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

Grandmas Against Humanity

Before you jump to conclusions and assume my grandma is a YouTube celebrity, no, my grandma is NOT one of these ladies. I wouldn’t put it past her though. I’ve recently learned that nothing should really surprise me anymore when it comes to her.

I went home recently to see my little sister walk across a stage and read a speech. You know, the typical valedictorian stuff — I mean, isn’t everyone’s sister valedictorian when they graduate college? (insert proud big brother status here)

While I was home, we decided to have a chill night in (twice actually) and partake in some quality family bonding time, game night so to speak, with a quality family-friendly card game: Cards Against Humanity.

To say I learned a lot about my grandma is an understatement… 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

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

Planes, Trains, and Buses…They All Suck

I don’t know what it is about airports. It seems like they should all operate the same, but they never do.

I like to think of myself as a somewhat seasoned traveler. Am I one of those new-fangled “Trusted Traveler” things? Nope. Do I fly first class or frequently get bumped to an upgraded seat? Nope. Do I fly pretty often though and know my way around the airport bars? Why yes, yes I do.

When I moved to Nebraska, a bunch of people I met found it crazy that I’d traveled so much growing up and had been to a lot of places. Sorry that you don’t get out much, but traveling is something I grew up with and have come to appreciate. Between working jobs that require (and pay for – cha-ching!) traveling as well as having good friends who are scattered around the country like darts I attempt to throw at a dartboard, I take every opportunity to get out and see as many places as I can as often as possible.

This weekend was no different…until I got to O’Hare. Continue reading