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Sunday, October 3, 2010

First Stop: Puerto Vallarta

After being on the ship for 2 days, we were more than ready to get off and look around at our first stop. :) Here it is! Our first look at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! It really wasn't what I expected at all. I thought the water would be a beautiful blue and it wouldn't all look so gray and dismal. However, I was really impressed by the gorgeous mountains that were covered in a lush, green jungle.

Jeremy and I went out on deck and watched as our ship came into port and parked.

It's pretty fascinating how the captain of such a huge ship can maneuver it so gently into place. We came right up to this dock and he moved the ship horizontally, very slowly, until we were almost touching. Cool!

Here is a view of our ship once we got off.

Jeremy's work arranged for all of us to go stay at a local all-inclusive resort for a day. We took a few pictures in the lobby while we waited to get checked in. Hee hee! I'm so happy!

Jeremy is happy too, he just doesn't show it as much.

The entire lobby was open-air and they had animals just wandering around. This peacock amused us for awhile as it strutted through all of us visitors.

More lobby pictures with our group.

Here is the peacock wandering around between everyone while we got our wristbands on.

The resort was pretty empty and the general manager gave us a quick tour of the place. He showed us the restaurant, the pool, our rooms where we could dump our stuff, and answered any questions we had. Then we were free to enjoy the day!

This picture is for Nathan. It's a "pirate ship" that was out in the water.

The sky was all clouded over, so we just headed over to the restaurant for breakfast. I ordered my usual food, but I completely ruined my omelette. I decided to try having a "little" jalapenos put in my omelette. Well, I guess the guy didn't understand that I only wanted a little bit to try. The thing was full of them and it was the hottest omelette I've ever eaten! So, I ended up just having 1/2 plate of fruit for breakfast.What a disappointment. I think I learned my lesson and will stick to the basics from now on. Oh, the papaya was gross too. I don't know why I keep trying that. I always think, hm . . . maybe I'll like it this time. No. Still just as gross. Again - stick to the basics!

Unfortunately the sun didn't come out all morning. Since we only had one day at the resort, we wanted to take full advantage. We still got in the pool and enjoyed a great game of water volleyball. :) The service at the resort was absolutely unparalleled! I think it was due to the lack of guests and lots of employees. The GM had told us that they were only filled to 18% of capacity.

Anyway, the whole time we were there, the whole time we were there, the employees were very diligent with bringing us drinks and food. I enjoyed my fair share of mango coladas (non-alcoholic). That is by far my favorite specialty drink there - way better than the pina colada. So, if you get the chance - order a mango colada!

I really felt like all we did at the resort was eat! We ate, and ate, and ate, and ate! It was all so good, though. After breakfast, water volleyball, and several mixed drinks later (all non-alcoholic, don't worry), we had lunch. Nachos - and fajitas. We were all craving Mexican food because #1 - we were in Mexico, duh. And #2 - there was no Mexican food offered on the ship. :) That gave us another great reason to eat pretty much everything in sight.

After we ate, Rhonda and Art came to eat.

This is the beach at the resort. Jeremy and I brought our snorkelling gear, but we didn't use it because there was no way we would have been able to see anything in that water. All the rain had filled the rivers with muddy water and emptied right out into the bay. It was quite disappointing to not be able to get into the water.

Notice the man standing there with his box 'o stuff to sell? I guess they have an agreement with the resort that they can't come onto the property to sell to the guests. So, in order to not breach that agreement, all the peddlars would stand right at the fence and watch us as we sat at the pool. Then if any of us made eye contact they would do whatever they could to get our attention. Ridiculous!

LOL! Another picture of some of us eating! This is Elizabeth and Dave enjoying their lunch.

Here is the restaurant by the pool. They are the ones that so kindly kept bringing us food and more food.

After lunch this iguana came out to the pool to join our party. It was huge!

Shoot. Jeremy could have said 1-2-3 so I'd know when to open my eyes! So, here I am "sleeping" next to the iguana.

There was some hibiscus growing nearby, so a lot of the guys just had to take their turn feeding the iguana. Jeff had the most fun taunting it. I'm surprised he didn't get bit.

Troy's turn. He was a little nicer to our iguana friend. As you can see, the sun also came out for the afternoon. :)

Isn't it so pretty with the sun out? Honestly this was the first day that really felt like a vacation for Jeremy and I. Once we got to the resort we were able to take a deep breath and just relax. It was all so enjoyable! We played a game of beach volleyball when the sun came out and it got hot really fast. Jeremy and I both got sunburned pretty good. :)

Ha ha. Here I am eating cheesecake.

After volleyball, the general manager brought something out to show our group. It was baby sea turtles! I didn't get any pictures, but he had several little turtles in a milk jug with the top cut off. He let us all hold the turtles for a while. Then he showed us where we could go see all the sea turtle eggs that were buried in the sand. I was pretty proud of myself for holding a sea turtle. I'm not one for holding little creatures, but they were really cute. :)

I also did end up going to those annoying peddlars and bargained to get myself a swimsuit cover-up dress. This is the one I picked, and those are the sales tents behind us.

This is the beach side of the restaurant we ate at all afternoon.

After I went to buy my dress, I came back and showed Rhonda my dress. She decided she had to have one too, so she went and picked out her black and purple dress! TWINS! :)

Mmmmmm. Jeremy and I with our mango coladas.

This is Tino. He was our waiter all afternoon and was AWESOME! We tried to get him to come and play volleyball with us, but he said he couldn't - his job was to serve. So he watched us play all afternoon and just kept bringing us drinks. It's too bad he couldn't just come play for a minute. He sure was nice.

We left the comforts of the resort a little early so we could go shopping in Puerto Vallarta. We took a taxi and I took several pictures of the city as we drove.

Notice how the streets are all brick or cobblestone? Even the main roads! It was really pretty, but made for a bumpy drive.

I was so super duper happy about the shopping in Puerto Vallarta because I've been looking for a small leather backpack for months now. I didn't know that this city is known for having great, cheap leather. We went into a leather shop and I heard the angels singing behind me! Right there was the EXACT bag I've been looking for and haven't been able to find ANYWHERE! The leather on the bag is so soft and it smells SO GOOD. The name of the shop was Rolling Stone and they had the neatest stuff in there. I guess they are kind of famous because a lot of big-name people go there to get stuff. Gene Simmons got some boots at that store (there was a picture of him on the wall). That's not why I bought my bag, though. I bought the bag because it was PERFECT! After that I was thrilled to pieces. We just went from shop to shop until we ran out of time. Then we caught another taxi and went back to the ship.

The entertainment on the ship for the evening just capped off a perfect day. We went to the show on the ice rink on the ship. I've never seen anything like it! The rink was small and the things the skaters were able to do on such a small space were absolutely fascinating to watch.

I won't try to explain the show because it wouldn't do it justice, but it really was awesome. I'd have to say it was the best resort/cruise entertainment I've seen.

This marks the end of our day in Puerto Vallarta.


Megz said...

You know you can't resist buying stuff where Gene Simmons has been....

I think I could really get used to that resort. Sounds dreamy. Totally craving some tropical drinks now, thanks!

Jen said...

I want those fajitas again!! And the strawberry daiquiri.

Matt and Cristina said...

I love Puerto Vallarta! I spent a summer vacation there when I was in college. My friends and I had a blast. I saw the picture of Elizabeth and Dave enjoying their lunch and said, "I totally know them!" I taught their two youngest daughters in school. They are an awesome family.

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