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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Romantic.

#nofilter Puerto Vallarta sunset
It's now been two weeks since Rickard and I have come back from our Mexico vacation. But the last two weeks, we still keep talking about how much we miss Puerto Vallarta. Since we've been back, California has been rainy and cold and I've been back to my regular work hours. How I miss lounging by the pool, and watching the beautiful PV sunsets.

Looking back at pictures really makes me miss this little slice of paradise.

I have more photos, but I think these will be the last I post from our trip. This post is about one of my most favorite days - the day we went to Las Caletas for a candlelit dinner on the beach.

Las Caletas is a hideaway beach that can only be accessed by boat. There aren't any developed roads that will take you there.

 We got to take a picture with this parrot while waiting for our boat.

As part of the "Rhythms of the Night" package, we got to take a boat ride to this beach spot. The boat ride was very nice with fresh fruit and drinks being served and some music/entertainment. Upon arrival you can see the stars shining bright in the sky and the beach lit up by candles and flames only (no electric lights). When we arrived, we were just in awe of how beautifully the beach is set up and decorated with literally thousands of candles everywhere.

Our view as our boat arrives at Las Caletas. Flames/candles everywhere.
Upon arrival, we were directed to an outdoor performance arena. There, we watched a Cirque inspired show about the culture and history of Puerto Vallarta (apparently the same guy who created the Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas, also created this show in Puerto Vallarta). The dancers were of course so talented. My favorite act was probably the man who was juggling and doing tricks with fire. I was holding my breath everytime he threw a hoop of fire into the air.

Afterwards, the groups were able to pick the table they wanted for dinner. Every table is over looking the ocean, with one large candlepiece in the center. It was buffet-style, so we were free to go and grab the food that we wanted. I want to point out that this is un-like any buffet I've been to, because most buffet's I've been to are about quantity and not quality. However, the food and desserts here were top-notch. We did have a waiter too and the service was excellent (just like it is everywhere in Puerto Vallarta!).

Buffet
Our table
Can we stay here forever please?
After the dinner, the groups are free to roam as they wanted. There were hammocks set up right along the beach for the guests to use. Honestly, it felt like the perfect place for a wedding proposal - with the stars shining brightly overhead, and candles everywhere, on a warm tropical beach at night. Rickard said if he knew about this place years ago, he may have asked me to marry him here!

Till next time PV...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

First Few Days in Puerto Vallarta + Bus Tour

Los Arcos, Puerto Vallarta
I wanted to share a few pictures from our first few days in Puerto Vallarta. The top photo is from a stop on our bus tour in front of Los Arcos. A few days later, we would jet ski and snorkel around/near this rock formation. I wish I had pictures from jet skiing but because of the nature of water sports, it's difficult to get photos without an underwater camera. ;)

Malecon in the evening

Malecon
Throughout the week, we pretty much went to Malecon every single day. This is the main shopping and restaurant street. It reminds me a lot of Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, but with a Mexican vibe.
Rickard in front of The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The day we took our bus tour was the only day in all 8 days that it rained. It was light rain, and the weather was still warm enough to wear shorts which was nice. However, we were glad we took the city tour on a day that wasn't ideal for laying around by the pool. One of the first stops was at The Church of Our Lady Guadalupe in Puerto Valalrta.

The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (La Iglesia de Nuestra de Guadalupe)
 One of my favorite spots on the tour was El Eden, up in the jungle mountains of Puerto Vallarta.

View from the El Eden Restaurant
El Eden is the location of where The Predator, with Arnold Shwarzenegger, was shot. Rickard was really excited about this, but I was kind of nervous about the bus ride up in the jungle mountains. The roads were dirt, rocky and since it rained a little bit slippery. Our tour guide joked about how this is a Mexican experience indeed!

The view from El Eden restaurant opened up to a river where people were free to swim. There were also people zip lining up above the river.

The Menu
At the El Eden restaurant, there is no paper menu. There is a glass case holding several types of seafood and other meat.

