One of the best aspects of the Hacienda Escondida, where I stayed in at Puerto Vallarta, was that it was a short distance from the river leading down to the beach. My zodiac sign is Cancer and despite my fear of deep water/small boats, I just need to be around water. Ponds, rivers, lakes or the sea – they all make me happy. The first morning, I got up early and wandered up to the bridge crossing the river. It was too early for tourists so I met many of the local people coming from the hillside down into the town to open shops and start work. On the first trip, I felt there was a distance between the locals and tourists but perhaps it was all in my panic stricken head. I greeted everyone I met with Buenos Dias and received such smiles and responses. In Texas I live in a town that attracts tourists and sometimes we get irritated with their presence but they bring in tax dollars…
Puerto Vallarta is flooded with natural beauty and it seems to encourage marvelous creativity. The outhouses above were located on the river bank. I liked this Maya/Aztec mural on a riverside building?
Maya Mural and dog
It was blissfully quiet early in the morning and enjoyed having most of the river to myself, with a few friends.
Egret on rock, heron in water
I guess they were lucky that the cat was looking for smaller prey.
Eventually I reached another road bridge where I admired this lovely cafe which was serving breakfast.
I finally reached a culvert at the end of the river and there was a mermaid!
Mexican Naval Eye Candy
Well, I have met some handsome naval guys during my life but this gorgeous specimen
took my breath away caught my eye. Can you hear the low cougar purr as I admired this young cub? He was standing outside the Naval Museum in Puerto Vallarta to draw in cougars, kittens and the large gay population of the town. Well, I assume that… Just like my mum would, I went straight up to him and starting talking to him. My mum, who had a thing for Hispanic men, would have fainted. He was charming, articulate with perfect English. He told me all about the museum but I wasn’t really listening.
Eventually, I did go into the Museo Histórico Naval de Puerto Vallarta (The Naval Museum) and what a revelation it was. It was small but beautifully created. The naval history of Mexico was quite fascinating from Conquistadors to current life. All the staff was enlisted naval personnel and it struck me that this was an excellent job in an area that had limited opportunities for young people. It was situated right on the promenade so you couldn’t miss it.
Stained glass ship
The piece de resistance was this amazing stained glass artifact in the coffee shop. What I couldn’t photograph was the light display on the ceiling which was a constellation. Wow! The coffee was also the best I had tasted in Puerto Vallarta. I was curious as to why it wasn’t busier but not all the naval staff had much English. How hard is it to ask for “Un cafe latte, por favor?” It amazes me that English speaking tourists travel all over the world without even a phrase book. On occasion I have had to resort to clucking like a chicken in restaurants but at least I try…🐔
As I sat in this beautiful coffee shop, looking at the sea, I pondered my Mexican ancestors and hoped that they were proud that their ‘grand-daughter’ was determined to visit one of my homelands and understand how amazing they were. I also realized how lucky I was to have the ability to travel the world.
When my husband, Teddy, sent me an email from Oklahoma with a photo of a handwritten note, I thought, ‘here we go, he has been pretending to be Sean Connery again’. The lovely server had asked him about his rings. He has a large silver and turquoise ring and a Celtic gold one. No doubt he had a few refreshments by then but showed her my photograph, explained that I was part native and that we were married for 35 years.
The silver ring was just a lucky gift when we were browsing a shop selling Native American goods in Rice Village, Houston. Some very rich guy had ordered a custom made silver and turquoise for his larger than average fingers. After trying it one, he decided he wanted something even more ostentatious. The original ring was being sold cheap until another werewolf popped in. Teddy’s has big hands but also large knuckles from arthritis that started in his 30’s. (Rather suspiciously he is growing werewolf hair on his shoulders…)
The gold ring was his 40th birthday present from me. By that stage he had two wedding rings because of the increasing knuckle size. I took those plus some of his granny’s rings to a goldsmith and chose a Celtic interwoven pattern from a book of sketches. He loved it! As time went by the knuckles became more inflamed and it didn’t fit again. About two years ago we took a chance with a local jeweler who increased it by expanding the pattern with more gold. It was fantastic!
We were not fortunate enough to spawn although we always wondered about creating some crazy mutant werewolf…🐺 He is still in Oklahoma for Father’s Day but there was a card in his suitcase signed by Toffee, our cat, Katniss and her new kitten (that’s another story), the armadillos, the possums, the skunks, the raccoons and cicadas. Teddy has been a fabulous Daddy to all our pussycats and clearly he would have made a lovely grandfather…
Love Nana Bunny
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!
Having been a nanny and no progeny, usually children are the last thing I want to see on vacation. This little cutie, in her plaid Catholic school uniform, just stole my heart. I really wanted to take her home with me but I think that is technically kidnapping… 😎 She was utterly oblivious of the busy sidewalk around her, totally focused on her drawing book. There is a beautiful Catholic cathedral in Puerto Vallarta with a school alongside it. The memory of Catholic school sometimes fills my heart with terror (don’t mention Jesuits…) but this brought back some unexpectedly happy memories. Every time I smell a fresh leather bag, I am taken back to my new leather satchel and first day of school.
