Isn’t it weird how the back half of December all just melts together with the first few days of the New Year? It’s kind of like this entire side of the planet goes on winter break…still, I did manage to keep busy for a few days somewhere in there, including playing a special role in ArtWalk.

Some kid’s birthday caused the established Wednesday event to be rescheduled for Thursday this week, and perhaps to give the atmosphere a post-holiday juice boost, Kim over at Arte Viviente (Morelos 800, Centro) was naïve kind enough to allow me behind the bar at the newest collective art gallery in town during the weekly tour of Vallarta’s highest-profile exhibition spaces.

There I was tasked with greeting guests–bigsmile, thumbs up–and pouring up the craft cocktails that had been prepared for the occasion. Obviously I had to test the batches continuously for bartender reasons, and mandarin mint mojitos were every bit as good as they sound.

A young visitor from Guadalajara agreed with my positive assessment of the evening special (as well as accepting my experienced chromatic guidance to choose yellow earrings over a sky blue pair based on a long list of factors we don’t have the word count for today).

In between rambles and refills I got to chat with a few of the featured artists, including Quetzal, whose floating Frida mural announces the presence of art onsite to all who pass into the city south along Calle Morelos. It was really a fun time, I hope they’ll have me back to do it again…might have to update those Top 10 Art Galleries for 2020 (which I love typing).

Grabbing one more party cup for the road, I breezed down the Malecón toward a delayed edition of #WeLovePV’s weekly meeting at Bar La Playa (Lázaro Cárdenas 179).

All attendees had been pretty well served by that point in the evening, but one of the orders of business we did manage to cover was getting the #WeLoveTacos enthusiasts’ experience back up and running after the holidays…been a while since my last shared scouting mission.

Friday, Dec 27, 2019

With the office almost empty I was surprised to see a pretty strong turnout for the weekly lunch over at Vallarta CoWork (101 Morelos, Centro).

Last lunch of last year went to a familiar favorite, La Tostaderia (Iturbide 236, Proyecto escola, Centro)…and so, feeling exploratory, I rolled the dice on their garlic bread torta instead of the established specialty for which the restaurant is named…spoiler alert: pretty much everything involving garlic bread is delicious.

Our little group–which, as always, you are invited to join every Friday around 1pm, check the page for details–took in some premium people watching from our seats in the shadow of the main church in the heart of town while marveling at the surprisingly affordable menu…name 5 other lunch place in Centro where you can have anything on the menu for under 100 pesos.

(Huh, that’s not a bad idea for a future article.)

Anyway, lunch was great–always is, I make sure of that–but this Friday afternoon also held a few notes of sadness.

You see, with the calendar set to change over, we did have a few departures from our collection of digital gypsies, and since I did my job as Chief Social Coordinator properly and we all got to like each other in the time we had, we decided a few brews at Mil Caguamas (Uruguay 162, 5 de Diciembre) represented the only proper sendoff for these former strangers.

From the second-floor street deck of the bar/wildlife conservation organization, we discussed the merits of the various beer choices (Victoria comes in 1.2L bottles and represents the best volume choice) and said our fond farewells with a short intermission for churros along the way…they’re just up the promenade inland past the Ley, and disappear in seconds.

Saturday, Dec 28, 2019

You ever just have the entire day get away from you? Happens to me all the time…spent most of the day working on the new book project (follow the rainbow if you wanna check it out) by the time I’d gotten through makeup and wardrobe for the day, our home star was rolling toward the Pacific horizon for another spectacular sunset on the Banderas Bay.

As it usually is, beach bar El Solar (Paraguay 1294, 5 de Diciembre) was an ideal setting for a front row seat to enjoy the show. The stars slowly unfurled over the waterfront, and the lively chatter and multilingual laughter that serve as the soundtrack to afternoons on Playa Camarones gave way to the steady drum and bass of Saturday night’s featured DJ…might have stayed on the scene longer, but we do actually have winter here(!) and it got a bit nippy out there.

Sunday, Dec 29, 2019

Recently I’ve had to sacrifice some of my precious, irreplaceable weekend time to productivity in advance of getting the new book out there, and so Sunday afternoon I found myself back down at CoWork polishing up some promotional material.

To my surprise I discovered a few more ambitious CoWorkers down at the space taking advantage of the 24 hour member access…after a couple of hours with my nose to the grindstone, I couldn’t resist googling on over to the totally legal Sunday afternoon sports streaming site, placing my laptop in a central area, and cracking open one of the office beers…hey, a party is wherever you start it.

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