Friday, April 22, 2016

When the Going Gets Tough

When the going gets tough, the tough always go to Mexico.  At least that's what we tough ones do.  We were going to go to Pajaro Dunes, an enclave of condos between Santa Cruz and Monterey on the sunny, central California coast.  My lovely wife's folks used to own one of the condos there when our kids were little.  We vacationed there every year for quite a few years.  The location is stellar and the price of zero was certainly right back then.

But as I perused the available condos for the specific time allotted, I discovered Pajaro Dunes was not an inexpensive proposition anymore.  Tough prices.  So on a whim and chocolate croissant I decided to do a quick Hotwire and Priceline search just to see what was up.  And Puerto Vallarta, Mexico came up.  At an all-inclusive Riu resort.  For less than a condo at Pajaro Dunes for the same amount of time.  Yeah.  We could fly all the way to Puerto Vallarta and spend a week at the all-inclusive Riu Jalisco resort for less money than a week at a condo on the coast.  AUFKM?

We landed another stellar deal to Mexico about a decade ago under similar circumstances.  We had some time but had no idea where to go.  Vacillate here, procrastinate there.  And then suddenly we were within a week of our specific time and no where to go.  And that's when, apparently, some bargain basement deals can be found, at least to Mexico.  Boom.

I had to monkey with the flights a little bit from the original package, which brought the prices up a little bit too.  I've found your bargain basement flight price on almost every travel package is always a little bit funky.  Like they always want to fly you to Topeka or Des Moines, even if your final destination is Anchorage.  And you're leaving from Seattle.  But even with the flight massage AND the fact American charged us a total of $100 for our luggage to and fro we were still under Pajaro prices.  And Pajaro prices did not include food and drink for a week.

How could the tough not go to Mexico?

I NEED to mention that American Airlines was also playing a pretty sneaky game.  I went online to get seat assignments and the only ones they showed that were still available had extra leg room but also cost an additional $25 to $65.  I thought that was absurd.  We already had tickets.  If those were the only seats left I kinda figured that they'd have to seat us in them.  You know, whatever was remaining.  Cause, like, we already had tickets.  So on another whim and buttermilk biscuit I decided to not do a dang thing.  Hold 'em.

We waited until we checked in and amazingly we ended up in an exit row with extra leg room at no extra charge.  Go figure.  The poker paid off.  AND, the flight was not even sold out.  Sneaky bastards.

One of the big drawbacks for me about flying is that I hate everything about it.  First of all, I don't understand how a multi ton steel vessel goes up in the air.  Yeah, I know, it has something to do with that time-space continuum thing and some physics.  Velocity too, and maybe some grape jello.  Or something like that.  But I'm a writer, not a scientist, so I don't understand.  I don't even like grape jello.

Then there's the thing about being herded into a confined space with a bunch of self-absorbed, inconsiderate buffoons.  You know, the ones who bring everything on board with them, including their kitchen sink, so they don't have to spend an extra $25.00 or wait ten minutes for their luggage.  Instead, they spend ten minutes on board trying to shove all their crap in the over head bin.  Which then makes the remaining 76 people trying to board wait, standing patiently frustrated in line behind them, like so many sardines in a tin freaking can.

We usually like to wear more than one shirt and one pair of pants when we vacation, so our bags won't, under any circumstances, fit in the over head bin.  We always check our bags.  I bring a back pack on board that has everything I need in flight.  Fits under the seat in front.  Or on my lap.  My lovely wife brings an extra satchel.  Fits under the seat.  Or on her lap.  No over head bin needed here, which is good, because Morty and his family just took up all the bin space around us for three rows.  

The flights were uneventful, which is good.  Usually if they're eventful next of kin has to be notified.  Or the press.  Police.  All the above.  There's paperwork, suspicion and innuendos.  Who needs that?   Especially if we're going on vacation and totally want to avoid suspicion.  Or getting blown up for that matter.

