Pitillal Food Tour February 08, 2024

We’ve been here a few times on our own, it’s a 35 m walk from the condo.

Side note:  They don’t recycle much here but do have these hearts in places to add your plastics to.We know this tour will show us places we’d never find on our own. 

We meet up with Joana, our guide and the group at 1030a 

First stop…

We learn that Mexico is the world’s biggest consumers of Coke.  This started years ago when the water was not fit to drink, parents preferred to have their children drink Coke rather than take the chance of getting sick drinking the unpurified water.  They prefer glass bottles as Coke doesn’t take as good in plastic or cans.

Next, fruit.  Can’t remember what it’s called but we didn’t like them. Getting married in Mexico?  You are required to post both his & hers information, DOB, place of birth, photo.  The reason?  Latin lovers, ie cheaters, were a thing, it is required you post this information not only in the church you are marrying in but in all the surrounding churches.

Next stop an outdoor restaurant

Next stop..Yahoo for me – Boo for Allan.  Seafood.  I had a shrimp, small scallops, octapus (octapus a first for me) tostada.  Allan had a quesadillas he added salsa to. Joana said that is what they give to kids to settle them down LOL

We all got to add our names to the wall 🙂  They are running out of wall space, it will be fun to see if our names are still there next visit.

Do I have to post the following?  NO  but is it a real part of Mexico YES so here goes (scroll down if you have a weak stomach)….

Cooked stomach, liver, heart, intestines, notice the braiding of the intestines?Whole chickens are dyed in a yellow tint busket for 5 seconds.  Mexicans believe white, un dyed chicken look sick and do not buy them.  Even Joana said she wouldn’t buy a white chicken.  They use all parts of the chicken, except, the nails!

Next up… goat!  It was rather good.                     Still can’t believe Allan ate it!!

Next Tamales and where they make them.  It’s family run established in 1980“Cenaduria” translates to eating house, a place to get a home-cooked meal. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Cenaduria Tia Anita, located on the patio of a home in one of Puerto Vallarta’s working class neighborhoods.  With the exception of tours they don’t get many “gringos”.  Women were busy preparing the corn husk s, tamal filing and making mas. There is only one man pernitted in the cooking area and that is mosting to move the heavy pots filled with goodness.   The process is remarkable.

We were treated to one chicken & one cheese tomale.  We split each to sample. We also got to sample a “masa” drink, sweetened with vanilla and sugar. It is served warm even on a hot day.

                                         The yummy chicken fillingThe different wrapping tell what is contained within the tamale

The finished product 

Final stop   

Not sure how they did it, should have paid closer attention but when they first opened they didn’t have electricity.  Our treat, which I should have also took photos of were melting when we said good bye to Joana and our group!

Really recommend this tour when in the area!

 

Sayulita & San Pancho day trip, February 6, 2024

WHOA it’s an early morning for today’s tour!  Unfortunately, the Mexican Constitution Day  yesterday, Feb 05 woke me up midnightish.  Who would think they’d close the street and have music, singing and dancing the night of the 5th when most have to work on the 6th?  Things are a bit different here. I finally gave up trying to sleep at 3.48 (know time thanks to FitBit)  Allan of course slept away until I woke him to start our day 🙂

We meet at the Adventure Vallarta office at the marina at 730a,  Marco, our Uber driver, to the meet, tells us how Sayulita has gone down hill the last year or 2.  It has been and is a surfer & hippy town but it lost it’s luster.  Fingers crossed he’s wrong.    Our tour bus.

Danny, our tour guide, teaches us about the Mexican culture, food and that we are embarking on a tour of two magical towns. 

What are magical towns? Mexico’s Magical Towns (Pueblos Mágico),  are villages awarded with this designation for their mystical and mythical character and for maintaining their original architecture, culture, folklore, and history intact.

First stop, Mexican candies                                           We learn that we are not Mexican candy fansNext stop,  San Pancho 

Love this little town but my research reveals Danny may have been incorrect of this being a Magical Town.

There are many stray dogs here, this enterprising one made us chuckle.

San Poncho is otherwise known as San Francisco, hence their version of the bridge

We had 40 minutes to wander around town then meet to go to a restaurant for “sope”.  Second photo is the Owner giving us his interesting back story

This is sope.  A sope is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a fried masa base with savory toppings. Also known as picadita, it originates in the central and southern parts of Mexico, where it was sometimes first known as pellizcadas.

