Like a virgin, no more

PV is coming alive and so is La Corona. After a very L O N G eleven months, we move in and start…partying. What else?

La Corona was officially christened this November as we had two sets of guests,  five dinner parties, a couple of pool parties, one midnight trip to the hospital, and the first official use of our kitchen.  Somehow we got in a trip to Little Big Sur among our dozen or so treks to CostCo, Soriana and WalMart.  No critical injuries have been reported and no lawsuits have been filed (yet).

This will not make Headline News:  La Corona is not quite done.  We’re still two bathrooms, two kitchens and hundreds of little details short.   But when the going gets tough, the tough get going so we manned-up and partied right through the construction activities.  Adding to the festive mood is the mini-celebration we hold whenever something is completed.  “Look honey, the floor in your office is sealed!”  This is living in its most exciting form.

Even Lilly wants an elevator.

A number of records were broken this trip, the most important of which is the number of consecutive days I’ve spent in my own house:  16 (if you count Corona and LBS as one).  Another couple of trips and I’ll catch up to Chuck Angyal’s total time at my house.    KR has now cooked  more meals for me in just one week than she has in the past two years combined.   Goes to show you what a $_____ (don’t ask) new kitchen will get you.  The rooster across the street must hold the world record for earliest wake-up call at 3:00AM.  I’m thinking seriously of ending his run one way or the other.  Finally, the most often uttered phase by anyone who spends time at La Corona is….”When’s the elevator coming?!”   La Corona is a built-in StairMaster for all concerned.

Puerto Vallarta is awakening to the new season, as well.   The streets and Malecon are crowded once again.  New night clubs are replacing those that didn’t make it through the off season. It’s easy to bump into people we know at the city’s restaurants and stores.  “En vende” and “se rente” signs are up again all over the neighborhood. And the amazing infrastructure rebuilding binge the City has been on in the past 18 months continues unabated.  The highway south to Boca is about half way repaved and most of the sidewalks have been redone for wheelchair access.   There’s rumors that the newly elected Mayor is going to revise the trash pickup system (current system: throw your trash on the corner and wait a week for someone to pick it up) are among other campaign promises, though his predecessor has left the city’s coffers close to empty.   It seems that politics are practiced similarly on both sides of the border.


First official meal cooked in La Corona’s kitchen was a wonderful chicken dish prepared by TKF. Good as it was, the food was the least memorable part of the evening… wonderful views, invigorating late night pool dip, great conversation, and … a midnight run to the hospital: ) Seems that the Chef took a tumble down one of La Corona’s four sets of stairs and needed repairs to his skull. No long-term reduction in mental capacity is expected, looks can’t really be hurt, and coordination wasn’t a TKF strength anyway. All’s well that ends well.

Every visit begins at  the La Palapa restaurant on the beach.  Sam and Jill Hershfield hoist the first of many…

Whatever TKF lacks in coordination and judgement, he makes up for it as a cook.  Several dinners “up top” were terrific.

Occasionally we let TKF rest and went out.  One evening we crawled a couple of beach bars and then headed to La Cigale, my favorite French Bistro.  Sammy is toasting something in this shot, probably the good looks of his host, while I’m feeling no pain.   I start a conversation with the couple sitting next to us, who happen to live down the street in a neighborhood called Gringo Gulch.

A couple of days later David and Martha are having dinner on the deck with more neighbors they know.  In PV, it’s only three degrees of separation.

Latin dancers.  Not.

After only three days KR’s “I’ve missed you so much!” turns to something less warm and fuzzy.

“What floor did they say the bathroom is on…?”  Gwen and Harriet search La Corona.  Gwen has the honor of being the first guest showing up to the new and improved Corona with a full wine glass.

And the pool party begins…Difficult to tell the characters…

After suitable recuperation for TKF’s head wound, we head to Chonchos and LBS

“Little Big Sur,” perched on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Banderas, is still beautiful, if not a little bit worse for wear after six years of jungle life.


The water was really warm and the sea pretty calm for November.

