Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baja Tuesday's...A JourneyThrough Hilarity

ATV's, ATM'S and the Infamous Water Taxi

Allow me to introduce you to Juan, one of the nice cabana boys who brought us drinks and was generally always about either at our hotel or at the beach club. Because our hotel was located in a packed and bustling marina (we loved that), guests were required to take a free water taxi to a sandy paradise a few minutes away. Said paradise was peopled with browning vacationers, very few children and a number of chaise lounges and umbrellas.

Also of note- the supply of Coronas and quesadillas which were part of our All-Inclusive package. Quite often Juan shared our water taxi and made lively and entertaining conversation for the five minutes we were aboard. We saw him so often that he began calling mom and pop K., 'mama' and 'papa' and of course Ryan and I were then, hermana and hermano, brother and sister. Other vacationers, like the confused guy in the first picture, could not understand the relationship between the white tourists and this mexican kid. But darn it, he was cute and funny and we took him in. He is now Juan K.
The water taxi was a thing to behold, a plain wooden boat with a makeshift canopy. Getting into the taxi was easy, a gentle step down from the boardwalk and into the hands of a good looking driver. This was lost on Dave and Ryan who refused to hold hands with anyone but Eileen and I.
Getting out of the taxi at the beach was another issue altogether, and back in again from the beach club a feat even beyond that. There is no dock at the beach club. Boating enthusiasts and people who are still in their 20's, know that you simply vault yourself over the bow and into the sand below. (Boats are tall when they're not in the water) Getting back in is done essentially the same way for the guys, one hand on the edge of the bow and you vault yourself back in.
Let me tell you, I was pretty impressed with myself when we landed that first time at the beach and I easily cleared the low rim of the bow and landed deftly on the white sand. I wore a little jean skirt over my bathing suit and not one drop of water splashed onto it, so gifted was I at this getting out of the boat thing. Eileen allowed herself to be aided by all the waiting mexican men and was gently lowered to the ground like a true lady. It was when we had spent the afternoon tanning, drinking and swimming and were ready for our return trip that my ego was quickly deflated.
I'll let you in on a little secret, the jean skirt was not a fashion statement, but a concession to the fact that I no longer have a bikini body that can just be flaunted about. It happens to all of us and I hadn't worked out much in recent months. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to get back into a boat that comes up to your chest when wearing a skirt of any kind, let alone one that's a bit, shall we say, snug. And so, my valiant vault from the vessel was disgraced by my inability to get back in. In the end, Eileen and I were both helped by the cabana boys (with only a modicum of laughter on their part) and were eventually able to ROLL OURSELVES into the waiting taxi. Being in your 20's does not help when all anyone can see from their spot on the beach is flailing white legs and a denim covered butt trying helplessly to shimmy into a boat.
We comforted ourselves with the knowledge that we would never see these people again, except of course, for the many other trips we would take over to the beach via water taxi to repeat the whole embarrassing display. But really, who's counting? Eventually I learned that in Mexico, they just want to see your body and they don't care if your a size 6 or a size 16. At first this was very unnerving, the ogling, but I have to say, it does a lot for a persons self-esteem to get a glance occasionally. I prefer to think they were ogling, and not staring at the crazy white girl. Let's just leave it at that.
As I posted last time, eventually we did give in and take a time-share presentation tour. It lasted an hour longer than it was supposed to but did include breakfast and mainly consisted of being shown around a gorgeous resort. The pressure at the end was annoying, but it was quickly nipped in the bud when we explained that we were actually poor. We were given our vouchers for all of our wonderful activities and were escorted out a back gate into a filthy side street. I have a feeling that the folks who signed a lease probably were taken back to their hotels in a private jet.
We were told we could go down to our beach club, which fortunately was at the base of this resort, and wait for the water taxi. UN-fortunately, the water taxi's ran every hour on the hour and it was now exactly 5 minutes past. He'd already been there and gone and we would have to wait 55 minutes for the next one. Clad in nice clothes and not having thought to bring bathing suits (we were told we would be taken back by shuttle, the same way we were picked up), it seemed we were going to be stuck sweltering on the beach. At this point, adventure or not, I am plotting ways to do in the lovely Violet.
Like all good Kendall's, we revolt, and start walking. How far could it be, really? Just up the beach, around the jetty and then it's a quiet stroll through the marina where there's plenty of shopping and restaurants.

