Paradise and Parenting: Holiday in Vallarta

Most people think it must be fun to live in Puerto Vallarta year round. They often comment that we probably enjoy our holidays more than most, because all we have to do is go outside and swing a stick, and we will hit the ocean or a Vallarta Adventure tour bus.

I can tell you that this is assumption is not entirely realistic, and not only because the people from Vallarta
Adventure would not appreciate having their vehicles hit with swinging sticks. It’s not realistic because, when you try to have a relaxing holiday in the city in which you reside, you suddenly become mired in All of the Stuff You’ve Been Avoiding. And that stick you’re swinging no longer has the reach to smack upon anything fun.

For example, my husband and I discovered that we needed to buy a car. Because we haven’t purchased a new car in all the years that we have had children (this is not a coincidence by the way), we forgot that doing this requires all of your free time and all of your free pesos.

You can’t just walk up and buy the first one you like. No, you have to fall in love with the first one, and then give yourself a firm shake and tell yourself that no responsible adult would buy the first one they saw. Then you need to go around and see a lot of other cars that don’t nearly match up. A week into this, you must return to the original agency and meekly accept the first car in only color and transmission that remain in stock after your fruitless adventure into responsible adulthood.

And that’s just one example of the Non-Fun that can be had when you both live and have your holidays in Puerto Vallarta. Other things you can do are: – Go to long-overdue orthodontist/ vet/doctor appointments (or at least take the time to make some appointments)

– Cook food (THREE TIMES A DAY THESE PEOPLE EAT) – Clean things that haven’t seen the backside of a
broom since summer vacation – Move furniture around – Move furniture back – Go through old papers and throw out receipts that you thought would be useful ten years ago

Not only that, when you DO decide to do a fun thing, your children are not in the mood. My kids grew up playing on the beach, so now my announcement to go is met with what I term “The Long Eye Roll” and the aggravating sound of dragging flip-flopped feet. I can usually get them out of the house if there’s a movie offered, or very best friends, or something edible. My daughter wants to leave the house right now, in fact, because she would like to visit Sally Beauty Supply in Plaza Galerias.

If you also live in Puerto Vallarta and you are currently trying to stay positive, I can recommend a few things. On
Sunday, we went to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle for a breakfast and the morning market. The offer of food and the possibility of buying more food to take home with us was enough to get their shoes and earbuds on and out the door.

El Rio BBQ is always fun, and kids love taking a dip in lovely, calm river. Mine tell me it’s too cold and then jump in anyway.

We spent New Year’s Eve with friends on the beach in front of the Grand Venetian. You’ll find a great sunset view and we had a beach bonfire there with no problem. It’s novel enough that even the most avid Fortnight fan will tear themselves away from the game console to hang out and have a s’more or two.

Cupocity has coupons for day passes once in awhile. We just purchased some for 180 pesos each with lunch included at the Holiday Inn Express. It can be both fun and relaxing, and your teens can easily ignore you on a pool chair while you pretend not to care.

For me, it’s important to give myself a break. Just because Vallarta is full of fun things to do doesn’t mean I have
to do them all today. I have stuff to do, cars to buy, cockroaches to evict from a dresser drawer.

And I think living in paradise can happen anywhere. Sure, Vallarta is beautiful and full of fun, but so is my
little house right on the edge of it. And inside you’ll find some great people, Netflix, and a pretty tasty Mexican
Cab Sav. We’ll get out and have some adventures too, but right now I’m putting the dust cloth aside and enjoying
the best part of the holiday – a few extra minutes of peace and quiet.