Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Puerto Vallarta, #Mexico Part One. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Besides my blogging about more personal nature of things on my recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I also wrote a more comprehensive post about that wonderful city this month at Sally Cronin’s Travel Column at the Smorgasbord. I hope you enjoy it. Next month I’ll be sharing Part 2 where I share some of my personal findings, tips, and experiences.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Puerto Vallarta, #Mexico Part One.

 

Welcome to this month’s edition of my Travel Column. I thought it only fitting this month to zero in on one of my favorite winter spots for vacation – Puerto Vallarta, since I’ve just returned from there once again from a blissful two months away from my Canadian winter.

 

History

Puerto Vallarta is situated on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahia de Banderas, in the state of Jalisco – a Mexican resort city spanning just over 502 square miles. It was named after Ignacio Vallarta, a former governor of the state of Jalisco. (1872–1876). His full name was José Luis Miguel Ignacio Vallarta Ogazón.

Puerto Vallarta was once a thriving Mexican village back in 1859 before it became the popular resort town that it is today. During the 18th century the city grew from a small fishing village to a small beach landing port for easy access to the Sierra towns. By the 19th century, the town began accumulating regular vacationers from nearby inland Sierra towns. It became a municipality in 1918, and that is when it was named Puerto Vallarta from its former name – Las Penas. Until 1942 the city could only be accessed by sea, air and by mule trails to the Sierra towns.

The new road finally created have vehicular access to the newly becoming resort town it is today. And the first vacation advertising from Modern Mexico Magazine in New York gave Puerto Vallarta its start at becoming a destination resort. By the 1950s Puerto Vallarta began attracting American writers and artists and ex-pats wanting to escape the politics of the Eisenhower/McCarthy era.

 

In the 60s and 70s, Puerto Vallarta became a popular vacation destination, and 6 influential factors helped put PV on the map:

  • Government intervened with century-old property disputes by parceling out land as communal farms stifling development for much of the 20th century, eventually transitioning into private ownership by the early 70s to generate sales revenue to help develop infrastructure.
  • In 1964, American director, John Houston began filming the movie – The Night of the Iguana, in a small town south of Puerto Vallarta, featuring Richard Burton. At the time, the US media had Burton and Taylor in the spotlight for their extra-marital affair and the publicity that ensued gave Puerto Vallarta recognition.
  • The Mexican government heavily invested in making transportation more accessible, building better roads, and an airport, (Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International airport, named after the president in power 1964-1970), and the El Salado Wharf (the current cruise terminal), making Puerto Vallarta become the first harbor town in the state of Jalisco. All these improvements made PV become a booming resort town.
  • In 1968, Puerto Vallarta became a city from a municipality. The city began to grow with ex-patriates from Canada, US and Europe.
  • In 1970, President Ordaz met with US president, Richard Nixon for treaty negotiations. The media exposure given to this event with the scenic views in the background helped to attract more visitors.
  • The hotel development began a booming industry for Puerto Vallarta in the early 70s with the building of grand luxury hotels and resorts. The early 80s also brought on a downtown of the Mexican economy, devaluing the Peso (international currency), which of course helped to attract more tourists to get a good bang for their buck for an attractive ‘bargain’ destination. This boom of course, inspired other destination spots in Mexico to be built such as Cancun and Ixtapa, which became new tourist getaway spots in the early 90s.

 

Climate

The city offers a gorgeous climate, beautiful beaches, and a rich cultural history. With a typical tropical climate of wet and dry, the average daytime temperatures are 86 degrees, with lows at night as low as 65 – 70 degrees. The rainy season runs typically from June through October with August being the rainiest month of all. And PV is not traditionally a hurricane hotspot. Although, like much of the North American west coast, PV is vulnerable to earthquakes. Typically, there are 300 sunny days a year. And spectacular sunsets!

Please continue reading and viewing the photos at Sally’s blog.

gorgeous sunset

 

 

Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Puerto Vallarta, #Mexico Part One. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

My Big Sunny Mexican Vacation Part 3 – The Broken Shoe

My Big Sunny Mexican Vacation Part 3

beautiful beach sunset

 

The good times rolled every single day. I can’t count how many times I caught myself sighing in content just looking at the ocean and being grateful for every single moment we had in a paradise.

 

We relaxed, walked a lot, lounged a lot, made some new friends, and both of us felt great. I’ll admit though that learning to relax took us both a few days to unwind and get into a slower pace of life mode. My favorite time of the day was early morning when the sun rose and I’d get to watch some ships docking from my balcony, and watching the beautiful sunsets while listening to a great band below my balcony at a local beach restaurant next to our condo. Many nights I’d get to watch a ship leave port too. We had a good view of the cruise port from our balcony, even though the condos in front blocked them partially between them leaving port and sailing off into the ocean.

