You Gotta Get up and Try

Recap: Good Morning, From Here
April 06 – April 12, 2024

It is Eclipse Day, in case you didn’t know or had forgotten. I was here in Vallarta for the last one in July 1991, having moved here five months earlier in February. It’ll be interesting to compare the weirdness.

Juan Alvarado’s birthday was a good reason to pack his bar, La Catrina Cantina, last Friday night. The entertainment began with Joan Houston and Bob Bruneau and continued with Nacho Granados and Chris Lopez. I meant to check with Juan to find out where the fabulous strawberry cake came from. It was amazing!

The next day, the Arte Vallarta Museo paid homage to Frank and Gail Rudin at its First Saturday Fiesta, when entry to the Museum was free. The Rudin’s early Vallarta art collection, loaded with Manuel Lepe’s, has been a significant contributor to the Museo’s success.

About a month ago, Zumo opened on Púlpito, creating a culinary buzz around the corner from The Palm Cabaret and next to Garbo’s. (This street has some serious future in it; more on that next week.)

Lovely owner Vanessa Villegas came by to say hello. It had been years since we had seen each other, but now she is back in Vallarta from San Miguel de Allende, down the street from her mom’s restaurant, Coco’s Kitchen. 

Kevin and I followed her recommendations, sharing a salad, then short ribs for him, and I had lemon pasta without shrimp. O M G. The tri-colored fusilli pasta is made in-house, and I swear each piece was infused with lemon. Kevin’s knife was unnecessary, and he was so happy he didn’t have to share any of his short ribs with me. Home-made bread, imaginative cocktails, superb wait staff, and a comfortable, semi-formal, unstuffy atmosphere made the evening complete. Zumo is one of those rare restaurants where a return is necessary to try every single thing on the menu eventually. Brava, Vanessa, welcome back to Vallarta! Incidentally, old clients of mine visiting from Michigan stopped by our table on their way out to say hi and mentioned they had eaten at Zumo three times already; I can understand why From Here.

How did all the eclipsing go? I stayed in, caught up on some work, and had to put on a sweater when the temperature dropped. It was eerily quiet, no? almost reverent. I read that most people on Earth will experience one solar eclipse in their lives. I have had two, both in Vallarta. Just one more reason to love this city and my life in it; so blessed.

Vallarta Mirror designer Kevin Feltner will have an extra treat today as the two of us head to Act2PV tonight at 6 to watch our Scrabble-playing/Air-Frying-Queen Sharon Gerber Scherer reprise her role as Tanya in Mamma Mia. A full report tomorrow!

The Palm Cabaret crowns Mr Vallarta on Wednesday at 6. This is a full-blown bouquet of eye candy, trust me! Then Eva Jimenez debuts her Tribute to Pink on Thursday at 8 pm. See you at both shows, From Here.

Mamma Mia, the musical in its fifth season at Act2PV, may never be the same again after last night’s performance. Sharon Gerber Scherer came out of retirement (again!) to recreate her stellar role as Tanya, the jet-setting, millionaire-marrying, loosely moral, and very fun character. The play has undergone many changes from last season to this, with new choreography, additional songs, and a few cast changes. The eclipse brought about a temporary but major character shuffle that was only possible with Sharon’s reprise. So, a great time was had by all – the audience was full of friendly faces, all there to see if Sharon could do the new dances with new partners.

Of course, she could and even aced a major wardrobe malfunction (bad zipper!) during the finale with generous aplomb and grace.

The bottom line is, if you have seen Mamma Mia in past seasons, go have another look; the love poured into this production is palpable From Here.

Yesterday, after Scrabble at Qulture, the first stop was the Palm Cabaret for the opening of the second annual Mr Vallarta contest. And what a line-up it was, including my favorite dancer in Vallarta, Paco! Hosted by Sebastian Coronel and Nacho Granados, 14 gorgeous guys displayed what they have spent years building in the gym. I think Vallarta would win first place in the most Speedos-per-square-kilometer contest! Thank you, Mercurio Swimwear. The top ten return next Wednesday at 6 pm to choose the finalists that will share 20k in cash and other prizes. Three guesses where I will be!

From The Palm across Zona Romantica to El Granero, upstairs (I didn’t know there even was one – the resto is gigantic!), for the first Annual 2023 We Are Puerto Vallarta Awards. Sponsored by PRVPV and hosted by Jamie Alexander in English, with Jessy Ruiz translating. Old, old friends were honored, Claire Guarniere for Galleria Dante, Coco’s Kitchen for best breakfast spot, German Garcia for Garbo’s, Adriana Lopez from the Palm Cabaret (the ‘best entertainment venue’ garnered the most interest in the contest with over 60,000 votes cast!). And more recent friends – within the last twenty years like Cassandra Shaw, Kevin Levesque, and sparkling brand new friends of the past decade, like Tricia Lyman, Kevin Anthony, Mark Hartman, and Effie Passero. Do I know way cool people, or what?

Congratulations to everyone who voted and to all who were nominated. To PVRPV and their sponsors, including Jerry at Out & About PV Magazine and Mikel at ThrIVe, for putting together this well-received award’s event, in your spare time.(!!)

Tonight is Eva Jimenez’s tribute to Pink at The Palm – see you there From Here.

Prior to the outstanding Pink Tribute at The Palm last night, I was treated to a lovely dinner at El Dorado on the beach. It has been years since I have had the pleasure – ‘El Do’ used to be the expat gathering place for Happy Hour daily. Hurricane Kenna 25 years ago necessitated a complete renovation and it is nearly as chi-chi as its sister resto, La Palapa next door.

My hosts were Reynald Hiole and Bradley Robinson from San Francisco who were celebrating the completion of a painting by David Perez. So, the four of us settled in for sunset, food, and mariachi and celebrated a very Mexican painting and life in this glorious city of Vallarta.

Nothing makes me happier than to sit with newbies – Reynald and Bradley quite unexpectedly, bought a condo last November and are planning to spend as much time as possible here in their new digs. It is delightful to listen to stories about buying real estate in a foreign country and the trials by fire of Immigration that we have all gone through and, is a conversational process impossible to relate to someone who has not done it. I had to fly through the profiteroles – that were sensational, by the way, and head to The Palm for Pink.

Eva Jimenez is spectacular in Pink! Her Opening Night was packed to overflowing, full of friends and fans who watched Eva almost in constant motion, dancing, tumbling, and singing beautifully the entire time. I will see this concert again—there was so much going on, and the energy in the room was so kinetic that I missed lots. So run for tickets! Brava, Eva! You made me laugh and cry more than once – your power, girl… amazing.

Nadia Turner opens Monday at The Palm; catch you there at 8 pm.

Have a fabulous weekend, everybody. See you Monday for coffee, 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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