The fact that we are now already in the second week of December has me in utter disbelief. It is very exciting that Christmas is right around the corner! Winter has never been an easy season for me to manage, and I always seem to feel like I’d hardly scraped by. As though one more week of winter weather would literally cause me to crack, and break apart into dozens of frozen pieces. In other words, I’m an island girl with no tolerance to cold!

I was more than thrilled to get away from it all and spend a week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for the occasion of my fella’s cousin’s wedding! Unfortunately, our commute ended up being a 24-hour long haul. It started with Cody and I getting lost on the way to our hotel in Vancouver, ending up at YVR instead. After dragging my butt out of bed at 5am the next morning, I was definitely grateful to finally get my first cup of coffee two hours later! I don’t have much flying time under my belt yet, so you can see I had a heyday taking pictures of all the unfamiliar intriguing sights. Plus, landing at sunset gave us a fantastical view of the clouds pretending to be bright orange towers.

After landing in Puerto Vallarta, clearing security, collecting our suitcase, and doing a shot of tequila in the airport lobby, we stepped outside and were blasted with the hot and sticky tropical air. Soon we were checked into the Sunset Plaza, and it wasn’t long before I started losing track of my mojitos. It’s vacation, right?

Our first day there was a Sunday afternoon. I’d say that it was well spent lounging next to the pool, and collecting volleyball bruises. At sunset, we had the opportunity to help a family of newly hatched sea turtles waddle into the sea! Apparently, human intervention helps increases their chance of surviving by fourfold. To our disappointment, the next day was very wet. Fortunately we still made something of it, and headed down to the Isla Cuale Flea Market to take part in some haggling.

The feature event, and purpose of everybody gathering together in the Mexican paradise was Mike and Stevi’s wedding cerebration. As Mike was concerned about their wedding photos being bombed by an idler in a speedo, they chose to get married on the private island of Las Caletas. The celebrating started as we all boarded a catamaran, and in good style, they served us rum punch while taking us up to the island. After persistently raining all day, the sky started to clear moments before we docked, giving off brilliantly diffused light.

For the first time in years, I was attending a wedding as a guest! Within that, I took advantage of the rare occurrence, accepting drinks and snacks, and putting my camera down for a little bit. The reception highlighted fire dancers, a s’mores bar, and plenty of hammocks, not to mention anything else a fun night would need. It felt like no time had passed when the last song was called, and even sooner ended. On the boat back from the island, Mike arranged the ultimate gesture, having the boat to stop in a specific spot to surprise Stevi and all on-board with fireworks!

The next day,  a gang of us went on a zipline tour in the jungle! The route to the ranch took us through the shabby out-skirting villages of Puerto Vallarta; the scenery was both breathtaking and shocking. Many adventures were had throughout the rest of the week, including one of my favourite highlights: The Wildlife Connections Dolphin tour. Because the tour guides have been studying the dolphins living in Banderas Bay for the past 16 years, they had earned the dolphin’s trust, and in-turn these dolphins would actually swim right up to us. One of the coolest things I’ve now ever done is swim in the Pacific alongside 4 wild dolphins! I’m against captivity, so this moment felt like a dream could come true. What a way to conclude the perfect trip!

Anyhow, enough words, here are some pictures!