December 10, 2004

Still in Puerto Vallarta

Wow. Time is flying by. Sorry there haven't been as many messages recently.

All is well here and we are fine and having a great time.

We're into our second week of Spanish lessons. We're taking a class for cruisers that meets twice a week on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. The class is geared to phrases we would actually use here.

Last weekend we went to the north of Banderas Bay (which is the Bay we are in) and anchored off a nice little village, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. That was very peaceful. We ran into some folks we had met in San Diego. I expect this will continue to happen, where we crisscross paths with many of the same people.

The feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe is this month. So in Puerto Vallarta, every night, something is going on: ballet, parades, dances, food and drink.

Last night a famous Mariachi band from Guadalajara played at at the amphitheater on the beach. When they played at the Sheraton hotel the day before, it cost $100/each to hear them. The public concert was free. They were fantastic! Rather than deal with the crowd, we noticed that the restaurant right across the street had empty tables 1 story above the amphitheater and was open to and facing the concert, so we went and had some drinks and snacks. No bad, a balcony seat with waitress service for a great free concert

The evening was great. The square, the church and all of down town was crowed with local and tourists. There was a parade with Aztec dancers etc. There were some excellent singers and then the Mariachi band played. We were told that they were the best Mariachi band in Mexico. They certainly sounded great!

Besides all the people out, there were stands set up with food and drinks. So we were trying an wide assortment of foods.

Note, the entire time we've been down here, we've eaten at street stands, festivals, etc. With NO ill effects.

It was very festive. we hope to go into town tomorrow night too.

A few nights ago five of us went to Las Carmelitas, a restaurant high up (1500 feet) on the mountains behind Puerto Vallarta to watch the sunset and have dinner. We had a great time good food, good company and awesome view.

Also yesterday, Mary went to the beach which is only a matter of feet away and got a lesson in buggy boarding from our friends Bruce and Nora. They have been doing this everyday. They have the boards at the beach for the hotel/marina guests to use. The place is quite large. There are four swimming pools that we've found, complete with waiters to bring drinks or food. Is this too decadent? Plus there is a spa, several restaurants, disco (we haven't gone there yet), a zoo with tigers etc, great beach, and then the hotel naturally and a nearby shopping center with a grocery store and Laundromat, other stores and restaurants.

In the past few weeks, we went on a hike to a waterfall, a walk through the jungle, snorkeling at Los Arcos (a nearby popular spot) and lot's more.

We've also got a lot of chores done on the boat but we have a few more to accomplish before we head south down the coast.

We're a little behind at getting our web site updated but will do that with some of our Puerto Vallarta pictures before we head south.

Warmest regards to all for a happy holidays!

Mary and Bill

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