Just like many, we had eliminated Mexico because of all the media hype of the drug wars that you get lambasted with in the US. However, we had vacationed here year after year because we loved what quality of life it gave us. But vacationing and living are way different aspects.
Please note this link with incredible 2013 weather data for PV. http://www.banderasnews.com/1401/to-fun2013puertovallartaweatherfacts.htm
Actually, everywhere we've been there have been horror stories about crime. But, when you got right down to it, just like in the US or Canada, you can find crime anywhere. You can look at where the highest murder rates in the US are but most of us don't avoid those cities because the truth is that the crime happens mostly between people who know each and in neighborhoods we wouldn't enter in the first place. We would be vigilant and avoid them. Are we still vigilant here? Absolutely! There are still pick pockets and thieves just like anywhere else in this world.
And, because we've travelled and lived in many places now, made the adjustments and learned to live with much less and with things because "that's just the way it is", it makes us appreciate what we have here so much more!! And, for that we are grateful! When we hear people here complaining, we just roll our eyes and smile that inward knowing smile you have when you know life's tougher somewhere else and this is a piece of cake.
We've given up our thoughts of living in Spain because we realize it's just too far and too expensive for our family and us to commute. We still plan on vacationing in other exotic places just like everyone else takes a vacation. Even when living in paradise, it's nice to get away!
Our plan had been to take the bus to Sayulita, about an hours drive north, for their first annual Film, Music & art festival but after being out so late the night before those plans got sacked. So after a very leisurely morning, we headed by bus up to Costco to see if we could find the bed topper. Nope, but we did get a few more groceries that only Costco carries and a beach umbrella, so it wasn't a total loss.