We have moved. No news there. After all, in the last four years we have called 27 different abodes “home”. So now we are trying out a place we have visited probably at least two dozen times over the last several decades…Puerto Vallarta. And at some point during those visits, surely we mused on the idea of actually living here. Now we are. Bienvenidos!
We left Denver in mid-May this year and took advantage of a friend-of-a-friend’s offer to stay in a fine condo in little La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. Great experience. Great pool. Great people for the last ten weeks. We are spending the rest of our allowable time in Mexico (6 months on a Tourist Visa) high up a hill overlooking the “Old Town” area of Puerto Vallarta.
In La Cruz, a fine doorman named Salvador both greeted us on arrival and arranged our transportation to move. He taught us a lot of Spanish, too. Salvador worked for some time in Aspen, both at shoveling snow and teaching golf. The entire staff and management of the Condominio La Joya was exceptional. We even got to know a Canadian guy downstairs whose rescue chihuahua, Peso, made too much noise one morning to alert him to smoke in the room from an overheating building transformer. Could have been explosive. Good work, Peso! Didn’t agree with the guy’s politics, though. Didn’t matter.
We had memorable conversations over the weeks with waiters Raul, Joaquin, Mario and Rigoberto who were not so busy in this off season and seemed glad to offer Spanish lessons, history lessons, town stories and, usually a free extra drink. Got to know the guys at the daily fish market, too. And talked with the owner of my small go- to neighborhood grocery about heat, papayas, yogurt and why he closed early every Tuesday afternoon. To spend time with his son.
And there was “Ah-Ay-Duh”. Real name Ed, but being from East Tennessee, he insisted his name had three syllables with a soft accent on the third. That’s how they talk there. He had come to La Cruz 16 years ago to stay and he was full of information for us. He also helped a lot of local families and guided their kids through school. We met a brilliant about-to-graduate tech prodigy of his who explained how easy it is to get into a computer if you know what I mean. Ed guided us through the menu in a couple of places and told us where to get the “second best margarita” in La Cruz. I never was sure where he thought the best one was. They all seemed just right.
Those people in La Cruz, and, in fact, all the people we have encountered so far in Mexico work very, very hard. For not so much. And they are all so very friendly.
Now, we are in the city. The trend continues.
Book store/coffee shop. Taxi drivers. Wine shop. Friendly textile shop owner. Helpful people in the grocery. Outgoing building maintenance man. Professional management. Heat and humidity.
We have a tremendous view of Banderas Bay from a height that is above the altitude reached by the frequent para sail customers from the beach. Surprisingly, the beaches are pretty busy for this time of year, but it is the time when many Mexican nationals take their family vacations. And, apparently unless it is raining, we get a nightly fireworks display. It’s just a few bursts, about the right length if you’re going to deal with this daily.
The second night we were here we had clear evidence of what the “rainy season” could mean. For most of the evening there were terrific thunderstorms and light displays. And, there was also the single heaviest rainfall for about thirty minutes that I have ever seen. Think “whiteout” in Colorado!
And, like Colorado, or the Alps, or Croatia, or Montenegro, or Verbier…I get to climb. My door to the street, 160 steps up or down. And that just gets you to the top of the hill above the lower streets. Going for tan and fit! First, though, Una cerveza fria! Los Muertos Brewery is just down the street!