Back in Vallarta

I had a project cancelled and a bug in my ass to get outta town, so I’m back in Vallarta.

I tried the condo rental route again, but the trip was so last minute that I wasn’t able to find anything. After an hour or so of checking various hotel rates and tripadvisor reviews, I got a room at The Abbey for my stay. It’s a block off the beach in the Amapas neighborhood that I love. Actually, it’s right next door to CoCo’s Kitchen, my favorite breakfast hotspot! While the neighborhood is ideal, the accommodations are traditional old-town Vallarta. Read: run-down, marginally-working AC, semi-warm water and curtains that look as if they’ve seen 50 years of sun. I’m not all that picky, though. At least they’ve got wireless internet that works some of the time.

It was last July that I was here, and May seems to be a better time of year. While it’s upper 80s and humid, there’s no rain in the forecast for the next week.

My plane landed at noon and I was in the hotel by 1:00. I unpacked my things and went next door to CoCo’s. They were still serving breakfast and the moment of truth came. Do I indulge in the cinnamon roll French toast, or go the healthy route with a Mexican omelette. I actually didn’t buy any sweets at the airport, a treat I look forward to on vacation. I opt to continue the trend and stick with the omelette. Their food and service is impeccable, as per usual. I pay my tab and head toward’s Dee’s, passing Choco Banana, except Choco Banana is no longer there! It’s been transformed into a swankier-looking joint called Fuego, though Marcello is still manning the grill. He recognizes me but I’m certain he doesn’t remember my name. I nod and continue on to Dee’s.

The ladies at Dee’s are the same as well, but Dee herself isn’t around – and neither is her tempting coffee cake. Which is good, because I don’t know that I’d be able to control that urge. I get an Americano and take a seat, spending the next couple of hours finishing up some work. Later I head to Acqua, the gym over the hill with Aaron and David running the show. I love those guys, but I get there a few minutes too late, finding that they closed at 4:00 on Saturdays.

Back at the hotel I lay down for a nap, as I only got in three hours before my flight in the morning. I sleep for a couple of hours, through the 6:30 AA meeting, and get up for dinner at The Swedes. I had exchanged messages with Rickard, one of ‘the Swedes’ and he said he was in town. Unfortunately he’s not in when I get there. While I had stuck with the Swedish Meatballs during my last trip, I decided to venture outside my comfort zone. I get an Apple Cinnamon salad that’s fabulous, followed by pork medallions and potatoes. I am impressed – these Swedes know what they’re doing. I get only the sorbet for dessert, even though chocolate cake is offered. I wonder to myself where I’m getting the strength to do this, but I figure I’ll see how long I can keep it up.

I had down Los Olas towards all the music and lights, not even reaching the end of the block before I run into Adolfo on the sidewalk outside of a bar, Sama. Turns out he’s celebrating his birthday and the whole A-list Vallarta crowd is there. I recognize Victor from last year and a few other faces. I get reacquainted with the gang and spend the rest of the evening there before heading back around the corner to The Abbey, passing the open door at Garbo’s where the martini crowd is enjoying show tunes.