Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami Update

As many of you probably know, the tsunami seemed to miss Puerto Vallarta entirely.  Still, that didn't stop a bunch of us from grabbing our money and passports and heading to higher ground for brunch and cocktails.  Hey, better safe than sorry.

We decided to go to Lindo Mar for our brunch because they do serve a nice one.  On weekends they have a great Mexican buffet, but they have nice breakfasts and lunches off the regular menu as well.

Lindo Mar

The entrance to Lindo Mar is right off Highway 200 which, for the longest time, I mistakenly thought was part of the Pan-American Highway system.  It does go to Acapulco, though.  But the entrance is about seven floors above the restaurant.  Oh well, we were safe for awhile.

Our Good Luck Greeters

We did have a good view of the ocean so we figured we could just run like hell if we saw something coming.

Holler If You See A Big Wave

They tsunami, if it was going to hit, was forecast for 12:30 PM and the maximum height wave was reduced from 3 meters to 1 meter so we had plenty of time to eat and weren't too worried.  The authorities did close down the beaches, though, and a helicopter flew by periodically to make sure the closures were being enforced.  Still, some people just didn't seem to get the message.

Our Early Warning System

I guess that if you put your beach chairs right in the water you aren't technically on the beach.

And Here Is Our Happy Group

After our lovely breakfast it was still only about 11:30 AM so we decided to head next door to El Set, a bar on higher ground, to wait out the event.

The Nearby El Set

It didn't take us too long to settle in and start doing some serious drinking.

Preparing For The Worst

Bill was taking the picture and my head is kind of blocking out Steve.

Here Is Steve With Dave And Allison

Bill is still missing, but he usually makes a funny face when you try to take his picture anyway, so forget him.

You are probably familiar with most of the people in my photos by now, but Dave and Carol are new to the group.  The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I met them on our cruise from Berlin to Prague last year so if they look vaguely familiar, that is why.  We hit it off really well (We bonded over the Silver Drink Plan) and invited them to join us down here in Puerto Vallarta  Happily for everyone they accepted.

Carol And Dave

You will be seeing more of them in posts when I start backtracking a bit, but I thought I should jump ahead to keep you posted on the tsunami thing.

And, of course, the Mysterious Chinese Woman gets a bit petulant if I don't include at least one picture of here, preferably with a drink.

Are You Happy Now?

Around 1:00 PM we figured the worst was over and headed on home. There were still beach warnings until 6:00 PM and there weren't any beach chairs or umbrellas out and just a few vendors plying their trade. We were planning on having some whole red snappers on a stick for a late lunch, but such was not to be. The fish lady was still preparing small pieces of mahi mahi and shrimp on sticks so the vendors could have something to sell, but wasn't prepared to commit the time to doing a whole fish in case a quick "run away" was necessary.

Today is a beautiful day, sunny and warm like usual, and the fish lady said she would have the fish for us this afternoon. My friends Rico and Sandy are due to arrive shortly so I am about to start preparing my traditional WFMs (Welcome Frozen Margaritas) for them. Carol and Dave are leaving tomorrow so they will be getting their PFLPDMs (Preparing For Long Pants Day Margaritas).

Now, I certainly don't intend this post to make light of the terrible situation in Japan, an earthquake, a tsunami and nuclear meltdowns. Really, can Godzilla be far behind? But there isn't much one can do from here except wish them the best as they recover from a truly horrific disaster. Our thoughts go out to them.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Waring

We've got a tsunami warning here in Puerto Vallarta, as does just about everyplace on the west coast of North America.  I think it is supposed to hit a bit past noon.  We are going to do the only sensible thing, go out for a late lunch and breakfast at a place a bit up the mountain.  I will post more later but for now we are busy gathering up our money, passports, getting ready to head out,

And Saying Goodbyes To Loved Ones

I don't think it will be too bad here, the fish ladies are setting up out on the beach and we are planning on having fish-on-a-stick later this afternoon.  A tsunami warning has been issued, though, and three meter waves are a possibility.

Stay tuned for an update on what happened.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A New Bar In Town

Falling behind in my blogging, I know.  Just too much stuff going on.  But before I get started on a new bar in town, let me at least give you a quick glimpse of our leftover pool-deck party.

Pretty Much The Stuff Leftover From Boca

Oh, it was supplemented by other leftovers that had accumulated in the backs of people's refrigerators, so we did have plenty.

Checking It All Out

Sharon kind of looked it over too, but she wasn't sure about eating anything that had been cooked on the beach and then hauled back to town on a bus.

I Think, No, I Definitely Will Pass

Bill appears to actually be eating something that is green.  Knowing how he feels about vegetables I am guessing that this must be an old meat taco or something.

