Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Still playing tourist.

Our next port was in Puerto Vallarta. I wasn’t quite as panicked. Things had gone quite well the day before, and this time we were hangin with another family that were close friends of ours. So I definitely felt safer with our bigger group. Now I wasn’t just a dazed and confused looking “gringo”, we were a whole pack of dazed and confused “gringos.” Lol

Again we hopped off the boat hoping to scout out our own deals for the day, unaffiliated with the cruise. We were instructed to walk further away from the cruise and find a Taxi, rather than hopping in the first one off the boat. We walked for what seemed like a mile, but Michael said it wasn’t that far, we just kept shaking are heads “no” the whole way, to what seemed like 50 cab drivers, but was probably 15. Finally, we were away from the swarm and Michael negotiated with a local cab company. And off we went to a beach! Again! We just couldn’t get enough of the ocean, not to mention it was the least expensive activity on the menu. Lol Amazingly enough we found a van that all 9 of us could ride in. After about 30 minutes of driving to the outskirts, so it seemed, the thought of abduction crossed my mind once again. I thought to myself, “Yeah, this is the part in the movies when the music makes you feel on edge, and you are looking at the character, talking out loud to your TV saying, “why didn’t you just book with your cruise director, your life is worth the extra money.” And then we turned the last corner, and there we were, on the outskirts of a rain forest, on a beach in Mexico! We all piled out of the van and made our way to the beach where we were solicited by a local “resturantish” owner. If we ordered some snacks we could lounge under a big umbrella for our personal group only. We kept repeating ourselves to make sure both parties were on the same page, and then accepted the deal. And then we were bombarded by local sales people. They were selling things ranging from dresses and blankets to jewelry, tattoos and massages. Our waiter put up a sign on our umbrella that read, “No Vendors please.” And finally, relaxation was obtainable. That is until our friend talked to someone walking by selling jewlry, and boom, like flies on manure, the whole pile of peddlers were back! We said NO, and pointed to our sign 50 more times till the sales ceased once again. After that we were careful not to talk to anyone else again!

Overall it was quite the experience. The ocean was wonderful, and we seemed to experience an authentic part of Mexico. The whole restaurant was open air, no doors to walk through to get in, and a straw roof on top. The floors were cobblestone, as was the road that led us to our little hut. As I walked to the restroom I saw little open air rooms, with massage beds in them. It was quite primitive, yet still cute and quaint.

On our way back to the boat, we stopped in town to do some shopping at the flea market. Now there is an experience. Although, it was kinda like the American theme of always the “Best Sale Ever” that a store has 3 times a year. All we kept hearing was, “I make you a real good price. Best price for the pretty lady. Come Senorita, I make you the best price. Best price Just for YOU, Just for today!!! Nobody, give you a price like me.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard one of those lines I could have bought a lot more souvenirs for a “really special price.” Although I gotta say, my favorite line of the whole sales pitches was, “I have Mexican junk. You want the best Mexican junk for almost free?!”

It was quite an experience. As fun as it was, it was still a relief to get back on the boat. There ain’t nothing like the good ole US of A! I thank God for Blessing America! It is a blessed nation.

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