Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Road trip to San Sebastian

Wayne and I decided to take a road trip with our friends, Jim and Kent from Sea Level, up to the mountain town of San Sebastian. San Sebastian is about 1 1/2 hours out of Puerto Vallarta and is 5250 foot elevation. It was a silver and gold mining town built in the 1600's. Nice and cool .
We rented a jeep...never again...and took off...past the statue outside the local gym.. past the local prison...

past the constant falling landside...

over this modern bridge and into the town of San Sebastian.

Luckily for us the landslides did not create a road block and it was sunny without rain in sight.
The valleys and hillsides were full of agave, corn, strawberries, cattle grazing, small villages, and lush green trees. San Sebastian has a coffee plantation and grows the coffee on the hillsides under a pine tree canopy. We tasted the end result and found it very good...we even bought some to take home.


Restaurant Real Y Mina

Deciding on a restaurant wasn't very difficult as only 3 places were we opted for Italian. The owners Walter and Coco were entertaining and talkative. We know all about their children, mothers, business and life in a small town. Both the food and wine were excellent... we give it 3 stars. After dinner Coco took us on a tour of the gardens and give us some of her prize lemons...yummy.

Hotel del Puente

Our Hotel...del Puente...turned out to be the best place in town for a variety of reasons. .. the best being the cost...$18 a nite for a huge room with private bath and shower. It was a former family house and dates from the early 1600's. The walls were about a foot thick, tile floors and comfortable beds. This is the view from our bedroom doorway. All the rooms looked out onto a beautiful courtyard. We checked out many of the other hotels...from the hostel, which smelled bad to the $130 a night places with breakfast. All in all we liked ours since it was in town , quiet and inexpensive.

The houses in town are made of adobe, painted white with red trim and have red tile roofs. The streets are narrow, made of cobblestones and the sidewalks are about 2 feet wide. (If there are any) And the whole town is built on a slope with a few small rivers winding through. While you really can't get lost it sorta feels like you are in a maze.
pre white wash walls...or maybe the white washed away?

Your typical church...this one is almost hidden between several buildings....seeing the top of the bell tower helped us when felt lost. We knew our hotel was on the NE side.

San Sebastian is in a micro climate....seems like everyone grows gerainums the streets are very clean

the central plaza has roses growing on three sides.

La Bufa

The view of La bufa (elev.8,400 feet) from town is quite impressive so since we had a jeep we decided to tackle the twisty winding roads. It took us hour and we never passed another car...praise the Lord!
We had to hike about 1/4 of a mile after we parked the car. You can just barely see the town between our heads. On a clear day they day you can see Bandaras Bay... this day it was too hazy. Looking over the edge reminded me of the top of Half Dome...a long way down!

Early moring coffe wait

San Sebastian does not believe in opening up any cafe earlier than 8:30am! We dressed in our warmest clothes and walked over to La Lupita's and Kent used her charm to snag us 4 cups of delicious coffee. Unfortunately, we had to leave before breakfast was ready ...places to go and very little time.
It is a good idea to sit in the sun to stay warm. . that mountain air can be chilly!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bye, Kids....see you in a month!

Had fun with the kids...The Bambino is still cute, Jenna is a wonderful Mom and Cafe owner...
Jack is having fun in SF and used his Chef influence to make dinner at Ducca another memorable experience....10 people and so much food and drink that we had to tell the waiters to stop bringing us complimentary dishes...we were just too full.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Next year this time I will be running around driving my parents crazy...I can't wait!

the Party is Here...Sue and Liza's home

These gals like to sing we have Karoke singing contests...such a wild bunch! Wayne and I mingle and act silly...singing is not out best dancing is another story!

Sue and Liza ...our hosts. Huge feast of wonderful foods, entertainment and lots of grape juice.