*Dave fixing Eileen's shoe on The Long Walk Back*

Beaches are funny things. They, for some unknown reason, always look shorter than they are. WE WALKED FOREVER until finally coming to a paved path that led to the marina. Even I was exhausted, but Eileen looked as if she might just sit down and wilt. It was well over 90 degree's and trudging through the sand in nice clothes was just not her cup of tea. We'd left the beach club almost an hour before and were still not even half way back to our resort (marina's look smaller than they are, too). Eileen and Dave find a shady Cantina to sit in and have a drink and we formulate a plan. Ryan and I will go back to the resort, find Violet, give her merry hell, and demand that she send a taxi to pick up the Sr.'s.
45 minutes later, out of breath and exhausted, we reach the front desk at the resort where I use the phone to call hotel management. I am going over the heads of the hostesses. Somehow, the conversation ends with me apologizing and feeling as if they are doing me a great favor, but with the agreement that they will send someone for the parents. At that precise moment, Dave and Eileen come sauntering through the lobby looking refreshed and relaxed. They've hired their own cab and are now on their way to the pool.
"Are you telling me that I just ran more than a mile in flip flops and a skirt in 90 degree heat to SAVE YOUR LIFE and you didn't even need it??????!!!"
" Relax. Let's go eat lunch." Dave shrugs his shoulders in that way he does. The twitch is back, but only momentarily. There's a pina colada upstairs with my name on it.
Later, when we have recovered, we pile our vouchers on Dave and Eileen's bed and look excitedly at one another.
"Ok." says Ryan who is none the worse for wear after the long hike back even though he eats nothing but junk food and never exercises. "What are we going to do first?"
Eileen and I have already paid for a private horseback ride on the beach, so it stands only to schedule our freebee's. ATV's, a glass bottomed boat tour, a dinner cruise and tandem massages for Eileen and I.
"First things first," I tell him. " I notice you haven't been tipping. Why aren't you tipping?"
"I don't have pesos."
"There's a currency exchange downstairs. We can get some money right now."
"There's a problem with that."
"What? What problem??"
"I don't have any dollars either."
"You got $200 in Phoenix, what do you mean you don't have dollars?"
"Well, I didn't exactly get the money in Phoenix."
"You didn't?! What were you doing while I was in the bathroom?"
" I bought a muffin."
"A muffin?!"
This exchange continues for awhile, with us eventually becoming pretty ticked at one another and Ryan going to find an ATM. Easier said than done apparently as it is two hours before he returns. There is no ATM in our hotel lobby and the ATM at the bank across the street is out of order. He has had to speak to several mexican police officers in order to locate another ATM that carries dollars. This ATM is halfway across town. He has had to jog there.
By the time he returns it is almost dinnertime and our entire first day in Cabo has been spent running around town (literally) in the baking sun. I am trying to find a way to pin this whole ATM fiasco on Violet as well, but haven't thought just how to manage that yet, when Ryan arrives. He is exhausted, but now has money and a pretty good mental map of Cabo San Lucas.
And thus our first day in Cabo comes to a close. We eat dinner at the hotel buffet and eventually retire to the Sr.'s room for more pinochle and mini bar beverages. The evening ended well and though this hotel did not boast a farting bed, the view was enough to make up for the lack of it. (I'm including here, a picture from the room at sunrise. If I posted one of sunset- you would see nothing but dark water.)

The Pinochle game is rowdy and peppered with crude humor and personal insults (is there any other way to play??) and we are sure the occupants of other rooms can hear us. They are making enough noise of their own so we don't worry. The sounds of Cabo nightlife mix with those of the sea and the marina and drift up to our balcony. There are about 15 cantina's below our room and we can hear all the conversations at once in a laughing melody of voices. The balcony doors are open and a breeze is moving the sheers.
In spite of the time share issue, the ATM fiasco and the heat- there is really nothing like this place. Tomorrow we will be swimming in the Sea of Cortez and riding horses on the beach at sunset. I look at Ryan and forgive him for buying a muffin when he should have been visiting an ATM. The activity vouchers lay on the dresser and the ATV brochure is on top. I know what the guys are thinking about and decide right then to join them. No way they're having that kind of fun without me... and it all begins tomorrow.

*please stay tuned for next weeks episode of Baja Tuesdays... Horsepower, Horse power and the Secret in the Sand.


klyn said...

You know, you are going to be oh so wise going into this next trip! Let's hope you still have wacky stories to regale us with!

The tipping...Chad did stingingly, if ever, his brothers tipped politely, his dad excessively... but we still ended up with our bags at the same time as they did and the similar service. Of course, everyone else had way better towel origami creations from their room beautifiers than we did!

