Nic is a far better writer than I, but I will kick things off.
Flying to Mexico is surprisingly easy. A couple 2.5-3 hour flights and you're there. With a little layover in the middle to break things up and stretch the legs that worked out better than expected. We had slightly more time to stretch with our legs than necessary since we ended up flying out on the backup-backup plane (hey, as long as it takes off and lands okay, then I'm cool). For our troubles we were allowed a complimentary beverage once we were in the air -- you see, with the economy the way it is, of course water in coach isn't free any more.
We landed in Puerto Vallarta and outside of it feeling like a steam bath with no exit and all the Mexicans, it didn't feel that different. That is until we stepped out of the airport. I found it quite shocking that even in a city like Vallarta there were lots of street vendors and busted up buildings. We then took a $20 bus ride north to Sayulita. Ok, ok, so pesos use the $ symbol too and that's actually only a $2 USD ride -- which is pretty dang cheap considering it was an hour long ride. Nic handled the finances which is good since later in Sayulita I tried to give a girl $40 USD (and later my entire wallet) for a latte. Though I have to say it was cool to have the ATM tell me that I could buy a house with the balance in my checking account.. if only it were USD.
On our ride down a native started speaking with us in English and was very friendly welcoming us to the country. He also clued us in that there was no sense getting used to the 2 hour time difference since crossing from Jalisco into Nayarit we were getting 1 hour back anyways. As the bus came out of the winding jungly rode and into Sayulita, all those National Geographic videos I watched started to pay dividends. This town met all my wonderfully gringo expectations of a small Mexican village. From the mariachi band playing in the stands of a small baseball stadium to the bus driver with nerves of steel driving through a dirt road (which is generous calling it that since it had more potholes than road). It was so narrow that cars were close on both sides as the bus violently shifted from right to left. And the dogs.. wow, there's a lot of dogs.. with nuts.. everywhere.
Our place is pretty dang nice.. We are on the top floor of a three unit house and it has lots of covered outdoor space (with the requisite hammock) and a view of the beach. I can definitely see why people take up residence here.
It's currently the tail end of the rainy season but its still beautiful when stormy. We spent some time of our first day just playing in the ocean while watching lighting strike around the cove. I have to say, the dynamics of the water motion and temperature are pretty unusual. Strong rip tides shuttle you around and usually in unwanted directions. To go with that, as you move about and the sets of waves come through the water around you shifts from a cool refreshing splash to feeling like the heron next to let go of a full bladder.
We've got a lot more to post later, but I'm late for my siesta and I'm going to need it for tonight's surfing adventures.