Vallarta Living | December 2009
|Can it Get Any Better Than Living in Condominios La Palapa?|
Polly G. Vicars - PVNN
December 15, 2009
Every year of the 21 Husband and I have lived in Condominios La Palapa on the beautiful shore of the Bahia de Banderas just gets better and better. Moving to Puerto Vallarta and specifically to Condominios LaPalapa have to be the best decisions we have made in our 58 years of marriage, not just because of the lovely building with its beautiful rooftop patio and pool and other amenities, but because of the staff of La Palapa.
|Mike and Mrs. Mike cooking the delicious hot dogs|
|Look out below|
|Miss Mexico of 2030 and 2031|
|She already has eyes for him|
|They had a ball|
|Maestro Melchor, Efrain, & Fidel|
|Martha and Esther|
During those years we have managed to keep staff who have moved on, in our circle, as well as those who stayed and the newcomers. No one could be treated better than Husband and me by these wonderful people. When we come home laden with purchases, someone, a receptionist, a maid, a maintenance person or even the administrator, rushes to carry them to our condo. When we are not well, we are honored with visits, calls, flowers from this staff. When I need a translation quickly, a phone number or a million other things I ask for, someone is always there to help.
When we travel, whether we are gone for a week-end or months (as we were when we sailed around the world for the Millennium), we return to a condo that looks exactly like we left it; plants thriving with everything spick and span, compliments of our beautiful maid Gloria. Incidentally, since she has been working at La Palapa she has completed junior and senior high at night school and now is in university. What a gal! In the case of our four month trip, when we came in from the airport the La Palapa lobby was filled with all of the staff waiting to welcome us home and to make us feel like we were the King and Queen of La Palapa!
We have tried to reciprocate as best we could for such friendship, love and devotion, but never feel we have adequately conveyed our feelings. On December 13, 2009 we declared that Sunday as Vicars Appreciation Day for the La Palapa staff, present and former and for a few special friends who have played a large part in making our life so wonderful here. The invitation went out for a pool party on the roof of the building and to include children, grandchildren, spouses, and more. Some called to ask if they could bring nieces and nephews to which my answer was always "Bring them all!"
More than half of the eighty or so guests were children who ranged in age from 9 months to 81 (the 81 is Husband, of course). The food was simple, but plentiful as Mike, the Hot Dog man and Mrs. Mike, brought up their portable cart to cook and serve hot dogs along with my sliced jicama and cucumbers, refried beans cooked by the one of the staff, the wonderful Martha, peanuts and every kind of chips sold by man. The dessert was suckers handed out personally by Husband to each guest. Everyone seemed to love the food as there were few leftovers, but what I loved best was watching those kids.
You might shudder to think of entertaining all those children if you didn’t know the people of this culture. During the several hours we grownups were partying, there was nary a tear, nary a Mama or Papa needing to admonishing a child for anything. Imagine a pool filled with laughter, splashes from the cannon balls being executed by kids of all ages, beach balls flying through the air and new friendships being formed among the children and you have a glimpse of the event. It was so beautiful that even as I write, I am trying not to "tear up"!
We grownups had our fun too with plentiful cerveza and the special friends. Carlos, Lazzaro, Immer and cousin Luis of Los Bambinos (Giogio is in Cuernavaca to have surgery on his broken ankle) partied with their wives and/or girl friends, Yoanne, Christina, Ruth and baby Amy. They took time out to sing a rousing Happy Birthday to visiting friend from snowy Colorado, Tom Lukich.
Of course Spanish School Maestro Melchor Cortes; Martha, his wife and assistant; Carmen Conteas, his other assistant; and son Alex were there to join in the fun and help if needed. Liko Flores, Martha’s brother, a former Becado who is now the Manager of the computer system for Puerto Vallarta’s Ford Agency with the fun loving Ingrid braved the pool for a good game of beach ball.
Computer Guru, Ivan Alcantara, owner of Artefacto Digital with Becas member Analuisa Espinoza and his champion swimming daughter Andi joined in the pool fun when not schmoozing with the other guests. Former employees Fidel Avalos, Memo Robles and Efrain Celis along with wives and kids were catching up on news from each other now that they all work in different places. Among the revelers were also current Administrator Martha Palmera de Valdez with husband Juan José and an assortment of kids, nieces and nephews.
Former Administrator to La Palapa and Becas Compadre María de Mendoza with husband Jésus and their precious granddaughter, Ariadna, were able to renew friendships with former staffers and to meet new ones. Becas member extraordinaire, Linda Wirth with husband Terry, took the great photos that really tell the story. Is there anything that she cannot do?
Wonderfully, even though we were outnumbered 75 to 5 by Spanish speaking guests, thanks to Maestro Melchor’s school, we could hold our own in the language area, if not in the cannon balling. (See SpanishSchoolVallarta.com if you would like to learn Spanish from the very best!)
When it was time to get the kids home, before they left many of those tots came to find us to thank us and bestow the heartwarming cheek kiss. The big kids all pitched in to clean up and take things back down to our condo. The incredible mozo Fausto, whom most of us call Pato, had brought everything up earlier and was right there to break everything down so that tomorrow when the owners and guests in La Palapa were ready for the pool, it would be as they had left it.
Thank you, incredible La Palapa Staff! Thank you special Vallarta friends! You make our lives shine brighter than even Puerto Vallarta's sun!
Polly G. Vicars and her husband of almost 60 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 articles by Polly Vicars, or click HERE to learn more about Becas Vallarta and the America-Mexico Foundation.