Back in Canada again

Report on your Puerto Vallarta trip, hotel, restaurant, tour, etc.

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ellen
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Back in Canada again

Post by ellen » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:08 pm

Well, I'm back after 4 weeks in PV and going through the same withdrawal that everyone else seems to experience. I arrived home last night and found white, furry stuff on the ground. What's up with that?
I spent the 4 weeks in a whirlwind of activities and met more great people:
Every Saturday I go to the Puerto Vallarta Writer's Group meeting in the mornings at the International Friendship Club. Last week's talk was given by Vallarta resident Don Gallery, the adopted son of Za-Su Pitts, an actress whose heyday was in the 40's.
I also attended the get-togethers on Saturday nights for the Vallarta Scene board. They recently left CyC's, where they have been meeting for eons, in favour of Madison South Beach Club in the same place where the Lazy Lizard used to be. For those of you who know of Casa Isabel, Madison South is Isabel's newest endeavor and goes along with her Madison Bar in downtown Toronto.
I watched Brenda's wedding on the beach in front of CyC's a couple of Saturdays ago. Brenda used to post here as Bzy---, and also leads the All Vallarta board. She recently married her Carlos in a mass civil ceremony with at least 100 other couples, but had her "religious" wedding on the beach. Hundreds of people gathered around to watch the beautiful ceremony and drink champagne, then those on her guest list went back to Casa Andrea for dinner.
I attended Pam Thompson's talk, also at the IFC, on her "Abdominal Journey", in which she chronicled her recent stomach-altering surgery which has resulted in her loss of 80 lbs.
I joined a dominoes group that meets every Tuesday afternoon at Daquiri Dick's to play Mexican Train.
My favourite new dining experience this year was at Hacienda San Angel, which is a 5 minute walk from my condo in Gringo Gulch. It was spectacular. The place is made up of 3 adjoining haciendas which were all merged and made into a boutique hotel. It is absolutely breathtaking inside. We didn't get to see the rooms, for obvious reasons, but were taken up to the restaurant area which has a gorgeous view of downtown. Combine that with wonderful food and service, candles glowing everywhere, tinkling fountains and strolling guitar players and it was a night to remember. I also enjoyed a meal at Tia Catrina's with Contessa and her parents, and a breakfast at Boca Bento, both of which were new to me and which I would recommend. For repeat places there was Ernesto's Good Grub in Versalles for their outstanding tortilla soup, El Andariego, which is ok, and La Esquina de los Caprichos which I really, really like. I went to Pipis for what I hope is the last time. It's just too noisy and frenetic for me.
I enjoyed meeting pvdeb, Jennybean, katnsocal and rosie at the brunch at the Lindomar my first Sunday in town. Jennybean then invited me to a cocktail party at Brisas del Mar, also attended by rosie and pvdeb, to benefit New Life Mexico. I never even knew Brisas del Mar existed as you can't see it from the road, so it was nice to see a new place like that, too. Another spectacular view in a reasonably-priced hotel. The night before I left I went to dinner hosted by Pam Thompson at the Banana Cantina, which was giving 10% of all the money made on dinners that night to New Life Mexico, too. It sounds like I ate out an awful lot but I was there for 4 weeks and also did alot of cooking at home and had a few days sitting around the pool with my neighbours or various renters, just relaxing and reading.
Friends from our days of living in Vera Cruz came to town last weekend and treated me to brunch at the Sheraton Sunday morning, then took me to a wedding of a relative Sunday evening. The ceremony was at an open air church in the Marina area, followed by a fantastic reception at the Krystal right on the beach. We were all taken by carts from the front desk area to the beach where we were greeted by waiters with trays of margaritas. We were then all handed a pair of beach thongs and a washcloth. I didn't really have appropriate wedding clothes with me and only had sandals to wear so I was ok but the Mexican ladies were dressed to the nines and most had on 3" heels so they really needed the thongs in order to walk on the beach. Candlelit paths guided us to the tables. A saxophonist played light jazz during dinner. After dinner a dj came on and, like all dances or weddings I have been to in Mexico, they passed out noisemakers, balloons, hats, and assorted other fun objects and the crowd danced and danced and danced. They love to have fun and I saw people of all ages dance non-stop for well over an hour without sitting down. About midnight a 12 piece mariachi band came and sang for about 40 minutes. Everyone there except me and another gringo couple from California knew all the words to every song and sang along with the band. I met the bride and groom who thanked me profusely for coming to share in their happiness and I couldn't help but think what a contrast it was to here at home, where you would never think of taking an uninvited guest.
For the ladies who might be interested I will tell you that I saw a plastic surgeon while I was there and had some restylane injected for $150.00 less than it cost me to have it done here at home. I went to Dr. Saldana, who I found on the internet. He has an office near Cornerstone Hospital. He answered all my questions by email before I got there and booked me in for a no-cost consultation a couple of days after I arrived. I was very impressed by his manner and by the recommendation Pam Thompson gave him, so I went for it.
As "chance" said in his trip reports, I have never done so much walking since, well, since last year when I was there for 5 months. As reported earlier in General Ramblings, my longest walk was to and from the Peninsula Plaza from my condo in Gringo Gulch but I also walked to and from Mega and Gigante several times and to the southside of town countless times. It's so interesting to walk when there is something to see all the time and such a difference from my home in the suburbs of Toronto where you have to drive everywhere you want to go.
As for shopping, I usually avoid the markets like the plague but was forced to go this time because a friend asked me to bring her back 2 plates to match some she bought at the market when she visited me last year. I also boutique shopped and bought a beautiful rabbit fur poncho at d'paola, 3 light cotton blouses at Dunes on Rodolfo Gomez and a suede jacket at Mega, of all places. That was it for shopping.
So that's it for a couple of months until we go back sometime in January to spend most of the winter. I hope I haven't left anything out and haven't bored you too much.
Edited to add that I went with friends to San Sebastian one day and can't see what all the fuss is about. It was a long drive for which I couldn't see much point once we got there. Maybe I missed something?
Ellen
Last edited by ellen on Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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palapa_gal
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Post by palapa_gal » Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:03 pm

