Puerto Vallarta 2.0

It’s hard to believe I’m sitting here enjoying the sun rise and the sound of the ocean for the first time since we arrived five days ago.

Dawn over Puerto Vallarta.

There are so many things I love about being by the ocean. I didn’t really get to experience them fully in our trip before yesterday. But we were only here Saturday through today – Saturday and today being travel days.

I came to Vallarta with my daughter, Ana, to celebrate her 30th birthday. We had come here 12 years before, for her 18th birthday, and we thought it would be fun to do it again. And it was.

The first day we took a horseback ride up into the mountains east of Puerto Vallarta. We were supposed to have gone up to a waterfall and pool to swim, but a tropical storm meant too much rain for it to be safe. Still, it was a lovely day. And a wonderful way to start our vacation.

Our horses at Rancho Capomo.

After the ride we made pico de gallo with our hosts and had tequila and beer and ate grilled steak on homemade tortillas before returning to our condo to take an afternoon swim and then play a mean game of cribbage in our Tournament of the Waves. (She won.)

We had the same hands!

The next day were more adventures, the first of which was obtaining breakfast. Ana found a likely looking place on Yelp. We decided to walk, since it was only about a mile away. Supposedly. When we finally arrived at our destination, dying of thirst and near starvation, we had walked 2.5 miles down the beach and up into the Zona Romantica and then beyond into an area that was a bit run down, before we realized the restaurant had moved to a new location. But when we got there? It was sooo worth the walk.

Later that day was another adventure that we had not done when we were here last: we did a “Tacos and Tequila” tour. It turned out to be a 4 hour walk through the Zona Romantica area again, learning about the culture built up around the agave plant, how to drink mescal, raicilla and tequila, and all about the components of each. I love it there, and if I come again will definitely stay there rather than where we are now. Don’t get me wrong, this place is wonderful, but my heart belongs in old PV. Or up along the coast, tucked into the jungle. But more on that later. First, take a look at some of the delectable dishes we tried on our food tour.

One of the more amusing stops was at a place where they made the “honey water” of the agave plant and then lightly fermented it into a kimchi-like beverage called “Pulque.” This is then further fermented and then mixed with juice. The place was called “Chinga Quedito,” which, lightly translated, means Fucks Me Fast – the beverage then becomes Pulque Fucks Me Fast. Our guide says in Spanish slang it doesn’t quite have the raw connotations that it does when translated to English, but still. I want a store called Fuck Me Fast.

Another amusement was the crunchy addition to our Palomas and shots of mescal at yet another place. Yum, chapulines (crickets)!

I also learned that I need yet another addition to my repertoire of “correct” glassware – Palomas must be served in clay mugs, which, I assure you, are now on my shopping list, along with copper mugs for Moscow Mules.

On the way home we wandered by and through the sculptures in the malecon, just as we had years before.

And that night, I went out to see the first sunset of our trip (the night before had been stormy) by myself – Ana had decided she had had more than enough of the world for one day.

More to come…

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