Bahai de Banderas - Rockfest to New Years

Saturday, December 13, 2014
Hot OverCast
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verdes

Awesomeness: I am still in awe of the wonderful party put on for the children last evening.

Today we had big plans to get lots of things done around here, plus go out to lunch in Nuevo Vallarta. We started off the day going out for coffee or should I say we tried to go out for coffee. Going back to Vera's that we were at the other day. It had everything we wanted, remember our coffee shop criteria. Today coffee was not in the cards. Ken got a muffin and they were going to make coffee. We waited and waited hoping for dogs or coffee. Not one dog, not one cup of coffee (and this is a coffee shop). Once the muffin was gone the whole idea of coffee seemed redundant. That was "coffee" in Bucerias on a Saturday morning. By the way the waitress forgot to make the coffee, duh, its a coffee shop for heavens sake.

We went to the venue for the Classic Rock Festival in Nuevo which was the Hard Rock Hotel or Resort. The bands had started for the day and it was hot out. We are actually getting tickets for tomorrows event. Wow, never thought we would but Ken was being positive and decided to check. We did not get one ticket each we received at least eight tickets all together. We would be able to go back stage with the rock stars. Pretty out there for me, how fun is that! We discovered that the last few days of the event were not well attended. Even the parking lot was practically empty. Now we have tickets to give away and we do not really know anyone here.

Lunch was badly needed so off to the Paradise Plaza and Napolita's. Our waiter was the Captain of the waiter crew. I remember him from when I was at the restaurant in March of 2012. He was interested in the Rock Show tickets and so two tickets were his tip. Hope he goes and enjoys the show with a significant other. We wanted to give the tickets to Guadalupe or some of the workers here at Los Arroyos Verdes. We will see when we get back home. We also e-mailed a few people from Gabriola who are down in this area of Mexico.

A swim to cool off was our next order of business. We talked to our new buddies from Winnipeg to see if they would like to attend the festivities. They were not that interested. I think it will be fun or at least a major distraction..................

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Hot Sunny
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

Awesomeness: 1st Vallarta Classic Rock Festival December 12,13, &14, 2014. Held on the grounds of the Hard Rock Hotel, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.

Shopping made easy with drinks. We shopped for a gift to donate at the Festival.

The bands performed great. Unfortunately, the only English speaking sound guy in PV quit just before the show started, on Sunday when I attended. This left the promoter scrambling. Btw the promoter John Zaring told Ken he is going to "lose bigtime" on this show. The attendance was light, promo was blamed.

This was the line up before the sound guy quit. Ken took a picture when we went back to the dressing room to interview Foghat.

I'll let Ken tell the story:

The show had a house band that worked for the lead singers. Mickey Dolenz, Steve Augeri, Craig Fuller and they were supposed to play throughout the day.

Well because they lost the sound guy the decision was made to simplify the show and have the house band backed acts play first. Well, Foghat was scheduled to play early. Jules, the wife of the guitar player was telling Donna and me, " we get these guys to bed and up early only to be told hurry up and wait, and we're the bitches". She has a point.

Linda, the wife of Foghat drummer Roger Earl, and also the Foghat manger arranged for us go to the dressing room to do the Foghat interview during the wait.

That was fun. We recorded a couple of station ID's and found out a few things. New recording coming out, Roger Earl (told me in his interview)he is the brother of Colin Earl who plays with Mungo Jerry of "In the Summertime " fame.

Here's the planned schedule that was toasted by the sound guy quitting. I got a shot of it on the door in the dressing room, after interviewing Roger Earl from FogHat. Linda, his wife, told me where it was posted. I was there on the Sunday.

Anyway, because the sound guy quit they had to improvise. The delay allowed us to mingle with the performers backstage in a gazebo affair over looking the Pacific Ocean and the beach of Nuevo.
We didn't so much start early as the show started late.

The house band was getting ready to go on, and we ran into Diane Steinberg Lewis and her husband from San Luis Obispo and Steve Miller Band member Kenny Lee Lewis. The station ID was done and Diane mentioned she worked in the Frampton movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, we both thought they were very nice people.

Fortunately, for the audience, Foghat was able to bring it together after the long wait. Slow Ride is the classic of my generation. The audience clearly knew the song and rushed the stage (we rushed the back stage, took pictures).

To have Foghat make it stick, with a performance to write home about. I can still feel the chills run down my back. The new guy seems to be working out ok... after they finished playing I remember turning around and seeing then telling the other guitarist wife, " now that's putting the classic into classic rock", she smiled, the only time I saw her smile that day. Rock star wives must be a tough job.
We needed to relax and just sorted watched the show from the gazebo back stage sitting behind Pure Prairie League and members of Jefferson Starship.

