Remember that one time Mr. Darcy and I went on a honeymoon to Puerta Vallarta? No? Probably because I never told you about it. I figure now is as good a time as any since my tan is pretty much faded and it’s dark, cold, and rainy here in Seattle.
Originally we dreamed of going to Paris for our honeymoon. That is, before we started actually planning our wedding and realized how much it was going to cost us. Luckily I found a Bloomspot travel deal for an all-inclusive resort in Puerta Vallarta that not only looked luxurious and relaxing but also, and most importantly, was affordable. Neither of us had ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort so we weren’t sure how it would play out but it turned out to be ideal- except for the fact that they kept closing out our tab throughout the day in an effort to get more tips. And, oops, we thought we were tipping in U.S. dollars but when we went to check out, seems it was in pesos. Sorry for seeming cheap, waitstaff! But we are definitely converts to the all inclusive gig.
Getting to the resort had its hurdles. For one thing, when you get off the plane and have ordered a car to take you to your hotel, they first run all the visitors through this “visitor center” which should probably be called “scam central” because that’s what it is. They offer you “Mexican Water” aka tequila and then start in on their pitch. They are basically trying to sell you on tourism stuff like zip lining and boat tours and such but they sell it to you hard and are masters at keeping you there even though all you want to do after traveling for 13 hours is get to your hotel and sleep. We caved and bought these two tickets for this thing called “Rhythms of the Night” where you get on a boat and are taken to an island that has no electricity so it’s lit by torches and they feed you dinner and drinks while you watch a show about Mayan and Aztec cultures. We didn’t really care about going to this but we wanted to get the hell out of there. Turns out to get the deal you have to have a credit card which we did not bring with us (only a bank debit/credit) AND you have to go visit another resort for a tour and a “free” breakfast. When we tried to back out of it, they pushed harder and we finally just agreed so we could leave already. It’s pretty sketchy when the guy says he’ll meet us outside the resort gates on the appointed day and he’ll hop in our cab. Oh and also, we’re not supposed to tell our hotel that we hooked up a deal with another resort. Um, ok? I’m a terrible liar so this should work out splendidly.
After a 40 minute cab ride through the crazy streets of PV and down a two lane road that was under construction, we finally arrived at paradise. This was our view from the lobby at La Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa:
Oh yeah. This will do just fine.
Once we got settled into our room, we managed to change clothes and drag ourselves to dinner and then promptly fell asleep for 12 hours. I never sleep that much! But the bed was insanely comfortable despite the constant construction noise from the two lane road outside. And then began our five days of blissful napping, lounging, reading, swimming, sunning, eating, and drinking. I read three books. I turned on my phone maybe twice. I drank a lot of margaritas. I swam in the amazing pools:
We tried going into the ocean but within in one minute of being in, a huge wave swept over me, tearing my beloved sunglasses off my head and I went under. It was a little scary because I couldn’t find my footing. Sand got in every single nook of my body. That was it for me and the ocean. I was forced to buy another pair of shades from the expensive shop at the resort. They have studs on the side. Let’s not talk about them. At least I had my big hat to hide under.
The food was good though it tried to be fancy when all I really wanted was a burrito and some guacamole. Turns out the best food was at the poolside bar. Trust me when I tell you that once I discovered their steak burrito, I ate it repeatedly. I have no shame. One night we made a reservation at the fancy steak house located across the road and up the mountain. They have to take you up there on a golf cart, seriously. The views were spectacular and I had a drink called The Hersey’s Kiss which was full of liquor but tasted just like the candy. Dangerous.
We started to long for some English so we turned on the television one night to discover they had one English channel and it played old reruns of Friends (out of sequence) and shows we don’t like- Two and a Half Men (the Ashton ones) and Big Bang Theory and Two Broke Girls (good lord that show is absolute shit). But we watched them and many inside jokes came from those viewings.
We did have that “appointment” with the
scam artist visitor center representative but here’s how it went down: We didn’t want to go and didn’t care about the money lost on the Rhythms of the Night tickets but we decided to go along with it anyhow. When we went to get a cab the concierge intercepted us and asked us about the voucher we had gotten at the airport. We played dumb as instructed. She said that a man was outside the gates waiting for us. We were caught! We told her we were just going into town. She pressed further and we caved. She said that she was trying to protect us since many visitors get roped into these resort visits and come back complaining that they were gone for FIVE hours instead of the 90 minutes they claim it will take. She’s very good because somehow she got us to go to their tour/pitch at the resort we were staying at! They were building these luxury condos up on the mountain and wanted to show us. Next thing you know we’ve spent 2.5 hours eating breakfast with this saleslady (she was very nice but it was kind of awkward), taking a tour of the facility, and being shown countless binders of options for this buy in deal.
It was terrible. We kept telling them we had no money or interest in signing up for an on-going program like that. By the end they sent in the gringo to hard sell us and we still were like “dude! we have no money! we’re not even lying!” When we finally got back to our room, we quickly put on our suits and swam and drank the rest of the day away to make up for the misery of the morning. I’m pretty sure we got drunk that day. Oh and, we skipped Rhythms of the Night. Bye bye $40!
By the end of the trip we were tanned (after Mr. Darcy burned and peeled- so sexy!), relaxed, and missing home. The flight back was looooong and customs at LAX is a cluster of fuck. We both got sick to our stomachs from the food we shoved down on the last leg of the flight but at least we were finally back with the cats in our bed. It’s been an adjustment- the time change, the weather being so dreary, and no one is bringing me a margarita at my desk (What gives with that?!). But the trip was just what we wanted it to be- a sunny, relaxing getaway. Mexico is beautiful and I hope we can return again to a different part of the country.