My husband and I just got back from a trip to Puerto Vallarta. We got an amazing deal on the trip since we did a package deal where we got airfare and the hotel – plus we picked an all inclusive (so no need to buy food when we were there). We also traveled early June, which is the start of the rainy season for PV (so low tourist traffic and it only rained at night!) and before most Americans travel. All in all, it made for a great deal! We spent most of our trip at our hotel, but we did venture out twice – once for the zoo (my next post) and once for church and exploring the main city/malecon (boardwalk).
The hotel we stayed at was fantastic! Time after time we were seriously impressed. We arrived on Mexican theme night, which we thought was going to be overly cheesy and aimed at the tourists. Wow, were we wrong! There was a big mariachi band (like 10 people) plus 8 dancers, as well as a huge buffet of all kinds of Mexican food. I was a bit worried about being gluten free, but my husband had emailed before we got there. When we walked up and checked in to dinner, they knew I was gluten free, and the head of the dinner walked me around and let me know what was okay for me to eat. Then we sat down to enjoy the show. The music was fantastic! I have never seen anyone play a violin furiously enough to break a string in front of me, and 2 of them broke strings that night. The stage (albeit a crummy stage) was bouncing with the dancers’ feet and actually had chunks coming off. It was a blast.
The same thing happened at the fire show a few nights later – there was a juggler, two girls hoola-hooping with hoops on fire, and a ton of other crazy things. It was very well done. It was neat especially because it was on the beach and we were all hanging out on lounge chairs – very relaxed (except the guy in front of us who filmed the entire show). We were not fans of the Caribbean night though – too much like a Vegas show (skimpy outfits) – so we ditched out of that after 10 mins.
On Sunday, we headed into town. I really wanted to go to church since one of my favorite things to do when I visited England was attend services at different churches. It’s very different to visit a church as opposed to actually attending service. So I did some research and found a Baptist church with English services in the district closest to us. (We aren’t Baptist, but that’s much closer than Catholic, which was what everything else was.) As we were heading down, we ran into another couple from dinner the first night who asked where we were going. When we told them church, they told us the hotel had mass at 11am. We said we knew but weren’t interested. In the lobby we got the same response:
“Where are you going?”
“We’re headed into town to go to church.”
“We have mass here at 11 am if you don’t want to go to town.”
“Thanks, we’d like to go to church.”
“Ah, you’d like to see Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish”
“No, we’d like to the Baptist Church. It’s on Argentina.”
“… I’ve never been there…”
When we told the guy who hailed the taxis, we went through the same conversation. Then we got in the taxi.
“You going to Mass?”
“To church, yes.”
“Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
“No, Baptist Church. On Argentina.”
Then we drove into town. We pulled right in front of a beautiful church … with nuns in full habit.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe!”
I looked at my husband and pulled out the address I had written down. I looked at the driver, “No, not here. Baptist church.” And I pointed to the address.
“Ah, different church. I know this place.”
So we drove to the Baptist church. Once we got there, we walked in. The older lady who greeted us was so sweet and happy to see us. She gave us nametags and then we sat down. Apparently they couldn’t get the keyboard hooked up, so we all sang everything acapella. After the first song, the lady said, “The next song is number 95. I don’t know it. Does anyone know the melody? Someone start us.” It was fun. We went through all of Amazing Grace as well. There were maybe 30 people in attendance, mostly Canadians and Americans living in the city. The sermon was great too.
After church we walked down to the Malecon and got to see all the neat sculptures. It was fun – except for the people heckling us to buy things. We walked down the little island, which was beautiful. Monday was our zoo day, Tuesday was spent relaxing, and we headed home Weds.
The beach was beautiful, the water was warm, there were several pools. We sat and read and played cards (ever played Five Crowns?), and just relaxed in general. It was a great break. We had just enough of a rest to be able to come back home and be refreshed and rejuvenated. (And ready to head into our daughter’s birthday, summer vacation, VBS, hosting Chinese students, and all the other stuff going on!)