Monthly Archives: February 2014

Odds and Ends

Hello and welcome to OnVallartaTime!

I’m afraid the name of this post, Odds and Ends (odd as it may be) has an emphasis on “ends.” Yes, this will be the last post to OnVallartaTime. Soon enough, we will be back on Oregon Time.

Leaving Puerto Vallarta is bitter-sweet. We are sad because our three-month Puerto Vallara adventure is coming to a close, but happy because we have had the trip of a lifetime. Sad because we are leaving this beautiful place, but happy because we are taking wonderful and indelible memories with us. Sad because we are leaving the tropical lifestyle behind, but happy because we know we will be coming back. Sad because our three months has come to an end, but happy because our adventure has shown us that we are capable of letting go of our regular routines and even the house we love and moving forward with our lives.

This post will be a bit of a mishmash. If you’re not familiar with Puerto Vallarta, there are some sights that I have to show you. There are some favorite haunts that you should see, and some pictures that I just had to pass along.

Odds 39

 No tour of Puerto Vallarta would be complete without seeing the Malecón. The  Malecón (Mah-leh-cone’) is a combination breakwater or seawall, and a seaside promenade. This shot is the famous Arcos (Arches), a central location along the 1.5-mile promenade. These pictures were taken in the morning, when most of the people are running, walking and taking their morning constitutional. In the evenings, and especially on Sundays, the entire length fills up with tourists, families, teenagers cruising, and lovers walking hand in hand. One area along the route is taken up with booths selling various food items, heavy on sweets, like crepes and cakes.

Odds 20The amphitheater next to the Arcos. Concerts and events are held here.

Odds 38That’s Peggy in the far background, perusing the artwork for sale.

Odds 17

A shot looking south so you can see how the Malecón functions as a seawall. The storm surge of Hurricane Kenna in 2002 devastated this area. Since then traffic was rerouted away, the Malecón was completely renovated and modernized, and the seawall was built higher.

Odds 44The redesign of the Malecón included these Huichol designs made with pebbles inserted into the concrete. The Hichol people live a few hours from Puerto Vallarta in the mountains of Nayarit. There are 68 distinct indigenous languages in Mexico. 10-14 percent of the Mexican population identifies itself as belonging to an indigenous group, and 6 percent speak only an indigenous language. The majority of Mexicans are of course monolingual Spanish speakers.

Odds 40Looking north toward the hotel zone, Nuevo Vallarta and Punta de Mita. That group of people is a tour from one of the cruise ships in port.

Odds 21A view of the Church of Guadalupe from the Malecón

Odds 18Peggy and I in front of one of the many sculptures along the Malecón. This one is The Dancers, by Jim Demetro. There’s one of his sculptures as public art on a street in Lake Oswego.

Odds 22This is the iconic Caballito (seahorse) sculpture, sometimes used as a symbol for Puerto Vallarta.

Odds 23The Malecón is lined with restaurants, souvenir shops, boutiques, tequila stores, nightclubs, and salons. In this odd salon, tiny fish nibble at the dead skin on your feet. I’m told it tickles. No, those aren’t my legs.

Odds 30One of our favorite restaurants in Puerto Vallarta is Vitea, on the Malecón. Here Peggy and I are, with Eve when she was here, in the evening.

Odds 36Roberto’s Silver, a small kiosk-style shop, is located at the south end of the Malecón. We have known Roberto for years; I don’t hesitate for a moment recommending his shop as the best place to buy silver in Puerto Vallarta. He is a wealth of information and scrupulously honest. This is Roberto, Eve, Peggy and me.

That’s enough of the Malecón for now. On to one of our favorite places to take a rest and have a quick bite or a cup of coffee, A Page in the Sun.

Odds 13A Page in the Sun is located on Lázaro Cárdenas just north of the park. Here’s the sign out front. You can sit either inside or outside.

Odds 10A Page in the Sun is not only a coffee and sandwich place, it’s also a used bookstore! You can trade in your old books for credit and find one you haven’t read.

Odds 12They also sell coffee…

Odds 11This is Suzi of A Page in the Sun, barrista extraordinaire and manager.

Now it’s on to some single pictures you might find interesting…

Odds 35This is one of the musicians at our favorite happy hour and occasional late night place, Cuates y Cuetes. It has been a pleasure to relax, have a few drinks, listen to live music and then just walk home.

Odds 25Some of the friends we have met on the beach this year. That’s Lorne on the left, his wife Bonnie in the center, and her brother Bruce on the right. They are from Calgary and Edmonton, Canada. I may come home speaking English like a Canadian, eh?

Odds 28Two party boats near the pier, one for people, and if you look closely and maybe zoom in, one for pelicans!

Odds 26These are some fat little mariachi figurines for sale in Ajijic.

Odds 24These ATMs are everywhere. I love the name!

Odds 29This is either a beached whale or me catching some rays on the beach. “Officer, we tried to push it back out to sea, but it kept fighting us!”


Odds 14This is the Lavandería Pulpito, the laundry down the street from us where I hauled our laundry every Monday. It was very inexpensive, and done by the time we made our way up from the beach in the afternoon.

Odds 3These are the marvelous coconut shrimp from Swell Beach Bar, with roasted pineapple mango dipping sauce…

Odds 9And the giant coconut shrimp from Jorge’s Hideaway. Hmmm… is there a pattern here?

Odds 4Here are coconuts in front of CyC’s on the beach. They cut a hole with a machete, add rum or tequila and lime, and insert a straw.

Odds 2Here’s Peggy with Dame Edna! We caught her show at the Palm Cabaret just down the street from us with Eve and Linda when they were here — what a hoot!

Odds 1I will miss the beautiful blue-sky views from our balcony in the morning, a sight I never tire of…

Odds 15And beautiful sunsets…

Odds 5And flan for dessert!

But leaving is not all bad. We will be coming back! We managed to rent an apartment for the coming year. It’s actually more than an apartment – it’s a flat, the entire second floor of a small house. It is  furnished, with two bedrooms, two baths, a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and a big open terrace. It’s not as close to the beach as this year’s condo, but it’s a only a five-minute walk to the beach, with no hills, close to great resturants and shopping, in a mostly Mexican neighborhood on a quiet street. What a find!

Odds 42That second floor, with the pillars on the terrace, is all ours!

Well, folks, that’s it for OnVallartaTime. On Friday, we take to the skies for home. I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it!