Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: After spending Friday night in LA with the kids, Dave and I flew down to Mexico Saturday to celebrate something very special. 50 years ago, Dave moved into a dorm at the University of Oregon and met Terry (not me), Bruce, and Red. The Fab Four are still friends and decided to celebrate their 50 year friendship with a Fall reunion! The wives were also included - and may I add here the boys are all still married to their first wives and we all have only daughters. This is going to be fun!
Terry and his wife, Rosie, have a place at Vidanta just north of Puerto Vallarta. We have visited them here previously, but have never stayed with them. Their condo has FOUR ensuite rooms, a huge living/dining area - only equaled by the huge living/dining area on their veranda. There are numerous restaurants, pools, spas, fitness center, golf, tennis, shopping, an amusement park and a beach. Guests are carted around on Disney-like trams/golf cart situations and cash is not accepted anywhere. Every building, room, shop, and amenity is accessed with a wristband. Touch your wristband to the access point and - BINGO - your sandwich bill is sent to your credit card tab. It's like staying on a cruise ship, except we are not on a ship. Rosie and Terry are most gracious hosts and waited-up for Marcia and Red to arrive from Chicago, Lisa and Bruce, plus Dave and I to arrive from Los Angeles. There was a Duck game to watch Saturday night and it was a struggle. Though the Ducks won, Puerto Vallarta is two hours AHEAD of Los Angeles time and the Duck game didn't start in Eugene until 7:30p. It was well past midnight before we all went to sleep.
No matter, everyone was up and at it this morning - exercising, grabbing coffees, and getting ready for our departure to the next town north, Sayulita - our adventure for our first day together. We know several families who enjoy Sayulita (including our own Lisa and her family who love to come here to surf). It is a cute beachside village, with tons of fish taco places, icy cold beers, and many small hotels and Airbnb's to rent. There are several surf schools popular in Sayulita as well.
It was like being back in Europe with all the cobblestone streets to maneuver. Tough on the old legs and feet, but I feel we walked every street and square. Tons of shops, but really nothing different to any other Mexican tourist beach town. (I did find cute postcard for Leo and Lucy.) We had snacks together at a fun beachside joint, with the ocean breezes blowing in and NFL on the televisions above the bar.
Bruce had read about a tree filled with massive iguanas in front of a bar on a little street, so we kept asking and eventually found ourselves in front of the bar. We looked up and could only see an old straggled tree. Nothing... except if you kept looking the giant lizards show themselves to you. First you see one, then two, then six... it's amazing how well they are camouflaged!
After spending the afternoon in this quaint seaside village, we took a van/taxi back to the neighborhood near the resort where we are staying - which is exactly where we visited the Bumfuzzles in December on our Panama Canal cruise! Next door to their marina. We had dinner at Eddie's... which somehow is a Lebanese/Mexican restaurant and possibly the only Lebanese/Mexican restaurant in the world? Cocktails and delicious meals.
Marcia and I tried their unbattered chile rellano. I had never had this dish previously, but Marcia says this is how she makes them at home. (I've only made chile rellanos a handful of times as it is labor-intensive, oily, messy, and unhealthy to batter and fry the wonders.) This was a very good choice and not too much food.
The boys decided to walk back to the condo from the marina. We though they were a bit mad to attempt this hike in the dark... but after the wives waited for a cab, rode around the bay in said cab, entered the resort, transferred from the cab to the golf carts that are required to drive guests around, the husbands arrived less than ten minutes after their spouses.
As I type this at 10p Sunday, the ladies have retired and the roomies are on the verandah telling old stories. Tomorrow we golf!
Until my next update, your Mexican correspondent.