As promised…

More Puerto Vallarta!

As I mentioned in my earlier post on my trip to PV, my daughter and I were reliving a trip that we had taken there 12 years before. A highlight of that trip – and that I blogged about way back then, in my old poly-focused blog, A Poly Life – was a hike from Boca de Tomatlan to Playa Las Animas. You can read about our first time here: The hike from Boca to Las Animas, and see how much that whole area – and the trail – has changed. It was both a trip down memory lane for us and also a shock. Before, there had been no one on the trail – literally – and I think we only saw a couple kayakers on the water until we got to Las Animas. Once at the beach, there was one or maybe two restaurants/bars, a rickety pier going out into the water for the little water taxis/fishing boats, and that was it. Now there are multi-million dollar homes, yachts, fishing boats, cruise ship excursions to the secluded coves, several restaurants and bars, a new resort and so. many. people. It was still beautiful…but less idyllic. Truth be told, we were both a little heartbroken that our isolated hike in the wilds of Mexico had turned into another heavily-trafficked tourist destination. But. Such is progress.

As before, we got to Boca via public transportation. This being 2022 and the age of Uber and all, I almost decided to go that route, but using public transport was a key element to our previous trip, and we both wanted to reprise that. Of course this time we were masked.

Two buses later and we arrived in the sleepy little fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan, with its one convenience mart / bait shop, unpaved streets and wooden trail sign pointing across the river (over sandbars and through the river) to the hillside across from the town.

Wait, did I say “unpaved” and “sleepy”? Not even close. The town was hopping, there were paved streets and cobblestone walkways, and a new(er) suspension bridge had been built far back in the cove.

This was where we had crossed before, on foot.
The “sleepy” village is not so sleepy anymore.
The “trail” was cobbled and manicured until we got out of Boca.

Instead of dilapidated shacks clinging to the sides of the cliffs, with open fires to cook on and no electricity, the newly-cobbled trail went past tightly locked-up vacation homes and yacht launches, and the (still rickety) bridges crossed over tracks for trams used to ferry things from the water up the hillsides.

It was beautiful, but, with the memory of what it had been like before, somewhat surreal, and felt a little bit like we were trespassing. Still, much natural beauty surrounded us, and the trail once we got out of town was surprisingly technical – steep and rocky, challenging in places, clinging to the sides of cliffs before winding up into the jungle and back down. There were “Se Vende” signs all over though – I imagine if we venture here in another 12 years it will be all built up.

We had a bit of an unintended rock scramble when we went the wrong way at one point – the path clearly went to the left, but the Girl and I both remembered having gone to the right and down to the beach years before, then walking the beach aways in front of the (then) abandoned resort. I’m guessing they rerouted the trail when they renovated the resort – now it approaches from up above and behind, and the path takes you away from the resort itself, and again, it’s been cobbled, quite prettily. We had an unexpected find in our rock scramble tho – a Mother Mary statue high on the cliffs.

The isolated cove where we had seen the lone kayakers before was completely changed too – there was a party boat anchored at the mouth of the cove, the house above had been renovated and gated, people swarmed the beach and a construction crew was working on what would soon be a restaurant or bar just off the path.

Arriving at the seriously busy Las Animas beach, we promptly found a table and relaxed. Another happy accident was that we asked our waiter if any of the water taxis went back to Puerto Vallarta, instead of to Boca, where we’d have to wend our way back to PV by bus again. We were hot, tired and sweaty, and didn’t relish the thought of the hot bus ride back. He said yes, but actually what he did was charter us a private ride back across the water – a point we misunderstood until we asked him what time it would be leaving and he led us down to the water and showed us the boat and it’s driver. It was substantially higher than the boat to Boca would have been, but by that point we didn’t care – I was thrilled to be on the water anyway, so it was a bonus to me.

All in all, a lovely reprisal of our previous trip.

Having a well-deserved pina colada afterwards!

On the mend.

Wow that was a rough few days. But I woke up considerably better today, and then, to my delight, I had an unexpected text message: “You have a delivery at your front door.” Mystified, I opened it to find a bag of bagels on my porch, and the Hypnotist standing a safe distance away by his car. What a wonderful surprise! And even better to get to sit with him (me masked, him far away) on my back patio for a few minutes, until exhaustion overcame me and he ordered me back to bed. But not before he made me squirm and blush, commenting on my panty-less condition. What?! Would I do that? Come out in a short dress and no panties?? Even in my recovering-from-Covid state?

Why yes, yes I would.

Boo.