We picked up a cab at the Puerto Vallarta airport per instructions at  If you've never visited this site, you should.  They have scoped out just about every commercial airport on the planet.  Possibly even Mars.  They offer advice about picking up taxi's at every location, including approximate costs to get from here to there. That way you are armed and hopefully won't be paying forty bucks for a ten dollar ride, which has happened to this gringo in a couple different countries.

They also offer a shuttle service at every airport.  I have utilized that service in France and have used their knowledge and expertise for airports in the US and Mexico several times.  They have been spot on every time.  I highly recommend perusing this site to anyone making travel plans by air.

We love Mexico; the ambiance, the air, the food, the culture.  We figure we've down there at least fifty times over the course of our lives.  Sometimes just over the border, sometimes deep.  We were down in Puerto Vallarta in 1975 for the honeymoon of our first marriage together.

First marriage together?  Yeah, there's a story there.  You can find that here: Late Night Letters to the Moon

I think there were about a half dozen resorts on the beach back then.  There's about a hundred now.  The Riviera Nayarit, a several mile long strip of sand north of Puerto Vallarta wasn't even on a map back then.  That's where the Riu, as well as many other resorts, are located.  It's real built up and busy now, in a relaxed, south of the border bougainvillea kinda way.  

We love the Riu chain of resorts too.  We first experienced the Riu Palace in Cabo with some friends in 2013, it was fabulous.  We love the unlimited epicurean delights.  We love the unlimited tropical drinks.  We love the impeccably manicured grounds.  And we especially love the fact that all we have to do is enjoy it and relax.

The all-inclusive resort type experience might not be for everybody.  But if you're looking for a hassle free relaxing good time in a tropical locale you might want to check out a Riu, especially if you like to drink.  That part is now lost on me, although they do make a half dozen non alcoholic tropical rum drinks.  Without the rum of course.  I landed on one that was sort of like a fruity mint julep.  Quite tasty and refreshing.

Speaking of non-alcoholic tasty fresh fruity mint juleps, every time I've stayed at an all-inclusive resort I become pretty well known to most of the bartenders.  Almost a celebrity.  Why?  Certainly not because I'm extraordinarily tall and wear bright, colorful wigs everywhere.  No.  It's more along the line that I'm probably the only adult there at that time not drinking alcohol. 

"Ah, Mr. Coca Cola."

"Ah, Mr. Fruity Mint Julep."

"Ah, Mr. Virgin Mary."

My lovely wife usually tries to make it through their entire tropical drink menu.  But usually after three or four days of fruity sweet concoctions she has to opt for a basic gin Martini.  Very dirty.

We checked in, got our all important key to the highway plastic wrist band and checked out our room.  It was quite roomy.  With a king bed and handsome linen.  There was a mini fridge with lots of bottled water, soda and cerveza.  There were also four basic bottles of booze on tap.  Rum, tequila, vodka, rum.  All included.  A beautiful, quiet jungle view.  Away from the chaos.  An in-room safe to secure the cash and credit cards. 

We unpacked our bags, put on shorts and sandals and went on a basic resort reconnaissance mission.  The first part of that mission was to explore the tropical drink menu at one of the half dozen bars scattered throughout the resort.  Obviously we hit the first one we came to, which was located right off the very large open air lobby.  With drinks in hand we decided to wander out towards the ocean, which was a couple football fields away from the seven hundred room, seven story, U shaped Mediterranean looking facility.

The first football field contained a lovely almost as long fountain and water feature with a wide sidewalk on either side.  Outside the concrete walk was impeccably manicured Bermuda grass, with lovely, lush and lightly swaying palm trees scattered throughout.  This was the courtyard the high paying customers got to view.  The discount folks like us got an almost as impressive outside jungle view.  I'll look at a jungle in peace and quiet any day on a steal and a deal.  Actually, I'd probably pay more.

