Holidays and Year´s End Mishmash

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.

IMG_1365Entrance to the Univeridad Technoloógica de Bahía de Banderas

IMG_1321Approaching the entrance to the wine tasting event.

IMG_1325Peggy with Sandra, entering the wine tasting.

IMG_1340Adrián, right, acting as sommelier at his station with another student acting as waiter. Ready to begin!

IMG_1332Adrián demonstrating wine tasting techniques at his station.

IMG_1336One of the featured wines, with its pairings.

IMG_1041Peggy and I, with cabernet.

IMG_1358Adrián with his girlfriend, Carla, after the event.

IMG_1335Proud 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!

IMG_1047Every 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.

IMG_1046Los Vinolentos playing for the crowd, and for beer.

IMG_1387Suddenly, it was Christmas!

IMG_1598Our street decked out in lights.

IMG_1441We 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….

IMG_1460Disney 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.

IMG_1050Our Christmas dinner gathering, the panorama taken by John Radics.

IMG_1415This 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.

IMG_1480At the entrance to the restaurant. No, the irony is not lost on me!

IMG_1469Here we are at our table. Look what the wind is doing to our hair! But it sure felt good.

IMG_1472Scene on the beach in Bucerías, in front of the restaurant.

IMG_1425For you foodies, here are a couple of pictures from a dinner at Chenan2, a favorite restaurant in our neighborhood. This is Peggy’s steak.

IMG_1426And this is my mixed seafood.

IMG_1588Here’s Peggy at Cuates y Cuetes, our favorite happy hour place as we wait for the sunset one evening.

IMG_1488For 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.

IMG_14982017, with fireworks overhead!

IMG_1566New 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.

IMG_1446

28 thoughts on “Holidays and Year´s End Mishmash

  1. Loved the post ha e been waiting for this one. You guys are so busy, social butterflies. I am counting my sleeps before I come at the end of January. Happy New Year to you both dear friends. Love you both. Bonnie

  2. Not sure how I found your blog but have been following for quite awhile. We spent Dec to March in to San Miguel de Allende. We really loved it but we found the evenings very chilly. Also the mornings with an old stone house was difficult to heat up. So we are thinking a lower altitude would be nice. Cheers to you both.
    Shelagh

  3. Be glad you are not in Oregon this year. Third time this year I am housebound.
    Temperature is 21 with solid ice!! Suppose to thaw by next Tuesday.

    1. Hi Kathy, we’ve been following the Oregon weather story. Yikes! There was even snow on the beach! Nice and warm here.

  4. So sorry I missed the boat, ha ha, on the Christmas Day party. Hoping for better luck next year. Wonderful events there and so proud of the traditions the Uke group have established for such a worthy cause. Hard to imagine being warm there with our 12-18″ of snow here. Missing you both!

    1. We are missing you, too, Eve. Hang in there, get some good snow-hiking in. Saw your pic when you walked to the theater!

  5. Sounds like you are enjoying a well-deserved life! Kinda like an interim paradise. That young couple, Adrian and Carla are beautiful! Could be poster kids for PV.

  6. What fun to read of your adventures! Looks like I may have to plan a trip back to PV; haven’t been there for years. We used to stay at Los Arcos and enjoyed exploring.

  7. Such wonderful beautuful people gathered together for holiday celebration! And you two are the stars! I love you both so much. Happy New Year, my dear friends!

  8. Hi Greg and Peggy….yes, so bad!! But you have earned that right. I love seeing the photos and reading about your world but don’t feel bad for letting it go so long. You are retired, after all. I think it is so special that you have entered the world of the family in your neighborhood. How enriching for everyone!

    1. Hi Bob! So thankful for the Spanish, one of the benefits of a partially-misspent youth! It has opened so many doors.

  9. I began a comment but lost it in the ozone. Anyway, Bob and I will be joining you soon and can hardly wait to escape the Colorado cold. See you soon!
    Laurie

  10. Could it be? “The best ever tasted” I don’t know, the red looked a little thin. Miss you guys and those days. Ever year is a year closer to a visit. Love ya!

    1. Hi Kelly! Missing you too, and all our Oregon peeps. It would be great to have you visit. Tell Nicole the sun catcher is still prominently hung on the terrace!

  11. It is such a kick seeing you both so happy, in love, and enjoying your many friends and the wonderful things to do, drink and eat in PV! Great pics!

    1. Thanks, John for the great comment. We’re ready for your next visit! Perhaps a golfing expedition? We now have an American friend who works at a course here (in exchange for playing). Just a thought…

  12. So good to see you all having such fun and great photos as usual! As you may know, yet another ice storm coming tomorrow. So much for my banana belt theory about living close to the Willamette in Milwaukie.
    Hugs & love

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