|Waiting for the plane to board.|
|Nice to have familiar faces, including the Geddes family from the|
Crestwood Ward, the Marler's with their 5 kids and the Warehams,
Jill and Mark.
When we stepped off the plane in Puerto it was very humid and warm. My glasses fogged up immediately. We had to walk through customs after getting our luggage and get a stamp at the border. The lady seemed very bothered that we were there. I just smiled because she was not going to make or break my day. It was a long walk through the airport and we were all split up. There was lots of people trying to get each group signed up for Taxi's or "adventures" and we were told just to keep walking.
Since the Marler's had 5 kids with them they took a lot longer than the rest of the group so Rebekah wanted to stay behind and make sure they knew where to go. I walked further down the aisle and outside just to find out where everyone else was and then I went back to wait with Rebekah. We were told to move once by security since we were in a large glass doorway but everything else was open. At least it was slightly cooler where we were standing rather than being outside with the group. We made it into our 2van Taxis and drove to Nuevo Vallarta and the Villa Magna "Dreams" Resort.
|View from inside our room looking out to the patio to the left.|
|The view from our room with the jacuzzi tub and patio.|
|The view from the balcony looking right. A hot tub at the end|
of a large swimming pool.
|View straight out from our room on the balcony. You can see the ocean in the distance.|
Monday evening we tried a restaurant called The Patio which served mostly Mexican cuisine. Tuesday morning we ate breakfast at the buffet and then went swimming in the large pool outside. They set up a volleyball net and we played some surf volleyball with crazy rules against some of the Marler kids and Linda. We also attended a water aerobics class and just had fun in the water. We had used sunscreen prior to getting out in the sun but it didn't last very long and we were both burnt pretty badly the first day in the sun.
Wednesday was our first excursion. We went snorkeling near Yelapa and then docked at the town and hiked to their water fall. The fish were all around the boat thanks to the fact that they fed them and it was fun to swim around all the fish. The falls were very lame but it was fresh water and I took a dip under the falls to get all the salt water off from the body.
|Rebekah made sure her life vest was on.|
|On the way to Yelapa and the snorkeling adventure.|
|A selfie with Puerto Vallarta in the background.|
|The first step off at Yelapa. We are sun burned.|
|The falls in the background. There was a nice|
little pool that the falls dropped into and you could
stand under the falls and "wash up".
On Thursday we went to las Caletas, the former home of John Houston the movie director and actor. He had a lovely compound built for vacationing with guests and he gave it to the country of Mexico. They use it as a tourist destination and it's very lovely. They had snorkeling, sea boarding, kayaking and more. I chose to avoid the sun and go to the cooking class. I'm glad I did because it was fun to see how they made some traditional foods but it was very hot and still mostly in the sun. I was getting pretty sick after so Rebekah made sure I was in the shade, sitting down and had ice water to cook me down. I really appreciated her care and concern.
After the class on Paella we went to another location and divided up into stations and each station chopped and prepared a different part of the meal. The chef gave each station some tips on how to do the prep like a pro. I was at the guacamole station but I observed the ceviche station to see how you make a raw meat dish. It was very interesting. He said that if you are worried about eating raw food then just boil the meat for 2 minutes first and then put it in the lemon/lime juice to finish "cooking".
Friday was our last excursion and we were trying to leave the best for last. We were going to the Isla Murietas. A national park that had a beach in the center of the island that you could only access through a hole in the side of the island through the water. After we got there they said the Park was now protected and no one could walk of the beach etc. They said it was made a protected park in 2005 so we were really bummed at the false advertising. We did stay with the tour to the island but we couldn't do anything to close to land. The snorkeling was a bust since the waves were too strong that it churned up sand from the bottom and you couldn't see more than 4 feet in front of you. I did try out a kayak that was fun and I went on the "bird tour" which took use to the "blow holes" that you could see from the skiff that we were in. I did see a blue-footed Booby bird which was interesting as they are only there and on the Galapagos Island. It was educational but not what we were expecting.
|The Entrance to Las Caletas.|
|Finding shade under a beach umbrella.|
|Seafood paella with a crab in the middle.|
It's made with lots of spices, onion, fresh garlic,
saffron, turmeric, sea salt, and lots of rice
in a seafood base.
|The chef added clams, mussels, shrimp, etc.|
|Next came the prawns...whole.|
|The final touch...red peppers, peas and olives. |
Then the whole pan is covered with aluminum foil
and cooked for about 20 minutes to let the rice get soft.
It has to be basmati rice or a spanish type of rice
so it's doesn't get sticky.
|We each got an apron and a chef's hat.|
|The finished meal with tostadas and tortilla chips to help|
scoop up the ceviche, pico de gallo, salsa and guacamole.
|Rebekah finishing up her meal with music in|
|Early morning on the ocean.|
|A selfie on the way to the Isla.|
|Kayaking close to the Island.|
|The white on the walls of the island was bird poop.|
Saturday was our last opportunity to jump into the pool. We had to be out of our room by 12:00. When we arrived at the airport the plane that we were to fly on hadn't left LA and would be 3 hours late. We knew that we would miss our connection to Seattle so when I made it to the check in I told the gentleman that they needed to find a flight to somewhere else so that we could get back to Seattle since Rebekah had to play the piano for the choir performance on Sunday. He was soooo stressed. There were lots of people in the same situation and they needed to get flights for everyone. They ended up putting us on a flight that gave us 45 minutes to make it through LAX immigration and Border patrol, another security check and to the gate for the next flight. We almost didn't make it. What an adventure!!!
Stephen and Samuel had been very busy this whole week with Youth Conference. They had a thunderstorm and rain, picked lots of strawberries and raspberries, mowed the lawn and helped out with youth conference.