Every Morning is a Celebration!

Recap: Good Morning, From Here
February 24 – March 01

It’s 4:30 in the morning; I have coffee in hand and don’t even know where to start sorting out the recent magic in Vallarta.

It is clinging to me like saran wrap—the magic. I felt like I was barely touching the ground all weekend, and everyone around me was smiling and kind; even the air parted gently wherever I walked. And, the tears will not stop; there is no sadness, nothing is ‘wrong.’ Everything is lovely, and I expect I am not used to this soft joy being all-encompassing. Am I creating joy or reflecting?

The magic started at Arte Vallarta Museo, where I went to talk to artist Dove Bradshaw, whose show opens this coming First Saturday of the month Fiesta at the museum. Painters were touching up walls, paintings, and other structures were being installed with careful measurements.

Dove is tiny, graceful, and reverent; she has immortalized tree roots ripped from the ground during flooding in New York City caused by a natural calamity. Her remarkable spent bullets must be seen in person; they are curiously beautiful, boldly colored, and hold the fluidity of high velocity frozen in time. They are, like their creator, extraordinary. Be sure to attend this event on March 02 at 6 pm.

Saturday night, the magic continued at The Palm Cabaret, where Gloria Fiona triumphed in her Tribute to Adele. Eight months of hard work laid itself as bare as Gloria’s soul, backed with a string quartet, two guitars, a percussionist, a backup vocalist, and a piano! I heard Gloria sing ten years ago at the third edition of Voice of Vallarta, finishing in second place. She has come a long, long way from Italy and is now fluent in English and Spanish. The Palm was packed, and I think Entertainment Director Mark Rome has found his next superstar. I have one word for Gloria Fiona – exquisite.

The (e)motion continued Sunday with Deborah Darr’s dance class at the IFC’s Clubhouse. Deb’s class begins at noon and lasts for a little over an hour; she is hoping to continue to the end of March. Keep your eyes here for details.

Another full house – their first and last – at Act2PV’s Main Stage unfolded for the ultimate performance of Vacare. If you have been reading me, you know I am a groupie, a colossal fan sincerely in love with each member of this other-worldly production. I did not take a single photograph, not wanting to divert my attention for even a second. My eyes trickled with tears as this charming story unfolded before me, breaking my heart that I would not see it again in this perfection. 

Vacare will re-emerge somewhere, sometime when the world is more ready to experience the genius of the artistry involved in writing, music, acrobatics, mime, choreography, aerials, costuming, and makeup. 

The cast surprised me with a tin cup with my name on one side and Vacare’s logo on the other. I will cherish it forever.

Melody Bar was crammed with those waiting for Cate Valcic’s Opening Night Tribute to Liza Minnelli in the Casa Karma Red Room. We also enjoyed Jan Dorland’s birthday cake! Jan’s partner, Rob Burton, presented the gloriously gooey chocolate cake before we saw Cate.

A lifelong fan of Ms Minnelli, Cate experienced her first triumphant Opening Night surrounded by loving friends, including the lovely Gina Pressley. David Sabella, resplendent in black sequins, joined Cate onstage, and I would be remiss if I forgot the quartet of high-kicking dancers.

The weekend was a roller coaster of emotions; now it is 7 am and time for one more coffee as I bid you all to have a tremendous, love-filled week From Here.

It’s a non-gym day that makes me giddy with the extra hour on my hands. What to do with it? Go to the tianguis in Coapinole with Selena Luna, of course! I have four hours before I meet her, and I will spend that time with you and edit a few stories as well.

Levi Kreis opened last night at The Palm Cabaret, and I had the delightful pleasure of sitting with Randy Lee, writer for Jerry Jones’ Out & About PV magazine. We snagged the last two seats in the house! Again, this magic thread continues with the music and how Levi’s incredible, arabesque vocals create a primitive jump-up and down euphoria. Levi plays piano sideways and uses every body part to get the energy down to the tips of his fingers, attacking the keyboard with thunderous accuracy. Sitting still and watching this energetic artist sing and play is impossible.

Until he does something completely different.

Levi has been writing and scoring a new musical theater piece, a la ‘Southern Baptist Sissies,’ he hopes will be ready next year. Levi introduced one powerful song – the first time he had ever sung it in front of a live audience – and left all of us in the theater, including himself, choking back tears by the end of it. A standing ovation deservedly followed. Then some Jerry Lee Lewis to shake off the melancholy and end the show on an upbeat Tony-Award-worthy note. He has five more shows at The Palm; catch at least one of them, From Here.

Today is my birthday. No, not the day I was physically born; that’s November 9th, for those of you who keep birthday present lists! February 28 is my re-birthday. The day I left Canada 33 years ago with two suitcases and at 39, the rest of my life ahead of me in Puerto Vallarta.

It was a day of triumph full of potential unknowns, like language, customs, what the hell I will do every day, and all sorts of things running through my head, randomly, although not in a worried way.

I could not stop grinning; a five-year plan that began with my first enchanted visit to Vallarta in December 1986 was complete. I did it! I am here, Vallarta, and by God, I will never leave you again!

So, if you see me today, out and about, please hug me and tell me how smart I am for doing what I did three decades-plus ago. I already know it, but still!

Selena Luna and I spent some hours hunting for groovy clothes, mainly for Patriz, Selena’s daughter and Vallarta’s rising star. I only bought the winey-red gown on the top of the heap in the photo. It was a good score for seven pesos!

The tianguis are just one reason I adore this city with all my heart and soul. Thank you, Vallarta. I love you to pieces From Here.

Happy Leap Year Day, if that’s a thing. I am sure it must be for those born on this day, only having one bday to celebrate every four years.

I received lots of re-birthday hugs yesterday on my 33rd anniversary of moving to Vallarta. I even had a couple of people shout at me from across the street. It sounded funny, “Happy re-Birthday!” I celebrated by winning three out of three games of Scrabble and spent some chat time with Rob Burton, Jan Dorland, and Georgia Darehshori in the courtyard outside Act2PV.

The occasion was to celebrate the First Annual Gay Awards for 2023, sponsored by Jerry Jones’ Out & About PV magazine and hosted by Jet de la Isla. It was the first time I had set foot inside Beefcake, the cavernous bar underneath Act2PV where the ceremony took place. It is everything a nightclub should be: dark, underlit, and full of happy people shouting over the volume of the music.

Many hardworking, deserved friends won – Paul Crist (four categories!), Ryan Donner, Michael Robles, Mike Owens, Edward Lucker, and Sebastian Coronel, just off the top of my head. I will share a link with details later.

Today, I am regrouping—editing, editing, then some editing, and, oh yeah, laundry.

Have a spectacular day, or do everything today in a spectacular way From Here.

It is amazing to me how rejuvenating staying home can be; evidently, I should do it more often! I worked all day, not hard but steady, and got a bunch of small, fussy jobs I have been putting off for no reason other than lack of time and energy. So, they are done, and I am SO excited about where Vallarta Mirror is going: the same place Vallarta is headed.

Over the past 30 years, I have noticed a significant change in the type of people who move to Vallarta permanently and the energy they bring. My god, this city is positively crackling with innovative thinkers and kind people who strive to lift everybody who comes in contact with them.

Back to business for a second – I need recommendations from our readers for our Ten Best Guides that we will be phasing in over the next year. The first one is Restaurants, so send me a name and why you think it should make our list. The frontrunners to date (in no particular order) are Whiskey Kitchen, Bravos, and Il Pesce.

It’s Friday, and the Rearview Mirror will be delivered to your inbox this morning. Enjoy it with your coffee, and have a terrific weekend 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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