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

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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

Beers, Brunch, and Blistering Sunburns: Welcome to the Weekend

Success! We’d officially made it to the weekend and only lost one wallet, two people, and gained three bruises and one legit battle scar. If you added in “See a dog get hit by a car right after you make friends with it and discover it only answers to ‘perro’ and not ‘dog’ since it only understands Spanish because you’re in Mexico” (long, sad story….we won’t go there), we’d checked off pretty much everything on our bucket list. We were off to a great start with our Mexican friendcation.

A couple of us decided to break off into smaller groups – some went hiking, some went to the beach, some stayed by the pool, and a few of us went downtown to explore. It was like that “Little Piggies” nursery rhyme. Because it was a Saturday morning, my group opted to head downtown….shocking, right?

1966698_10106060698353804_738660789_nAfter a late start thanks to the shenanigans the night before, we made our way down and wandered around for a while checking out some random shops. In no time at all, we found ourselves seated at the bar at Los Muertos Brewing, an awesome little corner brew pub that’s marketed as “Puerto Vallarta’s first craft brewery. We would soon come to discover that not only was their beer deliciously thirst-quenching, but their pizza was also phenomenal. We opted for a Lazaro Cardenas – topped with pesto sauce, chicken, spinach, onion, and goat cheese. Holy delicious, Batman! This place seriously needs to look into opening a second brewery/pizzeria in Chicago because I’d be there every week. Perhaps even multiple times a week. Forget Chicago-style deep dish…this is where it’s at guys. Yum.

One pizza later (and probably several pounds heavier), we made our way back to the street and continued on our exploration. Popping into random stores and gawking at the oftentimes odd and obscene artwork, we laughed our way through town then headed back to the house to get ready for the evening. With three birthdays occurring while we were south of the border, we were ready to get our fiesta on – especially since one was single and ready to mingle and would be turning 26 at midnight.

Continue reading

Losing Blood, People, Wallets, and Skin: The Adventure Continues

I’d left off before as we were about to enter a guacamole-induced coma while waiting for the rest of the group to get to the house. Need a recap? Check out The Real World: Puerto Vallarta. Needless to say, the other six arrived and were just as impressed with our new crib as we were. After a quick switch of bedrooms, we were all settled in and ready to hit up the convenience store and stock up on the essentials: bread, coffee, and booze.

There was only one thing standing between us and the store: a hill followed by a rope bridge guarded by an alligator.

Pretty ominous, right? But come, on…it’s just a hill. It’s nothing our parents hadn’t probably walked uphill both ways in the snow to get to school when they were our age, right?

Wrong.

This hill would prove to be either the devil or the world’s best lower body workout. Perhaps both. This hill would go on to claim more breath, skin, and bitching than anything else any of us had probably ever – and will probably ever will – experienced in our young adult lives. I equate conquering this hill to giving birth.  Continue reading

The Real World: Puerto Vallarta

Once again, I’ve been pretty much MIA. Go figure, right? It’s for good reason though because I was on vacation, and for the two weeks since I’ve been back I’ve been attempting to play catch-up at the office. You never realize just how many emails you get each day until you take six days plus a weekend off with no access to company email/voicemail. But yes, I know you find it hard to believe, but even I need a well-deserved break sometimes. So on that note, I’m going to also take a break from writing about things that annoy me and weave you the tale (or more appropriately a poncho) of my recent friendcation to Mexico. I’m sure those of you who know me in person are like “Oh god, we have to hear about Mexico AGAIN?! Can’t you just shut up and move there already?” but I don’t care. This isn’t about you. Deal with it.

So here we are last summer when a friend asked me what I was doing in February. Funny, right? Half the time I don’t even know what I’m doing for dinner. So naturally, the minute he said “We’re looking at getting a group of friends together and booking a house in Puerto Vallarta for a week, you in?” Of course I was all in. I mean, you’d have to be crazy to say no to a week away from the frigid tundra otherwise known as Chicago in the winter.

Fast forward six months and the daily photo countdown kicks off on Facebook.

28 days…

23 days…

12 days. ..

10000…and and all the way on down until one day left. I’m sure every single one of our friends (of all eight of us going) were sufficiently annoyed by this point and probably relieved that we’d be finally ending the daily countdown of photos showcasing the sand, palm trees, ocean, and all the other things that go along with a vacation on the beach that we’d be experiencing and they wouldn’t. Did we care though? Not in the least. So long, suckers. My passport was ready in a feisty yellow leather case (with orange leather lining). My rainbow Lacoste beach towel was packed inside my brand new (white) suitcase that was filled to the brim with tank tops, flip flops, shorts, and the obligatory blow dryer just in case there wasn’t one where we were staying. My weave was freshly cut, and my brows and back waxed (just to be proactive/paranoid). The day had come, and it was time for this homo to blow this popsicle stand and make a beeline to paradise for a week. Hasta la vista. Continue reading