Hello, everyone, and a hearty welcome from your tardy correspondent who is obviously OnVallartaTime!
Yes, the days slip lazily by, and suddenly it’s February! This month is the highest of high season here in this tourist town. Reason? The weather is perfect! It’s been in the low 80’s during the day, and in the 60’s at night. Most days, the humidity has been comparatively low, and even though there have been a few cloudy days it’s been very comfortable. February is the month that the condo associations hold their annual meetings, because that’s when the owners want to be here. There are lots of people in town.
We have been doing the same things we always do, but during this season we spend more time with visiting friends and going out to restaurants a bit more than usual. Many of our visiting friends are folks we met on the beach, or through the ukulele group or other activities, or neighbors, who either live here long term or who return every year at about the same time. Because of those connections, we have friends from all over the US and Canada, and even from other countries. Then we stay in touch all year through Facebook. We have met many wonderful people this way who we now consider to be real friends, and we look forward to their annual visits.
Coming up this month, we will be hosting my sister Laura and her husband Bob Collupy, along with Laura’s son Chris Gagnet and his wife Angie. We are definitely looking forward to that! It will be nice to be around some younger people for a change. By March, high season will be starting to wind down, things will be more laid back, and as they say around here, más tranquilo.
Before we get into the pictures of what we’ve been doing….. I’ve been thinking about Mexican names recently. The other day I heard a traveler from North of the Border (NOTB) call a person by his first name followed by his second last name. Oops, not right! It’s amazing how many people, even if they have been here for a while, don’t understand Hispanic naming conventions.
In Mexico, and throughout the Hispanic-speaking world, everyone has at least four names, usually two first names (kind of like NOTB) and everyone has two last names, as in the example hypothetical name José Luis Gonzales Rodriguez. The first last name, Gonzales, is the paternal surname, the father’s family name. The second, Rodriguez, is the mother’s last name, the maternal surname. A lot of people just go by their first name and the first surname, which is the fathers name, exactly like NOTB, but never the first name along with the second last name. Our hypothetical friend may go by José Gonzales, but not José Rodríguez.
For example, say my mother’s maiden name was Rogers (it’s not, since that’s a security question NOTB). So my name, Gregory David White, becomes Gregory David White Rogers. I am Señor White, not Señor Rogers. This makes a lot of sense related to the family-oriented culture of Mexico and the Hispanic world. A person’s name lets everybody know what your family connections are. It’s the same for men and women. When a woman marries, she keeps her full name, with the two surnames. Some women add (“de _____ (husband’s first surname),” but it doesn’t seem to be very common.
There are a few variations on this theme, but in general that’s the naming convention. In the US, to adapt, many Hispanic-Americans hyphenate their two surnames; at least this way they can have their full name on their driver’s license. It’s not hyphenated in real life.
Well! Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get to the photos of everything we’ve been doing, from before Christmas to the present!
Our friends from Portland, Carmen and Gerald Daller, came to Vallarta for a vacation. They stayed in Nuevo Vallarta, a little over a half hour north of Puerto Vallarta. Nuevo, as it’s known, is a government-designated tourist development area that consists of planned hotel and condo developments along with restaurants, stores and some businesses to support them. We greatly enjoyed their visit, and we were invited by them to come to Vidanta, the resort development where they stayed. It’s a closed community, and security was very tight getting in to see them even though they had our names at the front gate. We had a great lunch at one of the poolside restaurants, and then Carmen and Gerald took us on a tour of the grounds.
And finally, from the “Only in Mexico” file…
That’s all, folks, for this issue of OnvallartaTime! As always your coments and suggestions are welcome. See you next time!