Saturday, March 05, 2005

Another Slow Saturday

Didn't do any bar-hopping today. Went out for breakfast and then my buddy did some last-minute shopping before he leaves tomorrow. Kind of an overcast, drizzly day. Most unusual for this time of year. We went out for dinner and did stop for one cocktail on the way.

292) Kit Kat Club

This is a New York style martini bar on Pulpito, not far from my place. It has a small, marble-like bar with four modernistic metal backed stools with rattan seats. There is a black-light under the bar overhang. The wall behind the bar is painted tangerine and their is a large round mirror mounted on it. Two nubians holding up lamps are on the shelf behind the bar. There is a small Red-Bull refrigerator there too that looks a bit out-of-place. The wall to the left of the bar is painted the same color of tangerine as behind the bar and there are five of the same round mirrors mounted on it. The rest of the walls are painted white. The floor is light tan and dark tan linoleum. The large darker squares are set off by slightly raised, and quite sharp, metal dividers. A buddy of mine fell off a chair here a few years back and took off a major patch of skin on the tip of one of his fingers. Lot's of blood and subsequent pain. We got no sympathy from our spouses, just lots of grief.

There are large glass sliding doors that separate the interior from a small outside seating area. There are nice marble topped chairs about the place with comfortable white-fabric covered chairs. Parchement cone shades sit atop the lamps on the tables. The chairs on the outside area are more like backed cushions.

I had a Lime Drop martini (vodka, lime, sugar served in a sugar rimmed martini glass) and my buddy had a Dreamsickle (vodka, orange-juice, cream).

We finished these up and went to dinner and ended up stuffing ourselves to the point where nobody felt like going anywhere for an after dinner drink. No common sense.

I will probably take tomorrow off. It is Sunday and my buddy is leaving so we probably won't be doing much. I plan on being back at it again on Monday though. One more notch on the bottle and 708 left to go.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Slow Day

Today was a bit of a slow day. We went to the production of Manhattan Music at the Santa Barbara Theater last night. I had talked to the owner earlier about my thousand-bar quest. After the performance he had me get up on the stage and introduced me to the audience. Their was a photographer from the Vallarta Tribue and he took a few pictures. Supposedly one or more of them will be in next week´s edition of the paper. We shall see, and I will keep you posted.

291) Que?Pasa

This place is right upstairs to the Santa Barbara Theater so I popped in for a quick drink before the performance. It had a gray marble bar and a red tile floor. The place was pretty crowded and it was open-mic night. The guy singing was pretty good. There were a lot of Christmas tree lights strewn about and those lite-from-within tin star things hanging from the ceiling. This place used to be owned by the same people that own the Santa Barbara Theater and they used to have a weekly bingo game that was quite fun. Sadly, they have been discontinued.

I had a gin and tonic and headed back for the show.

After the show we just headed home. Not much progress, as I said, but nibbling away and now 709 left to go.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

A Busy Day

Had a bit of a double header today. I went out in the afternoon by myself and hit four places and then, after drinks at the pool at sunset, made the rounds with my buddy.

282) Los 3 Delfines

This, place, at the end of M.M. Diequez on the south side of town, was just opening up at a bit after 3:00 P.M. A fairly large courtyard in front where tables were being set up. The bar itself is inside and is a light pink and gray marble looking tile affair. There was a squawking parrot in a cage sitting on one end of the bar. He didn't have a drink so I assume he wasn't a customer. The walls were blue painted plaster and there were a lot of green horseshoes over an open window looking out on a small courtyard in the back. There were three, mostly empty, shelves behind the bar. There was a small plaster statue of a dolphin on each shelf and a statue of three dolphins on the end of the bar opposite the parrot. There was some metal wall hangings of flowers, butterflies, and flowers. Also three ceramic toucans. There were a bunch of somewhat sad-looking plants in pots and in a cement planter along one wall.

I had a Pacifico.

283) Asadero's

This was a pretty big place on Badillo with the bar in the back. The bar was brick with a brown cement top. Colorful plastic glasses hanging on a rack above the bar. My drink came in a yellow one. The bar had a green cement floor. There were two shelves and mirrors behind the bar. These shelves were much better stocked than the last place. A large electric coffee urn that was set too high kept the smell of somewhat burnt coffee wafting over me. That, coupled with the smell from their wood-burning cooking stoves made this a fairly aromatic place.

The walls of the interior dining area were brick up to about waist-level and then woven bamboo. The roof/ceiling was red tile. There were a few interesting paintings on the wall. Somewhat primative but very colorful. One was of a mariachi band and the other was of a bullfight. There is an outside dining area in the front that might be pleasant later in the evening when it is cooler.

I had a large, refreshing, frozen margarita that had a bit of a bite to it.

284) Freddy's Toucan Sports Bar.

Down the street a bit was this kind of a surprise find. It used to be pretty much of a pancake place up until just a few weeks ago. They took over the corner space and put in a bar, a nice dark-wood bar with padded stools. There are also light wood tables and chairs around the windows on two sides. It usually doesn't open until 8:00 P.M. and then stays open until 6:00 A.M. There was someone in the back and he graciously served me a beer. There were three televisions that I could see but only one was on. It was Mexican ESPN and it was showing horse-races.

Eric, the bartender, asked where I was from and when I said I was originally from Minnesota he said his boyfriend was a big Minnesota Viking fan. We discussed football for a bit, sharing our frustrations with the Vikings and my new team, the Jets.

I had a Negra Modelo

285) Santa Barbara Theater

There is a nice marble-topped bar in the front of the small theater area that is used to serve drinks during performances. It is located on Olas Altos. There was a rehearsal going on for a future production so there were about ten small children on the stage singing. I don't know if the place was really open for business but the owner, Ed, served me beer and had one with me. Tomorrow night my wife and buddy and I are going to a performance of Manhattan Nights, The Music of New York. I have gone to performances here in past years and they are always a lot of fun.

I had a Pacifico and headed home for a sunset drink at the pool.

Later, after the sun had set, by buddy and I headed out. He wanted to hit the Blue Whale first because he hadn't been there yet this visit. He had a couple of shots of tequila and I had a beer. The place was much busier this time of the evening than during my last visit, lot's of hooting and hollering. Always a fun place in an interesting way. I don't think I would like to hang around until closing time though.

286) Chavas

This place is located three blocks south and 1/2 block to the right if you are walking from the flea-market. Not that that is of much help unless you know where the flea-market is. It is on the corner of Insurgentes and Cardenas, not far from the Blue Whale. It is a second-floor bar, up a narrow staircase. There is a good sized wooden bar and the sound of buses reverberates through the place until the jukebox begins to play, at which point your heart, head, and everything else begins to reverberate to the beat. When the music mercifully started my buddy popped in 5 pesos and we played another couple of tunes. Hey, when in Mexcio. There were a few pictures of soccer teams on the walls and some tables on the very small open balcony that looked out on two, very busy, streets. This is another bar where you are unlikely to find many tourists because it is somewhat easy to miss. There is a very large sailfish mounted on the wall and two televisons. The one that was on was showing a soccer game.

I had a Tradicional tequila.

287) Frida un Bar

This place is also on Cardenas and is "Un bar Alternativo amistoso." That means, basically, that is is a gay bar. This one caters to an older crowd and, in New York at least, would be known as a "wrinkle parlour." Aside from the being gay part my buddy and I fit right in. A fairly friendly crowd, but nobody offered to buy us a drink. I must be losing my charm. Just about every square inch of this place was covered of pictures or plaster masks of Frida, the Mexican artist famous for both her artwork and her one big eybrow.

I had a Pacifico.

288) Chaves

This place was across the street, I think, and was a pretty typical Mexican bar. There was a large wooden wagon-wheel heading from the ceiling. There was a large pinata hanging from the ceiling as well. The bar was wood-topped cement and had cushioned wooden stools. There was a Mexican cowboy movie playing on the television and the walls were covered with pictures, mostly of Marilyn Monroe. The bartender's father had been a bullfighter so there were a couple of pictures of him as well. Sadly, the place was up for sale so who knows what will be there next year.

