Holidays and Visitors

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!

Here we are celebrating our good friends Pat and Vic Goodwin’s 55th (!) wedding anniversary, at Bravos restaurant along with Bravos owner Michael Boufford. This restaurant is in our opinion one of the best in Vallarta.
Carmen and Gerald Daller at lunch at Vidanta.

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.

Located at the mouth of the Ameca River, Vidanta is HUGE! There are five hotels (of varying luxury and price, condo high-rises, over 40 restaurants and lounges, a shopping plaza, three golf courses, two full-service spa/fitness centers, beaches, and countless pools and water features. A Cirque de Soleil entertainment venue is under construction. It would be easy to get lost, so these convenient maps are posted throughout.
One of the pools; they all seem to be connected, including a “lazy river” for tubing.
A view of part of Vidanta looking towards the ocean, including the Christmas tree.
There’s no point in walking, one of these handy shuttles can take you just about anywhere, including back to the taxi area to return to Puerto Vallarta.
I went fishing and caught this dorado! (Dorado are called mahi-mahi in Hawaii.) I was invited to go with Rich Connoy on his boat. Kris and Rich Connoy are some of our best beach friends; we sit next to them at Swell Beach Club.
Here we are along with our friend Eve Edwards, enjoying the dorado! Swell cooked it up for us the next day, however we wanted it.
Kris and Eve dancing to the live music at El Rio BBQ. We love El Rio, the natural setting is fabulous, the ribs are great, and the music is always good.
Our beautiful friends Pat and Vic Goodwin dancing at El Rio BBQ.
Every year, Nacho Daddy hosts a fundraiser for underwear for the orphanages and the women’s shelter, called the Panty Raising Party. Admission is boys’ and/or girls’ underwear. Our ukulele group, Los Strumbreros, provides the musical entertainment. Here’s this year’s group photo. That’s a lot of ukuleles (and one bass and one set of bongos). And, a lot of panties were raised!
Christmas decorations in the main square in front of the Church of Guadalupe.
Our little Christmas tree, with mariachi band.
Christmas lights on our street. Ours are the colored ones on our terrace railing, second floor.
Christmas Day on the beach with our El Tuito friends.
New Years Eve with Eve, Kris and Rich at Coco Tropical.
Peggy and I, New Years Eve.
New Years crowd on the beach.
Puerto Vallarta New Years 2019, picture found on the Internet, thank you Dasan.
Large party for dinner at Jorge’s Hideaway, celebrating the arrival of the Kelowna, B.C. crowd.
On the beach with our friends.
Peggy, Kris and Eve at a girls’ outing, a wine tasting event at El Rio.
Peggy likes to attend the charity bingo events, this one for the Purr Project, a cat rescue program. She won the 50/50 drawing — $5,250 pesos! She of course gave it all back to the kitties.

And finally, from the “Only in Mexico” file…

In the checkout line at the supermarket — a display of toothbrushes and candy!

That’s all, folks, for this issue of OnvallartaTime! As always your coments and suggestions are welcome. See you next time!

24 thoughts on “Holidays and Visitors

  1. Hi Greg! Thank you so much for this blog issue! Good job, loved all the fun pics and reliving the last 2 months of memories!! Time is flying by so quickly!!

  2. We look forward to spending quality time soon with you, Peggy and our other good PV friends. Until then … adios amigo.?

  3. Nice blog, Greg. Loved the photos. [Can you please change my email in your files?]
    Thanks a bunch. Hope to see you in May in Portland.

  4. Hi Greg and Peggy,
    Loved the blog as usual, especially the hispanic naming convention which I have puzzled over. Now that “El Chapo” Joaquin Archivuldo Guzman Loera trial has gone to the jury to decide, his name had me wondering. You explained it perfectly. Enjoyed all photos including you two on NYE. It snowed here at sea-level a bit today, even a couple of inches at the beach. Lovely and all gone now. Mighty chilly. You aren’t missing a thing! Hugs & ?

    1. Hey Diane! Man I’m glad the naming explanation worked! Meanwhile El Chapo is still a Robin Hood-type hero in his old stomping grounds of northwest Sinaloa. The cartels in the unsettled areas do more to protect the people than the police do,just as the Mob used to protect the immigrant Italian community. Glad we are in relatively trouble-free Puerto Vallarta. We are surrounded by local protective friends.

  5. Great blog. Is drinking, dining, exploring, and fishing all you do?! Damned, I’m envious. Baiz and I really enjoyed Ixtapa this January. It’s much like Puerto Vallarta but smaller and has a higher percentage of tourists. I really take delight in your blog and photos. Great job. BTW, we got our first snow today.

    1. Hi Marque! Well, yeah, I guess that’s about it, haha! The snow is pretty, even saw pics of snow on the beach, but I wouldn’t actually like to be out in it!

  6. Greg, another great On Vallarta Time. All of your readers totally appreciate your hard work. Thank you I loved it. Thanks again. Bonnir

  7. Hey Greg, great post and pics, thanks! It reinforced what a great time I had with you, Peggy and the “regulars”. What a fun time that was. So much so, I’ll see you and Peggy again next month. Cheers!

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