One was beef, other mushroom.  Yep we traded!  They were very good but the base was so hard, almost not cutable.

On our way to Sayulita we stop at a chocolate factory.  It smelt very bad, not sure what the smell was but did not entice us to buy any chocolate.

Across the street is their community centre.  The “tree” is built from recycled everything

Sayulita   here we are!So many golf carts as mode of transportation     

Love the colours!

We have to venture to the beach in this surfer town.    Entrance to the beach

A beach vendor   

So many boards out there!

Almost time to catch up with the group to head home.  Gotta have one here!  Look at my swinger!!

BinGo BingNo February 03, 2024

Today is our much anticipated Bingo Day.  We’ve been looking forward to it since the Hedda Lettuce the other night.

It’s official!  The place next door does stuff with coffins, what?  Still don’t know.  I thought they built them but they were unloading the pick up. 

We take a leisurely walk to Centro.  Stopping a few times on the way for a rest. Sadly,  Allan’s legs still hurt after about 3k steps.  So far, no one we have consulted can figure out what is causing this.                    Next stop includes bevies.As a bonus there is a show yonder way!

And they’re back on the ground!

Kill a bit more time and head to Cantina Cantina, where the bingo is, there is a dude outside who said we can’t enter until 4.  Sounded strange for a show that begins at 4 but…

Walk around a bit more and return shortly before 4 to find the place is packed!  We pay our pesos, get our cards, get asked if we have reservations (the flyer didn’t say you can make reservations), only to determine there is nowhere to sit.  We ask and surprising get our dineros back and leave pretty disappointed.

Too late we find this “Saturday February 3rd come to Hedda Lettuce’s world famous bingo! From 4-6pm only at La Catrina Cantina in #PuertoVallarta #mexico reservations highly suggested! Text: +1 (832) 603-1394 on whatsapp. Last weeks winner of the 50/50 took home 8000 pesos. The other half went to RISE Puerto Vallarta  Fabulois prizes, full bar and delicious food only at La Catrina. See you there!”

Oh well, on we go to dinner at “A Taste of Italy”.  I enjoyed my meal more than Allan did his.We walked by a “gringo supermarket” where we were able to get gravy mix! We used the Hollandaise for Eggs Benny. They also had these cute little dice we bought, can again play the Ds’ dice game.  We’re using a tiny strainer as the shaker cup.  We are pretty ingenius 🙂

We, or at least me, wondered what that palm tree area is we see from the roof topIt’s an Trailer Park 

We walked by on our way to “La Playa Liquor Store”.  Who’s happy to finally have Fireball with ice.  Our freezer is now over run by ice!!   

 

Dinner & Show Night! January 31, 2024

But first, off to Pitillal to find a barber to make Allan beautiful!  He’s looking a little like a hippy.  We walk the 40m to this small town and find a barber.   On the way we pass a yard filled this individually caged roosters.  We have learned these roosters are for cock fights.  Sad but that still happen here. 

    Pretty bushes along the way

The art of beautication has begun 🙂  No more hippy, just ☮️&                                         150 pesos, 200 with tip; $15.65 Cdn

Walking back, how would you like this job??Chill at the condo play a game of cards and off to dinner we walk.  This walk is about 1h  We will be happy for dinner and a REST!  Made it to El Granero a brewery and pizza joint.  I of course, didn’t have pizza but rather a super delicious Stuffed Portobello, Shrimp & bacon.  Allan had the Pork belly pizza , BBQ sauce, red onions, jalapeños, “sin” pineapple with a local amber beer .  Isn’t he beautiful!!  My portabello photo came out blurry, guess I was too anxious to devour it

A typical street heading to Hedda Lettuce

The magazine in the waiting to enter area, guess which tour Allan was in for?What I didn’t know, or even heard of (guess I live a sheltered life) is this is Bear Week.  Yep! I thought it had to do with bears.  Allan did the “oh Mary-Ann look”

Bear weeks in the world, will take place in Puerto Vallarta Mexico from January 28th to February 4th.

What’s a bear (when it’s not a bear?)  In gay culture, “bear” is a term for men who are large, hairy, or both. The bear concept can function as an identity or an affiliation, and there is ongoing debate in bear communities about what constitutes a bear.  Moving on..

