Monday, November 25, 2019


A Wonderful Adventure When Family Come to Visit

     Jon and I splurged on a week of fun tourist activities when my sister, Cindy and her husband, Al came to visit us in Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita this month! Usually, we live pretty much like the locals in Sayulita. But this was a perfect time to take a catamaran trip to the Marietas Islands where we were looking forward to snorkeling. Vallarta Adventures Eco Discovery Tour included even more enjoyable activities than we expected.
Cindy and Al Enjoying the Catamaran Trip to the Islands
     On the catamaran trip to the islands, we were excited to see three whales, one spouting as they breached the surface. The captain motored around the Marietas Islands before anchoring to show the guests how beautiful this protected national park and world heritage site is.

     Once anchored, we got ready to snorkel. On this tour, we swam quite a distance around rocks, coral reefs, and through an archway with a slight current, so we were required to wear life vests. It turns out, the vests allowed us to be more relaxed while we enjoyed viewing the marine life and playing in the ocean. The water temperature was perfectly comfortable, refreshing yet warm. The tour guides made sure we had fun and captured photos of us enjoying the snorkeling portion of our trip.
Jon & I Loved Snorkeling in the Clear Water
Cindy and Al Had a Blast Snorkeling!

Snorkeling with My Sister, Cindy, for the First Time

     Back onboard the catamaran, we were cooled off from our swim but ravenous! Lunch was served—a build-your-own sandwich smorgasbord and drinks from the open bar, alcoholic and nonalcoholic. We climbed back up to the top deck to eat while the boat made another pass around the island, giving us a close-up view of the many birds living there, including blue-footed boobies, pelicans, and magnificent frigatebirds.
Jon and Terry Back Onboard After Snorkeling
     Next stop—Playa Majahuitas, a beautiful tropical beach where we could choose to relax in hammocks or on lounge chairs or play in the water. We did it all! Paddleboarding was our favorite water activity. Many chose to kayak in the bay. The water was amazingly clear, blue, and pleasantly warm. I enjoyed relaxing while I floated on my back in the still, saline sea, peering up at the blue sky that created the hue of the water.

     On the trip back to the Marina Vallarta, the crew members, dressed in costumes and wigs, entertained us with hilarious skits. Our 6 ½-hour adventure was nearing an end. As we disembarked, a large, brilliantly-colored iguana posed near the bay for photos, completing a perfect adventure in Puerto Vallarta. 

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Terry L Turrell, Author

Monday, November 4, 2019

Dia de Los Muertos in Sayulita—AMAZING!

Sayulita Plaza Entrance Decorated for Dia de Los Muertos
Dia de Los Muertos in Sayulita was amazing! So much color in this celebration. So much work done by the town’s people! It is one of the most popular holidays in Mexico and this year Sayulita went all out on their decorations. Everything was beautiful!
          The altars built in the plaza by families are memorials to a loved one who has died but is still remembered publicly. Many of these are built each year using fresh marigolds, candles, personal items of the deceased, and other memorabilia, to be displayed for the two days of Dia de Los Muertos.
An Entire Block of Calle Delfines Was an Altar
Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), a beloved festival in Mexico, honors the loved ones who have passed while celebrating the preciousness of life. Unlike Halloween, this holiday is not scary but a time for honoring and family reunion with loved ones on the other side.
La Catrina has become a symbol of Día de Los Muertos. Originally portrayed in a 1910 etching by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada as a high-society skeleton lady dressed in a fancy floral hat, she is now seen in Mexican handcrafts, art, and costumes. Throughout the festival, children and adults dress in imaginative versions of La Catrina, including elaborate face painting.
A stage was set up in the street across from the plaza with lights and speakers for the dancing and singing performances that would last from 6:00PM until late into the night. The crowds gathered early to get good seats for the shows.
Thousands of handmade “flags”, ribbons, and pom-poms were used to decorate the plaza’s gazebo, the entrance to the Catholic church in the plaza, and hung in streamers overhead in the main streets of the town. Not only did this décor create an incredible swirl of moving color as everything swayed with the ocean breeze, it eliminated the use of plastic flags this year and can be reused in future festivals.
Food vendors' tables lined the streets, ready to sell tacos, hotdogs, pozole, elotes, cake, and other delicious fiesta food. Eating is an important part of the festival and would continue late into the night.
I have never seen so many people in this little Pueblo Mágico, Sayulita, at one time. It was beautiful to see so many people working together to create the fiesta atmosphere and then, for two days, enjoying this solemn yet joyful holiday.
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Terry L Turrell, Author