PUERTO VALLARTA - Mexico, yep, again, lucky Hey, Spike!
Here we are, right on the Pacific Ocean wave-slapped beachfront at the Sheraton Buganvilias Hotel and Vacation Club, where everything is muy bueno.
And like before we are with Don and Arlette Butler of Grants Pass, Ore., and Clayton, Calif., and we enjoyed a week's visit with their daughter, Marcelle Hull, also of the southwestern Rogue River community.
Marcelle used to live in Summit County. She and her mother are Miss Mary's cousins.
Adding to the social scene again are Margo Mendoza and Barbara Wise, both of Pacifica, Calif., where they are retired Bank of America officers.
We also enjoyed meeting Darlene and Cliff Koski of Bartlesville, Okla., and vintage aircraft collector Vance Rule, still flying at 87, another Bartlesville resident.
Always making our Sheraton BV stay enjoyable and suave were Patricia Delgado and Guillermo Lopez, and Dollar Rental rep Felix Torbidio Robles.
While here we also met East Vail long-timers Joe and Lauraine Skolasinski, who have been escaping South of the Border for many years. Coming with them this time was friend Josh Sutner, a veteran ski tuner at Mill Creek Sports.
Lauraine's family - the Samuelsons - owned the Glenwood Springs Post a long time ago, she noted. Her sister is Chris Ferguson of Colorado Springs. Chris and husband, Jack, have a home in Wildernest and sail "Posh" on Lake Dillon.
"Back to Colorado - with ice and snow driving home," Lauraine reports to us. "Just a 70-degree temp change."
Coming down from San Miguel Allende, a colonial city in the center of Mexico, were longtime friends Deb and Chip DuPont, Austin, Texas-based artists who have visited The Summit many times since their first appearance at the Michael Martin Murphey West Fest at Copper Mountain in 1988.
They have joined thousands of Americans and Canadians enjoying a less-harried pace of life in San Miguel Allende, where the 6,500-foot altitude keeps things comfortable year-round.
Traveling with Chip and Deb are their amigos from SMA, all attracted to an oceanside vacation:
Walter and Liz Lewis, formerly of Seattle; Rick and Barb Gottas, Seattle; George Randol, Boca Raton, Fla.; Sue Griffin of Tulsa; George and Ann Mauze, Bay Head, N.J.; and Barbara and Joe Flynn.
We all joined together for a day's sail, arranged through Alberto Arroyo's Bloodhound Charters, to Yelapa, a small village in a protected bay, where access is by boat. The beach is lined with palapa restaurants. About half the homes are owned by Americanos, Romero's waiter Hector says.
It was back in the '60s and '70s, when Anglos found the verdant river mouth very appealing - it still is today. Electric lines just came over the mountain range about two years ago.
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor brought Hollywood interest to Puerto Vallarta when "Night of the Iguana" was filmed here.
Naturally, those folks found Yelapa and the river falls, a short walk upward.
It was aboard the "Nirvana," a 1952 64-foot Aiden designed aft-cabin cutter, modernized a few years back, we motored and sailed out of the Puerto Vallarta marina and into the vast Banderas Bay, with our goal of Yelapa, about two hours away to the south.
The lovely yacht is based in Newport, Calif., and privately owned but chartered, captained by Capt. Steve Link, along with wife, Maria.
The first mate on our trip was a young Capt. Gabriel, who has his own charter fishing panga and was a tournament winner recently.
Along the way over we caught a couple of skipjacks, and the same on the way back.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army
veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to firstname.lastname@example.org.