Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mercado del Besos

We're leaving for Yelapa tomorrow morning after a week in heaven here in Bucerias. One of the many things I loved about the penthouse at Punta Arena was its close proximity to the Kissing Bridge. Paseo del Besos is the footbridge that crosses the riverbed and connects one side of Lazero Cardenas in Bucerias to the other. Murals with a kissing theme line the walls of the bridge and the mercado on the other side. There's always something going on in this area, including the fire dancer on Saturday. We were just steps away from all the action.

Lots of artsy settings and murals in this area!

A sunset view from the footbridge.

Are you sensing a theme with these murals?

Saturday night at the Mercado del Besos.

My next opportunity to post anything will probably be next Monday after we arrive back in Phoenix. See ya later!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sayulita Vibe

The clang of the church bell ringing in the town zocalo, fireworks popping in the distance, the crashing of the waves on the shore below, roosters crowing in the nearby riverbed, our resident gecko chirping up a storm in the living room, the fresh scent of my newly lavanderia washed nightgown, loud Mexican mariachi music floating up from a bar down the beach, the smell of the woodfire from the workers camping on the beach below -- hopefully this paints the picture of our day for you! I'm on sensory overload, but I'm lovin' it! Here are some more newly edited photos from our Saturday trip to Sayulita. As they say in the Mexican restaurant -- enyoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Old Mexico

Truly old Mexico! Today Craig and I traveled the mountains with our guide Gustavo to San Sebastion, a town that dates back 500 years to the time of the Spanish conquistadors. We toured a tequila distillery, a coffee plantation, and combed the narrow cobblestone callejons of San Sebastion during our long day. Walking the narrow cobblestone paths, we felt like we were in Europe! Here's a sneak preview. Today was the first time I've ever filled up the memory card on my camera and run my battery out in one day.

Poinsettias grow wild in the jungle surrounding San Sebastion.

Walking the narrow cobblestone streets.

A friend joined me for lunch after greeting me repeatedly with Hola!

A local man riding his horse to town stops to explain what he's carrying in his bag.

A burro peaks over the wall by the narrow cobblestone street.

Flowers thrive in the cool mountain air.

The San Sebastion cemetery.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Having Fun!

We're still here in Bucerias! I'm having connectivity problems and trouble uploading photos on Blogger, but I'll try once more. We've been taking long morning beachwalks and finding quite a bit of seaglass in one spot. We're also eating way too much food, most of it very good. Last night we picked a booger in the garden of the culinary world. I hate it when that happens! So we've vowed not to be lured into eating at places unless we've heard good things about them.

Today, we took the local green bus up the highway to Sayulita. That was an interesting experience with the brakes squealing all the way up and down the steep dangerous curves. We kept noticing roadside shrines. Craig said they were in memorium to people killed in bus crashes. He's such a smart ass!

Sayulita's a surfer dude town with a laidback cool vibe. Lots of Rasta's, a distinct smell of mota drifting in the air, expensive boutiques, and surfboards, yet it has a town square that reminds me of the way Isla's used to be. I'll post photos later when I have time to load them onto my computer.

On the way back at 5:00 p.m., the bus was standing room only. We were the only gringos on the bus since most people were headed home from work or into Bucerias or Vallarta for a Saturday night out. The guy standing in the aisle by my seat was wearing copious amounts of cheap cologne for his night on the town. But what the heck! The ride was 48 pesos roundtrip for both of us! I came home and showered out my nasal passages and am doing fine now!

Tomorrow, we are headed to San Sebastion with Gustavo, the owner of the sweet shop around the corner. San Sebastion's a historic mountain mining town, so I'm anxious to take plenty of photos! We'll also be touring a tequila distillery, coffee plantation, an old hacienda, local museum, and viewing scenery along the way. Gustavo was also our waiter tonight at the Italian restaurant down the street. He's a busy guy!

Right now, they're shooting large fireworks displays over the bay to the south and to the north of us, almost like a duel. What the heck! There's a fire dancer in the street below, and the geckos in the palapa roof over the living area are chirping and tapping away.

We know we're in Mexico!

Love this planter!

