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There are all sorts of houses in Puerto Vallarta, from dirt-poor shacks to glamorous, sprawling sea-view mansions. We are all curious about how people live, especially the wealthy. What would life be like with a lot of rooms and a big staff and a perfect kitchen?

This premise fills a bus every Tuesday for the IFC House Tour, a weekly event that benefits the International Friendship Club, which in turn supports various charitable projects around town. The day we climbed on the bus, we were off to Conchas Chinas, just south of town, which our guide Conrad described as “the Beverly Hills of Puerto Vallarta.” (Though, I might add, it is not the ONLY Beverly Hills around here.)

I will babble not much more, as this is all about the images of infinity pools, giant water features, closets the size of Missouri, granite slab kitchens, pricey art work, precious gardens, outdoor elevators, and acres of marble stairs. I will say that they are all privately owned, that they have from six to nine bedrooms (!!!) and all can be rented for about $1100 to $4000 a night, depending on the season.

We roamed around, awestruck, appreciative but not envious. I remind myself that running homes like these is the equivalent of running a small country, what with handling the gardeners and cooks and maids and repairmen; the plumbing for the three pools and four hot tubs; the constant repainting to combat the seaspray decay; the insurance against people falling off the balconies onto the rocks below; and the critters who come in during the night, as in this climate windows, doors, and even walls are optional.

No, I don’t envy a scrap of it. Except maybe the closets.

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