There were "day of the dead" statues and souvenirs everywhere - kind of cute and colorful! Nice restaurants with crazy decorations and colorful shops lined the streets. I can see why our fellow travelers proclaimed Puerto Vallarta as the best port on our cruise.
Near the central plaza is Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, but it is referred to as the cathedral. It is topped with a wrought-iron crown designed to resemble one worn by Empress Carlota of Mexico. The rumor (as I have not been able to verify any truth to it), was that Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor donated the crown as a gift to the church where they worshiped in the city that they loved. The thing Bob and I couldn't figure out is why they decorated the altar with so many tacky Christmas garlands and lights!
Mexican central plazas are always a festive place. The beautiful blue waters of the Pacific beckoned from beyond the iconic city archway. And artisans showcased their skills in the markets nearby.
Sun-worshipers on the beach are offered fresh grilled shrimp and a myriad of souvenirs, while the adrenaline seekers find their thrills in and above the water. Bob and I lay on the beach and watch . . . content with simply soaking in the tropical paradise of Puerto Vallarta.
Then, boarding the ship one last time, we cruise for a couple of days back toward San Diego. What a great anniversary/Christmas present! In addition to a few trinkets for the grand-kids and vanilla extract for our daughters, we obtained a few goodies for ourselves. Yes, charms and a mask . . . as well as a piece of artwork which was made entirely of tree bark and natural dyes. I had it framed when we returned to Korea.
The fierce cold wind seemed determined to keep us from reaching the bay, so when we finally did, we stopped near seaport Village to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. Seagulls dominated the sky as we looked out toward Coronado Island and Naval Base there.
An maze of small hallways and stairs, bunk rooms, control rooms, command centers, kitchens, dining rooms, laundry rooms, and engine rooms formed a massive network of services for those on board.
Leaving the aircraft carrier, we walked past other ships on display as part of the Maritime Museum, had a late lunch of delicious coconut shrimp and clam chowder at the seafood restaurant on the bay, and took a final look at our Holland America Westerdam cruise ship.
It was time to head to the airport and fly to Las Vegas where we would pick up a rental car and drive to Pine Valley, Utah for Christmas and another week of holiday fun with our family!