Eating and Laughing. Eating and Laughing!


A long-awaited reunion finally took place at Abbraccio yesterday. Sheryl Novak, Patrice, and I sat, drank red wine, and indulged in Abbraccio’s fantastic bread and pasta.

Sheryl writes a weekly column for Vallarta Mirror on furniture and all that entails and is an invaluable resource to anybody buying a condo in Mexico; her expertise is legendary.

Betti & Bruce closed their Palm Cabaret run for the season with a house full of fans from past performances. This young California couple portrays the aged, hope-springs-eternal pair of sequined lounge singers with pinpoint accuracy and humor. Both have terrific voices and together brought a lively Las Vegas Christmas show with seriously twisted lyrics and dance moves worthy of Fred and Ginger.

Attendees in the front row included Spencer Day, Julie Guerrero, David and Penny Duvall, Wendy Johnson, and Patti Gallardo, all enjoying themselves immensely.

Today brings us a DIF Christmas fundraiser/concert at Act2PV at 3:30, and ‘The Art Convention,’ starring Alejandro Balderas, returns to Vallarta at 7 pm at Nacho Daddy. This show is hysterically funny – I saw it three times (at least) at Incanto and can’t wait to see it again. Join us for much laughter From Here.


Happy Christmas to all our Mexican readers! 

Patrice and I went to Act2PV yesterday afternoon for a Christmas fundraiser for Casa Hogar, the City of Puerto Vallarta’s orphanage. Many Act2PV’s ‘family’ members sang, some in honor of the late founder Danny Mininni. Toys for Tots gathered gifts for the children, and the afternoon concert, hosted by Cate Valcic, who gave us an emotional Auld Lang Syne, ended in a finale led by Voice of Vallarta 2023 winner Sol Reyes.

We spent the evening laughing upstairs at Nacho Daddy with Alejandro Balderas’s uber clever ‘Art Convention.’

This hilarious one-man show has Alejandro playing seven art critics from around the world, plus a stuffy announcer and his easily intimidated ‘Girl Friday’ translator.

Alex has made some changes in the script, but my two favorite characters – the art critics from Brazil and Spain – remain outrageously funny and equally politically INcorrect. Catch the next ‘Art Convention’ at Nacho Daddy on Saturday, December 30, at 7 pm.

We are off this morning for Brunch at the beautiful La Cappella with Rob Burton and Jan Dorland and this afternoon to see ‘Vacare’ for the fourth time!

Warm Christmas hugs to every one of you, From Here


Merry Christmas, everybody! I hope Santa was lovely and kind to each of you; Vallarta will be quiet today as the parties lasted until 4:30 this morning as I got up.

Brunch at La Cappella yesterday was lively, with a posada in full swing, and every gift presentation was greeted with shrieks of happy surprise. The day was almost crisp, and our breakfast companions, Rob and Jan, could not have been more enjoyable.

The ever-delightful Kevin Anthony serenaded us, as did his guest star, Kim Kuzma. Their dinner shows at Coco’s Kitchen start January 5, so reserve early! The mimosas and the food were endless and delicious, as was the service.

Patrice and I met with Rob and Jan at Act2PV for Vacare again. It was our fourth time (out of five performances) seeing this wildly imaginative piece of theatre, and I have penciled them into my calendar for next Sunday.

Vacare is so tightly knit that the performers can improvise without disturbing the timing, just adding to the audience’s enjoyment, which last night consisted of all the kids from the RISE orphanage and the mothers of David and Alejandra, the show’s stars.

It was an ecstatic blend – circus and children laughing out loud at David’s antics on stage; the kids commiserated with his struggle to get out of his clothes and then his shyness and trying to get comfortable in his bed.

Without giving anything away, at a critical point in the storyline, the children yelled at David from their seats, “Si, se puede!” Yes, you can! (and he did); it was magic.

Do not think Vacare is a children’s show! Not at all. Our environmental impact on the oceans is painfully depicted with a helpless sea creature struggling to free himself from the plastic wound around his body. The sound the plastic makes on the stage floor will make your teeth ring. Vacare changes every week, and even if it didn’t, so much is going on that multiple viewings are necessary. Could a season pass to the show, which is scheduled to run into mid-April, be possible?

On that note, I will let you get back to coffee and opening presents. Merry Christmas again, with love and much joy From Here.


