Back home after a sunny, warm week in Puerto Vallarta – a five and a half hour bus ride for us, first through the scuzzy, graffiti’d outskirts of Guadalajara, then on through the agave fields of Jalisco (with a nod to Puccini and Fanciulla del West, Tequila per Tutti!) and then descending through the jungles of Nayarit to the coast. A lot of people say they get a bit of motion sickness on the bus and I can see why! The last (or first) part of it as you go through the mountains is pretty intense. But Aeromexico wanted eight hundred bucks for Arnold and me to fly (a lot of dough for a forty-minute flight!) and with our Mexican “senior discount” cards the bus price was about twenty bucks each way! We said we’d take the bus and save our money for playing once we got there. The tickets have a place on them where it says what class of passenger you are (adult, child, etc) and ours said “Senectud” since we’d purchased them with our “third age” cards – I thought the implication of senility about described it.
Anyway it was a lot of fun spending time with my sister Wendy, who met us there after a couple of grueling weeks’ work back in the States. We all were ready to decompress from various and sundry stressful things in our lives, most notably the ongoing and agonizingly slow decline of our mother, who is now blind, incontinent, and permanently bedridden. More on all that in another post I am sure, but the big news of the day in Puerto Vallarta was that 22 tourists on a bus tour had been robbed at gunpoint and all of a sudden now even Puerto Vallarta is on the list of places it’s not safe for Americans to visit. So the poor Mexican economy will take it on the chin again, we are afraid. We feel perfectly safe there, as do lots of other people. Everyone says tourism is down but we sure saw a lot of people wandering along the malecon by the sea, shopping bags in hand. And at the resort where we stayed (we go every year), admittedly we didn’t see the numbers of folks that we have seen before all the cartel stuff started, but there were enough people in town so that one wanted reservations for dinner at the favorite places. Interestingly, this year we saw many more Mexicans vacationing there with their families than before. They say that’s who’s buying up real estate here around Lake Chapala, too….not retiring expats as everyone had expected a few years ago, but Mexicans. Some of them escaping the horrific stress of the northern cities, but some of them just wanting a nice “casa de campo” by the water in our pretty village.
The three of us enjoyed the beautiful weather and the warm pool and being waited on hand and fist and then came back here to discover that spring is springing here, too. No horrid crimes in any of the newspapers (except even our local weekly reported on the robbery in Puerto Vallarta, of course) so a bit of reprieve from the ongoing tension there. The jacaranda trees along the carretera are coming out in brilliant purple and this evening Arnold invited me to sit out with him on our terrace for awhile – the first time it’s been warm enough in the evenings to do that since – well, last fall. The white roses in our garden look stunning, almost illuminated from within, in the twilight, and the hummingbirds are definitely coming back already. The kitties and Reina the Purebred Mexican Street Dog were happy to have us home and there was much purring, licking and tail-wagging and such.
Now, back to reality, alas! We can remind ourselves of how terrible PV was by watching the attached video of the view from our balcony. Can’t wait till we get to go back!