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Puerto Vallarta

Author: Jane Davis
Date of Trip: February 2008

My trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in February was WONDERFUL!!! I left a cold, gray, Ohio day, my fingers clasping a cup of hot tea to keep warm, and arrived in the land of palms, sunshine, and pleasant 75-80 degree weather. My American Airlines Flight was on time and at the airport I changed a little money to tide me over until I could get to the bank, which has a better exchange rate. As I waited for the taxi, the sights of the Sierra Madre mountains, the lush green foliage and bright rose bougainvillea flowers, as well as the smells of roasting chicken and tortillas lifted my spirits further. Although there are many lovely beachfront hotels such as the Sheraton, Westin, Holiday Inn and others, I stayed with my sister and her husband who live in a condo on the beach. We have a family reunion of sorts in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, every year when my brother and his wife join us there.

The taxi driver was friendly and knew enough English to make me feel comfortable. And I know a few words in Spanish. As we traveled along, I could see the emerald and turquoise water and the inviting sandy beaches. I felt I had ARRIVED!!

We enjoyed each other’s company for awhile while relaxing to the sights and sounds of the ocean. Many times whales can be seen either breaching or blowing out water as the Bay of Banderas is where the females come to calve in the winter. So visitors to Puerto Vallarta can participate in activities such as whale watching, sport fishing, horseback riding, snorkeling, canopy tours, etc.

Our family walked to the Girasoles del Sur restaurant for our dinner. We sat under a thatched roof restaurant decorated with little white Christmas lights open to the ocean and ordered our first margaritas made with fresh limes. We were served pico de gallo with chips. Pico de gallo is something I haven’t seen in the USA. It is a fresh salsa made with finely chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro and jalepeno peppers. It is the best! I had my usual garlic fish and my brother his whole red snapper while the rest of the family chose non seafood dishes. Everything was very fresh, especially the fish and vegetables. There are many fine restaurants in Puerto Vallarta from the very expensive such as Le Kliff or Cafe des Artists, to the more moderate such as Pippi’s, the Gilmar, or Joe Jacks Fish Shack.

After a good nights’ sleep and a leisurely breakfast, my sister in law and I headed to the beach at around 11:00 am to read our books and work on our tan. We looked forward to the activities ahead of us in the week including my brother’s favorite, sport fishing. As it turned out we had a good fishing day and each of us caught around a 30 lb. Jack Caravelle fish. Every Wednesday evening there is the Artwalk which is one of my favorites. On the artwalk you walk to different galleries which host the paintings of many well known local and international artists and many of the artists are there to talk with as you sip wine.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is a great place, and I would highly recommend it as a place to visit during the winter months in the USA.

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