The second football field is where the activity began.  It started with the outdoor theater that probably seats a couple hundred.  Every night of the week the entertainment staff at the resort puts on a fairly decent one hour show.  They also bring in outside and quite talented almost professional entertainers.  Each night has a different flavor too.  For instance, we caught a Michael Jackson tribute night and an opera themed show another night.  There's also a Broadway themed show and so on.  There's a lot of music, singing and dancing.  The three shows we saw were quite entertaining.

There were two bars at the theater and an Italian themed restaurant across the wide walk.  Next to the Italian restaurant was a disco lounge.  There was a bar in there as well as dancing until all hours of the night.

Then came the two massive amoeba shaped pools ringed by palm thatched umbrellas and hundreds of chaise lounges.  One pool was adult orientated with a swim up bar, the other kid orientated with a water slide island in the middle.  The gym and spa were next to the kid pool, and then there was another restaurant overlooking the beach and ocean nearby.

There was also a recreation shack on the beach.  There you could get a kayak or go wind surfing, all included with the wrist band.  There were other activities as well, so if you are a go getter when kicking back there's plenty of stuff to do besides drink.  We're more of the book reading types while roasting our flesh poolside when we kick back.  You know, we kick back.  Relax.  Intermixed with a little adventure now and then.  That's kind of our travel style in a tropical locale. 

The beach hosted a multitude of real palm trees for shade and there were many chaise lounges there as well.  We sat down together on one with tropical drinks in hand and listened to the rhythmic sound of the surf.  A light ocean breeze tickled our fancy.  Ah yes, tropical resort life!  It was all coming back to me.  It sounded a lot like this: Back to the Island.

After we got our feet wet in the much warmer than Northern California Pacific Ocean, we wandered back through the lovely grounds to the huge facility.  The main buffet restaurant was located there on ground level, as were two other "themed" restaurants, Mexican and Asian.  With the Italian restaurant and the Ocean buffet there were easily over a hundred entree choices available for dinner every night.  On site.  There was also a sports bar that served snacks 24 hours a day.  Just in case you needed a cocktail and food fix at four AM.

We pretty much ate at the main buffet every night.  The selection there was so vast it was nearly impossible to double up on anything, unless you wanted to.  A half dozen meats, a half dozen sea food items, vegetable offerings, starch offerings, it was endless.  There were probably fifty hot food items available on any given night.   This wasn't Hometown Buffet either.  This was highly consumable cuisine.

Did I mention the salad bar was always outrageous?  I lived there.  You could build your own with an assortment of vegies and there were a half dozen assorted ready made offerings as well.  One night there were four different kinds of ceviche.  How could you have room for steak?  Or port glazed carrots?

And the dessert bar?  I lived there too.  Over a dozen choices every night.  Which, I might add, was about the number I tried every night.  How could I not?  I was in a sugar sweet heavenly retreat.  And I didn't have to make one, although I always go home with a few ideas to play with.

Yeah, some folks weld.  I bake. 

That first night though we were coerced into the Mexican buffet by a very nice young gentleman.  What the hell.  We love that cuisine too.  That buffet was also vast and entirely fabulous.  Just about everything you'd see on a menu at a Mexican restaurant here in the states was readily available.  And really good too.  I mean, those native Mexicans sure know how to make real great tasting Mexican food.  Know what I mean?

Over tacos, tostadas, tamales, buckets of guacamole and more, we decided the next day would be a total unwind day.  Poolside.  I mean, we were in the wild and hectic world of buffoonery all day.  We needed to get an initial dose of relaxation.  Mosey on down to Resort Town poolside and check out the scene.

The next morning I discovered one needs to get to Resort Town poolside early and stake a claim or one may be sitting on one's hands on the beach all day.   I think I meandered down to the adult pool around 9 AM after a resounding breakfast of a few slices of melon and papaya.  Yeah, it may be all inclusive and all you can eat, but that was all I could eat.  What can I say?  Not a big breakfast kind of guy.