My friend was waxing poetic so he wrote this about the place:

"I wondered into this bar. I carried with me a heavy load. A typical Mexican restaurant/bar. A large picture of a parrot adorned one of the walls. Toilet paper was almost late in arriving. But enough of my temporary difficulties. We, my friend and I, were the only ones, almost the only ones in the place. There was also a young Mexican who could have been Al Pacino, although a tattered version. It had that smell, that smell of a typical Mexican bar. I had a margarita. It was fine."

I also had a margarita.

289) Aquy Sp.

I may have to check the name. This is what the bartender wrote on my card and I forgot to double-check it when I left. There were 3 televisions and a pool-table upon which a young couple looked to be about to consumate their relationship. The bar was brick with a red tile top. The barstools were iron with iron backs but the seats were wooden. There were sparkly tin stars hanging from the ceiling. The bar had a nice brick arch back to it with mirrors and glass shelves holding the liquor.

I had a Pacifico.

290) High

This place, on Cardenas, was just starting to open up. It's hours of operation are from 11:00 P.M to 9:00 A.M. I can only describe this as Starwars meets Mexico. It had a ceramic tiled bar with barstools that looked like they came from the Mad Hatter's tea party in the Alice In Wonderland animated film. There were a couple of large, velvet covered swings and I can only wonder at the use they might be put to when the place starts cranking. There were several plush sofas strewn about and cone shaped lamp shades that matched the colors of the bulbs (yellow, blue, and orange) hanging above the bar. There was one room that had a glass brick wall with some kind of lighting that made it feel like you were sitting inside a lava-lamp. There were also black-lights hanging overhead so everybody's teeth really shined. There was another back room with 2 pool-tables. They actually had velvet ropes out front with a couple of bouncers to control what, I guess, will be a big crowd later in the evening. This place would be weird if it was in New York and was totally incongrous with anything I have ever seen in Mexico. I has been open for 10 months so let's see if it is a sign of things to come.

I had a margarita and we staggered on home.

A pretty good day, all in all. Tomorrow I may try to hit a few places after the theatre, but will give it a rest during the afternoon. Creeping ever onward, with 290 down only 710 left to go.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Marina and More

Today I decided to take a trip out to the marina here in town. It is a bit of a bus ride, but not all that far. Lot's of boats, as you would expect, and more bars than I could reasonably hit in one day. I will be back again at least once and probably twice.

274) Brando's

The bar is pretty much right on the water. It has a pastel ceramic front and a light wooden top. The bar has a palapa top to it and the supports are wrapped with Christmas lights, although they weren't turned on at this time of day. There is a red tile floor and it is open all around. There are a couple of televisions, but they were turned off as well. There are two blue-felt covered pool tables off to one side. A great view of the sailboats and yachts in the harbor. The bar had comfortable blue cushioned wrought-iron stools. Although I only had a beer, my wife and friend had non-alcoholic drinks, a lemonade and a clamatoe concoction of some kind. The bartender was like a chef, tasting here concoctions and then adjusting the ingredients as she saw fit. A real pleasure to watch.

I had a Pacifico, and the bartender did not taste it.

275) El Fogon

This place had their bar set well back from the water. It also had nice wrought-iron barstools with soft cushions. Needless to say, the comfort of the barstools gets to be a matter of concern at times. The back area where the bar is located had a tan tile floor and the walls were orange and yellow painted plaster. The much larger front area had a red tile floor. This area is open air with a white plaster ceiling covering half of it and a bright orange awning covering the rest. There is a lady griling tacos on a small grill in the front and after finishing my beer I joined my wife and friend to have a few. Quite good.

In the back by the bar was a table with a little fish-bowl containing a small turtle. The small son of the proprietor explained that it was his pet but I didn't quite catch its name.

