After more than three months calling Puerto Vallarta our home we are down to our final days.We both tend to work best under pressure…aka we’re big procrastinators…so it’s quite fitting that we are now feeling the crunch of all that we need to do before we depart on Feb 4th.
At least we’ve booked our flight to Guatemala City plus our first 5 nights stay in Hostal Casa La Asuncion in Antigua. Btw if our initial communication with this hostel is anything to go by we will be writing rave reviews. We booked through Hostelworld where it was stated that Asuncion offered free daily breakfast and also free shuttle service from the airport (up to $50 savings!). Within minutes of booking and directly contacting the hostel I received an email from Edgar confirming our reservation and our flight info and letting us know that Mario would be waiting for us at the airport. Keep in mind that this is a hostel in Guatemala where we are paying $15 each per night, not some swanky 5 star resort in the Bahamas. Let’s just say I’m impressed with the service so far!
So that takes care of two of the things on our To Do list however there’s a ton more:
- Book the rest of our accommodations and transportation through Guatemala.
- Do a trial pack and very likely downsize yet again (we’ve accumulated a few extra things in PV and we were over packed to begin with).
- Purchase a few necessities that we may not be able to easily access on our Guat travels.
- Create content for Live, Dream, Discover and Fit Living Lifestyle sites so that we can be ready to post when we have internet access on the road.
- Ensure that Nathan’s fitness clients are set up for the month just in case we’re without internet for a day or more.
- Notify our banks that we will be leaving Mexico for a time and traveling through Guatemala and Belize.
- Update our travel insurance.
- Get my hair cut and colored (I’ve been doing it myself but I’ve decided to splurge on a professional job before leaving PV)
- Arrange with our current apartment managers to pay our final electrical bill and get our deposit back.
- Download onto our Tablet entertainment and resources for work and travel.
- Charge all electronic devices and back up everything onto external HD.
- Say goodbye to friends we’ve made here.
- Enjoy a couple more sunsets and $1 Margs at Sea Monkey.
- Visit the beach and several other fave spots one last time.
- Train and run the Warrior Mud Race on Feb 2nd (Did I tell you we signed up for that? God help me!)
- Watch the Seahawks play the Superbowl on Feb 2nd.
- Try to see the places we have not yet managed to get to in and around PV.
Whew I’m exhausted just writing that! At least over last weekend we knocked off two of the places from the last item on our list.
The first was a trip to the Botanical Gardens which you can read about here. The second was a visit to Marina Vallarta which despite living just a 10 minute bus ride away from we had yet to see. Marina Vallarta is very recognizable by the huge statue of Neptune guarding the entrance and buses constantly run past there from both directions. We arrived about 5pm and spent a couple of hours walking around the Marina looking at the boats and reading menus in order to decide where to eat dinner. There are probably more than 20 restaurants to choose from offering everything from Mexican to Indian, Seafood to Italian and pub food to Brazilian Steak houses. On average the prices were slightly higher than we usually go for in Old Town but they were still reasonable and everything looked very tempting.
We finally decided on Rincon de Buenos Aires, an Argentinian Steakhouse and we were not disappointed. The charming host seated us at a lovely table with a view of the marina and treated us to free margaritas to get us started. We were then presented with complimentary warm bread, homemade chips and two delicious salsas…one of a traditional tomato base and one with an olive base. We decided on the special which was an Argentinian cut of steak called Vacio and also the Cannelloni stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese. The Vacio was amazing, perfectly cooked to order as medium rare on the inside and deliciously seasoned and seared on the outside. The cannelloni was light and fluffy with just the right amount of cheese and spinach topped with a duo of cream and slightly spicy tomato sauce. With a generous glass of Cab Sav our bill came to less than $30…a splurge for us but well worth every penny.
After dinner we decided to go up to the top of the famous lighthouse El Faro Bar to have an after dinner drink…how very civilized are we? Wow what a great place! With a beautiful round, dark wood bar in the center, sliding glass windows open to a 360 degree view of Puerto Vallarta and elegantly dressed and professional servers we felt as though we’d stepped into a swank bar at the top of a tower in some cosmopolitan city. In keeping with the surroundings I ordered a Frangelico and Nathan had a Baileys and Kahlua. We sat sipping our liquors while enjoying the view and ambience and snapping pics for about an hour. Again it was a splurge that was well worth it and we would highly recommend that you give the El Faro Bar a try on your next visit to PV.
Our overall impression of Marina Vallarta was better than we’d expected. It of course has a very different feel than Old Town as it is much newer, but despite the moored multi-million dollar yachts it did not feel pretentious as some Marinas tend to. Instead it had a very calm and peaceful vibe as it was tucked away and sheltered from the noise of the traffic and the throngs of tourists that pour into Old Town and onto the Malecon. It is however for good or bad it is predominantly North American tourists and expats that frequent the area so it does feel somewhat non Mexico. Regardless we enjoyed our time there and were definitely glad we stopped in for a visit.
Well as you see above I have a long list to tackle so I’ll have to end this post and go and prep for the next leg of the Live, Dream, Discover journey!