Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pass The Pasta

We had our sphaghetti dinner the other night and it was, if I do say so myself, an unqualified success.

Of course the pasta is just part of the equation, you also need good frozen margaritas. That was my job and I made my lime/ginger specials. The first step is washing and slicing the ginger.

Ginger Vitas

Then you need to squeeze some fresh limes and oranges.

Puerto Vallarta Squeeze

And, of course, the most essential of the ingredients.


Tom, Peter And Marie Relaxing Before Dinner

The Mysterious Chinese Woman busied herself with the preparation of the pasta. I guess we needed this as well.

Well, It Is A Sphaghetti Dinner

Our friends brought a salad, garlic bread, chips and salsa and a surprize dessert.

Peter, Bella and Marcie Digging In

Bill And Marcie Enjoying A Nosh

Bella And The Mysterious Chinese Woman Chowing Down

And Bill

Oh, and the surprise dessert. Marcie is our resident pastry chef and although chocolate cake and brownies are her specialties, she branched out a bit for this delicious strawberry pie.

Berry, Berry Good

Here is Marcie scooping on the finishing touch, whipped cream.

Horns Courtesy Of Bella

After dinner everyone but me, who was playing the party pooper this evening, headed to Andale's to kiss the donkey. I stayed at home and watched, kind of, the Knicks lose their 7th in a row. I say "kind of" because I just watched ESPN's live update on my PC.

I might be able to post pictures of the gang at Andale, though because I think Bill took a lot of them. I just need to get his photo-card.

Tonight The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I are going to a cooking class. I will be sure to let you know how that turns out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Senor Sweeny's

The other day a bunch of us went to one of my favorite places, Senor Sweeny's.

Marie About To Enter

I have been going here for years, as I am sure those of you who follow my blog are well aware. It is a nice place to sit and have a beer or a really good and relatively inexpensive meal. Sadly, this year they don't open until 4:00 PM so you can't go there for lunch anymore. I talked to Sweeny and he said that business is down again this year even after a bad last year. Not just his place, but in Puerto Vallarta as a whole. Not too suprising with the economy being what it is.

Well, the economy be damned, we enjoyed ourselves anyway.

Bill, Marie And Peter

The Mysterious Chinese Woman, Bar Man And Marie

Sweeny's is known for their double cut porkchop. Make sure you allow twenty minutes for its preparation. A wait made easy if you are enjoying a few beers and/or margaritas.

Well Worth The Wait

This was the porkchop The Mysterious Chinese Woman ordered. It is served on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and a generous helping of veggies. It was so big I ate the half she brought home for breakfast the next morning.

Delicioso, As Usual

I broke with tradition and ordered the shrimp shish kebab, and it made for a mighty fine meal.

Shrimp On A Stick, Just Like At The Fair

The shrimp was wrapped in bacon and drizzled with a flavorful barbecue sauce. It also came with the potatoes and veggies.

All and all it was a mighty fine meal. I hope business picks up for everyone next year. It is kind of nice not to have all of the bars and restaurants jam packed, but I hate to see the businesses suffer. Kind of a double whammy this year what with both the economy reducing the number of visitors and the couple of weeks of bad weather that kept a lot of people off the beach and out of the restaurants. I think all the news about drug violence in Mexico has had an impact as well, although Puerto Vallarta has been pretty much unaffected.

Last night we had our spaghetti dinner and I will try to get those pictures uploaded tonight and post them for you tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010


The weather here in Puerto Vallarta is finally back to normal, and thank goodness for that. Normal is breezy cool evenings, nights, and early mornings with warm sunshine during the day. Not like the mess we had when I first got here and that seemed to go on forever.

Last Thursday was a perfect example. I woke up to what I thought would be a beautiful day with rosy clouds over the bay.

Sailors Take Warning

I should have heeded that advice. By early afternoon this was what was rolling in over the mountains.

Not A Pretty Sight

And then the floodgates opened and, ironically, we lost the water in our place. The Mysterious Chinese Woman set out some bowls to collect some rainwater. I laughingly asked her how much she thought she could collect, an inch or two, maybe.

Was I Ever Wrong

It looked like we got about three or four inches in just over an hour. It came down in sheets. Luckily the water came back on and after a brief electrical black-out it was back to normal. Good thing too because the people where I stay, Blue Seas, were having a potluck dinner that night.

Usually we hold it on the poolside deck, but that was out of the question. Thankfully the managers of Bite Me!, the restaurant and bar right across from us and on the beach let us use their facilities.

At least one brave soul was facing down the elements and was out in the surf fishing.

Brave Or Foolish

I actually saw the surf breaking over his head while he was out there. You can see he had plenty of company though. That is a flock of pelicans that you see in the background and they were fishing as well.

Here are a few pictures of our little get-together. I made deviled eggs, but they were gone before I got a picture of them. The Mysterious Chinese Woman made chili and that was a hit as well.

Marie, The Mysterious Chinese Woman and Morris

Pete And Ira

Ira and his wife live here full time. He was born in Brooklyn (I think) and spent time in Texas. He is Jewish so naturally I asked him if he was a fan of Kinky Friedman. It turns out he was and even saw him with his group, The Texas Jewboys, at the Lonestar Cafe in Manhattan. I used to frequent that place myself, but never saw the Kinkster. Sadly, the Lonestar Cafe is now gone and I often wonder where the giant Iquana that once graced its roof now resides.

It turns out that Ira and I had also read all of Kinky Friedman's mystery novels that were typically set in and around Manhattan's lower eastside back in the day when it was a bit of a no-man's land.

General Crowd Shots

Everyone had a good time, as usual. Always fun to party with the people who stay here and taste the delicacies that they prepare. Our Bite Me! hosts even graciously donated a large pitcher of frozen margaritas to start the party off on the right note.

It is beautiful morning today, and the prospects look good for another lovely day. We are having a bunch of people over for Italian sphaghetti tonight. The Mysterious Chinese Woman will do the cooking and I am responsible for getting the wine and making the margaritas. I think I will make my ginger/lime specials.

Oh, the other night a few of us stopped by one of my favorite little bars here in Puerto Vallarta, La Gloria de Infierno. Poor Bill, he just can't drink with the Bar Man and The Mysterious Chinese Woman

Someone Just Roll Me Home

He claimed he was just tired.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just Wondering

Do you think watching the Spanish language version of Santo vs. the Vampire Women is the intellectual equivalent of reading the original Greek version of Homer's The Iliad?

This evening I am going to take advantage of a slow day and upload a bunch of pictures I have taken recently. Then I can post about some of the stuff I have been doing instead of these relatively boring blurbs with no pictures.

By the way, in my previous post when I said it was a beautiful day, by mid-afternoon there were whitecaps on the Banderas Bay and we had a truly torrential downpour. Nobody I talked to, including a few who live her year-round had ever before seen whitecaps on the bay during this time of the year.

My friend Lewie had a patio door slam on his hand while he was trying to shut it during one of our stormy nights. He broke six bones and now has it in a cast with all kinds of pins in it. Pretty painful, but the doctor did say he would regain full use of it. Kind of a bummer way to be spending your vacation though, in and out of the hospital and in a fair amount of pain.

The weather system does seem to have broken, though, and the last few days really have been lovely.

In the small world department, I met a guy who is staying here who retired from teaching high school at the same one that I graduated from in Minneapolis, Patrick Henry. He started teaching after I left, but we knew a lot of the same teachers.

Great headline on - "The Dalai Lama Has Some Advice For Tiger Woods" All I can think of is What, he told him to keep his head down and his shoulders aligned with the pin?