Life Is Full Of Surprises

15 Oct

The rest of the stay of my friend, Cheri, was just as fun as the first part. The early morning of March 21, we rose at 2:30am to be part of a worldwide Solar Wave of meditation for the planet. Just like the’’wave’’ at a sporting event, people around the world participated in the 30 minute meditation based on their time zone. We sat on my bedroom terrace under the stars for thirty minutes and then back to bed. The next morning we went to the equinox ceremony at Terra Noble art center and spa on the mountain overlooking downtown Vallarta.

We paid 100 pesos at the entrance, were given a huge painted tree pod to use as a shaker, and then were led to a labyrinth and told to walk it slowly – slow down – and enter the feeling of the place. Indigenous shamans met us at the doorway in ceremonial dress and smudged us (purified us with a smoke bath) with copal, a tree resin incense used by the Aztecs. Once inside they had complementary yoga sessions, mini-spa treatments and refreshing fruit waters  served with sliced cucumber and jicama, the crunchy/sweet root veggie.

As the ceremony to honor the Four Directions began, the day was clear with an unending blue sky and azure sea. The Aztec dancers looked regal with three-foot  feathers on their headdresses and in the center of the ceremony there was an offering of corn, tropical fruits and white flowers. The dances were powerful and mesmerizing, accompanied by drum, flute and more incense. After the ceremony we ate lunch at Daiquiri Dick’s on the beach downtown. I had a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich with avocado and a piece of their to-die-for lime pie.

 The week before Easter is called Semana Santa, Holy Week, and is probably the busiest week of the entire year. Not only are there many tourists from theU.S. andCanada, but national tourists flood in by car and bus. Every available nook and cranny is rented out and many come to camp on the beaches. It is a very festive atmosphere. One day we went to Los Muertos beach downtown and sat at the beach chairs of Langostino’s restaurant, just a few steps from the downtown pier. Lots of people were swimming and enjoying the atmosphere with their families.  We relaxed with some nachos and other snacks from the restaurant and watched the world go by. I love the beach vendors, always have. I know there are people who complain about them, but that was one of the things that attracted me toMexico when I first visitedAcapulco in 1971. The vendors have to earn a living, too, and all of them must be licensed as there are city inspectors that patrol the beach.

What a way to shop, to have the merchandise come to you! And if you are not interested, they just keep going. Cheri bought beautiful rugs, a great hand- painted ceramic lamp and beautiful silver jewelry for presents. All kinds of merchandise went by like the ironwood sculptures, colorful pareos and beach dresses. One enterprising vendor gave head, shoulder and foot massages and still others offered hair braiding and temporary tattoos. Food stands nearby would send out a waiter with grilled fish or shrimp on a stick, peeled mangoes on a stick and I even saw one man carrying a huge platter of plates of fresh oysters with ice on top to keep them fresh.

Then the man with the banana ride came by and tried to get us to go, but the girls would only go if I went. So……… I went on the banana and actually enjoyed it and would do it again in a second. It‘s really different to see the town and mountains from out on the water.

Later that week, we took a drive to Destiladeras beach at the north of the bay and I pulled out the boogie boards I carry in my trunk – never know when you’re going to need a boogie board. The waves were high and the boogie board was flying. It was wild fun until the ocean got the better of me and ripped me off the board and bounced me around on the beach a few times. We continued on to Hidden Paradise in Cruz de Huanacaxtle. HiddenParadiseused to be near Punta Mita on a gorgeous, secluded, pristine beach where they served great seafood and drinks. You always knew when they were blending a drink because they had to run their generator to do it. Due to development they had to relocate and ended up in La Cruz. They still have great food and you can sit on a patio overlooking the ocean or wind your way down to the palapas on the beach. The tiny cove is always calm and is THE place for shell hunting. Another day we visited the Botanic Garden and hiked down to the river below and just sat in the river for the longest time, listening to the rushing water and watching the sun through the treetops.

And of course there had to be another meal or two included. We ate a beautiful Italian dinner at Mezzogiorno on the beach in Bucerias. Seating is in the modern dining room or out on the terrace above the beach. There’s nothing like it at sunset. On Cheri’s last day we had breakfast at Le Bistro, a personal favorite ever since I arrived here. Le Bistro Jazz Café  is on the island downtown, right on the banks of the Rio Cuale. Lush plants and art objects create a memorable dining experience including a diverse menu, wonderful food and excellent service.  As we had our breakfast, a butterfly perched on the tiny dish filled with pancake syrup and then fell in. I helped it onto my plate and it wasn’t moving. Everyone told me to throw it over into the river or let the waiter take the plate away. But I said no, its wings were stuck together – so I did a butterfly 911 and gently pried apart its wings, trying not to damage their fragile design. In a moment the wings popped open and it flew away. In a second it was back and first landed on my arm, then flew to the top of my head and then flew to my mouth and fluttered for several seconds before taking its leave. I am sure you know about butterfly kisses, when you flicker your lashes on someone’s face? Well, this was a REAL butterfly kiss and I know it was thanking me for saving it. Life is full of surprises.



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