I thoroughly enjoy travel. As a young girl, my parents would take us on family vacations to get away. First were the camping trips to a cabin near a lake. We would swim, go fishing, take boat rides, and go tubing. In the evenings, we would sit down together for a meal and play cards late into the night, or at least past our typical bedtime. It was exhilarating!
As we grew older, our getaways turned from camping trips to beach vacations. Many of these beach trips took place in Florida: Miami, Madeira Beach, Clearwater, Key West. There were those one off years that we headed to San Diego, California and Deep Creek, Maryland and there's the year we took a cruise to the Bahamas.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a true family person. I adore my family and treasure our time together. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, family time does not take place as often as I'd like. My husband and I leapt a few states southwest, taking an opportunity to advance our careers. Both of our immediate families reside in or around the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area, with a few sprinkled in Baltimore, Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Needless to say, the trip is no longer just a quick drive. For this, our time together is even more precious. And to be perfectly honest, it has become increasingly more valued as a result of dire health circumstances involving my mom.
A few months ago, my Uncle, a devoted world traveler, devised a plan for our next family vacation. With my mom's prognosis offering no definitive time frame, a family vacation together was essential. And so, the notion of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico was born.
We landed in a small airport, which was to be expected. We collected our luggage and headed up the mountain to Hacienda de los Santos, Estate of the Saints. Unbeknownst to us, our soon to be vacation home could not have been called by a better name.
To put it bluntly, we spent a week in pure bliss. Every family vacation has it's gems, those cherished memories and beautiful qualities that stay with you. Puerto Vallarta... you outdid yourself!
With brilliantly decorated rooms and exquisite Spanish architecture, with each brick boveda ceiling, each tile floor and every carefully selected piece of furniture, Hacienda de los Santos was awe-inspiring. Cobalt blue and terracotta extended to every space. We were enveloped by a sense of the home's authenticity.
Each morning we awoke to a carefully prepared breakfast complete with fresh fruits, sweet homemade jams and yogurts, and toast. Then came some sort of fabulous egg concoction with crisp bacon and refried beans. I mention that this meal, and every meal, was carefully prepared because not only was it prepared on the premises in our kitchen by some absolutely fabulous people, but our meals were prepared precisely for us. With gluten and night shade allergies present, every meal had to be carefully created. And indeed they were. And I must say the shrimp tacos were my favorite.
We swam in the infinity pool overlooking the bay. We soaked in the hot tub. We snacked on hand made corn tortilla chips and fresh guacamole. We drank. We laughed. We ate and ate some more. We ventured into town and dipped our feet in the Pacific. We watched the rain drench the sand at the shoreline and enjoyed the cool mist blowing in from the showers. We explored the shops and treated ourselves to treasures. We played cards. We danced. We talked for hours and hugged and kissed and cherished each glorious moment under the sun and each twinkling light in the darkness.
I would certainly recommend Puerto Vallarta as a vacation destination. Even more so, I recommend Hacienda de los Santos. Most importantly, I encourage taking a trip with the people that mean most. No matter where you travel, the memories are made through the company you keep. So go forth and keep good company! Salud!