I got the pool towels and then went on a hunt for a couple available chaise lounges.  You'd think it would be easy since there were a couple hundred around each pool, but it wasn't.  I think I found the last two that weren't reserved.

The hotel expressly forbids reserving lounges, but it's practiced routinely, at least the week we were there.  Folks were bouncing down there at 7:00 AM and putting their towels or other items on the chaises to reserve them.   Our two were in the back row, which was just fine with me.  No need to be front and center in Resort Town.

The pool area was kind of quiet in the morning hours.  It was nice.  Rather than loud music and louder still boisterous, drunken conversation, we were serenaded by these black birds that looked similar to crows in shape and size.  Except their voices were quite melodic.  Instead of a brazen "Caw-Caw" they sang a lovely "Coo-Coo".  They sounded a lot more like Bocelli, while a crow sounds sort of like Bocephus.  If I were to make a totally random and irrelevant observation regarding bird sounds and human entertainers.

See what leisure time brings to me?

People-watching at airports, blues concerts and bingo parlors is some of the best, but people watching at Resort Town poolside is even better.  Probably because most of the people are almost naked, I guess.  There's no where to hide.

And there were all sorts of almost naked people.  Big ones, little ones, round ones, thin ones.  Tall, short, old, and new.  Every size, shape and hair color imaginable too.    

There were lots of almost naked nationalities too.  Lots of foreign languages were being spoken everywhere. Spanish was the most prevalent, but then there was also French, German, and Canadian.

Eh?  An utterance which Canadians seem to unabashedly and humorously acknowledge, unless they were actively engaged in utilizing.  

One of the best sightings for me on the first day was the reasonably fit middle-aged lady in a one piece swimsuit.  She was walking along towards the pool rolling a little portable O2 canister behind.  A nasal cannula was affixed under her nostrils.  One of her hands held the handle to the rolling O2.  The other hand held a pack of smokes and a lighter.

That's like seriously overweight folks who wear sweatpants to a buffet.  Has impulse and desire totally overtaken sanity and appropriate attire?

As the morning progressed, so did resort town's population.  Most all the reserved lounges contained glistening bodies by eleven, as did the pool.  Music was blaring from a couple loud speakers.  From "Butterfly Kisses", which we were blessed with twice one day, to "Takin it Easy",  to Katy Perry to "Spirit in the Sky".  With some disco and cartwheels in between.

Somebody needs to talk with their DJ.  But hey, it's Resort Town, alcohol included.  It didn't matter.  With enough alcohol anything could blast out of the loudspeaker and be relevant in some sort of way to somebody.  It didn't matter what was playing as long as it had some sort of beat. 

Oiled up human bodies were everywhere.  Sun screen manufacturers would be joyful.  And the colors?  On one side there were flesh colors ranging from tan to brown to coco bronze.  Then there were the ones that ranged from white to pink to a blazing bright, ooh I am so glad that's not me red.  And all ranges in between.

Everyone has their own resort town style too.  From speedos to board shorts to ankle length cargo shorts for men, bikini's to exotic one piece suits to tents for women.  And lots and lots of tattoos these days.  On both men and women.  They were everywhere.  It was the perfect opportunity and venue to showcase body artwork, especially if the artwork was located on a part of the body not usually exposed in a business boardroom.  Or the grocery store.  It was OK to strut most all your stuff at resort town. 

There was a lot of self-consciousness, which happens I guess when you're parading around in public in your swimsuit.  Pretty much baring it all, with some suits leaving very little to the imagination.  But then I think there was just as much I don't really give a shit as there was concern about physical appearance.  Plus, for most folks it was possible to consume enough alcohol every day to allow them not to really give a shit about their appearance.  Or anything else for that matter.

Speaking of attire, you could always tell the newcomers to the resort, the folks that just rolled in off the plane.  They arrive at all hours of the day.  And they go exploring, just like we did.  They're the ones that are  fully dressed with their shoes and socks on.  Looking quite out of place as they walked through a wasteland of glistening, semi-nude, half lit baking bodies.  Yep, new kids.  Somebody give 'em a drink.

