We woke up early this morning, not long after 4:00 am. Weather forecasters had predicted that it would start snowing during the night, but fortunately it has held off. After a nice breakfast at home, we left for the airport by 6:45 am.
It’s 9:00 am, the snow flurries have started to come down and I’m looking out the window at our plane (which arrived moments ago from Portland). We’re relieved that our plane was not delayed arriving here in SLC, we had heard that Portland was 1 hour delayed. Of course we’ll remain a bit anxious until we lift off, we are expecting several inches of snow today and it could start snowing heavily any moment. We’ll start boarding in about half an hour.
10:30 am — we’re in the air! It’s always exciting to finally lift off when the weather is inclement and you’re never really sure if/when you’ll take flight. As it is, our scheduled departure was 9:55 am, but evidently some connecting flights we’re delayed getting to us, so it was 10:15 am before everyone was on board. Then we had to wait for two planes which had pushed back from the gates before us, and waited some more as they de-iced our plane. (It’s 33 degrees outside, so I am not worried about the temperature — they are de-icing us as a precaution). Then we were 5th in line to take off, but that is all past now — We’re in the air! And it won’t be long before we are looking down on all the clouds. Good bye Winter, at least for the next 10 days.
2:40 PM Puerto Villarta (PV) time — we just landed … woo hoo! (I don’t know how to say woo hoo in Spanish). PV is actually East of SLC a bit, so we are now on Central Time. The land looked beautiful as we were descending, sunny and warm and green and plush. Both the mountains and ocean are in sight.
Arranging for a shuttle through our property manager was definitely a smart idea. Before we had left, Sheri just happened to mention PV to a coworker who had vacationed here, and he warned her about the taxi companies, timeshares, and various other businesses which accost you as soon as you clear customs. But since we knew a shuttle driver was waiting for us with a sign and our name on it, we just waltzed right through … some of the vendors will even yell at you to stop, saying something about us needing a voucher to pass through. We found our driver straightaway, and we were in his SUV (parked just outside the doors) in just a few minutes, and he whisked us through the busy streets right to our villa. With tip, it was $60 … which we feel was money well spent.
The property manager Oscar was waiting for us at the villa, and he gave us a thorough tour. What a beautiful facility. These condos are some of the newer ones in town, built in the last 5 years. The cheapest condos here sell for about $250,000 and go up from there. Our villa is decorated with an African theme, and includes a full kitchen on the patio.
The pool here is just incredible, I am not sure I can do it justice with a description. Blue tile, lots of nooks and crannies, a whirlpool, a bar next to the pool with stools in the water for sitting at the bar. And it has a feature I have only seen in pictures, it is an “endless pool” with the far wall of the pool next to the cliff and built in such a way that you cannot see the pool wall. Thus it looks like the pool just extends into the horizon. Very cool. We plan to spend lots of time here … and oh, the fitness center is right here in the pool area.
We made a trip to the local grocery st0re, and schlepped back to the villa as much as we could carry so that we would be stocked up for the week and not have to eat all our meals at restaurants. Most of the grocery store workers did not speak English, but fortunately a few did. And when we got back to the villa we enjoyed a dinner of homemade burritos.
And I just had to take a late night dip in the pool at 8:00 pm, we had the whole pool to ourselves, and it was quite fun to swim around in the dark. We fell fast asleep after having an incredible first day here, which was Christmas Day — Feliz Navidad!