Sunday, January 10, 2010


Taking a break from the cold and the snow, my wife Deb and I travelled down to the Pacific coast of Mexico for a week. Our sons Jeremy and Colin beat us there by about a week, spending a few days in Guadalajara before bussing down to Puerto Vallarta with the task of finding us a decent place to stay for a few nights during the high season of Epiphany. The Mexicans were on vacation.

The boys did a good job. One tossed the other in the ocean, wearing his cell phone. So we couldn't actually reach them. The other left his cash card back home. So they were broke when we did find them. But they did the job. We stayed at the Marlyn, a very Mexican little hotel in old, el centro PV. And they found the best Mexican food in town, ironically cooked by a gay chef named Austin, from Boston. Life can be very strange like that.

Soon enough, we'd had enough of Puerto Vallarta. It was a madhouse, and not our kind of madhouse. We were looking for something else. The boys celebrated our imminent departure by staying out all night, drinking and shooting pool. It was two very silly, sleepy boys we trundled out of town. We'd rented what was supposed to be the smallest little Dodge the Mexican Hertz handled, but got a nice SUV instead. Don't ask.

Breakfast. We drove up coast to Bucerias, which used to be, according to the Lonely Planet, one very cool place, and cheap. Breakfast at the famous Orange Building on the beach was great, but not cheap. The boys continued to celebrate, but soon after breakfast hit their bellies, it was off to the beach chairs with them.

Well, we had to find a place to stay.

I had read about a nice little beach hamlet north of

Bucerias, called San Francisco, so over the mountains and up the coast we went. We found a very crowded, claustrophobic

San Francisco all right, with expensive places to stay. The tourists had found it. Drat.

There was nothing for it but to continue to drive north. The boys were still lost to the world, unaware of the growing discomfort Deb and I were feeling at not really being sure of what wewere doing. Over another mountain, down into a valley we drove. I came to another hamlet, and just decided to turn left. Right away, the vibes were better. This was a quieter, cleaner, less touristy place. Half a mile into town I came to a nice looking bungalow, called Tortuga, The Turtles. It had the most beautfiful VACANTE sign out in front! Better, it had prices that were half what we

were paying in PV! Not a word of English was spoken by the elderly manager, but he showed me a nice two room bungalow with a nice kitchen, back patio, right on the pool. Sold. The room wouldn't be ready for an hour, could we come back? Somehow the idea was conveyed. So off to the beach we went. The boys we depostied under some palms trees, took a swim and a walk, and then headed back to claim our room. And there we stayed for three comfortable, interesting, relaxing days. Aside from the nail I took in a tire, requiring the services of the local nail-in-tire-repair guy (No, really. He knew what he was doing!), it was all good. Colin became the bungalow’s residence translator, and Deb, Colin and Jeremy took part in cooking enormous Mexican breakfasts: refritas, fresh hot corn tortillas from the local tortilla factory, fresh mango and pineapple, eggs with hot peppers, and mucho hot salsa. Camp coffee, Mexican pastries, and guacamole. Feasts, my friends! Feasts.


Christy said...

That's awesome!!!

Jill said...

I was wondering how Colin would end up liking it in PV. I recommended he check it out while down in Guad since it was just 5 hours or so by bus to get there. You guys look right at home in your little orange bungalow. I wish we had those in Michigan.

Jill said...

Just out of curiosity... how did you know the chef was gay?

Bruce Gee said...

Plus, we were most definitely smack dab in the middle of PV's gay section. The boys had already been propositioned a dozen times by the time we arrived.

PV is Mexico's Wisconsin Dells, if you know what I mean. Worth a quick look, then get outta town. Lo de Marcos, where we ended up, was much more to our liking.