Monday, March 31, 2008

The Best Trip Ever! The PV Chapter

Each Spring Dave and I take our annual "Toes In Sand" trip. This is usually to a sunny coastline somewhere in Mexico. It really is a sanity trip. Come about January the only thing that keeps me sane through the short daylight hours and snow is the promise of sand, surf and margaritas.

This year we made our trip in early March and were once again amazed how easy Frontier Airlines makes getting to PV from DIA. A direct flight just long enough to enjoy a movie from your "must see" list (Juno for me, Bee Movie for Dave) and you have just enough time to fill out the immigration forms before landing. The travel gods were definitely smiling upon us, as this leg of our trip was uneventful.

Our trip kicked off with 3 days in our favorite city in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta. We love it for the European feel of the town and its appeal to native Mexican vacationers in addition to us vacationers from the north.

Our home base was the Buenaventura. From the website, I was expecting one of those over done, music blaring my the pool places, but was pleasantly surprised. While the hotel is created for Touristas, it is located in Centro and within walking distance to just about everything - including our favorite place to have margs and enjoy the sunset- El Nido at Chez Elena.

We skipped the all-inclusive, grazing cattle plan at the resort and took our meals in town. We tried lots of great spots, our favorite being a small Tapas place a short walk from Chez Elena. Octavio runs the place and is a gracious host with a passion for fresh foods and a gift for selecting the perfect meal. The coffee flan was AMAZING!

After a day of exploring just about every nook and cranny of Old Town and the Zona Romantica, the next day we opted to head out of town and up into the Sierra Madres to the little town of San Sebastian.

San Sebastian is ~1.5 hours out of PV via a winding road that weaves through farm lands and agave fields. The town was founded over 400 years ago and saw a large population growth due to the mining industry. It is now a quaint town of white stucco, red tiled roof buildings and a dwindling population of 800. Down a narrow cobble stone street just pas the Plaza, we found the Real y Minas, a superb Italian restaurant in the photo above. We had the pleasure of sharing time with Walter and Coco, the owners, and were treated to Walter's famous Orangeciello. The oranges are picked from the restaurant's courtyard and he bottles right on the premises.

Our last morning in PV was spent pool side soaking in the sun and cracking open our travel reading. The pool side Recreational Director pulled Dave into the dart contest, which he won hands down! Woohoo! You go baby! Then - off to pack for the beach chapter of the trip.

Stayed tuned for Chapter 2 coming soon to a blog near you.