Friday, March 29, 2013

Vacation part 6

The last full day of vacation was spent on the beach. I told my parents I wanted to be in the sun all day, I didn't care if I got burned. Well luckily, I was smart with the suntan lotion and didn't burn, but I got to spend the entire day on the beach! It was glorious!

When we stay at the timeshare, we buy our own breakfast/lunch supplies and alcohol so we had to tackle operation: drink all the alcohol. I started with my vodka lemonade around 10:00AM. I was on vacation. Don't judge. It was awesomely refreshing.

2nd book completed in 1 week
I finished two books and started a third in one week.


We spent the afternoon getting our last drinks from our favorite beach servers Alex, Oscar and Caesar.


Mom and I played in the waves one last time.


We watched the parasailers land right in front of us with my Dad freaking out every time, thinking they were going to crash or drown.


We were told to check out a restaurant called Chocolate. After literally hours of searching for this restaurant online, we finally found it. Xocolatl (pronounced Chocolate). It was worth the search.


Xocolatl is in La Cruz and is above the new marina in Banderas Bay.


Robert owns Xocolatl and is fantastic! He is also the server. There are menus, but if you just tell him what you are in the mood for, he'll make you something special.



 I'm really not a fan of seafood, but he insisted I try the shrimp, while he stood there and watched me eat it. The sauce was amazing and I'll admit, the shrimp wasn't so bad either. But in MX you know it's fresh. In MN? Not so much.


Mi mama y papa


I got the steak fajitas and what would you know? The steak came from the state of Sanora! So of course it was really good.


It also came with this tower of everything awesome! Salsa, cheese, rice, beans, sour cream, guacamole. Yum!

Xocolatl is built in to the side of the mountains too which makes for a really neat atmosphere.

Well folks. That rounds out my vacation recap. I highly encourage you to take your next Mexican/beach vacation in Nuevo Vallarta. There are so many great towns around with so much to offer. This was strictly an r n' r vacation, but if you like excitement, night life and adventure, there are a ton of clubs in Puerto, zip lining in the mountains, parasailing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, etc. A little something for everyone!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vacation Part 5

I'm going to throw in day's 5 & 6 together in one post since day 5 was a beach day and day 6 has just a ton of pictures to share. So don't fret, there's not a lot of writing, just a lot of pictures.

On the morning of day 5 mom and I headed down to the beach around 8:30 AM and set up our spot on the beach.


I was ready to get some sun again so I hung out on the beach reading and mom was nice enough to bring me down a mimosa and a plate of bacon. Did I mention that we ate a lot of bacon on this trip?


See? Lots of bacon. (That's in pesos and kg.)


We spent the whole day rotating around the umbrella. Mom and dad in the shade, me in the sun.


Then it was time to get ready for the Fiesta! Every week the resort has a fiesta with a Mexican buffet, free liquor and different dancers.


I basically felt like I was on vaca by myself so I have a lot of self portraits.


I sipped my wine out of this fun little ceramic cup.


Fiesta nights are fun. When you walk in they lei you with a ceramic shot glass and make you take a shot of tequila. Now that's the way to get a party started!

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Day 6 we spent on the Malecon (board walk) in Puerto Vallarta. I had no idea that Puerto was so artsy. Take a look at all the fun pieces we came across.











We stopped and had lunch at a place my parents really enjoyed going to called Oscars.


View from our table.


View into Oscar's.


Walking through Puerto Vallarta



We finished our day in Puerto Vallarta with a margarita on the beach. This was my new hat I got for 60 pesos ($6) and I love it.


We had dinner reservations at the neighboring resort called La Estancia. We've done dinner there before when we were in Cabo and really enjoyed the food. We strolled over while watching the sun set and were sat at a table set for two, not three. We waited for 10 minutes before someone came to give us water and a drink menu, then proceeded to wait another 20 minutes until my dad had to go ask for a server. When we finally got someone to take our order, the bottle of wine we wanted, they didn't have. It was the third strike so we walked out. That 5 star restaurant was anything but.

It was a blessing in disguise.We got a recommendation to check out Sanora Al Sur. Sanora is the state in Mexico where the best beef comes from. Check this out.

This is the menu you order from.

First, you pick what kind of meat you want

And the butcher cuts you exactly what you want.

You pick your sides (we did salad, baked potato and grilled onion)

While you wait for your meal to come they give you a bean soup that was like baked beans in a clear broth, and homemade chips and salsa. 

They just started to serve beer and wine. They still allow you to bring your own wine.


The giant onion my parents shared

 The ginormous potato that me and my parents shared three ways. It was so delicious.

 The cooks

Sanora Al Sur. It's almost entirely outside.

 If you find yourself in Nuevo/Puerto Vallarta and you want an amazing steak, please go to Sanora Al Sur. You won't regret it. 




Vacation Part 4 and a 5 miler

On the fourth day of our vacation it was St. Patrick's Day! I started the morning with an outdoor run, which was hard!


As I mentioned before, this place is humid! I've been running indoors in MN because it's been too cold to run outside at this point. I thought hitting the pavement before 8:00 AM wouldn't be so bad. It was a little chilly, but once that sun came up a bit more it was brutally hot and humid. The scenery helped forget about the struggle to breath though. So did these little guys.


They're like the Mexican version of a raccoon. I can't remember what they called them, but that's how our cab driver described it to us.

The hotel zone in Nuevo Vallarta is very safe and is gated on either end. It's a two mile stretch of hotels so I just went down and back and felt super safe the whole time. There were a lot of other people walking/running/biking so I never felt like I was in danger running by my self.

Since we were 'sunned' out we decided to go in to Bucerias to check out the Shamrock's St. Patty's Day party.



They had tents lined up on the street with tables/food/drinks and a stage that had live music all day long.
They had everything from Caribbean drum lines, to a Canadian band and lots of dancing.


We wanted to catch the sun set on the beach so we walked around and checked out a few different restaurants before deciding on going to El Chivero.


The food was not that great, as we've been finding out with most beach restaurants. But there was plenty of dogs to keep us entertained while watching the sun set.



This was just a random stray beach dog. She was soo sweat and I couldn't resist giving her some of my fajitas.


The sunsets were so pretty. The next time I go to Nuevo/Puerto I want to have dinner on the other side of the peninsula to really see the sun set.

After dinner mom and I split ways with dad. He went back to the Shamrock while mom and I went back to Sandrina's to buy some glassware and have some dessert. Even though we were there the night before I still couldn't get the thought of their apple crisp out of my mind so I offered to share dessert and wine with my mom.


I'll never get tired of this secret garden in the middle of a small Mexican town.

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I had plans to go home from work last night and do nothing except pour myself a glass of wine. Then a certain someone reminded me that I have a 5 miler to complete. So I started the oven and put in my baked potato and let that cook while I got in my 5 miles on the treadmill.


I felt good, and just had a little pain in my knee from my fall the night before.

I'm a month away from my 1/2 marathon and doubt is starting to set in. I feel like vacation kind of derailed my training even though I got in some runs and moved around more there than I would had I spent that week at home. I need to mentally get back in to training mode.