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Old 07-21-2007   #1 (permalink)
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Finally.........A pathetic attempt of a trip report

Okay, I'm bored and slept most of the day. So, I have been going through my pictures (finally) of my trip to Puerto Vallarta. I will try, and I am stressing TRY, to post a resembalance of the trip we took. I am not a photographer OR a writer. But it was a great trip and I feel I owe you all something to read, since I am always reading about yours! SO, here it goes:

There were 8 of us that left early one morning way back in April. We all met at the bar and had a "on the way to Mexico" drink. We have traveled together for the last 5 trips, give or take a couple of people. After priming for the 1 hour drive to catch our train (we opted for complete public transportation this year, cut back on the possiblity of DUIs). However, I do have evidence that it might not have worked:
Rae, our driver



My boyfriend Mike and his friend: Cheap wine



We're going to say he was "tired". It was too early to actually be drunk.

We had to wait on our train and 5 of us are smokers. So, we waited outside. Since it was a little chilly we just HAD to do shots to keep us warm........I'm glad we plan ahead.



And of course, once we got on the train, it was a given that we had to drink to make the time pass:



We had an a variety of alcohol that we brought with us. We met some people, irritated some people and shared with some people.
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Old 07-21-2007   #2 (permalink)
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I love it already!

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Old 07-21-2007   #3 (permalink)
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(I just realized that I posted this in the wrong forum. I apologize. I am just happy the pictures are showing up!)

You have to realize that we live 4 hours away from any major airport. So when we travel we always have to have the night before and the night after. It's a major production and pain. Next year, though, I believe it has been decided that we will just forgo the extra nights and spend the money on extra days at our destination. The travel time will be hell, but I think it will be worth it! Anyway, we get to Chicago. Now, it has been a 3 hour train ride and we were all feeling pretty good. Now, one of the couples we travel with owns the bar that I work in. Dennis, as is his name, enjoys scotch and water. Well, walking through the train station proved to be a challenge and there was an incident of a "stumble" where as he landed on Mike and his luggage, breaking it. I wish I would have gotten a picture, but it probably wouldn't have turned out from me on the ground laughing. So now Mike has to pull around broken luggage which in the present state proved to be difficult.

Our transportation to our hotel was Dennis' brother Mike. He lives somewhere around there and we thought he would know where he was going. So, he picks us up in his truck . It is then decided that 2 of us will ride to the hotel and the rest will take the rail (is that what it's called in Chicago, boy, I am from the sticks) and will meet us at a bar. We pile the 1000 pieces of luggage in the back of the truck and 2 of us hop in. I am glad to be one of those 2. Man drunk on scotch is directing the others. So we're traveling, no idea where we are going and it's POURING rain Finally, after 2 hours and dropping off dripping luggage, we meet up with the others.
Tracy, Dave (husband of Rae), Rae

Mike (husband of Tracy). You will notice in any pictures of him he has very strange faces.


The 3 Mikes (one was our ride)


After awhile (maybe a long while) we decided that the 6 wake up call MIGHT be a little early. So our lovely ride takes us back to the hotel in batches. So being the kind of people we are (we ARE from the sticks) 4 of us hop in the back of his truck for the "short" ride to the hotel. Still raining! And Mike (our driver Mike) is worried about the legality of having 4 drunk adults in the back of his truck in Chicago. So we were told to lay down. Which was hard to do. Especially when he had his daughter, in the middle of somewhere, jump in the truck and scare the living out of us.





We finally make it back to our rooms.......Lay out every item of clothing we have packed. The two males rooming with us think they need to drink more and of course there is an "adult" bar down the road. So they take off, us wimpy girls pass out! Apparently, the "adult" bar was a dissapointment. $15 to get in and nothing to see. Plus, the $4 beers (remember, we live in the sticks, $2.50 is WAY too much). So they come back and fall into bed as well.
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Old 07-21-2007   #4 (permalink)
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Oops! Sent that 2 times.

Last edited by Buckly; 07-21-2007 at 02:20 AM..
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Old 07-21-2007   #5 (permalink)
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I love it already!

