Condo Ibiza 2008

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

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Condo Ibiza 2008

Post by travelbug_jp » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:03 pm

PART 1
Okay so here’s my trip report of sorts.
It was difficult for me to leave this year because of my nieces passing and knowing I would not be able to attend the service. She passed away on the 14th and my flight out was the 16th. We had discussed changing my plans previously but they wouldn’t hear of it but it was still very difficult and emotional to leave.
I had good smooth flights and Mark picked me up at the airport and dropped me off at the condo in exchange for donations to the Mojaneras and children of the dump families. Got to the condo and shortly after Ellen came home, a little concerned and said “I’ve lost Velma”, her friend who had only been there a day. So that was kind of funny and eventually Velma found her way up. So that evening the three of us went to the Jan. meetup at El Nido bar and we stayed that way! A party of 3 and wow, what a party, we were knocking them back like there was no tomorrow! Hehehe After sunset we went to Hacienda San Angel for dinner and another of Ellen’s friends joined us there. The ambience was beautiful but I thought the food was a bit lacking. The company was great however.
When I awoke the following morning the bay was my first vision, and my head was still on the pillow! Got myself a cell phone, went for a hair cut and dropped in at the Canto del Sol to see our friends there. Went out to TeatroLimon to bring Bruce the dried lemon zest that I managed to find in Wpg. Had a great visit with him and Julia and then headed back to get ready for Cyc’s where we met up with Michelle & Tyler and Bella. Velma was wearing a beautiful crown of fuchsia coloured bougainvilleas, bright yellow baby mums and greens. I thought it was stunning. Strolled home along the malecon breathing in the aromas of the bay water and grateful to be back again.
My friend Lorna arrived on Friday and after we got her settled we headed off for a walk downtown. All the way to Basilio Badillo then down to the beach and back up along the malecon where low and behold we ran into Michelle and Tyler so we chatted for a while before we headed back. A few days later we saw them again on the malecon and while we were chatting Bruce showed up! So that was fun, interesting, and entertaining. It was Sunday so we enjoyed the dancing at the square, watched the malecon activites and snacked on strawberries and whipped cream, crepes, and corn on the cob. Then later we ate a massive “Mexican pizza” Wow, was that ever good but I noticed later that they were gone from their location and had been replaced by a taco stand. Too bad because I would have loved another one or five.
Overall we read a lot, walked a lot and ate a lot! Tuesday morning we went on the free statue walk with our host Gary Thompson. It was very interesting and informative but he had a bit of competition from a whale playing in the bay! We went to Bucerias one day, we strolled through the market, ate at a little cantina and observed the first communion of many beautifully dressed girls and boys. The air was fragrant with all the flowers that adorned the church and that people were bringing in. Everyone looked so amazing, dressed up in their very best their hair shining and gleaming in the afternoon sun. We spent one day in Ricon de Guoyobitos (sp) Its quite a lengthy bus ride but the beach is amazing and the water must be safer to swim in because there were a lot of people swimming way out. It was a great relaxing lazy day. Went to the Botanical Gardens one day and while I can appreciate that it is still in its early stages I would not go back for a few years until things mature a bit more. We saw Michelle and Tyler once or twice again and it sure appeared that they were enjoying themselves as well. They are very nice people and I hope we can get together at least once this summer if our schedules allow it.
I got a bit sick this week but I was expecting it because Fred was sick when I left so it took a few days and then I was coughing and had a fever for a day or two. That slowed me down a bit but only for a day or so. However the cough stayed with me for 3 weeks.
My friend Lorna left on Monday and I made arrangements to go with Mark to Mojaneras to hand out the items and donations that I had brought along. At the church we bagged up some donated sweet breads, then went to the Vallarta Adventures office and picked up chicken and fruit and bagged those up as well, then we were off to deliver our goods. I sat in the back of the truck with Mark and another gentleman. That was fun sitting on a chair with the wind whipping through my hair and palm trees and other vegetation flashing by! When in Mexico …
I didn’t know what to expect really when we got to our destination but I can tell you that I don’t really know how to describe what my thoughts or emotions were when we got there. Here I was handing out clothing items, toiletries and school supplies and thinking that it was not enough. These children /families were so grateful for the donations but I couldn’t help feeling a bit ridiculous because I could see that they needed something more substantial. The one dwelling that I was close too did not have a door, just something to put in front of it and inside they were sitting on crates and stones on a dirt floor. I kept wondering if they had beds to sleep on or just something makeshift on the dirt floor, where did they shower or wash? I can’t imagine that there was a fridge to keep things from spoiling but I didn’t go inside to see either. What happens during the rainy season when the downpours undoubtedly soak the entire home? I hope I helped in some miniscule way but it felt woefully inadequate. I’m glad I went but I can’t forget what I saw and hope that someone else who reads this will donate a little bit of their time or generosity in some way.
My sister in law and brother in law arrived on the 29th for a week and we hung out a few times. They treated me to dinner at Roberto’s one evening and at Mestizo’s another evening. Fabulous meals both times. Also went to Joe Jack’s for a late lunch one day and just hung out at the condo relaxing.

