On our second day in Mexico, we decided to head into the town of Puerto Vallarta. Our hotel was about 20 minutes south of town so we knew it'd be a pretty easy trip. We headed over to the bus stop across the street, boarded and paid our 8 pesos each (roughly 65 cents), and held on tight. The road was winding and bumpy but we knew everything would be alright. We had Jesus watching over us (literally - there was a gold-glittered picture of Jesus behind the driver's seat). It was in the 90s that day, and the humidity coated our skin like slick baby oil, but the breeze from the bus windows kept things bearable as we bounced and rattled our way into town.
If I were being completely honest, I'd tell you the whole point of this trip into town was food. Not just any food, though. Not some grocery store standards or mystery meat street tacos. No, no, no. We were headed into town for lunch at Pipi's, home of the best shrimp tacos I've ever had the pleasure of stuffing in my mouth. But it was September. The slow season. And Pipi's didn't open until 3pm. Here we were, arriving in town for lunch two hours before our destination would be ready for us. So we decided to kill some time exploring town.
Other than Pipi's, we had nothing in particular on the agenda. After leaving the bus, The Husband said, "Wanna walk towards the water?" so we did. We saw beautifully colorful buildings and chatty street vendors hawking their wares. Dogs frolicked on the beach and cooled themselves in the waves while groups of school kids decked out in uniforms made their way home, all the learning done for the day. Since it was the off season and there weren't many tourists around, we also enjoyed an uncrowded stroll along the malecon and the riverfront shopping spots until it was almost time for Pipi's to open. But there was just one catch to our little adventure - we didn't exactly remember where Pipi's was and we somehow managed to lose our map of the town. Okay, so that's two little catches, I guess. But it was a simple problem with a simple solution. We just made friends with one of the local shopkeepers -and by "made friends" I mean bought a lot of candy from her shop- and she happily directed us to Pipi's.
"Two blocks that way, then turn left and go three blocks."
Off we went. When we arrived at the "turn left" spot, we realized we were turning onto a street called Calle Pipila, which kind of means "the Pipi street" if you think about it. We felt a little dumb for passing it earlier and not realizing what it was, but we knew then we were headed in the right direction. Sure enough, we spotted the colorful little flags up ahead signaling the restaurant's entrance. Just like our last visit, we were one of maybe two couples dining in the restaurant at the time. We sipped giant margaritas and inhaled the guacamole made fresh at our table with just the right amount of spiciness while we waited for our shrimp fajitas. The magical, delicious, we've-talked-about-these-since-we-first-had-them-three-years-ago shrimp fajitas. Of course, I failed to get a photo of them this time around because as soon as that plate touched our table, my hands were preoccupied with shrimp-y, bell pepper-y, corn tortilla-y goodness. Like manna from heaven.
As we left the restaurant, we noticed the sky was just a little bit darker than before and the air just a little thicker with humidity. It was the rainy season, after all, and the rain was surely headed our way (maybe it had a craving for Pipi's, too...). With hungry bellies satiated and adventurous hearts satisfied, we headed back to the bus stop, where Jesus was waiting to shelter us from the storm and guide us safely back to our hotel.