I had a Pacifico.

276) Port Hole

A blue ceramic tile-front par with a black and silver faux granite top. Tan linoleum with pastel flecks covered the bar. The walls were painted blue with clouds on one of them and white smears on the others. Maybe the artist grew weary of his work. Blue glass fronting bare bulbs above kitchen type cabinets were behind the bar. There was a bit of a flamingo theme to the place, from the one peaking through the port hole on the sign, to the plastic flamingos in front, and down to flamingo glasses and stir-sticks. This was a very friendly little place being run by two Canadian women. They also sold ice-cream. The cooking channel was on and the patrons as well as the help, and us, seemed to take great interest in the shows. My friend was particularly interested in the segment about how to cook steak.

I had a healthy gin and tonic and my friend had a shot of tequila that was definetly poured with a heavy hand.

277) Las Palomas Doradas

This was a really nice place with a very nice wooden bar and a glass and wood liquor cabinet. Mirrored pillars and nice paintings of Mexican scenery and village life on the walls. There was a wooden buddha sitting on the bar that has an Indonesian rather than Chinese look to it. A shelf above the bar held Mexican crockery and some Mayan type statues. The place had very nice tables and chairs. The tables were covered with white tablecloths and then had smaller white tablecloths on top of those. Elegant place-settings completed the look. There were sprigs of coleus on each table and a large potted ficus near the back wall. There was also an very ornately framed mirror on one wall.

I had a refreshing frozen margarita.

278) Fajita Banana

My last stop in the marina, at least for today, was this sports bar. It had a fair amount of sports memorabilia about the place and several televisions. Mexican music videos were on the one behind the bar, a Mexican soap opera was on the one in the back, and various sports shows, primarily soccer, were on the rest. There were behive type of light fixtures, fairly common in Mexico, above the bar with yellow bulbs. We got to stare at a purple and yellow Camel cigarette sign behind the bar with the cautionary "FUMAR ES CAUSA DE CANCER" warning. The bar it said was made of some cement/plastic like surface with a bamboo front.

I had a chilled Tradicional tequila.

279) Esmeralda

On the way home we kind of took the wrong bus. It would have gotten us back to where we wanted to go, but in a round-about way. When it took a left off the main road back we got off. It stopped right across the street from the bullfight ring and in front of a little, up a narrow staircase, bar. Today was the day of the weekly bullfight, but it appeals mostly to tourists. The caliber of the bullfighters are probably the equivalent to a very minor league baseball team. The top fighters fight in larger cities with some of the best in Mexico city. I have never been to a bull fight here. The bar is open air on three sides and overlooks both the bullfight ring and the busy road that our bus was originally on. It also afforded a nice view of three of the four cruise ships that were in port. The place has a fairly new pool table. Just a two stool wooden bar in the back but lots of tables about the place. After finishing my beer at the bar I sat and joined the others who were served a plate of cucumber slices with their drinks. Once, a few years back, my wife locked herself in the bathroom here and couldn't get out without assistance. We don't talk about that much anymore.

I had a Pacifico.

280) Maguelito's

We walked across the street and caught the "right" bus back into town. On the way back to our place from the bus stop we passed this fairly nice place. It is also known as the Treehouse because it is a two story affair built kind of around a large tree. It is pretty much right across the street from Steve's. It has a dark wood bar fronted by bamboo. The stools are also nicely padded. The back of the place has wooden plank floors and the front has mexican tiles. There was some interesting artwork on the walls that looked to be made out of a combination of leather and rope. The walls were bright red and there were shelves with old books and other assorted stuff on the walls. There was a dart board on one wall but, given its proximity to the bar and tables, I am not sure if it is used very often. There is a nice waterfall in the entrance and you cross over a little wooden bridge to enter.

I had a Don Julio reposada and we all headed home for sunset at the pool.

