Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Puerto Vallarta with Norman, Liz and Alex....

After spending a two weeks in Selah with Mom & Dad Cheek, we left on March 5th for Puerto Vallarta.  Unlike our normal post-ice travels where we are moving around from one place to another, we thought we would give staying put in one place a try.  We rented a three bedroom, three bath condo in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for four weeks which we shared with various groups of friends.

 The day we arrived just happened to be the day of their Mardi Gras pride parade.

Our first friend to arrive was Norman and here he is with Dave at the parade.

Kelly & Norman on the streets of PV enjoying the parade.

Norman and Dave on the terrace of our condo.

Here are a few photos of our condo Casa Benjamin.  You can check out the website at  It was a beautiful place and fit our needs perfectly.

Kelly & Norman are riding the funicular from the ground level up to our unit.

Our friends & suite mates Liz & Alex arrived on Monday.  Here they are in the small heated pool on our terrace.

Everyday we would spend at least a few hours at the beach.  Here's Dave, Liz & Alex at Ritmo's.

 Kelly at Ritmo's.  Ritmo's is the beach area where we hung out.  It's a bar/restaurant where they provide pallapas and umbrellas and you can spend as much time there as you'd like as you long as you end up buying something.

Here is the church in the main square of Old Town, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

While we were walking along the Malecon (paved walkway along the beach) one day we came across these guys climbing this pole.

They climbed up without ropes or harnesses.  When they got to the top they pulled up ropes that were hanging down and tied them around their feet.  They then started spinning the top portion they were seated on, wrapping the ropes around the pole.

They then proceeded to fall backwards, supported only by these ropes around their feet and they spun around the pole as the ropes unwound and lowered them to the ground.  It was pretty cool to watch!

A view of the Malecon along the beach in Old Town

Norman, Alex & Liz playing in the water.

Kelly lounging at the beach.

Alex loved the fact that he could shop at the beach without having to leave the comfort of his chair.  Here he is checking out a mask that one of the many beach vendors was trying to sell.

Here are Liz & Dave at The Swedes.  This turned out to be one of our favorite restaurants and their Crow's Nest Bar was awesome.

Here are Kelly & Norman relaxing on the terrace.

The first week we were there we saw Humpback Whales from the terrace of our condo almost every day.  This particular night there was a mother with her baby who were jumping out of the water constantly as they swam along the beach.  Here's a photo of the baby as it's jumping out of the water.

Norman & Tim coming down the funicular.

Here we are the Crow's Nest with some guys we met from Chicago.  Mike, Norman, Tim, Dave & Kelly.

Here's Carlos, our favorite waiter at The Swedes, signing Norman's chest.

Puerto Vallarta with Pat, Amy and Susie

All along the beach and the Malecon there are numerous sculptures.

We found this Bar the "Cheeky Monkey" along the Malecon and had to check it out.  The monkey picture does sort of resemble Kelly with the little coif of hair in front!

Here are a few more sculptures

There were also people working on these amazing sand sculptures.

After Norman, Liz & Alex left we had another round of friends join us.  Here are Pat & Susie enjoying a day at the beach.

Dave, Pat, Amy & Susie in the heated pool on our terrace.

Post beach happy hour at the condo.

An evening at the Crow's Nest Bar.

Kelly, Dave, Susie & Amy having dinner at the Casa De Tandoor.

Looking down on the beach from Blue Chairs Bar.

This is the area of the beach where we hung out at Ritmo's.

Looking north from our area in the small & quaint Zona Romantica.  North of us was Old Vallarta and then New Vallarta which is where all the big hotels and time share condos are located.

Having one of the meals at the condo that Kelly cooked for us.

This is the view from the pool at Terraza del Mar.  There are two building located here and our condo was on the building on the left and six floors up.

Here we are relaxing in the infinity pool.

Susie & Amy at sunset on our terrace.

Kelly & Susie

Sunset from our terrace.

Our last week there we decided to do a boat trip to go snorkeling and visit the remote town of Yelapa.  Here are the Los Arcos islands

Susie snorkeling in the bay of Majahuitas

Here are some photos of the beach as we approach Yelapa.  It's a small village on the southern most cove of the Bay of Banderas.

Here are some photos of the village of Yelapa.

Dave & Kelly on the beach in Yelapa

Dave, Susie & Amy on the beach in Yelapa.

There was an open bar on our boat.  Here's Kelly with fellow passengers Chad & Brie.

Susie, Amy, Dave & Kelly on the Vallarta Adventures catamaran.

Here we are at Sama, our favorite martini bar.

Amy & Susie taking the steps down to the beach.

Another beautiful sunset from our terrace.

Susie & Amy watching the sunset.

Susie & Amy at the Crow's Nest with Manuel working behind the bar.

On our last day we met some guys from the Sacramento area.  Here's Dave bumping around the volleyball with them.

Casa de las Flores, one of the guest houses we passed each day on our walk to and from town.  Our condo was a 10 minute walk to town and the beach.

Kelly walking back to the condo along the cobblestone streets,
Enjoying cocktails in our terrace pool on our last night in PV.

The guys we met at the beach from Sacramento invited us up to their condo, which was just behind ours, to watch the sunset.  Here's the view of town from their place.

Phillip, Kelly, Ralph and Salaam.
Kelly, Dave, Phillip and Ralph at their condo at the Horizons.