May 25, 2008

Adios Arroyo Seco and La Manzanilla - hello New York

PUERTO VALLARTA, Jalisco, Mexico - The Admiral and I said a very sad goodbye to La Manzanilla and Arroyo Seco today, sad because after more than 5 months here, we realized that this area really has become home.

And who wants to leave home, even if it is to go to a lake in upstate New York to watch one of your children get married.

We ended our stay in La Manzanilla by staying a week with Kate Fisher at her lovely home on the bay, taking a week of 'vacation.' Her downstairs apartments are exactly what you want if you stay on the beach. We considered asking her to adopt us so we would never have to leave.

We figured she would decline to adopt us, but she did say we can come back in November.

In Arroyo Seco, we ended our stay (and months-long adventure) by getting within days of completing all our projects on our downtown lot. Saddest of all was saying goodbye to our vecinos (neighbors) and good friends Chena and Chon who have helped us so much in understanding Arroyo Seco. They were the first people we met there and the last people we said goodbye to today.

Muy triste.

The highlight of what turned out to be a very busy week was throwing a fiesta for the workers (and other Arroyo Seco and La Manzanilla amigos) who have helped so much to get the buildings and structures going.

Food prep in Arroyo Seco
Getting the food ready for the fiesta at Chena's

A fiesta is just a big party, right?

Well, sort of. We had seven kilos of arrachera, a four-kilo bucket of ceviche, a huge salad, tortillas, chips, shrimp a la diablo and so many other kinds of food and eats on a big serving table I really can't remember them all.

The memory lapse might also be linked to the eight cases of beer that were consumed, along with a bottle of tequila. I didn't drink it all personally, but reportedly I did my share.

All the food was prepared in Chena and Chon's Arroyo Seco kitchen, right across the street from our new palapa. People pitched in and in less than two hours, a feast was ready for the 30 or so people at the fiesta.

Guys on the step
Relaxing after la comida

Tequila on the table
Serious about the tequila

Fiesta table
Fiesta table

After a few days here in Puerto Vallarta, we will head out to fly via US Airways to Seneca Lake, where we have a wedding to get ready for in mid-June, a pontoon boat to relaunch (The Spirit of Louise) and at least a dozen wineries to visit to get just the right vino for the wedding fiesta.

We could sure use Chena and Chon's expertise to help out with the fiesta there.

Chon and Chena
Chon and Chena at una quinceanara in Arroyo Seco

Adios, La Manzanilla y Arroyo Seco, regresamos en Noviembre.

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