door that STILL didn’t have a handle on the inside of the door because my friend John had graciously moved it to the outside of the door, LAST YEAR, when I couldn’t close it from the outside.

As you can see, there is no indoor handle. Thanks to John for fenagling the pull tab from a water bottle to attach to the door latch so I didn’t have to continue to rip my finger to open the door.

Then there was the flood from last year that came back. Last year, one day, I came back from a massage to find my front hall ceiling leaking. I’d called my agent. An hour later, maintenance came up and went back and forth between my place and the penthouse with the swimming pool above. I don’t know what exactly was done, but that’s all I heard of it. This year, when the manager came over, he told me that leak was repaired last year and they went through the linen closet to fix a pipe. He opened the door and there were no shelves or towels, which is when he told me they fixed the leak, and nothing about the lack of bathroom towels.

One day, this visit, I heard that old familiar water leak sound. Sure enough, the exact same spot it leaked from last year, was the same spot again. I was almost ready to go to the pool when I decided that since I don’t know how to open a door, I may not know how to detect leaks. I put a mop bucket under the spot and went out. Every few days it would leak for a bit. I left a beach towel on the front floor with a bucket on top and went on with my day. Finally, I felt a bit guilty, so the next time it leaked, I texted the agent to ask him to let maintenance know. I said it was the same leak spot as last year. That was a week before I left. Still never heard a word about it. He didn’t bother responding, or sending maintenance. I cleaned up before I left, and left the bucket under the leaky spot. Enjoy!

Shelley’s condo complex is right in front of what has become dubbed, ‘the cartel club’. It’s no secret that the cartel have investments in many clubs and properties, which helps when it comes to wanting to keep tourism safe there as they have legitimate places to laundry money through that they’d like to keep up and running. But a few years ago, a piece of land from Shelley’s rented condo land was sold to build this island nightclub that is only opened Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the hellacious, loud, techno music blares from 2 to 9pm. It echoes across the beach, and the higher you’re up on floors, the louder it is if you leave your balcony doors open. Being on the 25th floor, it blared right in if I opened my doors, and could still hear it with it closed. And nobody can do anything about the noise. Shelley and John make it a point to go out and eat on those days. But, despite the noise, people want to stay in the central location on the beach. And the craziness that goes on trying to find a next year rental while on current trip with some of the ripoff prices and bad management, has made finding a place a daunting task. Some managers are pulling exorbitant numbers out of the air, and instead of wanting to rent for a few months, putting them on AirBnB and making more by renting for the week, and with fees, becoming very expensive. And sadly, many owners of these condos who hire managers to look after them because they don’t live in PV, trust them blind, often not even knowing how much more they are charging for rentals without the owners even knowing. I’ve heard plenty of stories.

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The ‘cartel club’

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Some other interesting snapshots:

There is literally a pharmacy on every corner. All will welcome you with big signs ahead and sandwich boards outside, letting you know the smorgasbord of drugs available WITHOUT a prescription. And if you don’t notice, no worries, pharmacist will be only too happy to offer you a variety features.

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Found this guy lounging in the swampy river under a bridge on way out to dinner one night.

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Lol, had to take a picture of this sign over one of the Marina bars.

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This one took the prize. I was cracking up one day walking downtown with John and Shelley. The sign on the door listed some things they carry. We all wanted to know what on earth ‘nun farts’ were. LOLOL

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I had my share of condo errors this trip and it really showed me that I wouldn’t want to rent that same place again. Starting over and looking for a new ‘honest’ manager is a tedious journey. I’m not sure what I want to do yet next year, and I’m okay with that. I feel it may be time to try some new horizons.

Stay tuned for some shopping and market outings next week!

A Few more Beautiful Sunsets:

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Β©DGKaye2023

70 thoughts on “More #Mexican Tales – More Puerto Vallarta – Fun and Foibles

  1. Hi Deb, well sounds like you had a ton of fun!! Good for you. Love all the pics. The sunsets are amazing. Nice captures. Sorry to hear about the condo issues. Sounds like there is corruption sneaking into the condo business there. It’s unfortunate. I know from a friend that most of the condos were built, marketed and sold to tourists (many Canadians) and now to think the Cartel have moved in…
    Welcome home! And I will be curious what you decide for next year’s winter getaway. HUGS

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    1. Hi Lis. Oh ya, there is indeed corruption going on with rentals, and it’s not cartel, but slimey people calling themselves managers while many an owner has no clue. And yes, there has been a hot market on condos there being bought up by many Canadians. We almost bought one in 2020, and my instincts told me to hold off, Glad I did. Hugs ❀

