Recapping our trip to visiting family and exploring new cities in Mexico
Growing up, my family and I visited family in Mexico every two years. We would stay for a couple of weeks visiting my parent’s hometown and also traveled to the warm, sandy beaches for some relaxation. The last time I visited family was in 2008. I didn’t really have a desire to go again until I got married. Sharing stories of my childhood and where most of my extended family resides, made me want to show my husband a little bit more about my culture. So, with my parents and sister, we decided to visit family and make it a fun vacation by adventuring to new places.
FOUR DAY TRIP TO PUERTO VALLARTA
Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist destination. And though we didn’t explore the entire area, we definitely took advantage of all the activities the all-inclusive-beach front resort had to offer. We stayed at Barceló Hotel and couldn’t be more pleased with our stay. Located on the Mismaloya beach, Barceló hotel offers great views of the mountain rainforest and coastline. Our rooms were very spacious that included a living room and furnished balcony with stunning views. The hotel offered many amenities and it’s a perfect place for families as it takes off the pressure of planning certain things, such as where to eat.
With the all-inclusive-offer, we ate breakfast and lunch at their La Fuente Restaurant. It serves as a buffet with it’s menu and cuisine varying each day. My Dad was a little concerned there wouldn’t be any vegan items for my husband and I; however, there was more than plenty for us to eat.
For breakfast they offered oatmeal, toast with condiments, a variety of rolls, lots of fruit, cereal, granola, nuts and seeds, soy milk as their only non-dairy milk, cooked vegetables, beans, roasted potatoes, fresh juices, and of course coffee! So we never went hungry. They also had a snack area that was open from 11:00am to 5:00pm and you can come as many times as you wished. They had a build –your-own-taco station and also served appetizers and other fast foods from their a la carte menu. The taco station was one of our favorites because they make their own tortillas from scratch and prepare them to order. We had their bean tacos and added guacamole and salsa.
The customer service was stellar here! One of the servers at the buffet restaurant always greeted us by our first name each time we visited. Some servers spoke English so it made my husband a bit more comfortable to seek their service. But the highlight of our time here was the accommodations provided to my husband and I at their specialty Japanese restaurant, Kyoto.
Kyoto Sushi Bar perhaps had one of the best views of the bay and an intimate atmosphere. With its a la carte menu, we quickly discovered eating here would be a challenge. There seemed to be very little vegetarian items to potentially modify and be vegan-friendly. We asked our amiable server what items could be modified. After she discussed it with the Chef for a moment, our server came by with four different items they can accommodate us with. Let me just stop here for a moment and say that I have never experienced such great accommodations for our dietary pattern. My husband and I still talk about how amazing our meal and service was!
We were served a delicious salad with roasted veggies and tofu. It may sound super simple but had such bold flavors. We then got vegetable tempura with a sweet mango dipping sauce that was SO good! We were also served a vegetable roll, a fruit roll, and a sticky rice ball that was filled with vegetables. This meal was amazing!
The last day at Barceló we took a boat ride along the Mismaloya beach. It was so pretty and peaceful. We were also able to snorkel along the ecological reserve of Los Arcos which is a set of granite rock islands that is home to many aquatic life and birds. For only $10 US, this was sooo worth it!
ONE DAY TRIP TO GUANAJUATO
With some of my family, we took a one day trip to Guanajuato City in the state of Guanajuato. My husband and I loved the area!
It has so much history, charm, colonial era buildings, and numerous alleys and narrow streets. A couple of family members told us about the most famous alley, Callejón del Beso or Alley of the Kiss, which depicts a narrow alley with balconies so close together a couple can reach out and kiss.
What made this city interesting to experience were the narrow streets with long winding stairs along the mountainsides. Most homes were nestled in here which was fascinating to see. We climbed up a very long hill where we reached the monument of El Pípilan. This was a very steep hill and the hot weather did not make it any easier to climb but the panorama of the city was a wonderful reward!
If you’re interested in taking a visit to Mexico, I highly recommend adding Guanajuato to your must-see-list! Truly a charming and colorful city.