Semana Santa in Puerto Vallarta

Here’s more eye candy from Victor Irigoyen

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Posted by on April 8, 2010 in mexico


Horse Sense – Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico (part 5 of 5)

The talented trainers in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico teach us a thing or two about handling horses and inspire us to learn more.

via Horse Sense – Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico (part 5 of 5).

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Posted by on April 8, 2010 in history, horse, Mascota, mexico, travel, vacation


Carlos, the Rock Balancer

Carlos, Puerto Vallarta Rock Balancer, along the Malecon

Along Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon, over the years, I’ve watched with amazement as tanned muscle men balance the rocks on end along the rocky shore, just under the feet of the thousands of strollers who enjoy the malecon each day.  One particular guy, Carlos, has been doing this on and off for years to earn extra cash.  We also see him at Fridas from time to time.  He’s a nice young man.  He likes to draw as well and will show you his artwork if you take a moment to get to know him.

Carlos works for tips along the malecon, amazing strollers with his skills and muscled physique. He has a brother who works with him sometimes too.

(photos: Víctor Irigoyen)

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Posted by on April 7, 2010 in mexico


Farmer’s Market in Zona Romantica! Each Saturday…starting March 27, 2010

This press release was forwarded by good friend’s Charlotte and Carol who own Xocadiva Chocolates  in Vallarta.  About a year ago, Charlotte told me that this idea was in the works and I thought it was great.  Now, here it is!  They still have room for a few more vendors if you have something to sell. 

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – All of the great cities of the world have a celebrated Farmers’ Market where locals and tourists can find the freshest of vegetables, hand-crafted artisanal foods and handicrafts: London has Covent Garden, Seattle has Pike Place Market, Vancouver has Granville Island, New Orleans has the French Market and now, Puerto Vallarta, has the Old Town Farmers’ Market.  Every Saturday, starting March 27, from 10 am to 1 pm, the new Paradise Community Center located at Pulpito #127 (across from Coco’s Restaurant) will come alive with the sites and smells of a good old-fashioned Farmers’ Market.

Only the freshest and finest fruits and vegetables, herbs and plants, preserves, coffee, organic products, baked goods (including diabetic and gluten free) and crafts will be available for sale.  Come browse the colorful tables showcasing unique homemade products all fresh from the oven or field.  Just imagine the rich aromas from the lavish displays: warm baked goods, tangy fruit, freshly roasted coffees and fragrant herbs.  Now you can experience this blend of fresh shopping and entertainment every Saturday in Old Town Puerto Vallarta.

 If you have a product that you would like to sell and are interested in becoming a vendor, please e-mail  Please include your contact information and details about your product.

Join us every Saturday, starting March 27, from 10 am to 1 pm at the new Paradise Community Center located at Pulpito #127 (across from Coco’s Restaurant) for Puerto Vallarta’s own Old Town Farmers’ Market — a true thrill for the senses.


New Year’s Eve on Los Muertos Beach, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

photos by Victor Irigoyen

These photos, from my friend Victor, taken around New Year’s Eve 2009 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico are some of the most stunning I’ve seen of the scene on Los Muertos Beach and capture some of the hottest bodies in Mexico.  Enjoy. 

Visit Victor’s Blog for more!


Willie and Lobo reunite in La Cruz (one hour north of Vallarta)

Black Forest Restaurant on Jan. 7th. 

Several years ago I disovered this duo during a New Year’s Eve Concert at River Cafe in Puerto Vallarta.  After becoming a huge fan of theirs, they broke my heart by breaking up last year to pursue other things individually.  Now, they are back together momentarily for a concert near Vallarta.  DON’T MISS THIS if you are anywhere near them.

Willie & Lobo Live performance Thursday, January 7th at Black Forest

For this event our Chef Winfried will prepare a three course dinner menu with various choices of appetizers, entrees and desserts. Please check again for more info.
Be the first to reserve your table. Reservation needed.
Please call (329)-295 5203 or email
reservations@ blackforestpv. com


Great PBS series on Mexican Health Care

Paul Crist, owner of Hotel Mercurio in Puerto Vallarta is also one of the members of a group pushing to provide Medicare in Mexico.

Here’s the first of a two part PBS series filmed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico which aried Dec. 28, 2009 on PBS Newshour.  In the video you’ll see the owner of Hotel Mercurio, Paul Crist.  Paul is President of Democrats Abroad and is also working on a push for Medicare in Mexico.  Great job!

if the video doesn’t work, watch it here:

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Posted by on December 29, 2009 in mexico


Christmas on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

If you haven’t spent a Christmas in Vallarta, I encourage you to do so.   It’s a party.  For about three weeks!  I love it.  The people are all so wonderful too.  I stole this photo from my friend Oscar.  Thanks! 