281) Boca Bento

We went here for dinner but I had a drink at the bar before joining my companions. This is a fairly new place. Last year it was the 180 and it had a swimming pool that customers could use and live music a couple of days a week. The pool has been covered and there is now a roof over what was an open-to-the-air area. The bar was a very nice wavy wooden topped affair with a light cement front. There was a very nice wrap-around mural that is somewhat hard to describe. Not exactly abstract, but not realistic either. Bright colors, people smoking cigars, some of which looked like calypso drums, wine bottles, etc. It had a bit of a Cuban look to it and was painted in 2004 by someone named Maciaf (if I read the name right). Their beer and martini glasses were kept chilled in a refrigerator behind the bar.

Although a bit off of the mission statement, the food was delicious and I will, in all liklihood, be returning.

I had a gin and tonic and that was the end of my trek for the day.

Not a bad day at all and down to 719 left to go.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A Rocky Day At The Palm

Today was a not the most productive of days, but that was somewhat anticipated. In fact, I didn't even go out for a drink until 11:00 P.M.

273) The Palm

This place was mentioned before when I wrote about Reggies, across the street. It is primarily a gay bar and they were having a live performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It wasn't bad considering they did it with a cast of just seven in a fairly cramped area with no real stage, just a small area in front of a screen where they usually show music videos. The music was all lip-synched, which was a good thing I would guess. Giving the nature of The Palm, this version was even campier than the film.

The whole place is fairly dark and the bar itself is in a relatively narrow raised area to the right of the larger seating area where the performance took place. The bar is dark wood with kind of intricate "woven" wood stools. The lower area has numerous tables and chairs in the same pattern of the bar-stools. There are also a row of stools back against the rise to the bar. I sat there for awhile but not only were the uncomfortable, I kept getting in the way of the performers and they ran about.

I had a gin and tonic at the bar and then another at a table while I watched Rocky and the crew. Quite entertaining.

My progress is hardly worth noting, but a bar is a bar. Just 727 left to go.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Bus To Bucerias

Today we decided to take a trip to the neighboring town of Bucerias, not to far across the Rio Ameca, in the neighboring state of Nayarit. This used to be a bit more of an adventure when there was just a gravel road connecting the two cities. Since they put up a huge resort at the north-end of the bay though they have built a fairly major highway that goes all the way out there and connects many of the the towns inbetween as well. Now it is a fairly short bus trip that only requires one change of buses. The local bus to the Sam's Club costs 4 pesos and then you switch to another bus that takes you to Bucerias for another 10 pesos. Bucerias, even though there is building going on in the surrounding areas, is still a pretty small town compared to Puerto Vallarta.

There are a series of restaurants along the beach in Bucerias that all have a somewhat similar configuration; a relatively plain large room at street level, an elevated balcony overlooking the bay, and steps leading down to tables on the beach. Many of these do not, however, have an actual bar and these I avoided.

267) La Palapa de Yemaya

This, the first I visited, had a bar with an orangish stained top and a rough yellow front. It had three very small shelves behind the bar that held a very limited selection of liquors. A Pepsi-machine looking refrigerator and a Sol cerveza cooler was also behind the bar and held the beer and sodas. The interior was pretty rustic with a faded red-painted cement floor, white plaster walls with blue trim, and orange and yellow arches. A few steps down and the beach and tables. A few steps up and the balcony overlooking the bay.

I had a decent blended margarita.

268) El Pescador

A dark-wood bar with two carved killer-whales decoration the front of the left side. It had a pool-table and a jukebox. The cement floor was unpainted and the ceiling was corrugated fiberglass. While I was having my drink a guy riding his horse passed by and the horse took a major dump in front of the place. The owner hollered at the guy who then got off his horse and cleaned up the mess. I reflected upon the fact that the horse that the mounted-police ride in New York City can pretty much crap anywhere they want and nobody cleans it up but in Mexico they have a bit more class. Particularly if the horse craps right in front of a restaurant. There was also an old parrot in a large wrought-iron cage that starting sqwuaking like made when a bunch of chattering schoolgirls passed by. There were a lot of little pinatas hanging from the ceiling and a nice balcony overlooking the bay.