That’s it for now, more in a day or so. Manana !

Joyce

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Post by tojol57 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:49 pm

do you ever let the dust settle around you Joyce? HA HA excellent part 1 can't wait for the rest of the "short story" or "novel" HA HA HA touching last paragraph for sure... thanks for sharing that time as well...

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Post by Plus4 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:10 pm

Nice start to you report Joyce..
:) I look forward to more....

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Same restaurant impression

Post by arriba » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:33 am

I thought Hacienda San Angel was a magical experience but agree the food just did not live up to setting and ambience. Our best 2 meals of our 2 week stay were at el Arrayan.

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Post by michelle/tyler » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:36 am

thank you joyce that was a great start I really hope we get a chance to meet up this summer right know I am making 3 trips to winnipeg a week for my brothers dialysis as he is blind and I have to drive him.

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Post by smitty » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:42 am

Very entertaining report Joyce . I can only imagine how you felt at Mojaneras . You did something very good .

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Post by travelbug_jp » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:38 am

The Mojaneras part of my trip still leaves me a little speachless, when my friends or family ask about it I still have trouble finding the words to describe my experience there. It sure makes me appreciate all the gifts and blessings in my life and I remind myself not to take any of it for granted.
We never made it to El Arryan and it is just a 2 or 3 minute walk from where I was staying. There's always next year!
Some days the dust settled very nicely around my feet because I spent full days just reading at poolside and going for the occasional dip! Other days I created a huge dust storm as I zoomed around from here to there!
Michelle, check your pm.

Joyce

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Post by tandr2 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:07 pm

Thank you for your report Joyce. I know just how you feel about the donations and handing them out...

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PART 2

Post by travelbug_jp » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:28 pm

