The Trip – Part One

It’s The Small Things That Matter that form the biggest memories.

Things I love about being in Mexico – Friends, sun and ocean. The technology break is – to be cliché – heavenly, and a little bit back in time – pre-distracted times. Nobody is attached to their phones. Conversations are meaningful. Minutia can become an engaging conversation when we aren’t ruled by the clock. Nobody is in a hurry. I can watch the dolphins and whales from my beach chair or balcony, many times a day there’ll be one in view. The whales come to the Bay every February to birth the babies in a safe, shark-free environment.

What’s so great about Puerto Vallarta? It’s sunshine, ocean, books and of course, Margaritas. It’s true relaxation, an escape from life. It’s a fantastic venue for the growing art scene with a whole lot of talent from painters and sculptors to music and plays. It’s a wonderful community of kind people. It’s watching the sunset on my balcony with a Margarita, and waking up to sunrise above mountains from my bedroom window. Massages to grind the stress from my body. Admittedly, it took two or three until the pleasure part came through.

An artist on the Malecon doing charicatures

Traveling during Covid, and alone, walking for miles, with much too much carryon stuff was how it began. For the first two weeks I was taking in the beautiful sun and re-acclimatizing myself into the word, relax. I knew a few people there, quite a few other regulars didn’t come back this year, still afraid of Covid. Most of the ones there that I knew, somehow became strangers.

With the exception of our Dakota friends there til mid February, I felt like a newcomer at a place that used to feel so familiar. I’d make small talk with whomever may have been sitting beside me at the pool, had enjoyable days, but I became concerned about being home by myself every night and wondered if I’d be less lonely at home. I wasn’t looking to fit in but rather, some human beings I could connect with enough to want to have in my circle and form a friendship with. And that happened, it seemed, shortly after Valentines Day.

I met Shawn and Bobbie from Ontario as they ventured down to the pool on their first day in PV, and saw me wearing a Canadian hat, which inspired them to come talk to me. I met Jerry and Wendy from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and affectionately renamed them Je and Wen. I automatically shorten people’s names. I started calling Jerry, Jer and he laughed, telling me only his ex wife ever called him that. I apologized, he laughed and said he liked it then proceeded to call me De. Tit for tat, I took off the ‘R’ and began calling him Je. Wendy became Wen.

Shawn and Bobbie

Me, Je and Wen

When I connect with people, it’s an instant feeling when I know I’m with ‘my people’. Wen is a sweetheart and Je is equally lovely with a great sense of humor. Jerry is also an artist who I will be featuring in a few weeks at one of my Q & A interviews, so stay tuned for that. I met them in the pool and we all three instantly connected and laughed a lot. Through Wen and Je, I met a friend of theirs, Saul, also in the pool. Then eventually, a week or so later, I met Saul’s wife, Brenda, who I kept calling Wendy, mixing up her name with Jerry’s Wendy, until Brenda had had enough and began calling me Sheila. Sheila Tequila that was. We went out quite a few times for dinner after we became fast friends.

Me, Brenda and Wen

One of a few things I noticed that’s changed with the times there was that many restaurants didn’t have some of the older waiters that knew ‘old school’ waitering. Many restaurants had young staff – some quite young, who couldn’t even speak English. I discussed this with Jerry one day in the pool after a dinner night out we shared as a group at Tosca. Jerry told me he’d heard many waiters died from the Covid, hence, the rush on inexperienced waiters as tourism opened up. There, Jerry ordered an Olive Martini, a ‘nouveau’ restaurant in the new up and coming area of Versailles, which is literally a ten minute walk from our condo. The restaurant was nicely tucked under an open air – garage door-like open rooftop on a residential street. The place was recommended, so we thought we’d check it out. Besides the fact that it took an hour to bring us a drink, not comprehend menus without English speaking waiters, then another hour wait for what came, cold food, it was Jerry’s martini story that had us laughing the most.