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  2. Oh my goodness, the charms and pitfalls of travel. I loved traveling with you, meeting your friends, sipping margaritas, and enjoying the sunsets. Stunning! I look forward to more and excited to hear what you do next year. Hugs, C

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  3. Wow, those sunsets are divine! And I’m cracking up over nun darts 🀣🀣🀣
    I’m not surprised you want a change of condo for next year, good luck with finding what you want. 🀞🀞

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  4. It does sound like some really irritating hassles Debby and many more compared to the other years you have written about your stay.. but the rental market aside and also the more expensive daily living cost, it sounds like it is the people that made it still very special.. Perhap you could all get your heads together for next year and look at another venue… perhaps in the Caribbean islands.. β™₯β™₯

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    1. Thanks so much Sal. Yes, it’s all about the weather and the people. We did all discuss the rental shenanigans, but as it turns out Liz and Grant got confirmation for their rental the day before they left, and everyone else is booked for next year. But I’m going to let it roll and see where I end up. ❀ xx

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  5. I’m so glad you had fun. But, I agree, it sounds like a new beach destination might be in order none that’s less touristy and less pricey! πŸ™‚

    With all those condo troubles, I’m happy I’m traveling with my own home. Yes, we have things to fix but it’s usually because we damage them. πŸ™‚

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  6. I operate from the principle of allowing a business to make things right, but by this time, the condo owners have shown you what they’re all about. I would have gotten fired up about the door, especially when they threatened to start charging you.

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    1. Lol Pete, believe me, I was fired up all right. Everyone at the pool heard me slamming the management. Everyone knows my opinion there. You know me, if there’s injustice, I’m calling it out. πŸ™‚

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  7. Hi Debby – sounds like a good mix of challenge with lots of stories to tell – I think I’d agree with you re the rental …good luck as you work out what to do … cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Stevie. Yes, same in North America with prescriptions. Someone told me that these drugs are only available to tourists. How weird is that? And lol those coverups caused quite the attention. πŸ™‚ xx

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  8. Despite all the troubles you had with your condo unit, Debby, you surely seem to have had a lot of fun with your friends. Loved your sunsets! ❀

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  9. Apart from the door problems and the leak, it sounds like a grand vacation!!! Love the pictures, and I loved the signs, particularly “We fix hangover” and “Nun Farts”!!!

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  10. I totally agree that it may be time to explore new horizons, Debby. The lack of caretaking of the condos is unacceptable. So glad you had a good time despite the challenges! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. LOL…
    Debby, Debby, Debby! Your holiday is more of an adventure, or should I say misadventure?
    Nun farts…yes I think I’ve heard of them!
    They smell like Frankincense and make a sound like “Dominus Vobiscum”when leaving the body! πŸ˜‚ xo❦

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    1. Omggggggg, I’m cracking right up at you!!! You guessed it, always an adventure with me, lol. But your description for nun farts was hilarioussssssssssssss! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ ❀ xx

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  12. Wow! What a wonderful vacation! Lovely friends, beautiful landscape, Margaritas… what more do we want! You look so happy. Thanks for sharing beautiful pictures Deb. I love the one in which all four of you are wearing a similar dress.

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    1. Hi Olga. Lol, I’m still chuckling at the nun farts. Thanks for the link, I was sure it was a spelling error and it gave us a good chuckle when we saw it. Somehow, that name doesn’t make the cookies very appealing. LOL Thanks for sharing the definition. ❀

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  13. Sounds like fun, Debby. I love the way you laugh at things that go wrong. I’m not surprised you’re looking for somewhere else next year. They don’t look after you too well there. Good thing there’s plenty of margaritas. I’m not sure about nun farts though. I too would like to know what they are. Or maybe I wouldn’t. LOL

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    1. Lol, thanks Norah. That’s me, I will openly call out injustice, but not let it ruin my day. πŸ™‚ Lol, apparently, as Olga left a link above – nun farts are a type of cookie! Go figure! Lol ❀

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  14. Still catching up myself, Debby! I’m so glad to see you’ve surrounded yourself with a wonderful posse of friends. The fact they introduced you to skinny margaritas is big 🀣 I enjoyed looking at your life around the pool. Quite the community you’ve created. As much as you’ve enjoyed your Mexican holidays, it could be time to venture out to new vacations spots. For myself, I love to see new places, which I got to do on our road trip. I’m sure you’ve talked to your friends and maybe plan a new meeting location. I truly admire you and your ability to venture out without your hubby. I’m sure he knows what you’re up to and supports your getaway time.

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