The Mexico Diaries: Part 5

DAY 9

Walk down the Malecón to do breakfast at Langostino’s – the restaurant where I met the Canadian boys the other day. While I’m eating, Doug and Luis walk by and ask if they can join me. Of course! There’s always room for two more with my party of one – especially since I’m posted up at a four-top. We chat and sip coffee for nearly an hour and become FB friends before heading off. I find out they’re 55 and 60 and one of the most fun couples I’ve met. God bless Canada.

Swing back to my hotel and contemplate doing the pool for a bit but decide I should pack the majority of my stuff first. May as well get ahead of the game since I leave for the airport in T-minus 26 hours. How depressing. Ugh. I don’t want to leave tomorrow. Continue reading

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The Mexico Diaries: Part 4

DAY 7

How is it even the seventh day already? In celebration of god resting, I’m up early at 5am and ready to roll. Check my phone: sunrise at 7:02am. Perfect. Get dressed. Head downstairs by 6:15am. It’s adventure time!

But first, coffee.

There…is…no…coffee. I may die.

Run back upstairs and grab two of my stockpiled bottles of water. I’ve resorted to hiding them daily when I leave so housekeeping keeps bringing more so I have them just in case. Water will have to hold me over until I get to Starbucks. There is one here. I’m basically the human form of Little Bunny Follows His Nose. I can sniff out coffee anywhere. Continue reading

The Mexico Diaries: Part 3

DAY 5

Tall local leaves around 9am. Apple Watch says I’ve already stood for 4 hours so I must have been out until at least 4am. Already doubled my move and exercise goals for the day. Need to go clubbing more often. Skinny goals. Back to sleep until noon. Gracias. Continue reading

The Mexico Diaries: Part 2

DAY 3

Grabbed brunch and margaritas at El Dorado. Server told me the bathroom for me is the door on the left. Sign on the door says “LADIES.” Kid’s got jokes.

img_7362 Continue reading

The Mexico Diaries: Part 1

A few months back, my boss says to me: “So you have a bunch of vacation days to burn through before blackout kicks in for the holiday. Figure out when you want to take some PTO and let me know.” Since I’m not one to sit around and do nothing (sorry to any of you who live for a good staycation) I immediately started looking for flights to somewhere warm. As much as I love Chicago, I need the beach – a real beach on an ocean, not a lake – in my life.

So remember that time I went to Mexico for a week with seven of my friends and wound up losing my wallet in the first 48 hours? Well…when you have ten days to burn and find a round-trip flight for under $300 and a hotel for $31/night that’s two blocks from the beach, you book it and cross your fingers since you’re flying solo this time around.

With the exchange rate making a Corona about $1.20 at the time, I decided I should probably keep notes to document my trip since it would probably wind up being a blur. Behold. Continue reading

Adventures in Road Tripping Part 4: All Good Things Must Come to an End…or a Temporary Pause

As we rolled into San Diego on a sunny Sunday afternoon, depression started to set in. In less than 24 hours I was supposed to be boarding my flight back to Chicago and trading 80-degree temps for 50’s and rain. Determined not to let the inevitable (me leaving) get us down, we headed for Balboa Park to stretch our legs and let Baker make some friends at the dog park before checking into our amazing last-minute AirBNB booking at the Granada House (make sure to check out their blog too!!) in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. As our stomachs began to growl (yes, gays really do eat sometimes), we set off for the beach to grab dinner and catch the end of the sunset.

SD Sunset 1

I mean seriously…how can you not fall in love with this view?

And just like that, my love affair with San Diego began. Continue reading

Adventures in Road Tripping Part 3: California Dreaming

In case you’ve somehow missed the first half of my road trip of a lifetime, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2. If you’re caught up, behold….the light at the end of the tunnel!

Setting the cruise control for 85, we took off from Portland and set our GPS for the city of cable cars, hills, sourdough bread, and the Golden Gate Bridge…but more importantly: Full House and one of my all-time favorite movies…Mrs. Doubtfire.