The boat entrances and exits are hilarious - ahh, how quickly the stroking of the egos deflate when the ogles turn from leer to laugh!

Jessica said...

"The evening ended well and though this hotel did not boast a farting bed

Ah yes, the benchmark against which all other facilities will now be measured! *gufaw*

eek said...

It's Friday nite. I'm off work (HooRay!) Eileen is lounging on the sofa, we have just read the last two installments of the, now popular "Baja Tuesday" rendition of our connubial (?) vacation in Cabo San Lucas, and for the first time since the monolog began, I am actually at the keyboard, staring at this ridiculous small square of light, trying to type something that neither goes Tap, Tap, or Ding at the end. (Exactly WHERE is the carriage return anyway!!)

OK, I'm not being truthful, here, I actuallly did a "bang-up" job of commenting after we received Melissy's first installment....and it's not ALL MY FAULT that it didn't get posted, either. Eileen is the one who FOUND the blog....Grief, who ever created that for the name of something to do, or to read? blog...sounds more like something from an old frog. Anyway, I think I'm going to wear out that little square key in the top right of the keyboard, with something like the car #1 or car #2 symbol for a DMV accident report on it. Anyhow it makes all the wrong letters and misspelled words go away. Computers, as you might guess, are not my forte'. I grew up in a completely different world where technology, was not a word anyone bandied about. At least not in mixed company. Technique, now there was a word you could brag about, if you could figure out exactly how to use it in a sentence! As a boy I thought it was a huge step in my learning curve when after 3 days of slamming my dad's timber axe against the unwitting sides of a scrub oak tree, up Sardine Crick and giving it the appearance of being violently attacked by a crazed beaver with no upper or lower front teeth, Grandpa Dusenberry came and showed me how to actually SHARPEN the axe !! Now that was technology !! Useful stuff! So-o-o where was I,? Oh yes, I know that all of youse have been waiting for my rebuttal comments. Well, that is just so crude! I would NEVER rebutt my darling daughter's comments. Especially when they are so delightfully written, and with at least a modicum of humor. I will, however add a few modest comments from a different perspective. One set of commentary from a perfectly normal, if slightly schizoide, but beautiful DIL. (actually my daughter since I have been adopted by her!)and the other set of comments offered from the sedate perspective of the mature Alfa male in attendance. Oh sure, Eileen is lounging on the couch, leaning over my shoulder laughing, no, not at the masculine tidbit, but at the DIL and FIL. Women, who can figure them?! Now she says the "DIL and FIL show" and the curtain is going up!@ There are dangers to this blogging that most folks cannot appreciate. Like the fact that sitting on the edge of the couch, banging away on thisinfernal macvhine tha ty never quite gets things spelled right has made my butt go to sleep~! Then to top it off It'ss now 10 o'clock and Numbers is on TV...ddrat...It's over!! Rotten commy pinko perverts! They changed it to 9 o'clock!! Nobody asked me!! Grief, I knew it couldn't last, Eileen has gone immediately to her default channel, some room makeover something or other....and I'm only getting warmed up...OK, OK, O K!

You have to understand, This whole "Cabo" thing was NOT my idea. Believe it. There was in fact no mention of a co-ed vacation of any kind until one Saturday when the kids drop in for avisit....actually the "visit" is only another term for the favorite "watering hole" for my darling DIL after one of her whirlwind trips to the Town Center Mall ! She always gets her mental faculties firing to the "max" after three or four hours charging through the dress shops,checking out all the cute sshoes and dragging Ryan and my grandbabies behind like the tail of a Kansas Tornado! Ryan and I had been doing something and we came into the living room where Eileen and Melissy are having an animated conversation. Suddenly the conversation stops....the room is silent...and two women with conspiratorial smiles on their lovely facades are looking at us like the proverbial sacrificial offerings most husbands are....In true masculine insight we look at them, raise our arms, palms up, and say, "WHAT?" "W-H-A-T??!!" The news comes slowly, not from my wife of 36 years who is grinning like a Poo Bear with his hand in tghe honey jar. I'm now being told the internet is clicking off!! Are they crazy, or what? I'm going to have to leave, for now and resume, tomorrow. Grief!
Tune in later, the saga begins.....DGK or FIL if you will.

eek said...

