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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2012

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S: Memories of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2012

FC: Memories of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2012

1: Dennis and I left Mississauga Monday, April 9, 2012 at 6:30 am for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - our home away from home for two wonderful weeks (April 9-23). This marks our sixth visit to this southern paradise. For both of us, it's all about the anticipation. We typically book our spring vacation in the fall which, somehow, takes the edge off our long northern winter - the countdown is on from the moment our trip is booked. We are not really sure how we decided on | the Holiday Inn in Puerto Vallarta, but we are certainly glad we did. It was one of the first hotels in the area and, consequently, has a prime location on the beach. The staff is just wonderful and remember us from year to year - there is almost nothing better than being spoiled in paradise. This year, we had a corner room (#729) with two balconies - one overlooking the pool and one overlooking beautiful Banderas Bay. We just love paradise!

2: Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta our home away from home!

3: Room 729

4: Just a few of the many wonderful people who take care of us at the Holiday Inn, Puerto Vallarta. (from top clockwise) Adelina - Housekeeping Noe & Mario - Guacamaya Elizabeth - Money Exchange Jesus - Steward Ramona - Guacamaya Enriques - Isla Bar Arturo - Steward Margarita - Money Exchange Miguel - Isla bar

6: Friday Night Mexican Fiesta

7: Authentic Mexican Music & Dance

8: Los Mariachis

10: Talented dancers in authentic costumes performed authentic Mexican Folk Dances.

11: This beautiful little girl just couldn't resist dancing to the music.

13: "La Bamba", a Mexican folk song best known for its adaptation by Ritchie Valens, is originally from the state of Veracruz, The traditional "La Bamba" is often played during weddings, where the bride and groom perform the accompanying dance. The dance is performed displaying the newly-wed couple's unity through the performance of complicated, delicate steps in unison as well as through creation of a bow from a listón, a long red ribbon, using only their feet.

17: Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Puerto Vallarta - Construction began in 1918 and was completed in 1951. The gilded crown that tops the beautiful church is a replica of the crown worn by Carlota, empress of Mexico in the 1860s, the base of which is decorated with eight angels holding hands.

23: Sights on The Malecón

24: The Voladores de Papantla (flyers of Papantla, also sometimes known as hombres pajaro, or "bird men") are indigenous performers who demonstrate an ancient cultural tradition that is closely associated with the Totonac people from the Papantla area of Veracruz. The ritual, which is said to have been a performance for the gods to ask them to end a severe drought, is now practiced all across Mexico. The ritual typically involves five men, dressed in white shirts, red pants, a sash and a cap. The outfits are ornately decorated with colorful ribbons and embroidery, and are made by the voladores themselves. The men climb the 30-meter pole and settle onto a four-cornered platform. The caporal (musician) sits in the center and plays the drum and flute. The voladores each have a rope tied around their waists. When all five performers are in place, they start to rotate the platform, effectively winding the ropes around the pole. In a display of acrobatics and fearlessness, the caporal then gets to his feet and dances on the top of the pole, bowing to each of the four directions. When the group is ready, the caporal sits back down and the voladores tumble backwards off the platform. As the rope unwinds, the fliers descend towards the ground. Traditionally the voladores make 13 laps around the pole, which multiplied by 4 fliers equals 52, the number of weeks in the calendar year.

26: Magnificent Sand Sculptures

28: Artwork on The Malecón

36: Isla Rio Cuale | The trees on the Isla Rio Cuale are amazing and have a mysterious quality about them. We just can't seem to get enough photos of them.

37: We happened upon a woman at the Rio Cuale giving her two little ducklings a bath. The ducklings were having a wonderful time in the water.

40: The Blue Shrimp

41: One of our favourite restaurants in Puerto Vallarta.

42: The Cheeky Monkey has been one of our favourite little restaurants since we began coming to Puerto Vallarta in 2005. The first year we came it was called 'La Gruta.' In 2006, it changed hands and has been 'The Cheeky Monkey' ever since. This place has it all - $1 Margaritas, $1 Beer, the best bruschetta and salsa ever, and the best view of Banderas Bay in all Puerto Vallarta.

44: On the way to Starbucks at the Peninsula

46: Starbucks at The Peninsula with our good friend Elleny (Estrellita Marinera)

53: Beach | Vendors

60: Our morning walk on the beach

64: Sunset in Puerto Vallarta 2012

65: This year we took our own 'Sunset Picture' using our camera, a tripod, and the remote. We quickly came to the conclusion that remote photography can be challenging. However, after a few tries and a great many laughs we finally got our 'Sunset Picture' for 2012.

66: Sunset in paradise

70: To say that we will miss everything Puerto Vallarta has to offer would be a huge understatement. For us, Puerto Vallarta is synonymous with vacation. The amazing people (many of whom have become our friends), breathtaking views,

71: and wonderful food are all a part of our total vacation experience. We are never at a loss for things to do or photographs to take. Each and every time we visit Puerto Vallarta, we return home with many wonderful memories and, always, the desire to return again.

72: Beautiful Puerto Vallarta at night.

73: Adiós mi amigo - hasta la próxima vez!

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