Part 2
Over the next 2 or so weeks Ellen and I went on a couple of nice lengthy walks, once we went all the way out to the Peninsula Plaza and back again. Another time we started at the Rosita Hotel and then along the malecon, down on the beach to the sea horse statue, up the stairs to the Amapas neighbourhood and then back down the street. We stopped at Xocodiva for some chocolate energy along the way and it was delicious! I also found 200 pesos on the beach that time and so I paid for Ellen’s drink at Burros later. This is where we met up for drinks with Tom, Lorrie, Mark, Sylvia, Bella, Sandy and Fred. Mark and Sylvia joined me later at Lazaro Cardenas plaza watching the dancers and made arrangements to meet up again at a later date.
I explored the many tents and booths set up at Lazaro Cardenas Plaza put up by the International natural, traditional and alternative medicine. I enjoyed the ceremony and dedication of the pre Hispanic fire dancers on numerous occasions but the event I truly appreciated the most and tied for first on my trip highlight list was the temazcal. This is basically a traditional Mexican sweat lodge and I’ll try to describe it briefly. First thing is not to wear your best clothes here and bring a change of clothes and a towel as well. After a cleansing ceremony around the fire we went inside a rather large tent, sitting on the ground in a large circle. Rocks that have been heating in the fire outside all day are brought into the tent one at a time and placed in a hole in the ground in the center of the tent, the door is closed, water is splashed onto the hot rocks creating enormous amounts of extremely hot steam! Inside this steam room, prayers are said, beautiful ballads are sung and people share who or what they are praying for, what they want for their families and lives and what concerns they have and what they are grateful for. Several times the door is opened and more hot rocks are brought in, each time the steam gets hotter than the time before. It lasts about an hour and then when we left the tent, so sweaty and wet that it looked like we had stepped out of a shower! Water was actually dripping off my hair. We gathered briefly around the fire once again and then we got hosed down with cold water!!! Wow what an experience and I enjoyed it a total of 3 times.
I had dinner with my boss, his wife and their friends who were staying out in Nuevo. We ate at Mi Querncia on the malecon and I had the most amazing coconut shrimp served in a pineapple half. Sylvia maybe this is where you had yours last year too.
On numerous occasions I would choose new and unfamiliar streets on my way downtown, I loved exploring the neighbourhoods and seeing a different view each time. The colourful buildings, the red tile roofs, the smiling welcoming faces of the locals, the backdrop of the mountains and the ever-present bay are clear images in my memory. Once I bought a half kilo of strawberries and 2 cobs of corn off the back of a truck for 16 pesos!
Many days I enjoyed the peace of the condo and read for hours, munching on fresh cucumber salad or tomato, bacon and avocado sandwiches, nachos with salsa mexicana or whatever! I had a really delicious mahi-mahi and salad dinner at Ellen’s one evening. Yummy. I met my friend Martin for coffee and accepted an invitation of a day pass for Fred and myself to go out to Nuevo to the resort where he works.
I spent some time at the Refugio Infantile as well, I had excellent directions from Sudy Coy and decided to walk, it only took about 40 minutes from the condo. For a while I played and read to the children and then found myself in the kitchen where I set up the tables and chairs for lunch and then proceeded to squeeze a small mountain of limes for juice! I did some dishes and helped dish out the food for the children when they came in. I really enjoyed that.
I had a fabulous time with Ellen the day we went on the house tour. First we enjoyed a great breakfast at La Hacienda then we boarded the bus, headed into the Conchas Chinas area and toured through 4 amazing homes. After the house tour Ellen and I lunched at the Lindo Mar and from there we went to le Kliff for coffee. The views from both of these places is stunning. Le Kliff was getting ready for valentines day and had decorated the pillars with red organza and flower petals shaped hearts on the floor of the wedding area. It was beautiful.
I enjoyed a day trip out to La Penita to the colourful street market with Ellen, Dave and Renee and I sat on the benches on the malecon, listening to the waves, watching the pelicans diving for fish and breathing in the warm humid air that is Puerto Vallarta and calls be back year after year.

Joyce

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Post by sjl330 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:38 pm

I absolutely LOVE the wonderful way you write your trip reports. I find it very relaxing to read your descriptions of your lovely days in PVR. Thank you for sharing.

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Post by travelbug_jp » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:11 pm

Thank you and it was a pleasure to meet you although it was only briefly. If I didn't keep a diary while I'm over there then I would have difficulty recalling it all to memory! Especially names. I'm glad you are enjoying my short story! One more installment to come, followed by photos.

Joyce

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Post by smitty » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:15 pm

Tomato , bacon and avocado sandwiches ! I want one ! :) That was a excellent report Joyce and one heck of a vacation !

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Post by travelbug_jp » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:10 pm

Somehow nothing tastes as good when I make it over here. How come?

Joyce

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Post by JROJEFF » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:21 pm

I know what you are saying joyce , try having some tequilla first before cooking ,it will make you get a little more creative in your cooking plus with enough you can pretend it taste just like in pv :lol:

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Post by chrisnick » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:15 pm

I know!!! I had a "mexican" breakfast at Stellas in Osborne Village last Sunday. It was good and I did have a hangover....but it still didn't taste like the breakfasts in Mexico!! When am I going to get over this feeling!!!! I need HOT WEATHER!!!!

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Post by michelle/tyler » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:41 am

thanks joyce just what I needed after a tough day.Next time were in pv at the same time I would love to go on one of these excursions with you.

