Posted by: vlbyers | November 30, 2010

2 week vacations, Thanksgiving and Saying Goodbye


Saying good-bye has always been difficult for me but after spending 2 fun-filled weeks with our beautiful daughter, son-in-law (he would dispute the beauty) and 2 granddaughters, that is what we had to do. With tears in our eyes we wished them a safe and quick trip back home to Seattle, where they will be greeted by their dog, 2 cats and a hamster and very cool weather. I hope they will have lots of good memories, as we do, of their visit here to what we fondly call ‘home’ these days.
First Day of Vacation: After a several hour delay we finally greeted them at the airport. Puerto Vallarta is such a large city but the airport still allows meeting of passengers fairly close to the gates-it was fun to see their smiling faces and talk about our plans/ideas for the next few weeks. We went directly to their hotel room and enjoyed the pool and hot tub for a relaxing first night. The first few days were spent in Puerto Vallarta, near downtown, at a their resort called Villa Palmar. They had a smallish room with little privacy but we took advantage of their proximity to downtown and initiated them to the bus system. Walking the Malecon we are always pleased to see the sights and we posed for lots of the regular shots, the sand sculptures, the stores and restaurants which line the beachfront and the statues. Sitting in some of the unusual sculptures brought our thoughts back to last year when we had our son Andrew with us and our first visit to Puerto Vallarta.
Larry and I had been at La Cruz in the anchorage but after 2 days of 1 ½ hour bus rides each way to meet up with them we decided to move the boat to Paradise Marina. Daphne spent a night with us and then sailed with us as we moved the boat to the marina. Their trip included a stay at 2 different resorts due to some scheduling difficulties and the cost of the plane tickets, the second one was the Mayan Palace in Nuevo Vallarta. After the move from one resort to the other, we spent the rest of the day and the next enjoying the pool and the beach adjacent. We would also be spending a week at the same resort but were able to also join them at the pool for several days of relaxing play in the water. After they had been here a week someone asked us what we had been doing and all we could say was we went into Puerto Vallarta-Jeff got his wish of plenty of pool time.

Hair Braiding


Daphne and Addison on Croc


Pool time with Jeff and Addison

One of our first big trips was to Boca de Tomatlan to go on a zipline tour. Larry, Andrew and I had gone last year and felt it was worth doing again and taking the kids too. The trip started in Nuevo Vallarta and began with a ride on a high-speed inflatable to Boca de Tomatlan where we got on a jeep to go to where we would catch the ‘mules’ to complete our trip up the mountain where we would start the zipline. I think there are 12 ziplines in total including 2 rapels down the waterfalls and, at no extra cost, a dunking in the refreshing water at the base of the waterfalls. I think just the trip in the boat, the jeeps and the mules make it an

Addison and Grandma Vicki in wave pool


exciting adventure. Daphne, who is 10, was just a little apprehensive at the first zipline but after she completed that one like a pro, she didn’t hesitate with any of the others. It was a full day of fun enjoyed by all, even Addison, who we left with a babysitter, had some adventures of her own taking a couple turns around the resort in her stroller.
The next day was thanksgiving and at Philos bar the traditional Thanksgiving potluck feast was being prepared and we decided to attend. We took the boat and sailed to La Cruz, then took the dinghy to the dock and strolled around the towns of La Cruz and Bucerias. In Bucerias we stopped at the Twisted Rose to say hi to Andrew’s former co-workers. They were happy to meet more of Andrew’s family and made us promise to bring Andrew back soon. Early lunch at one of the local restaurants on the beach and browsing through the stalls at the market and then the bus ride back to La Cruz meant we would have healthy appetites for the pot-luck. Our friends Henry and JJ from Rapscullion saved us a big table and visited with us during dinner.

