i started out by trying to write a day-by-day narrative of puerto vallarta. that gets difficult to write, though, and would most likely be boring for you, my dear readers. instead, i’ll just give a few bullet points:
1. the biggest differences between PV and other tropical places i’ve been is that the streets are clean, and there are no herds of stray dogs roaming the streets. also, the tourism board must be doing a pretty good job of hiding the poverty. i’m sure there are shacks and beggars somewhere, but we couldn’t find them.
2. the one thing i had been warned about was aggressive time share salesmen. neftali got us, though. he convinced megan, alice and i to check out the “grand mayan palace” for a free breakfast and a half-price snorkeling/horseback riding tour. he was probably the only person in the whole town who could get the three of us to sign up (he wasn’t very aggressive, and made the tour sound pretty cool.), but while we were working it out, megan and i looked up to see his sidekick sticking one of alice’s dreads in his mouth. i think he had a little too much tequila.
3. the time share presentation itself was, um, interesting. the 90 minutes turned into 3 hours, but at least the breakfast was good. the resort was beautiful as resorts go, but i have a little bit of moral problem with the hotel tearing out everything and replacing it every 5 years. anyway, our salesman was trevor, an american who is a few years older than me. he came to PV on vacation with his mother when he was nine, and they had dinner at a seafood restaurant. his mom ended up marrying the owner, and it became the vacation that never ended. anyway, he did tell us about a good place to go salsa dancing.
4. snorkeling is awesome. horseback rides up a mountain are anticlimatic. boat rides to get to the mountain are a lot of fun, especially when arturo keeps bringing more coronitas.
5. watching sunsets on the beach make me feel like i’m in a movie. of course, it was rainy season, so we didn’t get to see the sunset every night. but rainy season is much better than indian monsoons – it rains about the same time every evening, and was bright and beautiful the next morning. some nights we went out in the rain, and one or two nights we succumed to the “law and order” marathons on tnt.
6. there were probably more mexican tourists than americans in PV right now. it’s always a good sign to me when nationals have the same destination i do.
7. alice and megan got their first tatoos from a guy named pinky. not to fear, though – you can always trust a tatoo artist who shows you the autoclaved needles in their packages and keeps pictures of his kids on the wall.
8. i really, really want to become at least literate in the language of salsa and merengue. daniel did promise me dance lessons when we got married…
9. ultimately, PV is a place i would love to go back to. usually, tourists spots don’t hold my attention that long, but i did find myself scheming ways to bring daniel back and live on the beach for the rest of our lives…