Monday, January 12, 2015

The Pie Lady of Yelapa ROCKS!!!! Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2015

For 16 days, Christmas Day, 2014 through January 10, 2015, my daughter, Denise, her husband, Michael, and my grandsons, Peter (19), Tim (17), and Maddox (10), were here visiting over their holiday break. It was a fun filled time - most of the time.

The boys did find time to rag on each other and, at times, tempers flared. That's exhausting! But, I love them dearly, just don't like them sometimes. LOL Guess we're just like any other normal family and I wouldn't have it any other way.

They arrived mid day Christmas Day but in plenty of time for us to have dinner together here at our home. I had started cooking the marinated pork ribs in the crockpot the day before, as I needed 2 full days to cook enough for 7 people. I used a new recipe for the ribs and the creamy coleslaw that I had made, as well. 

Seems the effort paid off!! My Italian good cook son-in-law, Michael, declared the coleslaw the best he's ever had and the ribs luscious! Off to a good start!!

After a leisure day by the pool at their resort the next day and a dinner of leftovers, we hit the streets of Old Town. It was fun showing them our neighborhood.

A little jewelry shopping.

Shopping at the street vendors along Basilio Badillo.

Our final stop was at Nacho Daddy's. At 11pm, my daughter's phone started blowing up. Her 43rd birthday was on December 27th and since they live in the Eastern time zone, everyone that was up back east started sending her birthday wishes. 

My 3 Amigos!! Peter, Tim, & Maddox.

Havin' a good time!!
One couple even called Nacho's to order a drink for her but because of security reasons, their credit card could not be given over the phone. However, Tammy Prust and Sean Moore, owners of Nacho's came to the rescue and produced a fabulous beeragarita for her in the house. Awesome sauce, you guys! You ROCK!!
My beautiful daughter, Denise Malario!! Happy 43!! And the incredible beeragarita!


Peter, of course, had to have one, as well!! Can we say Happy, Happy!!?

On her birthday, we had made reservations to have lunch at the Ocean Grill, which is located on a small beach accessible only by boat. We met up with our friends who were joining us for the celebration , Jim & Tessa Armstead and Tim & Georgina Drummond, in Boca de Tomatlan.
Pier in Boca.

Mike, Michael, & Denise.

Tessa, Jim (with Hawks hat), Denise on the ponga.

Tim & Georgina.

Our destination - Ocean Grill.

Wilson's island. (Wilson is the owner's beautiful black Great Dane.)

The wave action around the Palapa posts.

What a hit!! Mike and I were the only ones who had been there, so it was fun for us to see everyone enjoying themselves. The food is fantastic, great service, and the setting is to die for!!  Nothing better than sitting at a table with the ocean lapping at the rocks below you, a beautiful sunny day, and the beach glistening a short ways away. All in all, a great birthday for my daughter!

TJ at the bar.

Tim, Georgina, Tessa, Jim, Michael, Denise, & Me.

The beach in the cove.

The pier.

Side view of Ocean Grill.

They surprised Denise with a wonderful piece of Key Lime Pie that was to die for!

We had a blast and everyone was feeling extremely happy!!  

Good thing because that quickly came to an end that night. Maddox got the 24 stomach flu that put him down for the count the whole next day. So we spent the day watching football at Nacho Daddy's. 

Everyone was well by Monday for our zip lining excursion way up in the mountains outside of PV with Up Canopy. A wonderful day that provided lots of excercise climbing between the 13 runs. Fabulous views of the Bay and good, enthusiastic guides. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of us on the trail or lines.  

View from our beginning spot.

Our guide, Jesus - Jesee.


Michael, my son-in-law, got sick Monday night but felt well enough to go golfing on Tuesday out in the Marina. Then Denise got sick Tuesday morning and was down for 2 days!  Mike and I and the other 2 boys were very fortunate and didn't get that flu. However, I got the head cold again that's been passed around everywhere. But, I haven't let it keep me from being with the family. 

In the evenings we enjoyed as much of the Luminaria Festival as much as possible.


By the time New Year's Eve rolled around, the flu had made its departure from our group. They joined us at our home late afternoon along with all of their luggage because they were checking out of their resort after one full week on New Year's Day. 

