so i went to mexico! usually i bring a laptop with me when i travel and i blog every night, but i didn’t want to bring one with me this time, so i am blogging post haste at home before i forget what we did.
lori picked me up and we headed to jane’s house around 4 p.m. from my house because we had to leave for our flight at 6 a.m. the next morning. the most exciting thing we did was go with jane to get her some flipflops.
the next day was almost entirely travel. we left MSP and had a layover in mexico city, where we changed money and had lunch, and then we caught another plane to puerto vallarta.
we left at 6 a.m. and got to puerto vallarta around 8 p.m. in the rain (no time change!). no one told us it was the rainy season! the good news is that it rains mostly in the evening and night, so our mornings and days were pretty nice. hot and humid, but nice. that night when we got in, we took a brief tour and then headed to one of the restaurants for buffet supper (food wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad).
our first full day in mexico! first, i have to say that i was impressed with how much spanish i understood and how much came back to me. i was able to converse somewhat coherently. we woke up bright and early on friday because we had an excursion planned. we partook in the breakfast buffet, which was the best part of the all-inclusiveness of our resort. the bread in mexico is awesome.
then we got in a cab to go to our jump-off point for the one tour we had planned. we took a hosted ride up to san pancho and then sayulita. it was nice because we learned a lot about the area from our guide and got to drive through the rainforest and mountains to each little town. on the way, we stopped at a roadside stand to try some local fruits (jackfruit, pineapple, tamarind, coconut, etc.) and i got some vanilla extract – 3 liters for $20!
san pancho was quiet and small, and we visited a chocolate shop, a community center, and the beach. i have to say i am totally impressed with mexico’s recycling program. not only do they have a good one in place, but the people actually recycle. score one, mexico.
then we headed to sayulita, which was a little more intense.
we stopped at a tequila shop so liz could buy something for doug, and then we went on the beach where we stopped and had a piña colada and tried to ignore the vendors strolling about.
after that, we headed to a quieter location where our tour group fed us some pretty awesome tacos and i had a spicy mango margarita. (also: no fresh mangoes down there! i was a disappoint.)
we got back midafternoon and then it was beachtime!
the ocean was warm. the sun was hot. my sunscreen held.
that night we decided to try out the “steakhouse” at the resort, and it was mediocre at best. my “medium” ribeye was well done. the good food on our plates was the fried bar food – onion rings, fries, etc. but the view was nice and we saw some baby turtles hatch and make their way down to the water!
this was a lazy day! we started off at the beach after breakfast at the buffet (the breakfast was, once again, the best thing about the food). i also need to point out that all of us were usually drinking each morning by 10 a.m. i guess one good thing about all inclusive is you can find a bartender at any time.
there was a pool with a swimup bar, so we took advantage of that! then we’d head out to the beach and listen to the waves. after lunch on saturday (another mediocre buffet except i managed to just eat a plate of vegetables [good job self] and i had this amazeballs butterscotch cream puff), i requested we walk down the beach because i thought i’d seen a massage hut, and lo! we found it! i got an hour massage for $30USD including tip. i pay $70 for an hour massage here without tip and that’s relatively cheap. jane and i both pretty much flashed everyone at the beach because it was an open air massage, but you gotta take that if you’re gonna get a massage next to the crashing ocean.
that night we decided to go somewhere else for supper. i found a little restaurant right on the beach that had 4.5 stars on google, so we got in a taxi and braved all los topes (speed bumps) into buceria to mar y sol. we started off on the beach with our feet in the sand and ended up moving indoors when it started to rain.
we ordered some chips and guac and then some giant drinks. liz and jane each ordered basically two entrees, which neither finished. i got a plate of fresh seafood in a garlicky sauce.
i mean, yum.
after liz and jane stuffed themselves and we left a huge tip, we put our food in doggie bags and our server said he’d hang onto it for us and to come back so he can get us a taxi (finding a good taxi is necessary). we took a walk down and couple blocks and back to check out buceria. THEN i found the best thing ever: a churro stand. huzzah! i got fresh churros stuffed with nutella. we also stopped at an art gallery where jane got a couple pieces.
we were about a half a block away and our server was waving us over telling us he’d already gotten us a taxi and that we should have a seat, pulling out a couple chairs. (that’s how i knew we left a huge tip.)
once we got back, i ate one of the churros, and it was probably the best thing i ate on the trip. it was still hot and crispy, covered in sugar and cinnamon and stuffed with nutella. even the next day when it was cold and slightly soggy, it was still delicious.
then it was saturday night! we played some bad rounds of quiddler and then headed down to the resort’s dance party. we found some awesome mexican tías (or, they found us), and we danced with them. the best was when achey breaky heart came on and EVERYONE LINE DANCED. wat.
after the dance party ended, the discoteca opened up, and we went in there and danced for a while. jane left early, then liz made a creepy friend on the dance floor. after lori and i thought liz had been kidnapped by the drug cartel, we all made it back to the hotel room. whew!
our last day! sad face. once again a buffet breakfast, then to the beach and pool. the waves at the beach were giant – i decided i did not want to get in there. then liz got slapped in the face with a fish and the fun was over. we spent some quality time at the pool; we got there early enough to sit at the swimup bar and order some drinks early on. we did some water aerobics with a group of people who were no younger than 50, but it was super fun. the instructor was jazzed and i was tipsy enough that it was a blast.
another veggie-licious buffet lunch for me, then we all took a nap to recover from saturday night a bit more before heading out to puerto vallarta’s malecon, a streetwalk of sculptures and art along the beach, which then crosses over into the gay district.
at this point, it was getting pretty steamy and we had been walking a while; jane was ready to call it quits. we decided to sit on the top floor of a restaurant and get some snacks to see how we felt after that. the breeze was nice, the guac delicious, and the fish tacos even better. but the best part was the view.
after that we walked another couple blocks and then caught a cab back to our hotel, just in time for a fantastic sunset on the beach.
then it was time to pack 🙁
you’ll be happy to know that, unlike california, all my junk fit quite nicely in my trunk. including the 3 liters of vanilla!
we hit the hay early because we needed to be out the door by 6:30 the next morning.
travel day. we had two layovers: one in mexico city and another in atlanta. i got the middle seat with two strangers during the flight from mexico city to atlanta, so that was fun.
but the plane back to MSP was ginormous and not full, so lori and i shared 3 seats and liz and jane shared 3.
we headed out the doors of MSP into 40º weather and whispers of october snow that fell while we were gone. when we opened the car door at jane’s house, it smelled like fall. and so now i sit at home again with routine lulling me into my false sense of time to be had. time to travel more.
and even though you’ve heard it many times when returning from travels, i leave you with my favorite quote by michael perry:
“…to this day my two favorite things in the world are solitude and motion. I’ve found them in the next county, in a semi crossing the Nevada state line, on a Hungarian train, and on a bus approaching the Guatamalan border. In times of trouble, motion is my morphine. But as much as I love to run, I love even more to come home. At every latitude, my compass swivels to point back here, to little old New Auburn. This place is my true north. A stray dog running, as it turns out, is just circling the rug.”