Helloooooo, San Francisco!

Bonus points if you read that in the Mrs. Doubtfire voice where Robin Williams is spontaneously painted for filth (as drag queens say) in birthday cake realness.

Leave it to us to get distracted though and turn what could have been a quick 10-hour drive (or 8 hours with us at the helm) into a full two days of driving thanks to a state-line sunset and a trip through the Redwood Forest.

As we closed in on the Oregon/California state line, it was nearing time for sunset and what better way to welcome us to California than my first official California sunset?

Crescent City SunsetWe pulled off in a town called Crescent City and found a harbor where we could watch the sunset. Let’s just say that after seeing a California set I was officially sold. Nothing I’ve seen before compares.

Figuring it’d be fun to camp again, we called to reserve a campsite in the Redwood National Forest. Wrong.

“Sorry the campsites in the park are first-come first-serve. You need to book your campsite at least 48 hours in advance, and we don’t know which campsites have availability or not.” Continue reading

Adventures in Road Tripping Part 2: The Oregon Trail

Sorry for keeping you in suspense (yes mom, I’m talking about you – now stop harassing me for taking forever to post Part 2) with the second half of my now-not-so-recent roadtrip to the West Coast. If you’re reading this, the suspense has obviously not killed you so congratulations on surviving. So without any further ado…

(drumroll please)

Last we left off, we’d peaced out of Glacier National Park and were high-tailing it to Seattle. To the land of Starbucks and fish-tossers we went. Since my partner in crime had friends in Seattle there’d be no camping for us at this pit stop – sofa-surfing it was.

Several pit stops at Starbucks later, we were officially in Seattle and checked into the fancy Casa de Amiga for our two night stay in Starbucksville. Since we’d arrived just in time for Happy Hour, we were greeted by our friend with a “Hi, how are you!? Would you like some pot chocolate before we head out?”

I’m sorry, but did you say HOT chocolate, or POT chocolate?

I mean….since it’s legal in Washington….when in Rome! Continue reading

Adventures in Road Tripping Part 1: Conquering the Wilderness

The Good FellasSo as I’d mentioned in my last post, I was hitting the road for a 15-day road trip across the country. Well….those 15 days ended up morphing into 17 which almost turned into an indefinite stay in California. Leave it to me to fall in love with the promise of year-round warm weather, sun, sand, and one of my best friends.

But wait…since I know how much you loved the thrill and suspense of my Mexican shenanigans, let’s dive into the ridiculousness of my adventure across the country. From the wilderness of Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Park to the cities of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and every podunk shut-down-at-9pm town in between, our 17 days were packed full of adventure. Commence the epic journey of two wise guys, or “The Good Fellas” as we would become known as thanks to a homeless caricature artist that we’d meet in a bar in San Diego.  Continue reading

Ziplining, Homicidal Horses, and Sketchy Tattoo Parlors: YOLO’ing Through Our Last 3 Days in Mexico

So here we were…Day 6 of our 8-day adventure in Puerto Vallarta, and what better way to spend it than heading off to go zip lining and horseback riding. It was time for the eight of us city-slickers to try and be adventurous. To the wilderness we went!

As described on (and copied and pasted from) the Los Veranos Canopy Tours website:

“With more than two miles of cable in a series of 14 zip lines, many over 1100 feet long and over 100 meters high- this tour will be the highlight of your vacation!”

Los-Veranos-Canopy-Tour-640x480Boy were they right. I mean, I don’t know if I’d go far enough to say that it would be the “highlight” of our vacation, although it was definitely up there for most of us. Lupita, I’m sure, probably classifies it as “unforgettable” – but then again a fear of heights will do that to you. I mean, if my math is correct (which most of the time it isn’t – my mom will vouch for this since I just got off the phone with her seeking assistance filing my Nebraska income taxes since math has never been my strong point), then 100 meters high is the same as turning a football field on end…right? That’s pretty high above the ground. So needless to say…it would proove to be unforgettable.

Continue reading