Monday, February 27, 2017

A puppy and colour!

Our walk this morning took us down along the river. Enroute we picked up large glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice for 10 pesos each (60 cents) and pieces of homemade cake, still warm from the oven for 15 pesos each (90 cents). John booked an appointment with his PV Cardiologist for Thursday morning...just to have him do an annual checkup.

The walkway along the river is beautiful. While locals still live in a variety of abodes here it is obvious that gringos are moving in. Laundry is still hung on makeshift clotheslines and some is even washed in the river before being placed to dry on river rocks.

I couldn't resist holding this little puppy for a few minutes!

There is colour and artistry everywhere.

Love this mural!

Some of the foliage along the way.

Colour, colour, colour!

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Our hosts invited friends for cocktails last night. We hosted 5 Canadians, 4 Italians and 3 Mexicans. It was a fun evening with good food and fun conversations. I did not take one photo!! The youngest guest surprised us with the fact that she is a co-worker with a former Salmon Arm resident, Joan Pearson. One of the Italian guests reminisced with us about trips to the Greek island of Symi, one of our favourite islands to visit. Ranging is age from 23-80 years, we all shared our experiences.

Three photos from earlier in the week.

This is what retirement looks like!

Potties for passersby!

Those are miserable looking fish...
...enter at your own risk!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Birds of Paradise and birthday wishes!

In paradise with the birds!

Sending birthday hugs and kisses to Heather and Chris
on this special day that they share!

Well Strung and Saturday market

Last night we were entertained by the "Well Strung Quartet" for their third annual visit to PV. They are accomplished musicians...three violins and one cello... playing classical numbers as well as "popsicles" by blending pop songs with classical tunes. The Palm seems like a strange venue for the group because it usually hosts a variety of drag shows and pop music singers. The intimacy of the small space works really well though and the acoustics are quite good.

In between their amazing instrumental skills they introduced bits of humour for the audience.

This morning I walked through the market while John was tortured in the gym.

Handmade brooms

Mexican delicacies

Musical instruments made from gourds and local woods.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday morning in town

It has been an interesting week! Trotting to the toilet and laying on the bed has occupied my time. Today we both hopped on the bus into town to meet our "No Trump Zone" companions for morning coffee. There were tales of suffering with the flu and colds. Most of the group had battled with some type of bug since we saw them last week but we were still united in coming together to present a photographic moment for supportive passersby.

The group includes Americans from several states: Texas, Illinois, N. Carolina, New York, California,  Connecticut, DC. They all have different stories about the changes that are taking place in their corner of the USA.

On our walk later we encountered many supporters (Mexican and gringos)who applauded the t-shirts and stopped us to share their displeasure with American politics.

There are several suspension bridges over the Rio Cuale river in PV.
This morning we challenged our balance on rickety legs
and successfully traversed two of them!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The morning tree

The first thing I see
when I open my eyes
is the morning tree
full of birds.

It is still raining leaves
waiting for spring
to creep through the air
in a burst of green.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Enjoying the Mexican trots today...
carving a pathway in the marble floor
from the temple of the bed to the trusty toilet!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Another sunset

Tonight's sunset after a semi-stormy day

El Rio and rain

Last night we drove out to El Rio for an outdoor dinner concert. Samira, a Tina Turner impersonator from Vancouver, entertained us for over an hour. She had a strong voice, similar to Tina's, but her movements weren't quite right.

It was an eventful evening because the restaurant was enduring a power outage and the skies started to spit rain. At one point there was a double rainbow as the weather tried to decide whether to pour or sprinkle on us. After a brief rain shower we returned to our table and dragged it under a canopy. Waiters finally arrived with our drinks and we placed orders for our meal. Meanwhile the sky darkened. By 8pm our dinner arrived and we ate in the dark, identifying the BBQ ribs by feel! I think there was potato salad on the plate but I am not positive!

Fortunately the restaurant had purchased a generator so they were able to provide lighting and sound for the show. The kitchen and bar struggled to serve food and drinks.

By 9:30pm, at the end of the show, the power returned and half of the audience was scrambling to catch the last return bus to town.

It rained overnight, drenching everything and cleaning the air.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

More about buses

The bus system in Puerto Vallarta is quite simple. You pay the driver when you board...7.5 pesos for blue or green buses inside the city/ 8 pesos for orange buses to Mismaloya or Boca). It doesn't matter whether you are going to the end of the route or just one stop...the fare is the same. There are NO transfers from bus to bus. If you disembark and want to board another pay again!

The city buses have a listing of destinations on the windshield.

There are some newer buses on the streets
but there are also a lot of older ones.

You should feel perfectly safe because the driver and his passengers
are protected by at least one cross and a favourite Saint
hanging inside above the dashboard!

Animals are not allowed onboard
but screaming children are encouraged!

The orange buses to Mismaloya and Boca offer the fullest range of entertainment. Heading south there is often a musician or two or three onboard to regale passengers with a couple of songs. There are also the tourists who are uncertain about where to disembark so they tend to huddle at the front, blocking the aisle for others. Then there is one gringo who clutches an unfinished beer that he refused to throw away. Most passengers opt to leave by the front doors so there is a constant jostling of positions and smack to the head with backpacks and over-the-shoulder beach bags that must hold 12 packs of beer or 50 pounds of groceries!

