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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Honeymoon Hosers

"I never thought we would have to compare two Mexican booze cruise Queen lip syncing acts; and yet here we are."

That's not necessarily the quote that defines our 10 year wedding anniversary vacation, but that's the one I remember; and let's face it: it's probably the one that piques the most interest. 

I'll back up a little. Just over a week ago, my husband and I spent a glorious week in Puerto Vallarta, the same city we spent our honeymoon, 10 years ago. A second honeymoon. Adorable, huh? Yeah, we know. 

The trip didn't start out adorable, though. Well more accurately, I didn't start off adorable. Our flight left at 7:55am out of DIA, which meant we had to be there at 5:55 am. The airport is a little under 2 hours away from where we live, which meant that we had to leave at 3:55 am, which meant I had to wake up at fuckoff:55 am. Yeah, not adorable. Not even vaguely cute.

But, we arrived at our south of the border location with relative ease. At least I'm assuming we did; I got "travel numb" off rum and ginger ales on the plane. Trip faced, if you will. Or if you won't. Luckily, my darling husband doesn't drink, so he got us to our hotel despite the extra drunken baggage. If our trip had a subtitle, it would have been "Whiskey, Fully Loaded." It's probably a good thing our trip didn't have a subtitle, because that was pretty lame.

When we arrived at our resort, they had a lovely anniversary suite set up for us, complete with rose petals, champagne and a freshly drawn bubble bath. I immediately grabbed the bottle of champagne, kicked off my flip flops and sat at the edge of the tub, feet immersed in bubbles, chugging that whole damn delicious bottle of cheap champagne. I am one classy lassie. Eventually, I realized how silly I looked. I changed into my bathing suit and got back in the tub; like a drunken sorority girl.

Troy made me some coffee, sobered me up (ish) and took me to dinner where I had the best table side guacamole I've ever had. I told the waiter as much. Loudly. My charm has no bounds.

(There's that drunken smile that Troy fell in love with all those years ago. photo by confused waiter)

The next day we spent lounging by the ocean. I layered myself with enough sunblock to protect a flock of Scandinavian school children and proceeded to do something I haven't been able to do in years: I relaxed. That didn't last long, however, as after about 20 minutes, I decided that I needed to check my email. I managed to get very worked up over the spotty wifi. Yep, you read that right. I was about 20 feet from the ocean and I was annoyed by the weak wifi signal. I'm the ugliest of Americans.

Speaking of ugly, pale Americans; the next day we set out for a walking and tasting tour of the city. If you've never been to Puerto Vallarta, you should experience it. I feel as though it's one of the most European-esque cities in Mexico. The buildings are older, there are charming cobblestone streets (although I'm sure daily drivers don't find the cobblestone charming) and there is a noticeable lack of "Wooo, spring break!" type bars. There are a few, but not as many as Cancun or Cabo.

We met up with Enrique, our guide for the walking and food tasting tour. First stop; carnitas! We enjoyed some spectacular carnitas tacos from a little hole in the wall carnitas shop. They were divine. We also had some horchata. AND we impressed our guide by knowing what horchata was. We felt smug. Ugh. Smug pasty white people are the WORST. Anyway, we had an amazing tour of the city and the food that it has to offer. At the last stop, we had THE BEST CEVICHE ON THE PLANET. I am not exaggerating. If you are ever in Puerto Vallarta, do yourself a favor and go to Mariscos Cisneros.
*Side note: when I typed "THE BEST CEVICHE ON THE PLANET," my non-Spanish speaking computer suggested the word "crevice," which made me giggle. How odd and inappropriate would it be for me to type "THE BEST CREVICE ON THE PLANET" in all caps? Oh, I guess I just did. Heh.

On Tuesday, we lounged by the pool and I got buzzed off of cervezas....well as buzzed as a girl from Colorado can get drinking Corona Lights at sea level; which is to say, not very buzzed. As I have declared before, I'm a fucking Olympian when it comes to drinking at sea level. Just don't let me chug an entire bottle of cheap champagne in the bath tub....