At least when we went on our first recon mission we had the good sense and moral decency to put on shorts and sandals, and grab a drink.  But then, we've been to resort town before and know what's required.

Sigh.  It was tough, real tough.  But that's why we were there.  Read.  Bake.  People watch.  Swim.  Drink.  Eat.  Read.  Bake.  People watch.  Swim.  Drink.  You get the picture.  That kind of arduous routine always allows me to unwind, much quicker than a kayaking excursion would.  But as we baked and relaxed, we also decided we'd take a trip into town the next day.  Exploration and adventure!  We'd be rested and ready.

You may be wondering what I read when I'm relaxing.  I like non-fictional suspense, so I read "The Crash of 2016".  It's compelling.  And y'all wonder why this 60 year old is building a homestead?

In the meantime, just when I thought all the fabulous people watching might get boring the recreation crew started an in-pool exercise la bamba class.  This was where mostly semi-inebriated middle aged women did some sort of in-pool calisthenics for a half hour so they could get their heart rate up and really catch a buzz.  It was mildly entertaining for a while, but after a fashion they began to make a lot of annoying grunts and whistles.  So we went to lunch.

Wifi was available for free in the cavernous, open air lobby.  There would be a number of folks in there at any given hour cyber communicating.  Or looking at porn.  There were also a half dozen computers available for use in the sports bar.  The internet was available, but we were in Mexico.  I left my tablet in the safe the entire week and didn't visit cyberville at all.

The silver and lavender decor of the lobby was a throwback to the cocaine fueled disco era of the 80's when bright lavish colors fused with anything metallic.   At night, the three foot tall ordinarily white cylindrical bases of the lobby's pillars were lit in lavender, which reflected everywhere on the metallic trim and surfaces.  The only thing missing was Donna Summer and a big white pile of go go fuel on the massive glass table in the middle of the room. 

That next day we took a cab ride into town.  Even though we could have rented a car for ten bucks for the entire week, the mandatory Mexican auto insurance would have cost us at least thirty bucks a day.  We did the math.  We were only going to travel one or two days, cabs would be fine.  Plus I wouldn't have to drive.

So watch those travel site lead ins.  All the leading car rental agencies were offering deals from $9 to $20 per WEEK in Mexico.  But when you get to the rental car counter at your destination they suddenly hit you with some exorbitant insurance rates.  Yeah, yeah, your state side auto insurance and credit card will cover you.  Maybe in the states, but not so in Mexico.  Beware!

The last time we were in Puerto Vallarta was in 1975, back when Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor maintained a residence on the upper crust hillside overlooking the town and bay.  As a matter of fact, we literally almost ran into Liz one day when we were touring the town in a rental car. 

It was a sleepy city back then, it has certainly sprawled since.  But the old, touristy part of town is still very much intact.  The area is littered with many curio shops as well as Pharmacias.  As a matter of fact, there were little pharmacies on every block.  And around the corner and across the street from each other.  They were everywhere.  Just like Starbucks.  Here.  

It's no wonder.  Many expensive prescription meds here can be bought over the counter there for a fraction of the cost.  With so many shops I'm going to assume business is good.

We also visited the very quaint and beautiful Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church.  It sits right at the border of the old town tourist district on a small city lot.  It is one of the city's most endearing landmarks and a must see if in Puerto Vallarta.  There was a lot of activity there when we stopped by.  A guided tour, a few parishioners and a charity organization were all vying for a bit of its beauty and attention.  The charity gauchos were actually vying for our attention, which they got.  And received.

When we returned to the hotel I decided I needed a dip in the ocean.  Get a little salt on my body.  Which I did.  I was able to body surf on one MASSIVE three foot wave, but the two footers after that just didn't quite seem to be worth the effort.

It was quite windy on the beach when I went in, so I decided to mosey into resort town to see if there were any available lounges.  I mean, it was late afternoon.

