Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: I can't tell you how long it has been since I have stepped off a cruise ship and found a port as pretty and welcoming as Puerto Vallarta. Just a beautiful town. Tropical, and the weather was perfect. Again, we were docked with our best friends, the same two ships that have been following us from port to port all week:
But then we were attacked by pirates.
Oops. Nope. Not Johnny Dep, just a booze-cruise tourist boat waiting to pick up passengers.
We had ourselves a little adventure though. Dave's college roommate/teammate is in Puerto Vallarta this week with his family, staying in their condo north of town. We hopped in a taxi to Vidanta, to find one of the nicest resorts in the world! It was amazing. Golf courses, pools, restaurants, and a luxuriously decorated 6000 sq foot condo! We had a great lunch, spent time with their grandkids, before heading back to town to walk along the malacon.
There are statues and murals all along the pretty seaside walkway, plus shops and restaurants - and a hefty amount of time-share salesmen. Our stroll led us to the Lady of Guadalupe church, where a steady stream of worshipers were waiting their turn at the altar for an Ash Wednesday blessing. (Later this evening, Tony told us he went to the church to receive ashes on his forehead, but explained this church used a cross-shaped stamp to apply the ashes.) The ornament on the top of the church is in the shape of a crown, and was replaced after an earthquake in 1995.
The people in Puerto Vallarta (as in Cabo and Mazatlan) don't think much of the current US president:
After walking for hours, poking our heads into a few shops, we sat down to have a cold drink. Dave had a beer and I ordered a margarita. Two margaritas were placed on the table before me. Happy Hour! Sadly the drinks were so sweet, I couldn't even take two sips. I had a most unhappy happy hour...
...then was so disappointed to see fake/knock-off merchandise for sale.
We caught a taxi back to the ship and I took a photo which I hope will make it easier for you to see the sky-bridge I wrote about a few days ago. Is this only Day 5 of the trip? It seems we have been on this ship for weeks.
Photos above are of the gorgeous atrium (Piazza) on the Royal Princess, and the little cafe where My Driver grabs a latte every afternoon after returning to the ship.
This evening, our ship left port first. The trio will follow the coast of Mexico north for two days and arrive in Los Angeles or Long Beach early Saturday morning. Two days at sea. My favorite days; DT's least favorite days.
DT doesn't needlepoint.
We said goodbye to pretty Puerto Vallarta, but may try to return to visit our friends again, or find a nice hotel to explore this town a little more. Lisa and Lenny have been here and really like the town - especially the surrounding villages.
After a cocktail with our new friend, Tony, Dave and I had dinner in the Concerto dining room and called it a night. It was warm enough to sleep with the balcony door open and listen to the waves and see the stars as we drifted off to sleep.
Until my next update, I remain your Jalisco correspondent.