Malcolm fishes on the beach (and actually caught something).  Three propane tanks await pickup on the beach.  Only later did I realize one was ours.


Chonchos Internet system at the restaurant….White switch turns the inverter on, which powers the satellite dish, etc.

Weak link in the system is the power generation/storage capability…

Evening view

TKF cooking by lantern and with only one burner.  Somehow he pulled through.

LBS dinner party with TKF, Pam, Debbie and Dennis.  Great time as always.

Pam gets down while sweeping.

All those weeks of pumping iron have prepared me for washing the dishes.  TKF is getting ice from The World’s Greatest Refrigerator powered by the World’s Greatest Solar System.   Chuck are you paying attention?

It’s not all play and no work at a Walti resort. Especially for Sam. Here he hammers a door frame back in place at LBS…

This time we brought troops to clean LBS.  Gina was a machine, standing with Sam awaiting the boat from Boca

Electronics!  You want electronics!  Somehow Sam got the TV, DC, iPod and Internet working.  And it only took him two days:)

SH working his magic on our new, you-need-directions-to-use, corkscrew.

Installing the cabinets in the BBQ kitchen just in time to use them.

Not everyone is in the mood to work.

An outside view of La Corona today.

Corona lit up

First floor living room

Original adobe wall

In the courtyard, looking towards the front door.

And then looking up towards the living room, Karen’s studio on the right, and the BBQ deck on the top.

Outside living room

Inside living room

Inside, outside. We wanted to create a living space that was open and part inside/outside. This view is from the inside living room to the outside living room and courtyard.

KR in the just-functioning kitchen.  No cabinets are in yet, nor is the bar on island.  The love of KR’s life is on her left (the refrigerator of course) and the pizza oven is on the right.  Dining room table in the foreground has become the most often used space in the house.

What Karen calls the Jaguar of sink faucets.  Appropriately, it leaked on its first full day of use.

If that’s a Jaguar, then here’s a Land Rover pot-filling faucet on the island.  Behind the island is the still unfinished bar and the beginning of the stairs to to the third floor.

In La Corona, if you make the wrong turn you can run into something like this — the paint storage/tool area that will some day be a kitchen pantry.

Our bedroom is still a work in progress.

Top deck dining area.

The new downtown pier is almost done. And so is this post:)





9 replies
  1. Gregg & Tish says:

    Well, it seems you have anointed/christened La Corona in the most appropriate way. The house is spectacular on film, we look forward to seeing it in real life.

    G & T

  2. Sam and Jill says:

    First: we never really believed Casa Corona would ever be finished
    Second: we never thought it would be so unique, majestic and livable (except the four [4]flights of stairs-better than a stair stepper)
    Third: we ALWAYS knew we’d have a spectacular time with our best friends the Wacky, Wonderful, Wandering Walti’s

    Thanks so much for allowing us to be part of the “christening of Casa Corona”!


    Sam & Jill

  3. Debbie Hundoble says:

    Hi Fred and KR,
    La Corona boasts charm and beauty in all areas, we were a bit awe struck when we visited for the first time a couple of weeks ago. So enjoyed spending time with you, meeting your friends and hanging out on the top deck overlooking Bandaras Bay. Wow! what a fabulous view!! LOL
    Debbie and Dennis

  4. Charlie Collins says:

    Looked at all photos with great interest. Now, I can put the Hershfields to work on my house here in Bradenton. You are doing a fabulous job, love the colors and outdoorsy feel of your home. Just perfect for where it is located. We just returned from our timeshare in Vegas. Looking forward to meeting you both here in Florida. Charlie

  5. Raphael says:

    It looks awesome!
    So proud of you guys.
    But La Corona will never be finish without the folly of follies: “The elevator!”

  6. Peter Hershfield says:

    Fan…effing…tastic. You Walti’s sure know how to live, build and entertain.
    Wild and wonderful story of life on the Messican coast and the travails of trying to
    construct a house with a view of the Bay… encumbered only by jackasses who want to build in front of your view.
    Looks to me like you two won.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *