Welcome to OnVallartaTime!
To the tens of faithful followers of OnVallartaTime: Yes, I´ve been bad. Very bad! No posts since Thanksgiving, and here we are in the middle of January. It’s been a whirlwind, and here in paradise, where one beautiful day blends into the next, I tend to get into a rut, or a dreamstate perhaps. The days go by, and suddenly I realize I haven´t posted to OnVallartaTime for what seems like a long time! I´ll try to be better, I promise!
Since I have a lot to cram into one post, this edition will be kind of a mishmash. But I’ll try to catch you up. We had a great holiday season, both Christmas and New Years. The holidays were kind of low key this year. Christmas Eve we went to dinner with our El Tuito friends, in what is becoming an annual tradition, at Daiquiri Dick´s , organized by our friend Kai Doyle. On Christmas day we went to dinner with some of our Vallarta friends at Eat at David´s, organized by Vic Goodwin. Turkey for all!
On New Year´s Eve we had reservations at Coco Tropical. Our table of six included our friends Jim and David, and Fred and Sue as well as Peggy and me. Earlier, rain had threatened, with dense cloud cover and a few little drops. Usually that means the heavens are about to open up, and I felt really sorry for all those beach restaurants with beautiful linen-covered tables all set up on the sand. But amazingly it all cleared up, no rain and a beautiful night. Coco Tropical was packed, the food was great, and it was an open bar, which as you can imagine has both good and bad aspects, ha-ha. At midnight we gathered outside at the edge of the beach and watched fireworks right over our heads!
Besides the holiday activities, Peggy and I took a couple of side trips, we spent time on the beach, of course, and generally just enjoyed our apartment and what Vallarta has to offer. So the following are pictures of some of our adventures.
First, I’d like to show you a very wonderful event we attended. Across the street from us, Sandra Palacios runs a laundry business. She and her husband and three sons, the Gutierrez Palacios family, have adopted us, and we them. We are tío and tía to the boys.
One of the sons, Adrián, is studying to be a chef at the Banderas Bay Technical University in Nuevo Vallarta. At the end of each quarter, the students have an exam, almost always of a practical nature. Because this quarter they had been studying wine and its relationship to food, the exam consisted of a wine tasting event, with hors d’ouvres paired with each type of wine, all prepared and presented by the students. Faculty were on hand to assess how well each of the students performed. As family, we were invited to attend.
Entrance to the Univeridad Technoloógica de Bahía de Banderas
Approaching the entrance to the wine tasting event.
Peggy with Sandra, entering the wine tasting.
Adrián, right, acting as sommelier at his station with another student acting as waiter. Ready to begin!
Adrián demonstrating wine tasting techniques at his station.
One of the featured wines, with its pairings.
Peggy and I, with cabernet.
Adrián with his girlfriend, Carla, after the event.
Proud mother with her son. We found out later that Adrián got the highest mark in the class! He is currently doing a practicum at a local brewery. Next year he may get the chance to go to France to work and learn French cuisine as part of his studies. And we were proud too, proud to be included and proud of our “nephew” Adrián!
Every year, Nacho Daddy Restaurant and Bar puts on an event to collect underwear for children participating in various charity programs. Our ukulele group, Los Vinolentos, provides the entertainment.
Los Vinolentos playing for the crowd, and for beer.
Suddenly, it was Christmas!
Our street decked out in lights.
We don’t put up lights, just a simple handcrafted garland and some ornaments. When we got the ornaments last year, we didn’t realize until later that they depicted….
Disney characters! Here’s Peggy reflecting on Donald Duck.
Christmas Day found us on the beach with our El Tuito friends, Vicki and Hank Lindsey and Joni and Greg Neutra.
Our Christmas dinner gathering, the panorama taken by John Radics.
This can be our official picture, Christmas 2016.
After Christmas, Peggy and I took a day trip to Bucerías, a town just to the north of Vallarta, still on Banderas Bay. We had been having a hot spell, and the breezes there were a welcome relief. We had lunch at Mariscos el Gordo, a popular spot.
At the entrance to the restaurant. No, the irony is not lost on me!
Here we are at our table. Look what the wind is doing to our hair! But it sure felt good.
Scene on the beach in Bucerías, in front of the restaurant.
For you foodies, here are a couple of pictures from a dinner at Chenan2, a favorite restaurant in our neighborhood. This is Peggy’s steak.
And this is my mixed seafood.
Here’s Peggy at Cuates y Cuetes, our favorite happy hour place as we wait for the sunset one evening.
For New Years, the beach restaurants set up tables on the sand for special dinners. Here’s an example, as the skies threaten rain which never came.
2017, with fireworks overhead!
New Years revelers on the beach, lighting sparklers and setting off sky lanterns.
Well, that’s it for OnVallartaTime today! I hope you enjoyed it. As usual, I welcome your comments. There’s one more item to cover before we are all caught up, and that’s our trip to Mascota! Unless something extraordinary happens, that will be the subject of the next post. Until then!
To close, here is a perfect Christmas picture I grabbed off the Internet. Sorry, I don’t know who to credit.