Day 4: Sun, 2/16 – Just Relaxing



Since Sedona, I’ve been staying somewhat true to the intention I set then to keep my calendar less structured and be more present at all times, but especially when I’m doing nothing. The point of this day was just that: relish doing very little.

Saturday’s blog was simple so I did it from my phone during breakfast at the hotel. I went to Jon’s for coffee after and we visited a bit. After that I went to see about getting another massage, but the only appointment I could get was 3pm. So I just roamed until lunch, spending some time on the Malecon, people watching and listening to the water.

For lunch I decided on a place that has come up a couple of times in conversations, starting with Thursday’s food tour.

El Campanario is right across the street from the church and well loved by locals for homestyle Mexican cooking.

The church was to my left in the photo above.

This is the view to my right.

The place was packed with mostly locals, always a good sign. I had to wait a few minutes for someone to leave before being seated.

It was after 1pm by now; this place closes at 2pm and several of the things I’d wanted at first were no longer available. I wanted to try a variety of things and did just that.

The larger item is a simple cheese quesadilla, my staple in Mexican food. The smaller item is a taco of chicharrones, or pork rind.

I don’t think I’ve ever had soft pork rinds before, only the crunchy. The taste was similar but of course the texture wildly different. This ended up being by favorite item of the three I got, especially after dressed with fresh onions, cabbage, and two kinds of salsa.

A huge plate of nachos- I knew there was no way I would finish and I didn’t. The meat is birria, or stewed goat. I had a goat taco on my first food tour here in 2018 and that was my favorite bite of that trip. This was a little gamey for my taste and I didn’t like it as much. But the chips and cheese of course were great.

I made my way over to my 3pm massage at Acqua, an upscale spa for men. I’ve been here on each trip and enjoy it every time, as I did this day. I fell asleep which I actually don’t like to do in a massage but oh well, I must’ve needed it!

I went back to the hotel and was pleased to see that, once again, I had the whole outdoor space to myself. At least for awhile. There were 3 other people up there by the time I left an hour later.

Dinner was at Trio, literally around the corner from my hotel. I had wanted to try it the last two times I was here but never made it, so suggested it to Jon last week when we were texting about Sunday dinner plans. Him and Pedro were walking up just as I was so there they are!

We were seated on the second floor. It was a lovely place. That’s Jon’s back on the right, seated with his friend, Will, who joined us.

As some of you know, if calamari is on the menu I’m going to get it. This was not what I was expecting at all but it was wonderful. Like a spicy stew. Jon ordered one also so the 4 of us shared.

This was an artichoke soup with toasted pine nuts, which everyone but Jon ordered. You could smell the butter as soon as they sat the bowls down. That’s not a bad thing in case you were wondering. It was rich, creamy, and the pine nuts added a perfect crunch.

Most entrees came with a half order option, so that’s what I did for the grilled snapper. It was definitely enough food. All that green is cilantro. I have never eaten that much cilantro in a single dish before but it was really tasty.

We got the server to take this after bringing the mains.

Creme brûlée and coffee for dessert.

We went for a little walk after because Jon wanted to show me a new hotel I may want to try out next year, one block up from where I’m staying yet somehow had missed it. Everyone parted ways and I walked off some of that food along the Malecon before calling it a night.

I’m writing this again at breakfast in the hotel. I thought I might go out for breakfast this morning – Will and Pedro both made suggestions of things that would be open early – but by this morning I just didn’t feel like it. I get this way on the day I’m traveling home: done and ready to move on.

Since I’m leaving for the airport in a couple of hours this will be the last blog entry. As usual, I will finish with some final thoughts about the trip.

I am so glad I did the Extreme Adventure. It was a challenge for me on every level and resulted in a feeling of great accomplishment at the end. I especially am pleased with the way I managed my head during it, able to keep calm and present for most of the time, knowing anything less could end badly. Where that was most needed was the rope climb followed by that damn tight rope. Looking back, the rope climb was more about the physicality required. The tight rope required a whole different set of things I can’t even name given how tired I was while I was on it. I still don’t know how I did it. There were moments when I thought it wouldn’t make but the thought of what that could look like somehow pushed me on. If I did it again, I would probably skip that portion.

This is a good time of year for me to come for a few days and I plan to continue making this weekend an annual thing. There is something about returning to a place that I am familiar with that I really like. But 4 days is enough. In the end I’m a city guy and can only do so much of this. It’s a perfect paradise for many people I know who live here or visit often, but it just doesn’t have that draw for me.

But there is still plenty to do. Next time I will probably make my way over to some of the smaller beach towns like Yelapa or Sayulita. But before that, I will be returning to New York this summer for the same conference I attended last year. Jon is joining me, and we already have 3 shows booked for the week after. The first time either of us went to New York was together in 2011, so it will be fun to be there together again. I look forward to you coming along as well!

Sometime after New York I’m going to try to either return to Europe or do something altogether different like Thailand. If all I do year after year is return to New York City and Puerto Vallarta we’re all going to get really bored 😬.

I came to the Malecon for the final edit of the blog. I was hoping I could get some of those photos turned around but I couldn’t figure out how to do it from my phone. Oh well. See you next time!

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