Spring Escape South of the Border – Puerto Vallarta

We are home from a brief escape from this seemingly never-ending Minnesota winter.  Our destination was Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  The weather was warm, the scenery beautiful and the food fresh and delicious.

Puerto Vallarta is on the Pacific side of Mexico and has a much different landscape from the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean side, where we have previously traveled.  It is mountainous and more lush in vegetation.  Although it does not quite compare to the beautiful white sand and turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, the ocean here is still stunning and you can’t avoid feeling relaxed listening to the crashing waves.

We chose to not go the all-inclusive route on this vacation, as we were traveling without the kids (they are still bitter) and wanted to have more dining options.  Our hotel was lovely with a great pool and very well-manicured grounds.   We enjoyed lunch every day in the restaurant near the pool, taking in the views.

The familiar beach vendors set up every morning just outside of the hotel beach area.  Each time someone walks by they call out,  “Amiga, necklace? Bracelet?  T-shirt?”  Uniformly dressed in white, they seemed less aggressive than others we have encountered.  In fact, it almost seemed as though there may have even been some type of rules they were following in their sales.

Prior to departing, we heard horror stories about the high pressure time-share sales people in Puerto Vallarta.  Having experienced them in earlier travels to Mexico, I thought we were prepared.  We would not fall prey to their tactics!  After arriving at the airport and gathering our luggage, we proceeded towards the exit to catch a taxi.  We were shuffled through a tunnel of time-share people on both sides of us, all trying to get our attention.  It was quite shocking!  We managed to walk straight ahead, ignoring them all.  Ah, we felt so smug.

Thinking we had escaped the time-share people, we checked into our hotel, explored a bit, and then headed to the marina area to have some dinner.  The views were beautiful in the marina and we enjoyed a nice dinner.  At the end of the meal, a “waitress” came to clear our table and started making small talk with us, asking when we had arrived and what we planned on doing while in Puerto Vallarta.  She was so friendly and helpful, full of information and advice.  After mentioning that we were thinking of going on a zip-line tour, she perked up and launched into a sales pitch about the great discount she could give us if we went to this time-share presentation.  It would only take an hour of our time, and just look at all the money we would save, this was a new and exclusive property, etc., etc.  About 20 minutes later, we had finally convinced her that we would NOT commit to a presentation, but that she could give us her name and we might call if we change our mind.  Of course, we never called.  The take-away lesson was to always be on guard!

Our time in Puerto Vallarta was mainly spent by the pool, walking on the beach, sitting on our patio reading, and enjoying relaxing dinners in the evenings by ourselves.  It has been several years since we have escaped without the kids, and even though I felt a little guilty (just a little), I also realize how important it is to get away and spend time as a couple.  We have crazy busy lives and it was so rejuvenating to escape to the sunshine together.

So we are home from our escape south of the border, feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever is left of this Minnesota winter and spring.


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