Puerto Vallarta December 2009 (photo by Oscar Alberto Cabrera-Mendez)


A place like no other: Casa Isabel in Puerto Vallarta

A few years ago I went to my first “board” meeting at Casa Isabel and immediately fell in love with the house and then, more so with the owners.  About 10 years aga, David and Isabel Manore from Toronto, Canada decided to buy a house in Puerto Vallarta’s Alta Vista neighborhood.  In near storybook fashion, once Isabel and David became interested in buying the home, they learned the original owners of Casa Isabel were also a couple named David and Isabel.  The main house was built 30 years ago by the original couple who also owned and built the very popular Tequilas bar, a legendary hangout for celebrities such as John Huston, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton.

David and Isabel (the current ones) started renovations as soon as their purchase was complete.  As longtime owners of Madison’s (which is a complex including two pubs and a boutique hotel) in Toronto, Canada they were used to helping people have a good time and had already been spending some time in Vallarta.  Each year they’d bring their sailboat down and spend a few winter months in Vallarta.  Once you meet Isabel and David though, you’ll realize that they aren’t about sitting around waiting for something to happen.  They MAKE life happen. 

“We’ve been broke and made it back several times in our lives,” Isabel told me only minutes after we’d met.  “We always follow our hearts and get where we need to be though.  We fell in love with this house and never looked back.” 

At that time, Alta Vista, the neighborhood just up the (very steep) hill from Vallarta’s famous Los Muertos beach was considered only residential.  Lots of Mexican families had homes there and the idea of a boutique hotel or bed and breakfast so far up the hill hadn’t been considered yet. 

“Don’t buy that house, nobody will find you,” Isabel said they told her, her famous hat perched upon her silky black, simply stylish hairdo.   For such a classy woman, you’d expect her with a glass of wine in hand or an expensive scotch, right?  “Wine makes me fall right to sleep.”  Her drink of choice: a Dos Equis beer nestled in an elegant “cozy” with a black boa attached.  Isabel’s sweet, velvety voice mixed with New York and English (she’s originally from there) accents makes you just want to listen.  She’s also a marvelous storyteller and has plenty of them to share.   “We added rooms and told people about it and they climbed the hill and found us, ” she added.  Over the years, Dave and Isabel have remodeled this room and that room and consulted each time with the original architect Catchi Perez, famous in Vallarta for his attention to detail in his Villa designs.  Just this past summer (2009) he, with the help of David and Isabel and staff, finished the most spectacular additions to Casa Isabel ever:   a new infinity hot tub, gigantic palapa covered (one of the biggest you’ll ever see) restaurant and new owner’s and honeymoon suites with an extra hot tub on the new upper level.  Casa Isabel’s new chef is receiving rave reviews and the rooms are booked full again for the high season which starts now and ends in May or June.  I have so many wonderful memories from the last two years of attending our board meetings and Halloween parties and theme nights at Casa Isabel.  There really is no place on earth like it (if you find one, tell me…I’m there!).

Take a look at this promotional video which, I’m warning you, will make you want to buy a plane ticket tonight!

If you haven’t been to Casa Isabel, check it out on Saturday nights for the get together of expats and tourists from  Everyone is welcome and there isn’t really a board or officers, it’s just an excuse to get together and have fun and a few cocktails.  The sunsets from Isabel’s will blow you away, if the home hasn’t already.

And say hello to everyone for me!  I plan to spend a few nights at Casa Isabel soon since, if I may brag, I won a gift certificate for 2 free nights after attending their Halloween costume party and bribing the judges into letting me win!  Tequila shots will get you everywhere!

See you there!


There’s a burro at my window!

burroSince our condo is rented, I moved up the ravine a bit to a great little studio that a good friend, Pilar, rents out for next to nothing.  The location is great.  Right at the top of Olas Altas at Pillitas and then down in the river bed there…next to the little patch of land where they keep the two burros that entertain the guests each night at Andales Bar and Grill down the street.  Who knew?  I didn’t hear much overnight but this afternoon it started hee hawing pretty loudly about the time the guy came to get him to go to “work” at Andale’s.

Here’s how Pilar describes the studio: “Studio overlooks an arroyo with iguanas, birds, chachalacas, roosters, and donkeys. Must like dogs. For more information and availability, please send an email to pilitas1(at)”  Tell her Tracy sent ya.  Maybe she’ll buy me a drink or something.

The roosters, yep, a few of those out  there too.  They’re not too noisy either, compared to other roosters I’ve been around.  There’s a dog: Bingo, who is sorta the watch dog but he’s very nice to me.  And the friendliest animal on site is Rafa (Rafael) the siamese cat.  He took up on my rug the first day. 

By the way,  a rooster is what I’m going to be for Halloween…sorta.  I’ll show it to you next week if someone snaps a pic of me. 🙂  It’s pretty funny and I have my friend Dennis to thank for the idea.  It was the punchline of Dennis’ joke about a rooster that inpsired my costume…to be clear.


Its pretty funny what you find when you start looking for pics of a burro on the internet. This photo almost inspired another idea for a costume. I'm thinking about pulling of a little donkey-napping for Halloween and riding around town like this....whatcha think? I might need both donkeys...I'm a big guy.