Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa, and home again
We spent about two weeks in Yelapa and Puerto Vallarta. We aren’t proud of our croquet performance in this year’s tournament but we had fun and largely ignored the croquet-related drama. Who knew that adults, most over age 60, could argue childishly in two different languages about rules, with words like “puta madre” and “asshole” being bandied about? That said, there were some amazing shots by novice players that unified the spectators and reminded us about the real pleasure and spirit of croquet.
I ran several mornings while in Yelapa, around the same time as the kids were going to school. The sky seems sheer and luminous before the sun reaches its full force. The paths are mostly quiet, the beach empty except for restauranteurs setting up for the day, few boats making noise. Chachalacas scurry around the paths and fly-hop to perches in the trees.
We ate well at some of our favorite restaurants: Tacos y Mas (fish quesadillas fo me!), Los Abuelos (chimichangas!), El Pelon (chiles rellenos), Ray’s (Ray’s special salad), Rogelio’s (beachside tuna-stuffed avocado), Pollo Bollo (vegetarian burritos) and Cafe Bahia (which has risen from the ashes of its fire, like a fenix, serving the same fresh California-esque food with a grand view of the bay).
We spent a lovely day at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, wandering with friends and scoping out plants we might want for our garden once our house is finished. We had the most exquisite cocktails there, most notably the vanilla bean mojito (vanilla is grown there at the Gardens).
We found Vallarta’s Romantic Zone to be getting exponentially taller. It seems that many charming one, two and three story buildings have been razed to put up condo towers. A small hotel that we really liked, Casa Fantasia, was among the casualties and is now a flat spot with construction machines on it. There is still some charm left to the this old-town zone but it seems to be fading fast. It makes me sad.
On the home front, our house is coming right along. We are hoping our special-order tile from the town of Dolores Hidalgo will arrive in a timely way and not delay the completion. The subcontractors have the cabinets, doors and windows largely finished and things should start to come together quickly (we hope). Currently, the garage and front wall/entry are being completed and the fireplace is underway.
I am still happy to wake up in Ajijic every day, despite some recent incidents of violence. Most days I am out of the house around eight to exercise. The village is quiet then, some folks are going to work, a few running are to stores in their pajamas to pick up eggs or milk, dogs are searching through garbage, birds are singing, the tortilla factory is churning. One day a boy of about three was headed purposefully across Calle Ocampo, barefoot, with a 20-peso note in his hand, no doubt to pick up a missing breakfast item. We smiled and exchanged “Adios” greetings.
Los Muertos Beach, Puerto Vallarta.
Yelapa, boats in the lagoon.
Tacos y Mas restaurant, Yelapa.
Croquet at Yelapa Oasis by the River.
Vallarta Botanical Gardens.
Our fireplace under construction.