We had a hard day yesterday, but it ended with THIS! So everything turned out ok.
Yesterday was our day to volunteer at the Manos De Amor Orphanage. There are two in Puerto Vallarta, but this was the one that responded to my inquiries, so is the one I planned on. We realized Saturday though, when we planned to drive by just to see where it was, that it was located in the far north part of the city called Bucerias. It was 50 minutes driving from downtown Puerto. This did not bode well for me and the kids, as I knew we would have to take buses to get there since Jeff would be working, and we only had one driver on our rental car. The company didn't want to add me over the phone, and were charging quite a bit extra to put me on the policy. I researched bus routes as well as I could on google, then used google earth to see where to walk when the last bus got us the closest.
As far as I could see, we needed to take three different buses, and then walk a kilometer or so at the end. I thought we could make it in a little over 2 hours. However that isn't what happened.
Our first bus started out just fine. We talked to the man sitting next to me, and played with the baby held by the couple in front of us. There was a man in the back playing his ukulele and singing, and he actually had a great voice. It was still coolish, and a breeze blew into the open bus windows.
We rode that bus to the end of its line, and got off and walked a couple of blocks to get the next bus which we caught without a hitch.
But this bus is where I messed up. We came up to the side of the store where I knew we should be dropped off, as it was the main interchange for all the buses going to the outlying areas. however, the bus didn't stop. I honestly thought it would turn around and come back to the other side of the store. Or I thought maybe I was mistaken, and they were going to another store named the same thing. The bus kept driving and driving into more and more rural areas. We passed lots of little houses with people living their lives more or less in peace, and that is where I got the little epiphany I told you about yesterday. But I was also getting a little panicked.
I was sure that any minute now the bus would make a turn and bring us back into the town and paved roads, and the highway. But then it stopped. End of the line. In the middle of nowhere --and I mean nowhere! I asked the bus driver if we could get another bus to Bucerias somewhere nearby, and he was surprised to see we were still on the bus. He told us that we would have to take another bus going back the exact same route we had just come by and get our stop on the way back. It was almost near the beginning of the ride there. So I broke the news to the kids, and we climbed down onto the muddy dirt road and back up onto another bus heading back.
Well we got to see lots of country! I told the kids that when we got down near the store that I would get them some lunch, and promised them air conditioning in whichever place we ate. Those buses had filled up with people standing in the aisle, and the breeze was non-existent. It was hot. We got back just fine, and had a nice little lunch in air conditioning. At that point it was far past not only the time when we were supposed to be at the orphanage, but past the time when we were supposed to leave. Kai asked if we could just get a bus home. I told him "it is two buses to get back, but hey! two buses are a bargain after the three it took us to get to where we are!" He and Ari giggled a little bit which was nice to see.
We made it back, after an almost scare where I didn't remember which stop to get off in the middle. The bus driver shooed us off in the right place luckily. Kindness of strangers!
We got home and I felt like an utter failure. This was the one thing I wanted to do to help down here and I blew it. Jeff felt bad for me, and I think that is why he suggested that tonight should be our night to try out Tony's hideaway. This is a restaurant literally across the street from us, and all day my phone says "at Tony's? leave a google review".
This is the menu at Tony's. They bring out this platter, and you pick what you want them to cook for you. The kids had never had lobster, and this was going to be a little cheaper than anywhere else, so we let them pick that. Jeff and I don't care for lobster (although I love crab!) so we just got the shrimp, which were huge.
I got the combo plate with garlic, coconut, and bacon wrapped. I couldn't finish it. These shrimpy guys are huge.
Kai really worked hard on his lobster, but preferred the shrimp too. Same with Ari. We will try the orphanage again on Wednesday when Jeff is taking the day off and can drive us. I don't think I can talk the kids onto the buses again for a little while!