Julia is small, maybe five feet, and a spry seventy-something — the perfect candidate for a Charlie Chaplin costume. The day she penguin-walked into our living room the applause was loud enough for the neighbors to hear. Continue reading
Marcia and I were happy to get seats in the front row for the outdoor show. Friends forever, we were catching up during her first trip to Puerto Vallarta, when suddenly she let out a shriek of sheer horror. Inches away from her knee was an iguana, its ruffled scaly crown waggling, its long rubbery tail slashing about. And it was big. As big as a man.
Our front yard here at Los Tules is a swimming pool. Right now, at 10 a.m., all of its 24 lounge chairs are occupied, as usual.
Five are occupied by people, one by a teddy bear, and eighteen by towels. The towels are meant to reserve the chairs for people who won’t come until later — people who don’t want anyone else to use these chairs until they’re good and ready to do it themselves. It’s not uncommon in resorts and along parade routes world wide, but here in Los Tules it is a very touchy subject.
Snakes and lizards slithering through the jungle, slitted eyes tracking prey, anticipating nourishment fanged into deadly submission. That’s what my stepson Ted and I signed up for when we parted with our money to take the “Jungle ATV Tour” that was offered by a local agency here in Puerto Vallarta. Continue reading
I’ve never stopped to think about it, but now that I do, I find it surprising that for people who travel as much as we do, we hardly ever talk about money. We didn’t meet each other until we were in our sixties, so we each brought our own finances to the relationship. As time went on we never merged our finances, electing instead to establish a joint bank account to which we contributed whenever it got low. The joint account pays for rent, food, and other common expenses. Other than that, we each have our own checking and investment accounts to do with as we please. The other night, during our customary cocktail at sunset, we just happened to mention our individual savings accounts: They have grown considerably since we began our travels. Continue reading
Traveling as we do, we meet a lot of people. Conversations ensue. Questions are asked, and among the first is, “Where do you live?” Then the familiar words: vagabond, expat, ne’er-do-well, and homeless.
After we tell the story of our travels — so well-rehearsed we can recite it in our sleep — comes the inevitable question: “What will you do next?”
Our answer has always been, “We don’t know.” But now, with less than sixty days remaining of our planned expat adventure — less than sixty days! — we have decided.
We’re going home.
“Pie lady! I’m the pie lady!”
She said this as though she were the Statue of Liberty. Yes, I’m what you’re looking for! We had indeed heard that when we got to the beach at the ancient town of Yelapa, fifteen miles southwest of Puerto Vallarta, we would find the pie lady roaming the beach, selling slices out of Tupperware. We bought a lemon meringue slice and ate it from our hands (she doesn’t offer forks) while walking down the beach.
As in real life, which this is not, sometimes we set out to have a certain adventure, and then we have another adventure instead, which is probably better than the adventure we didn’t have. So it was with our trip south to the coastal village of Mismaloya. We didn’t know much about Mismaloya, including where to get off the bus.
“I have been authorized to offer you the villa next year at the same price.”
That was Brissa, our real estate agent. We told you about her in an earlier post. She was the miracle worker who found our home in Puerto Vallarta and made it available for six months this year.
And now, as it turns out, next year too, for we paid our deposit two days ago. We will return to Puerto Vallarta and our Los Tules villa in January, here to stay for another two months in the winter of 2015.