Later on Tuesday

After a, some may call it lazy day: me reading and bronzing, and Mom doing her puzzle and word games, we ventured out. The nearest store besides the OXXO was about ten minutes away in the Romantic Zone. It was a little different route than we had been taking. The streets were very narrow with very little in the way of signage. Soon they turned from pot holes to bumpy cobblestone. Most of the main area is cobblestone. Our gps led us to the tiny grocery store. They had the basics. I needed limes for my tequila and we needed drinking water. After our purchases we decided to drive around. It’s known to be a very gay area and, of course, that means great restaurants and galleries and shops. We decided that if we saw something and there was a parking spot that we would stop.

There was a wine tasting place so I asked a man outside if they had food and if we could park in the yellow area. He said that yes, they did have great food and wine and that the yellow on the curbs was just there because some official liked the color yellow. Upstairs was the restaurant and a gallery. We sat on a balcony looking down the street. There were many people for my mom to figure out their life. It was a pretty street lines with many colors of Bougainvilleas.

On the phone, fixing the phone

Mom had a martini and never hesitates to ask special favors, this time it was asking if they had blue cheese olives….nope, but then our cute waiter brought her three that he stuffed himself!

Mezcal Manhattan with Chocolate Bitters

It was more of a Tapas place so we had stuffed mushrooms, beef carpaccio, tuna sashimi and of course, we can never pass up calamari, but we should have.

Mushrooms
Tuna
Carpaccio

We had some more drinks and then wandered the gallery. There were some shops across the street that were cute. Soon Montezuma was telling me it was time to go home. We played some more Rummicub, finally with me winning a few games. She is still ahead! Neither of us slept well but I finished a good book. it is great to be able to read books cover to cover. It is what I enjoy when I am on long flights and/or in airports for hours.

Gallery shots

Tuesday February 16th 2021

I had a great nights sleep. The waves are so relaxing, but I don’t want to miss a minute of reading. I brought so many books to read but I really want to finish Shantaram. I started its year ago. I found it in a Sydney hotel library and I rarely get a chance to sit down an read it. It’s not the kind of book that you can skim the pages. The author truly makes you feel the sights, sounds and smell of India, especially the slums, I get itchy when he describes pulling lice out of the seams of his clothing while in prison. I smell the foul smell of petrol when he ride his motor bike.

Today is a bit cloudy and cool. We are on the west coast so the sun takes a little bit to get here. So it’s coffee and Sharantam on the veranda, occasionally looking up for whales.

Botanical Gardens

We are about 20 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta, very close to where we took a family trip to Yelapa a few years ago. We have to take a boat to get there. We left San Diego on Christmas Day and told the kids we would be traveling by canoe, so they couldn’t take more than a small bag. Sorry Natalie and Annie. The hotel, if you could call it that was one bedroom and a kitchen, not very private bathroom and a balcony with two beds and a hammock. The beds had mosquito nets but not the hammock! George slept without the mosquito net and paid for it. There were no windows or screens. It was really primitive. We had a great time. The tiny town only had narrow paths that donkeys and people passed through. No cars, no bikes, no scooters. There were a few restaurants but the beach was exciting. Waves pretty much ripped your suit off if you aren’t careful. We hiked to waterfalls and truly learned the meaning of family style eating, which meant one big bowl and lots of forks.

So today, Mom and I drove and drove south to where we were pretty sure there was a botanical garden. It was high in the mountain about twenty minutes away. So many beautiful plants and birds and butterflies. We had a lovely lunch Hugh in the trees and fed the koi. Back to the beach for a little suntanning, aka bronzing per my daughter.

Earlier today I saw some whales out in the Ocean. A spectacular site.

It’s my Birthday!

I haven’t been home for my Birthday in years! I have spent it with great friends, sometimes alone and in six continents. I hope to always do something a little different on my Birthday.

I am enjoying many birthday wishes from family and friends, old friends and new friends, friends from around the world. I am blessed and grateful.

Yesterday after reading for hours, we decided to go for a little drive and maybe eat something. We ended up in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta on the boardwalk

Mom was looking for some new sunglasses and I wanted a hat. We tried to negotiate but no deal so we stopped for some margaritas and ceviche. Just the typical Mexican hawkers and mariachi bands etc.

Back to the condo for a little wine and the sunset. It was a pretty night. We witnessed and engagement and many families ending their Sunday at the beach.

Love the mosaics
Marry Me

More Feb 13

After the car was exchanged, new car isn’t much better, the door handle fell off before the guy who delivered it even left….its Mexico, we just read and relaxed in the condo. Also got the news that my faucet in my bathroom was broken and would get fixed on Monday. Oh well.

After a little nap we decided to venture out. As usual I was checking out to local food scene. There was a place about 5 minutes away that had an amazing octopus dish. My mouth was watering already just from the photo on the website. It was about 5 miles to the South. So we got in the car and the GPS said go North. After a few minutes, I asked my Mom how much longer and she said 25 minutes. Hmm we had nothing else to do but that took us almost into Puerto Vallarta. Then it told us to take a left and then a right and I realized it wanted us to turn around. No easy task but I did and we were back on track. I knew that it was in a condo so when we pulled up to the destination, I was pretty sure we were in the right place. I asked the doorman before we got out of the car. Yup right place . No signs for the resto. A guard took our temp and gave us hand sanitizer. Another gave us a wrist band and took us to the elevator, down a long hall and finally to an empty restaurant overlooking a beautiful bay.

