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When in doubt, do what the locals do

All week I have been feeling antsy about what to do while in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  I know there is ziplining and parasailing, snorkeling and swimming with dolphins, as well as taking a boat to a private beach.  But all of those sound so exhausting with two young kids.

So we decide to take in Puerto Vallarta for the eyes of a local.  After our time resting and relaxing, it is time to explore the Romantic Zone for dinner.   Upon arriving to the Romantic zone, I am in love with the boardwalk called the Malecon.  It is apparent, this is the place to be on a Saturday night.

We take our time exploring for awhile (and being hassled by the local vendors) before we settle on an out door restaurant that resembles a sports bar.  I have heard the street food is the best but to be aware so the sports bar wins presidence tonight. We have been craving seafood since we arrived so that is what we order.  While probably not the best place to order it from, the dinner is good.  They even have chicken strips for the kids so we go with something familiar.

Mexico (Marissa Jensen)

The rest of the evening we spend walking the length of the Malecon.  It is a beautiful night and I see why they call it the "Romantic Zone".  There are live performances every few blocks.  We take in a few and also make sure to watch the nightly fireworks up close. Again I am amazed at how well the kids are doing given the late our and all the walking.  The ice cream may have helped.

The following morning we set out to have brunch.  Upon a local recommendation we decide on the River Cafe.  It is again the place to be on a Sunday morning.  The restaurant is elegant and has an open air feel right on the Cuale River.  We can see and hear brids on the river banks.  There is also live music and I feel as though we are celebrating something special.  The restaurant serve the typical fare for breakfast.  The kids decide on french toast and the adults try out the buffet which has a variety of local food.  It is so far the best meal we have had while eating out and the coffee adds the last ingredient.

As we exit the restaurant, we realize we again are on the malecon so we decide to walk off breakfast. The scene is a little different than the night before.  Rather than the variety of people we see the night before, this morning has older couples and families and it is not nearly as crowded.

When we return to the condo we are eager to get our plans decided for the afternoon.  I try to convince our 5 year old that it would be super cool to swim with the dolphins (even though super touristy).  He is not having it.  In researching the dolphins I discover the Aqua Venturas water partk.  I read a few reviews and when my husband and son hear waterslides, they are all in. 

It takes about 40 minutes to drive there by taxi.  Our taxi driver is nice and chatty and I even try out my Spanish.  Finally we are at the water park.  Upon entering we all get excited about the fun filled afternoon head.  Again this is the place to spend your Sunday afternoon.  There are tons of families with kids from young to old.  There is also a birthday party as well.  It is after we settle in and get in the water that I start to feel a little uneasy.  The kiddie pool is quite cloudy.  I try to tell myself that is the case in most kiddie pools.  Our kids could care less.  They are on the little slides in no time.  And after my initial hesitations I too find it is going to be great.  The bigger slides would not be allowed in the US but they are so much fun.  We adults feel as giddy as the children as we are airborne on the slide and crash into the water.  It is fun to find out inner child and as I reflect on the afternoon I decide that isn't that way vaction should be.

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