Recap: Good Morning, From Here

February 10 – February 16, 2024

Last Friday, Kevin Feltner and I, representing Vallarta Mirror, went to the Vallarta Food Bank for an Open House. What a difference community and cooperation make! The Ex-President of the Vallarta Garden Club, John McKinney, gave K and me a tour, starting with a hot water tiled shower/change room. The shower and the plantings were donated by the VGC.

There is a medical/dental clinic, a store room full of generators and rescue equipment; Food Bank founder Jimmy Plouff gets to cut off areas overwhelmed by natural disasters faster than any speeding bullet.

There is a spotlessly clean, large kitchen with a gigantic set of pots and pans, and the food that comes out of the kitchen is delicious, simple, and nutritious. There is a laundry area with a washer and dryer, a mobile water purification system that was donated, and a friendly staff, openly caring and infinitely dedicated.

The Vallarta Food Bank began in response to the pandemic to get hungry people fed. It has become, in three years, a community center of hope.

The need for financial help never goes away. If you have time, consider volunteering, and by all means, help by donating money; it will always be a necessity.

The small action of a couple of restaurateurs – Jimmy Plouff and Francie Nguyen, became a Food Bank, then morphed into a School for Girls that is, in turn, teaching a young gifted girl from the RISE Children’s Shelter, and so it goes. All are intertwined by one simple act of giving.

I received the following Letter to the Editor over the weekend: “My friends were walking near the marina, planning to catch a bus to meet me. Two Latinas approached them from behind, and squirted them with a brown liquid. They shouted, Kaka, and immediately pulled wipes from their bag. They started to wipe my friends and reached into his pocket and took his wallet. He caught her before they could take off. Just a word of caution and warning. This happened in broad daylight and the perpetrators were too very innocent, looking middle-aged, Mexican women. Please warn your readers to keep their passport, drivers license, and credit cards in their hotel safe, and only carry the money they need in a secure Velcro fastened, zippered or buttoned pocket. This incident happened on Saturday, February 10, 2024.”

Take heed and always be aware of your surroundings.

The IFC (International Friendship Club) hosts an N.I.A. dance class every Sunday at noon. The Non-Impact-Aerobics class incorporates dance, martial arts katas, playing, and moving gently to beautiful music that is not ear-splitting but rather background.

As a dyed-in-the-wool gym rat, I eschewed aerobics until I met Deborah Darr a couple of years ago at our Lightworkers Gathering at Casa Karma.

When I heard Deb’s story of how NIA literally saved her leg and, therefore, her life, I paid attention and did a class or two with her.

I took a break yesterday, joined her and a few other women at the IFC, and immersed myself in gentle, encouraging motion. Deborah is a masterful teacher, always simpatico and never pushy.

Yoga maestra Barbara Compton was there, and I bumped into Kandace Andriadis after the class; she may join us next week. I  hope you can come too, next Sunday at noon, From Here.

Last evening in the Casa Karma Red Room, Vallarta had a rare opportunity to spend time with a living legend, Drag Queen Rose Levine.

Born in the Bronx in the 30s, (Robert) Bob Levine was invited to Fire Island for the first time and, in July 1955, made his debut in drag as Rose Levine.

Bob was a columnist, activist, and most certainly a pioneer in his field.

Mark Hartman was superb as Musical Director, as he always is. Someone asked Mark how many years he and Rose had been touring together. A handful of shows only, but Mark’s keen intuition and attention to detail made the entire performance seamless.

To those New Yorkers responsible for bringing Rose Levine to Vallarta – Seth Sikes, David Sabella/Amanda Reckonwith, and Mark, of course, please bring Rose back next season, which will be her 70th year in the business. A fantastic milestone worth celebrating – Vallarta-style!

Hey, all you lovers and wannabes out there, it’s Saint Valentine’s Day. If you are madly in ❤, then today you can go crazy showing that love in all kinds of ways – bouquets of flowers, embellished cards, chocolates, balloons, and goofy stuffed animals: romantic dinners, wine, maybe a barefoot stroll hand in hand on the beach at sunset.

What is the most romantic thing you can think of to do today? I would love to hear all about what you did or at least attempted!

Being in ❤ is amazingly strange. That space where the object of your affection refuses to leave your brain, and in the middle of a thought, a memory intrudes, and that dreamy, zen state takes over when the world is fluidly, languidly caressing every inch of your skin with sensation. It’s lovely!

Enjoy this day, exclaim your love to the sky and all who will listen; rejoice with your lover, send those glorious vibes out to everyone, and share your joy From Here.

It’s raining. Well, not this second, but still. It rained yesterday, enough for me to pack my umbrella when I walked over to Qulture for Scrabble. I had to unfurl when I left Nacho Daddy Purr Project Bingo hours later.

And it’s cold. Well, not in the Alberta sense of cold, but for the tropics? Yep, cold.

And dreary. We only get a few of those days in a year. The overwhelming need is to sleep. Curl up in bed with lots of blankets, pull a cat or two over close for added warmth, and say to hell with the rest of the day.

Or, go and play bingo! I walked into Nacho Daddy and a sea of people on the main floor. I asked owner Tammy if she had space for me, and she suggested I look for a chair. Then, from out of nowhere, popped Sharon, a friend of my sister Patrice’s who was visiting from Alberta and had saved me space!

That bit of good luck was it for the afternoon as our table flatlined at winning anything except the knowledge that we were supporting the Purr Project, a worthy cause.

Sharon, her traveling companion Karen, and I chatted between games. I declined their kind invitation to join them at Langostinos. The only thing ringing true in my head was my bed, From Here.

Friday, Again. It’s like I get out of bed, turn around three times, and yes, it is Friday again. I know time seems to accelerate as you age, but this is crazy. It’s like my cat, Miri, waking me up at 3 am – I get up at 4 – but if I got up at 3, she’d begin the process at 2, and in less than a week, I would be up and out of bed before I had slept a wink.

It rained gently all night long. I hope the skies clear today! What a rip to fly down here from Canada to catch some sun mid-winter and realize it would have been cheaper to stay in Vancouver for the same weather. 

I apologize to our tourists, who are busy buying umbrellas and ponchos against the chill! This is very rare weather, even though the Mexicans call Febrero ‘loco’ for the vagaries, but this rain, like my sleep patterns, is erratic!

Siestas save me, and I sometimes have a morning nap and another one later in the day if I have a late show to see. Sleep is good; I invite it with all my heart, 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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