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.
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.
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!!
So yummy! We took our leftovers and headed back to the condo to play some Rummicub and do Moms puzzle and read
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,
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
All the bills are paid, all of the odd and ends to get ready to leave for two weeks are completed, including my new puppy, Paisley, has been taken to the trainer/boarder. Not a solo trip this time, I am with my 80 year old Mother!
So many things are cancelled and postponed, so I am bored. Just catching up on books and magazines and travel dreams. A line I just read was about a restaurant in Akko Israel, from Chef Uri. He states, “You don’t come to my restaurant to suffer, you come to enjoy. But try things you don’t usually eat otherwise what is the point of traveling. I am trying to get people out of their fears and fixed thoughts.” Love this concept and live it!