Thursday, December 9, 2010


My husband & I went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for vacation a couple of weeks ago.

Really, a V A C A T I O N!

He really works hard, and for the past several years, has been using his vacation time to help me with Art Festivals. Those "mini-vacations" are really no vacations at all - between long drives, the grind of physically setting up a booth, tent, merchandise, and then standing around for 2 - 3 days is pretty tiring. Evenings are usually spent grabbing something to eat and sleeping.

So, it was about time we took some actual R&R.

Krystal - Pool
Lucky for us, we have a time-share [we haven't been for years]. Lucky for us, we had enough frequent flier miles to get there for [almost] free. My best friend met us there and stayed at our hotel.
Krystal - New Tower [stay here]

The beach at Yelapa
Wow. What a difference. We didn't have to wake up early, we didn't have to be anywhere at any time. We decided to take casual clothes so we didn't hit any "fancy" restaurants.The only thing we did was take a cruise to Yelapa... and snorkel, and kayak. The cruise was fun, it was a beautiful, cool day, we got wet suits. By the time we got to Yelapa, it was warm and sunny. We hiked up through the "sleepy" village, supposedly charming, to a water fall. It was nice... not fabulous, then hiked down a different way to get to the beach. This sort of "easy hike" is NOT good for older people, or people who are not sure of themselves. The hour on the beach was an hour at a restaurant [we just had lunch on the boat], the water was too cold for swimming, but it was pleasant enough watching the group in front of us sporting "Hedonism" visors drinking and shopping every beach vendor. Then back to PV, the crew decided to put on a show which was pretty lame and unnecessary - but hey, it's open bar and that was the best pina colada I've had in a long time.

Some things to know about traveling to Puerto Vallarta. It's safe. There are a million things to do, or you can sit on your butt and ask Ramon to bring another round of margaritas and chips & guacamole.
You can rent a car, or you can take the bus [cheap!] or taxi's [fairly cheap] to anywhere.
Looks a little run down since last we went, but not awful...a little dustier. Maybe the stores are moving toward Nueva Vallarta and La Punta Mita?
Anyway, you will be constantly assaulted by time-share sales people. They will offer you free lunch, free massages, free boat trips... they'll pretend they met you before. You will also be pestered constantly if you hang out on the beach. Our hotel has security, but that's to keep beach vendors out of the pool area. You'll start out being nice, but within hours you'll be saying "No, gracias" or "No tengo dinero" and by the second day, you'll be holding your book over your eyes to avoid contact. Anything sold on the beach can be purchased elsewhere for less. Walking down the main streets is a contact sport, avoiding those listed above AND everyone trying to get you into their restaurant, bar or nightclub.
There are great restaurants, and you CAN drink the water. Try Pipi's for fun and fajitas [not on Fridays, tho], and El Arrayan was fabulous - not typical "Mexican" food. There are many more... we had a great lunch at Daquiri Dick's in the Romantic Zone.
Walking is an easy way to see everything. We walked from our hotel into town [5 miles?] and from downtown all the way to Las Conchas Chinas one day [okay, we took a cab back].

Although I feel like I've already seen everything, I really enjoyed Art Walk on Wednesday night [sorry, didn't buy anything] I missed Sergio Bustamente's gallery TWICE, but did get ice cream at Bing. I've gone there forever, get Espuma de Angel every time, and this is the first time someone explained the flavor in English [I still don't get it, but it's unique and yummy!]
Sharon wanted to see the houses Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton lived in during the filming of "Night of the Iguana" - Casa Kimberly [Liz's house] is under construction to be made into condo's. Nothing to see [except the run-down bridge] and pretty sad.

If you can swing it, make sure you get a massage [or ten]. The spa at the Krystal had a promotion going - 75 minute massage for $40.00. Best ever, no kidding. Ask for Rosario.

Yarn Painting
Huichol Bead Animal
This is the first time I took some time to check out the Huichol art. These are the Peyote People. Their art represents their visions, and each animal/symbol has meaning. At one store, my husband and I were set to BUY a piece of art [yarn painting], but it was our first shopping stop, before we left, the manager offered to sell us the work for about half price...IF [and only if] we would take a cab to a timeshare presentation, spend 90 minutes hearing about it, and then cab back. This was out of the question...[but Norm was thinking about it]. We checked out other stores. We also loved the bead work. We went back to the store another time, same schtick. Darn! We should have just paid full price, because we just wanted it... next time, we'll go here, instead.

I read a book, played solitaire, slept, sat at the pool, on the beach and did my Zumba workout every day. I was inspired, relaxed and had lovely times with my husband and my best friend. Wow, I guess that is what vacation is for!

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