We got up Sunday morning and headed to MARIACHI BRUNCH at our hotel. It was expensive, but I figured it’d be worth it for a big Mexican buffet and unlimited champagne.
Make that ‘the largest Mexican buffet on earth’. We were amazed. They had so many different stations, it was hard to keep track of where everything was. They had every kind of traditional breakfast food, and a huge array of traditional stuff. It was all excellent. We tried things like a pumpkin flower crepe, pozole, tamales, tacos al pastor, enchiladas, and platanos, among other things. We also made our own mimosas with pineapple juice.
The funny thing, though, is that our appetites were already disappearing. We didn’t really eat that much, just tried a lot. The heat and sun was a big part of that, I think.
pastry swan! Matt ate his head.
After brunch, we headed to the pool for what felt like hours. We went to the other one this time, the one with the hot tub and waterfalls. And a bar, of course. We had margaritas and bobbed around for a long time. It didn’t take us long to figure out that this was the most appropriate way of dealing with the midday sun.
a big iguana came up and licked my lime.
We finally left the pool after lounging on chairs for a while. We’d pretty much lost all sense of time by then, which was absolutely excellent. We changed and headed back toward the Malecon.
puerto vallarta from the front of our hotel
the ‘ravine’: kind of scary at night.
Right as we turned the corner to the Malecon, we encountered Bob and Michelle. Michelle was staggering and giggling. They’d found a bar, and learned all about tequila that day. She kept yelling, “FUCK IT!” It was hysterical. Bob was dragging her back to the hotel for a nap.
At the north end of the Malecon, we went down to the beach to put our feet in the ocean. While we were standing there, we realized it was the exact view we were used to seeing from the Puerto Vallarta webcam! It must be located on top of the Hotel Rosita.
beach along the Malecon
Hotel Rosita: the oldest in PV (with webcam!)
We walked down the length of the Malecon, checking out all the sculptures along the way. There were also two guys building gigantic sand sculptures.
’twas mothers day. this was lit with a novena at night.
part of the rotunda of the sea
in search of reason
Matt, in search of reason!
the sea horse, symbol of PV
cathedral of our lady of guadalupe
The cathedral is amazing, especially the metalwork on the top (and the fact that it’s lit in neon at night). Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to photograph, because it’s at the end of a very narrow street.
We walked all the way down to the end of the Malecon. The last part is a little different; it’s a big plaza with a bunch of tiny shops. The people there don’t harass you as much to buy timeshares as they do to buy jewelry, tequila, and handmade stuff.
We were dying of thirst, so we stopped into a little cafe for bottles of water. The guy there was wearing a Messi jersey, so Matt started referring to him as such. He told us to stop back after dark, because the place converted to a bar, and we could get anything we wanted. This ‘anything you want’ offer was fairly popular in Puerto Vallarta! We figured it probably included hookers and drugs, but wondered what else? Endangered species? Children on the black market? Nuclear weapons?? I kind of wanted to go back.
At the end of the Malecon, we crossed the bridge to Old Town, or the Zona Romantica. (I’d been offering to show Matt my Zona Romantica the whole time we were there. And maybe for a couple months beforehand, when I learned of it.) There were a ton of kids swimming in the Cuale River, right where it emptied into the ocean. It looked really gross, but at least there was no surf.
We turned off the street and walked down along the beach. There was a walkway part of the way, then a boardwalk. It was all older resorts, bars and restaurants, and packed-full beaches.
my idea of perfect.
along playa los muertos
the pier where you get the water taxi to yelapa.
playa los muertos
We were worn out from all the walking in the sun, and surely dehydrated at that point. We decided it was time to find food, so we headed up the street into the Zona Romantica to see what we’d find. Right as we turned off the beach, a dog joined us. He was wearing a collar but appeared to be stray, and he was most definitely a boy.
As we walked up the hill, he took the lead. We kept following for no good reason, and finally he led us here:
It was an abandoned bar, chained shut and in disarray. We decided that it probably should be ours. Stanky the dog led us right to it, after all. I should mention that it’s pretty much become our dream to own a bar in a tropical place. We’d be awesome at it.
