Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5, 2011

Greetings from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico,

We are sitting on the porch of our condo, looking out at the sun on the waves of bluish, green water, as it laps up on the shore,though the waving palm trees that line the shore. We look like two old duffers enjoying our vacation. It is truly lovely.

We arrived here yesterday after a whirlwind week of museums, ballet, and trips in and out of Mexico City. We used the Hilton Reforma in MC as out home base, returning MondY, Wednesday, and Friday to a welcoming team of HH staff who spoiled us rotten. We had happy, happy hours every night with drinks and cena, and beautiful breakfast each morning. When in Mexico City, we attended the performance of the National Ballet Folorico Company at the famous Palacio de Bellas Artes. The performance was extraordinary, set in the beauty of the architecture of this hall. More here: Also in MC we went on a tour of the floating gardens of Xochimilco, which is a series of canals, marking the original waterways of Mexico City. We had lunch on the flat bottom boat, which was prepared by a lady on another flat bottom boat. The mole, barbacoa, and other Mexican food accompaniments were wonderful. Our guide poled the skiff along through ecological centers, farms, and many miles of waterways, making for a very pleasant anniversary afternoon.

We spent Tuesday of that week getting to and enjoying the Olmec museum in Xalapa. Tom had gone there last year and wanted to share this with me. It was magnificent in size, restoration of artifacts, and presentation. It was great to see. The hallmark of the collection was the immense size of the carved heads, which stood about 12-15 feet. There were also masks of people smiling and children playing and waving, all in very minute detail. As with the Mayan and other ancient cultural groups, no one really knows why the Olmecs no longer thrive in this area. We walked around the center of Xalapa and then down, down hill to the dammed river, which serves as a small town lake. As rhe capital of Veracruz, there is a large state house, with outstanding murals that tell the story of Mxican independence. Moat interesting is the chronicle of the independence from US and other oil companies, with the formation of PEMEX, the national oil company of Mexico, since 1938. It was a nice time and particularly nice bus trip to and from MC.

On Thursday last week we took a bus to Cuernacvaca where we toured the Morelos Province museum of history, gardens of the summer home of Maximillian, and 16th c. Cathedral. In had studied Spanish there several times across the last six years, so wanted to share my experiences with Tom. We enjoyed a day of museums, but were really taken with the lively evening at the zocalo where there was formalized Mexican ballroom dancing with live bands, fire twirlers, and just folks out with their children, enjoying the cool of the night.

We have not moved too far from our spot here at the Sheraton buganvilias, but have the rest of the week to figure that out. We have been co ing here since 1994, so feel pretty confident that something will come to mind. If you have travelled with us here, we have some sad news: Hector's closed six months ago. We arein search of his new spot. We heard about a lace to maybe rent a bare boat, so who knows, we might get out on that great Banderas Bay yet.

I will get pictures of the Mexican adventure as soon as I can, so keep checking Facebook and something will appear.

Hope all is well for you and yours. Love Jeanne

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