Fun in the Sun
We had a very nice–but very short, visit to Puerto Vallarta recently. It’s a resort on the Pacific coast of Mexico, south of Guadalajara–midway between the north and south. We had the time and wanted a brief getaway. Gave us the opportunity to meet face-to-face with my writer friend D.G. Kaye and her husband. We also went for some very nice sunny/warm (not hot) weather.
We spent no time in the ocean–OK, we did walk on the beach and nearly got our feet wet. How is it possible to go to a beach resort and not go in the water? Easy, you walk in the sand and swim in the pool.
In days gone by, my wife would comb the beach for shells on Ocracoke or Hatteras. I’d splash around close to shore, watch the kids or the dog. Later on, we’d be on the sound side of the Outer Banks—swimming and playing with the dogs. That was then, this is now—in Puerto Vallarta.
A guy asked where we were from and the weather there. After I told him, he asked why we here. OK, it’s not super cold in southwestern New Mexico. It is cold enough, however, to welcome the 80 sunny degrees of a Pacific bay in Mexico. Watch out though—all inclusive resorts are fattening if your discipline falters. Mine did. Try a little of this, a little of that—and then a little more of the other. But the few pounds added are coming back off. (You don’t have to go all-inclusive)
What a view from our 18th floor balcony! An enormous balcony for a room with only a king-sized bed and no chairs. The chairs were on the balcony. Did I mention big? Yes, 20 feet across—the width of the bedroom plus another eight feet it shared with the dining area outside the sliding glass door. The ocean side had an outsized L-shaped sofa seating eight and two chaises. The dining area had a table with six chairs. They called it a “romantic suite.” Maybe romantic parties with friends? Yes, the view itself was romantic, as you can see from the sunset picture above and the balcony below.
We watched the people in the pool from our vantage point, people on the beach under thatched umbrellas, sailboats, kayaks, fishing boats and more. Plus, an abundance of parasailers plying the skies. Oh, and a couple cruise ships coming into the three-pier berthing area a mile away.
If you’re under forty (or an adventurous middle-aged and up sort of person) the aerial adventures might be just your thing. Or you could go zip-lining, off-roading in the jungle or on somewhat less extreme tours of the nearby mountains. Not for us–maybe the mountains, another time.
We didn’t go in our pool, we visited my fellow writer friend D.G. Kaye and a few of her Canadian cohorts at her pool. Not without some hassles from the security folks at the palatial condo complex she and her hubby were staying in. There were the inevitable chaise reservation wars—people putting toys and towels on preferred lounges early in the day. I didn’t have to take her word for how much Canadians like Puerto Vallarta. We saw a quarter-mile long and three or four people wide line at the departure counter for a flight to Montreal. On that score, a word of warning—don’t depart on the weekend at the local airport. There’s not nearly enough seating for all. Also, watch out for the time share hawker gauntlet you must pass through to get to cabs when arriving.
Aside from the airport hassles, it’s a great place to get away from wintry weather up north. Daytime temps in the eighties and nighttime lows in the sixties in January and February. Wonderful places to stay at reasonable rates. If you like luxury you can try the upscale Nuevo Vallarta area farther up the shore. There are things to see and do for middle aged and up. Nightlife, museums, walking tours and shopping. We weren’t there long enough to do many of them. But we did eat out at some tasty and nearby restaurants. We also took a walk along the Malecon Boardwalk. I wonder, can a concrete surface of pavers, etc. be a “boardwalk?” Regardless, the evening stroll provided some very interesting sculpture. One might think Dali sculpted one or more, as surreal as they appeared—but I can’t say whether any were his or not.
What kind of sculpture you ask? Well, here’s a sample.
As for the twist
Here’s the background. Once, many decades ago, I resisted an urge to take a 100-foot leap from a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. It (didn’t) happen, near Red Wing, Minnesota. I was a kid, with no death wish. Why the strange draw to jump?
The corridor to the elevator from our 18th floor room was open to the skies. It had just a four-foot wall keeping us from the pavement 18 stories below. I felt that pull again, looking over the wall. However, I didn’t feel that pull from our balcony. Why not?
The room next to ours had a red cloth banner strung diagonally across the door. We wondered what happened there. We didn’t ask. Use your own imagination—we did. Just maybe, an answer to why I felt that urge in Red Wing so long ago. But this is a travel post, not a horror/thriller item. Could work it into a story though—look for it on my writing blog, John Maberry’s Writings, someday soon perhaps.