Suppose you wanted to live in a tropical environment for a couple of months and get away from the cold, snow, and ice of the Canadian winter. Suppose you loved all the flora and fauna of our wonderful world, and you liked to camp, or at least live in the natural world as much as possible, given that you and your partner are over 70. Suppose you loved to problem solve. Say you needed something, but it wasn’t conveniently available, and that excited you. Well …BeachBabyBob and his wife Sue are just those people.
Next Stop – Bucerias, Mexico!
They chose Bucerias Mexico for February and March, because it was only 5 hours direct flight from Toronto, and they didn’t even have to stop in the USA. (There are too many guns in the USA for them). They also liked the idea of the west side of Mexico, especially the Puerto Vallarta area, since a close friend of theirs highly recommended that location. There seems like fewer people on the Pacific than on the Gulf coast.
Taking The Bus Vs. Taxi
After landing at the PV (Puerto Vallarta) airport, instead of paying $25 USD for a taxi to take them 30 minutes north along the ocean highway to the town of Bucerias, they would walk over the bridge to cross highway 200, which is right beside the airport, and pay about $2 USD (20 pesos) to take the bus. With their luggage, they would board the city bus, making sure the word Bucerias is painted on the window, and enjoy the “real” Mexico. There might even be entertainment on the bus.
Ana Ruth’s Hotel
The Ana Ruth’s Hotel is on Calle Espinoza in Bucerias centro, beside the biggest parota tree in the area, and steps from the Pacific (Banderas Bay). Bob and his wife Sue, rent the rooftop. Their apartment is 70 steps up and they wouldn’t ride the elevator, even if there was one. They have a 360 degree view of the town and ocean, and they have the largest gas stove in the building. The stove is even larger than the one they have at their home near Toronto.
This small Mexican hotel has a wonderful restaurant on the ground floor called, “Los Pericos”. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and not only is the food wonderful but it is also very affordable. The fresh Mahi Mahi fish dinner is Bob’s favourite! Bob has been known to sip a cup of coffee now and then.
Bob and Sue only eat in restaurants on special occasions. Most of the time, they are shopping for fresh fruits and veggies and sometimes chicken and fish, and then preparing the food in the apartment aka The Tree House. They love to eat healthy. They love to choose the food carefully, prepare the meals, and take their time tasting it. Believe it or not, they even enjoy the cleanup process. But, what would they eat?
Breakfast in the tree house
The eggs are organic and free range. Mexican people love their kids and their animals, even their chickens. Two poached eggs for sure! Protein in the morning is a good idea.
Avocados are Mexico’s “green gold”. Over 45% of the world’s avocados are grown in Mexico. More than 50% of Americans eat Mexican avocados thanks to NAFTA. What will President Trump do about that?
Avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid, which you might want to eat daily to keep your heart pumping for a long time. Bob and Sue share a large fresh avocado and squeeze fresh lime juice on it to bring out the zing flavour.
Every market here has multitudes of Roma tomatoes. According to the Mayo Clinic in the USA, tomatoes are one of the top ten healthiest foods you can eat. Bob and Sue always sliced a couple, shake some lemon pepper over them, and add them to the plate.
You might find a slice of home baked sourdough bread on the breakfast plate, with a pinch of blue cheese crumbled over the buttered bread, just to add a different texture to the best meal of the day.
Note: This breakfast happens maybe 3 times a week. Bob and Sue love their fresh oatmeal with natural yogurt purchased from the Bucerias lady at the Sunday market in the dry riverbed in the centre of town; the fresh blueberries and strawberries purchased from the fruit man who drives by their hotel every day around noon; the almond milk they buy at the Mega grocery store down highway 200 about 2 miles; the local miel or honey that they obtain from the La Cruz marina market on Sundays just around Banderas Bay from Bucerias, a few miles by local bus.
La Cruz Sunday Marina Market
Every Sunday, Bob and Sue take a short bus ride north on highway 200, with many other gringos, to a very busy, high-end market. The prices are expensive, but the food is very special. It isn’t better than the Mexican market foods in the area, but you might find something you would find back in Canada or the US, that the locals wouldn’t have here.
For example, Lolita and her son, can be found at the La Cruz market with a small table, selling the most delicious carrot cake on the planet! The whole cake will cost $300 pesos and it is worth it for sure.
Bob and Sue can make a carrot cake from scratch, and they have researched many recipes and have produced a delicious cake, but Lolita’s cake is just a step better. Now, Lolita does sell other goodies, but by 11 a.m., she will be sold out. People have discovered her cooking talents over the years, so arrive early. Maybe if BBBob had his Bosch food processor/cake mixer from home with him in Mexico, he could challenge Lolita to a cake off!
Take your camera with you because you won’t believe the food at the marina market, especially out on the point. It is spicy! It is mouth-watering! It is sweet! It is refreshing! It is American! It is Mexican! There are lots of choices and the helpings are big.
Since this market is at the marina, there are fresh fish vendors there too! If you like Mahi Mahi, they have it. If you like Red Snapper, they have it! You might want to try the Surgeon fish! … the best of the school!!!
Yes, there is live entertainment and even a yoga class sometimes. The ambiance and professionalism is at its best!!! Mainly gringos — not that many Mexicans.
Bucerias Sunday Market in the Dry River Bed
Even if BeachBabyBob needs fresh fish and a carrot cake from the La Cruz Sunday market, he and his wife always make time to shop a the Mexican market in the dry river bed in Bucerias centro.
This market goes on forever, up and down many streets, and they literally sell everything including the kitchen sink. Bob and Sue never leave this market without …
avocados – low in saturated fats
tomatoes – Roma’s are common in Mexico. They have more flesh and less juice.
garlic – helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the anti-oxidant properties of allicin
celery – excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6.
onion – The phytochemicals in onions along with their vitamin C help improve immunity.
papaya – Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that aids digestion.
broccoli – made the top 10 best foods by Mayo Clinic in Boston
cucumber – easy on the digestive system
organic natural yogurt – less sugar and homemade
mantequilla (butter) – margarine is not good for you
alphonso mangos – more flavour, more aroma, more taste
new little potatoes – Boil the potatoes for 5 mins. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion for 8 mins. Add the garlic and spices, then fry for 2 mins more.
parsley/cilantro – Cilantro is an herb commonly found in Mexican dishes and salsas, and is sometimes referred to as Mexican parsley.
Local Bucerias Fruit and Vegetable Markets
There is another large market on Wednesdays on Calle Lazaro Cardenas. But, BeachBabyBob and Sue never miss the Sunday markets and during the week, they shop at their favourite neighbourhood market. There are many neighbourhood fruit and veggie markets in Bucerias, and all of their produce is great. BBBob and Sue have found one that has lots of variety, and the people who work there are very nice and helpful. This would be the place where they would purchase the avocados for sure and the fresh eggs. Choosing an avocado is a skill. If they are too soft, avoid them because the inside will be too brown and not too tasty. If they are hard, be prepared to wait a day or two before they are ready to eat. Don’t store them in the fridge. Enjoy!
Toscana Mia Fine Dining
Toscana Mia is an authentic Italian restaurant located in Bucerias centro on Calle Hidalgo 25 Centro. They open at 2:30 p.m. daily. Their phone # is 01 329 298 1525. Make a reservation because the food is that great! You might have to wait a day or a week but it is worth every mouthful. BeachBabyBob, his wife, and close friends might visit Toscana Mia once a month. Here is their only complaint … the room is a little small and the tables are too. Otherwise – you are in for some fabulous food. 10/10