Thank you!
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Old 07-21-2007   #6 (permalink)
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Lol, people "from the sticks" are my kind of people.
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Old 07-21-2007   #7 (permalink)
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The "sticks" are where we hail from. Good job so far!
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Old 07-21-2007   #8 (permalink)
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Needless to say that morning came very early for us. I love to travel, I love the hurry up and wait part of traveling. There isn't a whole that can get me down especially knowing I will be on the beach in less then 5 hours. Some didn't appreciate my enthusiam though.



And some might have just been tired of having their pictures taken.



So we get to the airport and do the hurry up and wait game. We all go out and find our choice of greasy to try to slow down the blood flow from the previous night's indulgance.

The mandatory "on our way to the beach" picture.



The flight was uneventful. Mike and I had our traditional airplane bloody mary's. That always does the trick.

Here are a couple of random pictures flying in to Puerto Vallarta.






The airport in Puerto Vallarta is very Cancun like. You go through immigration, red light/green light, sharks, taxi's. You name it it was there. I had previously set up transportation through some company and we all fit in one van, sardines, but we fit. And off we go to the Dreams resort.

Our driver took us through downtown, which was just amazing. I'm huge mountian person and this place was it. It was steep, rocky mountains every where. Mountains and a beach all in one! I was in heaven. The driving in Mexico must be pretty universal. It was scary to say the least. I don't have any pictures of that adventure but I do think I left fingernail imprints in the back of the seat.
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Old 07-21-2007   #9 (permalink)
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excellent! good friends on a trip still drinkin' like when they were 18!

the train ride looks like a lot of fun. i wonder if the cost savings of flying out of chicago would offset the train ride from toronto and cost of extra booze. well, maybe it wouldn't be that much fun.

looking forward to more
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Old 07-21-2007   #10 (permalink)
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I have to admit we are AI people. Not because we're scared or frightened, it just works out better for since we travel in a group. We drink, that's what our vacations are. That's why we opt for the AI. Dreams was very different then what we are used to. It is 2 towers instead of the typical clump of rooms. It was MUCH smaller, although there was a couple of people that still got lost. You had your typical buffet and then Italian, Mexican, Seafood, and a grill that had the most amazing setting. I had done extensive research of this place and knew that I would be at the Seafood place as much as possible. If it lives in water I can eat my weight in it.

So we get to the resort. We are greeted with very enthusiastic people with wet towels (what do you really do with those??) and glasses of pina coladas. My home for a week. I'm thinking some of my pictures got lost because I know I took room pictures and lobby pictures and things like that. But I can't seem to find them. Anyway, everyone's rooms are ready except for Mike and I's. No worries. We find the lobby bar and have some drinks. Check again, more drinks. Check again, more drinks. Finally we get to go to our room. Now, we've been drinking that "free" alcohol for a couple of hours now and then we have to listen to the bell boy giving us directions for the place. "please just get us to our room and be done".

We all stayed in the "old" tower. The rooms were very nice! We were on the 8th (maybe) floor and had a wonderful view.

This is the "new" tower.


I want to live here!




After we through our luggage in our room, check out the mini fridge that has the cutest darn Coronas in there (and grabbing one for the walk) we make our way back to the lobby bar. Our friends are pretty predictable. We know how to find them. So we sit and have more drinks and discuss the place. Within 4 hours of visiting Dreams we have decided we will be returning, given that the price is right.

The more drinks I get the more the ocean is calling my name. This side is a lot different then Playa, at least in my opinion. The waves were huge (remember I'm from the sticks, so they way have been 2 or 3 feet tall but given a few drinks the kicked the crap out of you). I didn't feel the need to actually go in the ocean, I just wanted to walk in the sand. I walk down and get my toes wet. Inch a little further and bam! Taken down. Clothes and all. So then it's time to swim. I'm sure someone has pictures of that. As most were making fun of me.

Mike I then venture down to the Seafood place. I think in all the years of traveling we have never eaten alone. So, that's what we do. It was dusk and I do know that Mike had to read the menu to me since I had NO idea how to at the time. I do know that I got the salmon and cerviche and the clam chowder. That was the BEST clam chowder, in my midwestern opinion, that I had ever had. The Seafood place had a great menu: snails, shrimp, salmon, tuna, scallops and of course there was the surf and turf.