I know my friend Jerry isn’t one to make waves. But when we finallyyyy got our drinks, Jerry commented that he was sure they forgot the Vodka in his martini. He was so perturbed he began passing around his drink around the table to Wendy, me, Brenda and Saul, and polled us all, asking if anyone smelled alcohol. After a unanimous vote ‘no’, a few began the taste test. It was still a resounding no. Jerry tried to communicate his concern to the young waiter, who had no clue what the issue was. The waiter went to another waiter to confer, with no results. Jerry called another who looked higher in command to express his complaint. That person went to consult with the bartender before coming back with a shot glass with Vodka in it. Gone was all the ‘Sorry Sir, let us make you another drink.’ Or, the customer is right and unhappy. We all had to laugh at the circus of confering going on before someone would believe him. It became ‘one of our’ standard jokes. After all that, the food was good. The service was lacking, the time it took to receive drinks and food were very long, and naturally, most food came cold. But in all fairness, the left overs were even better for next day lunch once heated up.

La Tosca
We finished dinner before the guitar player began

We had quite a few fun nights out together and other than one more crappy dining experience with Jerry, Wendy, Wendy’s sister, and my other new pals, Shelley and John at another ‘recommended’ restaurant in the same area, we were done with recommends. The still up and coming restaurant row had a long way to go before warranting the higher restaurant prices there. We were told there was a great Greek/Mediterranean restaurant in the same area. The food was average and below, my Margarita tasted like grapefruit and something. I know grapefruit. I don’t like grapefruit. But the stern, rude waiter insisted it wasn’t. Half the stuff on the menu wasn’t available. Jerry again, got a crappy fake martini. Anything Wendy wanted wasn’t available. My food was tasteless. We watched several tables who came when we did, eat and leave before we ever saw food. I asked the waiter if I could ask a question about something on the menu and he replied: “Hurry up, I’m busy.” We were all stunned at his brazen rudeness. When it was time for the bill we waited another hour. I kept asking Jerry and John to say something to our terrible waiter. Finally, the bills came – most wrong, especially Wendy’s charged for things she never ate or ordered. Wrong drinks on wrong bills and tempers flaring. We all paid without leaving a tip. Not surprisingly, I cannot find any photos from that crazy night.

John and Shelster (of course I renamed her)

This was a better meal night at one of our favorite Italian restaurants – Abraccios, Shelley, me, Je, John and Wen

I had planned on checking out a dentist while in PV. Many people I’ve heard from go there for cleanings, implants, root canals, etc. First, it’s much cheaper for dental work in Mexico than it is in Canada or U.S. There are many state of the art clinics with doctors and dentists from around the world in PV. I have my own dentist, but I’m concerned about some things I wanted a second opinion on and I was long overdue for a new nightguard, as the old one no longer fits my bite, my grinding is out of control, and they aren’t cheap. So I thought I’d check around for recommendations, and I didn’t even have to ask, when Wendy shared a story with me about dental work she’d been having in PV with an amazing dentist. Jerry went for a whitening there too and couldn’t say enough about this mother/daughter dynamic dentist duo – Drs. Lourdes Flores times two. A.K.A as Lulu Flores – both them.

Clinica Dental Flores

The daughter is a dental surgeon. They work together, no hygenists, no secretaries, they do it all, and me and Mama Flores hit it off instantly. Like we knew each other from another life, it was uncanny. She too was a younger widow and my appointment took three hours because there was a lot of talking going on between both us! I had one of the best cleanings I could ever remember (and my gums reminded me for three days), but then they felt so much better. I got fitted for a new nightguard and had it three days later. Best nightguard! No hassle, just put it in, unlike my old one which required a hot water ritual. If anyone may be going to Puerto Vallarta and considering a dentist visit, or requires expensive dental work, I high recommend my new dental amigas, Drs. Flores and Flores.

For more information on this wonderful dynamic duo of dentists, please visit their Google page where you can translate – https://dentistasyortodoncias.com/mexico/clinica-dental-flores-puerto-vallarta-jalisco-mexico/ or English version, top ten rated: https://mx.top10place.com/clinica-dental-flores-365931539.html#review_updates

Soon after meeting the Winnipeg friends – Wendy, Jerry, Brenda and Saul. I met John from my own province of Ontario, in the pool. We started yapping about everything and anything, and the next day, he introduced me to his wife Shelley. We became the three amigos and Shelley and I laughed and laughed all day long at the pool, and on our many outings together. Shelley was just a person I automatically clicked with and felt like I knew her for years. We spent every afternoon in the pool together, never running out of things to talk about. We shopped downtown together many times, sometimes with and without John, stopping for a meal and the odd Margarita for me and Sangria for Shel. There may have been many outings and drinks:

Not sure who the guy in the background is, but this is us
Shel and her new hat after shopping and stopping for a meal
Another shopping break
Can’t even remember where this is
Us at the Margarita Grill – this is the perfect Happy Hour bar downtown right in the heart of the downtown Romantic Zone. Where I typically like to get dropped off by cab for a pitstop and move on to wherever is next.

