James Taylor was right: Oh, Mexico.
A Happy New Year to all of you, and welcome back to the show that never ends, except for a week when I go on vacation and the blog had nothing new on it.
Been about 24 hours since my fiance and I returned home from our awesome vacation in Puerto Vallarta. We snorkeled, we para-sailed, we spoke bad Spanish that amused the locals.
So much to share, so little time for you to read my vacation diary as you get back to work.
So without further adieu, some scattered thoughts from a week of fun in the sun:
1. We spent a lot of time laying around by the pool and the beach, but we did do quite a few activities (there was a group of 19 of us down there, mostly my fiance’s cousins and assorted little kiddos.) My favorite thing by far was snorkeling, something I’d done once before and loved. It’s so awesome to swim so close to fish and just glide right by them. I snorkeled twice in a beautiful area off Puerto Vallarta called Marietas Islands, and the water was warm and the fish were abundant and it was just … beautiful.
2. I discovered, at age 37, that I love margaritas. Yep, had never had one before, but had about five in Puerto Vallarta. I’ve been missing out. Also, the water was quite drinkable at our resort, so to all those people who told me “not to drink the water in Mexico,” well, at least where I was, it was just fine.
3. This occurred to me on one of our snorkeling expeditions: It’s much harder to be a tour group leader in Mexico, because our fearless guide Jonathan had to say every instruction and tidbit of info twice, for the Spanish and English speakers with us. Dude wasted twice as much saliva as a U.S. guide would.
4. I can’t speak highly enough of how friendly the locals were. Of course, it was their busiest tourist week of the year and I’m sure they all figured good manners equals us spending some of our pesos, but still. Everyone was extremely helpful and kind.
5. On the flip side, the most revolting behavior in our week there was something witnessed not by me, but my wonderful soon-to-be mother-in-law. One day she was relaxing by the pool when a little girl, maybe 4 years old, came out of the water shyly and started looking around. Then she walked over toward a small bush about five feet from the lawn chairs my mother-in-law and family were sitting in.
The little girl turned and looked at her mother in the water, who was encouraging her, and then the girl pulled down her bathing suit and peed in the bushes.
Appropriately disgusted and outraged, my mother-in-law went to confront the mom, who was completely unapologetic and didn’t care that there was an ACTUAL bathroom maybe 20 yards away.
Just despicable. How do civilized people think this is acceptable behavior? At least if you’re going to do that, go where no one’s sitting.
6. We stayed at the Grand Mayan resort, which was lovely in every respect but one: Between the outside curb and the main lobby was a giant, completely pitch-black room filled with a few candles, some creepy music, and 30-foot-tall Mayan statues.
I’m a grown-up and it creeped me out, so we weren’t at all surprised that one little girl literally started crying one day upon approaching, screeching “No Mommy, I’m scared, I don’t wanna go in there!”
7. Strangest event was the night at Pipi’s Mexican restaurant when a four-man band of old local guys serenaded each table with Johnny Cash songs. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard these guys do “Ring of Fire.” It’s a good thing I had already finished eating.
8. One of the many reasons I love airplanes is the strangers who walk into your life for a few hours. On the way home I sat next to Daniel Magee, just your average 66-year-old pool contractor who just self-published a book of love poetry. I kid you not; here’s the Amazon link. I read a few samples; not my cup of tea, but he was a charming guy.
OK, I’ve rambled enough. I hope you all visit Puerto Vallarta one day; truly a beautiful place.
Happy New Year, and may your 2013 be filled with joy and appreciation for all you have.