Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another Productive Week! Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

And so the week continued with excursions and activities for the sole purpose of making the apartment comfortable in style and function. But, of course, we had to have some fun too along the way!

I think I've mentioned Cupocity before, the Mexican Groupon. Well, it was time again for our monthly massages and we had bought a great deal for only $190pesos ($15 US) each - 75 minutes of pure bliss. What's nice is that we're able to try different spas throughout the area. And, I must say, so far Angels has been the best so far!! 

And what better way to celebrate our out of body experience than to drop in at Sea Monkey for a margarita. Only problem was that they've stopped using real limes due to the lime crisis and they were way too sweet and sugary. So until the lime crisis is abated, we'll not be going back for margaritas. But they still have Mike's $1 beers and I'll just have to have my wine. :)

For those that aren't following the lime crisis, let me explain. Because the rainy season lasted longer this year, early January was our last huge gully washer, it prevented the lime production. Prices have quadrupled here, which really eats into the profits of a $1 margarita!!  There is hope that as the dry season continues, production will increase. We'll see...

We made our first excursion by bus out to Home Depot on Tuesday. Unfortunately, our goal of finding shades, blinds or curtains didn't work out nor did we find acceptable washer/dryer choices or a replacement toaster. Bummer!!  We did buy a couple of wax begonias for only 10 pesos ($.80) each on close out. 

So we decided to get off at Walmart on our way back into town because we had seen bamboo shades there that we knew would work. Instead we found 2 beautiful orange rolling shades that were a   perfect size for 2 windows. Now we only had to borrow a drill to put them up. 

I had been trying to get together for months with another Facebook friend who I hadn't met yet, Helen. So on Wednesday morning Mike and I went to her meditation session at the yoga studio right here in Old Town.  It was a wonderful half hour of just letting go and getting carried away to another realm.  

After our session, we trekked back to Costco to buy the toaster that I had been eyeing since we got to Mexico. It's not only beautiful to look at but it fits our larger bread to a tee and does a better job. Yes, it was a bit more expensive but in the long run it will pay for itself in many ways. 

We spent Thursday installing the shades that we bought. And, oh what a difference!! Not only do they look great, they are making a huge difference in the room temperature when we get the afternoon sun.

As the week progressed, PV became a very busy place! Semana Santa is the largest holiday in the country and EVERYONE it seems heads for the beaches.  They estimated that there were an extra 10,000 cars in town and I believe it!  Driving was absolutely insane with people driving the wrong way on one way streets. So, as a pedestrian, look out and be acutely aware of your surroundings even more so! And the sidewalks and beaches were packed right through the weekend.

We were very much looking forward to Friday for it was going to be a busy social fun day.  We started by going to a late lunch with my friend, Karyl.  She had never been to lunch up at Casa Isabel, so of course, we had to go there.  And, as always, we enjoyed the meal but truly loved the view!!

We had also purchased tickets through Cupocity to see the Carole King show, Tapestry, at Act II.  No disappointment here!  2.5 hours of wonderful singing and great piano and guitar.  Tickets were $120 pesos instead of $300 each ($9 US vs. $23).

A bit of video to enjoy: https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D646513_67028128_7791351

I WANT Lamar's T Shirt!!

A great way to end the day was by listening and enjoying Sean Moore and his Texas Blues Band at Nacho Daddy's.  Boy can they make the blues rock!

I had been conversing all week with a gentleman who was selling a brand new LG washer/dryer one piece combo on Craigslist.  It's a really cool machine. Totally automatic from wash cycle through drying process. Runs totally on 110v electric and it's sleek and gorgeous to look at. So on Saturday morning we talked by phone and came to an agreement on price ($800US) that is half of what it sells for retail.  But it needed to be viewed in person before we'd all go through the exercise of having it delivered.

So off Mike and I went by bus to the end of the line in Pitillal then by taxi to his home in another suburban neighborhood.  We were not disappointed in the machine.  It looked as good in person as it did in the pictures.  And, it wasn't as large as we thought.  The seller owns a Ford Explorer and with the three guys (father, son, and Mike), they were able to lift it into the back of the SUV with no problem.  And once his brother arrived, off we went.  He stopped at the bank to let us get our cash to pay for it and once at our place, the 3 were able to carry it up the 3 flights of stairs to our condo.  It's a heavy son of a gun, so they were all glad we didn't live higher up!

It now has a beautiful silver cover to keep it looking this nice.

We could justify the price because we would be spending about $12/week on a laundry service for clothes, towels, and sheets.  That's $624 plus all the hassle to carry it back and forth plus working with their hours of operation.  Yup, now I can do my laundry when I want to!!  Even at night because this baby is quiet as a church mouse!!  It even plays a sweet little music melody when it's finished. 

Saturday evening didn't turn out to have much of a sunset, as the clouds rolled in. But, we did enjoy drinks with Helen on her rooftop right on the beach. 

Our building from afar.

From there we ended up eating at Di Vino Dante.  We had been wanting to try it out and enjoy the beautiful peaceful setting up above the art gallery.  The restaurant itself exhibits allot of art and is in its first season. It was the 2 x 1 pizza that caught our attention.  A most enjoyable experience and a beautiful venue!


And, so as it was Saturday night, that meant our friend Joe King Carrasco was playing at Nacho Daddy's.  A must stop for us.  As we were going to find a table, I got stopped by a man who knew me well from reading my blog.  Bo and his wife, Dora, had just come in from Ecuador and are checking out PV.  We had a delightful rest of the evening getting to know each other and talking about places and countries we've both been to. 

This is not the first time and probably won't be the last at being recognized.  It never ceases to amaze me at how many people I've never met before know me when I walk by just from reading the blog and seeing our pictures!! 

Easter Sunday was a totally lazy day with sleeping in, doing a bit more laundry, a scrumptious gorgonzola egg soufflĂ© with bacon croissant.  Mike's specialty!  And, to top off the day, a bit of sunbathing and lounging in the pool.  Ah, the good life!!

This week is already shaping up to being very productive, as well.  We continued on with our search for blinds and went back to Home Depot on Monday.  After looking at all the options again, we decided to buy a cut to fit blind in cream for over the sink.  We installed it this morning and it's perfect!

We have continued to chase our old landlord, David, for our security deposit but with the Easter holidays we got nowhere fast.  Couldn't even get a response from our legal advisor so this morning Mike got up early and personally went to see David.  David did answer the door, which is quite a surprise. He still contends that we will have our money by tomorrow but that he would only present it to our legal advisor.  Who knows.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

The construction of the new building on our street was thankfully put on hold all last week.  The daily jack hammering into the bedrock does eat into our peace and quiet.  We truly enjoyed the whole week without it.  But sure enough at 8am they were back at it again yesterday. At least when we close the doors and windows here, it really does lessen the noise considerably and for that we are grateful.  It shouldn't last much longer and that's nice to look forward to as well.

Only one last real project to coordinate and that's getting a custom drape made for our sliders.  But that's for another day.

This week I also got published again in the online Retirement and Good Living site.  They also reached out to me from having found my blog.  http://retirementandgoodliving.com/retiring-in-mexico-making-lemonade-when-handed-lemons/

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend doing whatever. 

Again, thanks for following along on this journey of ours and for all of your wonderful comments and feedback.


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