Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rhythms of The Night

A couple of weeks ago the Cowboy & I decided we wanted to do something special for our anniversary this year. As if just being in Puerto Vallarta isn’t enough!

You can click Puerto Vallarta Adventures to see why we were attracted to this “Unforgettable evening under the stars . . .”

DSCN0613

The Cowboy doesn’t look too sure about our new found friend, Rosie.

DSCN0612

Since we had arrived and checked in early (our ticket was number 1) we were the very first couple to board the large two decker tritoon.

DSCN0614

Here come the others behind us. Not sure how many there were but would guess about 200 passengers.

DSCN0617

And that’s how I roll!

Quoting straight from their brochure:

“Much of Mexico’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in the stories and folklore of civilizations past. Our Rhythms of the Night dance performance illustrates how ancient pre-Columbian religions and beliefs influenced the myths, legends, and cultures of Mexico.”

“Cruise across the bay, surrounded by spectacular views, until the flicker of torches guides us into the secluded cove of Las Caletas Beach Hideaway.”

DSCN0641

 

IMG_0428

The friendly and welcoming crew on the boat kept us entertained the whole trip and didn’t miss a beat – offering up trays of margaritas, beer and a wide assortment of drinks and appetizers.

 

DSCN0915

DSCN0640

“Haunting flutes and pulsating drums summon you along a torch-lit path to a pyramid set in the shadowy jungle. In a mystical amphitheater under a star-studded sky, witness Mexico’s mythological past come alive through the universal language of contemporary dance and music.”

DSCN0644

“With a beautiful view of the cove from your seaside table, enjoy a sumptuous and romantic candlelight dinner, with delectable offering fit for the gods. An open-bar with a wide selection of beverages and an attentive staff help make your dining experience a meal to remember.”

DSCN0651

There were several beautiful and bountiful buffet stations set up all along the beach each serving about 8 – 10 couples each so there was no waiting.

DSCN0654

DSCN0655

DSCN0656

The water was literally lapping at our feet on the rocks just below our table.

DSCN0658

DSCN0663

We both chose tiramisu with chocolate covered strawberries and flan for dessert. Yum!

DSCN0664

“Enjoy a return journey under the moon and stars with the beautiful lights of Vallarta as our beacon.”

DSCN0636

On the return trip we were treated to our own private performance by the crew’s version of KISS! It was excellent!

IMG_0402

We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the live performance in the amphitheater but it was INCREDIBLE! The lively music and acrobatics/dancing kept us totally captivated. Cirque de Soleil has nothing over this troupe. Amazing choreography and the outstanding costumes helped to pull this whole show together with a real ‘WOW” factor!

Needless to say, the whole evening was such a wonderful experience, one we’ll never forget. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this cruise to anyone. The cost was $119.00 each – but because we booked 2 other tours we did get a discount – or at least we think we did – and that’s what counts. Regardless, It was worth every penny!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Little Taste of Mexico

Well today marks our fourth week since arriving here in this truly amazing country of Mexico so it’s high time we started sharing some of our experiences and especially photos with our friends and family.

I’m not going to try to explain my absence in blogging for the last year . . . nor am I going to make any silly promises to do this on a regular basis.

It is what it is . . . We’ve taken tons of photos and this is just a sample of some of the sights we are enjoying. We hope you do too.

IMG_0222

Marina Vallarta

IMG_0224

Photos taken along the very famous Malecon . . . one of the most beautiful miles on Earth!

“Mexico's most beautiful boardwalk, Puerto Vallarta's El Malecon is a mile-long oceanfront boardwalk that follows the beach and main street in downtown Puerto Vallarta. El Malecon begins at Hotel Rosita - the first hotel built in Vallarta in the 1940s - and ends at a magnificent open-air theater called Los Arcos, or The Arches.”

IMG_0229

“Offering wonderful strolling, sightseeing and shopping experiences, where art, culture, and cuisine captivate your senses. On the city side of this legendary Puerto Vallarta boardwalk, Malecon is lined with trendy boutiques, shops, markets, cafés, bars and  wonderful restaurants that offer stunning views and sunsets over Banderas Bay. Watch the rolling surf from the wrought-iron benches, take pictures of the famous Dolphin and Seahorse sculptures, and relax in a café overlooking the sea.”

IMG_0230

 

IMG_0232

Strolling along The Malecon, heading to the top level of the building on the left – The Cheeky Monkey made popular not only by their great food but also The $1.00 margaritas and $1.00 beer – all day long!

IMG_0235

All of the food was excellent, generous portions served by very friendly & entertaining wait staff. I thoroughly enjoyed and shared my Coconut Shrimp and The Cowboy chose Shrimp Scampi which was also delicious.

IMG_0239

IMG_0241

 

IMG_0242

Our total bill (for 6) was under 1000 pesos which works out to about $70.00 USD – that included 12 margaritas and 4 or 5 beers and that was spread over about 3 hours.

 

IMG_0238

Great views of Banderas Bay. You can see one of the 3 cruise ships that were in that day.

