Patrice Has Left the Building!

Recap: Good Morning, From Here, June 08 – 14

What a great weekend! I did virtually nothing and didn’t even leave my house on Sunday. I played in my tiny garden and my kitchen, stocking up my freezer for the next couple of weeks. It was lazy, indulgent, and fabulous. I had lots of new ideas for the future; if any of them come to fruition, you can read them here!

Last Friday, Patrice, Kevin, and I settled in at Il Pesce for some fine pasta. They have added air conditioning that will likely increase their summer traffic no end. Service and food were, as always, exemplary; I could live happily on the funghi fettuccini.

From Il Pesce we joined the huge crowd at Mary Ann’s Ovation Bar at Act2PV in anticipation of Opening Night of Madonnarama., the latest production from Edgar Sanchez. Ale Matus looked fabulous as she and her dancers recreated vignettes from various Madonna concerts over that singer’s long career. Edgar is testing the waters for a possible shift from the Casa Karma Red Room to the Main Stage in the upcoming season. I will keep you informed!

On Saturday, Patrice and I wandered down to Los Muertos beach to Langostinos to see Emilio, Colette Zarry, and invitees from Brent Lane’s Gen Ex-Pats Facebook Group for a Rock Lobster meet and greet. I saw a few people I knew, but most were lovely strangers gathered together on the sand for sunset and cocktails. Colette created a sample menu for the occasion; Patrice and I slipped away after the B-52’s signature song played to walk off the margaritas.

We ended up having a couple of slices at Veggitalia, taking most of it home after warm, crushing hugs from owner Marco.

I do hope your weekend was as lovely as mine; From Here.

A tiny amount of rain fell in the early hours, barely measurable, but it’s a mere 26 degrees at 7 am – cool! It was also not enough rain to change our plans to hit the Tuesday tianguis in Coapinole, which is almost all outside. If you are looking for some clothing bargains or just want a morning adventure in a timeless Mexican tradition, go early, wander around, bargain, and enjoy.

Yesterday morning, Patrice walked me to Central Gym just past McDonald’s on the Malecon, where I had a quick workout while she was shopping. I thought I would share a photo she took from the top floor. Very cool in the winter to watch whales breaching between sets! How’s the view from your gym?

After a brisk walk home, we headed to Langostinos on the beach for breakfast. Their vegetarian omelet is fabulous, with one significant change – swapping the bell peppers (yak…) for chile poblano—perfection on a plate.

Rob and Jan are picking us up in an hour to head to Coapinole, so have a lovely day. I will have a full report on our findings in the morning, From Here.

It didn’t rain much yesterday morning, but it was sufficient to cancel our shopping adventure at the tianguis in Coapinole with Rob and Jan.

Instead, Patrice and I went to La Comer and Costco, and here comes a shameless plug for the latter. Kitty litter is expensive and becoming more so like everything else; the stuff I use is imported and used to be available ONLY at Costco in a 19 KILO box containing four bags of approximately five kilos apiece. The same company also produces a twenty POUND box with four bags containing five pounds each. They are packaged the same and here’s the kicker – they are priced the same at La Comer and cost more at Petco. For the Americans in Vallarta unused to the metric system, a quick glance shows they are the same. A 19-kilo box at Costco is under 400 pesos; a 20-pound box at Petco is just under 500 pesos – for less than half! So caveat emptor: buy your cat litter at Costco. You’re welcome.

I spent the extra time at home working on a new aspect of Vallarta Mirror and Vallarta Calendar.

We will launch “Artist’s Spotlight” soon. It will feature some hard facts about our local entertainers and also a look at past, present and future projects these wildly talented people have involved themselves in. It could be an invaluable tool for performing artists – a public bio, and also for venues and producers who need a directory of the finest entertainers in town. Performers can drop me an email, and readers can let me know who they want to know more about, and we’ll get on it this summer. There is magic in the air, people, From Here.

Barb Stenz and I had a couple of intense Scrabble games – she won the first by three points, and I won the second by one! Time did not allow for a rubber – just as well, we were both exhausted by then! Home for a quick change of clothes and to get Patrice, then off to bingo for Colina Spay & Neuter Clinic at Nacho Daddy. Patrice has let it be known to vets in her area in Alberta to save any extraneous meds or pet supplies for her; then, she donates all of it every trip to Mexico. Her karma came around yesterday and blessed our table with five wins in games and raffles! That was fun! There’s one more bingo on June 26 at 4 pm before Nacho Daddy closes for July and August vacations.

While we stuck around for Amy Armstrong’s concert, I introduced Patrice to Charlie Huynh, the owner of Let’s Pho (pronounced Fa), extolling the virtues of his restaurant’s carrot cake. He laughed about being the only 100% Vietnamese food resto in town famous for its carrot cake, and said he had customers that came in only for dessert! Let’s Pho is on our list for Patrice’s next visit. Tonight, for dinner, however, Charlie is giving 30% of everyone’s bill to Mercurio’s staff. There are no special menus or any fancy criteria or limitations – you spend a hundred pesos – 30 goes to Mecurio’s staff. Bless you, Charlie!

Amy Armstrong took the stage at 7, along with Al “Mimi” Ramirez on guitar, and moved us back to the 80s with some seriously lovely music. Amy and Mimi are using the next two Wednesdays as a sounding board for the basis of an upcoming show next season. If you love that era, send requests to Amy on Facebook and be sure to attend the next two completely different shows – she just may sing your fave songs. If you have never seen Amy in concert, go to Nacho Daddy, enjoy her powerful voice, her warm and fuzzy personality, and know she is funny as f**k. Parental Guidance Suggested (lol), From Here.

My house is so quiet; my sister is sound asleep in her bed thousands of miles away from Bogie and me. It’ll take a couple of days to normalize and get back into the swing of doing things on my own.

I jumped onto a very crowded bus after leaving Patrice at the airport and witnessed kindness after kindness in front of me. It was standing room only for quite a few stops, and then I finally got a seat just behind the rear door and noticed a guy in a wheelchair. He called out, “rampa!” That voice message was relayed to the front of the bus and the driver. At the next stop, he came to the back of the bus, pulled a latch on the floor, and out popped a ramp. The driver reached forward, gripped the wheelchair, and rolled his passenger gently to the sidewalk, replaced the ramp, returned to his seat, and we carried on for a few more stops where a young man in a wheelchair was waiting to board the bus.

The shout for rampa went up again, but to save time, a young man who had to get out of the way for the last wheelchair pulled the ramp out of the floor, jumped off the bus, and wheeled a perfect stranger into the handicapped part of the bus adjacent to the door.

From where I was sitting, I saw the wheelchair was homemade, with an old kitchen bucket chair roped onto a set of wheels. There was no place for the young man’s feet to rest, and there wasn’t a brake, so the guy who helped him get on the bus stood there with his body wedged to keep the wheelchair from rolling around.

All of this without a word being exchanged at the beginning. After several stops, the wheelchair young man began asking questions, trying to make himself understood to his human brake, who was carving a small ball of red wax while standing in a crowded bus with a very sharp exacto knife and his sturdy foot, keeping the wheelchair steady. He leaned down to decipher the words; I heard ‘hostel’ and could discern little else.

As we rolled out of the tunnel, many seats were available, but the carver of wax stayed where he was, ensuring the young man in his wheelchair remained safe. I got off at Insurgentes, leaving them to their lives and me to mine, grateful again for the millionth time that I live in such a gracious and kind place 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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