Puerto Vallarta – Mother’s Day 2015

To begin, I embarrassingly showed my American roots by constantly mispronouncing Puerto Vallarta. But I think I have it down now. The “Vie” vs “Vay” thing completely threw me off. Oddly  enough, not one person corrected me. Neither did they give me any crazy looks (to my face). I noticed everyone was saying it differently, so I asked someone how to pronounce it. They kindly said it for me, and I awkwardly repeated it back a few times, before I got it right.

So the trip started out with the lovely flight delayed text. Yay!!! Happy Mother’s Day to me! Still determined to have a fabulous time,  I didn’t let it ruin my spirits. We finally got on our flight. Smooth sailing. Touch down in PV…  I spot my bag, already sitting out by the carousel. PARTY  TIME!!!! My travel companion (we’ll call him TC for short) looked around to find his bag, and *gasp* the bag wasn’t there. Come to find out the bag was left in Houston. Bummer… for  him (although I truly did feel bad). Lost bags have got to suck majorly. United gave us a fancy bag full of goodies *note extreme sarcasm.* We navigate our way through some relentless time share people, and arrive at my chariot (I say mine, because I booked it, and my name was on this sign 🙂 ) Ahhh.. living the life.

My personal chariot
I admit… I felt like a VIP!!!

We navigate our way through downtown Vallarta and onto the small city of  Mismaloya. We arrive at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta , and it is everything that it appeared to be in the pictures! Gorgeous. Sexy. Fabulous. My kinda place! When we walk through the doors, we are greeted with welcome mocktails that were absolutely delicious. We debated on whether we should upgrade to the premium package. The front desk man gave us the opportunity to look at both the regular room, and the upgraded room. We were immediately sold on the views from the upgraded room.

Views from the room

We check in, put down our bags (or I put mine down), and head to check out the food selection. The Taco Bar was to DIE for. I ate there pretty much every day, at least once. Al Pastor tacos were my favorite. Paired my tacos with a Virgin Colada, and I was set. Finished up lunch, and headed to the beach. Apparently no one was too fond of the beach, because we had it to ourselves pretty much the whole 5 days we were there. Perfect. I don’t like a bunch of people around me anyway. We hung out at the beach, did the obligatory beach photo shoot, and turned in for the evening.

Tacos from the Taco Bar
Tacos from the Taco Bar

The next day we headed out to Puerto Vallarta Zoo. We chose to walk, and the walk takes  you through the city of Mismaloya. Lots of random dogs and horses wandering around. We saw a rooster, and the locals greeted us with a smile. The zoo itself was seriously one of the most amazing experiences ever! I’m an obsessive review reader, so I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to love it or hate it. LOVE! It was huge, there were tons of animals. They give you a bag of food (actually, you purchase a bag of food), and you are able to feed all kinds of animals – from giraffes, to ducks, to monkeys, to camels, etc etc etc. I got to hold some baby animals- a lion, a tiger, a black panther, a jaguar and some monkeys. It was awesome! The monkeys were like little babies. Some were really wild and out of control, but one of them just laid there in my arms and gazed at me. I was in love. We returned from the zoo and rented a boat with one of the local vendors on the beach named Oscar. Nothing too eventful here. The ride was relaxing, and our tour guide treated us like family. He took a moment to chastise us for not knowing Spanish – “Don’t you have a lot of Mexicans in Texas?” We had the opportunity to go snorkeling, but I passed. I could see the fish from the boat, and that was alright with me.

Viva Mexico!

Day 3 was the Taco Tour. Never tasted so much deliciousness in my LIFE! I recommend it to anyone. Definitely pace yourself, as I was full after stop 3 out of 6. However, the food was so heavenly, I had to keep trying. We tried some birria, which is a Mexican stew. OMG. It was tasty. Tacos ranging from pork to beef to marlon. The marlon tacos were my favorite. I wish I could have gone back to get some more!

She was flipping those quesadillas on the hot stove with her bare hands!!! Skill!
El Morena Stand – Not your Texas Quesadillas!

We wrapped up the afternoon with some less than stellar massages at the hotel spa. (Later we were told that we could get an hour massage on the beach for $20. Noted for next time). We rested up, and went out to karaoke that evening. I met up with a young lady that I ran across on instagram. I saw her checked in at the same hotel. I believe she was the only other black person at the hotel AND she was from Houston AND she travels SOLO. OMG, my idol. I love a woman that is not afraid to live life! So we hung out with her for a quick second, then returned to the room.

The young lady I met from Houston
The young lady I met from Houston

For our final full day, we took a cab downtown. The premium package gave us the option to take a city tour for free, but we opted against it. I had fallen at the zoo, and injured my knee. The fall compounded with the walking Taco Tour had me in a bit of pain, but I would not be detoured. It actually turned out to be a good thing that we didn’t take the City Tour, because it was about 2000 degrees outside, with 103% humidity. The heat was unbearable. We walked through the market, bargained with the vendors for some souvenirs, walked down the Malecon, then quickly hailed a cab to get a break from the heat.

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The rest of the trip was pretty low key. We played some games at the hotel, hung out on the beach, ate, and then headed back. (Oh, and I forgot to mention that TC’s bags were delivered to the hotel on the evening of the second day.)

Overall, this was an amazing trip. The locals were incredibly nice. Although I’d seen on the news that there had been some cartel attacks a couple of weeks prior, I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, and I always felt safe. A great Mother’s Day Gift!

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