One of the palapa bars that line the Bucerias beach.

These spiny fish wash up on the beach here. Craig keeps an eye out for them since I'm looking for seaglass and not watching where I'm going!

Wall mural in the mercado by the kissing bridge. I have to add, the footbridge and mercado are right at the end of our street, so we're in a fun location!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Día de Acción de Gracias

We had something wonderful to be grateful for this Thanksgiving! A sunrise view from on high.

We began the day with a long walk, stopping for a light hazelnut frappucinno and cinnamon roll at a small cafe down the street.

As we headed down to the beach, we picked up our usual entourage.

The Bucerias beach didn't handover the mother lode that we've grown to expect on our trips to Isla Mujeres, but we were soon assuming the stooped position and finding lots of small shiny bits! Not bad!

No castles here! Just a sand pescado.

After a long morning walk and a cold swim in the pool, we began the debate on where we would have our Thanksgiving feast. Hmmmmmm. Head or tongue tacos? Naaaaaaaa. We'll pass.

Some restaurants down the block from the condo had traditional gringo Thanksgiving feasts, but we decided to take the road less traveled. When in Rome! We headed to the other side of the bridge to a local seafood restaurant on the beach. Adauto's!

While waiting for our Turkey Day feast to arrived, we admired the Christmas decorations and view from the table.

And here we have our faux turkey! The Seafood Combo Platter for two! Lobster, shrimp, mahi mahi, rice, veggies,garlic bread, and salad.

We quickly had our way with the feast and there were no Thanksgiving leftovers to take home!

But there was one thing we couldn't do without! I needed pumpkin pie! We wandered up and down the cobblestone streets adding on a few miles. The two little coffee/sweets cafes we'd thought of were closed. We finally asked a woman at Sandrina's, a restaurant serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, if we could skip the turkey and go straight to the pumpkin pie. And she set us up!

Homemade pumpkin pie made by her sister from the actual pumpkin! No canned pumpkin in this pie! Absolute heaven on a plate! The perfect ending to Thanksgiving Day 2010!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing

After all the hype about staged airport security protests and long lines, we can report that our trip through Sky Harbor was seamless -- a piece of cake!

Amazingly, there was no line at security, and the new scanner booth was not there. I was shocked. We zipped through without being scanned or groped. An agent at the gate told us T.S.A. had removed some of the booths at Sky Harbor. She thinks it was due to the possibility of more lawsuits? She said the latest debacle was that security had made a breast cancer survivor remove her prosthesis right out in the open. That's after mortifying a woman with a colostomy bag last week. I don't know if she's right about the reason for the absence of the new scan booths at the B security gates, but I have to wonder.

We boarded a small plane that some of the passengers described as dollhouse size. It was a little claustrophobic, but I can take anything for two hours. That's the smallest plane I've ever flown on to Mexico. Before I could finish the crossword puzzle, we'd landed in Puerto Vallarta and climbed down the stairs from the plane onto the tarmac and into the terminal. Immigration took about 15 minutes, customs less than 5, and we were in a taxi in a matter of minutes.

And soon, we were caught in a huge traffic jam. The taxi driver drove on the shoulder, took detours through side neighborhoods, wedged himself in front of buses, etc.... I actually enjoyed the ride because we were going slow enough to see all the sights. I spotted this older VW Bug,

And a truck stuffed with poles and dried palm fronds. And there are also guys hidden in the back of that truck!

As some of you know, the main bridge north of the airport washed away in torrential rainy season storms, so northbound and southbound traffic are sharing the southbound bridge now. We inched along in a rush hour traffic jam for what seemed like an eternity. At one point, I noticed these concrete lawn statues on the opposite side of the road. Angels, mariachis, and topless women!

Once we cleared the bridge detour, we were in Bucerias in a matter of minutes.

We arrived on our balcony just in time to admire our first beautiful Bucerias sunset.

Can't wait to wander the beach tomorrow morning! I don't think we'll cover the entire 14 miles of sand, but hopefully we can cover a couple of miles before heading out to find a fruteria and bakery.

Ahhhhhhhhhh. As Craig says, he can feel the corporate world melting away with each crash of the waves.