I had a Pacifico.

269) Capri

A very small service-type of bar but it did have two stools. The bar had an orange cement front and a white-tile top. A nice view of the bay though, even from the bathroom if I stood on my toes. A half-dozen steps led down to tables on the beach and the main-room was extended out a bit for a kind of balcony. There was a red-painted cement floor and white walls. There were several white plastic tables and plastic chairs with a Pepsi logo on the back. The tables did have bright red and green checkered tablecloths. The whole place had a high palapa top.

I had a Pacifico.

270) Claudio's or Meson Bay

There was a bit of confusion about the name of this place. Multiple signs in front and a menu that said one thing and a card that said something else. I thought the ambiguity added to the charm so I didn't bother to clarify it. It had a cement-block bar with a dark wood top. There was a brick floor in the front and a sand floor in the back. A high palapa top with some large pinatas hanging from it. There were baskets of colorful artificial flowers hanging from the side of the bar facing the bay. The barstools were palm-tree stumps and not at all comfortable. Pretty much open air all around. There was a large Green Bay Packers banner and a smaller Minnesota Vikings banner hanging next to each other on the wall.

I had a margarita.

271) Mary's

We caught the bus and headed back to Puerto Vallarta. The bus stopped close to Mesa del CoCo (see an earlier post) and I wanted to show it to my friend. It appeared to be closed but very close to it was this similar local's bar. It had a nice wooden bar, a pool-table, 10 small wooden tables with green and white checkered tablecloths and wooden chairs. There was a jukebox and a large picture of Zapata hanging on the wall. The place had a pinkish-red cement floor and white walls. There were bare green lightbulbs in wall fixtures. There wasn't anyone in the place except for us and the two Mexican women running the place. Oh yeah, that Chinese woman was there too.

I had a Pacifico.

272) Mogambo

Walking home along the malecon I passed by this place, next to Zoo, which hadn't been open on my previous excursions. It must have just been opening up when we got there because it was empty. It is a nice, deep, dark place although it does have windows overlooking the bay. A wood and mirrored front to a black, marble-like, formica top and a nice brass rail. It was backed by very nice liquor cabinets that were lit from within. The barstools were plush fake leopardskin and swiveled. There was a fairly large raised dance floor behind the barstools and separated by a railing. Small tables with chairs lined the wall to the other side of the dancefloor. Above them on the wall were two large mirrors. One had a Led Zeppelin logo and the other had a Rolling Stones logo. There were multiple levels to this place and upstairs was at least one pool-table and several sofas.

I had a Tradicional-Jose Cuervo reposada. It was kind of unusual in that although they served it in a traditional brandy glass, the tequila itself was kept chilled, right along with the Jaegermeister. Guess this is a slamming them down type of crowd.

Headed home for good after this with 728 more bars staring me in the face. But they shall not defeat me. Tomorrow will probably be a much slower paced day.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

A Six-Inch Yard Of Tequila

A bright sunny day and we got off to a good start. While my friend showered my wife and I went to the pier where I tried out my Ron Popeil Pocket Fisherman. The locals using fishing-line wrapped around an empty plastic soda bottle were stunned by the level of technology I brought to the table. Of course they were catching fish while I was not.

260) La Palapa

Probably the classiest beach-front restaurant and bar in Puerto Vallarta. The hurricane that hit here a few years back did a lot of damage to these bars but they have all been rebuilt and are much fancier, and more expensive, than they were. And they were pretty nice then. The bar had a golden-tan ceramic front and a multi-hued marble top. Mirrors behind it let you see the beach even with your back towards it. There are nice acrylic shaded lamps over the bar, kind of tan with little dots. The barstools are plush and have backs to them. There is a nice little lounge behind the bar where you can sit and have a drink while listening to live music, when they have it. They have a state-of-the-art temperature controlled storage bin for the wines they serve by the glass.

I had a Modelo especial at the bar before we sat down for breakfast. It was 30 pesos for a beer which is a bit on the pricey side, but they served it in a nice frosted pilsner glass. De classe all the way.

