Monday, February 18, 2019

Two types of Tshirt.. One good one better... You decide which is which...

Yep, we are still in PV. Although I may not post this until we get back to Winnipeg. So are you ready to read more about our holiday and what we are doing? Well, tough titties. I ain't going to do that. It's just another list of eating, seeing 'stuff' and adventures. Just reread the last post and you will get the overall idea.

This time I want to write about PV itself. (Much like KL (Kuala Lumpur) you are only allowed to call PV, PV, once you have been here.

What's it like?

Actually it's really nice in a whole lot of ways. Much like a lot of the Spanish and Mallorca resorts it started off as a fishing village until some travellers discovered it (In this case because of a move called 'Night of the Iguana'.) Then word got around and more people began to visit, bringing money. This money brought jobs and more people, until you get to where we are today - A bustling vacation destination.

Unusually though, there is still a lot of the real locals living here. In fact between our apartment block and the beach a short walk away is the local school, where kids learn and play in the middle of the romantic zone.

Further up the coast, just below the airport,  there are huge hotels and all inclusive resorts, then  you travel through the old town, with a quaint square and church, before hopping over the river and reaching the romantic zone. All these areas are ideally suited to the people who travel to them, but with only a couple of miles from top to bottom everywhere is within walking distance.

Who comes here then?

That's one of the best things about PV. It's not set up for one person or another. Everyone can come here and find things they like. There are lots of families like us with young kids. There are lots of old couples and singles, who travel here for a week, a few months or live here permanently. There is a bg gay community, who have added a lot of colour and flair to the streets - especially with the clothes shops and the ususual and flamboyant styling to a lot of the clothes you see on the street corners.
I am not sure what's going on here.

I nearly bought this!

Some cool art on show.

I really wanted these shorts

I got all these for the wall at home

Apparently, this is also a really popular place for American students to travel to for spring break - although Trump and his wall seem to have dampened the expected intake this coming spring. All around are cafes, restauramts, ice cream places, Beach front bars, night clubs - gay and straight and whatever. You can stay in a traditional old Mexican hotel or you can rent a modern stylish apartment with a rooftop pool and views over the town, or you could get a hostel. the only thing I haven't seen is a trailer park or a campsite!

It's also really interesting to see how the town is being developed. Instead of just building huge hotels in the quaint areas, they have been kept forther north and here in town, although there has been development, it has, for the most part, been done around the local homes and buildings. Locals still gather outside to eat from street vendors and even though the cobbled streets have been changed, they actually kept the cobble and just made them a bit less bumpy to walk and push a stroller on. We took a walk north yesterday and came across a real local market selling fresh fish, mest and lots of fruit and veg - all around were local families and visitors too - doing their shopping and enjoying the sunshine.

Like I say I have been to a few Spanish resort and sometimes you could stay without knowing what country you were actually in. With nightclubs and pubs stretching along every street, there was no culture and no sense of being abroad apatr from the big round hot thing in the sky. It's not like that here. It does feel Mexican and it does feel welcoming and it does feel like an experience as well as a holiday. It might not be as crazy as travelling to a small Mexican Puebla and staying somewhere away from any foreign input, seeping ni a barn with the asses and eating home made Mexican refried beans for 6 meals a day,  but it Is a really nice place and I think we will definitely be returning over the next few years to explore it further.

Anyway, that's about it from Mexico. We are at the airport now awaiting our flight back to the snow and cold in Winnipeg. I have even been checking it out through our webcam,....

To finish off though, here are a few photos from our last couple of days...

Schroeders baby  Is she asleep or awake? Both until you open the sheet...

Her first taste of Ice Cream

Maggerita time

PV at night

There were lots of Trump T shirts for sale....

Inside the big derelict half built hotel

Outside of the hotel - we wonder what will happen to this in the next couple of years

Pretty people in front of pretty houses

More Margeritas - on the beach this time
So we are done. Holibobs over. Back to the cold and work. But it has been one of the best holidays we have ever had. To take Hannah abroad and spend a full 7 days with her has been great for me and Buffy. I have really enjoyed the whole week and espcially because I got to spend extra time with these two. If only we could arrange another, longer, holiday sometime soon......

Bye Bye PV you were great. See you again sometime!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

At last - I have been waiting 18 months for this!

About 18 months ago, whilst enjoying  a  sunny afternoon at the lake, swimming, sunbathing and enjoy a lovely weekend, my mind turned to winter. It was such a nice day that I wanted to get our winter getaway booked as soon as possible. A couple of hours later after some searching, we had a lovely apartment booked in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for the winter of 2018. Then things went awry. The owner of the Airbnb we had booked cancelled after not answering any of our questions over the next two months. We booked a quaint local hotel instead, but then Buffy got pregnant (it was planned) and because of Zika virus we cancelled Mexico and went to Arizona instead. We had a good time there last year, but it wasn't the pool/beach and relaxing holiday I craved.