Estuary meets the sea
As I wandered down the river to the sea, there were children playing along the edge of the river or swimming in it. There was a market for local vendors on an island in the middle of the river and I think the children above might have been one of the vendor’s children or perhaps a shell fisherman that I saw not far from them. They were perfectly happy playing by themselves with a bucket/tin and sand. Big sister was in charge. I was curious as to why they were on the estuary not the beach but perhaps it was for safety or the sand made better castles?
Church of our Lady of Guadalupe
I was trying to take some more shots of the cathedral when I spotted this little girl sitting like a pixie. I think her Dad was watching me protectively. Puerto Vallarta should be very proud of their lovely children.
A pod of pelicans
Just after Thanksgiving last year, Teddy and I went on a lovely trip to Puerto Vallarta…except it wasn’t. What I didn’t reveal is what really transpired. We have been seriously considering a retirement move to Mexico because of the cost of health care in the US. Our first trip was to Baja – wonderful but some current cartel problems in the state. Puerto Vallarta always seemed like a low possibility because it is a tourism town but it also has very good medical facilities and is safe. Nonetheless we were looking forward to a vacation. The first problem was at customs where the officers wanted to look inside the Pelican case containing photography equipment. Silly Teddy had locked it but didn’t tell Bunny the combination… One was a little brusque but generally they were just doing their job. When we left Customs the timeshare people attacked… sigh.
Art at the beach
Our driver from the hotel was waiting for us (wondering why there was a delay) and things got much better. We arrived at the Hacienda which was utterly beautiful in the heart of the old town. It was surprisingly ‘real’, busy with buses taking workers in and out of the city. The cobbled streets amplified the noise of the traffic, open market and other businesses. It was a short walk to a beautiful beach and we had a lovely lunch with perhaps too many margaritas. There was a water feature running into the pool next to our room (the noise was making me anxious) and something just clicked in my brain. A panic attack was starting and Teddy had gone off for a couple of hours. By the time he came back it was fully fledged panic attack and I HAD TO GO HOME! This happened once before in Scotland and I seem to have no control over it.
After much reflection, I think there was just too much riding on this trip and I would really prefer to stay at our home in Texas if we can afford it (and we likely can). In February I had the opportunity to visit Puerto Vallarta on a solo trip and this time it was so much better – Mexico, take two. I could even envision a partial retirement there, if needs must. I stayed at the same Hacienda where I made some new friends and got to know my host a little better. They have many repeat guests who enjoy the familiarity of a real home from home. Within moments of entering my guest room, I tripped and twisted my ankle. WTF? Are the Gods out to get me??? Fortunately, I had been practicing my Farmacia Spanish and I strapped it up. More posts to come with some wonderful photographs.
I know; I know – Kerry is turning into a grumpy old lady even with the addition of estrogen… Yesterday, I flipped. We live in an affluent area but it’s fairly divided from rented apartments to multi-million dollar homes just ½ mile from each other. We live in a hidden cul-de-sac at the bottom of a road coming from a rich gated community. Despite it being a 35 mile per hour limit, entitled car owners flash down making it difficult for us to see if the road is clear. What’s worse is that there are many pedestrians and children.
Yesterday, I turned right out of my subdivision only to see a brand new Maserati in my rear mirror having to really put the brakes on behind me and we were approaching a 4 way stop. Something snapped in my brain… I slowed dramatically (he was still inches behind me), then I wiggled the car and put the flashers on. Once I had gotten through the 4 way stop, I wound down my window so I could give the driver a verbal row. He or she went off like a bat out of hell – to get away from the very scary lady with a crazy cat lady sticker on the rear bumper. I just knew it was a graduate with their new car. Yes, that is how rich our neighbors are.
Why on earth do parents buy their graduates (school not college) a high powered car that just begs to be driven badly by a teenage brain that is not fully developed? I learned to drive when I was 45 in the US and my husband very sensibly bought me an old Buick that the last elderly owner had scraped along the side of the garage. First thing I did was knock the mirror off – that was fixed with duct tape. New drivers will always make mistakes and old Buicks were incredibly big (hardly fitted in the garage).
One of my colleagues told me that she was paying the new truck payment for her 30 year old son (who was still living at home).
• Why is he living at home?
• Why doesn’t he have an old Buick or Ford truck (like the Mexican gardeners have)?
I would suggest public transport but it is very limited in this oil town. Parents aren’t doing their kids any favors by spoiling them. By age 24, my husband was married with a job, a mortgage and a very old Audi only earning £4000 pa. We had no debt. I thought my husband was spoiled and insisted we pay back money that his parents would give us to help us out. We got it all in the end and looked after them as they aged.
Then there is the Mall… It is a no-go area until they go back to school or college in August. They are going to be parking their Maserati/Audi/Mini’s badly despite massive parking spaces. The girls will be gathering in flocks of screeching teenagers taking over the whole of Sephora (a beauty shop) or Starbucks! What is it with the coffee shops – where do they get the money for lattes?? They should be doing work in the summer – all the jobs that we hated. I worked in the kitchens of an old Victorian hospital where the cockroaches were bigger than gerbils. One of the massive predators scuttled out of the sink I was washing dishes in and I dropped about 20 plates…
That feels much better. Thank you for listening to my old lady rant. Eventually I will adjust to a hormone filled steamy summer and might even be nice to them at the airport…when they leave their phones in the restroom, lose their Miss Kitty backpack and forget to bring their passport. 😀😁
By the way, Happy Graduation!