Shelley and I met a couple of girls from Edmonton, Alberta, at the pool. We had a couple of fun times with these girls, Carol and Sharon, who of course, were also dubbed nicknames, as it seems I had a new name for everyone. The four of us went downtown one afternoon and walked the Malecon, stopping along the way for some happy hour drinks and more laughter. At one of our stops, the tag in my dress was scratching the heck out of me. Carol to the rescue asked a waiter for scissors. No such thing, but he gave her his Swiss army knife. Below is Carol doing surgery on my tag at the bar. After that set of drinks we wandered down to Los Muertos Pub for some burgers.

We began at the top of the Malecon and stopped at El Patron for starters – Sharon (Marg nickname), me, Carol (Pat nickname) and Shel
Stop #2, two for one (crappy Margaritas) and Carol doing tag surgery on my romper

And finally, to round off my new circle of wonderful friends, came Pat (Patty girl) and Jamie from Vancouver, B.C. I met this fun couple seperately at the pool and was delighted to find they belonged to each other. Pat and I began chatting in the pool and I met Jamie around the pool. And it didn’t take long before I renamed him Ukranie from Jamie.

Another downtown afternoon shopping and drinking trip. Drinks on the beach! Me, Patty girl, Jamie (Ukranie), Shel and John
Fun picture of us girls laughing at something as we wait for a cab to go to the Marina for dinner with the guys

Jamie was very engaged with the Ukraine situation and has relatives stuck back there. He had passed a Tshirt making place along one of his many investigative shopping travels and ordered himself a shirt, “I stand with Ukraine” was the intended slogan, but as he modelled his shirt at the pool, my editor’s eye caught a typo on his shirt. It said, “I stand with Ukranie.”

I laughed out loud and shouted across the pool, “Spell check much?” Jamie took another look at his shirt and came back telling me he showed the printer a picture of the shirt off the internet on his phone. Again, I asked if he believed everything he saw on the internet. The damage was done. He couldn’t wangle out of that one and now he’s forever known to me as Ukranie. A week later, he ordered some new solidarity shirts and below, we are modelling them:

Three amigas stand with Ukraine

The month of March seemed to pass a lot faster than the month of February. With all my new friends and my introducing them all to each other, there was never a dull moment between pool gatherings, shopping and dining, drinks, and laughter.

One day, Ukranie rented a car for the day and drove me, Pat, Shelley and John up to a fantastic market about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, up to La Cruz. We spent half the day up there at the beautiful Marina market, then stopped at some other smaller popular towns on the way back – Punta de Mita, Bucerias, Sayulita and Nuevo Vallarta.

Next week I’ll continue on about that crazy, fun trip with the five us, as well as some other jaunts, shopping trips, sightings, and, of course, more Margaritas!

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a little about my wonderful friends and just a taste of some of our good times.

©DGKaye2022

My Big Fat Mexican Vacation – Part 2 – Chair Wars, Accomodations and Other Stuff

 

 

When you spend most of the day at the pool, you meet a lot of people and gather a lot of information. My friend Tim (Sudbury) dubbed our pool the ‘pool of knowledge’, a place where sunloungers congregate in late afternoons and share lots of good information on – what’s going on in town, where to buy this and that, great new restaurant discoveries, where to get your hair and nails done, etc. And of course, the pool became a gathering place of sorts in the hot afternoon sun where many conversations among people somehow wound up on the topic of politics.

 

 

beachfront

 

The pool we hangout at in our complex edges onto the beach with the ocean mere yards away. Vendors come by daily throughout the day selling anything from T-shirts, sunglasses, silver jewelry, to fresh fruit – you name it. The trick is to always bargain. From what I found by asking each vendor how much they sell their wares for, it seems their starting prices are approximately double than what they’ll accept. Hey, everyone needs to make a living, but nobody wants to get ripped off, so a modest profit is acceptable because the vendor has to make a living too.

