I’m not sure if life gets any better than this, and I’m also not sure if we will ever have a year like 2010. It seems like we began the year with adventures and that we have ‘adventured’ our entire way through until the end. Our most recent travels brought us to Mexico for another wedding and we had a blast. In general, Nate and I are always treated very well by the bride & groom and their families, but it seems that THIS particular group of people were there to serve and take care of us and make us feel like part of the family. It was incredible. We started the trip in Guadalajara which is the 2nd biggest city in all of Mexico. It was busy… it was alive… and it was FULL of people. We LOVED it. Below are 2 of the old cathedrals near our hotel.
The wedding took place in a gorgeous tiny vintage chapel, which was where the brides parents were married 30 years ago. We were in the city for 2 days and then we headed west to Puerto Vallarta on the coast [about a 5 hour drive]. Nate was pretty excited to see the ocean.
Our little brother Max is serving a mission in Italy and has OFTEN told us about the gelatos. We saw this shop and HAD to try it out. But after talking to Max, we learned how unauthentic these gelatos really were, regardless of how AMAZING they tasted. I guess you can’t really expect authenticity when you come to Mexico to have ITALIAN Gelatos. ; )
Nate and I spent limited time in our hotel room. There was just TOO much to see! When we were walking along the boardwalk there were ALL kinds of statues and art work, vendors and entertainers. It was a blast. Nate has a surprisingly similar appearance to this alien statue.
Nate and I rode the buses the entire time we were there. It was a blast being crammed in there with all the locals, and it was SO CHEAP… $1.30 for the both of us!
Once we got downtown, we walked around, just looking for trouble.
During one of our wanderings we came across a charming Mexican restaurant called ‘Si Senor‘ located right in the heart of downtown. We LOVED it. Nate got one of his favorite meals: Chicken Enchiladas and I got STEAK! It was so much fun!
Christmas Eve we decided that we needed to do somehting extra special. Nate got his Scuba certification like 7-8 years ago and hasn’t really used it much since, so we decided that NOW was the opportunity. We found Chico’s Dive Shop and they took great care of us! On a Catamaran with about 10 other people, they took us out to these beautiful, mini islands called Los Arcos.
I was planning on snorkeling, but upon arriving on location I found the waters infested with MILLIONS of jellyfish. Since I didn’t have a full wetsuit like Nate, I declined, and just enjoyed sunbathing on the boat lost in the depths of a good book.
Nate LOVED every second of exploring below the surface and he saw some AMAZING things. Diving here was definitely different for him than diving in the Caribbean. He saw eels, King angelfish, huge Blue tangs, Puffer fish, an octopus, sting rays, sea slugs, an 8″ sea horse, sea snakes, starfish, and butterfly fish… just to name a few.
While Nate was diving during lunch time, we started feeding some blue tangs that we saw below the surface and before you know it we had this HUGE school of King Angelfish right beside the boat. On our way home, also from the boat, we saw a pod of sea turtles, an eagle ray and a couple of HUGE manta rays. Manta rays can get to be up to 25′ across! The ones that we saw were probably 10-15′. The tips of their wings would come up out of the water and looked similar to shark fins (to the untrained eye, obviously). From the beach earlier that day, we saw a pod of dolphins swimming along the coast. They were SO beautiful and graceful. We even saw one jump completely out of the water!!
Even though we spent this holiday on the beach, we STILL got our Christmas tree!!
Christmas morning was SUCH a blast. It took me forever to wake Nate up, but when I finally did, over breakfast, we opened our stockings! It was SO much fun and I felt like a giddy little girl.
Nate biaccidentally forgot my stocking, but TOTALLY improvised and used my new pajama pants to hold everything in! It was a genius idea.
For Christmas Dinner, we were referred to ‘El Palomar de los Gonzalez’… a restaurant of international cuisine. It had a breathtaking view of the entire city and the sunset. The place was almost entirely outdoors, with gardens, fountains and galleries of artwork.
We had our favorites: PINA COLADAS!
The food was FANTASTIC… we got Caesar Salads to start and the gentleman came to our tableside and made the dressing for us right there! It was the best salad I’ve ever had and we wrote down the recipe so we can try to recreate it!!
So, once again I feel like I haven’t done our trip the justice that it deserves with what I have said and with the 25 pictures I’ve provided. But it WAS truely amazing and we loved every single second of it. We feel so grateful to be able to see so many of the gorgeous corners of this planet. It was an amazing way to spend this Christmas and was what we consider to be our last little ‘shibang’ until our baby comes!