Lauren, Vicki, Daphne, Addison, Jeff and Larry


Philo and the band provided some great music for dinner and dancing and to top it off we got in the dinghy to go back to the boat at the end of the night. Unfortunately we hadn’t checked the tides and our plan to sail(motor) back to Paradise had to be changed since there was to be a minus tide. Since we have 6 ft under our boat and the channel to Paradise

Don't be jealous Johnny


often gives us one foot of water under the keel, the decision to put the kids on a bus back to their hotel and for us to stay on the boat and bring it back in the morning when the tide was higher was made. So back in the dinghy they all went, minus the stroller which we would bring the next day, and off they went to Nuevo Vallarta. Larry and I got to spend a night on the boat being rocked to sleep in one of our favorite anchorages.
After the excitement of the past two days we had to recuperate by getting some pool time, by the time we caught up to them at the pool they had already enjoyed one happy hour. It is difficult to actually rest and relax by a pool with a ten-year old, Daphne begged for us to play in the water in some form or another, as long as it was rambunctious she was happy. There was lots of splashing, dunking and general enjoyment of the pool and the sunshine. Thankfully there are 4 adults to her 1 and we could take turns getting worn out. The joke was we would need two weeks to recover from their 2 week vacation.

Our next adventure was going to the Zoo at Mismaloya. We took the 3 buses needed to get to our destination, which takes time in itself. We had hoped to combine the Zoo with a trip to Yelapa in the same day but enjoyed our selves at the Zoo so much that stopping for lunch at a typical Mexican restaurant, a trip to the beach at Mismaloya and a walk around the bay at dusk was all the time we had. The Zoo was a hit with all us kids. Larry and I had been to the zoo before but enjoyed it even more sharing it with our family and seeing their shrieks of surprise made us laugh out loud many times. Daphne could have spent the entire day at every cage, she so loves all animals we had to drag her from one cage to another. Her favorites were the monkeys and petting the baby lion, Lauren even petted the baby leopard. Addison quickly learned that when we put a carrot in her hand it wasn’t her who was going to eat it and pulled her hand back quickly when we tried to have her feed the suspicious looking beasts.