We made friends a-plenty and got to see friends we’d made the previous year. When hub and I would chat about certain friends we began sub-titling their names with the city, state or provinces they came from. It was easier to tell a story referring to the Minnesotas, Dakotas, Manitobas, Sudburys or the Sarnias – sometimes being easier to remember where people came from rather than having to remember their actual names when we first met them.

I didn’t note many Americans at our development, but a couple each from Chicago, New Jersey and Minnesota. Surprisingly, there were a few there from North Dakota – traditionally a republican state. I befriended a lovely couple from there and chose not to bring up politics around them, but I couldn’t believe the audacity of some other tRump lovers that were there. Don’t misconstrue my opinions with people behaving badly. These select few Americans were loud and proud tRump supporters in a country and in a pool where people were predominantly against their president. Again, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but when someone stands up in a crowded swimming pool, shooting off her mouth loud and proud that she loves her president, and continues to chant with ‘let them build that goddamn wall to keep out the Mexicans’, I cringed in disgust. I found it distasteful and disrespectful to the Mexicans and couldn’t help but wonder why in the hell hypocritical people would even bother going to Mexico.

It was mostly cold Canadians fleeing our harsh and brutal winter storms from the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and probably the biggest group from Quebec. We missed a few of those beauties (storms) so friends and family kept us updated. Some days were minus 40! Is that even a real number?

Most of our days were spent at the pool and as always, it seems wherever we travel, we encounter ‘pool chair wars’. Because it seems there are never enough lounge chairs for pool lovers, one has to develop a strategy to get a chair, which usually entails the old adage ‘the early bird gets the worm’. But being an early bird doesn’t mean going down and throwing a towel on a chair and not showing up for several hours later to actually use the chair. The pool area is patrolled by security, and they have no qualms about doing hourly surveys around the pool to look for empty chairs with towels on them, post sticky notes on them with marked time and ultimately, removing the belongings within half an hour.

 

chair sitting
Hub on chair duty

 

My husband as always when we travel to a warm destination, is downstairs by 7am latest, setting up our chairs for the day. He’s trained for years now on protocol. I have my chosen location, which always means I’m at the end of a row so I have easy access to be able to turn my chair along with the sun’s movement, while hubby sets up the big umbrella (even more in demand) beside his chair to stay more shady. Then he sits down there and socializes with the other early birds doing the same. In the meantime, I’m already working on the computer and getting breakfast ready for 8am when he comes back upstairs to eat for his half hour grace period, before returning back to the pool while I finish up my work and get ready to join him downstairs about an hour later. At lunchtime, we each go upstairs and eat lunch separately while the other stays with the chairs or often I’d make us both lunch and bring it down to the pool and eat. Everyone who knew us knew where to find us. Ours was a busy coveted corner.

And what of those late comers coming down to the pool in early afternoons expecting to have a chair? Well, some don’t care about a chair, while some are angry and quite nasty at that.

Even though we were lounging in paradise there were still some people who are naturally nasty. One day I came back down from lunch and was approaching my chair when I saw a woman I didn’t recognize, leaning into my husband, pointing her finger in his face. By the time I reached the chair, I heard her scolding my husband. The part I caught was that she was angry she couldn’t find an umbrella and was chewing out my husband, telling him he’s under that umbrella every day, asking him why the hell he doesn’t just stay on his balcony. I KID YOU NOT! At that point, many around were listening to the conversation and my blood pressure shot up, knowing my husband doesn’t like scenes, he stayed quiet. I suddenly just wanted to push her 2 feet behind her, into the pool. Instead, I went up to her face, pointed my finger at her and shouted F*CK OFF. I got some applause from some people behind me, and she never bothered us again.

Some other people aren’t happy unless they can boss others around, or make people unhappy. I think some people don’t know what to do with themselves with actual free time on their hands. We had those who would try and get our towels taken away by a fellow renter who tended to act like he owned the development and spent lots of time visiting the pool security people, and a nasty woman who I never knew who came up to my chair and started up with me over my husband holding chairs.  But besides some of the pool BS, we had a wonderful time.

 

cruiseship arriving
Cruise ship coming into port, watching from the pool

 

We didn’t have to pay for whale watching tours because we saw some daily not far from shore. They love to stay near the little boats and sometimes put on a flop show. Apparently, mid December through March is calving and feeding season for the Humpback whales who have their babies in that part of the bay because they train and feed them there knowing there are no sharks there in the secluded bay area of the ocean. I also found out from my Sudbury friends who did go on a whale watching tour, that when the whales  leave, they head up to Vancouver Canada. Imagine the miles, not to mention what smart navigators they are! Sadly though, I never really caught the whales flopping up and nosedive back down into the ocean on my camera, or their wonderful displays of fountain when they spewed up water. My timing was never good, lol. I’d keep the phone in my hand waiting, and if I did catch the moment, the seconds between where I press the camera button to when it actually takes, were always the missed moments. We did see many ships coming into port though and leaving, which we enjoyed watching no matter how many times we’d seen it.

And the sunsets – my favorite time of day. I loved to sit on the balcony, or at least pop in and out for the last 45 minutes before the sun set because the horizon was gorgeous with color. Every night the sky told another story and I tried to capture some of the best parts.

 

PV sunset

 

 

postcard sunset
Just like a post card

 

sunset balcony
The million dollar view sunset

sunset

 

Sunset
Same sunset, a few minutes later

It was amazing how the color of the sky changed many times over in one sunset.

 

By day I was a lounge lizard – save for the morning or afternoon walks to Starbucks or picking up some groceries. I cooked a few dinners during the week, the other nights we went out for dinner to some of our favorite haunts and tried out a few new places – courtesy of the knowledge from the pool.

lovelocks
Passed this neat lovelock collection on the sidewalk while walking for groceries

 

For the first month of our trip we had rented our Mexican friend’s gorgeous luxury condo with the million dollar view and plenty of bedrooms. This enabled us to have visitors, my cousin D and my sister-in-law R came to stay with us for a week, which was fun having a little girl time. We went for walks and to a few markets – mainly the Saturday morning market downtown by the Malecon boardwalk and to the Thursday night market at the Marina. These are two of the more popular markets where you can buy anything handcrafted and food. There are a few popular eating spots in those markets, and the most popular is the ‘Bagel Man’ who is known for the best bagels and cinnamon buns in PV. The lineups start early for his goods so we’d get there in plenty of time while he sets up to avoid long waits. I befriended Peter the owner while there asking if he had any gluten-free bagels. He told me he could make me some and bring them to the Thursday market for me. When I went to pickup my bagels, he forgot them! But the nice guy that he is, he promised to deliver me a dozen to my condo the next day and he did!

 

3 amigas
The 3 Amigas

 

Million dollar view
A view from our beautiful rental

 

2 ships docked
A view from my back balcony affords me the view of docked ships

 

My step-daughter and son-in-law came down for a different week to spend with us in January and we also went to some markets, down to the boardwalk for a meal and had a good time together as we always do when we travel with them. And my author friend John Maberry came down with his wife for a lovely meet and greet for a few days and stayed next door to us in a hotel. It was busy times in January.

 

group of friends
The Sudbury crowd and John and his wife J

 

Then came February, when it was time to leave our first class accommodations because it was already rented out for February. I’d gotten us a one bedroom unit in the complex, which felt like a cottage, sparsely decorated and missing a lot of things such as: kitchen utensils, frying pans, chairs on the balcony, a crappy view, no coffee table or additional chairs other than the 4 at the kitchen table. I wasn’t impressed and told the girl I rented it from who I’d rented from the previous year. She managed to buy me some frying pans and promised some lounge chairs for the balcony which we never received. I made good use of those kitchen chairs – I pulled one in front of the couch to put my feet up on so I could use the computer, one went in the bedroom to be able to have something to place an article of clothing on, and they were all used when I had to hang up laundry. For the price we paid for that unit it was a huge disappointment. And I didn’t hide my dismay from anyone. But at least I was still in the warm weather and missed some terrible winter storms back home. When we checked out before leaving, the girl came to give me back my security deposit and chuckled and said, “Oh, I have your lounge chairs for the balcony.” I was not impressed at what she thought would be a humorous statement. Again, I let her know.

