I went to Mexico for a couple of weeks. I need an occasional tropical fix because even though I've lived in Colorado all my adult life, I haven't forgotten growing up with a beach and palm trees all around. Tropical foliage gladdens my heart!
In Puerto Vallarta, bougainvilleas are everywhere, climbing as vines, cascading over walls, and grown as standards. Pinks and purples, yellow, orange, red, sometimes all of those forming a colorful umbrella overhead while strolling the streets. Love them.
I walked the beach looking for sea glass. I found these seaweed-covered rocks. When the waves hit them they had streaming green hairdos.
The streets are lined with colorful market stalls. Bargaining is expected and you're supposed to play. You can test a vendor's resolve by walking away. They probably won't let you. 'No, gracias' is a good phrase to keep in mind.
How about a refreshing drink of coconut milk? A pile of coconuts is a pretty good indication there is a machete-wielding vendor close by.
He chopped the tops off of our coconuts and plunked in a straw. Drink up! Actually not very tasty. We noticed that the locals liked theirs spiced up with limes and hot sauce. I passed on that. Rum might have helped though.
I have an old pair of Minnetonka sandals that I've worn out but love. I can't find new ones in that style so I took them to a huarache store and asked them to make me a new pair. This is Marco Antonia cutting out the pieces for my new sandals with a curved knife.
He sewed them together on this machine.
Old sandal, new sandal. Not bad for 400 pesos, about $28 USD.
We needed to go to the grocery store and load up on pan dulce, sweet bread. In other words, pastries for breakfast. You take a metal tray and tongs and walk around making your choices. The senorita then wraps everything up for you. We might have gotten a few too many.
Shouldn't these eggs be refrigerated? Ah well, when in Rome, or Mexico...
The Mexican Army is a familiar sight on the streets. The automatic weapons a little off-putting. Never fear, it's quite normal for a show of weapons here.
Time for dinner. The Dubious Gardener was very fond of this molcajete full of seafood. I saw octopus suckers in it. No thank you. Grilled dorado in garlic butter suits me just fine.
Back to the balcony in time for sunset. This is my attempt at a selfie, trying to stretch my arm as far as I could to avoid double chins. This is serious business.
And my reward, a beautiful sunset.
And afterglow in the sky.
But then back to normalcy. Mountains, and clouds like fields of snow. Which was what it was actually doing below them. Welcome home, goodbye tropics.