We got up and moved around to the far side of the stage and sat behind a Foghat percussionist and his wife. He shock his head disappointingly when I rushed to the front stage area to snap a picture of Journey lead singer Steve Augeri as security nicely escorted me out of the area.

It was funny later Steve thought he recognized me and I had to explain it was just me from earlier and that I was the guy security escorted from the stage area.

Well it was quite loud as Craig Fuller played so Steve agreed to meet later to do a stn ID. We finally met up and he intro a song as well as a couple of IDs. Nice guy, funny though a lot of the young girls seemed very attracted to him and were constantly interrupting us.

I just let them be and moved on to talk to David Freiberg of Jefferson Starship and get an ID. David told me Grace Slick didn't play with them anymore but Cathy, their new lead signer was great. I asked if he could introduce me and get a StnID. So he did.

Well Cathy was hangin with their young guitarist and they were trying to find out who was the young drummer from Cheap Trick, was it Rick's son. Turns out it was.

So Cathy does the ID and asks about the station. I tell her we play non mainstream, so she gives me her new side project album and says to try that. We chatted about stuff and I asked if she ever joined other bands on stage and she said no. Guys like Cheap Trick were very focused and showing up on stage might distract them. Well later that that she did show up with Cheap Trick, quite a show.
So Mickey Dolenz shows up and he does the ID and intro his fav song.

We still can't be sure but it must have been Mark Farner hangin around backstage looking like a rock star. Wow the guy has such a presence.

So its time to move front stage. The light crowd allowed us really good viewing front of stage centre. We watched Starship and Cheap Trick

Micky Dolenz of the Monkeys

Steve Augeri of Journey


Roger Earl - Foghat drummer, since Foghat was a word on a scrabble board.

Jefferson Starship

Great seats for the show front of house and backstage.

Jefferson Starship

Cheap Trick was a crowd pleaser.

Ensemble for Surrender.

Small but great crowd

Well. That was fun, next year sounds like a great idea!

Monday, December 15, 2014
Warm OverCast
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verdes

This was a day of dragging myself around. I was tired from the days festivities on Sunday. I had to prepare a major paper for something. The work I had to do was completed in the alloted time frame but it was very much a big effort.

It is so great to be in a place like Los Arroyos Verde when times are tough. Los Arroyos is such a beautiful garden setting. The sound, scents and visuals of such a place assist in keeping life in a positive prosective. The black lab type dog, Negre, even let me pet her and get up close for a photo.

I tried to get caught up on some badly needed e-mailing. A few friends and family caught me before I had to pursue writing the major paper needed by tomorrow morning. I will get more e-mail done as soon as I can.

The Pool and centre of the social life of Los Arroyos Verdes

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Hot OverCast
Mileage 531 836 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verdes

Awesomeness: Somehow we can get Netflix on our TV even though the internet appears to be down. 

The housekeeper came and cleaned the kitchen cupboard and the shelf about the counter.

We are giving Vera's coffee shop another chance. Ken thinks we should. The coffee frappochino has no sugar so I put sugar in it like you would regular coffee. The cute little grey and white dog comes for a visit and a pet. That is another really cool thing about Mexico. Dogs kind of wonder around visiting people at open air restaurtants. You might think that is bad having dogs wondering around, but really it is not. This little grey and white dog appears to live next door. He comes and visits just to add some spice to his rather mundane day. He does not bark when others walk by his home as many dogs do NOB.

Our walk on the beach was awe inspiring as many beach walks are. The waves were quite high and broke on the beach, spreading water up high up on the shore. The water was not cold but warm on the feet. People on the beach were reading, walking or just trying to get some sun.

We were still in Bucerius at lunch time so went out to Luna Lunas. We split a dish because a whole, big plate of food might be too much at this time of day. Luna Lunas is an open air restaurant under a giant palapa. There is a little building at the back housing the kitchen and the bathrooms. Very delicious, reasonably priced food at his place

AAhh, that was refreshing!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Warm OverCast
Mileage 531 842 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arryos Verde

Awesomeness: Certain places we walk on the property of a wonder scent. We have tried to figure out what plant or flower it is without success.

I am back in ernest, trying to finish a painted quilt. I have a bit of advise to put forward here. If you start a really good piece and get lots done it, then one of life's little distractions surfaces and you seem to not be able to continue, force yourself to work on the piece and finish. It is way harder to pick up working on the piece after months have gone by than if you would have finished earlier. Believe me, I am going through this right now and it is tough slugging. I know the piece is worth finishing and I have put lots of work into it.