IMG_0253

A section of the Malecon in late afternoon/early evening.

IMG_0255

IMG_0260

Breathtaking – as the sun slips beyond the horizon.

IMG_0262

IMG_0263

IMG_0266

IMG_0267

Spanish lesson for the day:

La lista de vinos – May I have the wine list?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

We’re Hallmarked out

On Christmas Eve we attended a wonderful candlelight service here in our park.

Of course the jolly fat man showed up for a visit.

DSCN0091

The sound of jingle bells announced his arrival with an extremely long ‘Naughty’ list.

DSCN0093A social time followed and was enjoyed by everyone. Of course there was more food . . . several decorated tables set up with wonderful snacks and desserts.

DSCN0096

 

We came away relaxed and it created the same feeling that comes with saying grace before a meal . . .

leaving us with a calm and peaceful feeling and allowing us to enjoy the upcoming day.

 

 

Then it was home for us to patiently wait for Santa to visit    our house.

We spent a nice quiet morning enjoying our coffees and opening our gifts. Some phone calls back and forth from our families made for an awesome Christmas morning.

One of The Cowboy’s gifts to me was a very pretty snowflake necklace (told you I liked the little presents). Now, I’m sure you’ve all heard enough of the jewelry stores ads like ‘He went to Jarrod’s’’ and many of the other overplayed advertising slogans.

Well, The Cowboy’s comment:

‘’Every kiss begins with Kays” . . . . K-Mart that is!

We had plans to meet up with some friends for an early dinner out. Everyone got to have their favourites and then we came back to our place for more visiting and digesting.

Below is a photo of some very stuffed turkeys friends.

DSCN0098

Bless them, but they don’t pay much attention to me anymore and they just kind of roll their eyes when I have my camera and ask them to at least look at the camera. 

Speaking of cameras . . . this is one of my (pre) Christmas gifts.

DSCN0018 

and I love it. I’m a Nikon fan and this one is so nice and compact.  It has 22X optical zoom and 18 megapixels. The 16 gb SD card that came with it will hold about 3,500 photos. Crazy!

I also have a medium size Panasonic Lumix that has taken a ton of  pictures over the past 6 years so it’s getting a little tired.

My Nikon

This is my Nikon D80 DSLR which I still really love but it’s so big and cumbersome to carry around. Plus I’ve just never taken the time to learn how to use half of the features on it.

 

The Cowboy gifted me with this a couple of years ago. It came with a wide angle and a zoom lens but I never seem to have the right one on when I need it. I’ve since added filters and a few other goodies but again, the camera usually stays in the ‘auto’ mode.

So today was a lazy day – sprinkling rain on and off and a bit cooler. Perfect weather for laying around watching more movies and specials.. Of course, it just wouldn’t be Christmas with Chevy Chase and Christmas Vacation – which is what we just finished watching while enjoying our dinner – BBQ’d ribs, seasoned potatoes with onions done on the grill and some baked beans.

Ahhh, what a life.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get out of my PJ’s.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It’s Christmas at Casa del Valle, Alamo, Texas

This is The Cowboy’s version of our Christmas Tree.

DSCN0024

This is what the dash of our motorhome looks like.

DSCN0032

Here’s a close up shot of our little tree.

DSCN0029-003

Little is fine with me since I especially love ‘little’ gifts.

Good Things Come to those who Bake.

DSCN0020

We have always loved shortbread cookies but I have to admit in my many years of baking that I had never attempted these. It just seemed all too intimidating to me so I’ve always left it up to someone/anyone else. I also have to admit that I spend a lot of time searching recipes and ideas on the internet.

All Recipes.com is one of my favourites although it’s a love/hate relationship. I love the site because of all the reviews. I also hate the site for the same reason. Anyway, I came across a recipe that seemed easy enough and I’m all about easy. Besides how can 427 cooks rating it 5 Stars be wrong? The picture above is part of the 4 dozen that the recipe yielded. I have already made a second batch since the first one was gone within 3 days. Just to let you know that I probably only had about 5 of them so I guess they were a hit with The Cowboy.

DSCN0078

These other little goodies are family favourites that I’ve made for years.

One is icing sugar, butter, shredded coconut & almond flavouring formed into a ball around a maraschino cherry then rolled in graham cracker crumbs.

The other is chocolate morsels, graham cracker crumbs and sweetened condensed milk. Again, made into a ball then rolled in coconut.

Here are a few shots around the park. Check out the size of that poinsettia.

DSCN0016

With these beautiful huge blooms.

DSCN0016-001

There was a lot of hootin’ and hollerin’ going on around here on Saturday as this parade of residents decorated their golf carts and really got in the Christmas Spirit.

First in the afternoon . . .

2013-12-23

Then again in the evening.

2013-12-231

They sure had a lot of fun and it was great fun for us too.

In closing . . . we want to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas.  It's not what's under the tree that matters, it's who's around it...

We hope you are all with the ones you love as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

And finally if you click here Our Christmas Card we’re pretty sure it will make you smile.

Love to All!