The day started out as any other...with a morning ride around the lago...the sun was breaking beautifully, illuminating the boats with a gorgeous golden glow.
As I rode toward Ajijic to have my morning coffee and read my daily newspapers in the plaza, I felt a pang of excitement...because today we were driving from Chapala to Puerto Vallarta to meet my Mother and sisters Cecilia and Sandra for a few days of R & R, Mexico style.
Big Sis Ceci
The drive is a dramatic and beautiful 4.5 hours through countryside, past volcanic mountains, above the town of Tequila, through fecund jungle and then down a 5000 foot, dramatic and winding drop to the ocean.
Arriving at Los Tulles - Look at those Coconuts!
Dining Happy Brad
When one arrives in Puerto Vallarta a must is to visit the new Malecon, which has been refurbished into a pedestrian walkway/mall. I was happy to see that the businesses were mostly the same and public spaces maintained.
Puerto Vallarta Seahorse Boy
Throughout the state of Jalisco and the City of Guadalajara Brad and I have marveled at the sculptures and public work of Aldo Colunga...we were overjoyed to find that the new Malecon contained some of his otherworldly public art. His sculptures are amazing...and this group exhibited an aquatic theme, so appropo for Puerto Vallarta, which is first and foremost a sleepy fishing village, now on tourism steroids.
Colunga Pulic Art - Puerto Vallarta
After getting our bearings, rooms and beach towels we headed...where else? To the beach. My mother loves 2 particular beaches in this area...and the first we visited was Playa Manzanillo at the Piedra Blanca Hotel.
Don't let the photo fool you. This IS my mother swimming, but the Valentino-type yacht in the background was only borrowed for the day ;-)
Sister Sandra and Brad - Fish & Camarron Taco Time
Feeding the Gulls with our leftovers...nothing goes to waste in Mexico.
A seafood bounty - what a feast we had on the playa!
Menu: Super fresh fish ceviche, grilled camarron and veggie brochettas, camarron stuffed aguacate, strawberry margaritas, french fries, cerveza, seafood medley campechanas....yum!
Shrimp Stuffed Avocados
Thankfully my Mother was feeling nostalgic after our most amazing meal, and summoned this strolling musician to sing us a few old world tunes....she happily sang along, which made my heart full.
The Gonzalez Girls....Rebecca & Ceci
Our Favorite Bathing Beauty
Gulls Chowin' Down
Our Hotel - Los Tulles
Room With A View - View From Our Rooms
And so, after a few perfect days of sun, sand, food, family and fun we headed back home. My mother and sisters headed to the airport en route to Los Angeles, CA....and Brad and I back home to Lake Chapala. Lake Side is not a bad destination as far as we are concerned.
On our drive back to the lake we passed numerous fruit and veggie stands along the highway and stopped at this one, where we purchased Jack Fruit, mangos, coconut and bannana candy and fresh coconut. Our drive was made more doable thanks to these car trip treats.
And so we said goodbye to lovely Puerto Vallarta....for now. Brad liked it so much that we talked about perhaps moving there someday.
I think this is the first of many places he will want to visit and ultimately live in, here in this most amazing, our new country, Mexico.
Fco. y Brad