Puerto Vallarta and the entire Banderas Bay is a great place to visit – lovely views, fun things to do, hotels in all price ranges. After a nearly a year of saying “Come visit!” we were lucky enough to have three sets of friends do so – all in the same week! And on three different types of vacations.
- Brandy, our former dock neighbor in Chula Vista, came to an all-inclusive resort with 19 of her closest friends for five nights.
- Lorre and Tim, along with Tim’s mom, flew down to stay for a few quiet days of Mexican warmth.
- Jennifer and David did a yo-yo visit on a cruise ship – docked at 8 am, had to be back aboard at 5 pm the same day.
Brandy and half of her group just wanted out of the compound for a while and a nice non-buffet meal that included shrimp or lobster. We met them downtown on Sunday afternoon and went to the Blue Shrimp which is right on the malecon facing the ocean. As we looked at the menu before their arrival, John and I said “Gee, this looks good but I hope it’s not too expensive for their budget” and devised a plan B, just in case. Their reaction: “Wow we can’t believe how reasonable these prices are!”
After eating and drinking to our hearts’ content we walked the malecon, they popped in and out of shops, took a bunch of vacation photos and were tempted by the live fish pedicure stations. We finished up with a tequila tasting at Oscar’s near the river. We had so much fun with them, and Brandy’s zeal for life is infectious. She’s a hoot.
On Monday, we met Lorre and Tim at their hotel and rode the city bus to the Romantic Zone. We love Joe Jack’s Fish Shack (and their 2 for 1 mojitos) but sadly they had electrical problems that day and were unable to open in time. Instead we went just down the street for a light snack of chips and guacamole, and three sauces of mole. If you’ve never had Mexican mole, you are missing out. The traditional one has a chile and chocolate base, but we also had yellow (pumpkin seed) and green (tomatillo and cilantro).
Then another bus ride to the beach where we caught the panga to Ocean Grill for our 3 pm lunch date. We visited there last year and John made a new friend – Wilson, the giant black dog (read about that day here). Wilson is still there – and they built an island for him! But we did learn that he has never actually been to visit his namesake.
It was a gorgeous day and of course the best part was the time spent with our friends.
After a day off (yes, such a hard life – we needed the rest day!) Jennifer and David cruised in on Wednesday. The mission they established for their vacation was to unwind and spoil themselves. John was part of a crew in a Beer Can sailboat race* that day, but lucky me, I was dragged along on a day pass to the Mariott pool where we sipped Mexican bubbly and tropical drinks all afternoon.
* any time you hear a sailboat event described with the words “beer can” it’s pretty much just an excuse to go sailing
I must say, I could get used to this. Go ahead, laugh at me – how much more relaxed could I get, right? Now I know!
Thanks to all for coming to visit – we feel blessed that you wanted to take time out of your short pre-holiday vacations to spend time with us. As for the rest of you – c’mon down!