The adult pool, however, was still smokin.  The bar was ABLAZE.  4:00 PM was, apparently, the adult pool's finest hour.  It glistened, as did a couple hundred semi-clad inebriated individuals in full, ribald glory. Unabashed and unafraid.  It was loud, obnoxious, and boisterously insane.  No thanks, not now.

I checked the scene at the almost as large kids pool.  It was much quieter and I found a chaiser.  Once set, I took a dip in the pool to replace all that natural salt with unnatural chlorine.  I found the kids pool was noticeably warmer than the adult pool.  I don't know if that can be attributed to the fact the Riu warms it up for the smaller tykes or the smaller tykes just warm it up for themselves.  If you know what I mean.  I didn't go back in that pool again.

The next day was another resort town day.  Adventure, relax.  Adventure, relax.  We were gonna simply hang out and enjoy all the ambiance the Riu had to offer.  And it was splendid.  Speaking of splendid-, we did not eat indoors the entire time we were there.  We dined al fresco ad infinitum.  

The next day we decided to take a taxi up to Sayulita, a "magical" little town north of Puerto Vallarta.  Our cabbie on the ride into town two days before suggested it, and the concierge at our hotel called Sayulita "magical".  

It takes a twenty-five mile cab ride through the jungle to get there.  Or you could take a mule.  But that would take a lot longer.  Even as it stands there is no way to get there quick.  The two lane main highway north is very curvy and invariably gets slowed on either side by a semi or bus.  I saw a line of thirty cars behind a semi going the other way.  It can be a real slow motion horror parade to some.

We were about eighth behind a truck on the way to Sayulita and there was a black Cad Expedition a couple cars behind us.  They started the exhaustive process of passing one to two cars at a time, eventually landing freedom about a quarter mile in front of us.  Just as we hit the turn off to Sayulita and right where the highway split into four lanes.  It's a timing thing.

We found Sayluta quite charming.  You can easily spend a half day to the rest of your life in this sleepy little surf and beach village.  No big resorts though.  There were a number of small, boutique hotels in the town, and there were tons of little, teeny cobblestone street, four table cafes.  They were everywhere.  So were curio shops.  And pharmacias.  Once again.  Anywhere tourists might flock, there were going to be some drugs available.

We strolled through the village in mid morning; it was vibrant and beginning to bustle.  I got a feeling though that come evening those cobble stone streets get real lively and tequila'd up.  If we were 20 to 40 years younger I could see us easily spending a week or two under Sayulita's magical spell.

Upon return to the Riu we stopped in for a little late lunch buffet.  It was here I had a realization and made an observation regarding the Riu's cuisine.

The Riu Palace in Cabo had better food.  Don't get me wrong, the food at the Riu Jalisco was fine.  It was great as a matter of fact.  But the Palace was better.  Better flavor.  Better texture.  Better selection.  If that could even be possible.  And they also serve top shelf, name brand alcohol, which the Jalisco did not.

But the Palace version of the Riu is also more expensive.   So, if you are an epicurean couple who enjoys fine dining, spend the extra bucks and stay at a Riu Palace.  They have a number of that version in many different locations.  You will not be disappointed.  But if you're traveling with a handful of kids or a bachelor/ bachelorette party, any Riu will be more than just fine.

The last day of our vacation I arose ahead of my lovely wife and scampered down to reserve a couple chaises.  It was going to be another total kick back, resort town kind of day.  With that project done, I went to the sports bar to get a couple coffees and an OJ.  Those coffees would help us get down to the restaurant for more coffee and the OJ would allow us to mix up our Immunocal, which we can take with us anywhere.  Besides raising glutathione levels in the body, it tastes great!  Just like an Orange Julius when mixed right.

Once quite casually dressed, we wandered down to the breakfast buffet.  Pancakes, waffles, muffins and rolls.  Omelets, sunny side, over easy, four or five different quiches, sausage, bacon, jamon.  A dozen different cereals.  A yogurt bar.  Literally, any breakfast item you can think of.  If it's not yet made, someone will make it for you.  If it's not yet invented, they probably do that too.

