Being paid in experiences is fun–in case I haven’t made it obvious–but as of this writing, most services and establishments do not regularly accept experiences as a form of payment.
This lifestyle scouting gig doesn’t afford me all that much in disposable income, and that means I have plenty of experience taking the 300 peso challenge and passing with flying colors…in fact, it’s more a way of life for me right now. This recent Wednesday agenda represents just one of the ways it is more than possible to squeeze a fun and productive day out of a limited budget.
I began my day as a professional by rolling out of bed at 10am or so after a long Tuesday night spent battling for digital supremacy down at the brewery and keeping hydrated along the way.
A steep stroll down the hill in 5 de Deciembre, where I keep all my stuff, led directly to one of #WeLovePV’s Top 10 Tacos of 2019, the restorative birria tacos turned out by Alex on Calle Allende. An order of 3 (two crispy dorados, one chewy blandito) took 45 pesos off the day’s limit of 300p, and after taking them all down with a hot cup of consomme I was fully fueled up for a day’s work.
Strolls by the sea are absolutely free, and it’s an amenity I take full advantage of in my daily travels. Along the way, the tropical postcard that we call home reveals its’ splendor in full effect, making it well worth enduring the advances of vendors and hawkers all making their best efforts to convince me to abandon the principles of my noble challenge on this day.
I resist and persist.
After a few hours of productivity down at the CoWork space–yes, I do things besides drink and decorate myself–it was about time for lunch.
Fortunately, just a few blocks over the Rio Cuale bridge awaited comida corrida at Figueroa’s Burritos. The menu changes daily—card subject to change, all that–but the standard deal is a main course (pork enchiladas this time around, nice) and a bowl of soup plus a big swig of agua fresca for 65p, bringing me to a tally of 110 pesos spent by about 4pm.
We discussed these proceedings in the debut of “Minutes in Motion”, so check that out if you haven’t, but the bottom line is the route for this weekly event exposes art lovers to 20 or more of downtown Vallarta’s highest-profile galleries and their divergent visions in a single night.
ArtWalk and all of its’ associated welcome beverages are free, so the business trip also took a nice chunk out of my daily drinking expenses. Gotta not spend money to make money.
Night had firmly fallen by this time, and that meant the streets at the heart of town had now resumed their evening form. The nightly fireworks display fired from a pirate ship off the shores of the city marked the strike of 9:30pm. I know, I know, it happens every day…but yaknow, I’m never unhappy to see it, plus it’s the most reliable watch in my life.
In any event, the end of the ArtWalk route at Calle Juarez’ Sergio Bustamante jewelry gallery was a natural entryway to primetime people watching on the Malecón, and so I crossed Plaza de Armas toward the sea in hopes of catching the cool breath of the moonlit Pacific in my hair on my way to dinner.
I got a little more than I bargained for when I stumbled across a little free entertainment at Los Arcos Amphitheater. The juggler on stage enthralled the assembled families and passerby with his dynamic dexterity, keeping a colorful cascade of objects aloft while backed by lively musical accompaniment. Eventually the performer took his bow (and a few tips from the audience, make it 130 pesos) and I breezed south down the Malecón toward Sonorita for their delicious dishes.
Rolling up at the restaurant, I ordered my usual from a seat facing the street (and followed Charlotte’s tip to ask for the little bowl of beans, free and tasty). After a few minutes, my 70 peso chicken al-pastor quesadilla and 30 peso Corona arrived at my table to bring my daily total to 230 pesos and I watched the nightlife bustle by as I unwound from the week behind me, took copious purple notes on the task at hand, and prepared for a long weekend ahead.
I even had enough left over to leave an appropriate tip at Sonorita (20p) and get myself a ride back up to Cinco (50p)…no way I’m climbing that hill after the day I’ve had.