 

shit view
Our crappy view in February condo, the river runs into ocean and junkyard parking lot

 

A few notable photos for fun:

 

Pharmacies sell many drugs without prescription. Some notables are: Valium, Codeine drugs, Viagra, antibiotics, Ambien – just to name a few. This sandwich board of menu specials was outside  the restaurant we were dining at next door to the pharmacy

 

pharmacy sandwich board
Special on Viagra

 

I found this T-shirt at the market and had to get it for hubby. I almost had to beg him to wear it, lol, but he got a lot of chuckles at the pool:

google shirt
No explanation necessary

 

Malecon by night with some art and sculpture I took photos of:

 

art

art

Malecon artwalk
Malecon stroll in evening

 

We had a fabulous meal at the top of the hill off the boardwalk – Barcelona Tapas, where you could see the city from

 

Barcelona Tapas

 

city view from Barcelona Tapas
Gorgeous city coastline view from Barcelona Tapas ( we can see our beach condo from our dinner table)

 

All in all, we had a fabulous, relaxing and fun time away. It was great to see our old friends from the previous year and make friends with new people who we will no doubt see again next year.

D.G. Kaye
Our friend took our picture on our way out from the lobby to dinner

 

 

I recently posted my travel column at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord where I write monthly, all about Puerto Vallarta if you’d like to learn more about that beautiful city. The article is chock full of information from history to dining, and next month’s edition I’ll be getting more into personal experiences, recommendations and caveats, so stay tuned!

 

Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Etheree – The Bird Tree

Colleen's Weekly Poetry Challenge

 

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 126, “Poet’s Choice of Words”

 

For this week’s #Poetry Challenge, I’ve written an #Etheree poem on my experience with ‘The Bird Tree’

 

To the right of our gated entrance to the condo development we stayed in on our Mexican holiday, is a huge tree. In order to get to the Starbucks next to our condo, we must walk under this tree to get there. Just before sunset, this tree becomes a convention center where it sounds like hundreds of birds gather to converse throughout the treetop, while below, the sidewalk resembles an abstract painting of splatters of white fall out.

 

I wondered how many times one could pass before becoming ‘shyte out of luck’ and getting splattered on by one or more of these birds. I often watched people pass quickly under that tree, carefully shielding their ice-cream cones, laughing to myself because I’d do the same thing with my coffee, wondering if my luck would ever run out after too many dashes by the tree.

I later learned that the tree is known as a ‘candy’ tree, which of course explained to me why the birds loved to hang out there in particular. The tree is known as a Tamarind tree, which is a popular tree in the region of Jalisco state where Puerto Vallarta is situated in.

 

 

 

Tree

Stands tall

Birds convene

Boisterous chirps

I shudder in fear

Daring to pass unscathed

Mad dash to escape ‘fall out’

Covering my treasured java

Hand outstretched protecting sacred brew

Wondering how long til my luck runs out

 

Life is like a cup of tea

 

Feel free to hop on to Colleen’s Weekly Challenge!

 

 

My Big Sunny Mexican Vacation Part 2 – Beach Wares and Chairs and Muffins

Puerto Vallarta

 

We woke up to spectacular ocean waves crashing and gorgeous beach views every morning, which we enjoyed as we ate our early breakfasts just after sunrise. Sunshine with a side of ocean breeze was just what the doctor ordered for both us.

 

Previous to our trip, my husband was unwell for a few months. When we left for this vacation, he had just graduated to using a cane from using the aid of a walker. He was so excited to go away that he said he was content just to lounge on the balcony all day while I’d go down to the pool. But miracles abounded.

happy in the sun

 

By day two, hubby joined me at the pool. I got him to take little walks with me on the beach – sans cane. By the third day of pool lounging and after taking our showers, we walked up the main street for a couple of blocks to get familiar with what was available to us. Walking on the narrow sidewalks full of cracks and high steps up and down from curbs, he began to tire so we returned back to the condo. We locked elbows as we ventured back the few blocks but I was elated within that my husband could walk with me without the cane.

By the next day, hubby seemed to be back to the man I knew two years ago. Lots of sleep and sunshine was surely a healing tonic. He ate his breakfast and eagerly gathered up the towels for the beach chairs to go down early to secure our chairs of choice for the day. This was the vacation job my husband always had taken on, and had previously told me it was going to be my job now, but I never inherited the duty as he cheerfully would go down to the pool every morning each day to mark our spots. I’d do the breakfast dishes while he sat patiently waiting me for come down and join him about two hours later each morning. While I’d catch up on emails and social media check ins, he’d happily chat at the pool with other husbands who were doing the same – saving their chairs until their wives would join them. It seemed to be a ritual by many seasoned travelers.