261) La Margarita

Down the beach a bit is another place with tables and loungers out on the beach. Inside is a fairly large bar but only three stools. It looks like it is more of a service bar because the bring the drinks out to you if you are sitting on the beach, like most people would do, unless you are on a quest. The bar area itself is up a short flight of steps so you have a nice view overlooking the beach. Traditional Mexican tiles underfoot. The bar itself is brick with a dark wooden top. There was a very pleasant breeze. The decor itself was pretty sparse, most of the action, as I mentioned, taking place outside on the beach. A few ceramic dolphins and a ceramic seahorse adorning a peach-colored pillar and a poster of pink flowers on another wall. There were five dozen eggs in cartons over our left shoulder. Although we were advised that the tequila we ordered was too good for a lime, we were offered a bowl of lime-slices anyway. The scantily-clad Chinese woman at the end of the bar took some of ours and thrust them into the narrow neck of her beer bottle.

I had a generous pour Don Julio Reposado tequila in a large snifter.

262) Meson de Calderon

Over the bridge into the north-side of town this place is on a sidestreet right across from the flea-market. There was a piano player which was quite nice. The place had light-pink wals and a fishing-net canopy was hung over the bar. Garlands of brightly colored artificial flowers were draped behind the brick bar that had a light-tan formica top. There were pictures of old mexico, some move posters of Liz Taylor, John Wayne, and Marilyn Monroe. There was also a large autographed picture of Carlos Rondero and some picture, not posters, of bull-fights and bull-fighters. On the wall seperating the bathrooms from the rest of the place were serveral carved, realistic and somewhat spooky-looking, heads.

I had a el Jimador Reposado that they served in six-inch minatures of the yard-of-beer glasses that you sometimes see. The actually had two of those larger glasses (but I think only the half-yard variety) on the bar ready for action.

263) Hotel Rio

Next door and up a few steps was this wooden bar that had a nice, sturdy bar-rail. It had 5 stools with acrylic cushions. There was a large sailfish mounted on the ceiling for some reason. I guess to give you something to look at if you toppled backwards off of your barstool. This place had a piano, but no piano player. It was kind of austere with a grey tile floor and white-washed walls. It was very nice and sunny though. There was a ceramic replica of an old diver's helmet in a niche in the wall.

I had another shot of el Jimador Reposado.

264) Papi Chulo Bar

Things took an interesting turn here. Before I could order my first shot of tequila my buddy, sitting on the otherside of a small partition, managed to down two of them. This was kind of a local bar tucked into the flea-market. It looked like a lot of the customers were off-duty timeshare hustlers. The ones that get you to show up a a timeshare presentation with offers of money, discounts to festivals, etc. Nobody approached us, however, so I guess they were on break. We were pretty much surrounded by tee-shirts on display so you would kind of have to say this place had a distinctly unique ambience. A friendly bartender and a total lack of will-power on our part resulted in us drinking way more than we should have.

I had at least 5 shots of tequila and my friend had a few more than that.

265) River Cafe

We managed to make it over the wooden-slate and cable bridge to get to the island in the middle of the river and stopped by the River Cafe. You may recall I said I had eaten here with friends before but there were too many of us to sit at the bar. This time with just the three of us the number of bar-stools was perfect. This is a really nice looking place right on the river.

I had a shot of tequila but I don't remember what kind. My friend wrote it down but I can't read it. I wonder if the fact that we have now had at least 10 shots of tequila has anything to do with this?

266)Opium Garden

Still on the island but heading toward home we passed this place. It is fairly new, but I can't remember the name of the place that was here last year. This place has a nice modern, although somewhat austere, decor and the three of us were the only ones in there. It looked like they might just be setting up for the evening.

One last shot of tequila and it was time to go home, although we stopped to get hotdogs from the famous hotdog lady on the way.

All and all a very good day in some respects, not the least of which we were all still standing at the end of it. Just 734 left to go.