Showing posts with label Vacation Rental By Owner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacation Rental By Owner. Show all posts

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Meanderings: La Dolce Vita in Venice

An early morning shopping trip to the famed Rialto Market where we’ll stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables from the stalls of long-time vendors, then we’ll laze away the morning sipping cappuccino at one of its many cafes while ‘people watching’ . . .

In the evening we’ll stroll along the Zattere, the large concrete promenade that runs the length of the southern shore of Venice’s Dorsoduro District. It was originally built in 1519 to be a landing dock for the delivery of timber to build ships and buildings.  Zattere, Italian for raft.

We’ll be acting just like the locals with our shopping and strolling because for six nights we’ll be ‘living’ in Venice in an apartment we rented a month  ago as we planned how to fill the week following our cruise from Rome to Venice. The apartment is in the area of the red pin on the map.

We’ve found that one way to save travel dollars is to avoid the more costly hotel rooms – and Venice certainly has plenty of those.   So, after having enjoyed the apartment we rented in Madrid last year, we decided to try our luck with apartment living in Italy. (Maybe it is our way of working up to a longer stay somewhere, sometime. . .)

In addition to saving money on the accommodations, we’ll also eat a couple meals a day at home and not rely on the local bar for all our Happy Hours.

Of course renting travel accommodations based on books, photos, traveler’s recommendations and advertisements is always a giant leap of faith.   Joel, “The Scout” began researching our options several months ago.  When we found this apartment on Vacation Rental by Owner we were on our way to . . .

. . .La dolce vita; the sweet life, in Italian.

Have you any tips for us?  Have you rented an apartment? If so, what was your experience?  Add a comment below or send an email to us at  And if this is your first visit, hope to see you back on Thursday when we look at the Joy of Travel.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bucerias, Mexico: Back to our Future

There was a time when Bucerias, Mexico, a small fishing village north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s west coast was our future. Now, it's a sizeable segment of our past. Earlier this month we revisited that past.

RivieraNayarit2012 177Seven years ago we sold our last property there, The Dolce Vitas, and filed Mexico away in our history book.

(Unlike our Casa de la Playa below, the DV’s still stand – next to them these days is a restaurant offering live music and dancing.) 

Back to our Future

Casa de la Playa 001In 1991 the laid-back fishing village we selected as the site of our second home --our heads filled with all the giddy future plans that go with such investments – there were maybe six restaurants.  Accommodations included a couple of Mexican-owned and operated low-end  hotels, a condo building or two, and a few privately-owned homes, such as ours, that served as vacation rentals.

The town’s landmark were the stalls of oyster vendors that lined the two-lane Highway 200 that bisected it.

From our U.S. home we brought supplies – sheets, towels, kitchen supplies –to the south-of-the-border house (in oversized suitcases; thankfully, before baggage fees came to be).

Today:  Tourism and Touts; Big Boxes and Banks

 Bucerias  is now a part of the tourist-zoned, Riviera Nayarit.  And tourism has come to town! (Along with the multitudes of over-zealous trinket touts and timeshare sales people that seem to come with Mexican tourism.) 

RivieraNayarit2012 058The gauntlet of trinket touts lines every street leading into town from the old footbridge over the dry, dusty arroyo. The constant calls:  “Hey Lady, come look!” “Hey, how long you here?” “Good prices, almost free!”  made us want to shout: “Enough already!”

RivieraNayarit2012 320Oyster vendors? We saw one  lone table  stacked with oysters to the side of  a ‘lateral’.

The laterals, those local access roads to the side of the highway, have been enlarged to two lanes each direction as has the highway itself,RivieraNayarit2012 069 making the road through town an eight-lane super structure with a palm-tree lined median strip.

RivieraNayarit2012 318Accommodations abound. This hotel sits across from the fish restaurants that still line the beach in the town’s el centro.
High rise condo buildings with unit price tags starting at $300,000US, are sprouting like beach grass all over town. The rental site, Vacation Rental By Owner, lists 129 accommodations – unlike the half dozen listed when we owned there.

RivieraNayarit2012 184Household supplies are readily available from Costco, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, in Puerto Vallarta, and the Mexican chain, Mega in Bucerias.  Each store is stocked with ATM’s.  Bucerias  has banks now as well.

Bucerias isn’t the town it once was, but we aren’t the same either. As we all know sometimes change isn’t always bad.  Have you revisited your future lately?  If so, what changes have you found?


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