Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Week of Movies in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

With the upcoming Oscar Awards on Sunday, March 2, the PCC (Paradise Community Center) is showing 8 nominated movies, one each night that began last Saturday. So far we've seen HER, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Blue Jasmine, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyer's Club, American Hustle, and tonight will be 12 Years a Slave.

I must say, I've never seen this many movies in this short time frame!  We are thoroughly enjoying it. And what a great opportunity to see them all. Mike and I love to go to the movies and have missed that aspect of life in our travels. But, now we do have 3 good movie theaters in the area and they are easy to reach by bus. A really nice perk!

Mike and I have been thinking of trying to buy a lightly used washer & dryer for our new apartment but found no "garage sale" group on Facebook that appeals to Gringos. So, on Saturday I started a group called Vallarta/Banderas Bay Buy & Sell. We already have 60 members and some new postings!  I'm hoping it will take off as it has in other places we've been. 

Our Spanish classes continue to be good. This week saw me able to have a total conversation in written Spanish with a young lady, Ary Aerial Belloso, who will be coming to our apartment on Sunday to give me a manicure and pedicure for 150 pesos or $11.33. She only comes to you at home or at your office. I'm so looking forward to this!

The reason for the pampering is that we have been invited to a private Oscar Party just up the way from us. We have met many new friends who are going and are looking forward to meeting many more. It's awesome to feel like we are making headway into the social and non tourist atmosphere here.

Remember I talked about all the stairs in this town last week? Well, I thought I'd take a few pictures to show you.

We walk these stairs down & up to go into the main part of Old Town & to go to Spanish class.  These are the ones that kill me because they are high risers.

After climbing all the stairs in town, this is the hill we still have to walk up to get to our apartment.  We're thankful it's not further up!

First set of the 100 steps to get to the PCC looking down.

Second set to complete the 100 stairs looking down.

The beginning of the 100 stairs looking up.
 
While out and about this week, we took these photos. So enjoy our town!

This VW is trimmed out in bottle caps.
 
Looking at the bay from the pedestrian bridge crossing the Rio Cuale.

Tile art on the Malecón.

Los Arcos arches and Amphitheatre on the south side of the Malecón.


The view from where we had lunch at Casa Isabel just around the corner from our apartment.

A nice view of the cathedral of Guadalupe and its magnificent iron crown.

2 para sailors in the Bay.


Our new friends from Minnesota, Sandie and Mike Wick, were at the movies on Monday, so afterwards we went across the street to Coco's Kitchen for drinks and to get to know each other better. They have made their reservations for coming back next year for a month and then they will be traveling on to Medellin, Colombia for a month to check it out as a possible place to retire.

Mike Wick being funny.

Mike & Sandie
 
After the movie on Wednesday night, we went down to Nu, a tapas restaurant/bar, with friends Cindy Ramairez and Bara DeMarino and had a nightcap. This place is in the neighborhood where we are moving to and it was great to see the nightlife in the area. We also met the owner, Jay, and another delightful man, Victor. Victor is currently living in our new condo building but will be going home for the summer before we move in. But he'll be back next fall so we'll get to know him better then.

Friday night we got half way through The Wolf of Wall Street and they gave us an intermission since it's such a long 3 hour movie.  Unfortunately, they couldn't get the movie to play again without starting all over so we're going back on Monday to see the rest of it.

Since it was still early, we went across and up the street to Garbo's, our favorite piano bar.  It was early enough we were able to get seats in the lounge area.  Having some empty chairs across from us, we were joined by 4 others and low and behold, one of my Facebook friends was in the group!  This was the second time on Friday that I met a Facebook friend for the first time unexpectedly.  Love it!! Mike's always amazed when I exclaim "Oh, I know you!  We're on Facebook together."

Live piano & vocals!

Rosa, Freda & Ray!

There truly are two worlds here. So unlike anywhere else we've been. We're really curious to see what it's going to be like come April and May. Most everyone we know who winters here is going back to the states or Canada the end of March. The year rounders say that this is when all the fundraisers stop and people begin to have more socializing in people's homes. 

This week saw us filing our US income taxes for the first time all by ourselves electronically. When you don't own anything and don't have any deductions anymore nor any money stashed outside the US, it was a breeze. Didn't need an accountant to do that. Within minutes it was done, filed, and accepted by the IRS. We get nothing back but the operative matter is we don't owe them anything either. A real win for us!

The other accomplishment we made this week was to meet with our new Immigration facilitator, Felipe Gomez. He had been recommended to us by our friend, Mel Enge. I must say, he was great and we are excited about starting the Permanent Resident Visa process when we are in the states in June and July. Getting the permanent visa will allow us the freedom to come and go when we want to and not have to worry about the 180 day tourist visa. It will also allow us to work, if that should become an opportunity. And, in 4 years, we will automatically get full citizenship and a Mexican passport. We will NOT be giving up our US citizenship, which we would never do. We will have dual citizenship. 

March brings lots of activity to us here in PV. March 4th is Mardi Gras and there will be one heck of a parade and party here. We are really looking forward to the experience!  Today's chore will be to get reservations for watching from a restaurant balcony along the malecon. There is anticipated to be at least 10,000 people here and we'd prefer to watch from above than to be down in the masses. 

Several friends and Mike's sister are also coming to visit this month. So we will be plenty busy with entertaining them all. Plus, we'll be moving three times!! First to pack everything up to move out to Villa del Palmar resort just outside downtown for a week, then again when we get to move into a unit in our new building for a week, and then finally into our apartment that we've leased for a year!  

So busy, busy!  And loving every moment!!!

Thanks for following along on this truly magnificent journey with us.....
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