Welcome home Ellen. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for taking the time to write about your 4 weeks in paradise.

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Post by tandr2 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:36 pm

Thank you for sharing! Glad you had a nice relaxing time. One day maybe we'll be able to stay there for more than a week at a time...maybe once the kids are older. :?

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Post by travelbug_jp » Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:57 pm

Ohh Ellen
I have been waiting for that report like you wouldn't believe. What a wonderful time you must have had and will have again when you return in January.
Meeting new people is always fun and you are so good at making strangers feel like old friends. Please take me with you once or twice when you attend talks or special breakfasts!
The restaurants sound great and didn't we poke our noses inside for a quick snoop at Hacienda San Angel last year when I was there?
Welcome back to your Canadian home and reacquaint yourself with that white fluffy stuff.

Jocye

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Post by ellen » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:18 pm

travelbug_jp wrote:Ohh Ellen
I have been waiting for that report like you wouldn't believe. What a wonderful time you must have had and will have again when you return in January.
Meeting new people is always fun and you are so good at making strangers feel like old friends. Please take me with you once or twice when you attend talks or special breakfasts!
The restaurants sound great and didn't we poke our noses inside for a quick snoop at Hacienda San Angel last year when I was there?
Welcome back to your Canadian home and reacquaint yourself with that white fluffy stuff.

Jocye
Hola, Joyce. You can come with me anytime you want. It would be great to have you along. As for San Angel, we may have briefly looked in the door but I had never been inside before. Maybe you were with someone else.
I have the list of upcoming talks for the Wise Women of Vallarta series. I'll send you an email with what's on the slate for the time you will be there.

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Post by ellen » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:20 pm

tandr2 wrote:Thank you for sharing! Glad you had a nice relaxing time. One day maybe we'll be able to stay there for more than a week at a time...maybe once the kids are older. :?
The time will come when you will be able to stay much longer - and it will come so fast you won't know what hit you!

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Post by Contessa » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:12 am

Hi Ellen,

It was nice meeting you for dinner at Tia Catrina and nice to read your report of all your goings on! Busy gal you are!

We are looking forward to spending the holidays in PV this year, and now some more family will join us which will make it all the more fun!

Take care, enjoy the holidays with your family, and hopefully see you in PV again soon! We'll probably try and be back down in March sometime!

Sandra

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Post by pvdeb » Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:45 am

I suppose I could be hurt that you didn't think meeting me also at the brunch was the highlight of your trip, but my skin is thick and I'm sure I'll survive. I'll just go cry on the shoulders of Jen, Kat and Rosie. Remember those photos I sent you? Well, send them back!

Just kidding! It was great to meet you and visit with you on the malecon...laundry basket and all. :lol:

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Post by chrisnick » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:57 pm

Looking forward to meeting new people as well. It was something my friends kind of make fun of me for because I'll walk into a place and strike up conversations with random people. Maybe its the curling bonspieler in me.....Anyway, I've been talking to Joyce and my friend and myself hope to meet for dinner or at least some good drinks one night.

See you in a few months! There is a little white stuff on the ground here but thank goodness not too much! I always say I'd like to go on vacation to see snow!