Ken brought Lulu the dog to visit and cheer me up. Lulu is a little dog here that is likely part Chihuahua mix. She is gentle and allows people other than her owner to pet her and pick her up. She is a real sweet heart and very much a free spirit.

We needed to go buy groceries at Walmart. Why Walmart you ask? They carry the very best nachos - Sanissimo Nachos mini Tostades made out of corn. Others stores do not carry them. These little gems are also baked and not fried so better for you. If we eat a few meals a day in our kitchen it is more economical. We try to make meals that are easy and healthy. Quick clean up is also a criteria. We bought lots of fresh veggies and fruit. For vegetarians we found Chata brand soya cihirizo. You can find it in the sausage carne section of Mega and Walmart. It is a staple of our Mexico kitchen, along with rice, beans and granola. Our casa does not have a toaster but we are going to ask if any of the casas here have one. Toast would be a nice change of pace for breakfast.

Thursday, December 18, 2014
Warm OverCast
Mileage 531 862 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

Awesomeness: You really have almost everything for a great holiday right here - great place to walk, swim and eat. The garden is a delight to walk through - view and breath in the scent.

Thursday was spent with a bit of quilt painting for Donna and a bit of computer business for Ken. We needed to get away from the everyday, as if living down here in paradise is not enough.

We had plans to go into the PV area and walk around the Puerto Vallarta marina area. To get there you drive passed the airport until you come to the huge statue of the whale and her baby. 

Jose's advice - Hey Ken, come on, be a professional tourist!

That is where you turn west into the marina. Driving into that area gives you more reason to believe this is an excellent area to live in. There are many high rises and low rises, plus hotels. Ken just can not believe the capacity of the PV area to hold tourists. The Westin is in this area as is the Mayan Palace, an older property than the Grand Mayan. We parked Pepe and walked until we came to a fellow we realized ran a little tourist booth - Jose. He got us hooked up to tour the Grand Mayan, something we wanted to do anyway. With his gentle insistence we agreed to going for breakfast there the next day, plus get the tour, plus get tickets to Rhythms of the Night. He would come and pick us up at Los Arroyos and we would get taxi money back. Sounded like a good deal.

Okay, now we are in good moods and are walking all around the marina area, more the condo, hotel district of the marina area. We even took a quick tour of the Mayan Palace and the Westin. Lovely properties with luscious landscaping and pools. They would be likely excellent places to stay. 

Hunger pangs were happening. We had been told by Jose of a good restaurant at the end of the Marina walk, so off we went. To our surprise the marina had market going on. Many of the vendors were the ones that frequent La Cruz on Sunday. Plenty of venders. At one crook in the walk was a group playing music from South America with flutes - lovely. We walked the length of the marina at least twice taking our time, choosing just the right restaurant. The host of the restaurants are often annoying, trying to pull you into their establishment with specials. One guy was quite charming and amiable at the Sticky Fingers Wings restaurant. Then one of his Canadian customers let us know how good the food was. We were drawn in by the two of them and our hunger. Reasonably good food, but noisy atmosphere. 

We found a wine store with my favourite red wine. It is cheaper than at home.

We must return to the marina area. It has a good atmosphere, especially with the hustle and bustle of the Thursday night market.

Friday, December 19, 2014
Hot Sunny
Mileage 531 908 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

Jose from in front of the Mayan Palace came to pick us up at the front gate, on time, as promised. Someone in the big, white van was fast asleep in the back during the twenty or so minute journey to the Grand Mayan Resort where we were headed. Jose cued us up on what we were to bring and what to say so he could get his commission. Smart guy! It is a very impressive place!

Once we were in the capable hands of our first sales person, Kristen from Chilliwak, we were escorted to see the upstairs rooms with views. Gorgeous, well appointed and equipped rooms that divided off from two bedroom to one bedroom/studio suites were shown to us. Wow, real eye poppers! Then down to a huge breakfast room for our free meal. There was an omelette bar, crepes made in front of you, a Japanese section, about twelve different juices or milks, several choices of potatoes, lots of cut up fruit, pastries and much more. It was overwhelming and difficult to limit yourself to one plate, let along one plate full that did not make you look piggish. There were huge murals on the upper walls. Kristen ate with us and seemed like a friendly, Canadian.

She took us on a tour of the grounds and the giant statues of the Mayan ancesters. Then up to the sales room. We saw a video of the soon to be addition which will included Cirque Du Soleil as part of the Mayan Palace experience. Then it was off to another section to be given the sales pitch. Kristen was not pushy but we saw two subsequent sales people who were more persuasive. All sounded real good but Ken resisted and put forth questions or objections at every turn. After what seemed like hours we were escorted down stairs to another sales room although at first we did not realize that is what was happening. 

