Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Mexican Memories

   Last night, I flew home from three fantastic weeks in Puerto Vallarta.  Today, I am wondering why I returned!  I could get very used to endless days of sun, sand, surf and cervesa....particularly in the month of November.  So far, this year I have had incredible luck in the experiences I have had, but I think this one may have been my greatest coup to date!  There is nothing like hearing/knowing about the return of winter at home while you are sitting by the pool, reading a book, with the ocean at your feet.

     I was lucky enough to rent a condo from friends of mine in Nuevo Vallarta.


     The place was fantastic-so open and clean and scenic and private.  While I found the location to be a bit far from things at first, I soon came to really appreciate that because it was so quiet most of the time.
     The humidity was incredibly high the first two weeks I was there, but for the last week it was nearly perfect.  I enjoyed finding my way around either by foot, bike, bus or cab and I found it very easy to get around after a few days.
     But the best part of the whole trip was being able to share it with my sister and her husband who joined me for my last week.  We had such a great time.  Time went way too fast, so I guess we'll just have to return to enjoy it again!

Welcome to Puerto Vallarta...getting around just like a local

Loved the public transportation

Street market in Bucerias

Loved the fish tacos
It was so hot, steam came off this bottle of beer when I touched it.

Took a cooking class

Spent an evening making Mexican appetizers

Greatest seafood lunch, right on the beach!

Lunch is served at our very own swim-up bar!

Love this picture of my sister,Wendy and I

Happy and most welcome visitors

A great evening at "Rhythms of the Night"

buckling up..

securing the lines...

lift off...

and take off...

coming in for...

a perfect landing!!
A perfect ending to another perfect day!

"Day of the Dead" displays along the malecon
in Puerto Vallarta

Strolling along the malecon

Looking for some cold, delicious coconut juice with apples and pecans.
I loved that stuff!
Living sand sculptures along the malecon

Jungle walk into Bucerias
Duty free??

     And so once again, another month has brought with it more fantastic experiences.  I loved being somewhere new and being able to discover all the things this great place had to offer.  The people were so friendly and helpful, the weather was terrific (albeit humid-but I'm sure not complaining!!), the food, views and company were all outstanding.  I am so glad that I had the chance to experience this part of Mexico in this way.
     While I could have easily stayed for much longer just to be in that great weather, I feel like it was a great way to get a feel for life there.  And now, I must readjust to being back in the cold, but hopefully it won't be for too long.  And since I am going to be in it for awhile, I am going to try and embrace the winter and make the best of it.  (However, I can tell you right now that making plans to escape it won't be far from my mind either!)  
     And so, once again, I look forward to seeing what is out there this month.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Best 91 Cents I Ever Spent!!!!!

     Yesterday, I ripped myself away from the comfort of the condo, spent 12 pesos (91 cents) on a ticket for the bus and travelled 31 km north to the surfing town of Sayulita. 

Lime-salted watermelon spears, cold coconut milk
and the beautiful Pacific Ocean on Sayulita beach!!

     And what a trip it was!  The ride was indeed as rough as I had heard it was going to be, but the experience was very interesting.  Once we got out of the city, the drive turned into a great half hour ride through the jungle.  It was as green out  the window as the blues over the ocean in San Diego were.  A cool sight for a prairie boy!

      Once I got there, I bought a smoothie on the street, got a shrimp burrito for lunch and walked around the town in the heat and humidity.  Eventually, I made my way to the beach and found surfers, sunbathers, vendors, massage tents, fishing boats, locals and visitors alike. 
Lunch time!  Can't get enough shrimp!!
Sayulita beach

Such beautiful scenery

Even the dead fish on the beach were interesting looking!

Best thirst quencher to date:
watermelon spears served with lime salt
(I passed on the offer to add hot sauce as well!!!)

cold coconuts on the beach!

Jungle in the Sierra Madre mountains

Downtown Sayulita

      What an interesting day!  I enjoyed getting out and seeing a more typical Mexican town than where I am staying in Nuevo Vallarta.  And as "they" say, 'getting there was, indeed, half the fun'!! 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Today, I....

took a 'water taxi' from Nuevo Vallarta to...
Puerto Vallarta. 
While I was there I...

spent 30 pecos on this great drink they were selling on the street
which was coconut juice with bits of apples and pecans in it.
I drank two.  They were so cold and sweet and delicious!

Then, I found some 'street meet"!  4 bbqed shrimp on a skewer with lime!  YUM!!

I enjoyed the 'malecon' or boardwalk.
 Lots of sights, sounds, smells, vendors, artists.
Awesome people watching!

Then, I waited for the water taxi to come back and bring me home!

(this was NOT the water taxi)
Then, I got caught in a torrential rainstorm during my run.
It absolutely POURED,
and was warm and exhilerating and wonderful!!

It felt like a great day to be alive!!
     All this, on the day when home got it's first really big dump of snow.  And THAT is the reason I chose to be away from home in November!  This trip to Mexico is the very first one that I planned and booked last year in anticipation of my year off.  And am I ever glad that I did. 
     I hate the month of November in Saskatchewan.  It is so gloomy and dreary.  It can't decide if it is still fall or if it is winter yet.  I have to admit that it has been a pretty great way to bring in THIS kind of 'snow day' today!  I was purposefully mindful of what I was doing today and tried to enjoy each moment of it because this time next year, the day won't be quite as sweet! 
     Totally worth the time, effort and planning to have it!  Can't wait to see what else is out there starting tomorrow!!