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Post by ellen » Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:07 pm

pvdeb wrote:I suppose I could be hurt that you didn't think meeting me also at the brunch was the highlight of your trip, but my skin is thick and I'm sure I'll survive. I'll just go cry on the shoulders of Jen, Kat and Rosie. Remember those photos I sent you? Well, send them back!

Just kidding! It was great to meet you and visit with you on the malecon...laundry basket and all. :lol:
Deb, I thought of mentioning you but for some reason I couldn't remember that you posted on this board. I thought you were just on Brenda's board and the name wouldn't mean anything to anyone. I truly didn't forget. In fact, I think I'll go back and edit my report. I neglected to mention Contessa too and I spent a really enjoyable evening with her and her parents. You know what they say, the memory is the first thing to go.......

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Post by ellen » Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:24 pm

Contessa wrote:Hi Ellen,

It was nice meeting you for dinner at Tia Catrina and nice to read your report of all your goings on! Busy gal you are!

We are looking forward to spending the holidays in PV this year, and now some more family will join us which will make it all the more fun!

Take care, enjoy the holidays with your family, and hopefully see you in PV again soon! We'll probably try and be back down in March sometime!

Sandra
Thanks, Sandra, and sorry I forgot to mention meeting you in this report. I had such a nice time with you and your parents that night, first at CyC and then at Tia Catrina's. But I have remedied that oversight by editing my report. As you can read below, I also didn't mention meeting pvdeb and that too was a pleasure.
E

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Post by Contessa » Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:51 pm

No need to apologize...!

I admire when people vacation in an area... and then give back where and when they see a need. I am happy for you that your life in PV is so full!

Take care,

Sandra

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Post by Contessa » Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:54 pm

chrisnick wrote: Maybe its the curling bonspieler in me.....
Hey......me too!

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Post by pvdeb » Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:28 pm

Ellen, I was truly not offended. LOL I just had to give you a hard time. The others mentioned, who've known me for several years, will tell you that I love to give people a hard time. But it's all in fun.

Next time, I'll hike that hill with you and see your place. Deal?

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Post by ellen » Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:14 pm

pvdeb wrote:Ellen, I was truly not offended. LOL I just had to give you a hard time. The others mentioned, who've known me for several years, will tell you that I love to give people a hard time. But it's all in fun.

Next time, I'll hike that hill with you and see your place. Deal?
That's a deal. And if you don't want to hike you can just take a cab.
I knew you were teasing but I still felt bad about it and truly did not remember that you posted on this board. I tend to get all 3 of them mixed up half the time anyway.

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Post by Jennybean » Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:59 pm

Deb and I will come together, how's that? We can urge each other up the hill. Or talk each other into a taxi, either way. :lol:

Glad you could come to the party on the 30th. We were happy to have you there. Next year we'll all go for lunch.

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Post by travelbug_jp » Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:55 pm

Contessa wrote:
chrisnick wrote: Maybe its the curling bonspieler in me.....
Hey......me too!
I tried to curl once at my (then) teenage son's curling wind up. I fell over coming out of the hack, got up and went inside. Besides, I don't like to be cold!!

Deb & Jenny ... or you could take a cab to the Hotel la Siesta, walk around the corner to the condo but pretend you walked all the way up!

Joyce

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Post by JROJEFF » Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:00 pm

Ellen ,It's nice to hear about your time in paradise and also to be able to see the pics from the meet up, looks and sounds like you had a great time again. SR. Fox was a great person to meet last time I was there, I hope to meet the rest of the group in Feb. Did you get a chance to eat at one of our favorite taco/burrito places across from the old molina de agua(tacos mucina ?) I hope thats it?- jeff

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Post by davilin » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:01 am

Wonderful report, Ellen. And here we were all in town at the same time, but we hardly left the resort this time, due to a series of fiascos which left us wanting nothing more than laying around the pool. Got a good tan, though. As for curling, here, The Beatles try their hand with a "fiendish thingy". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eveweXvK4Xw

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Post by chrisnick » Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:19 am

travelbug_jp wrote:
Contessa wrote:
chrisnick wrote: Maybe its the curling bonspieler in me.....
Hey......me too!
I tried to curl once at my (then) teenage son's curling wind up. I fell over coming out of the hack, got up and went inside. Besides, I don't like to be cold!!

Last year I curled in a bonspiel where I was the skip (never having skipped before); my third and never played that position before, the second had curled twice and when I said to my lead all she had to do was make sure she went over the hog line she looked at me like I was nuts. I proceeded to draw her a picture of a curling sheet and as beginners luck would have it we ended up in the second event. For a lot of you I'm sure this will make no sense at all. Anyway.....I'm missing one of my favorite bonspiels to lie on the beach on Mexico. And thats okay! I'd rather be beaching it then curling on ice!

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