Basically the sales pitch for varying degrees of a piece of the resort action would cost anywhere from $75,000. US plus taxes to a low of about $1,200. plus taxes. By the end with the great price we were worn out from repeated exposure to "good"deals, plus one sales guy even decided to slip in a beer for our trouble. The beer, not conducive for making sound business deals with. We somehow got out of sales pitch hell and received our promised tickets to "Rhythms of the Night" and our taxi money home.

Since we liked the Grand Mayan and we had on wrist bands we decided to treat ourselves to the rest of the day wondering the grounds. We walked out on the beach for a long ways to take pictures. Got to say, wonderful beach! The food seemed expensive in any restaurants on the premises that we encountered. We came back after eating near the Nuevo Marina. The Mayan was lit up to accentuate its features. We found live music to entertain us. We were left with the question of is this a good deal for us or would we regret our decision to buy in? We will continue to pursue this and decide when the time is right.

Saturday, December 20, 2014
Warm OverCast
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde
Awesomeness: We can just stay here and do nothing or do something. We do not have to leave the grounds.

Staying here at Los Arroyos Verdes was just fine today after spending the whole day away yesterday and we have plans for tomorrow, too.

I will be painting on the coconut quilt and Ken will be doing computer business. I know it might not sound too exciting when we are in such a warm and wonderful paradise but doing "something" everyday gets to be uninspiring after awhile.

I have a little tip to pass along to my quilting friends. When painting little piece after little piece be sure to to label and even write on the pieces the colour that area is to be painted. You are safest to still have your photo handy to refer to. In my case on the iPhone. I make sure I go into Settings - General - Auto Lock - Never, so I do not have to continuously take steps through a locked screen to find my photo. That way your picture is constantly there as a colour reference.

We have found the weather cooler here in Bucerias at this time of year - December - then it was last February. It is not like we need to wear long pants or a hoodie but it is a little cooler for our evening walks. It is also cooler in the pool even though the pool is now at about 86F right now. It is not always sunny all day so if it becomes overcast later in the day the pool feels a little cool. I know, "suck it up" lady. You are in freezing temperatures up north and my whining about a few degrees cooler in the pool is not what you want to hear. I do feel spoiled down here and wish you could be transported down here so you could feel the warmth of the sun outside our little casita.

The sheep (we think, they might be goats) next to Los Arroyos Verdes.

Lulu comes for the rare visit

Sunday, December 21, 2014
Warm OverCast
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

Awesomeness: Sunday is always awesome here as there is a band or musician playing. Many people come out from the forty casas and listen to the music and laze around the pool.

Today I felt much better as I got the required number of hours of sleep. Sleep and not staying awake very long in the night can make all the difference in the world to how you feel.

We had a mini list of what we wanted to purchase at La Cruz Market - fresh pasta, bread, etc. We were by no means up bright and early but were very excited about our mini-adventure to La Cruz. 

We get out to the van and the engine will not start only turn over. We have been so lucky with Pepe the van. He never seems to let us down even though he is an older model and well past his prime. Ken retrieved his tool box from the casa and tried in earnest to locate the problem. It was similar to a problem we had when Pepe failed to start on the east coast of Mexico. It seemed to be a place in the middle of no where. It was a truly scary experience but ended up being remedied in about half an hour by some skilled Mexican mechanics. At least this time the van decided it was sick at Los Arroyos Verde, in the shade, with staff that could assist and translate for us. We discovered that we will need help tomorrow truly diagnosing and addressing the difficulty.

Now we have the day to ourselves to do with it what we want. I got out the paints to continue on with the quilt I want to finish. Ken had computer business to attend to. Later on when it got hot the pool beckoned us. The musician playing was the same fellow from a couple of weeks ago that does a good job of playing tunes from Gypsy King's albums. He is good! We talked to our new acquaintances from Surrey, floated around in the pool and talked to Guadalupe. It was a relaxing time with fine music, company and wonderful surroundings.

Monday, December 22, 2014
Hot Sunny
Mileage 531 908 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Hot Sunny
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Hot Sunny
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

Awesomeness: the birdhouses hanging outside the main window of our casa

I did it! I finally finished painting my wonderful coconut quilt. Well, really it is not a quilt yet, it is just coconuts painted with Tsukeninko fabric inks on cloth. It has been a long time in the making. I just skipped many month of working on it as we had other life events that needed tending to. Sitting painting is a kind zen thing to do. Especially when the part you are painting is just one colour and not real thinking has to be done. I am very happy with the work so far and plan to finish the machine quilting at a mush later date.