We shared with them for nearly 2 weeks about 2 of our favorite and not to be missed places, Yelapa and Sayulita, and now with one day left, they had to decide between the two. Having a 10 month old baby means spending time at the pool is easier than the sandy beach so we had spent only a few hours on the beach the whole time they were here. Lauren has had a ‘lifelong’ dream to learn to surf, (she just shared this with us), so Sayulata won out over Yelapa. Larry wasn’t feeling well in the morning so decided to stay at the boat for a few hours, I left to meet the kids at our pre-arranged place in Bucerias. Thinking I had given good directions to them, I began to worry after I had been waiting for over an hour, I was actually on time which would surprise many of you. We ended up meeting almost 2 hours after we planned, they had gotten a late start, forgotten to take the bus to Wal-Mart first so after spending 20 minutes trying to hail busses which zoomed by going to Bucerias, a cab driver let them know they had to go to Wal-Mart to pick up the bus. By this time I was sure something had gone wrong and since I had left my phone with Larry they had no way to contact me. I was not going to go to Sayulita without them nor was I going to go back without at least trying to contact them. I figured I would send an e-mail to Larry, if they tried to contact him he would see my message and be able to tell me what had happened, least of all he would know I was still in Bucerias and would tell them to meet me there.
Our trip to Sayulita was well worth the confusion at the start of the day. Once we were all together the remaining bus ride was without complications and there are very little stops so it goes by quickly. Having been to Sayulita only one time, I had forgotten how very pretty the whole town was, our first steps walking down the street towards the beach made all of us realize we would really enjoy our trip here. The main bridge over the river was washed out but a foot bridge will get you to the other side and to the beach, which is where we headed. Patricia greeted us as we came up to her surf shop and restaurant and told us the scoop on the umbrellas, chairs, beers, and surf rentals and instruction. We walked down to the water to survey the area and decided Patricia had the best deal. The waiter grabbed us an umbrella and some chairs and a bucket of beer. We all changed into our bathing suits and made ourselves comfortable on the chairs. Lauren proceeded to take her ‘land’ instruction for surfing and then went to the waves for the water part. Clouds made it cooler than we would have liked it to be but Daphne and I were not going to miss Lauren’s first attempt at surfing so we braved the cool water. She must have been a surfer in another life cause she was up in only 2 tries, her instructor stayed with her for an hour giving her tips and helping her watch for the perfect wave. After she was done with the instruction she had the board to use for the rest of the day, the instructor told her she was ready for the ‘intermediate’ area of the beach, but she was ready for some food and Ibuprofen since she had a bit of a headache. After some rest and liquids she hit the surf again and Daphne even got on the board for a few waves.
Larry had joined us at the beach, having recovered slightly, and we all took advantage of the shower after playing in the sand and the surf all day. Addison even played in the waves, after getting over the shock of having sand on her hands when she tried to crawl, it was easy to keep her contained on the blanket after that. We picked a restaurant which had Snapper featured as the catch of the day and all enjoyed great food for our last meal together. Unfortunately Jeff was disappointed that the Churro guy had just closed up shop and had to ‘settle’ for some dessert crepes from the lady down the street. If anyone knows what ‘sopapillas’ are or where they come from please let me know. Jeff was eager to have a sopapilla on this trip but we asked every pastry shop we came upon and no one knew what it was, we are convinced that it is actually an American invention.
We made it to the bus stop in time for the last bus out of town, Addison, Daphne and Lauren all snoozed on the way home when the ride was smooth enough, Larry and I got off a little sooner than we should have so instead of waiting the 40 minutes for the next bus opted to take the taxi. I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to brush my teeth and hop into my jammies before I was out. We all crashed the moment we got to our beds, it was a good day.
We’ve been back on the boat several days and this morning we listened to the cruisers net, took our showers and made a few calls before heading out to meet the kids for some last-minute shopping before their plane took off. We went to the downtown area and the river Cualle where presents for family were bought. I found a windchime for the boat which I have been looking for since we bought this boat. Our friend Tom had one on his boat and when we would go sailing the movement of the boat would make the chimes tinkle just lightly, so I have been looking for one similar to his. Now when I hear our chimes I will be reminded of the great times we had with our kids and grandkids, what blessings we have.
So after 2 weeks of swimming, sailing, Uno games, floating down the river, walking, lazing in the sun, shopping, running down the beach, fast boat rides, finding turtles laying eggs on the beach, hair braiding, games of Mexican train and volleyball, peek-a-boo with Addison, seeing dolphins, making dinner on the boat and in the hotel, eating out, Thanksgiving and dancing, great Margaritas and some not so great, dinghy riding, surfing, collecting rocks, learning some Spanish, meeting new friends, yoga on the beach, warm days and starlit nights, crazy bus and taxi rides, slide rides and wave pools, ziplines, pedicures and massages, feeding zoo animals, wild mule rides, Starbucks and ice cream bars, repelling down waterfalls, no-see-ums, lots of sun screen, chasing waves, holding lions and leopards, reading by the pool, breakfast buffets, talking, laughing and sharing and so much more I have forgotten, we now return to our work and life of cruising, what is that?
Having visitors means neglecting things normally done to have fun, so for the past two weeks we put off things we need to do. The boat will be hauled on Thursday, if we can arrange it, to make the repairs to the keel from the grounding of several weeks ago, hopefully it won’t take long to dry out before we make the repair. The list making is beginning as we have plans to start sailing south once the repairs and projects are done. There is varnishing to do, a ‘skirt’ for the cockpit to be made, repair to the clip on the life line, navigation software to update and organize and investigation to the radar operation is needed. Our trip south is going to be done with some friends on a power boat and we haven’t been able to get together with them since they returned to PV. Plans for our departure from the bay need to be firmed up with them, as firm as cruising plans get that is.

Although we will miss our family, we made a deal to have great adventures which we can share with each other the next time we are together. Jeff was ready to get home, Lauren could have stayed for another 2 weeks and said ‘this was the best family vacation yet’ and my granddaughter Daphne now understands a little more of Mexico and the people and says ‘I could live here for a year’.
See you in the boatyard, Vicki


Responses

  1. Vicki – Sounds just awesome. I can’t believe it’s over and we haven’t been able to meet them all. The kids are both adorable and Danielle especially will need to meet Daphne another time. We are still suck in Mazatlan – boat parts, service etc. We now don’t think we’ll get out of here until Sunday which means we cannot stop in PV as we have to be in Huatulco in less than 3 weeks! Yikes. We’ll keep you posted as we go.
    Missing you and Lare loads. Love, B.


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