O.K....It is now Saturday a.m. 6:30ish, I have slept in to my heaarts content, accomplished La toilete, indulged in my first cup of coffee, Archie (the cat in residence) has had his allotted 10 - 15 minutes on my lap, where he yearns to be every Saturday morning (for the express purpose of shedding his winter wool off on my levis)and I am now ready to "do battle" once again with this infernal contraption that is supposed to do words and comments, but still does not remind me of the old Royal upright I learned on, lo these many yeaars ago! (there, see what I mean!?) Grief!
Where were we, anyway....? Oh yes, the women were grinning with conspiritorial demeanor, (a natural state for wives when something is "up" that hubbies have no clue about) Ryan and I are front and center and have just opened Pandora's Box by daring (in our nievete') (?)to ask, "What??" Now the scene shifts and Eileen, with a silent "shove forward", by our intreped DIL, takes the "point" and says in her calm, come-hither-dah-h-ling voice: "Honey, Melissa has a GREAT idea!" Melissy suddenly looks a little like the last rat off the Titanic, eyes darting to & fro, persperation "glowing" on her lovely cheeks, but the smile never fading, and announces, "We're ALL going to Cabo, TOGETHER, isn't that GREAT?!! The metal-clad gauntlet hits the floor with a thud! The senior Kendall, the AMIR (Alpha Male-in-residence)freezes. He's been married, now, for pushing 37 years and you don't make sudden movements or loud noises at times like this. boy...caution, BUT not LOOKING like caution, must be the order of the moment until we obtain a little more intel. The shoulders relax a little, the arms come slowly downward, the quizzical look from the last WHAT disappears and an inviting smile replaces, all is in readiness for the next, well thought out query....CABO.?.?.? A short silence ensues. He waits for the next indication of plot to a big-game hunter waits to see what the noise in the bushes, actually is...Two feminine voices at once, "Yes, we are all going to Cabo in November, Ryan and Melissa for a vacation (the first one since they were married 6 years ago) and D & E (lovingly refered to hence as "the senior K's) for their Anniversary! The smile never wavers. The hunter still does not know the extent of the noise in the bush...with the experience of years he says, "tell me more". (When the firing squad is all lined up, your back is against the bullet-riddled wall, and the executioner is asking if you have any last requests, you ask for Swiss chocolate, or French crepe's, something that will buy you a little time). The words flow like a Cascade stream in April. Intel is being profered in abundance. The plot unfolds in it's entirety. Melissa wants a REAL vacation and for some reason wants the SK's to come along. Eileen in her never-ending quest for family unity and harmony, wants to continue to "bond" with her son and his wife...the intrepid DIL, Melissy. Eileen has been lovingly waylaid with carefully laid out propaganda for something that she recognizes as very important to DIL. The AMIR, FIL, picks up on the energy level between these two, instantly. He sees the cacopheny of emotions here, the "energy" being presented, and makes an insightful declaration: "Well, this sounds like a great idea"! So ends the introduction to the Mexico trip everyone now knows as "Baja Tuesday", which will henceforth, in these comments, be known respectfully, lovingly, as: "The Adventures of Papa Dave and the Queen of Wheedle"! OK....It's now 8:15am, my coffee cup is empty and the cat is likking my bare toes. I must introduce a little more circulation in the posterior regions, pour another cup of Java and see if my "sweetiepie" is stirring, yet, then I can continue to embrace this missal of family adventure. PD & TQOW.....!

eek said...

