Fun Things to do in Puerto Vallarta With Reggie and Donna

An interview with listeners Reggie and Donna Belew From Tennessee who tell us about their vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Also Puerto Vallarta Businesses Step Up to Support Mexico Earthquake Relief. Also more about Tile Park Puerto Vallarta.

Hello fellow travelers, welcome this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel show. I am your host Barry Kessler and I am just so happy to be introducing you to my favorite vacation destination, and maybe even yours, Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

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That music you were just listing to is performed by Alberto Perez, the owner of the La Palapa Group of Restaurants. Those are La Palapa, The El

La Palapa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Dorado Restaurant, and at night for dinner The El Dorado transforms into the ever so romantic Vista Grill with those dramatic views of the Los Muertos Pier all lit up at night in beautiful colors. Of course, at La Palapa you can enjoy that same view of the Los Muertos Pier all day long for breakfast, lunch or dinner, seated with your toes in the sand right at the water’s edge. It’s so romantic, it’s so Puerto Vallarta my friends!

Today we will be talking with two great guests, listeners Reggie and Donna Belew from Tennessee, but before we get to them let’s see what’s happening in Puerto Vallarta this week, the 26th of September, 2017.

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Last Tuesday morning, as I was recording the last episode of the podcast, Mexico was hit with its second major earthquake in twelve days. An earthquake with a magnitude estimated to be 7.1 hit approximately 55 km (34 mi) south of the city of Puebla. It caused major damage in the Mexican states of Puebla, Morelos and the Greater Mexico City area, including the collapse of more than forty buildings;  and although Mexico’s SASMEX earthquake warning system provided 20 seconds’ advance warning in Mexico City, 310 people have been reported killed, 273 of which in Mexico City and surrounding areas, and more than 4,600 were injured. Rescue missions are still underway as I speak. As I said, there had been an even larger earthquake 650 km (400 mi) away off the coast of the state of Chiapas twelve days earlier.


Music For Mexico Earthquake Relief

And although Puerto Vallarta didn’t feel either shake, these earthquakes are devastating for Mexico. Earthquakes happen so fast, and are notorious not only for the death and injuries and fear they strike in people, but also for making people homeless and jobless, destroying homes and businesses. Well, I’ve got to tell you, there are a lot of people in Mexico right now who need our help.

There are also quite a number of businesses and individuals in Puerto Vallarta who have teamed up to raise funds for earthquake relief. Manzon Brewery had a fundraiser, Incanto had one, They are having a show and silent auction at Act 2 on October 1st, so if you are in town, go check it out. Lots of great items being auctioned off as well as some great entertainment. I’ll even have an item in the silent auction, an opportunity to have your very own podcast episode dedicated to an individual or even a business in Puerto Vallarta, so if you are interested in having your very own episode, be the highest bidder. If you’re in town, You have to go to that as I said, if you are in town

PV Mexico Quake Relief

And it’s so great to see the people of Vallarta stepping up for a great cause. And if you do choose to give to the Mexican Earthquake Relief effort, be careful who you donate to and who you donate through. Do your homework, and know that it’s not always the big name charities that do the best work for the lowest overhead, so talk to friends, check out these charities on the internet.





Natasha Moraga

Now we all know that timing is everything, and  if you listened to last week’s podcast, I announced a very special project that I’ve got to tell you, got me and many of you really excited. It was the Tile Park project, the Parque de los Azulejos, in Lazaro Cardenes Park. The project is being done by the same person who did the tile wall on the Southside and in the Marina and elsewhere, Natasha Moraga. Well, last week, I announced to you that you could donate to her project, and I gave you instructions on how you could purchase commemorative tiles to be installed in Lazaro Cardenes Park, the money from those purchases, would go to help fund the project? Remember?  How can you forget? I even built a donate page on the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show website.

Okay so this earthquake hits, just as the project was going to begin their fundraising efforts, so timing is everything, as I said.

Donate to Tile Park PV

Natasha and her people were planning on quite a few fundraising events for their project, but they are also keenly aware of the great need for money to help rebuild and uplift so many effected by these terrible earthquakes. And as I just said, there are numerous events being planned for earthquake relief right here in Vallarta. So, Natasha asked me to let you know that many of the planned fundraising public events will probably wait till probably after the first of the year, just so efforts to help with earthquake relief can proceed in earnest.

And I understand her sentiments, but I just don’t want her project to get lost in the shuffle so to speak. Trying not to sound too insensitive here, I think we can think of giving to both the Tile Park project and to earthquake relief, so I’m going to keep pushing and promoting this project, El Parque de Los Azulejos. Listen folks, they are not self-funded and need the money from tile sales, personalized tile sales, to move this project forward.

They need to sell commemorative tiles to help fund this project so go to the show notes to last weeks podcast as well as this one, and check out this beautiful park, Lazaro Cardenes Park, all done in beautiful mosaic tiles.

Art Rendering Parque de Azulejos

Nat Moraga still has promised to sit with me for an interview soon, so will get that to you soon, and I’ll let you know when.

As for these nasty earthquakes, these terremotos as they are called in Spanish, these Tremblors, I can definitely relate to these poor folks, I was

Art Rendering Parque de Azulejos

born and raised in Los Angeles, and I have lived through several major earthquakes, the latest big one, the Northridge Quake’s epicenter was not more than a ¼ mile from my home in the San Fernando Valley, and that was a 6.8. I’m telling you what, the aftershocks are what keep you up. They can be pretty frightening.

Interestingly enough, Tuesday’s quake occurred on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which killed about 10,000 people, which was by the way, commemorated with a national earthquake drill at 11 a.m. local time, two hours before this earthquake struck. Kinda weird don’t you think?

Meet and Greet at Pour Favor

I’m planning a meet and greet in Puerto Vallarta for Tuesday, October the 17th at JR’s meeting place, Kelly’s Pour Favor Saloon and Cookhouse. He doesn’t know this yet, but I’m going to bring my microphones with me again, and have you tell me about what you are doing in paradise. And if you are a business and you want to make a pitch to my audience, you are more than welcome. I just have to lock down my airfare and I will be there. Guess I better tell my wife. Hummm. Yeah that would be best. See you there.


Okay, let’s get to the show and our guests, Reggie and Donna.

Reggie & Donna Belew

I’ve got to say that my most popular podcast episodes are the ones with you listeners telling your stories and giving suggestions, so I’m pretty sure you are going to like my two guests. I love their accents, but hey, I’m from California and we have no accents, least that’s what I’ve been told.

Reggie gave me a good review on iTunes and after I mentioned him on one of my podcasts and read his review, he followed up with an email. And it went like this…

“My first visit to Puerto Vallarta was in May 1989. I was 20 years old. And I had only had two semesters of Spanish language classes in my then young lifetime.  A college buddy and myself drove over 2,000 miles (one way) from Florence Alabama to Puerto Vallarta. It took four days. And we only stayed a week. But oh my that changed my life.

In 1990 I studied at the University of Guadalajara. I was able to visit Puerto Vallarta three times that year. And I traveled around Jalisco including trips to Barra de Navidad, Ameca and Tequila that summer.”

He also writes that he met JR on his last trip down…

So I had to have Reggie on the show. His experiences, going to school in Guadalajara mirrored my own college Spanish experiences as well.

When I was going to San Diego State University in 1978, I was given the opportunity to take a 6 week course in Mexico City and get a semester’s college credit for Spanish, so naturally I took advantage of it. It was a wonderful experience. I was totally immersed in the language. We lived with Mexican families, we went to class every day at 9. The Americans learning Spanish upstairs, and the Mexicans learning English downstairs. Then at noon, we dispersed and wen our own ways. I, usually with a hot Latina, and her friend…and her brother..ugh.. from class downstairs, and do stuff get totally immersed in the culture and in the language.

Casa Isabel, Puerto Vallarta

By the time the 6 weeks were up, I was dreaming in Spanish, with English Subtitles.. No Lie!

So Reggie did the same thing, only his university had a deal with a place in Guadalajara. Got to say, those were the greatest times.

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Anyway, let’s get to Reggie and Donna and hear their stories…

Gill Givens Books Vallarta’s Funniest Man

JR’s Happy Hour Board

JR s Happy Hour Board


Restaurants They Liked

Things to See and Do

Don’t Forget

  • Take good walking shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Don’t be afraid to try to communicate.

Cool Places to Shop

So they had some great suggestions here. That idea of laminating a map and directions to your hotel or condo is absolutely brilliant. Also the free city tour is a great idea.

Splurge and treat yourself to a serenade. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky. There were a couple more great ideas but I’ll leave those for you to find when you go to the shownotes for this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show.

Don’t forget to check out my webcam page, check out what the weather is like and what people are wearing in Puerto Vallarta in Real time. You

Puerto Vallarta Web Cams

can even catch a sunset if you time things out right. Just go to my website and click on the webcam page and see what I’m talking about.

Also don’t forget my Malibu to PV Real Estate page where I have homes for sale in Puerto Vallarta, as well as homes north of the border in Malibu California, my neck of the woods. Check out the page. You will be glad you did.


Well, that should do it for this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show.

Next week stay tuned for more on the ground reports from Puerto Vallarta Mexico, with travel tips, great restaurant and excursion ideas and more.  Until then, remember, this is an interactive show where I depend on your questions and suggestions about all things Puerto Vallarta. If you think of something I should be talking about, please reach out to me by clicking on the Contact us tab and sending us your message.

Casa de Los Arcos is the Villa that Reggie and Donna Stayed

Casa De Los Arcos, Puerto Vallarta
Casa de los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Pool at Casa de los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Casa de los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Casa de los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Casa de los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

And remember, if you are considering booking any type of tour while you are in Puerto Vallarta, you must go to, JR’s website and reserve your tour through him, right from his website. Remember the value for value proposition. His experience and on the ground knowledge of everything Puerto Vallarta in exchange for your making a purchase of a tour that you would do anyway, you’re just doing it through him as a way of saying thank you. It costs no more than if you were to use someone else so do it. Really. And when you do take one of these tours, email me about your experiences. Maybe you can come on-board and share with others what you liked or didn’t like about the tour. Again, contact me by clicking on the Contact us tab and sending off a message.

And once again, if you like this podcast, please take the time and subscribe and give me a good review on iTunes if you would. That way we can get the word out to more and more people about the magic of this place. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Remember I made it easy for you to do just that with each episode I create. But if you haven’t been to my website, you really need to have a look there.  I have the links to the places we talk about, interesting pictures and the more all right there in my blog-posts and show-notes for each episode of the show so check them out for sure if you haven’t already all-right? All right.

So, thanks to Reggie and Donna Belew, listeners extraordinaire,  I have pictures of  both of them and some of the places we talked about in the show notes of this episode, at  And thanks to all of you for listening all the way through this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show. This is Barry Kessler signing off with a wish for you all to slow down, be kind and live the Vallarta lifestyle. Nos Vemos amigos!

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