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PART 3

Post by travelbug_jp » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:00 am

Final Chapter

Our friends Brad and Pam who arrived on the 15th stayed with us for a week and Fred arrived the following afternoon. I think its safe to say that he was happy to see me! That evening we went to Burros for drinks and dinner. Now get this, and we still don’t know what to make of it, Brad paid the bill and made a mistake in one of the bill denominations. The money he had left was enough to cover the bill as well as an adequate tip considering we had rather poor service, but he had meant to leave more. He made a mistake with a 20 and 50 peso bill. Anyway the elderly waiter comes tearing after us and tells Brad that the tip was not adequate and that he wanted more! We were so astounded and upon later reflection we decided that we should have told him no instead of giving him a few more pesos. Are they allowed to do that?
One afternoon we were fortunate enough to get a last minute reservation at Teatro Limon so we got dolled up and off we went. From the minute we stepped into Bruce’s wonderful new restaurant until he rolled us out the door we had a fabulous dining experience. He welcomed us in and showed us to our table, sat down and asked a few questions regarding allergies and personal taste. Then the food started appearing and it was
beautiful to look and it tasted every bit as good as it looked. Light starters followed by a delicious salad and melt in your mouth stuffed crab. The main course of lamb and filet were perfectly cooked and just exploded with flavour in our mouths. Delicious desserts, coffee and after dinner drinks topped off the evening perfectly. Thanks again Bruce, see you next year!
Went out for breakfast to Boca Bentos and it was delicious. What a great deal for under 50 pesos, beverages extra. Another morning we went to Memos and really enjoyed that as well. Pam and I also were lucky enough to try our hand at making tortillas in one of the restaurants. So we had to go scrub up and put hairnets on, so there we were in full view of the entire restaurant, behind the extremely hot grill, wrecking one tortilla after another! Rolling it in a ball and squishing it flat in the press was not a big deal, it’s the technique involved with sliding it off your hand onto the grill that seemed to elude us, but it was fun trying.
We had a nice dinner at Fuente del Puente with Ellen & Dave and Sylvia & Mark, we seemed to be the only patrons that night, in fact they closed up after we left.
The Feb. meet up at El Nido was a success. I won’t remember everyone who was there but here goes … attending were Mark & Sylvia, Dave & Ellen, Francine, Karen, Pamela, Fred & myself and one or two others whose names elude me. My apologies.
One of the Art galleries down the street was having a Marta Gilbert exhibition and I really enjoyed that. I love the way she captures the spirit and emotions of her subjects and wish I could afford one of her pieces!
As Chris mentioned in one of her posts, we were waiting at different locations for each other and never got to meet but that’s the way it goes! We enjoyed several drinks at the Cheeky Monkey while we were waiting for her and she was wandering around at Cyc’s asking strangers if they were me! That must have been funny.
We met Des & Sherry at Cyc’s as well as Donna & Glenn (dgwick)and another couple who live only a 10 minute drive from our home. Sorry I didn’t write the names down, how embarrassing. Anyway we had a really nice time and met up a few nights later for dinner. We joined them at their hotel for a few drinks and then walked over to Barrio Sur for dinner. Des was going to order the Beef Tongue and I’m sure glad he chose not to!!! We had a very enjoyable evening.
Finally, the day came when we went out on the Bay with Alberto – the real one, not the pirate! And this time I made sure, we met him a few days in advance and put the deposit money right in his hand. I was not getting duped a second time. Ellen, her friends Bill & Barbara and Fred and myself had a nice day on the water. Unfortunately the ocean was not teeming with life that day but it was still an enjoyable day.
Fred and I had accepted an invitation of a day pass from our friend Martin who works at one of the resorts in Nuevo, wow what luxury! On the way back we stopped at the airport to welcome my very nervous sister and her husband. Now I had told her that I would be at the airport to greet her but low and behold their plane had been 35 minutes EARLY and they were already on the bus! So we ran out to the bus, jumped on and rode with them to the hotel! We waited while they checked in and then took them on their first bus ride downtown and of course it was packed and we all had to stand and hang on for dear life! How perfect. We strolled around the malecon and took in the activities. We had dinner at the No name café and really the food is nothing to write home about but we had a great view from the second floor. We spent quite a bit of time with them as this was their first time in PV. My sister has a terrible phobia of anything reptilian and she had visions of iguanas and snakes running rampant in front of her everywhere. She was very nervous about it and I had decided that I would not tell her about the iguanas in the trees by the bridge. If you are not looking for them then you would never see them anyway. As luck would have it we were enjoying a cold drink at Café Roma one day and she says something to me that sounded like blah blah dress. I thought she meant that someone was walking on the sidewalk and she wanted me to look at the dress this person was wearing, I turned to look but there was not a single pedestrian in sight, I said what are you looking at? She said it again, blah blah dress, I look again and say what dress, where are you looking? She half gets out of her chair and says very loudly and a bit wildly, JOYCE, IN THE GRASS. We are on the second floor and across the street on the other side of the stone barricade making his slow and lazy way to the water is a fairly large iguana! Fred the gentleman changed seats with her so that she could turn her back. We took them to the market and all in all just got them familiar with the area. They wanted to go on the Pirate Ship and asked us to join them so we did. And wouldn’t you know it they hauled me up on stage to represent Canada. Oh my gosh what a hoot! Basically I had two choices, I could go up in front of 250 people, be self-conscience and make a fool of myself or I could go up, have fun and do it for my country! Guess which option I choose? Everyone was calling me Miss Canada for the rest of the evening!
We decided to go out on the water for a few hours one day and booked a boat with Benny’s. Well the whales were out in full force this day and the entire three hours we were out were entertaining. Mostly they were just swimming gently and slowly around the bay, surfacing, blowing and occasionally showing us the width and breadth of their tails. They were in very close proximity but we were on a licensed boat and our driver was excellent at keeping the appropriate distance. Initially we were one of 7 or 8 boats but eventually they all drifted off one by one leaving us the only boat around. Suddenly like a shot they started breaching, flying out of the water like an arrow and landing with a deafening splash. First one then the other and then again. Time and again they did their acrobatics for us. Then there were two adults and a baby in another group, the two adults took it in turns, first one would heave his body out of the water and slap his tail as hard as possible, then the other would do the same, probably 20 or 25 times in a row. It was as if they were in competition with each other. Once in a while the baby would give it a try too and that was really cute. We felt like we had been given front row seats for a private showing. What an exhilarating experience and that’s where I end my trip report.

