Thursday, March 26, 2009

Friends And Farewell

Today is my last day here in lovely Puerto Vallarta so this will be my last post until I return home. All good things must come to an end. The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I had a wonderful eight weeks here and I am already looking forward to returning next year.
We did a bunch of stuff with some friends of ours over a period of three days so I thought I would post about that and then do more catch-up after I get home.

Several years ago, while waiting for a bus out past Boca, the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I chatted with a couple from near Boston, Jim and Margie. The next year we ran into each other in a bus and struck up a friendship. We have gotten together for a few outings every year since. Funny how things like that work here in Puerto Vallarta.

They stayed in a few locations around Puerto Vallarta this year and then spent their last few days at Club Meza Del Mar, just up the road from us. I invited them and a few of their friends over for a few drinks.

Jim, Trudy, And Mel

Trudy is Margie's sister so you may notice a similarity.

Darcy, Jim, Dawn, And The Mysterious Chinese Woman

Darcy and Dawn are married and live in Minneapolis, or in a nearby suburb. I kind of forget exactly where. Kind of a small world because Minneapolis is where I am originally from.

Darcy Shooting The Shooter

And here is Margie and Darcy trying to set their cameras to take a timed picture so everyone could be in it.

Looking Kind Of Silly

After having a few tequilas we decided to head to El Dorado for dinner. Always a good choice for a nice meal right on the beach.

Dawn And Darcy

Mel And Trudy

Margie And Jim

We all had a great time and a great meal, but I think Jim had the best time of all.


The next day Darcy and Dawn had to leave for home but the rest of us decided to take a stroll down the malecon to check out the sights. Along the way we stopped up at Los Chilaquiles, the restaurant that had the private party booked for the night a bunch of us had dinner reservations. No problem getting in this time, tables were pushed together, and we all enjoyed a few beers and dollar margaritas while having a beautiful view of the bay and the malecon on one side and the town and cathedral on the other.

Bay Side

The Other Side

The next day we had whittled the group down further and it was just Jim and Margie left. The rumor was that Mel and Trudy had, ah, shall we say, taken full advantage of the all-inclusive nature of Club Mezo Del Mar. Far be it for me to say.

We decided to go see Johnny sing, something that is always fun. We stopped by and checked out Jim and Margies place at Club Mezo Del Mar and were quite impressed. Huge rooms, large balcony, dynamite views, nice restaurant, several swimming pools, beachside drinks and snacks, palapas and beach chairs, the whole thing. If I didn't already have a place I would certainly consider staying here. The rates were quite reasonable too. I won't quote them because I am sure they change all the time, but it would be well worth checking out.

Before heading to hear Johnny we stopped at a neat little place on the beach called:

The Beach House

I had lunch their a few days ago with Allison and Steve and I can definitely recommend the food. Very good and large portions. The margaritas are very good as well and they don't hold back on the tequila.

Colorful And Potent

Also Colorful And Potent, The Drink Too

And then it was time for Johnny.

Heeere's Johnny

I think Jim and Margie enjoyed the show.

Looking Happy

And, of course, Johnny has a way with the women.

Like Putty In His Arms

After Johnny was done singing we decided to head down the beach to Langostino's for dinner. We had just stopped in when Tom and Bella walked by on the beach. We said "hello" and asked them where they were headed. One of those coincidences that always seem to occur, they were heading where we were. It seems that the owner is a friend of Bella's so they had driven into town to eat here. Of course we asked them to join us and we all had a jolly old time as two sets of friends got to meet each other.

The Whole Gang

Another fun day and I do think my friends Jim and Margie had a good time. It also seemed as though Darcy, Dawn, Mel, and Trudy enjoyed visiting as well. I am already looking forward to seeing everyone again next year.

More on Mexico after I return. I might need a day to settle in though so it might be Sunday before I actually get a chance to post again. We shall see.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Mini Maximilian

The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I headed to Kaiser Maximilian to have dinner with our friends Allison and Steve the other night. It is always fun to eat at a place in Mexico named after someone they executed.

For those of you who may not know, Maximilian Von Habsburg was an Austrian archduke who became emperor of Mexico in 1864 after the French invaded Mexico in 1862. After Napoleon III withdrew his forces in 1867, Maximilian was going to leave with them but then decided to stay and fight to retain his crown. A bad decision, as it turned out.