Then last summer. one of Buffys old work colleagues met up with her for lunch and during a chat announced she had just bought herself s condo in PV and it was available for rental. Within days we had picked dates, sent our deposit and arranged flights for the week of 11-18 Feb 2019. So, this is why now, I sit here on the 8th floor, relaxing by the pool with a view of the mountain one side and the sea the other. It is glorious and needed. Buffy and Hannah are both amazing, but with winter in full force the last few weeks, they haven't been able to get out as much as they like and to see them here, swimming in the pool, enjoying the sunshine and Buffy with her 'Smug face' on, really warms my cockles!
I am in charge!

Why is there still an ashtray in the plane toilets?

Making friends

                                               Walking up and down the plane

We left yesterday at 5.50am from home in a Tappcar (Like Uber). We knew immediately the holiday would be great as the car turned up 20 minutes early and waited for us to be ready.  The airport was a breeze, even with a 7 month old and soon we were halfway through our flight with Hannah making friends as she walked up and down the aisle of the plane. 2 snoozes and an Uber later and we were there. A lovely apartment right in the heart of the old town.  Before long we had unpacked, bought beers and were sat on the roof , right where I am now, enjoying the first bit of warm weather we have experienced since last September.

A couple of ladies enjoying the sunshine!

Someone had a long day!

We also hired a stroller for Hannah, booked online last week, and amazingly, it was waiting for us when we arrived at the apartment. So that evening went out for dinner in a nice local restaurant and apart from Hannah losing a bootie, which was fished off a roof by our friendly waiter it was the perfect evening. A stroll along the beach with a stunning sunset added to our happiness and after tucking Hannah into her peapod at least two hours later than normal me and Buff enjoyed a couple of beers to end the night.

The friendly waiter with a stick and paperclip - saving the bootie

A nice lady called Linda, took our photo!

Day 2 was a bit strange - me and Buff are used to travelling together - we know what each other likes to do and have a lot of fun. But now it different because Hannah wrecks everything! We can't go ziplining with her, jet boating or even hiking up mountains (one positive at least :-) )Every two hours or so we have to feed her or put her to sleep. So we have worked out that we should just plan a couple of hours ahead. Maybe a stroll in the morning, then lunch in a pub, then a couple of hours by the pool and finally dinner - a takeaway pizza with a movie and a couple of beers. That all sounds really nice. And that is exactly what we did on day 2. I also fitted in the sunrise at 7.25 when Hannah woke up and we let Buffy have an extra hours sleep (It's my turn for the extra hour tomorrow)

We watched the workman from the roof for a bit

We did have a lovely day today - the stroll was along a path by a small river which runs through the town to the ocean and we found a couple of nice cafes we are going to try later in the week, as well as making lots of friends with the local ladies loving Hannah and lots of dogs lazily snoozing in the street as we walked by.
Climbed a tree

Saw a dog

Found a lamp post - leaned against it

Survived the bridge of doom

Went to a pub

After a good lunch and watching the United game in a local pub, it was swimming in the pool again, enjoying the late afternoon sunshine and trying to get our lazy daughter to crawl instead of rolling over and laughing at us. Also, when she does this her middle finger extends towards us - It really does - I know (or at least hope) she does this by accident and doesn't know what it means. Although I suspect she is a master criminal and knows exactly what she is doing!

The evening was spent with a movie and one of the best pizzas I have ever had from a place just around the corner. Having Hannah with us means there is no longer any late night adventures like me and Buffy enjoyed in Barcelona or Paris, but instead early evenings, putting her to bed and then a movie or relaxing with a beer or wine on the balcony. I tell you what though - It suits me fine! I love it.

Wednesday (was that the day?) was a great day - a lovely stroll along the Malecon, taking in all the ornate sculptures, watching the Pelicans dive for fish and generally enjoying another relaxing warm, sunny day. Later on we took Hannah in the pool again to end the day. She must of been hungry though s she literally tried to eat the pool! Here's some photos o the day...

Buffy had found a nice Taco restaurant that we headed to for dinner. We ordered and then starting eating some great great food. But discovered that payment was by cash only - We didn't have enough. So I went on an adventure - Finding 3 useless ATMs and a woman in a Monet change kiosk who would only take cash - I had a card! So I went back to the apartment grabbed some Canadian money and headed back, only to come across a beautiful gleaming bank with working ATM's and as much Mexican Peso's as I could carry! Back to the restaurant to finish off another Margarita, pay the bill and head home very satisfied!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

500 - Merry Blogaversary.

