Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Rock n Roll Fun Filled Weekend !! - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

As I left you in my last post, I had been awarded a writing assignment for the most read On Line paper -- Puerto Vallarta Daily News (PVDN). This meant that Mike and I had press passes to The FIRST ANNUAL VALLARTA-NAYARIT ROCK FESTIVAL which was held in Nuevo Vallarta from Friday, December 12 - Sunday, December 14. The venue was on a parcel of property next to the Hard Rock Resort where they set up an incredible professional stage.

So the few days before, we spent making arrangements for staying in Nuevo rather than taking 2 busses every time to get back and forth, which is about an hour and a half ride. We decided that that was going to be too taxing on our older bodies plus the commitment of writing an article every day before having to be back to the venue by noon each day.

We ended up staying at Paradise Village and being able to walk a short ways to the location. Our room had a complete mini kitchen and nice dining table plus a nice terrace overlooking one of the pools and tennis courts. A great place to enjoy my morning coffee after finishing my articles.

We arrived in Nuevo and Paradise Village on Thursday after taking 2 busses and the hour + ride. While checking in, I inquired whether or not the hotel would be willing to offer us any gratis services so that I could give them a review on their resort and the services they provide. Unfortunately, they weren't open to that possibility at all while we were there.

 But, after talking to the Publicity Manager, he left the possibility open that we might be able to arrange another stay at another time. We'll see... Nuevo is a bit sterile for us and offers nothing of what Puerto Vallarta, MEXICO is all about. However, there are many people who need/like to come to this part of the Bay and go no where. They truly want to do nothing but relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. I get that when you only have a few days or a week. BUT, don't say you've been to and experienced Puerto Vallarta, because you haven't!

After getting settled in our room, Mike and I went for a walk through the "compound", out to the pool area, and beach just to see what it all looked like as we didn't think we'd have another opportunity to do so. And, we were right! Thursday afternoon was our only true "free" time and we took a stroll up the beach to see how far it was to the Hard Rock. Turned out it was only about a 10 minute walk. Sweet!

Paradise Village Resort Lobby

Resort Entry

Kids Slide Fun Area by Pool

Beach view looking south toward Puerto Vallarta

Paradise Village "Mall".

 Having Press Passes (Prensa) meant we were able to attend all of the special parties and had access to the VIP (artists/performers) area at the festival. So off we went by cab Thursday evening to the Opening Party at La Estancia in Nuevo.

A beautiful venue where we picked up our press passes and then enjoyed a wonderful evening of music, food, drink and meeting several of the artists/performers. What an exciting time for me/us! I'd never been to a Rock Festival much less got to mingle and meet the legends up close and personal. Turns out we have good mutual friends of Brophy Dale, who performed with Lee Rocker on Friday. Brophy Dale is a fabulous guitarist originally from Ann Arbor, MI. He now lives in CA and performs worldwide with former Stray Cats' double bass player, Lee Rocker, and with his own rock blues band, The Brophy Dale Band.

Local Band, The Black Sheep

Brophy Dale, Jimmy's wife, Jimmy Sage

Donnie Lee Clark, Mike Reilly, & John David Call of the Pure Prairie League


Micki Free, Me & Gary Moon -- Swoon, swoon

Entry to party room at La Estancia

 Slim Jim Phantom & his sweetie

 I think at this point I will just post the links to all of my articles and you can read them rather than me rewriting everything.

The All Star House Band is incredible all by itself with the likes of Elliot Easton (The Cars – guitar), Kenny Lee Lewis (Steve Miller Band – bass), Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac – guitar), Jeffrey “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan – guitar) Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, John Fogerty – drums), Curly Smith (Boston, Rick Springfield & John Waite – drums), Kenny Gradney (Little Feat – bass), and Teddy “ZigZag” Andreadis (Guns’n Roses & Alice Cooper – keyboards. An amazing collection of hugely talented artists!!

Open Party : http://www.vallartadaiSlim Jim
Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 3:

Below are some of the highlight photos that we took over the course of the festival.

Day 1:

Brophy Dale

Micki Free in center

Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)

Spencer Davis on right

Slim Jim Phantom

Billy Burnette & Slim Jim Phantom

Lee Rocker & Brophy Dale

Billy Burnette

Gary Moon

Micki Free & Gary Moon


Brophy Dale & ?

Lee Rocker

Lee Rocker

Mark Farner

Mark Farner

Micki Free & Gary Moon

Micki Free

Sam Moore

Spencer Davis & Me

 Day 2:
Dave Mason

Sam Moore & Dave Mason



Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac)

Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter (Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan)

Michael Webb (Poco) & Me.


Mark Farner

Canadian Fans
Award Party at La Santa Saturday night:
Inside the venue. The dance floor is pulled over an indoor swimming pool.

Sam Moore & his lovely wife!

Slim Jim Phantom's lovely sweetie.

Micki Free & Steve Augeri

ZigZag & I can't remember....



Me & Mark Eddie (the rock n roll comedian).

Mark Eddie

Sam Moore's hand beaded Huichol guitar. Gorgeous!

Carlo Volhl & Mark Eddie

Me & Sam Moore

Micki Free, Me & Sam Moore

Awww, the ladies!


Inside La Santa

Outside La Santa

La Santa
Day 3:
All Star House Band

Craig Fuller (Little Feat)

Me & John David Call (Pure Prairie League)

Me & Craig Fuller

The One & Only, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees!!!

Steve Augeri, (Journey)

Cathy Richardson - Jefferson Starship

Steve Augeri, Me & Billy Burnette

OMG!! Me & Micky Dolenz !!!!

Jefferson Starship

The fans !

Jefferson Starship !
 Since being back home, we've settled back into our "normal" routine of enjoying our beloved Old Town Puerto Vallarta and all that it has to offer. Heavy Christmas food shopping at Costco, Expat Happy Hour on Tuesday, meeting up with good friends for pizza and drinks at Los Muertos Brewing, going to see the new Hobbit movie at the Galeria, 2x1 Tapas and drinks at Fusion Gourmet, meeting up with our landlord, Dave, whose returned from the states for the winter at Signature Lounge for Happy Hour, sharing in birthday festivities with friend, Ray, etc, etc.

I know...tough life!! Certainly can't believe that we've been in this wonderful place for a year now. And, met our budget goal of living within our income for everything we've done including all of our travels.

The other highlights over the past 2 weeks was that we booked a trip to meet up with good friends that we met in Granada, Nicaragua - Steve & Marti Owen. We will be spending a week in early February with them in Mexico City and we will return by bus over the next week enjoying stops in San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, and Leon before heading back home.

We've also purchased tickets to see Santana & Journey in Guadalajara the end of March. A chance reading of one of my posts on Facebook by the owner of Casa Venezuela in the city center of Guadalajara, led for us to make contact and now we will be staying at his wonderful B&B for our visit!

I know I say it over and over again....but how could we not like our life and what we've made of it ??  Things looked pretty grim in December, 2011 but here we are December, 2014 and life is just GRAND!!!

Our daughter, Denise, our son-in-law, Michael, and 3 of our grandsons, Peter, Tim and Maddox, will be arriving on Christmas Day for 16 days. Whoot, Whoot!

So until I get a chance to write again .... FELIZ NAVIDAD y PROSPEROS AÑO 2015 !!

Love & Peace the world over!