VIVA PUERTA VALLARTA!

How gorgeous is this dinner setting at the CasaMagna Marriott, Puerta Vallarta?

How gorgeous is this dinner setting at the CasaMagna Marriott, Puerta Vallarta?

Every year, my sister's company offers a luxe vacation trip as a reward for exemplary performance.  Since my sister is a rockstar, she has been invited year after year and had the opportunity to visit all kinds of incredible places.  This year, she chose me as her plus one for four days in Puerto Vallarta.

We had not been on a trip together since we were teenagers, and let's just say we didn't exactly love traveling and/or sharing a room with each other back then.  

Now that we actually [really] like one another, we were excited to go on our first ever sister's trip!  We stocked up on necessities (Flash Tattoos and bikinis) and began counting down the days until we'd leave the snowy streets of NYC in search of Mexican sunshine.

We departed from NYC on a 7 am flight out of Newark.  While waking up at 4 am was not ideal, we had plenty of opportunity to sleep on the plane.  Our flight was not without excitement, however; there was a medical emergency in the seat in front of us that caused the flight attendants to ask if there were any medical professionals on board and my sister slept thorough the entire thing!  Thankfully, it turned out to be a curable case of "extreme motion sickness."

We were so excited when we arrived in Puerto Vallarta six hours later, and it was a short drive to our hotel from the airport.  After checking in to the CasaMagna Marriott, we were ready to step out to the pool and into all-inclusive heaven.  First order of business: a cerveza and cheese quesadilla (my meal of choice for four days).  

That evening, we met the rest of our group for a private dinner on the beach.  As you can see from the photo at right, the setting was absolutely breathtaking!  As the sun set, we enjoyed a welcome reception and three-course dinner of steak and seafood.

On the first full day, we had our only scheduled activity; a chartered catamaran would be taking us to an ideal location for snorkeling.  I was nervous about boarding the 50' boat (I have an issue with any situation I can't get out of when I want to), and the water was especially choppy.  My fears turned out to be unfounded, but that was not the case for everyone; sadly, a few of our fellow snorkelers did not find their sea legs and had a much different experience than we did.

After a 45-minute ride, we arrived to a location in the sea, marked by large rocks.  We boarded a small motor boat that took us to the stretch of water where we would snorkel.  When I was brave enough to attempt to breathe through my snorkel, I put my mask in the water and saw beautiful blue and yellow fish swimming below.  

Once we'd had our fill of the open ocean, we got back on the boat and prepared to head to shore.  We were served cocktails, chips and guacamole, and shrimp tacos for lunch, and the mood was much more relaxed than on the early-morning ride out.  We even saw a sea turtle and dolphins!

When we were not on a boat, we had so much fun lounging by the pool!  We took full advantage of the swim-up bar, as evidenced by the photos below.

After a long day spent sipping cocktails on a chaise, we'd head up to the room for a siesta and a shower.  On the final night, we ventured into the city of Puerta Vallarta with the group, where we visited bars that are undoubtedly bananas during Spring Break- one even had a giant swing over the bar!

I was honored that my sister chose me as her traveling companion.  I'm sure we'd both agree that sharing a hotel room is much more fun now that we're adults.  I can't wait until our next trip!