Welcome 2009

January 1, 2009

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!!! Feliz Ano 2009!!!

It’s hard to believe that today is the first day of 2009. The year 2008 has seen the best and the worst of the global economy but in the end the resiliency of human nature will always prevail. I have to admit that in spite of all the news of doom and gloom, 2008 has been one of the most exciting year for me and my family. Let’s all hope that we will all learn from our mistakes and we should look after our world better for the sake of our future generations.

We are almost settled with our house in Bucerias. There seems to be never ending things to buy. It is very helpful having a car so we can drive around and compare prices. We’ve been to so many stores that sometimes I forget what I was looking for and which store has the best price. I bought a coffee table set at Sam’s and a nice bamboo area rug from Wal-Mart. I bought most of my gift baskets from Costco and all my vases and centerpiece arrangements from a store in PV called Tlaquepaque (named after the shopping town). Waiting for the sub trades is another story. I would get a phone call that the plumber is coming in the morning so we wait all day but no show. The electrician is no better. My dryers are not working properly so I had to dry clothes on a clothesline for weeks now. But when they show up, they are very nice and they fix whatever is necessary.

There is a construction next door to our house and it is both annoying and interesting. The workers start at 6:30 am Pacific time. They said that it is the regulation time. They are building a retaining wall and the workers literally pick up these heavy rocks one by one and pile them up to build the wall. They would mix cement in a small rotating mixer and apply the mixture to hold the rocks together. They dig the trenches with pick and shovel. All of this work under the heat of the sun, and I can tell you, those guys work very hard.

We had a great Christmas with friends and family. My daughter and her husband arrived on Christmas day sans their luggage. With all the icy weather and airport chaos, I am not surprised that they lost their luggage somewhere in Salt Lake City. We had a lovely turkey dinner courtesy of John. It turned out to be the best turkey dinner we ever had and everyone had a great time. I was at the supermarket “Mega” the previous day and was frantically looking for ingredients and trimmings for the dinner. Can you imagine trying to look for rosemary, thyme and sage. I found rosemary (hojas de romero) and thyme (tomillo). No luck with the cranberry sauce. But our friends, Linda and Doug have managed to uncover a can somewhere in their cupboard.

Last Monday, we were in Sayulita and Cecily and Anthony were learning how to surf. It is a lively beach town with gentle waves that is ideal for beginner surfers. I love boogie boarding but I haven’t tried surfing. I don’t know if I can get up on the board before the wave flips me. The Mexican tourists were in full force this week because Christmas is their big holidays. Everyone from the neighboring inland cities descend to Puerto Vallarta to spend their holidays. This is quite a relief as the North American tourists are down significantly. There are a few vacancies in the hotels and the beaches are less crowded. We go to a beach called Distilladeras almost twice a week and it’s the most beautiful beach in the Banderas Bay.

We are still at Adriatico’s every Tuesdays and Wednesdays except last night which was New Year’s Eve. We had a great time at the Café des Artistes ushering the New Year 2009. I’ve never seen a lot of beautiful women in one place and lots of legs everywhere. They got to be the Four Seasons crowd. It was a great evening.

Cheers!

Armi

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