Green, But Good

Okay, enough about leftovers.  I think I posted a picture of a new Irish bar here in turn, Murphy's Irish Pub.  Bill, Marcie, the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I decided to check it out.  It is a bit of a walk, but Puerto Vallarta is a nice town to walk around in.  Except for the high curbs, cobblestone streets, cracked sidewalks and various wires strategically place to garrote the unwary.

When we got there it wasn't open yet so we ended up going next door to have a beer or two while we waited.

A Combo Bar 

Actually, it is a cafe with a name I couldn't quite make out.  Something like El Bife Cafe which I hope does not mean what it would sound like, The Biffy Cafe.  The bar was called Black And Red and featured beer, drinks and shots.  It looked like it could get rocking at night because it did have a little stage for live music.

C'mon Up, The Beer's Fine

We had the place pretty much to ourselves so we parked ourselves by the window where we could overlook the native population.

Native What? I Don't Know

A  Brew, A Lovely View, And You

There was going to be some kind of festival or something on the malecon later in the evening so they had the main drag through town blocked off and, as you can imagine, this resulted in quite a traffic jam.

But, Strangely, No Horn Blowing

A traffic jam like this in New York would have resulted in a cacophonous outburst of horns.  I never have understood that.  Like the guys at the front of the jam are just sitting there waiting for someone to blow their horn before they move?  I think not.

We finished up our beers and then headed on down to our primary destination.

The First Step Is A Doozie

Murphy's Irish Pub is another upstairs bar so again with the long climb.

You Do Work Up A Thirst

Murphy's Irish Pub has only been open a short time.  Seventeen days, I believe the bartender said, and they were still putting the finishing touches on the place.  It is kind of a family affair and the bartender's father or the bartender's husband's father was here helping set the place up.

It is a nice looking bar and I certainly wish them well.  This is the first place that I have ever been able to get a Guinness Stout here in Puerto Vallarta.  Granted, they didn't have it on draft, but they did have it.

Getting Stout Here In Mexico With Lauren

 I have a feeling this is where our crew may be going for St. Patrick's day now that Sweeny's is no more, so I will back fill it then.

And Another Table With A View

To avoid the rush I picked up my St. Patrick's day shirt early.  Or, at least, the shirt I will be wearing on St. Patrick's day.

All Ready For The Big Day

As we headed on home I asked a couple of friendly looking policemen what the event was that was causing the traffic jam.  They laughingly slapped me around a bit, cuffed me and then threw me in the back of their pickup truck.

Just A Couple Of Friendly Guys

Well, they really were friendly, but they did put the cuffs on me for a photo opportunity.

We are just about to head out to Pipi again with a somewhat different cast of characters, and I still have a backlog of photos to post from some of our other adventures, so be sure to stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

We Love A Parade

As I mentioned, last Saturday was Puerto Vallarta's answer to the various Mardi Gras and Carnival parades that are traditionally held just before Lent.  Now I am sure almost everyone knows that Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, so called because it is the last day to whoop it up before Lent.  But did you know that Carnival comes from the Latin carnevale or carnelevale which actually means "the putting away of meat"?  That's right, from the Latin caro or carnis which means flesh and levare which means to take away.

So kids, when your mother tells you that you shouldn't be wasting your time reading this trashy blog, just tell her how much you learn from reading it.  And really, how many kids your age know that a perfect Manhattan has both sweet and dry Vermouth in it and when they say it should be made with rye whiskey they are really talking about Canadian whiskey that is called rye in Canada.  Hey, that kind of information is worthy of show-and-tell.  Particularly if you can get the ingredients into your classroom.

As you can imagine the streets and bars lining the parade route here were pretty well packed up.  A bunch of us did spot an empty, albeit small, bar that looked unoccupied at Bistro Balsamar.  The restaurant was full, but the small bar tucked away in one corner was unoccupied.  Only two seats really provided a good view of the parade, but by planting our butts in them we could commandeer the whole corner and squeeze people in.

Just Me In My Corner, With Marge Right Behind

More Of Our Crew, Behind Marge Are Wayne And Paul

Valerie And Dave Added To The Mix

Sharon And The Mysterious Chinese Woman

It took us awhile to get our first round of drinks, but that was understandable.  The place was packed and everyone was settling in for dinner.  Once the dinner serving stopped we had no trouble getting service and having our drinks replenished.

And now, without further ado, or commentary, I present you the parade.  Or at least the parts of it that I was able to photograph.

If you are wondering why the parade seems to be running in two directions, it is because it took a bit of  a loopy route and then returned down the same street again.  Hey, a twofer.

New friends came to visit, Dave and Carol, so stay tuned for more exciting (well, exciting for us old retired folks) stuff.