Sunday, March 13, 2005

A Penless Day

Well, actually the day wasn't quite penless, but sometimes a certain theme seems to run through a day as though it has a life of its own. The day started out with breakfast at Bob's Place. If you like your eggs benedict with no Canadian bacon but then, when you complain about it, getting two strips of regular bacon on the side, this is the place for you. The chorizo omelette had no discernable chorizo but was so heavily laden with jalapeno peppers that I broke a sweat after my friend gave me two bites to try. Anyway, on the way back from breakfast I stopped to use an internet cafe and my wife and friends continued back to our place. My wife stopped to chat with someone and my friends went up to change into their bathing suits to hang out by the beach. They were going to leave a note but discovered that neither of them had a pen. As a result one of them left a note in lipstick for me. And that is how it started.

Later we headed to the north side of town and just where the bridge on Vallarta begins to cross the river but still on the south side of town we ducked into:

307) Hotel Molino de Aqua Bar

This is a nice little bar tucked into the courtyard and pool area of the Hotel Molino. On the way to the bar you pass by two very large iron cages, one holding a somewhat subdued parrot and the other one holding some kind of a monkey (el mono). The bar is a square brick affair with a tan tile top. Two sides of the bar are for drinking, although there are only two stools. One side holds the liquor supply and the other side is the service area with the doorway to get into the thing. Around the top edge of the bar is a border of tiles with floral patterns. The top of the bar is covered by a peaked red-tile roof.

There is an adjacent outdoor eating area with palms and other trees giving it a lush tropical feel. The trees also insulate it from the nearby busy street so it is quite quiet and peaceful. The pool has a little waterfall and tucked beside it is a jacuzzi. There were a bunch of little kids frolicking about and having a grand old time. Right by the bar is a large clock on an ornamental post to remind you of the time. Seems a bit out of place in this setting. There were also a number of statues, wooden and stone, placed about the place.

I had a Pacifico and we crossed the bridge that we came to.

308) Bebo Tero

Before we got across the bridge we stopped to price some souvenir pens. They wanted 10 pesos (about 90 cents) but I convinced my friend to bargain them down. They wouldn't budge so we moved on without buying any. The saga of the pen, part two.

Bebo Tero is right on the Malecon up a narrow staircase behind a narrow door. I must have passed this place a couple of times and never spotted it. Luckily my friend has a trained eye (that and the fact that there was a guy standing outside encouraging us to go in). Up the staircase was a fairly large place with a somewhat bizzare decor. There were many paintings done in the style of Fernando Botero. If you are unfamiliar with his works, suffice it to say that his paintings are almost cartoonish depictions of very fat people. The paintings here were quite up to his quality but were very amusing. Everyone from Fidel Castro to Sylvestor Stallone's Rambo was represented. As you first come up the stairs there is a large, what looked to be paper mache, fat, scantily clad (draped in white gauze) woman with one breast exposed sitting on a park bench. A good photo opportunity if you wanted to sit down next to her. Also one of those things where you can stick your head through holes and have your pictures taken. This one had a fat Adam and Eve.

The bar itself was a small green cement thing with a wooden top. I don't expect it gets much use because the view is really great from almost every place but the bar. A narrow balcony has a great view of the bay and you can look over to Nuevo Vallarta where it looks like a major city is springing up. There is a small stage for live music and behind it was a large sun with the head of a masked Mexican wrestler in the center. There are lots of colorfully painted wooden tables and chairs and stools about the place. The walls are an interestingly patterned blue and there are bright green and red arches separate the two large areas of the place and there is one over the balconey as well.

I had a blended margarita.

309) Garbo's

After a nice dinner at El Dorado's on the beach (see an earlier post) we hit this martini bar. It was here I realized, that for the first time ever, I had forgotten my notecards and pen at home. Obviously, nobody else had a pen either. I ended up borrowing a pen from the hostess to take notes.

Garbo's is just up from the Kit Kat Club and has a somewhat similar ambience. It is a fancy Manhatatan type of place. The bar has a heavy dark marble top and a light cream-colored front. There were little candles on the bar and on the few tables in the place. There were lucite shelves on the wall behind the bar and a mosaic tile shelf below them to store the liquor. Nicely cushioned bar stools. There was a riser in the back with a black lacquered grand piano. Again, we were too early for entertainment. Overall the place had an art-deco feel to it. Hanging over the bar were lights with light-tan mottled plastic shades. There were two large sprays of bright-red "lobster claw" flowers. It is a fairly small, dark place. The backs of the bartenders tee shirt, as well as the tee shirts worn by some of the regular customer's, is that famous line "Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" This was said to W.C. Fields by Mae West in the movie "My Little Chickadee." What not too many people know is that Mae West wrote the script for that movie.

I had a nicely made (read that as strong) gin and tonic.

310) Sama

This place is right next to The Palm, where I saw "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," and we hit the story of the pen, phase three. Nobody here had a pen that I could borrow for long enough to take my notes. As a result my wife and my buddy's wife had to search out a place that was still open that sold them. Luckily they found one and I now have a very nice, compact, Puerto Vallarta souvenier pen. They wouldn't tell me how much it cost. Enough with the pen now.

This bar is very small, maybe 20 feet by 20 feet, and has a very small outdoor seating area. The small bar had a black plastic top and a white front. The top had an overhang to it and held flashing lights. There were large, think 5 foot, plastic champagne flutes both inside and on the outside seating area that were made to look like the held brightly colored beverages. The outside seating area is really no more than a couple of tables and stools on the sidewalk. The barstools were bright red, plastic bucket-seat affairs that were really quite comfortable. There were multi-colored lights with cone-shaped plastic shades hanging above the bar.

There was a white couch against one wall with a large black-wood framed mirror above it.On the opposite wall were clocks set to Paris, Los Angeles, New York, and Puerto Vallarta time, in case you really needed to know what time it was in those places. There were classic MTV videos playing on the television and the sound system was really cranked up.

I had a banana martini and after my wife tasted it she and my buddies wife decided to keep it so I had to order another one for myself.

311) Dewayn's

This bar is on the street where I live, Ampas, right on the corner of Pilitas. It used to be the Papi Chulo Oasis until a few years ago. It is only a couple of blocks away from my place. It was very dark, lit primarily by candles and a few dim light-bulbs. The bar was a nice, massive, mosaic tile affair with a stone edging. The mosaic had inlaid glass bead palm-trees. Kind of New Orleans meets Mexico. The whole place had a very Mexican decor with Mexican blankets draping the dark-red walls. A lot of those Mexican doilies hung from the ceiling. There were Mexican cowboy hats hanging behind the bar and the bartender was wearing one himself. There were a couple of tables with chairs but not much else except a small stage. Behind the stage were yellow hard-hats hanging on the wall somehow evoking "The Village People."

I had a Pacifico and off home my buddy and I did toddle, or wives having left us after Santo's. Probably worn out from shopping for pens.

Not a bad day at all as I hit 311 for the year and only have 689 left to visit.

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