How our Truck Got A Mexican Tattoo

It was April Fools’ Day, but this new (and unwanted) addition to our truck was no joke.

Some of the done.

Some of the damage done.

Just one of the dangers of driving in Mexico

We were making our way up the Costalegre from the Las Alamandas hotel to our next destination, Hotelito Desoncido. After turning off the highway we weren’t sure if we were on the correct road, so we decided to pull off to consult the map.

We’d seen the taxi behind us approaching fast, but we figured he would see our brake lights and left turn signal. He did see them. But one of the conundrums of driving in Mexico is that a left turn signal can mean “Pass me” or  “Look out, I’m turning.”

The taxi driver opted for the first definition and as we started our left hand turn onto the side road the taxi was already trying to pass. Horn blaring and brakes screeching he tried to stop. Luckily, by the time he hit us we were almost off the road he had slowed considerably.

End result? Not as bad as it could have been. Everyone was fine and the truck is fully operable except for the rear door that doesn’t really close well anymore. And now we have, as they say, our first Mexican tattoo.

 

This is the genius (aka Mexican taxi driver) who thought it was wise to pass on a corner (no passing zone) while my turn indicator was on.

This is the taxi driver who thought it was wise to try to pass us on a corner over a solid no-passing dividing line while our left turn indicator was on.

We had invested in decent insurance. The only problem was that we had to wait for four hours on the side of the road for our agent from GNP insurance to travel from Puerto Vallarta to the scene of the accident. Along with the police, the taxi driver, and most of a nearby village we sat on a dusty road in the heat waiting.

In the end, after some negotiating, we had a choice to make: let the authorities impound our truck and hang around this tiny village for a few weeks waiting for a local judge to assign blame (though the taxi driver was clearly wrong). Or suck up our US$500 deductible and get the truck fixed at our leisure at the repair shop of our choosing (even back in the states if we want). Guess which option we chose…

We eventually got to Hotelito Desconocido. Read our full review of Hotel Desconocido, one of the most eclectic hotels in Mexico.

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Perfectly Romantic – Costalegre, Mexico

The fantastic Las Alamandas Hotel, part of the Mexico Boutique Hotels group, does romance really, really well. 

Our villa at the Las Alamandas resort

Our romantic (and huge) villa at Las Alamandas.

Inside the romantic world of Las Almandras

Las Alamandas is on 1,500 acres (600 hectares) and has four private beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. There are only six villas and a maximum of 30 guests so the service is very personal and the vibe is very exclusive.

Our villa, Casa del Sol (aka the Presidential Suite), has been home to some real presidents and a number of Hollywood celebs have. Our oceanfront villa had 2,500 square feet (230 square meters) including two bedrooms. It was almost four times the size of our old apartment in New York City.

Karen horseback riding on the beautiful Soledad beach, just 1 of 4 private beaches at Las Alamandas.

Karen horseback riding on the beautiful Soledad Beach, one of four private beaches at Las Alamandas.

The beach in front of Las Alamandas’ villas. Merely 1 of the 4 private beaches, a whopping 5 miles of beach, on the vast 1,500 acre property.

The beach in front of the villas at Las Alamandas is part of  five miles of private beach on the vast and pristine 1,500 acre property.

Read our full review of Las Alamandas

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How to Get Invited to a Mexican Wedding – Costalegre, Mexico

After our stay at El Tamarindo Resort, our next stop was El Careyes Beach Resort, also a member of the Mexico Boutique Hotels group, which is a bit more conventional and much more affordable than the exclusive El Tamarindo. Bonus: we managed to get invited to our first Mexican wedding!

Our oceanfront room at El Careyes Resort had a Jacuzzi in the living room.

Our oceanfront room at El Careyes Beach Resort had a jacuzzi in the living room.

Crashing (sort of) our first Mexican wedding

All of the guests in the hotel, except for us, were there as part of a wedding party celebrating the marriage of a girl from Guadalajara and a boy from Switzerland. Worried that we would be troubled by the music they planned to play around the pool until 4am, they simply (and graciously) invited us to the wedding – our first Mexican wedding!

We had a great time. The funniest part was the playlist for the first few songs after the bride and groom’s first dance which included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and  Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” with everyone singing along with the lyrics perfectly.

Sunset at El Careyes Resort.

Sunset at El Careyes Beach Resort.

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Where to Hide Like a Celebrity – Costalegre, Mexico

WOW is a fitting reaction when you first lay eyes on the exclusive El Tamarindo Resort in regard to the beauty of the property, the price tag of the accommodations, and the star power of its celebrity guest list.

Our wonderful casita at the El Tamarindo Resort.

Our wonderful casita at the El Tamarindo Resort in Mexico.

Inside El Tamarindo Resort on the Costalegre in Mexico

If you really want to splurge there are stunning four bedroom residences where French President Sarkozy once slept and subsequently created a bit of an stir back home for the reported US$63,000 price tag for a weekend.

We stayed in a more modest but still-very-over-the-top casita with stunning open-air architecture including sliding walls that let us completely open up our room onto our private patio and personal plunge pool. The total living area of the casitas is 1,500 square feet (140 square meters), twice the size of our old apartment in New York City.

The sliding casitas walls at El Tamarindo allow you to completley open up the room to your giant palapa covered patio and personal plunge pool. The total living area of the casitas is 1,500 sq feet, twice the size of our old NYC apartment.

The sliding walls and private patio of our casita at El Tamarindo.

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