At midnight, Saturday, Jan 12, 2013, I toasted my official attaining-40-year-old status with tequila that my neighbors had brought us from their trip to Cabo for her 40th a few weeks ago. Now it was my turn to relax with some sun! Of course, I wasn’t packed yet…
When its 27 F out and I am going to 27C it is actually kind of fun to pack – so many skirts and dresses I hadn’t worn in ages! And the strappy shoes!!! I realized that this was a perfect way for me to celebrate!
I was in Puerto Vallarta 15 years ago with a friend’s family, but this was my first time making all the arrangements myself. When I booked the trip, I was working alot of 14 hour days, so I didn’t have time to do my usual obsessive hours and hours of research. This time, I found something that had everything I wanted – on the beach, with a pool, with a bar, walkable to downtown, good reviews, not too big – and I booked it! Made me a little nervous, but it turned out to be exactly what I had envisioned.
Villa Premiere had a friendly staff that gave us champagne and a short massage upon our arrival. Those small things instantly made a difference in our state of mind. It was like magic!!
Quick change in the room, straight to the beach! The waves were small, but fierce. I would have expected something with a pull like that to be much bigger. Seth and I giggled as we got dizzy watching the ground move beneath our feet and sinking us into the sand. Unfortunately, the force was so great that it was throwing rocks around like they were sand and after being pummeled for a few minutes, we decided the pool was our better bet.
We were Instantly greeted by the friendliest shot-buying people I’ve ever met! Two couples from Texas, experts at Puerto Vallarta. Kent & Michelle have been there 9 times, always staying at Villa Premiere, making friends every trip. This time they had their sidekicks, Nannette and Kris, in tow. Their friendship and expertise made a huge difference in our trip. They invited us to dinner with them and some other friends. Not having to pick a place to have my birthday dinner – relief!
La Palapa had a table for us right on the beach – literally in the sand. It was gorgeous. The food was fantastic, the atmosphere was ideal, the company was stimulating. And at the end of the dinner, flaming coffee! I will never forget the generosity and spirit of these people that I had only just met. They really made my birthday special and I am very thankful for that.
Then we walked down the main boardwalk and found a club to continue the drinking! Seth was making his moves known on the dance floor and it was a great contribution to the group.
I was so glad the next morning that I didn’t have to leave my bed to watch the Seahawks game. Of course, it was in Spanish and I could have watched it in English at the bar… But I wasn’t ready to face the world, or start drinking again! The first half was not that exciting and I fell asleep (or rather descended back into my post-birthday coma) during half time. I did miss the entire 3rd quarter, but thankfully caught the end. I swear I could feel the heart attacks happening all the way from Seattle as the Hawks flirted with winning this playoff game… Obviously, if we had played better in the first half, we wouldn’t have found ourselves in that position to begin with. But Lord, that was crazy! Really, really crazy. Hard to make the calls, but not sure how we left enough time on the clock to lose the game in the last 10 seconds…
Seth and I went exploring around town on foot. Just wandering without a map or any idea what was around us. We found a taco place that was so yummy! We were the only non-locals in there, so I knew we picked a good place.
After many hours of walking around, we headed back to the hotel and had Pacifico, nachos, and guacamole for dinner. The restaurant next to the bar had live jazz playing, so that was a nice touch. Seth and I took ours beers down the the cabanas on the beach – it was so picturesque, it felt like a magazine spread! The band started playing Satin Doll, the song my parents ‘gave’ me as a baby. What a fantastic birthday! We opened our new bottle of tequila, sat on the balcony listening to the waves, looking out into the infinite darkness of the ocean at night.
The next day, we decided it was time to hit the pool again. We chose today to be part of the All Inclusive plan. Eating and drinking in Mexico can be cheap, but not at our hotel! (Or most of the fancy / touristy places). I’ve never been on a cruise or done an all-inclusive before, so it was kind of exciting for me! I could order whatever I want, whenever I want, for 24 hours. I really enjoyed the garlic shrimp – for me that was the best thing I ate there. The drinks were well mixed, so that was good. Fun to order shots & daiquiris & margaritas & something called a ‘Dirty Monkey’ without having to worry about the cost.
Fancy dinner at one of the hotel restaurants and out dancing again! Seth was livin it up! There was live music for a while that was catering to the middle-aged cruise crowd (definitely not us!). Seth and I stayed out a little later than the group to take advantage of the DJ music. Our bill was magically paid when we went to leave – must be the angels! (But probably our new angelic Texan friends)!
Tuesday – we were off the El Eden and the place where they filmed Predator. Having never seen any of the movies, I was not quite as impressed as I probably should’ve been… But Seth & I really liked being up in the mountains. We hired a taxi for the afternoon instead of taking a tour – it was cheaper & we had the place to ourselves (Unlike us, I think most tourists leave their hotel before 3pm…).
Seth looks like he could be in Predator, huh?
After that, we went to Las Carmelita’s which is a restaurant on private property at the highest point in Puerto Vallarta. People go there to see the sunset. Since there was no sunset due to the clouds, we were the only ones there. It was our last night there and the sun had yet to appear on this trip, so we couldn’t wait around for ideal conditions. We enjoyed the view anyway – being from Seattle, overcast isn’t enough to deter us.
Wednesday – our last day. Ate at a taco cart on the street, then a miracle happened – the sun came out. I wore a tank top for maximum vitamin D exposure and soaked up some rays on the beach. I had not had a Corona yet (Seth is partial to Pacifico), so we drank Coronas in the sun, watching Pelicans eat fish whole, not quite grasping the fact that we would be at work the next day.
The trip was fantastic! Seth and I had a great time together. I’m so glad that I have such great memories of my 40th birthday!