Canada towel
My beach towel. If I would have brought 20 of I could have sold.

 

Everyone seemed so friendly at our pool, most vacationers were there for two and three months, and majority were Canadians – most from Quebec, others from Vancouver, Alberta and Saskatchewan. We all had one other thing in common besides being Canadian, and that was our desire to get out of the cold Canadian winter.

We had our daily visitors on the beach – vendors selling T shirts, beach coverups, hand crafted items, sunglasses and more. But the most awaited were ‘Muffin man’ and ‘Mango man’. Only once a day we’d hear the shouting out of Muffin man as he walked across the beach and passed by each resort pool, calling out “Muffin man” to alert all those eagerly awaiting his pass by and raising curiosity in the newcomers like us.

At approximately 11am daily, the Muffin man made his rounds past our place with his huge round platter balanced on his head, full of huge muffins, slices of fresh baked coconut or cheese pies. and apple or blueberry turnovers – the same menu daily and for the mere price of 15 Pesos, about the equivalent to 1 Canadian dollar.  The colorful Muffin man complete with eyeliner and mascara and a jovial personality, had no problem unloading his tray and my husband became another fan of all the goodies presented daily. Mango man came by a few times a day with reloads of his mangoes already peeled and creatively sculpted into flowers on a stick, which were appealing to many while the hot sun burned and those juicy fruits had all the work done for them to, ready to just purchase and indulge into.

From our pool seats we could view the ocean only steps in front of the roped off private part of the beach in front of our pool where we’d see horseback riding, and even a few whales popped up for air only meters from shore. Sadly, my quick reflex camera skills weren’t quick enough to grab a photo of the whales before I could set up the photo, they went back into the Pacific. And we had the best massages right on the beach by registered massage therapists at the hotel next door. The massages were done up on a slight hill right in front of the ocean. The massage booth was complete with two comfortable beds, aromatherapy that wafted through the air as the ocean breeze blew through the white canopied curtains that hung from the four sides of the makeshift open air massage room. And only the sounds of the waves crashing and birds chirping nearby could be heard.

massage on the beach
Massage area before morning set up of beds and curtains

 

 

The lookout edge of the pool is where most of the ladies hung out while cooling out of the hot sun – you never know who was going to pass by selling something of interest. Of course I’d bought a few beach cover-ups and made friends with some of the Mexicans who schlepped their wares all day back and forth along the beach all day. Every time I wore a new one to the pool I’d get asked where I got my cover-up. I told them I’d send Lisa over later to the pool’s edge, and got her a lot of business.

another beach day ends
Another glorious day at the pool ends. I’m wearing one of Lisa’s fashions

 

Lisa with her wares
Lisa and her husband dropping off their load at the pool’s edge

Beach goodies
What to choose?

We made some new friends while away. Two of my new friends – Jean and Bertholle, are from Quebec. We met in the pool and became fast friends. Jean happens to be a medium and a writer! He has just finished his manuscript and I referred him to my editor who happens to be bilingual. I also promised to help with with trying to find a translator to get his book from French to English, and urged him to start a blog. We got along famously between speaking my broken high school French and their broken English.

2 writers and a therapist

We also made friends with a lovely couple – Claudette and Alain, and look forward to spending part of the winter with them again next year.

Claudette and Alain

Balcony view
Visiting at Alain and Claudette’s beautiful balcony view

We also met a lovely couple who own a magnificent unit in our condo – Eric and Leticia. As they live in Guadalajara, they keep their unit for their beach escapes. They offered to rent their condo to us next year. Of course we’re taking them up on it. It’s rather large with 4 bedrooms, with the master bedroom and bed facing the ocean!

Until next time, I’ll share a few magnificent sunset photos  I took from my balcony. Many more to come.

Stunning Puerto Vallarta nights

Puerto Vallarta splendour

Puerto Vallarta sunset

Puerto Vallarta sunset

Balcony sunset view
Another view at almost sunset from our balcony

one beautiful sunset
One of many more beautiful sunset photos to come

 

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite bloggers for the Annual Bloggers Bash. I’ve been nominated for ‘Best Pal’ Blogger. Please VOTE HERE for your favorite Bloggers.