December 25, 2009

Puerta Vallarta, Mexico

While it probably doesn't really qualify as a "real" travel trip, Z-mama and I are now in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico - my first time ever to Mexico. Yes, I also scratched my head when I realized that I hadn't yet set foot south of the US border - not even Tijuana!

This touristy, beach town is hardly taxing. Everyone speaks English and the Gringos probably outnumber the locals. In fact, tonight we had dinner at Joe Jack's Fish Shack, which is owned and operated by the same guy who ran Luna Park and Supper Club, two San Francisco restaurants a stone's throw from the Noe House. So far, we have run into a number of US citizens as well as a large population of sun-drenched, leathery-skinned French Canadians. Funny enough, the enterprising locals haven't yet put poutine on the menu.

While many tourists end up staying at one of mega all-inclusive resorts, we opted instead to find a condo in the Old Town. We rented a delightful 1200 sq ft condo (which we found using that sits at the top of a steep cobblestone road in the "romantic zone." We have local families as our neighbors and, today being Christmas, they were out in the streets in full force. A few had even hung up Santa Claus or Snowman Pinatas. One of our neighbors owns a powerful stereo system and he generously cranked up the mariachi music for the block, most of whom had started drinking Coronas by noon. Around 7pm they started to set off their fireworks and at 9pm they rolled out the ATVs.

The view from our outdoor balcony (which includes our own pool) is spectacular, and we expect to enjoy our morning coffee while admiring the ocean and the mountains. So far, so good.