Sunday, May 24, 2015

Preparation, Work & Play = Never Bored in Puerto Vallarta !

I found myself agreeing to be the Media Coordinator for a local organization. How'd that happen???!!!  Well, it did!

As the first actual Media Coordinator for this organization, I had to start almost from scratch to figure things out and try to get systems in place. I'm a systems person and love to get things up and running smoothly. It certainly helps once you gather all the data that you need but that's not always easy. It's especially not easy when you don't know what to ask for and then find out by bits and pieces along the way.

So for this month, I've gotten all the systems in place; updated email lists, Facebook Groups, Yahoo Groups; and, contacted all the media in the area. Plus, created and sent out everything needed for a Social Event to happen later this month.  And, written the Annual Media Plan. All in all, mission accomplished!

The days are also filled with reworking our talking points and Power Point presentation for our speaking engagement at the 10th Annual International Living Ultimate Conference to be held in Cancun, Mexico in early June. Mike and I pull the presentation up on the TV and practice, practice, practice coordinating our text with the slides. Even though it's about the same topic as last year, we have refreshed allot of it now that we've been in Puerto Vallarta a year and a half.

We still have a week to iron out the kinks and make it flow seamlessly. It'll happen. And, by our talk time as the first expats to speak at the event, we will be more than ready. I hope!

In between all of these "To Do" items, we continue to meet up with new people who are exploring the area. What a great group of people we have met on this journey! Mike and I are starting to really wonder how many folks we've actually had the pleasure of meeting with, so I'll be going back through my posts and counting to find out.

Vicki Kahler do come back!

Jim, Me, Tessa & Rip Rupinski
May is a time to start getting together at people's homes now that we can focus more on each other rather than visitors from afar. So much fun having a more intimate setting for chatting and playing card games. And, a little eating and drinking while we're at it. Gracias amigos Robina Oliver & Carlos Valezques for inviting to your beautiful home!!

The BIG highlight of this past couple of weeks was our opportunity to meet with a group of wonderful expats who are continuing the charity legacy of a wonderful lady who has left to watch over us from above, Cheryl Schrean. Cheryl vacationed here for many years, like many of us. In 2010, she made a permanent move here and began to share her outpouring of love.

Her generosity and compassion for those in need, especially providing shoes, blossomed into Cheryl's Shoebox in 2011 . In 2013, she and her volunteers distributed over 4,000 shoes. WOW! 

Today this wonderful program is continuing, as Cheryl passed in 2014, with the help of Vicki Steuteville , Drew Baldridge, Michael Hammond and many more. So for those coming down, if you have any good  used shoes or want to buy some shoes to bring, please do so, knowing that there's a good place for them!! And, if you'd like to volunteer, please contact Vicki Steuteville.

So with a mission of scouting needs in an extremely small fishing village on the far south end of the Bay of Banderas, we all boated over to Chimo. Unfortunately, our fearless leader and boat host, Drew Baldridge got a very bad case of seasickness on the way over. Poor man turned green and spent much of the trip hanging over the back side. We wanted to make sure he was well down wind from the rest of us. Such a good sport he is!

The Sunset Tequila

Me & Robina just chillin'

That's where we went way out to the point!

Some chilled at the bar.

We had a wonderful lunch feast provided by Los Socios Restaurant and its manager, Arturo Jolla, filling our ravished tummies. Well, for everyone EXCEPT Drew, who was provided a Dramamine and quickly stretched out in the hammock and slept the whole time trying to recoup.


Michael Hammond made the trek up to the small school to meet with them so he could get a head count of the number of children and ages in the school. The goal is raise enough money to buy new school shoes for them all. So, again, if you'd like to contribute to this worthy cause, bring down new shoes when you come or contact Vicki to make a contribution.

A wonderful day had by all of us! Even Drew seemed to enjoy his ride back to the marina after his meds kicked in and he rested.  

Restaurant Week officially kicked off on May 15. This is a fabulous event held every year whereby many of the restaurants in and around PV offer special 3 course meals at a special price and a great value. We have participated so far by going to Coco's Tropical and Archie's Wok. Yym, yum, yum!!

Another wonderful charity annual event is The International Altruism Festival. This year it was held at Casa Magna Marriott Hotel in the marina.  There were dozens of restaurants that donated food and drink to this worthy cause. It was a beautiful evening on the beach lawn that ended with fireworks.

Captain Jack Sparrow entertaining the younguns.

My turn!

 This week is also Pride Week and Puerto Vallarta outdoes itself! Last year was the first ever Drag Races with 8 contestants. This year there were 18! So what are Drag Races??!! Fun, fun, fun!

Picture this....18 dressed to the hilt guys and gals dressed to the 9's with MINIMUM 4" heels. They must "run" a race up and down the street from one place to the other drinking down liquor of different sorts, beating up a pinata, and back to the start.  It's timed and may the best win!!  Bets are placed and lots of cheering from a huge crowd hanging off the rafters at Swede's or milling about the streets.

And, before the actual race some nicely done man underwear fashion show with booty being shook going on! This year was MC'd by Amy Armstrong, one of our favorite entertainers who has a mouth of a sailor and the voice of a saint. Yea, really!!

Last night was the Pride Parade. Again, what a spectacle! These guys and gals sure know how to throw a party. It's especially fun because we have so many friends that participate and throw themselves totally into these events. Thank you for such a great show!

So this coming week will see us continue to practice, practice, practice!! We plan to meet up with as many friends as possible to enjoy one last time together before we're off and running for the next 6 weeks.

Stay tuned for the results of our presentation and our much anticipated fun in the Yucatan! And, as always, thanks for coming along on this journey with us.