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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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