Follow Kathy and Dave's five days in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, January 16 to January 21, 2019. We mention restaurants a lot to help us remember where we've been, which is useful for future trips. We do more than eat. Really.

Video of the trip - Click Here [pending]

Jan 16
After a routine flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, we checked into our resort accommodations at the Grand Miramar. Usually we stay at Robert's Timeshare but this time, something different.
We explored our amazing resort with the three swimming pools, four restaurants, and arrived just in time for a fading sunset. By the way, the room for 5 nights was $750, which is expensive for Puerto Vallarta.

Our 9th floor room was spectacular and the view!! There are two flat screen TVs, a tidy compact kitchen, private balcony and on and on. There are flowers everywhere and the staff and very helpful.

Jan 17

What a great place! So beautiful here and then breakfast (included in the room price) with Robert and Linda. Many things are made to order and the service is excellent.
Another family picture in one of the lobby areas at the hotel.

Then into PV on the hotel shuttle, which drops you off at the Lazaro Cardenas Park, which is surrounded by more than 50 cement benches. A local group has decided cover each bench with mosaics. One bench is done, another is in progress, then 48 more to go. The whole area has mosaics.

Here is the leader of the mosaic workers, Natasha Moraga, showing off her tattoo, which matches the notebook purchased by Dave. All purchases go to the mosaic work.
More of Natasha Moraga's work. She is also famous for the Puerto Vallarta welcome mosaic.
We walked the sea front walk called the Malecón, stopping at Roberto's for some cold drinks, and then enjoying a sculpture called Donkey and Ass.
Then back to the hotel, a swim, a hot tub and a short nap. Finally, back into town to join Robert and Linda at the stunning restaurant, Cafe de Artistes for dinner. Tables are set within a tropical courtyard of magnificent trees and flowers. Dave recommends the lobster; Kathy recommends the octopus set on beet polenta

Jan 18

A morning photo from our balcony. Probably the best day yet with sunshine and a terrific view of Banderas Bay. We were lounging until our shuttle took us back do downtown PV.
Meeting Dave's brother, Robert, at a PV bookstore, A Page in the Sun, it was off to a lunch place in Old Town called Ofe's Shack. No English spoken but the food was good and outside seating was just fine. And very inexpensive. A very large glass of just-squeezed orange juice was 35 cents. Next door to Ofe's Shack was a specialty store, "la Bodeguita" Abarrotes, where Kathy got some vanilla beans. This was a great little store!
Now it was time to restart the Dave/Robert Sudoku contest, which started at a really, really good coffee shop in Old Town called El Sofa Cafe. Sipping a very fine mocha, Dave lost the first contest. Meanwhile, Kathy roamed a number of shops in Old Town but no purchase was made.
For the second Sudoku contest, we moved to a new location, a frozen yogurt place called Yoogulicious that is right on the Malecón beach. The contest was not decided because we ran out of time and had to head back to the bookstore, A Page in the Sun, to meet Robert's wife, Linda. A beverage was ordered but it fell well short of expectations.
After some people watching, it was time to meet Robert's friends at an Italian restaurant called La Traviata. You had better know about this place because it's hidden at the top floor of the Hotel Paloma del Mar. This was a great choice with open-air dining and big views of PV, all of which was enjoyed with no less than 14 of Robert's friends! Perfect food and a great sunset enjoyed by all. And so the day ended with a return to our hotel.

Jan 19

Another morning view from our hotel. We're going to miss these amazing breakfasts and the fine service we're getting from everyone. Before heading back into town, Kathy went to the hotel Spa for a foot massage! Then a taxi to the brand new condos, 105-degrees Sail View, our starting point for a 2-hour tour of new condos in the Zona Romántica, one of the hippest areas of Puerto Vallarta.
We saw eight condo developments altogether on our real estate tour. Some were barely under construction and some were pretty much complete. One was just a hole in the ground with a trailer for a presentation of the offerings. All the projects started with the roof top deck, with a pool, exercise room, meeting room and the rest. This pix is the roof top deck from the condo project Pier 57. (The palm trees, by the way, are fake.)
Then other condo projects came across as artsy with some really nice ideas for the common spaces, entrance way and so forth. This pix is the common area of the condo project 105-Degrees Sail View.
Nearly all the condo projects were in lively neighborhoods with plenty of restaurants and outdoor restaurants. Restaurant Cafe San Angel had this sign by the entrance. The real estate tour was given by the real estate company The JG Group and after the last condo tour, we were taken for margarita's at La Hacienda de Carlota! Then we had a quick Fish and Chips at Joe Jack's Fish Shack before heading back to our hotel.
To summarize our real estate tour, you can buy a studio apartment from about $165,000, and a 2-bedroom for about $250,000, at the low end. There was no limit to the high end at $800,000+. All very interesting and remember you can't actually own property in Mexico, rather, it is held in perpetual trust by a bank. Back home, a long nap, a swim, some TV, and then dinner at the hotel outdoor restaurant Eugenia, while watching the sunset over Banderas Bay

Jan 20

Our hotel is located in "Conchas Chinas," an older affluent colonia directly south of Puerto Vallarta. Conchas Chinas means "Chinese Shells" referring to the type of shell found only on the beaches of Conchas Chinas. More than a few of the estates look abandoned and in poor condition. This image is of such a property, which is directly next to our hotel.
Our afternoon adventure started with a long walk down the Isla Rio Cuale, which is formed by the Cuale River splitting into two parts. We caught a bit of music at the BableBar but settled for a quick lunch at le Bistro, which was right on the river. We ordered fresh tuna in a rice bowl but the tuna was far, FAR from fresh and we threw it into the river. Sorry.
We continued to our meeting place with Robert and Linda, where Dave and Robert resumed their Sudoku contest down on the beach. Dave took a second to photograph this hat seller. There are lots of people selling lots of things on the beach but they are polite and it's not a problem. With Robert winning AGAIN, Dave gave up and we moved on to another place, also on the beach.
Our next stop was the beach front bar, Mi Pueblite [Little Village], where we parked to watch American football and to see the Rams beat the Saints in overtime. We took serious advantage of the 2-for-1 margaritas. Once the game was over, we headed to the Trio Restaurant for dinner. It is our view that the Trio Restaurant is one of the top restaurants in PV. Soon enough it was time to say good-bye to Robert and Linda and to head back to our hotel.

Jan 21

The loneliness of the International Sudoku contest.


Winner and Mexican Sudoku Contest winner, Robert Ferre. Final score, David 1 (by default) and Robert 5.


Kathy art photo. We very much wanted to visit some of the art galleries here in PV but most were closed Saturday and Sunday, so missed this opportunity.


Another Kathy art photo. For the photographer, there are plenty of opportunities for pictures.


Home again to Oro Valley, AZ. We're being snubbed by our cats Ben-Ben and Bone-Bone, but they'll come around. This was a great five days in Mexico and to see Robert and Linda, probably our best trip yet.