Ken is mostly finished some important paper work. He wants to get away and do something different, so do I. We have plans to go into Nuevo Vallarta for supper but walk around first. We finished up some leftovers for lunch before heading off in the sun to do something different and exciting. Our first stop is Vallarta Adventures. We need to find out some information for the Rhythms of the Night tour we are going on later in the week. A happy discovery, we can take a sea taxi from VA to the Paradise Plaza. We are in a little covered boat much like the New Castle Island ferry. We drive though the marina area noticing pelicans up in the trees and an iguana in the mangroves by the boat. Almost as soon as we get out of the sea taxi I feel hungry and need to consume some calories before our walk. We head to Paradise Plaza mall to get something to eat. 

The bakery supplies us with cheese and croissant for a treat. Our table is out in the middle of the mall. After our second lunch we walk around the area of Nuevo. I want to show Ken where Sharon and I stayed about three years ago on Springbreak. We are able to walk right around the building and back to the pool. It looks a little different but time has a way of distorting reality. I think there has been an addition put on the front but not sure about that. We walk along the beach all the way to the Hard Rock. We clean the sand off our feet and head through the Hard Rock and over to the Plaza hoping to catch the ferry immediately. Waiting around was great because we ran into Ramon who hooked us up with a tour of the Paradise Resort later on this week.

The ride back in the little boat was relaxing and calm. We had wanted to eat supper in Nuevo but we kind of tired ourselves out on the beach. We wanted what Ken mentioned - toasted tomato and grilled cheese sandwiches for Christmas Eve supper. Sometimes the most regular food can be delicious.

Thursday, December 25, 2014
Hot Sunny
Mileage 531 988 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verdes

Awesomeness: They have Magic Jack so I could make long distance phone calls to Canada for free. When talking to Alix we did get disconnected but I called right back.

Feliz Navidad or Merry Christmas to one and all. It is rather odd waking up Christmas to sun, warmth and beautiful weather. In Canada, where we are from, nearly all those types of weather would be a rarity on Christmas Day. Gabriola could be sunny on Christmas day but not warm. In fact, having grown up on the prairies and Ontario a white Christmas was usually the norm. I am definitely not complaining about the weather, just commenting.

Being so far away from family and to keep in touch I made phone calls to loved ones. 

I miss them all. My Sister had just made a trip to Moose Jaw to move my father to a place that serves meals. A much better option for an elderly gentleman living in a harsh climate. That way he is not stuck at home with nothing to do and only cereal to eat. I thought be might not like the idea of the move but when I talked to him about it he said, "only bad thing about it is that I might gain weight". I talked to little Hunter, her Mom Shannon, Kelly, Sister Charlene and my Dad. I also called my best buddy Alix, on Gabriola Island, who is like family. It is hard to be away from family at Christmas but we will make the best of it in this tropical paradise.

We got away from Los Arroyos Verde about 1:30, later than we thought but family phone calls at Christmas take time. We stopped at the Galleries/Liverpool going into PV. We stopped and ate at a salad restaurant in the food court. We did not want to be wondering the street of PV on an empty stomach. We split a huge, delicious and healthy salad. Once in PV we parked in our favourite, underground parking spot which is before the malecon and across the street from Starbucks.

PV Cruise ship terminal

We wondered the street for hours, walking the malecon and wondering old town. We walked to the River Cual and to the Island. The Island hosts a special even to February but seemed like a ghost town, being home to some ferral cats. One cat was a georgous, big Himalayan. If I would have lived closer I would have wanted him for my own. There were crowds of people at the mouth of the river, on the beach and on the malecon. The malecon had the most Norte Americans and the Nationals were in all three places. It was a beautiful day with high waves and sunshine.

Supper found us at the vegetarian restaurant again. The menu was very Mexican - pozole (soup), soya strips in a chocolate mole sauce, wheat gluten chicaroons in a green sauce, several kinds of rice, refried black beans, veggies in a cream sauce, the salad bar, guayaba juice, tea or coffee and banana bread for desert. Many of the dishes I can not have because they are usually made with meat. It was a real treat to have them even though for Canadians it was not a classic Christmas meal. Ken will be able to pick out our New Years Eve eating spot.

I dragged us around as long as possible. Ken wanted to leave shortly after eating. Once just about home I realized I was tired and was glad we had headed home. It is always hard to let go of Christmas.

Baby Jesus makes his appearance.

Friday, December 26, 2014
Hot Sunny
Mileage 532 044 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verdes

Awesomeness: Firm bed, some might not like it but it has helped my back and hip lots.