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A fun day!!  Steps galore

Who is Hedda Lettuce?? Hedda is the stage name of Steven Polito, Lettuce was born 1968 (56 years old) as Steven Polito in New York City and raised on Long Island. an American drag queen, comedian and singer who lives and works in New York City. Polito debuted his character Hedda Lettuce in 1991 on the Manhattan Cable TV show The Brenda and Glennda Show. Lettuce’s appearances include MTV, Comedy Central, The People’s Court and a cameo on Sex and the City as Samantha’s ex-beau turned Bingo Drag impersonator. 

Lettuce was a model and client of Stephen “Suede” Baum during a challenge in the fifth season of Project Runway.  On the set Hedda had several disagreements with Suede, especially over his not designing gloves for her, which caused Hedda to call him “lazy”.

This led to designer Jerell Scott using the name “Hedda Lettuce” as a term for a model that is hard to work with.

If you are ever in PV, strongly suggest taking in this show!

Mex-ology Tour, January 25, 2024

We are walking to the tour meeting point and head out a bit early.   Who’s that hanging with Allan? 

Walk on and we see an iguana in a tree.  Can you spot him/her?

It’s now tour time in old PV complete with tacos and taquila!

The meeting point is Lazaro Cardenas Parque now known as “El Parque de los Azulejos” translated means “The Tiled Park”   Edgar, our guide, explains as little as 3 years ago, Puerto Vallarta artist Natasha Moraga, came up with a brainstorm and begun transforming the not to pleasant, wouldn’t want to be there, town square into a magnificent place where people want to hang out.

Problem – the Mexican government had no money to fund.  Ever enterprising Natasha’s idea was to have businesses and even indivuals fund a bench.  The idea caught on quickly and the park was transformed. Some individuals who lost a loved one added their ashes to the mortar.  We didn’t see it but apparently, it isn’t unusal to find folks crying at a bench of the recently deceased.

  This is Vallarta Food Tour’s bench Click the link above on the park’s name or here to get the low down.  It is an interesting read.

This is our group’s first stop. There we are in the back!We had 8 stops, walking 4ish hours, enjoying a specialty cocktail including tequila, pulque, mezcal and local agave spirit Racilla at each stop. We ate tacos from various regions, each one seemed better than the previous.  We ate & drank more than we took photos, here’s what we captured in no particular order.

   

Guess who bailed on this cocktail complete with an orange with a GRASSHOPPER? Grasshoppers are very nutritious. They’re about 40 percent protein, 43 percent fat, and 13 percent dietary fiber. They have higher protein content than many other animal and plant sources like chicken, eggs, and beans.

It’s just “a hunk a hunk of burning meat!!” Shoulder that is!  Flames are at the back, he continually turns to cut off the cooked portion

This tree is over 300 years old; there were several but the other were chopped down before the city issued a “don’t chop” order.

We stopped at a tequila shop and got Edgar’s idea of which was best!

We learned churros were originally brought to Mexico by the Chinese, of course the natives perfected them and called them their own 🙂

Our final stop!

It was a fun tour with lovely folks and a great guide.  I’d recommend it early in  your visit.

Full Moon time!       

Vallarta Marina, January 23, 2024

Today’s adventure!  We walk, it’s a mere 1h11m.Our walk takes us past the harbour.  This is a huger than it appears in the photo cruise shipThen we encounter…This massive yacht moored in the PV harbour, of course I had to get the story!  Notice the helicopter in the front.

Super Yacht (click for photos), never heard that term before; is owned by Dennis R. Washington (born 1934) who I also never heard of.  He is an American billonaire industrialist who owns, or co-owns controlling interests in, a large consortium of privately held companies collectively known as the Washington Companies and, in Canada, another collection of companies known as the Seaspan Marine Corporation..

Key Takeaways    

  • Estimated to be worth $200 million, the AV Yacht’s annual running costs are thought to be around $20 million.
  • The AV Yacht, formerly known as Palladium, is an epitome of luxury sailing, built by Blohm and Voss and designed by Michael Leach Design.
  • With an amazing interior design by Michel Leach, the yacht accommodates 24 guests and is managed by a skilled crew of 33.
  • The yacht is powered by two MTU diesel engines, capable of pushing her to a top speed of 19 knots, with a comfortable cruising speed of 16 knots.
  • Owned by billionaire Dennis Washington, the yacht has seen previous ownership under Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
  • The yacht caught media attention when US comedian and The Late Show host Stephen Colbert visited Mikhail Prokhorov in Russia and discussed the yacht and his lifestyle.

Want more yacht info, click here

Now onwards with our day!

We are here! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

This heat and walking sure does ddeserve rewards!!