After a meal at Los Muertos Brewing, we hung out at our place until it was late enough to head down to Old Town and the Los Muertos Pier where we enjoyed the street party and finally the beautiful fireworks along the Bay at midnight. As it's also Mike's and my wedding anniversary at midnight, there was much celebration going on!

A last nightcap of the evening with our grandson, Tim.

Happy New Year - Feliz y Prósperos Año 2015 !!
Since there were 2 nights between our daughter's reservations from one resort to the other, we had made plans to go to Yelapa, a small village accessed only by boat on the south side of the Bay, for three days. So we all met up New Year's Day morning for breakfast in Old Town and then walked to the Los Muertos Pier to catch our water taxi. 

A beautiful 45 minute ride out on the Bay. Unfortunately, we didn't see any whales or other wildlife. Bummer! But the scenery is outstanding!!

View of PV from the water taxi.

A view of our lodging in Yelapa - Hotel Laguinita from the cove.


Our rooms weren't ready, which we were expecting, so off we went to find beach chairs and a place to relax on this beautiful inlet bay. Not a bad life for any of us!

Around 3pm, we went to back to Hotel Laguinita to find that our luggage had already been taken to our adjoining bungalows. Stunning views of the bay from our rooms and patios!

View from our room.

We had adjoining rooms. They are rustic thatched roof bungalows.


Our next goal was to find a location where the Rose Bowl was being shown. As we had been assured prior to arriving that there were several options, we headed across the river. This was new experience for them. Yelapa town is separated from its beach by a gorgeous River and you must wade through it to get to either side. It is also only pedestrian, walking, donkey, horse, or the occasional ATV. But, no cars!
So off to town we went! Across the river, up the steep stairs, up the road to a beautiful overlook of the Bay and down the steep hill to cross the bridge over another River to get into town. To our dismay and our grandson's true disappointment, none of the places were open on this holiday so no TV to watch the game. Grumble, grumble!

View showing the river cutting town from the beach area.

Looking down from town onto the river. The beach is to the left.
So on our way back, Mike and I decided to take them to another place on the river to see if there restaurant was open and if maybe it might have a TV. Well, they were open only for the bar, no food. Deciding to park our buns for a drink, our grandson, Tim, was able to pick up the game on his phone through a radio app. He was happy again!

Drinks finished and now our stomachs were talking to us, we waded through the river again back to our beach side where we found several of the beach bar/restaurants still open. Simple, good Mexican food was devoured by us all until it became dark. The boys headed to the Internet hotspot while the adults had quiet time either reading in our rooms or sitting on the patio listening to the waves and other sounds of night while sipping beer and wine. Ahhhh!

Our only full day dawned bright and sunny, of course!!  Mike, Michael, Peter, and Maddox had made arrangements to go horseback riding up to the waterfall in the mountains. So Denise, Tim, and I left them on the beach for their breakfast while we hiked back into town for a scrumptious breakfast at Cafe Bahia at the town pier. I've eaten there several times and it's worth it's weight in gold! Good, good, good!!


Feeling blissfully full, the 3 of us walked through the narrow paths between homes and businesses watching life unfold in Yelapa. Mellow yellow kind of sums it up. Up the path to the in-town waterfall, we lingered over the beautiful wood working shop where in the past Mike and I had purchased a bowl and been given a free shot of Racilla. Then on to the silver jewelry display, where my brother had bought a piece many years ago. From there we enjoyed many, many more vendors than I remembered from past visits on the final leg to the waterfall. A part of progress. 


The guys joined us after their ride having had a good time. 

Another leisure day spent at the beach with all of our needs being met by our wonderful hosts at the Oasis Bar.

But, alas, by late afternoon our anticipation of seeing the famous, well known "Pie Lady" disappeared. Our inquiry revealed that she was out of pie for the day. Bummer!! 

As we were leaving early the next day, we would not have the wonderful experience of devouring a piece of her famous pies. Mike and I have had the pleasure several times and had been talking about her so everyone was very disappointed. Turns out though that Denise ended up ordering a whole lemon meringue and prepaying for it. She assured Denise that she would deliver it on the beach before our departure on the 11am water taxi. 

So after a nice dinner at a different beach restaurant, we enjoyed a quiet end to the day just as we had the day before.

