We are here! And I will keep this updated – for friends, family, and those of you (some who commented) who have upcoming trips, weddings, etc. here.
Our plane had a total of 38 people on it, which was a little weird. But the mood inside was actually quite festive. We spread out and made ourselves comfortable. People laughed when they saw my mask and HW’s; then the couple next to us pulled their out too. The stewardesses were very nice and even gave those seats up front that they charge extra for away (not first class, I think there were a few people in first class). They were even having a little fun with the microphone, announcing thing such as free large seats towards the front.
My first thought when stepping off the plane was wow, I am so glad I came. I didn’t see anyone with masks on at first. HW informed me that these masks aren’t even really helpful anyway – but we still wore them. The airport was the craziest part. As soon as we entered the terminal a woman walked up to each passenger and handed us a sheet of paper on influenza which contained symptoms, preventative measures, and home tips (such as don’t use aspirin, control fever with wet wipes). The other odd thing was the terminal itself – it was totally empty except the airport staff and those annoying sales reps. They want to get you to listen to a sales presentation on a timeshare ultimately. They have several ways of going about this, but instead of getting in to my horrid experience, I will just tell you – go all the way through those two long rooms of people lined up on each side yelling at you aggressively. Really, just be rude and ignore them – trust me on this.
Anyway. So we saw 1 or 2 airport personnel wearing masks, but everyone else wasn’t. We got in our taxi and finally started to relax. I didn’t see anything grabbing my attention to take pictures of until we arrived where we’re staying, in the older section of Puerto Vallarta (very pretty!). But as we drove I scanned sidewalks and resorts, peoples’ faces and just the overall feel of the place.. I saw less than 15 people with masks on the whole way to our condo (15 minute drive) all the way through the city. There are throngs of people outside. Stores seem a little empty to me, but there were still people everywhere. We saw people riding in the back of pick-ups, walking down the sidewalks, hanging out on the beach… like there is nothing happening.
Since we just arrived, I’m only beginning to form my opinion… as of now if I were you and traveling here soon, I’d come without a doubt. We are both just so thankful we came – things look different from this side of the border.
Sarah and I are in Chicago awaiting our flight to Puerto Vallarta. Boarding begins any time and there are 30 or so passengers here.
I have my mask on, yes… have had it on since getting on the plane in Detroit… no one else has masks on here. HW is about to put her mask on when we enter the plane.
The last few days I have been on quite a few sites commenting and reading, as I said last night. Late last night I came across a person who visited Puerto Vallarta from April 4th-17th and she is healthy – however her brother and friend are both sick, one of which has the swine flu – confirmed. They are from Santa Barbara. I was grateful she let us know… and more than a little freaked out. By the time I heard about this, it really was too late to change anything.
Just to give you a little background on my story and why I am still going to Puerto Vallarta… it is likely that I will be enrolled in two schools over the summer (finishing undergrad, and starting school at a massage institute in the middle of May). If this is the case, I would not be able to take this trip later. Oh and I start grad school in the fall. As I’m currently out of a job, I didn’t want to waste the money and trip… (ticket is nonrefundable). Our airline would have allowed us to change destinations for no charge (except the difference in flight cost) but the flights were expensive and we’d end up paying more money, without a secure destination in place (not to mention that it costs more money and we have paid for our condo in PV).
More soon – time to board.
After much planning and lots of anxiety over the weekend tracking the progress of the swine flu worldwide, my friend Sarah HW and I are heading to Puerto Vallarta tomorrow morning after all. There was much that went in to our decision, some of which I may get in to on here at a later point.
I freely admit I’ve had quite the addiction to the internet lately as I sought news, blogs, threads, and newspapers online for any information regarding the swine flu being in or near Puerto Vallarta. I couldn’t find anything — except on Sunday, I heard about the 18 possible cases in Jalisco (the state in which Puerto Vallarta is located), which turned out not to be the swine flu.
My overall impression of this is that yes it is serious, but in light of the numbers of people and cases involved and then the distance from Mexico City to Puerto Vallarta and what I see around online, I feel fairly safe going. But then again, I’m also a bit of a risk-taker. HW shares this opinion, and is as well.
Our family and friends in the United States range from full-out panicked to “I’d go too, just be careful..”
So I decided to chronicle our experience as we travel down to Puerto Vallarta here, to kick off my new blog. This way friends and family can follow along, and those I’ve come in to contact with in recent days on the world wide web can too.
Goodnight. Tomorrow morning in Chicago, we’ll don our masks and see what we’re in for.