I thought my muscle aches this morning were from working out yesterday. I thought my overheat was hot flashes. By the time I recognized that my throat was sore and my body ached in places I hadn’t exercised, I’d already spent two hours with my parents, helping them with medical and computer stuff. By the time I was on the way home I was shivering with fever and everything hurt. Shivering in the bath with a 101 fever, I had no doubt what the home test would show. I had no idea it could come on so fast or so hard.

I’m sick and miserable and worried to death. The ‘rents just had Covid two months ago, so my sister hopes they have enough antibodies. My coworkers, who my department head insists all meet in person every Tuesday, me included, have been exposed. I’ve exposed my son and my sister, obviously Ad and possibly K. I’m heartsick and wracked with guilt, as though I’ve deliberately brought on the plague. 

I’ll try to write the next couple days, if I feel up to it. We’ll see. Right now I feel like shit and just want to be coddled and taken care of. Instead, quarantine, and hoping against hope I haven’t infected anyone else.

Puerto Vallarta 2.0

It’s hard to believe I’m sitting here enjoying the sun rise and the sound of the ocean for the first time since we arrived five days ago.

Dawn over Puerto Vallarta.

There are so many things I love about being by the ocean. I didn’t really get to experience them fully in our trip before yesterday. But we were only here Saturday through today – Saturday and today being travel days.

I came to Vallarta with my daughter, Ana, to celebrate her 30th birthday. We had come here 12 years before, for her 18th birthday, and we thought it would be fun to do it again. And it was.

The first day we took a horseback ride up into the mountains east of Puerto Vallarta. We were supposed to have gone up to a waterfall and pool to swim, but a tropical storm meant too much rain for it to be safe. Still, it was a lovely day. And a wonderful way to start our vacation.

Our horses at Rancho Capomo.

After the ride we made pico de gallo with our hosts and had tequila and beer and ate grilled steak on homemade tortillas before returning to our condo to take an afternoon swim and then play a mean game of cribbage in our Tournament of the Waves. (She won.)

We had the same hands!

The next day were more adventures, the first of which was obtaining breakfast. Ana found a likely looking place on Yelp. We decided to walk, since it was only about a mile away. Supposedly. When we finally arrived at our destination, dying of thirst and near starvation, we had walked 2.5 miles down the beach and up into the Zona Romantica and then beyond into an area that was a bit run down, before we realized the restaurant had moved to a new location. But when we got there? It was sooo worth the walk.

Later that day was another adventure that we had not done when we were here last: we did a “Tacos and Tequila” tour. It turned out to be a 4 hour walk through the Zona Romantica area again, learning about the culture built up around the agave plant, how to drink mescal, raicilla and tequila, and all about the components of each. I love it there, and if I come again will definitely stay there rather than where we are now. Don’t get me wrong, this place is wonderful, but my heart belongs in old PV. Or up along the coast, tucked into the jungle. But more on that later. First, take a look at some of the delectable dishes we tried on our food tour.

One of the more amusing stops was at a place where they made the “honey water” of the agave plant and then lightly fermented it into a kimchi-like beverage called “Pulque.” This is then further fermented and then mixed with juice. The place was called “Chinga Quedito,” which, lightly translated, means Fucks Me Fast – the beverage then becomes Pulque Fucks Me Fast. Our guide says in Spanish slang it doesn’t quite have the raw connotations that it does when translated to English, but still. I want a store called Fuck Me Fast.

Another amusement was the crunchy addition to our Palomas and shots of mescal at yet another place. Yum, chapulines (crickets)!

I also learned that I need yet another addition to my repertoire of “correct” glassware – Palomas must be served in clay mugs, which, I assure you, are now on my shopping list, along with copper mugs for Moscow Mules.

On the way home we wandered by and through the sculptures in the malecon, just as we had years before.

And that night, I went out to see the first sunset of our trip (the night before had been stormy) by myself – Ana had decided she had had more than enough of the world for one day.

More to come…

The Writing Task

I have been tasked with writing/posting here three times a week. It is not an onerous task (in fact it is one I am quite grateful for and delighted to be tasked with) but it does challenge me. I’m trying to remember how I used to write so much when I was with W. It seemed there were hours and hours a day to compose, edit and polish my posts.

I don’t see K quite as much as I did W – as he and Ad used to joke, they each had 50% custody of me – but the times that we do spend together are intensely focused. Oh, we go shopping, or do yardwork, or go bowling or play board games and go out to eat and spend time with Ad – all time that is punctuated by hours of play and sex and kink and just generally loving and touching on each other – but we haven’t yet built in the kind of side-by-side downtime that I used to have with W, time that used to be for writing (me) or working on his now-defunct website, Bondage Demons (him.) Also, to be fair, my 9-5 job was a LOT less demanding, so much of the pre-writing that typically happens before I actually polish and publish a blog post happened during work hours, and, generally, that’s just not possible in my current position.