The church is sound asleep; the clock, lights, and bells stopped working yesterday, and an amazing quiet remains in the neighborhood like being covered with snow, with that light yet heavy blanket that muffles all sound. It’s quite lovely.

Our first Christmas together in more than 40 years was perfect! Patrice and I stayed in jammies all day, ate when we got peckish, napped, and got a lot of work done at a leisurely pace – and Christmas dinner was fus and cheese (no macaroni, so fusilli had to do.)

This morning, we will hit the tianguis in Coapinole for the last time; Patrice returns to Canada tomorrow. Open Mic at Nacho Daddy tonight so she can say goodbye.

Tomorrow, I will play a couple of games of Scrabble while Patrice struggles to close her suitcase and still be under 50 pounds; another miracle may be waiting to happen From Here!


Today will be full of contrasting feelings with Patrice going home after vacationing in Vallarta in my house for two months. How can that be when it passes with the speed of light? I keep thinking of everything we planned to do during the six months since her last visit, and it didn’t get done for one reason or another, like going to Guadalajara and Whiskey Kitchen for lunch. Next time, for sure!

The tianguis in Coapinole yielded all kinds of goodies, including THE RED DRESS for the Vallarta Garden Club’s ‘Gala Roja’ on January 23rd at Oscar’s.

We spent last evening at Nacho Daddy for one of the best Open Mics ever! Hostess Gouda Gabor presided over some serious professional talent with only a handful of amateurs who bravely followed seasoned Broadway performers.

The unequivocal stars of the evening were Dabit and Ale, Tromba Vetusta, the Costa Rican couple who brought circus to Vallarta. This formidable duo stars in two shows at Act2PV – Circoncierto and Vacare – absolute must-sees when you are in town. They are as sweet and kind as they are talented, with Alejandra stopping to hug Patrice goodbye as they left the stage. She will miss them more than me!

I can sneak in a couple of Scrabble games at Qulture before the dreaded taxi ride to the airport. Ugh. From Here.


Scrabble was great for me today; check the Bingo; even though I couldn’t play it, it is the story of my life!

My sister Patrice is back in the land of ice and snow. On a happy note, she is reunited with her darling cats and her teeny chihuahua from our local Sula Society.

It will take me some time to readjust my life; I will miss her take on all the new shows coming to Act2PV and The Palm, including tonight’s triumphant return of Francesca Bavaro (Effie) singing with Branden & James. See you there at 6 pm.

Do I ever LOVE these early shows! Thanks to our venues for adding so many great performances at an earlier time slot. I can often get to three events a day and will do this tomorrow: Patriz at 4 pm, Bruno Mars Tribute at 5:30 – those are both at Act2PV, then off to see Rodolfo at his beautiful Galeria Contempo on Basilio Badillo for his artists’ reception.

As always, if you see me, say hello, please, From Here.


Hmmm, there are only two days left in 2023; I had best figure out what I am doing for New Year’s Eve! (Ya’ think?)

I joined dear writer-friend Bill Makley at my ‘outdoor office’ around the corner from my house for mango smoothies. They were exceptional yesterday – not a single ice crystal. Delicious, like the company. I am so grateful to my infinitely smarter-than-me friends who hold out a firm hand when I am the only one who doesn’t know I’m drowning. Thanks, Bill!

If god created a trio with sweeter harmonies than Branden, James, and Francesca (Effie), she kept them to herself. Wow! The Palm immediately sold out two shows starring this piano/cello-playing/singing sensations. Of course, everyone in town wanted to welcome Francesca home from touring (with Branden and James) the U.S. Midwest. It was time well spent (ay, Mozart!), and the audience loved the concert.

Standing ovations follow Effie around like puppies by her feet; fans gently mobbed her as she tried to make her way out front to greet everyone after the show. Branden and James are as gracious and lovely as they sound.

Standing ovations follow Effie around like puppies by her feet

Today’s calendar is packed with Cuale Island Weekend Market, Patriz in concert, Bruno Mars Tribute, Galeria Contempo Opening Reception (Rodolfo and crew were madly hanging paintings when I passed by last night!), and the ultimate Remake show of 2023 at La Catrina Cantina.

It’s another glorious day in Vallarta; enjoy every minute From Here!


  • Marcia Blondin

    I am a Canadian expat who has lived in Vallarta for over 30 years. Becoming the editor of Vallarta Mirror is a dream come true, spending my days extolling the virtues of the city I love. An environmentalist in my lifestyle, artistic endeavors, the clothes I wear and the love I share.

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