It is an adventure each time...and I love it!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Music and "NO TRUMP ZONE"

Last night we went to another concert...this time it was a vocal group comprised of 2 sopranos, 2 altos, 2 tenors and 2 baritones. They harmonised with a variety of tunes in English, Italian and Spanish...really great entertainment! All of the singers were over 60 years of age, full of energy and talent!

After the concert we walked over to La Bohemia for a delicious dinner.

Geri and Ann took their turn with the sombrero...

...before passing it along to Mike, John and me.

Sol Rose, the owner of La Bohemia, serenaded us with Sinatra tunes!

This morning we donned our "NO TRUMP ZONE" t-shirts
and joined a group of American ex-pats to share our feelings
about America's chosen leader.

We couldn't believe the number of people who asked to take our photo
and stopped to give us a "thumbs-up".

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Morning walk

My apologies to all of the blog readers who would like to see landscapes! My eye always wants to capture small bits and pieces instead of vistas.

This morning's walk took me along the river with a serenade of rooster's crowing and dogs barking. Away from the touristic part of PV there are simple homes where the locals live.

Chickens, dogs and children wander between the buildings.

Heading back toward the sea I discovered that the Mercado (covered market)
has a new coat of brilliant orange paint...

...and Valentines Day is still celebrated on the wall of this live music venue!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Music, yoga and ribs

The people up the hill were sharing their taste in music with the rest of us yesterday evening. It was extremely disturbing! I retreated to our bedroom, closed the doors and muted the assault. We finally left for town and a delicious dinner at El Brujo followed by ice cream at Lix.

Ungainly Chachalacas were chomping on yellow flowers in the trees this afternoon while yellow breasted Kiskadees took turns swooping into the pool for their evening dip. Pelicans soared past in "air force" formation and swallows made their nightly visit to a pool on the hill. A hummingbird flew into the living room and found itself stuck behind the track for sliding glass doors. It finally managed to fly free and we all applauded.

An early morning yoga class (26 participants) on the Malecon.

Tonight we drove to El Rio to enjoy a dinner of beef ribs before taking friends to the airport for their return flight to Vancouver....such delicious ribs!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I had requests to see more photos of Casa del Mirador

Looking into our bedroom from the patio outside.

The view from our bedroom.

Another gorgeous sunset!

20 month dry spell

Off to town today. John will work on strengthening his muscles at the gym while I pound the pavement in an attempt to stay"heart healthy".

I have tackled a new canvas which has resulted in awkward results... so the afternoon will be spent correcting or obliterating yesterday's colours and shapes. This is what happens when a person doesn't lift a paint brush for 20 months!!! OMG!!

I knew that it had been a long time but 20 months seems incredible. Then I started to think about everything that we have done in that 20 month period! Held a solo exhibition in June 2015, sold our home at the end of November 2015, transitioned to a gypsy life, made two trips to Greece(2 months each) and toured the Balkans, flew twice to Mexico for two month visits, in between we have inhabited our friends' apartment in Vancouver and my sister's extra bedroom in Cloverdale. There has not been a sustained calm period that has prompted me to ponder new creations or to lift a paint brush. It has been a "gypsy-life experience" with two suitcases and a car trunk load of miscellaneous stuff! I will experiment with a new style on elongated horizontal canvases. Magic might happen!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I love the bus!

I love riding the bus from Mismaloya into Puerto Vallarta. Early this morning we were the only gringos in a busload of Mexicans on their way to work. The driver of our ancient carriage was very skilled at navigating the 18 sets of "topes" (speed bumps) that line the route to discourage speeding.
The seats were slippery and we had to reposition ourselves with every bump along the way. After we disembarked, it took a short walk to adjust our bones back to where they felt comfortable again!

The driver has applied silver paint to his dashboard and cashbox.
He drives, shifts gears and makes change for the passengers.

Sitting outside at Dee's Cafe we savoured her handmade scones which are reminiscent of the way baked goods used to taste before they were mass produced and wrapped in cellophane...delicious!

A new bike rack on display across from Dee's.

On my morning walk I spotted a Magnificent Frigatebird 
with his red sac exposed to attract females that were perched nearby.

On the return trip to Mismaloya we had the same bus & driver with the added enjoyment of a young singer and guitarist onboard. He serenaded the passengers with one Spanish song and two songs in tortured English. I think that everyone was relieved when he left the bus.

Since we don't board the bus at a regular stop we have to wave wildly for the driver to stop and pick us up. On the return trip it is even trickier because if we don't stand up in time and ask him to stop we could end up half a mile past the house. The trip costs fifty cents each way and is always guaranteed to provide entertainment!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Saturday walkabout

Into town this morning for the gym and a walkabout.
Enjoyed coffee, muffins and hugs at Dee's Cafe.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Mismaloya sunset

A lazy Friday

Two more guests arrived yesterday so we have a full house for three nights before they head south to an Eco-Reserve site where they will be "roughing it" for one week in a doors, windows or hot water! Should be a challenging experience for them.

We decided to have a laid back day trip into PV...just whale watching, reading and writing. The other guests are in charge of dinner prep (I cooked last night) so we will just laze around the property in various locations until the cocktail hour.

Due to a snowfall in the Vancouver area I have had requests for sunny photos!! Not sure whether that makes you feel happier to know that we are here and you are not...but...!

This is where we love to sit in the mornings
and in the cocktail hour!

One of the "protected" trees on the property.
It is a resting spot for birds of every size and colour.

New Puerto Vallarta letters painted by children.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017