We walked a few blocks through the Zona Romantica and saw several restaurants, but none were as appealing as the ones on the beach. I stopped for another bottle of water, and we headed back to the Bar Los Burros, the one with the sign daring us to come in, and a board advertising 2-for-1s starting very soon.
best chips ever
We sat there for a very long time, having margaritas, followed by 2-for-1 cuba libres. We shared a small plate of nachos, because we were decidedly not very hungry at all, but knew we should eat. Also, all the food we encountered in Mexico was excellent: everything was fresh and well-made.
A band called Dub Stylee was playing, and the lead singer looked exactly as if he could be Sammy Hagar’s son. They played reggae and classic rock, and had a constant battle-of-the-bands going on with the mariachis at the restaurant next door.
We finally read the history of the place on the back of the menu, and it mentioned their very popular burro. We looked and looked, and couldn’t see a burro everywhere. The place was completely open, so where could he be hiding?
Matt asked our server the next time he came around. He very apologetically informed us:
Our spirits were not dampened by the dead burro, however. We were drinking margaritas with our feet in the sand on a Mexican beach, and we were about to see another sunset. It doesn’t get much better than that.
At a table near us, there was a family with two little kids having dinner. They were drinking a blue beverage in a bottle called C-ICE that we had to assume was pop, because the kids were drinking it, too. Matt suspected it was probably alcoholic, however.
The only downside to sitting on the beach was the vendors that came up to all of us constantly, asking us to buy stuff. We were already pretty accomplished at ‘no, gracias’, so it wasn’t a huge problem, but there were many of them. I did a really good job of not even looking at their wares until a little kid came up and held out a tacky bobbling sea turtle magnet and offered it to us. For the life of me, I could not determine the child’s gender AT ALL. I ended up buying the sea turtle, and his/her persistence paid off. Man, that kind of killed me.
There was a strange lady sitting at a table near us, and she seemed to somehow be associated to the little kids selling stuff. She also knew the head waiter, because he came over and talked to her a lot. After a while, she came and introduced herself to us. Her name was America (seriously!), and the waiter was her husband. We talked, and finally she asked to take our picture on her cellphone. She asked our names so she could label it; after some confusion, she ended up with ‘Mateo y Yeni’. So awesome.
After 2-for-1s ended and I had gone to the bathroom in the weird building housing Burros’ kitchen approximately seven times (ok, twice), we decided to head back towards the Malecon.
There was a band playing on the stage in front of Los Arcos. (I only cursed that stage a few times, because it blocked the view of the most well-known statue on the Malecon. Still, the shows there every night were awesome.) We watched some Mexican hip-hop for a while, then headed up the street to check out the bar selection.
A few blocks up, we saw the No Name Bar. We’d passed it a couple times already and hadn’t thought much of it, but we’d been walking on the Malecon side of the street. As we approached it, we very slowly realized what it was about: it was a HOCKEY BAR. A HOCKEY BAR IN MEXICO.
After we both died of excitement twice, we went in and got a table. Before the trip, I’d asked Cindi to keep me updated on the progress of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and I was sad about missing them. Not sad enough to not go to Mexico then, but still. All of a sudden, everything was resolved. I wanted to stay there forever.
We bought ‘Hockey Night in Puerto Vallarta’ tshirts that were a parody of the Hockey Night in Canada logo. Then we ordered food that we ate very, very little of, and of course had beverages. They had a house drink that I remember very little of, except that it was deadly. We saw hockey, and then part of the Twins game, which was kind of mindblowing. I asked Matt the same question over and over again. That’s probably when he figured it was time to go.
We headed back toward our hotel. Along the way, I detailed my plan to keep people from killing us at the ravine, should the cop not be standing there this time. It involved singing (‘One More Time’, a track I’ve danced to in the annex at the Gay 90s too many times to count, and heard blasting from a bar along the Malecon) and dancing and generally acting drunk. Nobody would rob or murder a drunk person, right? That’s unpossible!
We stopped into our favorite Oxxo (now dubbed ‘Oxxo Medio’ because it was the middle one) for pop and water, and there in the case was C-ICE. It was indeed a vodka-based beverage. Matt purchased one, because how could he not? We made it back to our hotel with no incident, though I was slightly disappointed about not being able to pull out my mad dance maneuvers. Maybe next time.