Vallarta Living | March 2007
Polly G. Vicars - PVNN
Recently, responding to the question "What Do You Do All Day?" I wrote about the work that we, and other ex-pats do for the America-Mexico Foundation's almost 300 scholarship students. "But is there anything to do at night in Puerto Vallarta?" visitors ask me.
|Barb and Me - and I am the TALLEST!|
There are many new movie theaters that show first-run movies in English with Spanish subtitles; diverse 5 and 4 star restaurants, as well as all the hole-in-the wall places with superb food at low prices; and many late night dancing venues, but more importantly, there is the wonderful scene of amigos getting together to celebrate almost anything! One of my recent week's evening activities follows.
Sunday evening Barbara Topete, my only friend who is shorter than I, entertained in her diminutive condo overlooking the Malecón for visiting Canadians Myra McLean and Art McGinnis. Myra's late husband, Charles, a Canadian Mounted Policeman, and Barb were elementary schoolmates many, many years ago and the two gals have maintained a beautiful and sustained friendship.
|Beautiful Myra McLean|
|Jorge Acosto in full regalia from Costa Vallarta Magazine|
Barb, whose Ocean Crest seaside resort in Moclips, Washington, is known far and wide for its superb cuisine, mostly designed by Barb herself, used some of her magic to serve a dinner to the visitors from the North, locals Margi Tolton and Mayo Warren, Husband and me.
Though we dined on scrumptious food, augmented by a little vino, the evening was really a celebration of life, which this group of octogenarians and those not far behind, share. The glow of the nightly fireworks from the boat "Marigalante" that we watched from Barb's balcony was pale in comparison to our camaraderie aura.
On Monday Husband, Margi, Myra and Art met at the Santa Barbara Cantina and Grill for a applaudable dinner prepared by Chef Vincent and served by the competent and friendly wait staff. During dinner handsome troubadour, Jose Acosta, came by our table to sing for us. He is fast becoming a favorite of ours and we have purchased both of his CDs.
Full and happy, we trooped downstairs for the main event - Los Bambinos in Concert. As you may know, Margi, Husband and I are three groupies who never miss their Monday night performances. I still dance in my seat to their snappy songs, tear up at the original love songs written by those talented young men, and applaud so hard that twice I have lost and recovered the set in my ring.
Tuesday night, old friends Hank and Vickie Lindsey, who recently arrived from Kentucky, dined with us and our friends Irene and Carl Johnson, who were about to go back to cold and snowy Chicago.
Irene and Carl bought one of the fabulous condos that are going up on the Molina de Agua site and are very excited about becoming future Vallartenses. Last time Hank and Vickie were here, they found their dream house out in El Tuito, only to have the deal go sour. On this visit I assured them they would find something even better. True to my eternal optimism, they did and they bought it on the spot!
Wednesday night was "Local Celebrity Night" at restaurant Banana Cantina with Pam Thompson from Corner Stone Hospital hosting. Husband, Irene, Carl, Hank and Vickie attended without me.
I had a previous engagement with Linda Ellerbee, network news correspondent, anchor, writer, producer, president of Lucky Duck Productions, like me, a cancer survivor and my good friend, for a "Girls Only" dinner at the lovely Villa Caracol up in Gringo Gulch.
|Carl & Irene dining|
|Hank Lindsey with Kai Doyle, who already has a home in El Tuito|
|Linda Ellerbee working on her book|
|Birthday Girl Ozzie with friend Lanaya|
|Husband and Marta Huante Robles at Ozzie's Party|
|Biz Cain in front of his San Pancho home|
|Vallarta's Chamber Orchestra at the Botanical Gardens|
|The Gov and his first lady, Judi, dancing at our fiesta|
Linda is writing her first mystery novel set in Puerto Vallarta and this dinner was a get-together of the gals she had met down here who have become her friends as well as detectives in finding tid-bits of information for the book.
Marta Huante Robles catered a four course dinner fit for royalty that made us gals forget any semblance of diets we might have had! Any time spent with Linda is a delight as she has been everywhere, met everyone, done everything, yet is still that plain old Texas gal.
Then Thursday night was very special as Ozzie Badal was celebrating the end of her 8th decade with a blow-out at Cafe La Terraza. The food, once again catered by Marta Huante Robles, was fabulous and the great group who turned out to honor Ozzie were such fun.
