Our Second Mexican Minute

By Wednesday, September 23rd, we were sorta used to hot and humid.  It was a beautiful blue sky day as we hopped on the trolley, which was always available at the front door of the Grand Mayan, to the bus stop at the gated entry to the place.  The bus ride was not bad but thereafter we always called a cab  if we wanted to go into Old Town Puerta Vallarta.  It was two bus transfers and 30 minutes away from the Grand Mayan — 12 pesos for the first leg and 5 pesos for the second leg — a grand total of 17 pesos, which is less than two American dollars ($2).  A cab was 160 pesos, about $15 in American money, or only $7.50 per couple and much faster plus air conditioned service.

The cab dropped us off near the Boardwalk in old downtown Puerto Vallarta where art and artists, sculpture and sculptors dot the ocean-side along the entire boardwalk.

Most intriguing along the Boardwalk was the sand art, elaborate sculptures created in wet sand after the tide went out, but it would soon be obliterated as the tide comes back in.

Much artwork was exhibited in oil paint, beautiful and breathtaking but not for my Minnesota home.

Only a couple blocks from the Boardwalk was Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral.

I told John to be sure and get our feet.  He barely obliged, as you can see.

We went to Mass here on the Saturday night before we left Puerta Vallarta.  It was all in Spanish but it all rang true.  Only the priest gave out Communion and only on the tongue.

We never had a chance to ask which saint was being venerated in the tomb below this nearby cross.

It was a hot, hot day and the men were dripping wet so we immediately bought them cotton t-shirts and they changed into them right away.  Then we found a little breeze at an outdoor café on the Boardwalk where we had wine, chips, and salsa, and where a vendor sold me some jewelry.  See his black case?

Pelicans were everywhere, as were heat and humidity, almost unbearable.  Air conditioning at Froggie’s was great but the loud music was not so great so we didn’t stay.  Then we found AC at the Hard Rock Café and enjoyed  together a large appetizer platter in cool comfort.

A little boy tried to get near the pelicans.  He succeeded, as you can see.

The men had enough shopping, as you can see.

There was always opportunity for more photographs on the Boardwalk, as you can see.

Mexican colors were displayed everywhere because International Day was on their doorstep.

We ate dinner later that night at a downtown restaurant, top level with a lovely view.  I had a Greek Salad and Seafood dish. We all fell asleep in the cab back to the Grand Mayan.  Goodbye, Wednesday.

The Giant Grand Mayans were always waiting for us in the lobby, whether we were coming or going.

The next day, Thursday, September 24th, seemed the hottest day of all and the vendors at the flea market worked in the street on a dirt floor, not a boardwalk.  Didn’t buy anything, but back near the Boardwalk I bought two silver serving pieces for my collection and some gifts for the kids.

The Boardwalk was unending, as you can see.

We had wine and salsa in the nice ocean breeze of this nearby restaurant and watched two fishermen put out a net and pull in their catch.  Each time they had an identical display on the sandy beach of one blow fish, one stingray, and a couple of nondescript fish which were purchased by the restaurant.

If you look carefully, you can see that the red-suited fisherman on the left is handling the blow fish, and the cream-suited standing fisherman has the stingray.

Then it was a taxi back to the Grand Mayan for more pool time.

We enjoyed all of the grand pools surrounding the Grand Mayan.

And we also enjoyed our private deck pools.  That night we had supper at the Italian restaurant at the Grand Mayan and, although we seemed to be neglected for a time, the meal was outstanding — especially my smoked salmon-asparagus salad.  They gave us a complimentary bottle of wine as we departed since their service was rather slow.

At the presentation this morning of Friday, September 25th, we toured a Private Residence Club and, although we experienced exhilarating views of the Bay and an excellent breakfast at the top of this mountainside, we were rather frightened by the pressure tactics.

After this experience we took a cab to the Boardwalk where we continued shopping.  We shared a ham and pineapple pizza in a cool air conditioned restaurant near a flea market and talked about our experience that morning.  Oofda.

Then it was back to our comfortable pools at the Grand Mayan.

On Saturday, September 26th, our last day in Puerta Vallarta, the hottest day here, with the bluest sky and only a few fluffy clouds, we took a taxi back to the Boardwalk and sat for lunch on the ocean front at the same place I bought my bag and some jewelry several days ago already.  Allan and I had a toasted  bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers.  Delicious.

We enjoyed a wonderful shrimp dinner at a nearby restaurant that evening, and it served the best shrimp I’ve ever had in my entire life.

 Then it was back to the Grand Mayan and inner tubing on the Lazy River. 

Our rooms were up on the 3rd floor.

As I already said, we went back to Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral for Mass that night, and then we went to an outstanding nearby restaurant called La Palupa. It was on the ocean and it was fantastic. 

Allan and I shared a “stack of ahi tuna” with three sauces, including wasabi, as an appetizer.  Allan ordered duck for the entrée and I had the sea bass, all to rave reviews.

We experienced the first Real Rain this evening but the thatched open-to-the-air roof kept us dry and we watched waiters scurrying to cover their linens closer to the edge.  We were “home” about 9:30 that evening to pack and prepare for an early morning flight back to Minnesota. 

The End