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North Banderas Beat - November 07, 2020

Passing the baton; new contributor Cindy Bouchard shares her love of Banderas Bay.

I’m delighted to introduce myself in this, my inaugural article for the Guadalajara Reporter.

pg21aMy stories will be centered around the happenings of Bucerias and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit and the folks who inspire me. This area is a seaside paradise! With support from my “cub reporter,” hubby Chris, we hope to entice our readers to visit the area we’re proud to call home.

We visited Bucerias in 2005 for a much-needed vacation, returning often as it became our place in the sun. Bucerias has a vibe that’s infectious and we were wooed by the food, music and art scene. Karen’s beachfront restaurant, Mark’s fine dining, cheap and delicious margaritas where the sand tickled our toes and poolside lazing. Suntanning by day, dancing by night had us wanting more, more, more.

In 2009 we decided to take a sabbatical and never left … ending up down the beach in La Cruz. This created the perfect compromise; quaint Mexican fishing village by day with the more active town, Bucerias, ten minutes away; the best of all worlds. Sharing my favorite things about living in Mexico begins with the people; village pioneers and other nationals as well as expats; there is a commonality that brings us together. We came for the warm weather but stayed because of the warm people.

Seasonal events are opening up with all protocols in place; mandatory masks, temperature taken, walk thru sanitizing mat, hand sanitizer provided.

• The Bucerias Art Walk returns every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. Start at the Bucerias Art Walk Plaza for free tequila tasting then move on to the other galleries.

• The La Cruz Sunday Artisans Market has begun on the Malecon, airy and distanced overlooking the bay, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

pg21bI’m most inspired by the way folks take up new hobbies, careers and causes when they move to small town Mexico. My hubby had a voice ready to sing, and our new friends encouraged him to perform. Small town Mexico is where artists and musicians come to live, re-creating themselves, learning with locals and expats whose talent I appreciate beyond words. Our area’s musical offerings include rock & roll, fun dance music, world music, flamenco and more. Night after night we’re blessed to dance and mingle.

Some upcoming musical events include

• Britannia Bar continues their Tuesday night open mic; come jam with The Turn or just enjoy the music. Open 6 to 11 p.m.

• The La Cruz Inn has the La Trez Cuartoz Trio; a mellow vibe open air on their rooftop; Tuesday, November 10, starting 5 p.m.

• The Marina Bar & Grill (Oso’s) has live music with The Remedy, Wednesday’s 7 to 9:30 p.m.

• The Treehouse Bar and Grill music venue; check their FB page for upcoming open-air concerts.

The juxtaposition of old and new, classy and common, developed and developing keeps me in awe. Our decision process of creating a new life here definitely included the world class marina that was newly built when we first arrived to the quaint fishing village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. With its gorgeous boardwalk and the fresh fish market we were sold, commencing the creation of our oceanfront boutique hotel. Chris was eager to help others navigate what we had gone through in buying, selling and renovating properties in Mexico and hence became a realtor, focused on our area of the bay.pg21c

What I especially love as I walk the cobblestone streets, is shopping in family-owned small stores — my daily communications with locals who appreciate my efforts to learn Spanish; they help me understand the best cut of meat, how to prepare the fish of the day or remind me to relax.

Some days I paddleboard enjoying the yachts in the marina. Other days I walk the beautiful boardwalk going into town via the beach. I pass the world-class sailing association, intimate restaurants, the colorful plaza, and the outdoor markets. The food options entice me; I enjoy tantalizing street tacos and a fusion of Mexican ingredients prepared by top-notch chefs, often with music in the background.

In general Banderas Bay is clean, with many thanks to the volunteers who give their time making it their mission to clean the community as well as educate about recycling and more. I love that! A friend recently said to me, “I get to live where people have saved up all year to spend one week.”

With great thanks to Sue Fornoff and Harold Sokolove for passing the baton. I trust I’ll carry it well. I look forward to hearing your comments and ideas!

Cindy Bouchard, an expat Canadian, runs a Boutique Hotel, Villa Amor del Mar, in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. With her realtor husband Chris, they are living and lovin’ in Vallarta–Nayarit. If you want more info on La Cruz or desire a very special vacation contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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