My week started off beautifully with an invitation to dinner from Georgia and Gholi Darehshori, owners of Casa Karma. Steak Diane was served at their condo overlooking Banderas Bay from very high up. I have never been afraid of heights but looking down from their terrace provoked an instant, brief panic for sea level that my feet are so used to. Clinical psychologist Doctor Gavin Jones was guest of honor. Originally from Wales, Gavin came to Vallarta (via Thailand and Guadalajara) in search of properties and facilities to offer a three-month wellness clinic next summer. Casa Karma chose to be the location! The conversation flowed from Gholi’s boyhood as a nomad in Iran until he was sixteen to Gavin’s vacation-to-vocation working in an exclusive rehabilitation center in Thailand. Fascinating discussions, great food, a pre-ordered glorious sunset, and new friendships cemented as night fell over Puerto Vallarta.
I have nearly finished delivering certificates to winners of The Tribune’s Reader’s Choice Awards. Last week had me in Plaza Marina with old friend Zoli Hargitai at Bio Spa. The “spa” is undoubtedly a misnomer; it is a clinic of the highest order of alternative medicine in Mexico with five doctors and five nurses working around the clock, creating miracles and saving lives. You can have your hair and nails done elsewhere in the mall at Plaza Marina. Later that day, I walked over to see Guillermo Wulff at Barrio Bistro, who won “Best New Restaurant.” We had a good chuckle about that as the Bistro has been open for four years. This also proves that folks who eat, sleep and breathe in Colonia Emiliano Zapata are stepping out of their comfort zone and (ad)venturing all the way to Versalles. And what a treat dining is at Barrio Bistro.
Ropero de Jovany has been at their new locale for one whole week today! Congrats to new owner Cristobal and Lovely Lila who worked so hard to move everything over a weekend. The new space (two blocks from my house) feels airier and more spacious. Find Ropero de Jovany at Guerrero and Hidalgo in Centro; the A/C is on; just follow the music.
I have lived in Vallarta for 28 years; in a million-dollar-plus penthouse and houses not worth more than a buck Canadian. They have all shared one major thing: they have leaked like sieves in the rain. So, why is it I have searched out all these wannabe boats to live in? Such serious shelter issues!? (A shrink would have a ball with this one; wait! Doctor Gavin? Help!). And, that includes my current abode. Until I hired Hector from “Grupo Repara.” You may know Hector—he is married to Arancha, owner of Babelbar on the Isla Cuale—and has been known to work like a maniac helping during one of their altruistic functions.
Hector came by, measured, took photos, was back within 48 hours with a lean, strong young man who carefully and quickly sealed a seam connecting my neighbor’s house to mine. We have had four decent storms so far this summer that would have kept me up half the night mopping and wringing out towels. And now, when it starts to rain I continue doing what I am doing, although I do keep glancing at that corner of my house that ran black and green with slime for the last four years. It remains smugly white and clean. A giant shout-out to Hector: he achieved what many have attempted and failed for 28 years; where have you been all my Mexican life? For contact info, send me an email.
Coming up soon at Act II, Tequila Rush reprising their Led Zeppelin Tribute, Thursday, August 1 at 8 pm. If you want to know more go into theTribune archives March 21 to 27, 2019, and look for “Kashmir,” a review I wrote after the first LZ Tribute at the Roxy.
Babelbar will host the 4th Annual Cheryl’s Shoebox Fundraiser August 4, the most entertaining event of the entire summer. Good food, live music and every expat in town will be there. Some goofy games are played competing for the grand prize of a wildly tarted-up boot. More next week on who Cheryl was and why there is a Shoebox waiting for you to fill.
Be gentle with one another in the heat; show kindness when you really don’t feel like it. Come to the Marsol Market every Friday for hugs and shopping and always love the one you’re with, From Here.