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Day 16 - Puerto Vallarta

Written on: Sunday April 2nd, 2006

A journal entry from: Mexico 2006


This morning, we slept in late and lazed about in our room till late in the morning. We didn`t really have anything planned for the day other than to visit the streets of Puerto Vallarta and to discover it`s little secret gems.

We headed out towards the Malecon which is the main drag in Puerto Vallarta which follows the oceanfront in Old Town toward the Romantic Zone. We stopped at a franchise restaurant called Calirfornia for brunch. Kevin had the lunch buffet and I had the hotcakes. The restaurant had the same feel as Denny`s, quick and hot food in a dinner-feel environment.

Once we were satiated and had energy for the day, we spent the day walking around, going from shop to shop, neighborhood to neighborhood enjoying the relaxed vibe of Puerta Vallarta. The city is built along one of the largest bays in the world and is surrounded by the Sierra Madres mountains to create a spetacular landscape. The tourist district is located along the boardwalk and waterfront with the Zona Romantica in the south, the Old Town in the middle and the Hotel Zone in the north. About 20 minutes away from the city is Nueva Vallarta where most of the all-inclusive hotels are located, including the Paradise Beach Village where we went yesterday.

One of the first things you notice about Puerto Vallarta is the art. The city is immersed in art, with public statues along the Malecon, paint galleries, Huachol art by the local natives, pottery and glassware, etc. The second thing you notice is the mountains that surround the city and how it is built along it`s steep side. We walk for a few hours along the streets at the top, admiring the view and the engineering involved in attaching the building to the hills.

We didn`t buy anything today, but we did visit many, many stores and took stock of who had what and the starting prices. We will return on our last day to buy the things that we want. If we were to move to Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is a great place to stock up on everything we would need to give our place a confortable and authenticate feeling. Luckily for us, we only brought one small carry-on bag so we`ll have space and an excuse to bring some stoneware and glassware back with us.

In evening, we stopped at the most touristy of restaurants in Mexico: Carlos O`Brian`s. It is the parent flagship restaurant of the Senor Frog franchise that is everywhere in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta. It is similar to a Hard Rock cafe with a mascot and store selling various items with it`s namebrand and mascot emblazoned: keychains, clothing, drinking mugs, frisbees, etc. I wasn`t really interested in stopping in, but Kevin wanted a beer and to chill out listening to the music they were playing. I ordered an orange cocktail drink that came in a huge plastic glass shaped like a horn and the length of a yard. It took me forever to finish it. We ended up eating supper there, it had taken so long for me to finish my meal that by then we were hungry. I ordered the Coconut Shrimp and Kev got the Aztec Stew (Molcajete Azteca) which came in a large, extremely hot lava stone pot. It was pretty neat to see!

We returned to our room at about 9 PM, 10 hours after we had left in the morning. We were really tired and fell asleep quickly.