Saturday, March 08, 2008

New Arrivals And Old Friends

Actually, the new arrivals are old friends, back from my Minneapolis days when I was just a young Bar Man. We do stay in touch though and manage to see each other a few times a year. Lately at least one of those times has been here in Puerto Vallarta. I greeted them with their welcoming drinks and Rico good naturedly drank his virgin margarita out of his sippy cup.

Sandy And Rico Having Their First Margarita

After they settled in Rico told me that he had a second opinion on his gall bladder and pancreas and was informed that he can indeed drink alcohol. Now what am I going to do with the case of non-alcoholic beer that I bought (and that cost me twice as much as regular beer)? I guess I can give it out to the kids on the beach.

We went to El Dorado for lunch and who should pass by but The Muffin Man. Tears of joy flooded both his and Sandy's eyes as they embraced.

Sandy And The Muffin Man

We spent the afternoon on the beach and then I took them to Canto del Mar so they could have a sunset cocktail and listen to Johnny. Charmer that he is, Johnny soon had Sandy enthralled.

Sandy And Johnny

It still gets a bit nippy in the evening, which is actually quite nice after a day in the sun, so shortly after sundown Rico and Sandy put on their jackets and shared a romantic embrace.

Ah, Still In Love After All These Years

Afterwards we went to Sweeny's for dinner but I was too occupied with my Porterhouse of Pork to take any pictures. Rico and Sandy had the spagetti special and the Mysterious Chinese Lady had chicken wings. I bought Sweeny's new 2008 St. Patrick's Day shirt and I promise I will take pictures next time we visit there. And we will visit again.

A few days before Rico and Sandy showed up I went to Canto del Mar with Sharon and Paul. We really do like that place. Again, Johnny was at his charming best.

Sharon And Johnny

Sharon's husband, Paul, wasn't too sure if he liked all of the attention being lavished on his wife.

Paul Keeping A Watchful Eye

Of course the Mysterious Chinese Woman was, as always, enthralled.

Heart Fluttering

This night we decided to eat here and they have very decent beach bar grub at a reasonable price. We shared three orders of fajitas; shrimp, chicken, and steak. Quite satisfying.

Fajitas For All

Today we are spending quality time on the beach and then heading out to the marina to hook up with a group for cocktails and dinner. I should have pictures to post tomorrow so be sure to stay tuned.

Friday, March 07, 2008

We Could Hardly Wok

Ah, I can start my blog with a little history lesson. As many of you may know, it was the movie Night Of The Iguana that first put the sleepy little fishing village of Puerto Vallarta on the map. The movie starred, of course, Richard Burton, but NOT Elizabeth Taylor. Ava Gardner was the female lead along with Sue Lyon and Grayson Hall, who received an Academy Award nomination for her role as a latent lesbian. Hey, it was a based on a play by Tennesee Williams, so what would you expect.

Although Elizabeth Taylor was not in the film she showed up in Puerto Vallarta because she and Richard Burton were having a steamy adulterous affair at the time. Elizabeth was married to, of all people, Eddie Fisher, at the time. At least I think so. She was married eight times, twice to Richard Burton. Interestingly her first marriage was to Nicky Hilton of Hilton Hotel fame (shades of Paris) and her last was to Larry Fortensky, a truck driver. Even plastic surgery only goes so far.

But, I digress. John Huston directed the film and his personal chef was, drum roll please, Archie. He started the restaurant and after he died his wife, Cindy, took over. I don't know if she is still alive or not.

Just A Short Walk To Archie's Wok

There were eight of us so we had about a forty-five minute wait. No reservations accepted. We didn't care though. We had already had our sunset cocktails and Archie's does provide sidewalk service.

Brown Paper Bags Not Required

The participants in our night on the town were:

Sharon And Paul

Allison And Steve

Don And Donna

And, of course,

The Mysterious Chinese Woman And Bar Man

The food was great. We all had a delicious soup and then ordered a variety of dishes that we shared. This is a must-go-to restaurant if you are ever in Puerto Vallarta.

Ready To Tuck In

After having a rolicking good time at Archies we all headed to the infamous Kit Kat for after dinner drinks.

Kit Kat

I could tell you stories about Kit Kat but some of them involve blood and a friend being prohibited by his wife from ever setting foot inside again. But what the hell, it wasn't my blood and I can still drink there any time I want.