My scallops that I ate at least 5 times:


Now, I took food pics just for all the foodies on this board. Everyone laughed at me each time I told them not to eat! The presentation was great! I'm a huge foodie that has a psuedo catering thing on the side with hopes that one day it will take off. So, the presenation was something that I tried to disect to figure out how it was done.

Mike and his snails (I hate that shirt. Reminds of Blue's Clues)



The rest of the night was a blur. I THINK we went back to the lobby bar and then I THINK we went back on the beach. It was really neat. At night they bring out these oversized chairs and then have beach service until around 11 or so. So I do remember laying on one of those thinking I had died and gone to heaven. There was a semi full moon and the waves were crashing and I had just eaten a great meal of swimming critters. Who could ask for more? We go back to our room and dive into the mini Coronas and turn off the air and open our sliding door. The waves were very loud and thru the week I had to get up and shut the door to get some sleep. But on the first night, it was like a lullabye and down for the count I went.
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Old 07-21-2007   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 4wheeled View Post
excellent! good friends on a trip still drinkin' like when they were 18!

the train ride looks like a lot of fun. i wonder if the cost savings of flying out of chicago would offset the train ride from toronto and cost of extra booze. well, maybe it wouldn't be that much fun.

looking forward to more
Thank you! We always have a great time. We rode the train for $72 roundtrip per couple. SO, it saved us a lot of money and gave us a lot more free time to do as we wished. The owners of the bar brought most of the alcohol, so it worked out. Mike and I grabbed some cheap wine(and I mean $3 a bottle cheap, sorry to all those that know what real wine is) and a case of beer. So, all in all it was a better choice for us! And a complete adventure in itself.
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Old 07-21-2007   #12 (permalink)
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Great report, keep it coming.
We are AI people to. We love it on the “dark side”
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Old 07-21-2007   #13 (permalink)
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I'm not sure that I can do a day by day trip report. Generally we eat, drink and be merry. But I will try.

On vacation I wake up as early as possible. I don't want to miss any part of the day for anything. It takes a long time for the sun to get up over the mountains. So the resort doesn't wake up until about 8 or so. The restaruants are open, but there is just no one moving about. Each morning I got up and made coffee and by the time I was done with my pot I would wake Mike and force him out of bed. The beds at Dreams were wonderful! Down pillows and comforters. (I had to throw that in, it wasn't the typical concrete slab beds)



I am usually not a breakfast eater and every year I vow that I am not going to over indulge on food, alcohol, well that wouldn't work. I did lose 10 pounds before we left and I think I put 12 on this trip. But everything was so good and there is nothing better than sitting ocean side with a cup of coffee and some great breakfast food. The buffet was your typical buffet. Not overly huge though, but enough to get you going in the mornings.

This was before Mike learned he couldn't eat without my camera first. That's not mold either! I assure you!



After stuffing ourselves we head down to the beach. This is where we lived for the next week. We always had beach chairs, there was no towel game, blah blah. This resort doesn't give you towel cards or bracelets. There are no reservations for any of the restaraunts (yes, were supposed to have pants on each place, but it wasn't enforced except in one place. It doesn't kill them anyway) and you can eat where you like, when you like. Every morning the staff puts out rolled towels on all the pool and beach chairs. There were a couple of times we left our stuff and went and grabbed a bite and didn't worry about anything being missing or disturbed.

I mentioned earlier that the waves really could pack a punch. All week we camped out on the beach directly in front of the beach bar. They had top shelf alcohol (at least that's what the bottle said) and they were very friendly. But we are tippers. We tip people in the U.S., we tip people in Mexico. They provide service, we tip them for doing a good job.

Random beach pictures:
Dennis and Jana (scotch man and owners of the fine establishment that is my 2nd home)


Me....(I HATE having my picture taken. So this is one of the VERY few)


I've introduced these two


Mike is very pale. He stays out of the sun as much as possible. Last year he got burnt while laying under a umbrella that we thought was giving him shade



Trying not to drown.





I think every day we were there was at least a yellow flag, we had red ones too.



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Old 07-21-2007   #14 (permalink)
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The resort also had a small grill on the beach. You could get nachos and burgers and what ever random thing they had that day. It was nice. You could mosey down in your suit and grab something to soak up a bit of the alcohol. There was food all over the place (AND 24 hour room service, hince the 12 pounds). Some places were closed on certain days while others were open. This didn't prove to be a challenge as we are very flexible people. We don't care. Others might. But the resort gives you a flyer (at turn down, they really turn down you beds and leave chocolates) and lets you know what is going on for the day, what establishments are open, what the drink of the day is and just about anything. This was helpful but again we didn't care. You were not going to starve or go thirsty.

So before dinner we always meet in the lobby bar, no matter where we are at. We pick a ish time and then meet up within an hour of that time. Some later, some earlier, some not at all. This is where room service comes in handy!

Jim,(Just realized that I haven't posted one of him yet. His wife is with us too) Dennis and Tracy



This was a different night, but it's still the lobby bar (Jim's wife Paula)




I do believe this night Mike and I forced everyone to go back to the Seafood place. It was great, again. I did a repeat of the night before to be sure that the food really was as good as I remembered. Not that I was in better shape but I did have at least one foot on the ground.

Again with the snails



I think this was that night!



Mussels



Something sweet and yummy! (I think this was another night, or that damn shirt was in more of my evenings then I care to remember)



After dinner some of us headed to the I think we headed back to the lobby bar. We hung out there until they kicked us out , or closed and then went back to bed. (I think, more may come to me and I KNOW I have more pictures that would jar my memory. I hope they didn't get erased).
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Old 07-22-2007   #15 (permalink)
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We grabbed a cab a couple of times and went in town. It was $5 for a cab and a lovely quick ride. There is a boardwalk that goes along the ocean. And on the other side were a bunch of shops. To do the bargain shopping you had to go to the flea market. This was a HUGE 2 story warehouse type thing where people had areas similar to the shops in Playa. This is where you can find all the "stuff" you may want purchase. I am not a shopper. I don't need any of that stuff. And I don't buy souveniers. But I did go and wander a few days.
Here is the crew trying to figure out just exactly what we should be doing.


The boardwalk





There were a lot of sand sculptures along the boardwalk. Here is one that was most impressive.



There were also a lot of these type of things along the boardwalk.





Dorks


This picture just cracked me up!



There was this great little plaza type thing that you could go in. It was outside and had shops that went in a circle. This worked out well for those of us who liked to shop and those of us that would rather drink (I guess you could have done both ). We took up residence at this little bar area a couple of days. It had EVERY type of alcohol you could imagine. And really not much bar area for your drinks as all the alochol was sitting on it and hanging above. (missing picute 300) But it was fun!

Pepsi commercial. I love the bottles. I wish we could still get them.


The plaza area


I have no idea why I took this picture. I think I was trying to show how steep the roads were here. But you can't really see it.



This was an incredible church.



One day we all went in to town and the guys got bored and headed back. So us girls hit Hooters . I know, I know. We're in Mexico. But it was HOT and it seemed to be the only air conditioned place and we needed beer. So we sat down and had some snacks and beer. Now, let me tell you, I need to learn Spanish. It was hard to order anything and it took awhile. Then when we got our wings they were nothing but floured chicken. It was B A D. This was the only time I felt ill, after eating at this place. I drank the water and ate ice. It took me out for the rest of the day. Icky.

Us girls at Hooters



One day after coming in town, I paid the taxi driver to take us to see some sights. I wanted to actually go into the mountains and see the area. He kept us on the highway (not what I had in mind, but still interesting)and took us to where the movie (crap I forgot the name) was filmed. Misoloya (and that's not spelled right. Geesh)
The drive was beautiful and he told us a bit about the area. Population, what the "locals" do. Things like that. He stopped at a lot of places along the way so we could take pictures.



This was a restaraunt



And yet another residence I would love to occupy






The sunsets were amazing. I have a few more that I post later.





I think you could take a snorkeling tour here. We didn't make it to anything other then town.





I was trying to get a picture of the hill while driving. We saw many construction sites where they were blowing holes in the rock. That's all these were, rock. And then building. I tried to get pics of those areas but we were going to fast.
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