Monday, January 9, 2012

Feliz Ano Nuevo

Feliz Ano Nuevo, Amigos!  We began 2012 on Abracadabra with our friend Jodi Rafkin, who was visiting from Portland, Oregon.  We tried to ring in the new year dancing the night away at Philo's Bar (a La Cruz institution), but alas, we are of a certain age, and after a token dance and a beer or two, we returned to the boat to listen to the hits of the '60s and '70s which were begin pumped out (rather well, actually) by a band at Ana Banana's, another venerable La Cruz institution closer to the marina.  The fact that all of the bands at the sailor pubs in La Cruz play music we first loved in college should tell you a lot about the demographics of cruisers that spend time in marinas! 

Our failed attempt at major revelry followed a lovely dinner in a courtyard restaurant where we had a very good meal and were dazzled by the table-side construction of a Mexican Coffee, which involved some pretty spectacular pyrotechnics.  So, perhaps we can ascribe some of our lack of New Year's Eve stamina to the big surf and turf meal at Frascati's! 

Jodi's visit was really nice.  It was particularly nice to talk to someone that wasn't obsessing about his or her latest boat project (yes, adventurous sailors can be tedious!) and to see Mexico through the eyes of someone that had not been here recently.  The highlight of her visit was a day sail that was planned as a sail to picnic at a nearby anchorage, but morphed into a spectacular day of whale watching -- complete with pictures that are clearly pictures of whales!   

We saw multiple groups of whales; whales rolling and playing like puppies (really big puppies) and even two whales leaping out of the water together -- it was like watching a Marine World show performed by humpbacks!   

Another day was spent at the beach, with lunch at a popular sea-side palapa-style restaurant.  Jodi was taken with the Modelo Light azule:

And on another day Jodi and Molly sojourned into Puerto Vallarta to perform acts of tourism.  Molly is now the proud owner of a cotton gauze blouse of an alarming shade of lime green that she is still washing separately in order to protect other clothes.  But it only cost $15, and if she finds another one just like it at a lower price, the shop owner in Puerto Vallarta has guaranteed that she will be paid $100!  How could anyone pass up a bargain like that? 

Jodi has now returned to Portlandia, where it is reportedly foggy and cold.  In sunny (but somewhat cool in the evening) La Cruz we are preparing for a dinner of street tacos followed by the Full Moon Howl bonfire and music event.  The setting for this primal exercise is at the end of the breakwater, with a view of all of Banderas Bay, so we are looking forward to it regardless of whether we actually howl at the full moon. 

Our next adventure is an inland trip that we will begin too early on Saturday morning.  We are travelling by tourist-class bus to Guanajuato and will stop off in Guadalajara on our return trip.  We're enthusiastically anticipating sleeping in beds that don't require us to crawl in and out, sharing a bathroom only with each other (as opposed to the communal showers at the marina), and using real towels (as opposed to our camp towels).  Oh yeah, and we're sure that Guanajuato and Guadalajara will be interesting, too.  So much for being hardy travelers!   

We'll report in on this inland portion of our travels when we return.  Best in 2012 to all of you! 

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