You can’t feel guilty for not doing much when there isn’t much you can do! It is now the fourth day of my vacation in Mexico and the most active thing I’ve done is boogie board (and I even did that quite poorly and with very little effort…and success).But I should probably back-track to the beginning. Randy and I left Boston in 20 degree air at 6:20 AM on Saturday. We arrived in Chicago a few hours later to a bit of snow. Our flight was delayed slightly as the runways were plowed and the plane was de-iced. Four hours later we stepped off the plane and it was 79 degrees. Of course, we were still dressed for Boston and the next 30 minutes going through immigration was rather unpleasant.
After getting our passports stamped we hailed a taxi. And here is my first observation….these people are weird. Everything that can possibly be done simply is done in a most complicated manner. For example, in any other country I’ve been to, you exit the airport terminal and hail a cab (or take the subway). In Puerto Vallarta, you purchase a ticket at a counter (despite people swarming you to either give you a ride or to sell you a time-share). You take the ticket outside and hand it to the driver and he takes you to your destination.
But after piling our luggage into the taxi and driving away, we handed the ticket to the driver and he immediately stopped, backed up, and said he didn’t accept tickets. We had to go back to the airport and start over with a cab that does take tickets. Even more complicated, only federally approved taxis are allowed at airports so if you’re savvy enough (and don’t have too much luggage) you can cross the street and grab a cheaper non-federal taxi. Oh, did I mention taxis don’t have meters, either? Oh no, it’s zoned. Well, it’s technically zoned. You can also barter to make it cheaper (especially with the non-federal ones).
Anyway, we’re staying at the Mayan Palace Resort in Nuevo Vallarta – just north of Puerto Vallarta. It’s a bit quieter and more resort-like than Puerto Vallarta. We showed up at Ben and Sandy’s condo around 4PM. To say the least, the place is gorgeous!
You walk into the main lobby and it’s pitch black with 5-story tall statues of Mayan gods. We tried taking photos but it is so dark and they’re so large that even the flash didn’t help. It’s something you have to see in person to appreciate.
Randy and I quickly changed into shorts (the sun doesn’t set down here until well after 7:00 PM so there was still time to tour the grounds and lounge by the pool. That night, we walked to a local restaurant for dinner. Actually, we brought it back and ate at the condo…but it was really good.
On Sunday it was a bit cloudy in the morning so we decided to head into downtown Puerto Vallarta. One scary 20-minute cab ride later and we were at the Malecon (a street along the water with sculptures and shops. We had lunch at a great authentic Mexican place (all of the customers were Mexican…where as most other places were packed with Americans and Canadians). Bargaining is big down here, as are “deals.” Ben, Sandy and Randy took advantage of the two-for-one drink deals. I stuck with bottled water to go with my tacos.
After lunch we toured the area and took photos of anything and everything. There’s this area that houses a flea market on this tiny island in the middle of a river. To get there we crossed a bridge that hangs from trees (I think) so it’s just planks of wood hung by wires. Needless to say, it swayed left and right, and up and down. Pretty damn cool.
Once on the island, we were cocooned by a ceiling of plush green trees (banyan trees? – they’re so huge that limbs start growing downward so they can reach the ground and support themselves to grow higher.
Since the downtown hugs the mountains, the area is more cloudy than where our resort is. Still, it was quite warm. After Puerto Vallarta, we took another cab ride from hell and went to the main destination for all PV vacationers: WalMart. Ugh. But we were able to stock up on bottled water and groceries (and the aforementioned boogie boards).
And with those groceries we cooked a delicious dinner of pasta and salad and home made salsa and guacamole. MMMMMM
Long story short – the weather is perfect, the condo is perfect, and I’m having the most relaxing time. I’ll post more later!
*FYI – that top photo is the view from our condo.
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