Nicely Appointed Bar

Nightcaps For All

And, just because I know you can never see enough pictures of me and the Mysterious Chinese Woman, one last shot to sear itself into your mind.

Bar Man And Mysterious Chinese Woman

My friends Rico and Sandy are showing up today so I have to make welcoming drinks for them. Poor Rico can't have anything alcoholic to drink because he is having problems with his gall bladder. Sympathetic friend that I am, I am going to make him a non-alchoholic version of my blended margarita. But, what are friends for if you can't kick a man while he is down. Here is how it will be served to him.

Tea, But No Sympathy

Hey, what are friends for.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

After The Show

After listening to Johnny and watching the sun go down we decided to head out for dinner. We found this place and it looked interesting enough.

La Tia Catrina

We all sat down for some mighty fine food and decent, if strangely named, drinks. The May Thay did taste like a decent Mai Tai though.

The Crowd Gathers

To go along with the restaurant's sign, there were some equally macabre decorations inside as well.

The Service Must Be Really Slow

I Think I Will Stick With The Fish

But, speaking of macabre, look who showed up one last time before actually departing:

Especially Frank And Lovely Wife Carol

But, I swear, he is gone for good now. Not to be seen until next year when, not unlike the whales, he will return to Bandera's Bay.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Heeere's Johnny

As any of you who have been to Mexico know, the beach features, among its other attractions, vendors of all types. Everything from jewelry (starting price 850 pesos for a silver bracelet, purchase price, 100 pesos) to shirts to fish on a stick. Once my friends Rico and Sandy get down here I will post pictures of Sandy's favorite vendor, the muffin man. He is already quivering with excitement anticipating Sandy's arrival.

A long time favorite is the guy who sells oysters. His signature cry is "Heeere's Johnny" in a great booming basso that, admittedly, doesn't sound at all like Jack Nicholson.

Heeere's Johnny

He also sings at a little beach-side restaurant right next door to the no longer scarey Burro Bar.

Canto del Mar

As you can see, it really is quite small, but a dynamite location.

Small, But Well Positioned

A whole gaggle of us decided to show up for sunset drinks and a show before heading out to dinner. We all were looking forward to seeing Johnny, but I don't think that is his real name, perform.

A Whole Gaggle Minus Bar Man

A Whole Gaggle Minus Marcie

Hey, someone has to take the pictures.

This guy really does have a great voice and stage (or sand) presence. Easily as good as many Las Vegas lounge shows that I have seen over the years. Not as good as Nudes on Ice, perhaps, but good nonetheless.

Johnny Performing

He is a real smoothie, entrancing the ladies:

Entrancing Marcie

Really Entrancing The Mysterious Chinese Lady

I could tell by the far-away look in the Mysterious Chinese Lady's eyes that she was seriously contemplating a permanent move to Mexico where she could be serenaded and eat oysters every day.

Visions Of Songs And Bivalve Mollusks

The never shy Bella also graced us with a song. She too has a very good voice.

Bella Belting One Out

While The Mysterious Chinese Woman looked smitten, Bella just looked mischieveous.

Bella, Up To Something I Am Sure

And, for old times sake, a picture of Bar Man at the bar.

Bar Man Plying His Trade

We all had a really good time, but what else is new. The frozen margaritas were reasonably priced and, unlike many you get, quite strong. This is most certainly a place I will come back to again. If it wasn't for The Mysterious Chinese Lady making me buy a CD (100 pesos)

Johnny All Cleaned Up

and my decision to buy a Bimbo football jersey (200 pesos)

Chris And Bar Man, Bimbos Forever

it would have been quite reasonable.

Now, just so you know, Bimbo is a well-regarded football team here in Mexico and these are authentic jerseys. I know because when I went to Toritos to watch the Knicks lose another game the Bimbo team was playing and there was quite a crowd of locals cheering them on. And these were the shirts they were wearing.

I Know You Want More Bimbos

Well, they weren't wearing these specific shirts, but shirts that looked just like them.

Grupo Bimbo is a Mexican baking company, you see their trucks all over the place, and they are, of course, the sponsors of the team. I think they are affiliated with the United States company Bambi. When I was but a little Bar Boy Bambi trucks used to deliver bakery products right to your door. But then that was back in the day when the milk man used to deliver your milk to your door as well.

After the entertainment we all headed out for dinner, but you will have to wait for those photos. I am off to the beach.