From Here: Joy

My sister is here, the fun and games have begun, and we are doing what we do best together – playing. I know how lucky I am to have her in my life; we have much to celebrate, including our first Christmas together in over 40 YEARS! We don’t do much at Christmas, but this year, at least, we get to do it together!

Patrice hit the ground running; we dropped her bags at the house and went to the Malecon to wander through the towering catrinas and to peruse the lovely altars surrounding the old presidencia. The City of Vallarta did an outstanding job celebrating this year’s Day of the Dead.

We were up early the following day and off to our favorite tianguis in Coapinole. As always, we found amazing things that we didn’t need and couldn’t live without for nearly no money. What could be more fun? 

Kennedy Morgan presented “Beyond the Veil” at The Palm Cabaret on Halloween night. Kennedy is keenly loved in Vallarta as a spirit medium. He has helped many friends cope with the death of loved ones and has reiterated that death is a part of life, not the end of it, but a change in energy. Kennedy is available for private sessions; you can find him on Facebook.

Our first Wednesday-of-the-month Scrabble Tournament at Qulture went well again. I won. Again.

Paco Ojeda sold out his Day of the Dead presentation at Joint Coworking Hotel. The fascinating history lesson covered a lot of ground. Still, the most interesting was learning that the current rabidly popular DoD celebrations – Las Catrinas, the face painting, the gigantic parades, etc., are only a decade old. Amazing but true! As Paco does, the research was impeccable, the videos entertaining, and the music selections superb. Catch Paco’s take on Country music on November 21st at 5 p.m.

Patrice and I left Paco, crossed the street onto La Isla Cuale and spent the next three hours wandering through the candlelit grounds, comfortably crowded with visitors to this recently hurricane-devasted wasteland in the middle of the city. It was absolutely delightful! Music, food, drinks, vendors, everything well planned and well executed. Kudos to the second annual Isla de Los Muertos organizers, Rob Burton and Jan Dorland, and to their phalanx of volunteers who collected tips for the musicians and donations from the wandering crowds. All the musicians who entertained gave up their tips to keep supporting the extraordinary work being done on the Island under the direction of Guy Weeks and the Vallarta Garden Club.

Patrice and I stopped in to visit with artist Ernesto Guerra at his Gallery on Constitución. He has taken on an adjacent property and transformed it into a sculpture garden protected by high walls and filled with light, trees and art. I wanted Patrice also to see dear friend Scrabble-mate and super-foodie Sharon Gerber’s beautiful watercolors. They are downright mouthwatering!

Singer Kevin Anthony “Let the goose do what it do” at La Catrina Cantina last week. If you have ever seen Kevin onstage, that last sentence just made you smile. His gigs at La CC are relaxed and easy as he sings his favorite songs, walking through the busy room, greeting friends and making new ones with his charm and vibrant voice. Kevin is busy with his new real estate career, so his appearances around town are less frequent. Be sure to treat yourself to a piece of Kevin’s soul when you can. Remember, there is no cover at La Catrina Cantina!

Epic Freddie Mercury, starring Roy Cruz, opened last Friday night to a sold-out crowd at the Palm Cabaret. And “EPIC” it was! New costumes, often synchronized video clips, new lighting, dancers and song choices, including a couple I had never heard before. Roy’s voice and his engagement with his audience, while always sensational, was exceptional on his Opening Night. This is Roy’s fifth reincarnation of Freddie Mercury and the music of Queen, directed by technical genius Chris Lopez. It is spectacular. The pas de deux with Pacito and Bryan was one of the most sensually erotic pieces of choreography I have ever seen. Their strength and fluidity melded together in an extremely powerful dance, so beautifully done that it took my breath away. Mery Zambrano was fabulous as well; she is clearly one of Vallarta’s most versatile female dancers. If you see nothing else while you are here in Vallarta, see EPIC!

On Saturday, Patrice and I walked over to La Isla for the season-opening of Three Hens & a Rooster Market. It was wonderful seeing old friends and colleagues again tucked under the shady trees by the banks of the Rio Cuale. Catch them from 9 to 1 p.m. every Saturday until the beginning of summer!

The First Saturday of the Month is always a great party at Arte Vallarta Museo. Live music, an abundance of food and wine, engaging art exhibits and this month, the gorgeous altars celebrating Day of the Dead kept dozens of residents and tourists happy for hours. This time of year is so joyous, with snowbirds returning for the winter.

Coming Up:

November 11: Saturday
9 p.m., The Rocky Horror Show at Act2PV (Main Stage). Full report next time!

November 15: Wednesday
1 p.m., Qulture. Scrabble for your brain at Qulture
1 p.m., Vallarta Botanical Garden turns 18 years old today. Go by for birthday cake!
4 p.m., Bingo fundraiser for Colina Spay & Neuter Clinic at Nacho Daddy
6:30 p.m., Tequila Tasting and Book Launch at Oficina de Proyectos Culturales (OPC)

November 16: Thursday
5 pm, Tribute to Queen with live band at Act2PV

November 20: Monday
5:30 p.m., Fundraiser for La Escuelita at Casa Karma

This week began with Sunday Brunch with dear and darling old friends. More on that next issue. Take care of one another gently; it’s still hot and really humid. This too shall pass, and we’ll be chilly (well…) shortly, 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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