A Little More Puerto Vallarta

June 29, 2013

This evening finds me eating way too many cookies and drinking entirely too much pop as I'm trying to finish my artifact for my School Finance class.  The task is to create a school budget for an elementary school with the data and information we're given.  I won't feel like I've missed out on anything at all if I never actually get a chance have to do this in real life!  I'm halfway finished and, I think, done for tonight.  I'd love to just teleport myself back to Mexico right about now.

It's just after 9:00 right now, and this would be our view in PV if we were there.  The sunrise was late, and the sunset was late and I really kind of liked that.  I wish I'd taken some video of the sunset because once the sun started dipping toward the horizon it was gone in about three minutes.  We loved that!  We had clouds a few evenings, but it never rained.  The bottom picture is the only shot of the two of us from the trip.  A boy who must have been 11 or 12 saw us snapping pictures of each other with Jamie's phone and he asked, well motioned, if we'd like him to take one of us both.  Didn't he do a great job?  Ha!  I was smiling pretty big because my husband had just muttered under his breath, "That kid better not take off with my phone."  He didn't.  I gave him a peso or something out of my wallet and he thanked us before running off to catch up with some buddies. 
Can I just tell you I almost tipped the guy in the McDonald's drive-thru when we got back into town?  Five days of tipping everyone who glanced your way will make that a habit.  I also became pretty confident in my ability to pay our bill in pesos and even doing the conversion in my head when I needed to use US money.  We brought some money home for the girls to see, so we have roughly $4.20 for spending money the next time we travel south of the border.
We took an excursion the Tuesday of our trip to the Marietas Islands.  We snorkeled and kayaked and paddle boarded and swam into the lost beach.  On the way out to the islands (about an hour's trip), we spotted dolphins, a sea turtle, tons of jellyfish, and a school of sardines.  We watched the birds dive in and get their breakfast; we watched a teenage boy and a six year old grow throw theirs back up.  Jamie told me he decided right then he wouldn't be getting sick after all even though he'd been feeling a little queasy.  Mind over matter!  We got lots of sun that day and Jamie burned a little bit, but I didn't and that's usually always the opposite. 
The pictures of our voyage aren't great, but look closely at the island formation and you'll see the birds.  The Marietas are a protected bird sanctuary (thank you, Jacques Cousteau) and home to over 70 different species. 
Las Marietas -- We had cloud cover that morning, but they cleared literally the moment we began to pull up to the islands.  Perfect!

This was our main tour guide and he was so funny.  The rest of the staff on the boat was amazing, too, and on the way back a couple of them started dancing and can I just tell you I wanted us all to dance with them.  But...everyone was tired I guess.

The sun coming out as we begin our trip around the islands

I wish you could see the birds that are perched all over the rocks.  We were moving faster than I would have thought we would and by the time I could get zoomed in we had moved along...

Can you guess why the rocks are white?  Bird poop -- just tons and tons of calcified or dried or whatever on them.

Here are some birds!

The water was beautiful.

Everyone got in front of me, but this is a land bridge.

Here's a better shot of the land bridge.

Jamie looks kind of mean.

Heading back in to PV. 

The hidden beach is what the islands are primarily known for as far as tourism goes.  We didn't buy a waterproof camera -- in all likelihood it would have ended up somewhere in the Pacific with my sunglasses -- but I've found this image from the web to show you.  It did not disappoint.  This is exactly what we swam 20 meters through a tunnel in to.

And an aerial view...
And a view of the tunnel we swam through...

And this isn't our group, but this is what our scene looked like when we all made it to the beach...

Let me just say that trying to stand up on the beach in flippers while the waves are pushing and pulling you back out to sea is quite a feat.  I did it, though.  Finally.  We didn't stay on the beach too long since we wanted to continue to snorkel, but I was so glad we saw this little piece of the world.  The snorkeling was great and I'd really like to do that again sometime. 
When we made it back to our room, I took a little rest and Jamie walked down the street to pick up snacks and cigarettes at the little quickie chain store -- Oxxo.  We loved those little stores.  There was one every block and I just really like the convenience of that.  He also walked on down to the tattoo parlor and visited with the artist about something I'd been wanting to do for a while -- get our anniversary date inked on our ring fingers.  He set it all up and we went back down to the shop before dinner and just did it.  I love it.  I can always get a wide band to cover it completely if I need to, but I'll just leave it be for the most part. It did hurt a little bit, and I was glad I wasn't getting anything much bigger. 

A permanent souvenir : )  I have more to share, but this is taking a ridiculous amount of time and now it's time to get the littlest girls in bed.  When the big girls were first graders, they never stayed up until 10:00.  That third child just has to play along like everyone else and do what they do.  And, it's summer!  I'll pay for this in August when we try to resume our school year routine, but that's still six weeks away.  For now, we don't have a lot of rules :)

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