Ringing in 2018: Puerto Vallarta
2017 has been exhausting. All year long I had been telling myself that I would take a vacation in October, then I’d push it to November, and finally I forced myself to book something. I ended up heading down to Puerto Vallarta on NYE.
Because why not head to a place that’s at 100% capacity to celebrate the fact that we made it through another year!
I booked the perfect flight that sent me up to Seattle for the night first, which was perfect to see one of my friends and deliver Christmas gifts up there. Then I headed down to PVR to embark on my first solo trip out of the USA!
Everything went well, Delta even got the holiday cheer started by offering the first round on them thanks to it being NYE. I arrived and anxiously made it through immigration and customs and booked an Uber to the Airbnb/Hotel. I was meeting my friend Lynsey down there who had already been down in the area for a few weeks. As soon as I got to my hotel I was greeted with a celebratory cocktail and nothing is more welcoming than that.
I got settled in and waited for Lynsey to meet me and get ready to celebrate NYE with a dinner and exploring the city. We went to a lovely restaurant for a late night meal and headed to the Malecon afterwards.
We spent our time exploring the area and wandering down cobblestone streets, admiring the local history, and getting our fill of tacos.
We stayed in a central location in a hotel/airbnb with everything you needed on a budget. The rooms were cute, clean, and filled with art. We also had a balcony, air conditioning, and a fridge/freezer combo so literally everything we needed. The only issue was not having an elevator which made for an entertaining spectacle when maneuvering luggage. Everything was in walking distance as we were in the heart of Old Town/ Zona Romantica. There was an Oxxo on almost every corner and street tacos open late which created the perfect combo for late nights out on the Malecon. Some of the clubs were even open until the early hours of the morning for those ready to party until the sun rises.
We planned an excursion to Islas Marietas to snorkel, paddle board, and kayak. The trip was incredibly beautiful and the ocean was so temperate. We were lucky enough to see a lot of whale pods up close and personal as well as dolphins. As we toured around the protected island we saw Blue Footed Boobies. We also saw some of the hidden beach areas which are stunning and definitely a sight to be seen.
After getting back to the marina we also made a trip to the Campamento Tortuguero Boca De Tomates. We had the chance to release baby sea turtles at sunset and it was magical. There is nothing else like that experience and the entire day was one for the books.
We also ended up running in to another friend from Portland that happened to be down for the new year as well and we had a great time linking up again, and even talked about making PVR an annual thing. Which I really really really want to do.
Sadly, Lynsey had to cut her trip short due to work which left me solo for four days. So we went out on her last night and had a wonderful Italian dinner and hit up every single club on the Malecon and also ended up at this beautiful place called Morelos. It seemed like the ideal place that I would enjoy hanging out every night. Sadly, some guy wouldn’t leave me alone and ended up biting my ear and asking sexually inappropriate things of me. Security was great though and came to check on me after they kicked him out but that shook me up a bit and put me in a mindset that probably wasn’t the best as I was going to be solo for the next four days.
So for the next few days I chose to explore more in the daytime instead of really going out at night by myself. I ended up at two different beach clubs where I spent my days walking on the beach and reading while I had brunch on the beach. Every day I would try to walk down a different street on my way home to explore as much as I could. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe was absolutely beautiful both in the daytime and night time.
After my four days solo, I met up with my mom to extend my vacation for another week. We ended up staying at the Grand Fiesta Americana Resort. Mainly because it was adults only and all inclusive which was kind of a necessity for this vacation. The resort was lovely but the first night we were abruptly woken up by the sound of furniture being dragged in the room above us at 1am. It finally stopped and we went back to sleep but it started again at 3am and the artwork above my head literally FELL ON ME. I went to investigate because I was furious as I need my beauty sleep, and it was construction work. It was really hard to get anyone to help with the issues as no one would really take care of anything or get back to us. We also had an issue with the sliding door and it took a while for that to be taken care of. Besides those issues, the resort was lovely with a beautiful oceanfront view with a spacious balcony.
The service was wonderful, and every morning Luis would seat us for breakfast and caught on quick to our drink orders & would immediately have mimosas and coffee at the ready. Around the pool Fernando was always quick to take our drink orders and check on us which was really nice. We ended up getting massages and doing a spa one day after getting the worst sleep on arrival. The spa had a separate area with steam rooms, sauna, and hydrotherapy showers as well as a communal hot tub area to relax in while you awaited your treatment. Another day we rented a cabana by the pool which is a definite must. Having a comfortable place to retreat to from the pool was so nice that we kind of regretted not doing it daily.
The resort always had daily activities like arts and crafts, cooking classes, kayaking, and entertainment at night. We caught a Michael Jackson show and a Cirque show as well as some live music. We ended up doing a drunken pirate cruise because what else do you do on vacation? The entire trip was so fun and I’m already missing it so much and ready to go back.
We decided to upgrade our flights on the way home and booked a first class upgrade, which was helpful for me because of all the extra things I ended up buying wouldn’t jam into just my carry on luggage. So I treated myself and checked both my bags and just traveled light with a tote bag with the essentials. We made it to the airport and I never in my life had taken a shuttle bus full of people out to board which turned into a entertaining free for all of people trying to hustle on to the plane. I’ve missed first class flights. I don’t think I traveled in first class at all in 2017 so this was a treat. Except that they didn’t have the Bourbon I ordered but whatever I survived. I really expected to possibly cry when we had liftoff into the air and really left the beautiful state of Jalisco, but I didn’t but I did feel incredibly sad to be headed home to the cold. I was definitely ready to sleep in my own bed though.
If you’re in the Pacific Northwest during Winter, and feeling blue. I highly recommend taking a tropical beach vacation to get some Vitamin D and relaxation. I know I took forever in getting this post up. Probably because of the post vacation depression and just being busy, but I’m already feeling cabin fever and looking for my next destination.