Incoming cruise ship
Incoming cruise ship at sunrise

 

ship leaving
A beautiful shot of a cruise ship leaving port one evening

 

Video share:The beach restaurant below our balcony

balcony beach small vid

( *Note – I had a lot of trouble shrinking video footage and consequently, I could not for the life of me get the video to display any other way than sideways. But please enjoy and don’t crook your necks too much, lol)

 

We dined out with my brother and sister-in-law who were staying in the next buildings over at the same time we were there. We went downtown to walk and eat at a few of the numerous wonderful restaurants downtown  on the boardwalk, known as the Malecon. There were numerous artists set up there in the evenings from glass blowing to various crafts being made. There were also many restaurants up on the hill where people loved to dine and watch the panoramic sunsets.

 

family dinner downtown
Italian dinner downtown

 

The Malecon
Walking on the boardwalk

 

Malecon
Still quiet downtown before sunset

 

One night my brother cooked us a beautiful salmon dinner and we sat on his balcony and watched another ship leave from much closer up on their balcony than we could see on ours.

cruise ships docked
Two ships docked close to my brother’s condo, one about to leave

 

me and my sisterinlaw
Me and my sister-in-law on her balcony

 

On Saturday evenings, the big mall in front of our building provided entertainment – 3 tenors would sing for an hour in the center of the outside mall. One night while my husband wanted to sit in and watch a hockey game he found on one lone Canadian TV channel, and my friend Claudette’s husband never returned from a casino, Claudette invited me to go to the mall and watch the tenors sing. They were fabulous. The following Saturday night I had only to step onto my back balcony which faced the mountains, the main drag and the mall below, I sat and listened to them again on my own balcony.

full moon
Full moon hiding behind the mountains from my bedroom balcony

 

We laughed plenty there, particularly once we got settled and surrendered to the fact that the pots and pans in our unit were more suited for camping than a kitchen. We had one big frying pan that sufficed for most of my cooking, a small pot I used to boil water as a kettle, a big soup pot that was cracked and useless, and no lids for any of them. After cooking a pasta sauce one night without a lid and using tinfoil to lay across to avoid the splashing, my sauce almost evaporated. So after attempting a few makeshift meals and heating up the whole condo in the process, we decided it was easier to eat dinner out. Luckily there was a fantastic restaurant attached to our condo where we could go when we didn’t feel like venturing anywhere far. They had a huge menu selection and we could both eat, plus one huge margarita for me for a cost of about $23 Canadian dollars. You can’t beat that!

My husband’s daughter and son-in-law came down for a surprise visit for a few days, the last week of our holiday. It was a surprise for my husband but I was part of the plan with Sheryl. We had lots of fun with them there as we’ve traveled with them many times and we travel well together. But the funniest night was the time my shoe broke – not good timing.

broken shoe
The broken shoe event

 

We had planned to dine at a restaurant in the mall outside in front but I needed to go to the bank machine 2 blocks up from the mall to get more Pesos. We were across the street from the bank machine when the strap broke on my wedged flip flops. The ground was hard enough to walk on with 2 good legs never mind with a broken shoe, and I was not about to walk barefoot. I tried to walk while squeezing my toes together to hold the thong between my toes while I dragged the shoe on the bumpy ground but it was difficult and it seemed (to everyone in our party) that I was moving at less than a snail’s pace. As everyone was losing patience with my slo mo, Sheryl offered me her shoes to cross the road and go to the bank while she sat with my broken shoes. Luckily we wear the same size. And then as we began walking back a long block to the mall, I struggled with my shoe to walk down 3 stairs when Sheryl heroically offered to take on the task of walking with my broken shoe because she said she could navigate it better than me and wanted to get to the restaurant before breakfast, lol.

the shoe
No explanation necessary

 

I never laughed so hard as we all walked in single file on the narrow sidewalk on the main street – Sheryl and I both with unmatched shoes and her dragging her foot along in my broken shoe. It was still very hot out after 6pm, between the sweltering heat and humidity and my laughter, I had laughed off all my mascara from tears. People stared at us and we didn’t even care. And as we continued to walk to the mall in slo mo, Sheryl’s husband hightailed it back to the condo to fetch me a different pair of shoes, knowing he’d get there and back to the mall before we would. It was hilarious.

All in all, it was a fabulous vacation. and one of the most relaxing ones I’ve had in years. We have next January booked to go back and rent the  beautiful large condo from our friends and my mission is to find a vacancy in that building to tack on to February. Right now I can’t find availability but I have my feelers out and have sent many emails to property managers and keep my eye out on Airbnb. I’ll keep you posted!

Every night surprised us with a different colored sky. Spectacular!

sunset splendor

sunset

sunset

 

Thanks for reading about my Big Sunny Mexican Vacation.

 

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