Monday, March 16, 2015

High Season is in Full Swing !!

Ever since getting back from our "vacation" in the highlands, we've been incredibly busy!

Mardi Gras was the day after we returned (Feb. 17) and we spent the evening with friends Jack Bramy, Mel Enge, and Kary-L Littlechild. A spectacular parade that has grown from last year's down the malecon. A good time had by all.

Sunset Mardi Gras evening.

A ship leaving port the same evening.

Our friend Kary-L dressed for Mardi Gras.

Seeing friends who've also been busy with out of town guests, a couple of birthday party's (Randy & Freda), the Oscar Party at Casa Isabel, Expat Happy Hours, a few live performances (Kinsey Sicks, Tea Party, & Greater Tuna), a girl's night out party for the L.O.C.A. Ladies at Sylvie's, and meeting with Expat Wannabe's (Rhonda O'Neill, Jennifer & Pattie, Jim & Heather Stockdill, and Heather & J Braley). Throw in the Harley world record event and you've got yourself a busy month in PV!! Living large in our beautiful town!

 Randy Hodgson's birthday party at his & his husband's, David Smolyn, new condo.

David Smolyn with a couple of great friends!

 The Kinsey Sicks!

                                                The Oscar Party at Casa Isabel. 

                                                                   My bling shoes!

 Greater Tuna ! 2 guys & many costume changes.

 Quacomole being freshly made at our table at Pipi's, a PV institution!

 Meeting up with Jennifer & Pattie. Soon to be PV expats! Sharing experiences & tips of the trade.

 "Cher" from the Bird Cage singing her tunes at Garbo's, a favorite piano bar of ours.

 Elvis showed up a Freda's birthday party at El Rio BBQ on the river in Paso Ancho. The Gecko Band was a usual awesome performance. Love those guys!

 Just a friend who was performing on the street by Apache Bar. Another hangout of ours.

                                                  All the L.O.C.A. Ladies!! 

 Girl's Potluck at Sylvie's Mansion on the hill. A terrific location & a great group of L.O.C.A. ladies!!

 And the Harley's arrived en mass to try and set a world record. Parked all along the malecon.

Sand sculpture on the malecon.

 And, Jim & Heather Stockdill arrived to meet up with us & enjoy the day!


We were also featured in 2 different publications - The Huffington Post and in our local Puerto Vallarta Daily News!

In between all of this, we did manage to file our US taxes on line. A bit more complicated this year because I actually had business income and expenses from my writing this year. But we got em done, filed, and accepted. 

To top this off, we have been invited back to speak at the International Living Ultimate Conference in early June in Cancun!  So honored, again!  We will be staying an extra week, as Mike has never been to that area of Mexico and it's been years for me. Plus, we get to see our good friends, Don & Diane Murray, who now live in Cancun but we met while they lived in Ecuador. So excited!

From there we will be traveling back to the US for our grandson, Tim's high school graduation in CT. We will then drive down to Raleigh, NC where my daughter now lives since taking a new job. After a stay, we will fly to Spokane and visit family and friends for a couple of weeks before flying back to PV in mid July. 

All of the flights have been booked and we found them to be extremely reasonable this year. For both of us Cancun/CT/Raleigh/Spokane/PV, a total of $1,200. Fantastic!  And, now our son-in-law works for a rental car company since his move, so we get to benefit from his discount. Certainly helps stretch the budget!

March 31st is the end of our first year lease here at Condominiums de Piedra. Wow, did time fly! We have enjoyed our new home immensely. And, Mike has especially enjoyed helping our potero (caretaker), Ruben, of our building. He and Mike have tackled many repairs successfully.

As a result, our landlord has had the freedom of spending more time with his family in the states. Something he's really enjoyed. Our dilemma is that we've been really wanting to finally make it back to Europe. But with having to pay rent, it makes the cost much more prohibitive. Nor did we want to terminate our lease and put the few things we've accumulated in storage somewhere. 

So we made a proposal to our landlords that we thought would be a win/win for all of us. We proposed that we would sign a new 15 month lease but be allowed 3 months of free rent during the low season when they wouldn't have the units rented anyway. Or if they wanted cash flow for the whole time, we would pay $800/mo for the full 15 months. Well, we are pleased to say that it will be a win-win over the next 15 months!!  We don't have to move, which we really didn't want to have to do. They chose the option of the cash flow and our rent beginning April 1st will be $800/month. We are very excited to now have the cash flow relief so we can do the traveling we've wanted to do.

So we've booked our flights with all of the miles I've been saving up. Flying in and back from London, we will also visit Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Southern France, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Toledo and finally, Lisbon. Six weeks of different cultures and history! Stay tuned for more details as I make all of our plans traveling on a budget.

We're in Spring Break mode here and gearing up for Semana Santa (Easter). Let the good times roll!!

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