Lanaya and Gary Dix, who can do anything with a camera or computer, made a running video of Ozzie and her life down here that played on a TV as we toasted and feasted. Ozzie, a Chiacoan, started out doing community work that led to paying jobs with Mayor Richard J. Daley, working to relocate people and businesses being displaced by government actions as well as in urban and health planning.
Upon retirement in l980, she and her husband David started spending winters in Vallarta. She continued her community work here in PV with the IFC and with my passion, Becas Vallarta. David passed away eleven years ago, but much to the delight of her friends, Ozzie has continued to come to Vallarta and be an integral part of our community. Felicidades Ozzie!
Early Friday morning, Husband and I drove to San Pancho about one hour north of PV and were speechless (even I can be speechless at appropriate times) when we wound our way up and up to a magnificent mansion built on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Our old friend and the former Governor of Kentucky, Paul Patton (1995-2003) and his wife Judi had come to Mexico to spend a few days with Biz and Jackie Cain in the beach side village of San Pancho and also to come to visit us in PV.
Jackie Cain graciously invited us to come to San Pancho so that we could all go to San Blas to see the wildlife as we boated through the swamp. Jackie and Biz (we had never before met) welcomed us with warmth and graciousness so typical of Kentuckians (much like Vallartenses) and soon the six of us were on our way to San Blas for an exciting boat trip through the swamps.
After a wonderful day, the Cains they took us for cocktails in Rincon de Guayabitos then dinner in Sayulita. We spend a delightful night in our own suite in their home where we were treated like royalty.
On Saturday, we drove the Gov. and Judi to PV and after a short rest, then taxied out to the Botanical Gardens for the full moon party, "Noche de las Luminarias." Proprietor and curator Bob Price, hosted an incredible event with Vallarta's Chamber Orchestra and the choral group, Las Quesadivas playing and singing to a huge and appreciative audience.
Of course there were Margaritas and other bebidas served by handsome young men, as well as a fabulous buffet of the Gardens' famous brick oven pizza, salads made from their own gardens and much more. Bob had provided busses to return his guests to Vallarta so reluctantly we climbed aboard one that brought us back home.
On the following Sunday morning I sent Husband, Judi and Gov Paul down to La Palapa for a late breakfast and a beach day. I had a few things to do for the fiesta Husband and I were hosting that night for Paul and Judi, many of our Vallarta friends and other visitors.
Originally we planned a small dinner party for the Pattons in our La Palapa condo. However, not surprising to Husband, my guest list grew to proportions that could not be accommodated in our condo, so we decided to move it to La Palapa's beautiful roof garden.
I called Marta Huante Robles to do the catering. Boy, did I do the right thing! Not only did she come up with a terrific menu, she told me that I wouldn't have to do anything as she would do all the cooking and bring everything needed for a party of 60, including the waiters, tables, chairs, dishes, etc.
I am not being immodest when I tell you that party was one of the best I have ever attended. The evening was gorgeous - first with a sunset and later a full moon and fireworks all over the Bay. The guests were delightful, gracious and lots of fun.
From the canopies passed by Marta's great waiters to the drinks prepared by my favorite bartender, Pancho, to the incredible dinner, to the entertainment by Los Bambinos (and of course Husband) it was one of those magical events that are not that rare in Puerto Vallarta.
I could go on to tell you of Monday night, the Patton's last night in Vallarta at the Santa Barbara Theater where Los Bambinos in Concert gave their best concert ever, but I've already covered a week...
So, if you don't have anything to do on a night in Vallarta, just give a party yourself or get out and make some fabulous friends, like ours, who will invite you to theirs. But above all, ENJOY NIGHTS IN VALLARTA!
|Hubert with Jackie Cain at our party|
|Greeting my guests Ann Lafferty and Barry Bryant|
Polly G. Vicars and her husband of 55 years, Hubert (a.k.a. "Husband") retired to Puerto Vallarta in 1988 and soon became active members of several charitable organizations. Polly is the author of "Tales of Retirement in Paradise: Life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico" [a sell-out!] and "More Tales of Retirement in Puerto Vallarta and Around the World." Proceeds from the sale of her books go to the America-Mexico Foundation, a scholarship foundation that is their passion.
Click HERE for more Puerto Vallarta articles by Polly Vicars..