Our departure day dawned a bit cloudy and with rough seas. After checking out, we all trudged over to town but not until after having to wade through some ugly standing back water to get to the stairs. Due to the high tide and rough seas, enough sand had been deposited so that there was a sand bar completely closing off the bay from the river. 

This meant that we didn't have to cross through the river to get to the other side but we did have to wade through some not so nice looking water that had backed up and covering the path to the stairs. We all made it fine but had some ugly foam residue on our legs to deal with. Not to worry!! Walking up the hill toward town was a lady washing off her front porch with a hose. She kindly obliged our request to wash off our legs. Gracias, señora!!

Another great breakfast at Cafe Bahia before heading back to the beach to wait for the pie lady before our 11am departure. Ha! After a no show because everyone was under the impression that there was no 11am taxi, and a call to the Pie Lady, she assured us that she would be on the beach by 11:20 in time for the noon taxi. 

Well, there IS an 11am taxi that we missed due to our waiting. By 11:20 she still wasn't there so we waited a bit longer giving her the benefit of the doubt. Sure enough at 11:30 we could see her way down on the beach. But, the sand bar had caved in creating a very dangerous crossing situation with the currents. We could see that she had given the pie bucket to a strong young man to see if he could cross. The currents were way too strong and even he couldn't make it!

As it was time to go back to the pier so we didn't miss this taxi, we found the others that were waiting a bit unhappy with us for having missed the earlier taxi. So we all boarded the noon taxi and took our seats. We were just leaving the pier when we saw another taxi coming towards us and sure enough there was the Pie Lady carrying our pie!! 

In mid bay, the pie was handed off to my grandson, Peter, and all was good in our world!  Cheers went up from everyone at the perseverance of this wonderful Pie Lady!!  As my daughter said, Oh Yee of little faith!!  She most certainly did what she could to get us the pie that had been prepaid. A terrific representation of honesty and the hard working Mexican culture. Muchas Gracias!! This is a story that will be passed on forever. 

The next week was spent pool and beach side at the wonderful Villa del Palmar resort in the Hotel Zone. It was an easy bus ride for us, so we laid low with them there. The boys did wave runners and parasailing, played ping pong, water volleyball, or just hung out with us old people. 

The highlight of the week though was our ATV excursion up into the mountains along the Rio Cuale outside of PV. A 3 hour tour that took us through several small villages, beautiful scenery, water crossings, and dusty roads. A stop midway for drinks and tequila tasting along the river with waterfalls and beautiful greenery and flowering bushes. We certainly looked like we had been through the dust bowl when we made our way back to town. Headed straight for the showers!

The happy group.

Day 16 came way too soon for me!  Saying "see you soon" never gets easier. As I've never lived close to where my children live, I've endured this sadness for many years. But it certainly makes our time together sweet. It will now be mid June before we see them again at our grandson, Tim's high school graduation in CT. 

In between all of the time spent with family, we managed to have dinner with our good friends, Cathy & Jerry, who got married on Sunday, January 11 here in PV. A wonderful dinner at Bravo's was enjoyed by us all!!  This is a sneak peak of the wedding.

And, during these 16 days, I managed to get together for drinks with Judy & David McFarlane, facebook friends from Toronto, Canada. We enjoyed an evening at Signature Lounge talking about all things PV, as they are looking to possibly settle here, too, as expats. A fun time!! They wouldn't let me take their photo, so this one will have to do. A few goodies that they brought me from the Toronto/Niagara area. They know me well!!

Also, good friends of ours from back home in WA, Lesley & Craig, arrived last week and we met up with them for drinks at Signature Lounge followed by dinner at Los Muertos Brewing. Again, a fun evening spent with friends!

We have seen them in Vancouver, BC, Lake Arenal, Costa Rica, Kettle Falls, WA, & now here in PV.
We will now settle back into our lives here. This weekend we attended the wedding of friends from Kansas that we met here last year at an Expat Happy Hour, Cathy & Jerry. But I'll talk all about that in my next post so I can give it the proper attention. 

So, the Seahawks won Saturday night and we are very happy to be hoping for another Super Bowl appearance. We shall see....

Have a great week everyone and Happy New Year!!  Feliz y Prósperos Año 2015!!  Again, thanks for coming on this journey with us....