Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Top Ten For Christmas In Puerto Vallarta

Christmas in Mexico kind of snuck up on us.  Although there are Nativity Scenes dotted around every town and the occasional Christmas Carol to be heard, the season doesn't quite club you over the head here as it does at home.  So, this year it seemed to be more about just being together and enjoying ourselves.

We made a pact that there would be no Christmas presents; instead we would put the money towards a family activity.  Everyone broke the rule to some degree (OK…we’re human), but we were pretty moderate in our present giving and were able to enjoy an incredible Boxing Day adventure with the left over “Christmas Budget”  and thanks to Nana’s wonderful gift to the family.

We've had so many great times in the past couple weeks that it wasn’t easy to come up with the following list of our Top Ten……..

The Silvers’ Top 10 Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta During Christmas:
  1. Rent a hotel room at Paradise Village - with AC, TV, and 2 (yes, count them…..TWO) wonderful showers this was a real hit with both sailors and RV’ers. Even the short two-day stay rejuvenated us.
  2. Christmas shop in Old Town Puerto Vallarta - the Malecon buskers were pretty incredible and taste testing in the Tequila Shops was indeed tasty.
  3. Kayak through the estuary at Nuevo Vallarta - in search of the giant Green Iguanas which for some reason are actually orange, not green at all…..go figure.
  4. Have a mega Ping Pong tournament - won in overtime by Tanner and followed by 5 rounds of Ring-a-Ping…Anja’s crazy game that makes you laugh so hard your stomach hurts.
  5. Sneak You-Know-Who into the not so pet friendly hotel room – a stealth mission that Tony still hasn't quite recovered from.
  6. Have Huevos Rancheros for Christmas brunch - we all decided that they “smacked down” our usual Eggs Benedict…a new tradition is formed.
  7. Attempt to cook a traditional turkey dinner in a foreign country - grocery shopping for ingredients was a challenge and we ended up with some new tastes and discoveries.  What the hell is Camote anyways?  Looks like a turnip, but definitely doesn’t taste like a turnip!
  8. Go Extreme Zip-lining - OMG…..should we really be going this fast!!!! Our adventure also included ATV driving, a Unimog off-road trip, and a ridiculously fast waterslide down the mountain side.  Thanks again, Nana!
  9. Take a Panga ride to the Hidden Beach at Tres Marietas – although we mistook the name for meaning “secret” instead of “hidden”, we soon discovered that at least 100 other people knew about this beach!  Despite the crowd it was amazing.
  10. Watch the Banderas Bay New Year’s Eve fireworks – 20 resorts around the bay were setting off    fireworks for at least 30 mins.  An incredible display of pyrotechnics and we had the best seat in town while anchored in the bay off of La Cruz. 
A Malecon busker in Old Town PV....he was one hot Santa!

An Angel on Kathy's shoulder

Lea in search of Iguanas

Hmmmm.....anyone for a dip?

Spotted this Papa Iguana

View from our 2 bed/2 bath hotel room....pretty sweet

Don't tell anyone that there's a dog in that pack!

Tony breaks the rules and gives Kathy a spa gift certificate for Christmas....gotta love that man!

Tanner and Lea stop teasing each other long enough to make Huevos Rancheros for brunch

Simply delicious!

A couple of goofy Elves

The stuffing was superb....a little cumin and chilli adds some Mexican flavour

An angel tops our purple tree

Anja, Bram and Willy help devour the turkey

Too much turkey dinner and Tanner is out for the count

Duelling zip lines

Polaris ATVs are FUN to drive

"Big Daddy" zip line...1.2 km long, going at least 50 km/hr, head first...... adrenaline rush!

Tarpan heads out of Paradise Marina and we are going to miss them

 Kathy's happy, pampered feet with a Christmas pedicure

 Happy campers...no boaters

Tony, the panga driver, takes us into a pretty tight cave

Going in search of the Hidden Beach, Tres Marietas

Kathy, Lea, Bryn and Tony in the Hidden Beach with a "few" of their friends

A bowl with a hole punched in the top and a white sand beach in the bottom

Accessed by swimming thru a 50 ft tunnel with only a couple feet overhead

Banderas Bay New Year's Eve fireworks

As we look back on this Christmas we realize that we have had the very best of times.  Although we missed many of our family members and friends, we were fortunate to have Bryn, Lea and Tanner join us.  The only sad moment was watching our friends, Anja, Bram and Willy untie from the dock and head south without us.  We won’t be catching up with them again this trip but have vowed to make our way to Holland in the next few years for a visit.  Hasta luega Tarpan.

So Happy New Years and may this be a year of happiness and good fortune for all!

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