Boxing Day is always the day after Christmas and as such a bit melancholy. It is now a year until Christmas again. Even though we were not with family or friends for the holiday season it is still hard to let go of Christmas. We know that back near Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada a great day after Christmas breakfast is being cooked up by my Sister and Brother-in-law. We will miss it and them. We, however, are going out to breakfast at Luna, Luna in Bucerias.

Luna, Luna was open and there was room under the big palapa. We do not like to venture too far from home without eating breakfast. Sometimes the restaurant is not open or we can not find a restaurant that we like, etc. It can be a risk venture on an empty stomach. Either of us can become grumpy or irritable with little provocation. I ordered a safe bet of scrambled eggs with veggies, one of the veggies being cut us cactus. Ken ordered the darling, chiliques verde which was topped with cheese. Ken's was so delicious. They served both meals with beans. We each were brought coffee. The coffee kept me up that night until late. No more coffee for me (please stop me from drinking it. I have little will power.)! Mexican coffee is so good compared to any other coffee I have had. In Canada I do not drink coffee unless it is in a frapaccino.

We went for a walk on the beach toward downtown Bucerias. It is a lovely flat, sandy beach. There are lots of tourists here right now escaping the wrath of Canadian and northern US winters. 

There were huge, black birds circling an area of beach. We were admiring them until we found out the their story. Further up the beach were a small group of children with a bunch of tourists. They were releasing baby turtles into the Ocean. There was a very high tide today and strong wave action. Once fellow had a five galloon jug full of water, sand and baby turtles. He released them slowly not allowing the children to bother the babies. The waves coming up far on the beach helped with the release. The black birds, perhaps Frigate birds, were trying to make a feed out of the babies. Some people were throwing stones, etc. at the birds trying to stop them from the massicure. After awhile the birds just left. Thankfully many of the turtles got away and the huge jug had many more turtles to be released. Lets hope many babies make it and become adults. The populations of these turtles are dwindling.

Saturday, December 27, 2014
Warm Raining
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verdes

Awesomeness: We can park right be our casa.

We had big plans for this evening and wouldn't you know it - it rains. Part of the morning and early afternoon was rainy. It was, of course, cloudy and overcast. It was still warm outside, almost hot. The rain will not be a deterrent because where we come from it rains all fall, winter and spring. Once day of rain will not stop us in a place where is is warm or hot when it rains.

Our destination was Vallarta Adventures in Nuevo Vallarta. 

Quick visit to the dolphins while we wait for the boat.

The scouting out of where to park, where to go once we got there and what to wear had already been done some days ago. We were going by boat, across the bay to an area where famed director John Houston had his Vallarta get away. Here is what is said on the Vallarta Adventures website about Rhythms of the Night, the show and dinner place that we are going to.

"As night falls, the secluded cove of Las Caletas is transformed into a magical paradise, the ultimate backdrop for our exclusive event, Rhythms of the Night - an amazing voyage that will transport you to a mystical and spiritual land that time forgot." 

Yes, that is truly what happens as the boat full of us tourists slows down and is about to dock. We have had snacks and beverages on board along with entertainment and rocky ride across the bay. I am sure it is usually smooth sailing but we got to experience waves and rain.

 There were over 3,000 candles lighting the pathways through bamboo forests and other jungle fauna. There were waterfalls, mystical looking characters on stilts, mermaids and all those candles making it appear a land of mystery and intrigue. We were escorted to the seating area for the show.

The acoustics for the show were top notch. So were the costumes, mostly young people dressed in the clothing of Pre-Hispanic ancestors. The choreographing for the show might not have been on the calibre of a Broadway show but, wow, it was good. The music was well done - drummers in trees, harpists on the stage and a band right in one corner of the stage. There was lots of fire juggling and in the end the pyramid layers or steps were set on fire. Rather spectular! All in all pretty, darn amazing.

The whole adventure was well choreographed. 

They knew if you wanted a table for two or a table for eight. You were escorted to your table. Ours was right above the breakwater on the sandy beach. Waves were breaking right in front of us. You could barely see the lights of PV. It was very romantic as only candles light everything. 

They provided wine at each table. 

We were able to go to the salad bar and the buffet style main course. 

Ken and I both had fruit dipped in chocolate for all courses of the meal. Cooked shrimp, fish in sauce, mixed veggies, baked and roasted potatoes along with cheese ravioli was my huge meal. Ken had chicken instead of seafood. It was so delicious, gourmet quality. Then there was dessert crepes and tequila flan for later. The coffee was dipped out of big clay pots which could have Kalhua added for extra yum power. 

The food experience was one of the best I have had in Mexico, and that says alot.

