Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Week of New Beginnings...Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We finally got to move into our "permanent" apartment late last Sunday afternoon.  Going up and down the flight of stairs many many times was quite the exercise.  But after a couple of hours, we had everything pretty much in place and the kitchen rearranged to fit our needs.  It immediately felt like "home"!

We continued to tweak things by moving some furniture, leveling some of the pictures, and rearranging the decorative furnishings to our taste.  Our current landlord, David, is a gem and was here to help us get the kitchen ware squared away and to bring us a flat screen TV so we could utilize the HDMI and plug in my computer for watching Netflix on the TV.

Our Entry

Living Room & Terrace

Living Room






Back Patio

We were then off to Mega to purchase some items that would make life more user friendly.  This is totally discretionary spending for our own creature comforts - wants not needs. A whole different perspective when you're staying put for awhile rather than being on the move.

While at Mega Monday afternoon, we got high jacked by a "fractional ownership" salesman.  With absolutely NO intention of buying anything close to a "timeshare", we still agreed because they were going to pay US $6,000 pesos ($460) for going to the presentation. Because, you see, we want to buy a washer and dryer, again for our creature comfort rather than paying $12 every week to have someone else do our laundry and the hassle of taking and picking it up.  This amount covers the cost of a washer! Are we insane??!!!!

Tuesday afternoon, Mike went looking for our previous landlord, David.  We were supposed to be getting our security deposit of one full month's rent returned and we wanted to remind him and coordinate the timing.  David was rarely ever at his home because he's ill and goes to the doctor continuously.  So it was no surprise when he wasn't there.  Mike left a written note in hopes that he would get it and call us.

One of the errands Mike was running on this excursion was to try and find us a stand for our new beautiful water dispenser.  He first went to the Mexican glass shop but didn't like what they had. But across the street and up a ways was an antique shop that we had been to a few months ago and that's where he found our new stand!  And, right here at the apartment he found a granite piece from a sink cutout. So voila!!!  A perfect setup!

That evening we had JB and Andrea & Richard Doggett over for drinks at our new place and then we all went off to Langostino's for Expat Happy Hour.  It was their first and probably last time going. Not quite their venue.  But we have met and made good friends by going to several of these get togethers and will probably continue going for awhile to see how it shakes out in low season.

From there, the Doggett's and us went down the Malec√≥n to the restaurant, Amore.  Mike and I had purchased coupons through Cupocity and needed to use them.  A small venue but decent food, nothing special.  So glad that we had only paid $88 pesos rather than $220 pesos normal for our food.  Not a high recommendation on our list.

Up early and picked up at the end of our street at 8:30am by Mark Anthony, our "fractional ownership" sales person, and off we went to the Grand Mayan complex just north of the airport.  No matter what, we had the most outrageously awesome FREE breakfast (normally $20US) and a tour of a beautiful resort.  But, needless to say, it was a very long day but we did walk away with 6,000 pesos in our pocket and payment for our return taxi ride.

We met up with JB Good at 5pm at NU for his going away party and drinks on him.  Hard to believe that he was leaving already to go back home.  I do think he's seriously thinking of coming back and I know he had a fabulous time!!

But, the evening wasn't over.  After a drink there, we suggested we all go up to the Signature Lounge at Pinnacle.  We had been wanting to go up for Happy Hour but just hadn't made it.  As JB doesn't do well with lots of steps, and it's 100 steps to the top, we pressed the buzzer from down below and sure enough, as represented, they sent down the golf cart to take us all up.  How cool was that?  JB was sure impressed. And, another lovely sunset evening spent with a good friend in a fabulous venue.  We knew it was going to now become a favorite place of ours!

David, our current landlord, had agreed to take us to Costco so that we could buy a stainless table that we are now using as a kitchen island.  Of course, while there, we purchased whatever else we needed.  So much easier to transport in his pickup rather than getting a large taxi to transport.

He was gracious enough with his time to actually give us a short tour of the area where we found out there was another WalMart and mall even closer and to see the town of Pitillal.  It's actually a "real" Mexican quaint town right here within minutes of Costco.  You certainly feel like you've stepped into the old world.  Love it!  Now we have another place close by that we can take the bus to and explore.

Also this week, I received an invitation to write a short piece for International Living's email postcards.  I had written it earlier in the week but had to do some editing, which I completed Friday morning, before sending it off for their proofing.  A little nervous to hear their feedback.  We'll see....

Still having some items on our list, we set out to explore the new mall.  Not only is there WalMart but many stores including several that carry appliances.  We did some comparison shopping for washers and dryers and intend to purchase a pair this coming week.  Delivery charge of only 90 pesos or $7.  Think we can do this!

On Saturday, the Doggett's and us took a taxi to the small village of Boca.  We had made reservations for the 1pm sitting at the Ocean Grill which can only be accessed by boat or by a 40 minute hike in.  We caught the boat for the restaurant and were in for a huge pleasant experience!!

Richard, Andrea, & Mike at the pier in Boca.

Our boat making its way to shore to pick us up.

How can you not like being on a private Palapa with an attentive staff and owner.  Served divine food and drinks and the resident Great Dane, Wilson, sleeps at your feet during the whole lunch? Top that off with a gorgeous view of the Bay and the beautiful sand beach.  Fabulous and we will certainly be back!!

Ocean Grill as you approach & Wilson's Island.  Wilson is the beautiful Great Dane!

Close up of Wilson's Island. You can swim out to it and take a nap of the bed.

The view of the beach from our table before anyone else got there.

A good day with friends Richard & Andrea Doggett!!

Andrea's octopus that everyone loved & tasted except me.

The beautiful shrimp that Richard & Mike had.

My BBQ ribs & French fries.  I'm the carnivore.

The beach path.

Richard & Andrea enjoying the beauty on the path.

A wonderful beach!

We're happy!


Big boy!

But our day didn't end there.  Took time to have wonderful fresh home made margaritas in Boca on the beach then a bus back to PV where we decided to stop for Happy Hour and sunset at the Pinnacle.  A fun filled day with good friends!!

As last night was Daylight Savings Time here in Mexico, it appeared that we slept late.  But alas, it was only us sleeping our normal amount, which felt great after all the fresh air from yesterday.  Sheets changed and laundry is done. A quick visit from our ex neighbors and friends, Barb and Jeff, who depart for home tomorrow. And Mike sanding and painting our new water stand.  A wonderful lazy day at home in PV!!

Thanks for following along as each week unfolds on this journey of ours.

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