Joyce

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Post by michelle/tyler » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:22 am

thank you joyce that was excellent.As for burros my parents really liked going there last year so this year they went and it was fine but a couple days later they took my aunt and uncle there and could not get served at all.Norm looked around and there were afew tables that hadnt got served they waited about half an hour and left but on the way out norm stopped and talk to the owner and told him they couldnt get served so they were leaving and that really takes alot for my dad to complain but he only did it because he really likes it there.We never had any problems when we were there but norm seem to think they were really short staff.As for chasing after you we fired a guy at a restraunt my parents owned because he pulled a stunt like that.

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Post by sjl330 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:22 am

Wow, Joyce, I loved this ending report as much as all the rest. I hope your sister is planning a return to PV in the future. The whale show sounds fantastic! I've seen the whales but never where they totally breach. Which just means I still have something to look forward to, lol.

Do you remember if the old guy from Burro's was the same server who was our server the night of the meet up with Tom and Lorrie? If so, we had him a few times while we were there and always thought he had a terribly rude attitude every time! He sure doesn't act like he enjoys his job, that's for sure.

So when is your next trip planned for PVR? I hope to meet you again sometime.

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Post by travelbug_jp » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:38 am

Sandy, yes it was the same server and I agree, his attitude left a bit to be desired. I still can't believe he actually chased after us demanding a bigger tip!
The whales were amazing and I captured some video of it on my camera, the problem is that our computer is already 6 years old and won't accept the video download. So we will take it to my brother in laws, download onto his computer and then hopefully he can email the link back to us. Then I can share it with all of you.
It is unlikely that my sister will plan a repeat visit, she saw another iguana after we left and she says she sees it now when she closes her eyes. She is comfortable in Hawaii and will return there.
We are planning on returning to PV next January if all goes as planned. Are you planning a return trip?

Joyce

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