Shortly after returning from South America, KR headed to our new home base in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and I grabbed the oars of commerce in Los Angeles. It was a long summer for both of us — hot, humid and unbearable in PV, KR’s mind started spinning into new, expensive territory (more on that in a minute) while I put my head down trying to make something of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. Our goal and reward was to spend the holidays together south of the border.
It’d been almost a year since I was last in PV. It felt both familiar and strange; KR and Lilly greeted me at the airport and the roads to our house in El Centro were familiar and welcomed. I greeted the neighbors and they even seemed to recognize me. Our house felt smaller than I remember, though and KR had redecorated with new stuff during the summer. I often joke that most of our PV and LBS friends have spent more time in our house than me, and it sure felt that way at first.
We quickly got into a familiar pattern in prepping for the upcoming events: open up “Little Big Sur” for the season; shop until we (I) drop buying stuff at Soriana (PV’s version of Ralphs), Walmart, CostCo, Home Depot, Office Max etc. Somehow I found the energy to hit our favorite restaurants and bars. Ahhh yes, now this is feeling familiar: )
I know the first question many of you want to ask is… “How did we survive the Narco gunfights in the streets every night!?” It’s a little boring to report that no bullets flew, no robberies nor kidnappings happened, nor… whatever else is on the front pages of US newspapers to scare gringos from coming south happened. That’s not to say it was quiet, as we live in a Mexican neighborhood with music blasting at all hours of the night, roosters crowing at 4:30AM (they must be on EST), fireworks going off all over the hillside, and discos open till the wee hours.
Tourism seems to be picking up, which is a welcome sign for a city that probably makes 70% of its revenues from Gringos, Canadians and wealthy Mexicans (by the way — Mexico’s economy has been booming in the past year, just not in the gringo vacation home sales and tourism sectors). PV is looking pretty good too as it got a major re-do in preparation for this past October’s Pan-America Games. The centerpiece of the redo is the new Malecon’ that stretches along the entire beach in the center of the city.
This season was centered around four events:
- Jungle Storm III (Co-Ed Edition): What started almost 25 years ago as a weekend party for a bunch of us guys (the infamous Desert Storm) has morphed into a co-ed event held in the jungle south of PV. I’m glad to report that LJ, Melissa, TKF, and Pammy can still party with the best of them.
- Citrus Storm I: Sam and Jill make their first historic visit to PV and LBS from the wilds of Florida to join us for Thanksgiving.
- Christmas: KR and I spend Xmas in Chonchos. This is the first time that we’ve been alone in LBS in years.
- New Years: Cindy and Peter fly in for the week between Xmas and New Years. We spend a couple of days in LBS and then hang in PV for New Years.
Now, for those who believe a picture is worth 1,000 words, here they are.