Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nuevo Vallarta

In what has become a Mexico tradition, we once again spent TJ’s birthday weekend on the beaches of tourist-laden Vallarta.

Only this time it wasn’t Puerto Vallarta, but nearby Nuevo Vallarta instead, that called our names.

Puerto Vallarta, the beach/hotel/resort getaway of choice for many Mexicans (as well as Americans and Canadians!) has gotten too big for it’s britches in recent years, and the solution was to set up a residential & resort community 15 miles to the north on the adjacent shorelines of the state of Nayarit.

Whereas Puerto Vallarta is filled with old hotels, restaurants, and homes, many of which are in need of maintenance but are nevertheless worth visiting for the historical element (and let's face it, party atmosphere) alone, Nuevo Vallarta was created merely to be a one-stop shopping experience for today’s R&R-minded traveller.

The beach is lined with sparkly, shiny, all-inclusive resorts, and we opted for one of three (three!) Riu resorts, dubbed Riu Jalisco (Never mind the fact that we were in Nayarit).

Joining us on this three-day weekend was our friend Sergio (Yeyo), with whom I had recently attended the Selena Gomez concert. He was replacing our other friend Sergio (confusing, much?), who himself was back in town for a quick vacation from his home in Mexicali. We previously visited Tesoro Resort with him, and he had been looking forward to this weekend for months but had to cancel last minute due to bronchitis. I saw him a couple of days before we left, and he looked a hot mess. Hope you feel better soon, amigo! Actually, since I’m writing this six days later, I hope you’re all better NOW. Otherwise, go to the doctor, cuz you might be dying.

Sergio #1’s loss was Sergio # 2’s gain, as Riu Jalisco was a drastic improvement over Tesoro. The food was better, and more plentiful. The rooms were cleaner. The drinks were sweeter (not everyone’s preference, but they were just plain bitter at Tesoro, which is NOONE’S preference). The evening entertainment was less campy, and highly enjoyable.

I don’t want to speak too poorly of Tesoro, because we did have fun there. Of course, it was our first all-inclusive experience so we had nothing to judge it by. Now, we do. On second thought, our recent stay at a no-inclusive hotel in Manzanillo was better than Tesoro as well, so maybe Tesoro wasn’t all that great to begin with.

The weekend in Nuevo Vallarta was spent in perfect laziness. Mornings on the beach and afternoons by the pool interrupted only by our need to eat and sleep. I read most of Ricky Martin’s memoir, Me, which I’m hating so much that it will probably get its own blog post once I’ve finished it just so I can talk about how vile it is. We turned on the Super Bowl just long enough to watch Madonna’s Halftime Show…and then quickly made for the Internet to see what people had to say about it. Y’all are nasty. Give the woman a break, she’s in her 50’s! Okay, the new song and the cheerleader motif were a bit tacky and that trashy M.I.A. shouldn’t have flipped the bird…But the rest was rockin’.

We spent one evening in the resort’s nightclub, but it was so boring (i.e. full of old grannies) and smelly (THINK: feet or poop or used feminine hygiene products or maybe all three) that we decided to head into Puerto Vallarta proper the following evening for a true night on the town. Our final evening was spent dining at the resort’s churrascuria, where our table caught on fire. We suspect arson. Or maybe it was for show. Either way, it made the food taste delicious!

All told, it was an excellent weekend.

My only regret is that I am writing this blog from the Guadalajara International Airport, where I await a flight to Houston that will allow me to be with my mother as she undergoes a minor medical procedure tomorrow. It is my parents’ first health scare since I left Texas nine years ago, and I feel that it is important that I be there for them. They are both scared, and I want them to know that no matter where the Foreign Service takes us, I can, and will, be there when they need me.

I just wish I was leaving tomorrow instead, because today is TJ’s actual birthday. He assured me that it was fine, and that he had all the fun he needed over the weekend, but I still feel guilty for not being there this evening. And so, I end this blog with the one thing he wanted but did not receive this weekend, the Mexican Birthday song:

Feliz cumpleaños, mi amor. Ya te extraño.