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.
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.
Even I was surprised by how photogenic Tulsa was. I always take short trips, walk for hours taking photographs and then am exhausted. Tulsa had a very relaxed feel; a small city with so many types of architecture. The Blue Dome building below is on route 66 and was a Gulf gas station built in 1912. Back in the day, the gas station attendant lived in the apartment above. What a cool job that would have been. It has transmogrified into a bar in the past and recently has been bought by the restaurant next door.
The Blue Dome building
It is a very pretty city and the inhabitants seem to take joy in art, whether through architecture or paint or sculpture. I liked this Rotarian statue celebrating their efforts to provide clean safe drinking water around the world. I wonder if they are currently helping in Flint, Michigan?
Safe water sculpture
The Bird Family
My final shot in this post illustrates the old with the new. A beautiful Art Deco roof peeping out from the newer skyscrapers.
Art Deco Roof
Stained Glass in arch of Holy Family Cathedral
I am posting yet more photographs of the lovely Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa. Guilt is weighing heavy about brow-beating the church secretary into opening the cathedral for me… A therapist would have fun trying to figure out why a lapsed Catholic spends so much time in church!
Organ in cathedral
As I mentioned in a previous post, they were servicing the organ and I would have loved to have heard it in a mass. These old architects really knew how to create fantastic acoustics. The colors in this cathedral particularly appealed to me. I adore the color lilac but my mother hated it, as did my mother in law. Perhaps it was the association with mourning?
Cross and Flowers
I wandered around the exterior of the church and this cross was in the side garden. Trespass is an unknown concept to me; it is either my native blood or growing up in Scotland where there is no true law of trespass. Mr Trump was very upset that ‘anyone’ could walk across his precious golf course…
Finally, this plaque in honor of the Year of Mercy touched my soul. Not sure about my indulgence though with the whole brow-beating thing going on…