Heneghans Abroad

Corrie, Mary, and Mike are living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Tour, part I

As we approach our two month anniversary here in Vallarta, it occurred to me that it's about time to follow through on a promise: to let folks take a gander at our apartment.

It's not much, but it's ours.

When Gerry Selitzer, our very congenial boss, drove us up to Marbella Suites, we really didn't know what to expect. We both had all kinds of scenarios running through our heads--would there be bodies? Would it be clean? The Bumpus hounds? It was all for naught.

Besides our propensity to drop very breakable lamps, glasses, and more lamps on our tile floors, Gerry has put us in a very happy home.

Our group of condos sits among a grove of palm trees, bougainvilleas, and other tropical plants which shall remain nameless. Lizards, geckos abound. Geckos come and go freely within our house. No joke, they are Mary's favorite pet.

They've got a couple pools here too, one being about a foot deep, which Mary just dominates! Actually, she has taken to pool life way too easily, jumping in whether we are paying attention or not. There's a Mexican Doc Councilman here (Google it) who is just itching to teach Mary how to swim. Mary's about got it on her own.

So, enjoy this brief vid of our shadowy abode. More to come...


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mary in Vallarta

One of the more difficult aspects of moving down to Vallarta, and there were many (see "Selling your house during a shitty economy"), was how Mary would live and adjust in a brand new place. On one hand, she's not even two years old, so in many ways she's probably more flexible than Corrie or me. No established friends to leave behind. No school to transfer from and to. No softball league or favorite restaurants to miss. On the other hand, there were new doctors to find. Clothing and toys to haul down or rebuy here in town. And of course her doting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Leaving them behind was difficult, to be sure.

I did want to give you at least a small snapshot of how she's getting on down here. She is extremely excited to be staying home with Momma, and quite possibly even more excited when her new nanny, Ya-Ya, stays with her. Can't get enough of Ya-Ya.

Being a year and a half old now, Mary is doing and saying all kinds of crazy stuff that just leaves us laughing, usually. She is definitely a pretty funny kid. Bold too. For example, in the picture below, she went down every single slide you can see. By herself.

She got her first haircut as well.

As for Mary and friends, here in Mexico, we have only to go down to our pool here at Marbella for her to find new friends. The Mexican children--adults too--are so genuinely curious and kind to children. It has been humbling. The question we get the most? "Nino o nina?" Boy or girl? She has also made a friend--if she could just be a little more gentle--with Ella, the daughter of some of our new friends, Karli and Mark Picketts. They went to a great birthday party today. Mary and Ella tackled all those water slides together today.

And when friends fail you, or your parents just aren't enough for you. There is one tactic that every parent has at their disposal: shameless bribery.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

¡ Viva Mexico!

The staff looked on while Jerry, my boss, blew out his
birthday cake candles.

Friends and family,

Last night Corrie and I had our first night out without the Mare-Bear. September 15th is Mexican Independence Day, so our school--the American School of Puerto Vallarta--rented out a catamaran for staff, family, and other hangers on. A friend of ours suggested a babysitter--a mother of two teenagers named Ana--and we were off.

The boat was pretty big, big enough to hold a couple hundred guests, a fully stocked bar, a buffet, and a make-shift dance floor. All were used plenty. We arrived at the port at 8pm, greeted by menacing clouds and a rainbow. As luck would have it, our ship, the Beach Boy, had a roof, so rain or shine, we'd be fine. This also being the birthday of our boss, Jerry, and librarian Jenny, it looked to be an especially festive evening.

The Beach Boy motored out into the Bay of Banderas as night fell. The rain stopped and the booze flowed. This was our first time out on the water and we were impressed. The bay is a giant crescent moon, lined with green mountains. At night the lights shone brightly, and this being Independence Day, it was especially thronged with people who'd come downtown to see "El Grito". El Grito is when the town mayor reenacts the Mexican call to independence, "Viva Mexico", first proclaimed 199 years ago by Hidalgo (I think).

After a buffet of mole chicken, chicharron (pork rinds. Much better than it sounds), frijoles (refried beans) and more, we pulled in close to the Malecon, which is the paved beachside walkway where the main festivities were held. There we were able to watch the fireworks explode over our heads.

Dancing note: I have much to learn from the Latinos. Much. Especially our P.E. teacher, Joel.

Corrie and one of our new friends, Kim.