Skinny Girls Roadshow, LIVE from Mexico — Casa Tres Coronitas

It was two or so years ago, at the preschool silent auction. I may have had a drink or two, I can’t recall. Browsing the yoga classes, crappy wine baskets and tickets to Legoland, I discovered seven nights in a house in Puerto Vallarta. The opening bid was $1,000. The value was $10,000. Nobody had bid, so I figured I’d go ahead and get things rolling. Puerto Vallarta was my favorite town in Mexico, and if I won, it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

I won.

Vista bonita — Casa Tres Coronitas

Fast forward a year. We hadn’t yet claimed our winnings. And once again, there was the week in Puerto Vallarta at the preschool auction. Our friends Nat and Shirley had bid the opening $1,000. Wouldn’t it be nice to have two weeks, I said to my wife. So I bid $1,100. “Stop overbidding us!” Shirley insisted. I agreed, on the condition that we combine our time — after all, the literature said 5,000-feet, two master suites, ample room for children — and go either two consecutive years, or for two weeks. They agreed.

And they won.

Fast forward another year and some change, and we’re on an Alaska Airlines flight to Casa Tres Coronitas a mile or so south of Puerto Vallarta. We had studied the website, found the house on Google Earth, virtually toured the neighboring streets and studied the proximity to beaches, markets and bars. Our friends Don and Monica, who own the house, had asked us what we wanted Marilu — the resident chef — to cook our first night and to let us know that Euphracio, the “house captain,” would have margaritas poured upon our arrival. We were ready. We thought.

Nat Wes and Flynn enjoying Euphracio’s virgin piña coladas

Nothing, however, could’ve prepared us for the experience of walking into Casa Tres Coronitas. Even though “The Tree of Life,” which the CTC website promotes as the defining feature of the property, had fallen and with it taken out a good portion of the patio and several adjacent condos, we were dazzled by the terraced floor plan, the 30 foot ceilings, the stone and tile work and walls that melted away into the Bahia de Banderas. The Pacific Ocean, everywhere you looked, hushfully lulling waves, as far as the eye could see.

The kids, as kids will do, explored. “Dad!” said Flynn, smile spilling across his face, “Which room is the kids’?” We staked out turf, dumped off bags and returned to the patio and wide open main room to accept the gift of Euprhacio’s first round of margaritas and a sunset we might have paid extra for.

Dining at Casa Tres Coronitas

Our first full day, I woke early and opened up the house. It had almost seemed a shame to close any of it off to the sea and sky, as perfectly integrated as it was. The coffee brewed as the sun warmed to the mountainous jungle east of us. As the children stirred, sprinting rounds about the house, up and down the staggered half-flights of stairs, Euphracio and Marilu reappeared, setting tables, juicing oranges, spreading abundance across patio tables in the form of huevos rancheros, banana pancakes, sliced pineapple and slivered papaya. Which, two-hour time change east, eased us toward a very languorous afternoon — the first cerveza and dorado ceviche on the horizon.

At the beach below, a 2-minute stroll down a cobblestone street from our house, the Mexican families were lolling in tidepools and the vendors hawked skewered prawns and Coronas. Everything I love about Mexico. Overhead, magnificent frigate birds circled like modern teradactyls, and we knew Euphracio’s margaritas were no more than a nod away.

Marilu’s huevos rancheros

In the kitchen, Marilu works. Last night chiles rellenos I would be humbled to reproduce. Tonight, she has purchased a fish she will honor on the grill. And in the shadows, I will be taking photographs and making notes.

I invite you to experience Casa Tres Coronitas for yourself, sit in the chair where I write this and watch the sun fade ochre on the rim of the world, framing rows of pelicans and frigates. There will be no auction bidding, but the rates are friendly, and the welcome of Euphracio and Marilu will make you feel as if you have won the lottery. Be humble, for you have.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sani panini
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 00:22:21

    Great pictures!


  2. Geoffrey Emerson
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 02:11:54

    Sounds amazing mate, next time bid for a house in Sydney


  3. Nonie Shore
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 02:47:50

    I am so thrilled for you all, you deserve a great vacation. Cheers, Nonie


  4. Mom
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 03:29:26



  5. rachelocal
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 02:05:47

    Lovely! Have two margaritas for me! 🙂


  6. Michelle
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 00:19:16

    OK, you’re making me reconsider my Eurocentric vacation leanings. Wow.


    • scolgin
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 00:26:01

      Yeah,well it’s that thing we were talking about before. Proximity. But Spain’s got nothing on Pacific Mexico. If you get the chance, go…


    • scolgin
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 00:26:55

      Oh, and my next post will be about the tropical bugs. Which may help Europe’s case.


      • Michelle
        Oct 04, 2012 @ 00:31:40

        Well, we did have giant spiders and fleas (dog-friendly house … do Brits not have Frontline?) in Normandy. We definitely do need to explore Mexico one day. I’ve been only to the Yucatan. And, though it shows my age, I admit it was in the Seventies with my parents.

      • scolgin
        Oct 04, 2012 @ 00:52:06

        Yeah, that doesn’t count. Mexico doesn’t count unless you were old enough to drink tequila.

  7. Glennis
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 20:13:38

    Wow, lucky you guys! Looking forward to more tales when you return.


  8. Trackback: Year of the Taco | skinny girls & mayonnaise

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: