A visit to Puerto Vallarta

The Bay of Banderas, Mexico.

 Between my various architecture projects, John's involvement in the testing of the James Webb Space Telescope, and Alexander's start at Montessori school we hadn't had time to do what we love the most, travel, and we had been grounded for 18 months!  Taking advantage of the end of school and a break in testing the telescope, we decided to jet off to sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

There was of course a lot of beach and pool time for Alex, but we managed to sneak around the old city to see some lovely sights.  The church in particular called my attention because the facade is unfinished and it is fascinating to see all the neoclassical mouldings laid out in brick still awaiting their finished coat of stucco.

The Church of our Lady of Guadalupe, built in from 1903 to 1940.  Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The unfinished brick facade of the Church of our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Even in low season the old town was vibrant and we enjoyed strolling through the public squares and visiting the colorful shops.

The main square of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

A "parklette" in the Zona Romantica of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Piñatas adorn the streets that lead towards the sea in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Streamers in the main square of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The loveliest part of our visit was the long walk we took along the "Malecon", the sea walk, where every few steps we encountered beautiful and intriguing bronze sculptures.

"Child on a Sea Horse" by Rafael Zamarripa. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


"The Unicorn of Good Fortune" by Anibal Riebeling.  Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.


Bailarines de Vallarta.  Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

"Seeking Reason" by Sergio Bustamante.  Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Detail of "The Rotunda of the Sea" by Alejandro Colunga. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

"The Milennia" by Mathis Lidice.  Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
But the most exciting part of our visit to Old Puerto Vallarta was when by chance we witnessed the flight of the "Voladores de Papantla".


Voladores de Papantla on the Malecon.  Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Until next time...


All Photos by Nadia Palacios Lauterbach
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Pages from my sketchbook

Now that Christmas is past I can publish this sketch without ruining any surprises.  The sketch was commissioned by a good friend and Heights resident as a present for her husband, a builder who restored their old bungalow when they were newly married.  Our friendship with this couple and our frequent visits to this bungalow inspired John and I to buy our own bungalow in the Heights 8.5 years ago, so it was with much pleasure that I set out to make this drawing and this gift special.


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Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of Holidays!

"Zoo Lights".  Christmas decoration at the Houston Zoo.  Houston, Texas.

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Heights Living: Lights in The Heights

One of the reasons I love living in The Heights is the numerous seasonal festivals, the annual "Lights in The Heights" being my favorite.  The festival, organized by the Woodland Heights Civic Association, started in 1988 as a neighborly gathering with lights, music and cookies, and it has grown to enormous popularity attracting visitors from all corners of Houston.
The neighbors line the streets with paper lanterns.  Lights in The Heights 2016. Woodland Heights, Houston, Texas.

Lights twinkle in the Jasmine covered entrance to a craftsman bungalow in the Woodland Heights. Houston, Texas.

A local band gets everybody in the holiday spirit from the front lawn of a craftsman bungalow in the Woodland Heights.  Houston, Texas.

A 1920's craftsman bungalow dripping with Christmas lights in the Woodland Heights' annual 'Lights in the Heights'.  Houston, Texas.

A private porch party mingles with the public block party in the Woodland Heights.  Houston, Texas.

Bungalows, lights, and revelers at the Norhill Esplanade in the Woodland Heights.  Houston, Texas.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all many blessings on this day of gratitude.





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Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween!



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