(Poolside Envy. photo by Troy Staat)

Wednesday, we went to an isolated private beach reserve called Las Caletas. It used to be director John Huston's private beach. It's now owned and leased by Vallarta Adventures, a tour group that provides an excursion on the island. This is where I got to hold a squirrel monkey. Yep. I held a squirrel monkey. And a parrot. And a hawk. But, did I mention the squirrel monkey?

(Squirrel Monkey Envy. photo by Troy Staat)

During this trip, we also learned that it's not just Americans that are loud and obnoxious (although we do seem to be holding down that number one spot pretty securely).  We managed to encounter the mythical loud and obnoxious Canadian. I know. Canadians are nice, gentle, respectful people. Americans pretend to be Canadians when traveling abroad to avoid the Ugly American connotation. Canadians are not loud and obnoxious. Usually.

We met the only loud and obnoxious Canadian. He managed a Home Depot garden center in Vancouver. His vacation was rerouted from hurricane-struck Cabo to Puerto Vallarta. He saw a newspaper picture of Robin Thicke waiting in line at the Cabo airport. He went scuba diving the day before. His wife stayed behind at the hotel (wonder why?). He planned on coming back next year.

"Oh, you must have had a lengthy conversation with him," you are undoubtedly assuming to yourself. Nope. We never spoke to this man. All of this information was provided to us, whether we liked it or not, via his incredibly loud, one-sided conversation that he was having with a poor helpless tour guide...from about 40 ft away. Surprisingly, the only thing we didn't know about him was his name. We decided to call him Scuba Hoser.

The next evening, we went back to Las Caletas for the Rhythms Of The Night show- a sort of hokey, wannabe Cirque de Soleil production...with mosquitos. The show wasn't anything spectacular or worth mentioning. What is worth mentioning is this: on the boat ride back to our hotel, we witnessed the second (and lesser quality) of an odd, confusing entertainment "skit" put on by the boat's crew. And it was the second (and lesser quality) lip-syncing Queen extravaganza of our trip. The first time we saw this was on the day-time boat ride to Las Caletas the day before. When I first saw it, I thought, "OK this is weird, but it looks like the crew worked hard on coming up with this entertainment, so I'll just sip my margarita and watch what unfolds." It reminded me of a child's impromptu performance when he/she wants attention and praise from adults. What unfolded was a confusing (and slightly homophobic) lip-syncing drag-ish performance to Queen's greatest hits, complete with front man who channeled John Leguizamo more than Freddie Mercury.

So, imagine our befuddlement when we saw a second and almost identical, but slightly inferior, production of the same thing on the boat ride that evening. Turns out what I thought was just a lost in translation, cutesy form of entertainment put on by that particular crew, was in fact a company-wide, deliberately written and rehearsed script. Which brought me to turn to Troy and utter the following: "I never thought we would have to compare two Mexican booze cruise Queen lip syncing acts; and yet here we are." Don't get me wrong, I love Queen. Freddie Mercury is an idol and a rock god. What they did to Freddie's good name was inexcusable.

We spent the remaining days of our vacation relaxing at the resort or wandering the city; and I did what I do best- I drank tropical drinks and I shopped. Usually at the same time.

(Still standing after day drinking. Where's my medal? photo by Troy Staat)

Scuba Hoser, shitty Queen tributes, mosquitos and all; our second honeymoon was nothing short of perfect. Nothing can test a marriage more than traveling together and we did it splendidly. Marriages are partnerships and friendships; after 10 years, I think we've mastered both. I don't think you can eloquently and effectively put into words an ideal marriage; it is lived and experienced. It's perfectly equal; no winners or losers, just two individuals who have figured out how to love each other, help each other, depend on each other, fight with each other, forgive each other and support each other.

No, a perfect marriage can't be put into words...But, I totally just put it into words- on the Internet- so I win! In your face, Husband! *Chants "I'm number 1! I'm number 1!" in true ugly American style.*

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