So it’s been more than a hot minute since I (or we) posted anything about travel … of course given the state of the world right now, we haven’t been able to do a lot of traveling. Alas, times are changing and for Valentine’s Day we were lucky enough to spend a long weekend in Mexico. NOTE, this isn’t a post about where to go, it’s a post about how to go and what you need to know to travel safely right now.
First of all, let me just give a quick shout out to Mexico … specifically the state of Jalisco. People there are on it! Like for real. Every vendor, small shop, restaurant, resort … every place we visited has someone being johnny on the spot with hand sanitizer and a quick temperature read before allowing you to enter their establishment. And everyone was so incredibly thankful to have us there, spending money, promoting the economy … really, it was amazing.
Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding area was our hangout spot, and yes, we stayed at a great resort and were lucky enough to visit another one, but since I’m not going to be reviewing the places here, I’m not going to get to specific … just know this: if you’re looking to visit the area do your research on the accommodations and make sure it’s actually on the beach. A number of places aren’t open, even if they “appear” to be. I highly recommend calling first.
That’s right. Brush up on your Spanish and pick up the damn phone. Seriously.
The food … I mean yea, there’s a McDonalds and a Starbucks but really? You’re in fricking Mexico. Let the street vendors offer you tequila and grilled poblanos. Take them. Eat them. Savor it all and don’t you dare go to the golden arches. And don’t be a wuss. You’re perfectly fine eating their food. No one’s trying to poison you. As for water … umm yea, I spent a small fortune on bottled water but hey, some habits are everlasting : ) (OK, yes, I did go to Starbucks … again, some habits are everlasting.)
As for getting there, I’ll throw another shout out here to United Airlines. No, it wasn’t the absolute best travel day, but the airline did everything it could to make it as safe and easy as possible. I felt secure. I felt safe. And I was pleasantly surprised by the attention and ease of the staff from gate agents to flight attendants. Caveat, we did get upgraded to first class both ways but hey, I stuck by United Airlines and travelled enough with them last year that I can honestly say I deserved it. So thank you, United, if you’re reading this.
And then there’s the getting back into the country part …
Admittedly, I was nervous. As all get out. But it was easy peasy. Just follow the damn directions peeps. Most airlines, and resorts let alone the embassy, have exact directions posted on what you need to do. We had COVID-19 tests we took with us, and 72 hours before boarding our return flight, we got online and a proctor watched us take and develop the test and then sent the negative results to our phones. TIP! Make sure you have a computer with a video option AND a smartphone!! We used the Navica app and it was really easy.
As for the culture and the “what should we do” part, well, honestly, it had been so damn long since we’d done anything all I wanted were margaritas (and more margaritas) and a beach. So we didn’t do squat. Lies. We did some things, but nothing touristy … what we did was be together. Talk to each other. Touch each other. Make plans for a future together. And quite frankly, it was the best five days of doing nothing, anyone could ever ask for.
So I hope you take the plunge and get back out there soon. Note, both GG and I are fully vaccinated and have been since December. Yes, I felt more comfortable traveling knowing this and no, I wouldn’t have traveled if we weren’t. But, soon enough peeps, you too will be vaccinated so start making plans and do tell, where will you go first?
Bugs and wild animals aside, spending time in a tree house is kinda fun.
At Rancho La Puerta, they take care of individual guest needs, in a safe, eco-friendly manner that reduces the spa’s environmental impact …
Wine tasting options are massive in Walla Walla, and what makes it so accessible is just that, it’s accessible. No driving from vineyard to vineyard, all you do is walk.