I was looking forward to going to Mexico again, not having been there in 4 years. And I thought we’d explore the old town Puerto Vallarta that we only discovered last time on our way to the airport.

We got up at 4am for our 6am flight. The kids slept in their clothes so we could get out of the house as quickly as possible. They woke up easy (and we woke them for a change!) and we were on our way by 4:30am. It was still dark and the streets were empty and the kids got a kick out of that. When we got to San Francisco and tried to unpack the stroller I realized that the TSA in Seattle didn’t give us one of the wheels to the stroller. So we’d be carrying that damn stroller all the way to Mexico and back for no reason. Stupid TSA – they even made the kids, including Eva, take off their shoes, which is not required.

The flights were on-time and we got to Mexico at 1pm local time (2 hours ahead of Seattle’s timezone). It was hot! We got our rental car, a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and got to our place by 2pm. Our concierge and groceries were waiting for us at the house, so I immediately opened a Negra Modelo and noticed that the concierge was able to find Maker’s Mark, which was not possible the last time we were in Mexico. The kids immediately got in the pool. It was a good start to the vacation.

On Monday, we went to the Vallarta Zoo because we heard that you could feed and pet the animals. It took 90 minutes to drive the 50km or so because the “highway” is so slow, you have to go through slow-moving Puerto Vallarta and the road from there to the zoo was under construction. We were hungry and found a fish tacos place in the tiny town of Mismaloya for lunch.

Lunch In Mismaloya

We got to the zoo, paid $200 (!) for 4 of us to take the tour, which includes a bag of food to give the animals. The whole place was pretty sketchy and the animals were in tiny enclosures and didn’t look very happy. But the kids didn’t notice the difference and they could get very close and fed some of the animals.

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On Wednesday, we went to Sayulita for lunch. We went there last time and really liked it, so I was looking forward to spending the day there. I started feeling bad in the morning and during the drive there I got worse. We had shrimp for dinner the night before and, although Gay ate some too, I ate more and I think that did it. By the time we sat down for lunch, the thought of eating anything made me feel worse, so I skipped lunch. We went to get ice cream for the kids after lunch but I was feeling so bad I just wanted to go home and lay down. We did and I slept most of that afternoon, in between doses of Pepto-Bismol. I was back to normal Thursday morning.

On Friday, we went to Dolphin Adventure. I was expecting something as low-rent as the zoo, but I was pleased to find a well-run professional place. Gay had signed us up for the swimming with the dolphins for young kids. The kids got life jackets on and after a short briefing on the park, dolphins and how to touch them, we all got in the pool. Hudson hated his life jacket so we took it off. Gay held Havana and I held Hudson as the trainer went through his program. We got to pet the dolphin several times, feed it fish and feel it swim by us – they can move! – and give them the signal to jump. It was fun, but the kids were a little scared and it was difficult to get them to pet the dolphin.

MISAEL (46)

I didn’t eat much the last few days, still uneasy about getting sick before a day of flying. By Sunday, I was ready to get home. Hot hot temperature, too much chips and guacamole, bland beer and food poisoning makes Mexico not my kind of place. I realized that we’ve been to Mexico six times, more than any country we’ve been to. I’m done with Mexico for a long time, I think.

I was very happy to be home in Seattle. Seattle Beer Week had just started and I needed a vacation from my vacation, so I spent the next week relaxing, Gay and I went to a couple Seattle Beer Week events where we met people from Black Raven Brewing and the owners of Naked City, we stained the back fence and we barbecued dinner every night with wonderful (warm, not hot) weather all week. That week was more enjoyable to me than the week in Mexico! It was a solid reminder of why I love Seattle so much: my kind of weather, a city with plenty to do and the best beer in the world.