I started this blog way back in 2010 as a way to keep in touch with family back in UK when I took a bus trip from London to Sydney. The bus trip took 3 months and passed through Europe and into Asia taking in Turkey, India, Thailand down to Indonesia and across Australia itself. After that I had no plans but ended up travelling with friends for a couple of months in Australia, before hitting New Zealand, Fiji, Australia a second time with Buff, back up through Asia and into Hong Kong and 6 weeks in China, before I made it across the ocean to the USA and Canada. Finally after Christmas 2011 in New York I hit the Atlantic coast and finally headed back to Skegness in mid January 2012.

The trip took 15 months and I was still blogging. It became a habit and continued again when I returned to stay at Buffy's apartment in Winnipeg and over the next 15 months I travelled across Canada and visited all 50 states of America. Just under 3 years later, after leaving home with no real plans, I moved back to Manchester with my future wife, so she could meet family and friends.

This time we stayed for 20 months and even though we loved Manchester, it was sensible to move back and settle in Canada - we have been back here over 3 years now and couldn't be happier. The one constant over all this travelling has been this stupid little blog. Honestly, I love that people read this thing, but it is meant for me. It is here so that I can look back at memories and read what happened, knowing that hidden within the words and photos are lots of secrets that no one will ever know about! I also cannot believe I have been so lucky, to have been to some of these places and travelled so comprehensively.

But why am I mentioning all of this today? Well, its because after 8 and a bit years, there have been just short of 110,000 visits to the page and this is the 500th blog post.

I never thought it would last so long, but after all this time I thought it would be nice to let you see some of my favourite posts. These arent all about travelling to exotic places or doing amazing things. Some are just quite ordinary days, but days I like to remember and the reason I started the blog in teh first place..... so here we go, in no particular order, the good, the funny, the weird and the other ones!!

One of the best few days of the original trip was spent in Nepal, swimming with elephants and being chased by Rhinos....

Here's a link
Nepal is ace(Click this)

The next one just had to be included. We were in Indonesia and next to a volcano. We were told not to climb it as it was due to erupt (it started 9 days later). Anyway, we ignored the warnings and had an amazing experience. Don't forget to watch the two short videos on this post...

I could go on about the trip to Australia for ages but there have been so many other good posts that I would like to share. This one was from a few months later, back in Thailand. I had been felling ill for a week or two and ended up in a Thai Hospital for a week with an unknown disease!!
Dying in Chang Mai

This next one is sad... It was Buffys last day with me in Vietnam, I didn't know if I would ever see her again.... But that turned out OK...
Bye Bye Buffy

This next one is just weird. When I was travelling in China, I experienced the weird way the Internet works out there. There are genuinely Chinese people from the China Government reading everything you write on the Internet as you type and if they don't like they delete it. I experienced this in an airport and watched as my newly written blog was deleted before my eyes. I wrote about this in my next blog when I thought I was free from the spies. I called the entry- Being watched by Pandas. I though it would be a good blog to re-post here, but when I looked..... well, just follow the link and see. This is genuine. I have not changed anything from my original post which was quite thorough...China has eyes everywhere!!
Being watched

While I was in China I visited the Great Wall. Not the normal touristy bit, but a part way away from the normal heavily beaten track. Here I met a Canadian French girl whose head I shaved to reveal a globe tattoo and we walked the great wall for a full day seeing just a handful of other people. I also got up in the early hours of the morning to watch the sunrise in one of the most awe inspiring places you could imagine. I would return to this place tomorrow or any other day. It left me speechless...

One of the best parts of travelling about for years was when old mates could catch up in a new and interesting place. This happened in Christmas 2011 when me and my old mucker Sid spent Christmas in New York...
New Yoik Christmas

Later that year, after being back in UK for a couple of months, I headed off around the states again and spent an few weeks on a road trip with Dan and Max. Here's a highlight of that trip!!
Dan and Max

Two things stick out about the next post..
1. A sunny day in Manchester - It doesn't always rain.
2. Getting to see the Queen!
Queen on a sunny day

Then there was the time I made it to Alaska... The 50th and final state to get ticked off my list. While I was there I fucked up my driving licence and broke my knees!
50th state

This next one is special. It was a pretty ordinary day a week after arriving in UK. A nice day out with my mum and dad, but their first meeting with Buffy. They all got on really well and it was the day I told my mum that me and Buffy would probably get married. She and my dad both knew me well and I could tell that they were overjoyed. But they never really showed their emotions. We sat and had a hotdog for lunch and then went home. Nothing special from the outside looking in, but for me a huge day as the first time I ever really showed my parents that I was an adult!
With mum and dad

That's all the celebrating I will share with you today. There are 488 more posts to read if you ever get bored. Just scroll to the bottom of the blog page and you will see a link saying - 'Click here to see all the posts'. They are in date order, so feel free to pick one at random and see what happens.
 I did take a minute to see what would happen if I wanted to print out all the pages and turn them into a very boring I found a website that prints out Blogs. I uploaded the blog and the website said....

So, to get one book printed, a maximum of 400 pages, I could only print pages as late as 23 Oct 2010. That would be approximately 85 posts and get me as far as Kathmandu - Not really worth it eh! I wonder how many pages the whole thing would take up! I guess the only way to read the blog IS online!

Thanks for reading. I wonder of anyone out there has read all the posts? I don't think I've even done that!
Anyway, Ill be posting again soon with photos of something other than babies or snow! Cant wait!!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Quiet and cold.....apart from crazy Hannah.

Anyone from Winnipeg, feel free to ignore and skip this first paragraph. You already know whats written within.... Everyone else...I have a task for you....If you have a chest freezer go to it and empty out all the food. Don't worry, you will put it back in shortly. If you don't have a chest freezer, go to your neighbours who do have one and empty out all their food. Once you have done this, turn the freezer down to its lowest setting and wait. Then when it is as cold as its going to get. climb in. See how long you can last inside. There is a reason I am asking you to do this Its because the COLDEST home chest freezers can go as low as -40 degrees C. That is bitingly cold. It is also 3 degrees warmer than the coldest temperature here at the moment. We have weather warnings telling us it will get close to minus 50 next week at least once. We do say that at minus 10 or minus 12, it feels like it is in England an 0 and that is true. But at minus 30 or 40 there is only one word for it. Cold. You breathe in and cough because the cols air hits your lugs and you cant breathe. You go out for a couple of minutes without a gloves or a hat and your skin freezes. Its not pleasant and can be downright dangerous. So ignore what I wrote, earlier - Put the food back into the freezer and do not get inside. You will die. Unless you are from Winnipeg, in which case its just another cold day. Although you do get to write things on the inside on the frozen porch windows.

There were some cool sun dogs over the city today too...

Welcome back Manitoban's, thanks for waiting.

So, its a Friday night and I am at home babysitting my crazy kid of a daughter. Buffy is out with choir tonight, so me and Hannah are causing havoc around the house. She is 7 months old in just over a week and is growing every day. She has put on nearly a pound in weight over the last two weeks and is definitely getting her eating skills from Buffy, who can fit a whole burger in her big mouth  when she wants to. It is awesome though as she eats so much she always has loads of energy. She loves her weekly swim with Grandma Susan and will love swimming in the pool and the sea when we go to Mexico in a few weeks for a getaway from the winter.

She is also now just over 2 feet tall and although her body is still small for her age, her head is bigger than most adults.
She also has a new best friend. Our best mates Adam and Alena had their little bundle of joy 'Jack' arrive just a couple of weeks ago. So Hannah has been round to visit him a couple of times already and Jack actually came round to our house for his first trip a out. Its great to have friends with a baby too now, and I am sure we will be spending a lot of time together as our crazy little bugars grow up.

Adam , Alena and Jack
Hannah and Jack meet!
Its not as if Hannah doesn't already have loads of mates. Her closest living friend is Holland, who owns Mike and Rebecca from a few doors down. Holland needed an hour away from his mum and dad last week, so he came to visit and brought his train set with him, spending a lovely hour with me and Buffy crashing trains in our lounge!

There hasn't been much else going on at our place this month so far. Its too cold to go out and do much and so we spent some time doing things around the house. The main job was to put up Pat and Erica's Christmas present in the basement. They bought us a Jets and a United perspex lit sign, which I decided to use as background lights to light the basement when watching TV or movies. So an easy job, just knocking in a nail or two to hang them from. But I had to take down some shelves and then run a power cable in a boxed in area for them. After taking down the shelves we painted the area of wall where they came from, but the paint was old and didn't match, so we decided to paint the whole basement  - and buy a TV mount to attach the TV to the wall. But that meant fishing in the wall to run the Ethernet cable for the android box. Then we rehung the united shirts and the Manchester photos. It turned out to be a real job! Anyway, it looks great now and we are really glad we did it all... This is what it looks like now...

Sp has there been any other news? Well, to be honest - not really! Things are generally good. Work for both me and Buffy is busy and Hannah is growing and changing every day. She is now able to stand up with assistance and will attempt to walk when given encouragement. She hasn't got enough balance to be able to do it on her own yet, but we don't expect it to be long. 

She is also eating real food now. She loves banana and peanut butter and is also happy try try all sorts of vegetables as long as she gets to hold the spoon!

 She has also graduated from making mmm noises and now sounds like a mix between a a velociraptor and an old Chinese woman clearing her throat and hoiking up. Here's an example....


She is also crazy about her jolly jumper, which she just loves!!
Here are a few photos from the last few weeks - enjoy and I will be back early in February!

Thanks for reading!