Allright, we're playing a little "catch-up-ball", here, so run with me..."Sweetiepie" is fixing breakfast (usually my Saturday delight) to free me up to continue...I have my favorite cup, from the Grosglockner in Switzerland, and we are ready to roll.
When we left off (Eileen is so excited to read this she is whispering anectdotes over my shoulder, in my ear...very distracting...When, we left off last time our intrepid adventurers were busy planning their next moves. That is, the girls were BUSY planning, the guys were sitting and pretending they actually had a role in all this besides just GOING and bringing the credit cards! In the inevetible passage of time we find ourselves, altogether, at SK's home Thursday evening, packed, excited and ready to leave for warmer climes. OH, did I mention that this VERY AFFORDABLE Mehecana vacacione was funded through our son Ryan's affiliation with FedEx and their ability to garner inexpensive airfare and accomodations to far, distant, warm, exotic places.? Via STANDBY tickets, of course. Upon hearing this ONE little tidbit of profered intel, the AMIR felt a cold shudder run down his spine, something like an exodus of rats from a flooding sewer, but steeling himself against the temptation to offer some insights into the hazards of that type of travel arrangement, he clams up, keeps the smile plastered on and makes a momentous decision, to wit: this is approximately 10 days in a row that he does NOT have to work, and even if they spend the entire 10 days in the corridors of PDX, like Tom Hanks in "The Terminal", he is going to enjoy every moment away from work. What's the worst that can happen?? Melissy will self-destruct, Eileen will be picking up the pieces, like a scattered Hong Kong puzzle, and trying to put her back together, Ryan will be calling FedEx looking for a retreival and packing crew to box up his wife and ship her back to The Dalles, and I will have consummed enormous amounts of cheap junk food and coffee, and finally finished reading the latest sequel of UTRED, the Northumbrian Giant who helps the British King Alfred the Great win his kingdom, without once having to mow the yard!! It is a win, win situation. And after all,it's AN ADVENTURE, to quote Eileen. In fact at every momentous juncture where the wheels began, once again, to come off, that became her Mantra, "It's An ADVENTURE"!! (short breakfast break)......All that having been said..Friday morning arrives, EARLY, PD is up, dressed, shaved and doing "wake-up call". "Let's get moving, people, we don't want to be the last in line at the ticket counter"! Kyle arrives about 2 minutes later than DIL has allowed for, in her timetable, and creases begin to show around her eyes. The white begins to show at the fingertips where she grips her morning abloution, prepared with love and lots of caffiene by PD, but PD gets the luggage in the van, we get loaded and headed for PDX. Keep in mind, Kyle is a Deputy Sheriff and is not used to waiting for traffic. He has his cup of morning coffee in one hand, is waving the other to punctuate his morning chatter and driving like he was after an escaping felon. All this does not escape the notice of DIL, who is scrunched tightly against Ryan in the back seat. However, the caffene has had time to do it's magic, and she is relatively calm, but aware. We arrive at the Departgure Gate, pile out, hugs around from Kyle, without spilling or setting down his coffee cup, and we attack the first hurdle in our Adventure......the bags and the revolving doors! PD is delighted to see that the "cattle chutes" designed to accomodate the moving herd of outbound travelers, is empty. We are on-time on MY time. EARLY!! The look Melissy gives me says, "sleep deprivation" all over it, NOONE IS IN LINE...the TERMINAL IS VACANT...except for our vacationing heroes. Great no waiting behing people with 17 bags to check. Fine. Except there are also, no bodies behind the ticket counter, either. No sweat! They'll be along. FIL tries to lighten the moment for DIL with a little fatherly chatter. Some humor might help. He enlists the help of Son Ryan by running a few one-liners by him. Ryan catches the toss, and begins what he does best, humor. I mean really funny stuff. Melissy actually is laughing and waiting to hear what comes next. Time advances and people begin to stray in. Since we are the ONLY folks in the entire place, except for the guy with the broom and wastecan, they come to where we PD and son have an audience! Things warm up. We have laughter, medicine for weary DIL and we are all feeling good! Eventually a "suit" appears behind the counter, we make a move forward, but it is a false signal. No one really knows what they do, anyway, so we wait and crack jokes a little longer and Wallah, an actual ticket person comes, checks our "almost" tickets, and tells us where we need to go to check in for "STANDBY" !! We head out through the souvineir lobby, down the corridor to the first inspection station. We actually got through the security check without disrobing, and the first thing PD sees on the other side is a "Tiger Java" Kiosk. It's time to get some "muscle" for whatever lies ahead, so over he goes, while everyone waits. Back now with a little juice and a bite of cranberry scone for Sweetiepie and a double mocha tiger something or other for himself, the AMIR is ready to travel! It's only a mile or mile and a half to the second security gate (PD uses all of the moving belts to try to keep up with the now caffeined-up DIL, who is attacking the corridor like the charge at San Juan)and immediately upon arriving a short, round, female "uniform" announces that no food or drinks are allowed past the checkpoint!!~!~!?? You have got to be kidding!! The VACATION TO CABO HAS BEGUN!!! Tune in little later as we unfold the further ADVENTURES of the Senior and Junior travelers.....BFN.

meliken said...

Ohforpetessake* now things are really heating up! too funny... you'll have to keep up with the blog now or there'll be protests from the 'adoring fans' :)

klyn said...

Yes, there will be - I might have to bring in my dad so he can enjoy, too!
Thanks PD for giving your angle!

Anonymous said...

okay just wanted to say hi since havent talked to you forever, love the stories,\. you will have to give us a call to do a real catch up.