Health – La Salud
You know I rarely say my life is great because I have a disease that is trying to kill me everyday BUT my lungs have cooperated with me so far and that is a gift. The weather is spectacular and its cool enough at night , 22C, to just leave the screens open. AC is so drying to my lungs. I also find that I dehydrate so fast that I am constantly drinking, even water! I used to drink lots of tequila but with my diabetes I am keeping my consumption to a minimum. I hate the lows and if I have one here I will probably pass out. No bueno. I have a new portable oxygen concentrator and it was super awesome for the flight because it was half the size of my other one. The only downside is that it is pulse activated and not continuously flowing oxygen. This means every time I take a breath I get a hiss. It gets very annoying when trying to sleep. I absolutely hate disruptive sounds when I go to bed. I walked over 3km everyday. Being at sea level I get a bit of a boost with my lung function but the humidity slows me down. We CFers lose salt at the rate of 5 x faster than the average Joe which means I dehydrate in literally an hour if I am not drinking, drinking, drinking or at least cooling down in the pool. I wilt like a flower right before your eyes. Like I have said before I get a vacation physically but I don’t get a vacay from CF. The only other way CF pissed me off is in my photos. My gut has been stabbed so many times from insulin injections since 2010 that its just little clumps of scar tissue. I hate it. I should have washboard abs like I did before the diabetes. Compliments of coughing daily. I did not take my machine and supplies to do the night feeds to help get the 4000 calories needed per day because…Pina coladas made from scratch averaged 500 calories each and I was eating 3 squares a day. I did get to take that little vacation from night time feeds. I will say with confidence that I got a reprieve from my daily grind at home and that is a win for me.
Velas Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico All Inclusive – El hotel Todo Incluido
It is a huge complex, one of the bigger ones here in PV.as this is my 24th trip to Mexico many of the places just blend together. I prefer the pacific side over the Mayan side because all the hotels sit on the ocean and not on a compound where a walk to the buffet is 4.3 km one way. With my lungs as they are I like quick and close. Honestly the only thing the Mayan side has on the pacific side is blue water and more pools.
Our Room – La Habitacion
We were initially booked for a one bedroom deluxe suite with full kitchen and dining. Yes, the place is all inclusive but the kitchen gives me the opportunity to chill my meds in a proper fridge and boil my nebulizer on the stove versus swishing them around in a tub. They are beautiful rooms even though they are 24 years old. To our surprise we were upgraded to a 3 bedroom. I was like, “what??”, that never happens to me. I had my oxygen on so that may have helped our case. It is immense. With over 1600 square feet its too much. It did however afford us to each have our own room and our own master bath along with balconies off both rooms. One facing West and the other East. The fridge is full of drinks and the counter has a huge basket full of cereal, popcorn, tea, coffee, nuts, candy, chips and nachos. Both are refilled daily. The one thing that was new this time around was the addition of milk. I get really sick of the drinks quickly and always like to end my night with a big glass of Quik. I usually have to venture out for the milk but not this time. Again, the stars were aligning for me. Beds are soft, pillows are plenty, toiletries high end and the towels as big as a small car. I would definitely consider having my whole family come here and stay. It would accommodate the 6 of us quite nicely. The balconies are large and the furniture hand crafted. They have cable, not that we sit and watch TV but while I am doing meds its nice to find a hallmark movie or a telenovela to practice my Spanish. They have Canadian channels as well. This hotel offers complimentary room service which I take advantage of everyday.
The Food – La Comida
As I previously stated I have been to the Mayan, Cabo and PV 24 times. I remember the places where the drinks come out of a slurpee machine and the places where the Pina Coladas are made from scratch. I also remember the places where we were sick of the same food options and just lived off of nachos (topopos in Spanish) and pick de gallo. This place knocked me off my feet the first time we were here. The Food is amazing. I have yet to not like anything. That is a very hard thing to find. Room service is gourmet and they offer a night time menu of the good ol basics that us North Americans rely on. We are creatures of habit. In room we dined on Tuscan shrimp and linguine, deconstructed Caesar salad, Asian beef broccoli, chicken cutlets and scallop potatoes, trio of tacos, cheesecake, brownies, fresh fruit, waffles, French toast, bacon by the pound, and of course nachos with pico de gallo. The food at the restaurant on the beach was phenomenal as well. I am drooling as we speak. The very awesome bonus with the ocean front restaurant is you do not need a reservation for any of the 3 meals. And who doesn’t want to dine in front of the ocean every night???