I had a few slices of melon and papaya from the fruit bar again.  Can't bribe this old dog with tempting tricks.

Besides those ultra health conscious tidbits I had for breakfast every morning, I also decided early on that I would do just a little bit of exercise while I was at the resort.  The hell with the gym though.  I chose to walk the 28 steps up and down the stairs from the disco lobby to the restaurant and ground level six times a day rather than take the elevator. Plus it was a mile and a half to the beach.  That's all the exercise I need when on vacation.  The Riu is about leisure, so I don't want to disappoint.

The Riu Jalisco on spring break week was like Disneyland without the rides.  From babies to incredibly self-conscious teens, kids were everywhere. Twelve and under were free, but with unlimited food I would think there could be some savings.  At least with teen boys.  That first day there was a couple from Australia with four teenage boys next to us poolside.  I would think the money they'd save by not having to feed those boys for a week at home paid for at least one of their tickets.

We were fine with all the kids, we're grand parents.  Plus everyone seemed to be on their best behavior, I don't think we ran into any outrageous misbehavior the entire week.  Even by drunk adults.

There were a lot of Canadians at the resort too.  Probably more of them than any other nationality.  We chatted with a couple from Winnipeg, Canada that last morning.  Canadians love Puerto Vallarta.  They have direct flights from there to there all the time.  We live in California and had to two hop down.  They lived four times as far and flew direct.  Go figure.

They were also quite amused by our presidential electoral process.  It goes on FOREVER.  Theirs only lasts three months.   They also expressed concern about a couple of the candidates.  We concurred with their concern.  Who knows, we could end up neighbors of theirs if things don't go our way.

There were a number of mid-westerners from the US too.  They wondered why the heck we Californians needed to get away from all our sun.  We said because the going got tough.

My lovely wife, a cat whisperer, had the pleasure of being able to visit with a small feral cat colony of four or five cats and kitties.  They were always around the outdoor dining patio in the evening, looking for scraps.  That last day poolside we were also treated to a half dozen iguana sightings.  They would amble out of the bushes and mosey along the impeccably manicured lawns, looking for bugs.  Or cats.  I mean, some of them were close to three feet long. 

We could not have asked for better weather.  March in Mexico is heavenly.  The temps ranged from about 68 degrees at night to 82 at the afternoon zenith.  It gets quite a bit warmer as summer progresses though.  Probably get some good rates then.  Just live in one of the pools.

The flights home were also uneventful.  Except for the tequila confiscation.  Which was a total catch-22.

After we were through security we picked up a couple gift bottles at the Puerto Vallarta airport.  They were wrapped up and sealed.  I put them in my back pack which ended up under the seat in front of me.

When we got to Dallas we breezed through customs, but when we were through they kicked us out to a main area of the airport.  So we had to go through security again.  With big bottles of liquid.  We had no idea. We could have shipped them for more than their worth, but passed.  So some TSA agent in Dallas is gonna be catching a nice buzz on us one of these days if they haven't already.

Three hours later we were on our last plane homeward bound.  We got home and were in bed by eleven.  But, you know, if we lived in Canada, which is a lot further away, we'd have been in bed sooner.  You know, direct flight, no layover.

PS If I were ever to move to Canada, I would move to Saskatchewan.  I would then open a Schezwan restaurant.  I would call it "Saskatchewan Schezwan".

Ye Olde Homestead Update

It's spring.  I'm busier then hell right now.  I need two of me.  And a goat.  Anybody got a goat they want to rent out for a week or two?

Plus my bro-in-law, Richard Harris, is running for County Supervisor.  I'm helping him out behind the scenes.  I'll have a spare ten seconds this November.  Maybe.

I want to close out this post with an absolutely wonderful version of a very old classic, "Dancing in the Moonlight" by Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds.