Puerto Vallarta

I took Katty on a surprise trip to Puerto Vallarta last weekend – it was incredible! Though coming back to Chicago’s cold weather has made it seem like it was long ago, seeing the pictures makes me feel the warmth all over again!

The original intention was to totally surprise her – I was going to contact her boss to see if she could take the day off, pack her bags etc… after some consultation, I was told it was a really bad idea! In fact, nobody thought it was a good idea! So I ended up telling her that I was going to a conference in San Diego and that I had a miles ticket for her to join me. Ultimately I decided to tell her a week ahead of time so that she could enjoy the week of anticipation and preparation! It was a good call…

Puerto Vallarta itself was fantastic! We both very much enjoyed the little town and everything it had to offer. The first night we spent a few hours on the “Malecon” (boardwalk) just exploring and taking in the sights and sounds. We ended up finding a place that had 50 peso 22oz margaritas, and stayed there for quite a while watching the sun set over the bay while mariachi bands and all other types of performers made there way by. We then headed to Joe Jack’s Fish Shack for dinner. We started off with the best Mojitos we have ever had – the strawberry Mojito is especially delish! Then moved onto the Tuna Poke and Portabella Quesadilla appetizers – INCREDIBLE. It was so delicious that we had extremely high expectations for the whole red snapper, the owners suggestion. The Snapper was good, but didn’t quite meet our expectations. Still way better than most seafood in Chicago! We ended up catching a local bus back to the resort – which is an experience in and of itself!

The following day we just chilled out at the beach and the pool (with island bar, of course!) – gotta love swimming up to the bar at 11am and ordering a tropical beverage in 80F temps! It was fantastic. I, of course, got roasted – this is while trying to take extreme care of my skin. I also finished up “The Kite Runner” while on the trip – incredible read, finished it in two days! At ~4pm we decided to head back to the room to get ready for hitting the town again.

Our final night in Puerto Vallarta we went directly to La Palapa for dinner. Going on TripAdvisor’s recommendations as we had the night before. We were not disappointed! Dinner was a bit pricier than other locations – but it was well worth it. The Lobster Taco appetizer was to die for!! Dinner was nothing short of amazing. Being directly on the Malecon overlooking the beach – and the wedding that happened right in front of us – was an incredible experience. We took our leisure and I think finally finished up, with Lava Chocolate Cake might I add, in about 3 hours. We strolled down the Malecon to see a majority of locals with a smattering of tourists enjoying the gorgeous night. Unforgettable.

Mexico 2008 trip pictures

I’ve been back for a few weeks, but have been so busy that I just didn’t have time to get the pictures together! The YTC trip was fantastic – it was the largest group that we have gone with, and the kids were by far the most productive! Once again, the computers didn’t make it past the border before we arrived, but at least this year we were prepared. Its pretty sad that the Mexican government can’t get its act together to get the 100 computers that we donate through the border in time. Next year we are planning on sending the computers in April or May – hopefully by the time we get there in August the computers will have arrived!

One of the highlights of the trip was a meeting that David and I had with Governor Deras‘ wife Gabby (she is the head of DIF for the state of Durango, essentially their DCFS), the director of the Cobaed school system, the secretary of education and the superintendent of the school districts we visit. In this meeting we discussed the future of YTC – to see the excitement that they had for the work we do was just incredible! It gives me great hope for the future, and for possible funding for our programs!

I had also set up a wiki for the trip – so if you want to read what our kids or our staff wrote about – feel free to check it out!