The marina, how much money is in here.  Probably not as much as the super yacht

There are multiple croc sightings here, we won’t risk itDone here it’s time to head back to the condo.  We’re determined to go by bus, they all pass us by so we walk a little further.  Finally we get one… The transit system here is, well, unpredictable..

Walking from the drop off we see Rosie and clan, there are more of them than we thought!

Wonder where to put your garbage?  Yep right there in the middle of the street!Crazy sky!

Bucerias, January 22, 2024

Today’s adventure begins at a bank, Citibanamex, to exchange some pesos bills for coins to pay for the buses we are taking to Bucerias.  We’ve heard buses do not give change so want to be prepared.  This is yet another experience, walk in to find a dude at the entrance speaking with someone.  Those in teller lines all have a paper this dude gives them,  there are several tellers behind glass, in front of them there are evenly spaced chairs some with folks.  A woman in front of where we were standing speaks English; she explains we must speak to the dude and tell him what we want.  We, somehow explain we want coins for cash.  He sends us to teller 7.  We get our coins, now time to catch a bus.

Walk down the roasd, find a bus stop, many buses go by  that say “Bucerias”

Allan  does the Googles and determines we need a bus to Walmart, from there we catch a Bucerias bus.  There are no transfers.  This is the front of the Walmart busThis is the Bucerias bus, oh ya he gives change 

Made it!  *Who’s that by the I?” Bucerias means divers… 

After mucho haggling we bought hats, 200 pesos each ($15.73/ea Cdn).  Aren’t we cute!!

After wandering around some more it’s lunch time at Miguel Angel’s

Allan had the Mexican Combo and I had the most delicious Mushrooms with Shrimp.  They call it an appetizer but it’s more of a huge meal, made especially better cause I rarely get mushrooms or shrimp.  Most know Allan is not a fan of either.

After much more walking around, a quick drink on the beach before we Uber it back.

Oh the sunsets are so lovely Wonder what Tuesday will bring?

 

Here & There, January 21, 2024

We’re having a down day but for  let’s walk to the first place we rented.

First Allan builds us a delicous breakfast 

We pass this carved door a lot, it makes me think of my friend, Mags, she’d apprecite it. Street signs are not plentiful here, we finally found one!                       Do not adjust your sets!  Yes it’s a street sign, NO you can not read it.  Faded galore.

Let’s walk around to find a green house!  We are such adventurers! 

There it is behind that tree!  We did good by selecting where we are now.  This green house is not in a gated enviroment, the only place to sit outdoors is in the drive way.  We love our roof top

Off to the beach, this is the inaugural run of Allan’s beach shoes

        Who’s that tip toeing on  the other side of the stream?

Sand walking is hard and we’re a little tuckered out, so REWARD time!                              This one has a delicous salt ring   

Let’s take this baby for a spin! 

Did a stop in 

There are tons of little shops but almost all are closed as it’s Sunday.  We shall be back!

I’ll leave you with this…

What do you see????

Walk to Malecón, January 19, 2024

In case you’re wondering:  WestJet’s call came in as requested  No credit yet but he did say it would be issued.  Will see what the next few days bring.

Malecón here we come.  We are learning to dodge the cars and have determined the most considerate drivers and are motorcylers.

The sun worshipper! 

      We too are happy to be here 🙂

It was an hour walk here so it’s that time!  We settle at Océano Azul on the beachThere are pelicans galore!       

These guys want to share our drinks!

Turns out there are pretty smart.  This dude feels them and they sure know it!

We got to meet the area croc.  He just ignored us preferring to sunbathe.  It’s a thing here.

 

Shopping Day, January 18, 2024

We need food!  Today it’s Costco & the local grocery store “La Comer”  The walk there is about 15 minutes

First breakfast; a ceasar salad for me and some type if chicken roll for Allan.  The salad is huge with massive chunks of chicken.  Couldn’t eat it all, also couldn’t get the container top back on, believe me we tried, so had to toss the balance.

Our haul:  Time to Uber back 

  Stuff put away it’s happy hour on the roof

At La Comer we bought store freshly made taco shells as well as a tray with taco stuffing-chicken, peppers, onions.   WOW so delicious!! Chef Allan outdid himself 🙂

Tomorrow after calling Westjet, to try yet again to get our refund for the Lethbridge to Calgary & Calgary to PV legs of our trip,  (It’s so crazy trying to get through the them, we discovered they have a “Request a Call Back from WestJet” form) the plan is to go to the Malecón Boardwalk.  Looking forward to that!