Our Order
They told us that every order could feed 2-3 people. Honestly, it could probably feed 4! There was shrimp, lobster, fish, and crab! It was really good and very fresh; they must have caught all this seafood in the region. It was so much food that I don't think we ate dinner that night since we were stuffed from this late lunch.

Afterward we were free to walk around and explore El Eden. It was very, very beautiful with buganvilias (flowers which are ALL over the city of Puerto Vallarta) and the lush greenery of the rainforest.

Pink Buganvilias

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Health/Fitness App for the New Year




I know one of the most popular New Years resolutions for most people is to get healthier and to lose some weight. I found this Fooducate app in the App Store and I think this is a great app for anyone trying to be healthier in the New Year.

The app allows you to scan the barcode on any grocery product, and it gives the food item a grade from A - F and also tells you how many "points" its worth. The lower the points, the better for dieters (similar to the Weight Watchers plan). The app will also tell you different reasons for the score - whether this food is highly processed, is at risk for GMOs, and other nutritional information.

You can also start to search for the healthiest foods ranked by Fooducate by food category. For example, if you are looking for the healthiest peanut butter option, Fooducate can tell you the best option for that category.

This app is available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android. Best of all, it's free to download.

If you end up trying out this app, please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bienvenido to the Puerto Vallarta Resort known as Sheraton Buganvilias

Sheraton Buganvilias Club in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

No description of our trip can leave out the amazing resort that we stayed at - The Sheraton Buganvilias Club in Puerto Vallarta.

What I love about this resort (aside from the obviously gorgeous view from my room) is that it's close to Malecon, which is the main boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta. Malecon has all the restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. It also has an authentic Mexican vibe which starts to dissipate when you get closer to Nuevo Vallarta. I love Nuevo Vallarta's modern malls and great resorts/condos, but if you are looking for a more Mexican feel to your trip, you definitely would want to stay in Puerto Vallarta like we did.

Rickard and I spent a ton of time at this resort lounging by the pool, and eating dinner at the resort restaurants a few times. I cannot say enough about the attention to service here. We did a ton of excursions throughout the week, but we also made sure to go to the resort pool almost everyday. I think that was the perfect strategy to our trip so we got to be a bit adventurous, but then relax as well.

The pool... was amazing. :)

Sheraton Buganvilias - the hotel section
First day there - Rickard of course has to get in the pool immediately
Me, after a dip in the pool
People either get married here, or get MASSAGES. How awesome is that?
There were iguanas everywhere on the resort. At first I was a bit scared of them, but then I realized they are MUCH more scared of humans than we are of them. They were totally non-threatening and very shy.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Puerto Vallarta Vacation

Sheraton, Buganvilias Club
Rickard and I spent all of last week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on vacation. It was nice to escape to a tropical, warm climate while California saw some of its coldest temperatures in a long time!

I have more photos from the trip coming up, but here are some snaps we got from our phones. I kind of wish we had more photos from this trip than we do. We did so many water and excursion adventures that many of our activities were not camera safe. For example, we went jet skiing, snorkeling, zip lining, and mule riding

I thought being at a resort for 8 days would get boring, but I could have spent a month! We packed our week with excursions. The service at our resort was excellent and I would love to be by the pool right now sipping some pineapple juice. :)

Breakfast @ Malecon
Us after our jet ski excursion. (Excuse the windblown hair)

Rickard at the resort

Me @ the square off Malecon
First day we arrived at Malecon Beach
 More pictures to come...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Years!...and Some Instagram Photos

Happy New Year everybody!!

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays as much as I did! The last couple of months have been so amazing to me, and I am extremely optimistic about 2013.

My husband and I spent a long weekend with my family going to the movies, exchanging presents, and eating lots and lots of good food. We also dropped off Teddy with my parents so they can watch him when we go to Mexico in FOUR days. I cannot wait!

See, 2013 is already headed to a good start. :)

Cheers to 2013 everyone and here's a few snaps from the last few weeks of 2012: