10 July – Up early the next morning to help continue the preparations for “The BBQ”. There was soooo much food. All of it good, definitely over-catered – caused by a combination of Italian and Sri Lankan backgrounds. Did I mention how good the food was? It was great too catch up with everyone on their home soil. And you know what else – not one person took a photo all day! Go figure! Helped the mammoth clean up job – I hit the bed at about midnight the cleaning was almost done. Got up the next morning to a spotless house. Amazing!
11 July – Head out to Fort Worth/Cow Town Stockyards, via The Cheesecake Factory (for lunch) Got there in time to see the cows being driven down the street and saw the Wild West show. Unfortunately it was too late to go through the shops – some great looking cowboy shops with Boots. Dinner that night at J C Garcias complete with Mexican serenading and audience participation. Great Margaritas and loads of food. Drove home via the Dallas Cowboys Stadium & the Texas Rangers Baseball stadium, through downtown Dallas.
Mexico – Puerto Vallarta
12 July – Early start this morning for a 10.00am flight, thankfully one of the kids was so excited by a trip to the airport that she set her alarm and had the presence of mind to wake us all up as we would have been late the way we were sleeping. An uneventful flight (thankfully) to Puerto Vallarta. The car representative was also the agent for one of the local tour groups so got our tours arranged within 2 hours of getting of the plane. Had a big sleep in the afternoon. Mentioning this because Howard came into the room repeatedly and I never woke. Normally any door opening wakes me, especially one that buzzes when you open it with a key.
13 July – Moped around a bit on Tuesday after a late start. Hopped on the local bus and went looking for sandals for me as the ones I had been wearing where chopping up my feet. Guess what – Mexicans are small. I finally found 1 pair of sandals that actually fitted me (out of 20 pair) so job done. Also saw some spectacular outdoor light fittings which I will probably not buy. They were quoting crazy prices for the fittings and the cost of having them sent home.
14 July – Headed out on the Sierra Madre tour, interesting but disappointing in turn. They did exactly what they promised and showed us rural Mexico but that was the problem – they showed us. We never got off the bus. Am I sounding calm about this? Had I actually had a camera working I would have been near hysterical, but as I am down to taking the camera out of the underwater casing to take photos it’s not as bad as it would have been if I had a decent camera with me. We did get off at a rain forest – humid & hot, kind of you’ve seen one rainforest you’ve seen them all. The guide couldn’t find any wild life for us – here’s a hint – stop yelling at your mates you may be more successful. Also the guide got progressively more drunk as the afternoon wore on. And it was an open sided bus so now I am burnt – wind burn I think but burnt none the less.
15 July – Diving today. There was barely a ripple on the ocean today, didn’t even feel sea sick. Had a good dive, not the most challenging or interesting but that was ok as I didn’t know my dive buddy anyway. Water was about 80F – so nice and warm could have done it without a wet suit but everyone else was wearing one so I followed suit like a sheep. Saw a big green eel and a trumpet fish in the distance. Lots of other small fish, and nudie branches. Also saw 2 turtles in the distance when we were heading back in the boat. Too far away for a photo, Did a bit of shopping on the way back from the dive. Will mooch around the shops some more tomorrow before massage & facials.