BUT – I am loving having things I want to write about again! I am loving feeling free to write, to express myself, and not feeling afraid of censure, of garnering someone’s displeasure, of not having yet more holes punched in the boat of a relationship that was always on the verge of sinking. I lived so much of my life in that space in that relationship. How did I survive six years that way? Feeling my light dimmed, my self diminished every day; living on eggshells; desperately trying to please and knowing it was never enough. I am not talking about V or my relationship with him in particular. There was a lot of good in that (if frenetic at times.) It was the relationship structure that was so damaging.

Perhaps this is just me, finally healing from W’s loss. Perhaps those 6 years were so…so raw, so tormented…at times because I was still so broken. I was a gaping wound of exposed nerves and suffering that no amount of love, sex, alcohol, kink or pills could assuage. There were times in those years when I could feel myself beginning to open up again, beginning to struggle out of the chrysalis I had been bound in, but I was weakened by all that had come before, both in the aftermath of W’s death and within the relationship that came after, that my struggles to emerge were feeble, and soon abandoned.

And then there was the rage. So much rage.

I hadn’t known I had the capacity for that much anger, that much bitterness. I didn’t (don’t) know where it came from, or where it had been before. Yes, circumstances were, of course. But, looking back, I am still bewildered by the depth and breadth of it. So much pain, so much anger. I drowned in it and it consumed me: perhaps that relationship never stood a chance. In any case, my writing suffered, right along with my heart. I couldn’t find the words, and even when things were exciting and I wanted to share them, I was usually too traumatized and fearful of reprisal to do so.

And yet, now, here I am. It helps to have an appreciative audience. When I started writing my first blog, when Pieces of Jade was born – this space, ironically – I quite literally wrote for an audience of one: W. Or maybe two: the both of us. Blogging was as much a kink for me as photography was for him. He remembered with pictures, I remembered with words, and then when we got to combine the two: boom! We got to live and share the experiences several times over. Of course there was (and is) so much more to it than just remembering things. I used (and use) this space to memorialize, but also to understand my world, both the internal one and external one I inhabit. (I recently read a wonderful article in the Paris Review, “Why Write?” that spoke to a lot of that. Go on, read it, it’s worth the time.) I used it to communicate with W, and I use it now, if not to communicate with, at least to share, my thoughts with K. He seems interested in the thoughts in my head, and that makes me want to share them. He’s also shown an interest in helping me to create content, in the form of the Tree Hugger (and other) posts recently, and possibly in other ways in the future. Our blossoming relationship has certainly been fodder for a lot of my musings – both salacious and philisophical.

And now here we are, me sitting in front of a blank screen, wondering how I will find the time to write all the words that my life generates. Well, at least three days a week’s worth.

Somehow I think I might just figure it out.

Today’s Randomness

Anybody else leave their browser tabs open on their phone for weeks at a time and then amuse themselves by going back and seeing what caught your interest weeks ago? No? Only me? Well okay. That’s cool.

This is what I’ve been looking at the last few days…

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/gardening/reviews/jane-magnolia-trees

https://www.etsy.com/listing/198695904/kissing-circles-crochet-afghanblanket

https://www.adameve.com/adult-sex-toys/anal-sex-toys-ch-1002.aspx

https://www.flightstats.com/v2/flight-ontime-performance-rating/WN/2021/SJD

https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html

https://www.buzzfeed.com/tinasylvester123/which-winnie-the-pooh-character-matches-your-per-5hemqotkcv

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/interminable

https://fetlife.com/

https://www.womenonweb.org/en/donate

https://www.lulus.com/products/valhalla-forest-green-sequin-lace-up-maxi-dress/885562.html

https://semantle.com/

https://www.wikihow.com/French-Twist-Hair

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/banana-bread-recipe-1969572

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.garzablancaresort.com/blog/puerto-vallarta/the-best-hiking-trails/amp

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/yoga-for-runners.html

What randomness have you been up to lately?

Weekend Happenings

This sunburn, on top of these bruises…

These cane marks…

And this smile…

All happened this weekend.

I planned to do an actual write-up on the actual happenings, but my laptop died and I’m too lazy to go downstairs and get the cord – so I’m writing on my phone. Yay for phone apps, but it’s still a chore to compose on the small keyboard. Maybe I’ll follow up with more story? I never seem to have enough time to write it all down…