Mexico Trip (Day 1 & 2)

In February, Sonora Grill hosted a contest for a free trip to Mexico. Steve is forbidden to travel to Mexico (or Chicago) without me, so I was thrilled. Dalton Jones (a new partner at Sonora Grill) has a family beach house south of Puerto Vallarta, so that was our destination. Casey Whiteley was selected as our winner. He brought his wife, Amy and Dalton brought his wife, Holly. 

Day 1: 
We spent most of the day traveling; I spent most of the day nauseous.  

Puerto Vallarta was HOT. Warm enough that I kept going inside the rental car shop to enjoy the air conditioning. 

We waited about an hour for our car and then drove to boardwalk for dinner. 



Our first destination was Oscar's. The menu was in Spanish and English, so it was a good place to start. 

The restaurant was mostly empty, and we picked a table right by the river. 

Which meant we had some great entertainment while we were waiting for our food. 

The food was incredible. (And pretty too.)

Queso fundido
Sopa de tortilla
Crema de flor de calabaza (which translates into AMAZING)
Crepa vegetariana
Seafood Special
There were dozens of people swimming in the river, which connects to the ocean. Friends and families were laughing and playing together, having a great time. 

We fully intended to hit a second restaurant for a second dinner, but everything moves slower in Mexico, so we ran out of time. We drove to Wal-Mart to stock up on groceries and supplies. Do they have cigarette boxes like this in the United States?

Steve couldn't resist the man in the parking lot selling corn from a bicycle cart. Steve kept instructing me, "Get a picture of this. Wait! Get a picture of this! Did you get a picture of his bike?"

I finally told him it was too dark and he was acting like a crazy American. . . so then he convinced Casey to take more pictures for him. 

The drive to the beach house was a little longer than we expected. Luckily, we found gasoline for sale in one of the small villages along the way. 

We drove on rough roads that were even crazier because they are under construction. It was like driving to Becky's ranch in the Bookcliffs, Mexico-style. (That means limited road signs and big branches in the middle of the road.) Dalton sped ahead of us, and sometimes we couldn't figure out which way we were supposed to go. Three hours after leaving Puerto Vallarta, we arrived at Rancho Jones. I completely understood why Dalton had a hard time pointing out on the map exactly where we were going. But this is pretty close. 

The sounds of the ocean put us to sleep. (Well, at least some of us.)

Day 2: 
We woke up and explored our beautiful surroundings. 

Casey and Amy Whiteley

For breakfast, we drove to Tehuamixtle, an enchanting little fishing village that I fell in love with.

The waves were crashing up against the rocks and some of the fishing boats were already coming in.

I'm not sure if the restaurant actually had a name, but the food was perfect.

There were lots of pretty flowers.

And there was lots of beer being delivered. I didn't have my camera with me when the guy carrying five boxes of beer walked by. Seafood is their number one export, and beer was clearly the number one import.

Dalton drove us by some other nearby properties: an iconic Mexican singer's compound with security posts and cameras and then this fun place that Dalton says throws some crazy parties. 

And then it was time to start gathering food for dinner. We drove to another small village, and our first stop was the carniceria (meat shop). We found Miguel (I think that was his name?) out back with his roosters. 

His roosters are used for cockfights, which are legal in Mexico. (They take place on Sundays, so we missed out.)

Dalton knows all of these people, so there was lots of talking. 

I got bored and wandered down the street to take a picture of one of the beautiful flowering yellow trees, which I learned they call Primaveras. 

There were some ladies sitting under a covered patio next to this house, so I went to ask them about the trees. "Como se llama arbor amarillo?" I don't know very many verbs, so my Spanish is very limited.

As soon as I walked back towards them, they pulled up a chair and called for their children to come visit. I wasn't very successful communicating with them, so it was nice when Steve came and translated. The girl standing up is 22 years old and goes to school in Puerto Vallarta during the week and then comes home on the weekends. Everyone kept telling us they went to school, but nobody was actually in school, so we assumed that they must have still been on break from Easter. (Note the washing machine that she is leaning up against.)

Then we stopped at another home to buy a pie. The kids we saw were all well dressed and most had their hair done nicely. This little girl was so friendly. I gave her a little container of Jelly Belly jelly beans before we left.

Then we drove back to another village to pick up the woman who was going to come cook for us. Her sister immediately offered us Pina Aguas Frescas. Dalton seemed to know most of the main people in each of the villages, and they all seemed really eager to take care of us.

I took this picture for Rachel and Lucy:

Everywhere we went, there were plenty of people sitting around.

We looked around for some vegetables, but the veggie truck hadn't come to town, so we bought some tortillas and drove back to Rancho Jones. 

The women sat on the beach chairs and watched the menfolk get beaten down by some of those crazy big waves. 

I got my nails done before I left because I am a lady now. My very first sparkle toes. (Thanks, Angie.)

Steve and I went for a walk/jog along the beach. I wanted to do more jogging and less walking, but Steve couldn't keep up with me. After a long year of depending on Steve do so many things for me, it was fun to feel strong. I ran maybe a mile and a half, right on the beach, with nobody in sight. It was absolutely surreal. 

A quick shower in the inside/outside shower that I failed to get a picture of, and then it was time for dinner. Our meal was perfectly simple. And so good. Beans, rice, chicken, fish (not pictured), tostadas, tortillas, fresh salsa, watermelon.

We ate all of our meals outside, so we could enjoy the views. And because the weather was perfect.

Then Steve and I drove into Naranjitos to take Ahmparra home. We stopped at the "cell phone tree" so Steve could take care of some things for the restaurant and I could check in with the kids. The coverage was pretty spotty, but still kind of amazing to think we could connect with the rest of the world from such a remote location. 

There were fields of corn mixed with tomatoes and cacti growing everywhere.

We arrived back at the beach house and found the others sitting around a fire on the beach.

And then we went to sleep to the sound of waves crashing on the beach.

1 comment:

AngelaW said...

First - Tyler and I would like to get in line for the next trip! It looks and sounds amazing.

Second - I cant beleive you took Casey! He broke my wrist at band camp, and he should be punished - not rewarded.

-Just kidding of course.