Once the bell sounded we were to head back to the boat. It was hard to leave such an enchanted area. We were one of the last couples to get back on the boat. We had to stand by the bar for most of the return voyage. After sitting down Ken felt a bit sea sick so we stood up again. Were were not dancing on the boat we were trying to remain standing up taking into account the rocky ride. Again we were entertained by the crew members. Once guy dressed and Michael Jackson. Wonderful experience which both of us would highly recommend.

Sunday, December 28, 2014
Warm Sunny
Mileage 532 091 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verdes

We actually used the alarm clock to get us up nice and early. We had a breakfast date at Paradise Village Resort. 

Ramon was waiting patiently to check us in, we ended up being late anyway. He was appeared happy we arrived. We were passed on to a hostess who was from Mazatlan. She ate breakfast and made us feel welcome. We took a shuttle through to the golf course and to a spa. There are homes located inside those big stone gates along with the golf course. We were escorted through the studio, one, two and more bedroom suites. It was a quick tour. Perhaps the small bathrooms and older styling was not something they wanted us to concentrate on. We were taken around the pool where two giant cement crocodiles stood to act as slides for children at the swimming area. Over all the Resort seemed more homey than some we had seen.

At the entrance gate were two caged tigers. There was also a variety of parrots. When we walked by they were out of their huge cages on stands. The cages were perhaps being cleaned. The Paradise Plaza Mall, a hospital and a casino are also part of the resort. It is a massive complex. It just had a more cozy, less extravagant feel than the Grand Mayan. There were very small stone statuary placed in entrance ways to some buildings. The statues were of Pre- Hispanic warriors. Beautiful landscaping added to the grandeur of the resort.

Once we had passed through several layers of sales people, we managed to get away without buying. We though the points and the timeshares, etc. might be a good thing for us since we are traveling. We are trying to decide about the fit for us. We are in the midst of deciding. Ken is doing research on the internet.

We decided to take advantage of the fact that we were in the complex. We walked around outside, covering most of the grounds. We walked out on the pier and back. We walked out on the beach to the turtle sanctuary and beyond, then back again. The day was absolutely gorgeous. The sun shining and the waves rolling in. Brave souls were parasailing. Our beach walk was very relaxing even though it was amongst many people.

We walked outside the resort to the Dona Terra restaurant. We walked through the lobby of the Sea Gardens and around their pool. Just as the sun was setting we started to crave the comfort of home. Tiredness was starting to waft over us. Another wonderful day in paradise.

Monday, December 29, 2014
Hot Sunny
Mileage 532 129 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

We need to get the van in shape for our friends from Gabriola. How is that you ask? We are picking up Siki and Saburo in Los Ayalos, Nayarit, MX tomorrow. We will pick them up in the van with the bed taken out. They will sit in lawn chairs in the back. Before we go to get the van washed and vacuumed we must remove the mattress and then the bed. That is a bit of a gong show because to me everything is heavy. Ken always tells me when I have trouble lifting items like that I had better start lifting weights - ugh! Been there, done that in my twenties and thirties.

Somehow we get everything moved without getting in an argument or getting hurt.

We drive into Bucerias and to the car wash. They do a great job as we have had them work on Pepe before. The car wash is at the top of the hill, on the beach side of the highway. Down we walk toward the Ocean. On our very hot walk, we see a bright green iguana climbing a fence. Must be a young one! He does not feel it is safe to be around us and we barely get a picture.

We mosey on down to Luna, Lunas for a brunch. First a beach walk. The beach in Bucerias is wonderful, but this day quite packed with people, both Norte Americans and Nationals. It is after all Christmas Holiday season for all. We hear a tourist say unusual comments in the restaurant. A lady asks the waitress, "if I eat your salad will I get sick". Wow, I could have turned around and said something insulting but I did not. In a touristy place like Bucerias no restaurant is going to wash salad with impure water. We have found that it is mostly if you do not wash your hands before eating that you get sick, not from restaurant themselves. We saw other tourists from NOB order alcoholic drinks around ten thirty. A bit early, maybe!

Back up the hill we go in the scorching heat! I am not sure why but it is particularly hot today. We find Pepe in pristine condition. The car wash did do a good job.

Back at Los Arroyos Verde we take advantage of the pool to cool off in later afternoon.

These pooches are regulars snoozers of the street in Bucerias

Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Hot Sunny
Mileage 532135 km
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

Awesomeness: Ken asked and they are letting our friends stay at our casa for no charge.

Road Trip! 

We get coffee for the road and prepare ourselves to go to Los Ayalas, Nayarit. Siki and Saburo from Gabriola are staying in Los Ayalas. They wanted us up their for a visit and we wanted them here for a visit. We are picking them us and they are leaving the little place they are staying in to come here for an over nighter.

