Puerto Vallarta – Day 3

Saturday December 27th. We awoke today as we did yesterday, prompted by the crowing of the roosters nearby. It is now 7:00 am. My wife and I are curled up on the couch … she is reading a book, and I am journaling. Our morning tea seems to be kicking in, although we are both sleepy-eyed. This morning we plan to go for a run, Sheri on the boardwalk and I on the sandy beach. The boardwalk is concrete, which is 7 times harder than pavement … and it is too hard on my body. Besides, running on the beach could be adventurous, for there is no telling what the ocean has washed up on the beach overnight. I hope I can keep up with Sheri and keep the sand out of my shoes.

Our run this morning went well, I could not stay on the beach for as long as I had hoped. In some places rocks wash up on the store, and you cannot run the whole beach area … and I am not sure what is harder, running in the sand or on the concrete.

After showering we headed to the Pancake House where we devoured pancakes, waffles, hash browns, a quesadilla, cheese blintz, etc. Hey — we’re on vacation! (Have I already said that?). Although, if we keep eating like this, we’ll definitely have to go running for longer than 30 minutes.

After breakfast we decided to tour the areas further from the beach, acting on a tip we received from our neighbor Randy. The further you get from the high rent beach areas, the more the prices drop … and the more you support local businesses. PV is 90% Roman Catholic, and while walking “east of the tracks” we found a small shop which had all sorts of Catholic statues, crucifixes, pictures of saints, Catholic literature, and the like. It was part gift shop, part Catholic shrine. We bought a beautiful art-deco clay crucifix in cobalt blue for 80 pesos (approximately 6 dollars).

Next we headed to the sports bar to watch the football game which pitted West Virginia against North Carolina. Though we now are Utah Ute fans, we are also still diehard Mountaineer fans. Yes, we proudly claim to be part of Mountaineer Nation! And what an exciting game, the ‘Eers scored late in the game to go up by 1 point, and then intercepted the ball with less than 2 minutes left to seal the win. Pat White, the WV quarterback, has been very exciting to watch for the last 4 years. After the game, the announcers revealed that he is now the only quarterback in college football history to lead his team to 4 straight bowl game wins. An incredible accomplishment, but what makes it even better is that Pat remains a humble young man who is team-first all the way. He came to WV because all the other big name schools which recruited him told him that they would convert him from quarterback to defensive back or wide receiver in college, but Pat wanted to play quarterback so he chose WV. Surely WV will one day retire his #5 jersey, and we hope that he will be drafted by a pro team that gives him every opportunity to make it as a quarterback at the pro level.

Almost as exciting as the WV football game, today I finally found a newstand that sells English language newspapers. The papers come a day late, but I am filled with glee to know that I will be able to get my newspaper fix while we are here.

Tonight we went to Saturday night Mass at the local Catholic Cathedral, for on Saturday nights at 5:00 pm they hold the only English language Mass. The service was nice, and the facility was beautiful. The twelve stations of the cross were all hand-carved in marble, there were many ornate statues, the stained glass was gorgeous, and there were many other beautiful works of art.

For dinner tonight we decided to dine at the eatery which is below our window about 4 stories, and 1 block away. We can see all the happenings at the outdoor tables and hear the xylophone music (Sheri’s favorite – wink) clearly at night … and tonight we discovered while sitting at those very outdoor tables that you can look straight up into and through our villa. From now on we need to be more careful about prancing around in our undies. Dinner was just fine, not fabulous, but fine. We were looking for authentic Mexican, but as it turns out this grill had very few vegetarian or Mexican food options.

Tomorrow we plan to go to a Protestant church in the morning, and spend the rest of the day hanging out by the pool. I cannot wait.

It’s the end of Day 3, Saturday evening around 8:00 pm. We’ll be getting ready for bed soon. I thought I was done journaling for the day, but as I lay here on the couch processing our experience here so far, it occurred to me that travelling to the South like this in the dead of Winter is almost like having a fifth season — Winter is interrupted by a small, second Summer. When we checked the weather report for PV before coming, it projected 10 almost identical days … sunny (or mostly sunny), high of 82 degrees, low of 62 degrees. We’ll be in shorts and t-shirts the whole time we are here, and then get to enjoy approximately 3 more months of Winter when we return to SLC. For the first few weeks at least, we will have dark tans as we drive our 4-wheel vehicles around town, or even up the snowy canyons to snowshoe, ski, or just play in the snow.

Sheri and I are lying at each end of the couch, our legs our intertwined. She is reading and I am writing, and both of us are ready to dose off … so I’ll just say Buenos Noches (spelling?) now while I still can.