The Drinks – Las bebidas
The only drawback of this resort is its sponsored by Pepsi, therefore no Coca Cola but I could buy it in the little store that is on site. Disaster averted. I did not drink that much actually because the Pina coladas here were spectacular. Made from scratch with coconut cream and blended pineapple and crushed ice. I think I had 7 per day. I also needed to take enzymes with them because of the high fat content. I also enjoyed pineapple juice and tequila, strawberry coladas and of course the shots of top shelf, chilled, reposado tequila. Other than those mainstays I had a beer one night just to take my bedtime pills with.
The Service -El Servicio
Since I have been traveling to Mexico I always tip even though it is NOT expected. I went from tips to tips with Canadian double bubble and then to tips with double bubble and gifts. Gifts included stickers, socks, keychains, games, crayons, lanyards, Canadian souvenirs, blankets,towels, and pens and pencils. This time around we took christmas stuff and mom brought some painted rocks. Also, this time I prepackaged the tips and treats into Christmas bags. Breakfast buffet waiter would get 40 pesos, gum and gift, lunch was 50 pesos with gum and treats and supper was 100 pesos, gum and gifts. Room service, pool service and bellboys got various packages ranging from 20 pesos – 100 pesos plus gifts. The joy of showing our appreciation was outmatched by the joy of them receiving the gifts. I’ve noticed on all my all-inclusive trips that guests rarely tip. I/we are the exception. It warms my heart to see the waiter the next day and he tell me how excited his daughter or son was to get a cool toy or keychain. We become quite famous by the end of the week(s). It costs me, in total, about $200 extra. It’s such a little amount to spread so much joy all day for a week or two, I think. If you follow my calculation with the pesos alone you’re barely spending $120 Canadian for a week.
Last night we went for a massage and it was interesting to say the very least. I googled massage places near me and about 15 showed up. I then narrowed it down by the ease of their website and being able to book online. I found one that looked decent. We signed up for 6 massages, 3 each, for a whopping $1699 pesos or $18 each for 60 minutes. They always go over the hour as well. The girls aren’t trained professionals and have little English skills but that’s not important. For 60 minutes you get a nice little rub down and no interruptions. They went above and beyond with cucumbers on the eyes, mint infused cooling neck towel, eucalyptus spray, and peppermint on the feet. When we arrived we locked all our valuables in a locker and were given the key. As the ever skeptic am I, I figured they had doubles cut and went rifling through our stuff. Just kidding, kinda. We were led through a very dark hall guided only by lit candles on the ground with many rooms to both sides of us. I thought to myself, “we are in a brothel or we are about to lose a kidney”. The place has been open for 22 years and is #8 or #121 on trip advisor. We had to let our guard down and trust. It was lovely and we are booked for the next 2 days. They then called us an UBer and off we went to Wal-Mart or Wally World as my friend Carol calls it. It was a gong show, so much like Canada and I felt at home because everywhere were the Spanish speakers. If ever I need a dose of Spanish I just go to walmart and linger in the aisles. We asked the Uber driver to come back in 90 minutes but, as expected, he did not. We got a cab and went back to the resort.
Supper was the Mexican Buffet/Fiesta/Shopping night. Normally it is set up on the beach but this time it was in a conference room. I hated every minute of it. Mariachi bands are not meant to be listened to in a confined room. We left our obligatory gifts and money and bailed. It was NOT authentic at all.
We find that the waiters will do anything for you when you reward them for their service.
Bathing Suits and Bikinis – el traje del sol
I have quite the collection of bikinis so here are seven of the 10 I brought.
Mom and I had a really amazing time. I am counting down the months until we return. It was relaxing and the perfect getaway for me. 2019 was a bit of a shit show for me so this was a great way to redeem it.