We have to drive to Bucerias then on through the jungle to Los Ayalas, almost to Sayulita. It is an exciting drive and does not seem to take long, but it is about an hours drive and we will arrive about the same time that we left because of the time zone change.

We have a Google map to guide us which is not always accurate in all areas. I am sceptial of our destination as well I should have been. We are taken to a road that is little more than an erosion route up a mountain, with rocks and potholes. We are told by a car coming down the mountain that the passenger saw the sign for Villa Tropicana - our destination. I was actually hanging on in the van, it was kind of scary. At the top we realized it was not our destination and now we had to descend down that same rough road. I literally shut my eyes in horror as we bumped along to the main road. This time we asked for directions. 

Not the correct road.

We easily found Villa Tropicana once set on the right direction. Los Ayalas appeared busy and much bigger than we has thought it was previously. There was a cobblestone road to the top, bumpy but safer.

It was great to see Siki and Saburo who had prepared a wonderful fruit salad with ginger sauce and tempera fish - yum! They showed us around their rental which was at the top of the house, almost up in the trees. Great views of the ocean, too. We got rental tips from them, one being that you need to be sure to have screens on the windows and that an outside kitchen has its disadvantages. Once they were packed up we were on our way to San Francisco or San Pancho (the place has two names).

Our next Los Ayalas destination was Casa Gabriola. Neighbors who had lived down the road from us, Canso Road that is, moved down here to live for six or so months of the year. They designed a wonderful, hacienda style home built around the central courtyard with a heated pool. It was so exciting to get to see Val and Don and the home that we we had heard about that is now build down here in Mexico.

We stopped for a little snack in San Pancho plus we wanted to show those guys the possibilities this sleep little fishing village. It was, however, horribly busy and crowded.

Once through the jungle road, we just drove on the Nuevo Vallarta and our supper destination of Pescadores, part of the Paradise Resort. We had a wonderful fine dining experience. Being rather full we walked around Paradise Plaza and did a little walking around Nuevo. Wonder evening with another Gabriola couple.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Hot Sunny
Last night we stayed at Los Arroyos Verde

Awesomeness: They are having a New Years Eve party for 300 pesos per person. They did, however, advertise it at 100 American dollars to begin with, but we noticed yesterday the price drop.

Happy New Year or Feliz Anos to one and all!!! I can hardly believe another year has come and gone. We celebrated in Puerto Vallarta last New Years eve as we will this year.

I prepared what Ken thinks is a flawless breakfast for our Gabriola guests, Siki and Sabura. 

Although I was thinking that I am in bad need of more practice with company again. They are really our first house guests since leaving Gab. 

We do not have regulation seats in our van. They, of course, are in storage in Nanaimo. We have taken the bed out of the van and put lawn chair in the van for our guests to sit in. Not very gracious of us but heck, they can not sit on the bed and we wanted to bring them to Bucerias. With our likely uncomfortable seating in place and everyone ready to go, we are off to the main bus depot near the airport. 

Siki had sent us a Google Map route from our casa here in Bucerias to the bus depot. As you know Google maps has failed us recently and again we are foiled. We had zero minutes to spare and Google maps fell through for the second day in row - ugh! We ended up I do not know where but it was not the main bus depot. It was around lunch time and very hot and humid. Somehow Ken saved the day and found the Depot thinking it could be close to the PV Convention Centre.

Siki and Saburo had missed the bus by minutes that they were scheduled to ride on. To cheer them us we thought that a walk around the PV Marina and lunch in that area would do it. Saburo noticed the fish jumping right away and walked along the marina deck likely checking for good fishing spots. Meantime Ken, Siki and I had found a great restaurant to socialize at. The waiter recognized Ken and I from last time we were there. 

The two travellers needed food for the bus ride. We took them to a "to go" salad bar in the Galleries Mall with Liverpool in it. We realized that it was a very busy day traffic wise, wow, everyone was out on New Years eve. We took our company back to the main bus depot and said our fair wells, hoping to meet again soon, maybe in La Manzanilla.

We continued on our way to celebrate the coming in of the new year and saying good bye to the old year. We walked the malecon and visited many restaurant. Many people, I am talking a packed malecon, both Norte Americanos and Nationales were out and about in celebratory moods. 

Last year it was raining so the crowds were much smaller. I feel so lucky to again be bringing in the New Year with my Precious Kenny. We had supper at Fajita Republic which has been totally renewed and refreshed since we were there last year. It is fun being around so many people, this city rocks, love it!

Our two days of socializing tired us out and Ken was asleep before mid-night. I listened to the music from the party here at Los Arroyos Verde. They partied until after 1:00 am. It did not bother me cause I knew they were having fun and enjoying the New Year.

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