Saturday, April 18, 2009

How I spent my April vacation, Part One

I might stretch this out a little bit, considering my life these days isn't desperately exciting. I hope this doesn't bore you. I'll try to use colorful, descriptive words and swear some so that it keeps your interest.

Day One - Thursday

I had to get up at 3:15am to be at Kim's house by 5:45am (I wanted to shower and have some coffee and get gas and finish the bathroom packing). It was easy enough, but the hardest part was saying goodbye to the kitties. I knew they were in good hands with that Robert, but still. Turns out, I've grown rather attached to these little bunnies. Kim was ready to go so we packed up my car and headed to the airport with plenty of time. Parked at the Park and Fly over off 82nd, I'd never done that, but it was a good price and very convenient. We checked in and had some breakfast at Gustav's, over by our gate. Thus began the tradition of cottage cheese for breakfast.

We flew Portland to LA, and that flight isn't so bad, probably due to the two double bloodies we each had. I haven't drank vodka before 8am since the days of spending my weekends at the University of Oregon during football season. The transition at LAX went smoothly, as did the double tall bloody there, and the next leg of the flight was fairly short (only one double bloody each) (I'm not sure who I thought I was. But this wasn't exactly a pattern for me, so relax a little bit, there.). We arrived in PV around 3pm, HOT. Sweating hot. And any of you out there that wear bangs in Mexico understand how attractive THAT looks... Picked up a taxi for $200 MX (by the way, just so you know, from here on out it's pesos), which actually was a bargain. My first introduction to the people of Puerto Vallarta - ? Two guys that grew up in Orange County... And to think Kim was hoping to practice her Spanish this week.

We arrived at the resort - Kim owns timeshare there, but this was her first time at this particular one. The one she bought was sold so she has to use this one or the one in Nuevo Vallarta and she prefers to be closer to town, so this was a trial run for her. Thursday is check in day for timeshare holders (right?) so the lobby was zoo-ish, but they offered free welcome drinks, so we each had three and tipped the hell out of the kid pouring them so that he would heavy-hand them (he did). Settled in our one bedroom apartment (after a quick stop at the tiendita in the lobby for some beer) (WHICH, I might add, cost $220 for a flipping 12-pack), we adjourned to the balcony to chat, sip cold ones, and watch the sunset. Of course, it was only like 5:30, and the sun doesn't actually set until around 8:20. It was hot and we sweated some more, but really isn't that what you're supposed to do on a Mexican vacation?

We cleaned up around sunset and then grabbed a $70 taxi into the Zona Romantica (Old Town), Kim's stomping grounds (it was in this area that her old resort, the one that was sold, was located). Had some dinner at a place called Cafe de Olla (good grilled fish) and some beers. Kim knows the owner, so he brought over a couple of tequila shots at the end - icky cheap blanco, but what the hell. Afterward we went to a place called Andale's and had some more beer (margs for Kim, bad idea, way too much sweet and sour and it wasn't sitting well in her stomach) and watched these two separate (but equally) crazy white broads dance. The waitress and I were hoping one of them would trip on the stairs, and the other one, well, she was so irritating to me that if I could have got up and punched her in the face, then sat back down and finished my beer with no further incident, I totally would have. But, you know, I didn't. I just thought about it. A lot.

From there we stopped at an Oxxo (LOVE the Oxxo) to get more beer, but apparently there is some crazy law that stops beer sales at 12 midnight, so we just got some water and found a taxi back. He wanted $100. After I stopped laughing at him, he drove like Dario or something up the windy road - I think he was trying to scare us but it didn't work and I gave him $70 and we called it a night.

Day Two - Friday

Up at 6:30am, and it was dark. NIGHT dark. So I went back to bed until 7:30am. Sunrise apparently. This would take some getting used to. I slept on the pullout sofa (imagine laying a couple of tissues over a metal frame. Luckily we had housekeeping bring up one of those egg crate mattress pads when we checked in. So imagine an egg crate mattress pad over a couple of tissues over a metal frame.), and Kim in the bedroom, but in general we woke up around the same time every morning. I am sure it had nothing to do with my noise level in the morning. Hey, I'm not getting any younger, things tend to stiffen up while I sleep, and add to that a metal bar against your hip all night, you're gonna walk a little like Herman Munster when you first get up. I ran into some things. Anyway, we made a little grocery list and checked the taxi rates, and headed off to the Walmarts.

Kim had never been to the Walmarts in PV, but I talked her into it simply because, well, you miss those kinds of things I guess. The Walmarts was located in the marina area, so the taxi rate was like $130 or something like that. I had to keep reminding myself that I have a job and make actual money and that I can really afford half of a $130 taxi fare. Because I can. Anyway, off to the Walmarts, where the taxista offered to wait for us, which was fine with me. It was huge, maybe even bigger than the tourist Walmarts in Cancun, and we got out of there for the low low price of $1620 (which is pretty good when you consider two cases of beer and three big bottles of liquor) - they actually packed most of our shit in boxes instead of bags. The taxista laughed at the picture Kim took of the cold-cut lady and this ginormous thing of Oaxaca cheese - it's Kim's favorite and it made her kind of giddy (once I figure out how to pirate her pictures off Shutterfly I'll post them. Sorry. And I haven't even downloaded my own meager selection, but I'll do that later. I promise. I just did like 5 loads of laundry and frankly I'm a little worn out.)(Well, I did like 4 loads yesterday and took a nap, then slept all night and am just finishing my regular bedsheet load now, but still.). All in all we gave the taxista about $300 simply because he waited, loaded, unloaded, and let us smoke in the car.

Unloaded and lunched, we put on our suits and headed for the beach. It's a small beach, man-made lagoon, etc., but it was a beach. We got some chairs laid out for us (gravity issues, it was a on a slope) and settled in. Really intense sun. We were only out for like 2 hours and I got some color (sweet). By this time it was like, I don't know, 5pm? and we didn't want to like over-do it. Watched the sunset after dinner (did we cook? I can't remember. I guess we cooked.) and chatted and shit and called it a day. I think. We didn't go out much at night, so it's hard to recall. This is not Kim's fault - this is my fault. I can't drink like I used to.

Coming up next - Day Three (obviously), everything we attempt to go to is closed. But it is, after all, Holy Saturday.


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