Settling in and donating to Hurricane Sandy disaster relief

Before I start, I wanted to alert everyone of a really great thing one of my favourite bloggers is doing to raise funds for Red Cross Hurricane Sandy disaster relief on the East Coast. Until Nov 6, you can enter to win one of two really great giveaways by making a donation to the Oh She Glows Red Cross donation page. It’s obviously a fantastic cause and in donating, you have a chance to win a foodie basket or a really fantastic blender.

I made my donation this morning and I’m almost ashamed to say that I made my donation while getting a pedicure on my lovely Pacific Ocean view patio. But that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful and incredibly aware how lucky I am that I am able to be on holiday and getting said pedicure. So many people and places were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Homes, jobs, landmarks. So if you can donate to the Oh She Glows Red Cross page, your donation will be much appreciated. Every little bit counts.

Yesterday was a long day. My friend Eric cheekily pointed out to me that I’m in Mexico and that he has zero to no sympathy. My answer to that is that yes, I am in Mexico but it was a long travel day to get here with 2 hours of sleep in 36 hours (I woke up l at 5am on Friday).

After 5 hours in Calgary airport and being engulfed in a group of people going to PV on the same flight for a wedding (the bride carried her dress on the plane, which is a very smart decision), I dozed for a couple hours and then was WIDE AWAKE. Adrenaline, perhaps? My plane movie was “People Like Us” with Chris Pine (Captain Kirk in the recent Star Trek remake) , Michelle Pfeiffer, and Elizabeth Banks. It is apparently based on a true story, and is definitely a tearjerker. It was a good movie with a couple odd moments, but life would be boring without oddity, wouldn’t it?

When I got through customs, I walked into a humid, bustling room of the airport that I will call the concierge area. It’s where taxi drivers, time share pushers, resort shuttle drivers, and the concierges who they check in with and who keep them at all at bay. It’s  The lady we booked my condo through arranged for me to be picked up at the airport by one her local staff. The wonderful Pilar was waiting for me as promised (past the concierge craziness), and she took me to Mega, which is the Mexican equivalent of Walmart. It is AWESOME. I’m glad Pilar was with me because I was so exhausted; it would have taken me forever to find everything. Particularly, almond milk.

Mega – best store ever.

Pilar dropped me off at my beautiful suite, I checked in and got my gym/beach club ID, and managed to remember to put away my groceries in the fridge. And then I took care of myself – amazing what a shower, fresh change of clothes, food, and a beer can do to invigorate. It drizzled a bit throughout the day but it petered off and I walked a few minutes up the road to Riviera Grill (Paseo de los Cocoteros, 35, Nuevo Vallarta) for dinner later in the evening.

Riviera is a charming outdoor covered patio restaurant that I think would be perfect for a wedding and reception. Sean and I went there to celebrate ‘one year since she said “yes!”‘  a couple years ago – he proposed to me on the beach at sunset the year before. We had a really good, quality meal (appetizer, entrees, dessert, two drinks each) for a very decent price – way less than what it would cost at home in Vancouver at lesser restaurant. It was still decently priced this time round and my margarita was quite nice. (I can’t wait until I get to my favourite margarita place in a few days! It is to die for.)

I wish I had ordered a different appetizer – my salad was just salad. But my chicken mole (mo-lay) with rice and veggies was delicious. I don’t think I’ve tried a mole sauce in recent memory, but I have to tell you, it was delicious. Especially with the fresh bread they serve. I used it to sop up the rest of the mole sauce – if you’ve seen the movie “Julie & Julia” (or if you haven’t), there is a scene where the book editor is trying the recipe for Julia Child’s boeuf bourgenion. She tried the sauce and all she can say is “Yum!” (pause to have more) “YUM!”. That about sums up my reaction to the mole sauce.

Bliss.

No matter what setting I used, the lighting was just to weird for a really good photo to be taken. This doesn’t do the mole sauce justice… It was fab.
Dessert was a traditional Mexican flan drizzled with some chocolate sauce. I think flan gets a bit of bad rap. But I think that’s because people haven’t had a good flan. This was a decadent (but still light) and wonderful dessert that went well my passionfruit green tea.

I can’t remember if you are supposed to tip here or not, but I gave my waiter a standard tip and he promised me a margarita on the house the next time I came in. Hmm.

Today was much more relaxing than yesterday. I made breakfast, read by the pool, walked the beach. Bought a new straw bag to replace the one that I used so much that one of the handles broke. Turns out my bargaining skills are not rusty and I got my bag for considerably cheaper than originally quoted, but still a fair price. I think the adorable gentleman selling the bags had fun good-naturedly heckling the price with me.

Time for bed. I have a cooking class at a restaurant in downtown PV tomorrow that I am super excited about and I am determined to be good and get to the gym before I go. Hasta luego!

One Reply to “Settling in and donating to Hurricane Sandy disaster relief”

  1. Wow…you have been busy! Glad all is working out and that you are enjoying. Cooking class sounds great…are you going with anyone? Keep me posted…Luv Dianne

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