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The Art of Dining & Living Well: Good News in Puerto Vallarta
email this pageprint this pageemail usLiana Turner - PVNN
August 04, 2010

Is Puerto Vallarta a great place to live? YES!
Long-time resident and local restaurant owner Liana Turner shares some of her recent experiences in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Iguana Crossing

A few weeks ago I was just about to drive through the big tunnel, and I saw a bus coming out of the tunnel that was stopped, with a lot of traffic behind it. I looked down in front of the bus, and a rather relaxed iguana was making his way across the road in front of the bus.

The driver made a complete stop at this impromptu iguana crossing. It was one of those fleeting moments that give a feeling of joy and a renewed faith in humanity and bus drivers. I just wished that I had my camera handy. It would have been nice to make that driver's good deed a little more public.

A few weeks before that I was driving on a very busy Francisco Medina de Asencio (the "hotel road") and I could see that a car slightly in front of me was about to make a quick lane change which also had the potential to change my life, and not for the better. I laid on the horn and the lady driver swerved away at the last instant and disaster was averted.

At the next red light, I saw the same driver stopped in the lane to my right. She was motioning to me to roll down my window. I thought, "Okay, here we go... another angry person wants to yell at me." But no, she wanted to thank me. She said she did not see my car, and she was so grateful that I alerted her and she was happy that nothing happened, and she exuberantly went on like that until the light turned green and it was time to go. We exchanged friendly waves and smiles... another beautiful moment.

There Is Justice...

And then there was the time that I was driving along minding my own business, when all of a sudden, a soccer ball fell out of the sky. My windshield was completely smashed. I am grateful for the red light that I came to immediately after, because I was in a state of shock, and my very first thought was, "Damn, I'm screwed. No one is going to pay for this."

I was about to just drive home and maybe pick up a bottle of wine or two on the way, but since I had a little time to think while waiting for the green light, I decided to investigate what had happened. A lady in the next car pointed across the street at a football field, the kind where teams practice and people pay to go there. I thanked her and hung a u-turn into the parking lot.

I called the police and went off in search of the manager of the field. When I came back the police were standing there with the manager and a few interested by-standers who had seen the whole thing go down. There was absolutely no argument. Everyone agreed that the owner was responsible for having enough protective netting around the place to keep the balls in.

The manager drove and I followed, to a place way up in the hills behind Pitillal, where we made arrangements to have the windshield replaced. He paid for it, and I went two days later and had it installed. Thank you Universe, Vallarta Police and Honest Manager!

I was with a friend enjoying a movie at Cinemark the other night. We were basking in the coolness of industrial strength air conditioning and relishing the feeling of escape that a good movie brings. About ten minutes after the start of the film, a couple of late stragglers came and sat in our row.

Their lateness was slightly annoying, as it drew my attention away from the screen. Normally when people sit down in a theatre it takes a minute or so to settle in and arrange the drinks and treats. I understand that. These people never did settle in.

They were talking to each other, their phones were ringing repeatedly. Other viewers in the theatre were politely "shushing" them, and that escalated into a few well-placed "cállates." They did not shut up. The last straw came when the man began using his phone as a radio, so we could hear both conversations, and he was not using it to say, "Sorry, I can't talk now, I'm at a movie." He just carried on talking as if he was sitting in his own office with his feet up on the desk.

My first instinct was to throw my dirty napkin and hot dog holder at him, and I could have thrown that far, but I restrained myself, not really wanting to start a movie theatre brawl. Some other moviegoer had the right idea and left the theatre to complain to someone who would listen. Very quickly there came two theatre employees and a security guard, who quietly escorted the idiots out of there. Hallelujah! Thanks to the people at Cinemark. They do take care of us!

As we were walking to the car, we discussed that incident more than we discussed the movie we had just seen. Is it possible that there exist in the world people who are so ignorant that they haven't yet learned that it is important to turn off your phone and shut your mouth when a movie is playing? Why would someone pay to go to a movie and not watch it? How could TWO people in the same place at the same time be that incredibly oblivious? Those are questions that will never be answered.

Some questions have been answered, though. Are there kind and considerate bus drivers? YES. Are some drivers courteous and forgiving? YES. Are there good and helpful police and reasonable people? YES. Is there a way to enjoy a movie without rude people ruining it? YES. Is Puerto Vallarta a great place to live? YES!

Liana Turner is the chef and owner of Paradise Bakery and Catering and Liana’s SazOn! Restaurant and Meeting Place. The bakery is known for the "Best Cinnamon Rolls in Vallarta." The restaurant is open by reservation only for lunches, dinners, meetings, private parties, etc… They also specialize in all styles of catering services, from pre-prepared meals to-go for informal gatherings to full service elegance for dinners, cocktail parties, wedding receptions and special events, Paradise Bakery & Catering and Liana’s SazOn! are both located at Del Santuario 149, corner of Paseo de Las Palmas, Colonia Barrio Santa Maria, Puerto Vallarta. For more information, call (322) 222-5133 or visit

Click HERE for more articles by Liana Turner.

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