Friday, February 12, 2010

What Are Friends For?

My buddy Chris showed up to spend a week down here in lovely Puerto Vallarta. His first few days were a bit of a bust because of the unusually cool and rainy weather, but things have turned around a bit and it has now turned sunny and warm. We even saw a whale frolicking in the bay. First one of the year.

Like all "good" friends he brought me a little gift. Something appropriate knowing my feelings toward Brett "maybe I will retire" Favre. And, believe me, Chris did know my feelings.

Oooh, Just What I Have Always Wanted

The only thing worse would have been a Knicks Stephon Marbury jersey. I will probably get that next year.

And yet I still took him to one of my favorite little restaurants for lunch. Well, actually, I didn't take him to lunch. But I did let him come along with us.

El Brujo

Still one of my favorite restaurants after all these years. Largely unchanged except for a repainted exterior and new signage.

The Happy Crew

I really like the cerviche here but because it has been so chilly and damp I had been thinking about their seafood soup. Even though it was a bright sunny day I still had it on my mind, so that is what I had.


I also got to try out a new Spanish word that I learned from a Joe Jack's Fish Shack menu - "Joven" which is pronounced HO Ben and means either waiter or waitress. I am so proud of myself. In less than two weeks I have already learned my new word for the year.

Puerto Vallarta seems to think that it can someday compete with New Orleans and Rio for Mardi Gras and Carnaval tourists. I think they have a ways to go, but at least they are trying.

Come Party In Puerto Vallarta

I suspect the beach parties are a bit more, shall we say, rambunctious in Rio.

Hey, You Got To Start Somewhere

Speaking of tourists, I went to a friend's house for a tamale party the other day (I will post about this in a day or so) and we met him at the Walmart so he could drive us to his place. We got there just as a cruise ship was disembarking right across the way. It was an amazing sight to see, like lemmings all of the people streaming off the cruise ship and heading into the Walmart. Apparently this is an everyday event. Can you imagine, taking a cruise, landing in beautiful Puerto Vallarta with so many interesting places to see and things to do and the first thing on your agenda is to head to a Walmart?

For the tourists who do eventually make it into downtown Puerto Vallarta via one of the large buses that pick them up at the ship, the large, over-priced jewelry stores that nobody but cruise ship tourists ever frequent is the first stop. Then they head to the least authentic Mexican place in town, Senor Frog's, to complete their Mexican experience. Comparatively speaking, the Bubba Gump's here is like going to someone's house for a home-cooked meal and a bout of tequila sampling.

There is a Senor Frog's, or two, in just about every cruise ship and tourist destination you can think of, Cancun, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Rico, San Juan, Aruba..., and the list goes on. How some of these people who take these cruises can go home and tell their friends that they have actually "visited" Puerto Vallarta is beyond me.

I think it is just a matter of time until a cruise line outfits a ship with a Walmarts, an over-priced jewelry store (I think they have these already) and a Senor Frog's. That way it could just load up, move offshore a bit, and park there for a week. The tourists would be happy. Hell, they probably wouldn't know the difference, and the savings in fuel would be enormous.

Tomorrow night is the Carnaval parade here in town, so I will try to get a few pictures of that and let you see what it was like.


Joe non Papa said...

Hi Bar Man-
"Joven" actually means "young person." Our word "juvenile" comes from the same Latin root.

Bar Man said...

You learn something new every day. Apparently in Mexico it is appropriate to use it for a waiter or waitress of any age. Unless Joe Jack is just fooling with me.

Gregg Potter said...

The thought of having a Wal-Mart on a cruise ship is exactly why I don't go on cruises. I will take an all inclusive resort any day of the week. I can go where I want, when I want and come back "home" and not worry about getting hammered for drinks.