The Whole Gang Arrives

The food here is excellent with a bit of an Austrian influence. The service is also top-notch.

Ever Attentive

Steve Perused His Menu

Allison Pursued Her Drink

Bar Man Entertained The Crowd

I got up early to post this so all of you going into work today would have a little something to either cheer you up or depress you when you login. Now I am off to enjoy another beautiful day in paradise but I will try to post again later. I am still using my friends Dennis and Katherine's unit to post but am hoping to get my internet connection fixed sometime today. My fingers are crossed.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Night On The Town

A couple of friends returned to Mexico after spending about six months in cold Wisconson. Tom and Bella got married last year and she had to spend six months in the United States in order to get her temporary green card. This is good for two years and then she can become a permanent citizen or something. Their lawyer said it would be best if they spent at least 60% of the next two years in the United States so their wouldn't be any hitches. I guess I will never understand immigration laws. Everyone complains about illegal immigrants and then they make it extremely difficult to become a legal one. It seems like it is much easier to come down here to Mexico and get all of the necessary paperwork to stay here and work. I heard it does take living here for ten years though before you can actually become a Mexican citizen.

Anyway, we welcomed them back by going out to dinner. Dennis, Katherine, The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I popped in at Los Chilaquiles a few evenings ago just to take a peek. It looked like a real nice restaurant with tables out on a terrace overlooking the malecon. I went back and made reservations and specified the table that we wanted and the person taking the reservation said "No problem"

Los Chilaquiles

We gathered at the appointed hour and prepared to take the elevator up to the restuarant.


Unfortunately we were not allowed to go up. It seems that there was a private party that had booked the entire restaurant. Of course nobody had told the guy taking the reservations. We were told that we could come back in half an hour though. This seemed unlikely because there wasn't anyone leaving the restaurant and I am guessing it would probably take close to an hour just to set up for business after the party ended.

One thing Puerto Vallarta doesn't lack is lots of good restaurants. We just headed down the street to Trio, a very nice restaurant that I had been to before but was new to Tom and Bella.

Trio's Owners and Chefs

That picture was pirated from Trio's website but this is the one I took.

The Chefs Were Busy

The Mysterious Chinese Woman, Bella, And Katherine

Tom, Bar Man, And Dennis

Trio has been around for a long time and is one of the better restaurants in Puerto Vallarta although, as I have said many times, there are a lot of really good restaurants here. The setting is very nice too, a white linen tablecloth kind of place.

Dennis Enjoying His Meal

The Mysterious Chinese Woman Displaying Her Selection

Bella Biting

A Happy Bar Man

Everyone really enjoyed their meals too. I don't remember what everyone had, but I had duck with ravioli and it was delicious. We started with a nice calamari appetizer that was lightly coated and deep fried but with a nice tangy sauce. Dennis had rack of lamb it and was nice and tender and very flavorful. Katherine had veal, I believe. She was going to have the wild boar but they were out.

After our meal Dennis wanted to take me to a traditional old Mexican tavern that he had discovered. You have to keep an eye out for these because they are often upstairs and not necessarily easy to spot.

El Barril

This was a wee bit fancier than most of these places, primarily because there were tables on a terrace. Inside it was pretty standard with the primary decoration being stacks of empty beer cases. And, unlike the somewhat gentrified Blue Whale, they still had the old heavy wooden tables and chairs. Not those cheap plastic ones that wouldn't even do much damage if you hit someone over the head with it.

Tom and Bella had to drive home so it was just the four of us who stopped up for a beer and a tequila.

The Usual Suspects

We ordered beers and tequila and they certainly didn't mess around with the amount of tequila they served you.

Hmm, Is This A Good Thing

Well, I thought it was a good thing. After finishing our drinks we had a nice stroll home on the malecon. It was made a bit nicer because, somewhat foolishly, we ordered a second bottle of cava at Trio. It was still pretty full when we left so the waiter corked it for us but halfway home the cork popped off and landed who knows where. The only thing we could do was finish it off as we walked, I am sure we looked really classy swigging cava out of a brown paper bag. Too bad I didn't think to take any pictures.