air port security, allergy, Bed bug, bites, blog, bug, Bus, Cards Against Humanity, customs, friends, good times, Los Angeles, mexico, ocean, plane, puerto, vacation, vallarta
I am currently somewhere over the ocean. The Pacific ocean this. I guess to get from Puetro Vallarta to Los Angeles, the quickest route is over water. The flight attendant is putting up a screen between us regular people and the first class. Although, to be honest, I think that I would fly first class if I could afford it. Or business class. Whatever they’re calling it these days.
Navigating an airport is in some ways easier than a bus, but in some ways more difficult. On this trip we had to go through customs. We did it on the Mexico side. It wasn’t just as easy as visiting the touch pad kiosk. We checked in online, got our boarding passes, but still had to wait in line so a real, live person could verify us. All in all, that took about forty five minutes. Not terrible for an international flight.
Actually, when we left through LAX, it only took us about fifteen minutes to get through security. I was amazed. I got body scanned, but I always do. For some reason, I get scrutinized more than most. Every time I fly, I get something. I don’t think I look sketchy. Perhaps it’s because I choose not to check bags and my two carry-ons, the one plus the personal item, push the boundary of acceptable.
On my way out, I was stopped at the gate, and they searched through my bags. I they took nearly everything out of one, and swabbed probably twenty different items. Not including my hands, belt, ect… When he was trying to stuff everything back in I was afraid he’d bust the zipper. Luckily, that didn’t happen. This is not the first time I’ve been swabbed, either. And I don’t really travel all that much. I typically get body scanned, asked my name, and even patted down. As I said, I’ve got no idea why.
Mexico was fun. I had a great vacation. Of course, every trip has its ups and downs. Mine was no exception. The first night we arrived was amazing. We met up with friends, couples from two different cities that we’ve known for years. Dinner, pool, games, it was great. Bed was super hard. The next day, my boyfriend and I woke up covered in bug bites. Poor guy looks like he was shot repeatedly by a sadistic nine-year old with a bee-bee gun. I have my share of itchy welts, but he got it worse. And I’m healing faster.
Naturally, our first thought was to check the bed. He did. Saw nothing. Figured it was just mosquitos getting in. We were, after all, keeping the doors wide open, as the condo we rented was literally on the beach. The ocean provided a breeze, which was great since the place didn’t have air conditioning.
The next day we went into town. Which is actually a fairly impoverished place. I’m disappointed that I didn’t have any camera’s with me. I had left it behind because I thought that we were just getting a bite to eat and going to the store. The restaurant we ate at was good. Very Americanized. Our first day in Mexico and we ate burgers and pizza. Oh well. We had Mexican the night before.
We walked around downtown, and it was interesting. Apart from being hassled by every store vendor we walked by, it was an interesting experience. I saw a guy walking with a huge tray of donuts on his head. And we discovered that walking across rickety looking bridges cause you to sway like a drunkard. He group bought fresh fish for dinner. I got a convince store pizza since I don’t like seafood.
We wrapped ourselves tight in blankets the following night. Still got eaten alive.
The next day, my man and I were tasked with getting groceries for all. We took a cab to Walmart. It was a considerable drive, but at least we’d have food. And boy, did we shop. Spent over $2,400 pesos. Worth it. The rest of the week we feasted. We took turns cooking. I made some amazing barbacoa, and the broth from it was transformed into gravy for thanksgiving. So good! We ate fresh fruit every day, at pretty much every meal. Almost everything we cooked was Mexican food, and we also had tortillas at nearly every meal. We ate more cookies throughout the week then should be humanly possible. Truly. There was a mini-mart at the place, and every time someone went they would buy about 4 rolls of cookies. Sure enough, by time the next person went, we needed more. We went to the store probably two-three times a day.
Somehow we managed to eat through all the leftovers. It was an accomplishment. But no meal felt forced. In fact, they all felt very different and fulfilling. Amazing the food could be so good when we hardly ate out. I’m not sure if I should expect to have gained weight, or lost it. As we were only eating about twice a day (sans cookies) and had a lot of physical activity. I suppose that as long as I break even, I’ll be satisfied.
There were a few days of pure down time. Sounds great to some. Drove me a little stir crazy. But there was swimming. Turns out I’m allergic to the ocean in Mexico. Got a chase of swimmer’s itch. Only went in once. But there were several swimming pools, and we made good use of them. Every night, after everyone had their fill of computer gaming and/or reading, we all settled in to play a game. We played Cards Against Humanity, Bang!, Innovation, some strange Russian card game, and telephone-pictionary. That last one was our contribution. It’s a great, hysterically fun game that can be played anywhere you have paper and pens. Look it up. If you can’t find it, comment and I’ll tell you how to play. Always the party favorite.
We went to a botanical garden, which was mostly just hiking. Still fun. Got some great photos, found a river, was reminded that I need to hike more at home. We had Thanksgiving a day early so we could eat the left overs before we departed. But we did it proper, turkey and mashed potatoes and all.
Still being eaten up, I investigated our bed once more. There were so many bugs! Teeny-tiny ones. Not bed bugs. But no doubt they were the culprits, with the help of mosquitos and spiders that were fewer and further between. Problem solved with some raid, clean sheets, and different pillows. Still got a couple new bites, but not from the bed anymore at least.
Finally, we went to the zoo. It was a small zoo that required a bus drive and a fifteen minute walk through a town that made the earlier mentioned down town look like Beverly Hills. Worth it. The zoo was great. We were able to get so close to the animals They gave us bags of food, and we could feed pretty much anything that wasn’t a meat eater. I got liked by a giraffe. My boyfriend got stalked by a goose. Flamingos are really strange close up, especially when they have their necks extended. But the best part, the whole reason we went there, was to play with a baby tiger. We got to interact with it for and take photos. It was surprisingly a lot like playing with a puppy. Still, one of the greatest things ever. On top of that, we also got to play with two different kinds of monkeys. The things you can do in Mexico.
Turns out that one in our group was allergic to the tiger. Thankfully, I had allergy medicine. I’d been taking it to help my itchiness. He bought some topical cream, and he shared it with us.
Last night of the trip. All is well. Then I get frantic facebook messages from my dogsitter (had wifi, left phone off. Who wants to pay for that?) Apparently a pipe broke in our apartment. The place was soaked, and she was panicked. Having worked in property preservation before, I knew that there was nothing we could do about it. Just had to let maintenance handle it. They did, and apparently installed big fans to dry the place out. Tonight they’re supposed to come by to fix the ceiling. Turns out our renters insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Not surprising.
So, when we land, we have to take 2 busses to get to the apartment. Survey the damage. Make a list of anything that was damaged. The apartment complex asked for this. Maybe they’ll replace stuff. Seems like they could be liable for plumbing damages. And maybe we’ll get our safety deposit back after all. We found out not long ago that they aren’t renewing our lease at the end because they’re going to remodel, and they can’t do that when we’re there. So we were already planning on moving come Feb anyway. Tangent. Then we have to drive the dog sitter home, and run a few errands.
I’m so sleepy. I just want to go home, take a shower and nap. Don’t know if I have any water, tho. Guess we shall see…