Margaritas were ordered. I asked for the menu but none came. Finally a hurried man came up and apologized that he was late. He was the chef! And then we were told no octopus, it was a special menus for Valentines Day. We thought about staying but decided to come back on Monday when Pablo promised to have the octopus for us!

Driving along we decided that we would stop at the OXXO and get something. Not much to choose from as it was a very basic gas station. Back in the car I made an executive decision and crossed the two lanes to a roadside restaurant. They were happy to see us and bragged about the best shrimp in the area! And it was very good!!

Best Margs so far!

So yummy! We took our leftovers and headed back to the condo to play some Rummicub and do Moms puzzle and read

Valentines Day

Today was my Dads birthday. He would have been 81. Today is my ex husbands birthday, the good ex! Valentines growing up weren’t always about me,

Thanks Covid

Even after I was divorced, Valentines wasn’t so special. It’s probably because birthday is the next day. Since I turned 50 I have spent my Birthdays far away, not because I am embarrassed by my age but because I want to truly celebrate. After a few years my friend noticed that I had been to a couple of continents during my birthday and wouldn’t it be cool to go to all seven continents in my 50’s. I have one left, Antarctica in 2022! Last year on Valentines Day I was in Melbourne at an Irish Pub. It was very busy and very loud. I saw a handsome Australian and ended up talking and dancing with him til late in the evening. We are still close today. Maybe after Covid we will meet again.

Paradise

Pretty much uneventful arrival and baggage claim experience. Then the car rental, which is always a big pain in the a$$. Why hasn’t this painful process changed after all these years? Now it is just a game to me. Last November, for instance, I was in Cabo San Lucas renting a car…. I had reserved it through Expedia, quite certain that my personal car insurance covered collision and collateral, not sure of the difference of those either, but finally gave them about $25 extra for the super low rate already. I kept threatening to take a taxi. And I should have, because the next day I had not one, but two flat tires! I am still working with my credit card company to reverse charges for two new tires! So today, in my terrible Spanish, I rented a car, paid the insurance, constantly threatening to take a taxi, while being enticed by a time share guy to get a better deal on a car and other free stuff, if I would just have a nice breakfast. No way Jose!

So the car was worse than the “rent a wreck” I was in last year. It wasn’t me that rented the “rent a wreck”. And wasted three hours of my life. He won’t be named here. I had to take a video to record all of the damage that the car had. It was not the small SUV that had been promised. Within 5 minutes of driving the engine light went on and another light too. A warning sound would come on every few minutes too, but we were already lost. My Mom can’t navigate! She can’t give directions, she can’t keep the map on the screen. It’s day one and I have pulled over six times to grab the phone and see where we are!!! GOD love her! So we skipped going to Costco and tried to locate a grocery store. I recognized a store from Cabo so we pulled in. Yes, into the exit, and then very nearly sideswiped by a taxi in the parking lot! Half-assed park job, with a quick return to the car for our masks. Picked up some groceries and alcohol and second trip for ice and then back on the road. We exited out the entrance, just so you know…It was about 20 minutes to the condo and we actually found it easily. They were waiting for us!

Too many dents dings and scratches to count!

The condo is beautiful! A corner unit, indoor/outdoor. It was dark when we arrived so I can’t wait to see the views tomorrow. There are two bedrooms with a bonus area that has a little library writing desk and daybed. The kitchen opens to the dining room, which seats 8 and that opens to the indoor/outdoor living room.

Open space

The location is 25 minutes south of the airport where the jungle meets the beach.I wanted to be as close as possible to the beach but not at a resort.

Well equipped kitchen
Master bedroom with two walls open to the outside and a big bathroom

After we put the groceries away and unpacked a little we decided that we better get a little dinner. The man that gave us the key said there will be places just a few minutes south. As we got in the car, another light added to the engine light and the other one, maybe oil. The road was bumpy with huge pot holes, ladened with hidden speed bumps and very dark. At home, I seldom have a chance to use my brights while driving. Again, navigation was hard. As we drove by the first little road side place to eat, I mentioned that we could eat there… Mom immediately said no, too dirty! We are in big trouble because I love these road side diners! More primitive the better.

As I write this on day 2, I am feeling stressed! There are so many things I want to accomplish on this trip and I feel like I have to set a schedule to read enough, write this blog, including the blog that never got published from 2019 when I was in the Middle East, walking, cooking, projects for work, like extra training on sleep breathing and Tmj and Invisalign. I am also working on a project in Kenya to build a dental clinic. Just complaining already.

So we drove for about 20 minutes, drove down one dusty, closed up town and went back to the condo for a little charcuterie plate and Patty, my Mom had her Limon rum which she loves and we never thought it would be here. I am having some tequila, freshly squeezed lime and a little agave and we enjoyed the waves and fresh balmy air. We talked about many things, including longevity and how we need to live our lives to the fullest. It’s two hours earlier here.

Moms bedroom
She loves yellow
Limon!!!
For me!
Dinner
11books plus more on my kindle

Saturday, February 13, 2021

The sound of the ocean is so relaxing. I woke up early and just listened to it. My daughter falls asleep to the ocean on an ap on her phone. Some nights I can hear the ocean from my own bed.

Today we will get the car fixed and some water in my bathroom sink will be nice. The weather is perfect for reading, writing and meditating, which for me is just deep thinking. I am too type A to meditate and God knows I have tried.

The view
Mom doing her puzzle
Some of the decor in the condo