Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Baja Tuesday's...A Journey Through Hilarity

The Long Road Home...or...Burning Up On Re-Entry

Ah, yes. That last day.
We met up with Dave and Eileen at breakfast on our last full day in Cabo and learned that Dave had been talking with Violet all morning and reporting about the 'romantic' cruise she'd sent us on for their anniversary. He had something planned, he told us. And Ryan and I were NOT invited. Well. So, fine then.
Whatever it was it would certainly not be as awesome as our own BIG plans for the day which included some pretty amazing....yeah, nothing. Nothing at all. We thought about snorkeling, but didn't want to sprint to the other side of the marina to catch the boat that left in an hour. We thought about another sunset cruise on Pepe's boat, but thought that might be overkill. In the end we decided to spend the entire day laying by the pool and drinking Pina Coladas, something, if you'll remember, I had been dreaming about since this trip started but had been too busy to do.
So we laid around, enjoyed the sun, baked a little, put our feet in the pool... and within mere moments, were OUT OF OUR MINDS WITH BOREDOM. We look at each other, take a deep inhalation of the relaxing vacation air, grab our towels and head for our room where dry clothes and a wad of cash await our arrival. We're outa there. Whatever Dave and Eileen are doing it's going to PALE in comparison to what we have to tell them tomorrow morning when we report the previous day's adventures!
We take our cash and hit the streets is search of trouble, two Americans on a mission, soaked now in this seedy southern social climate, we are prepared for ANYTHING!... In the real world, where we live most of the time, we were actually a couple of tourists looking to buy their kids maracas. But NO WAY were we getting hosed by these locals for a couple of shakers. No sir. We were on to 'em now.
"How much for these?" Ryan asked a man at the flea market.
"five dollar." The man replies.
"FIVE? For these??" is Ryan's question.
"Yeah. How much you pay?"
Ryan, seeing an opening, bids low.
"Two dollars."
The man looks up at us for the first time. "Two dollars?? No. Too low." He takes the maracas and walks away. We exchange a glance. Perhaps he does not realize that we are worldly American travelers who are onto him and his grimy capitalist ways.
Nevertheless, he is gone, and so are our maracas.
"What now?" I asked.
"Next booth." Instructs the skinflint.
The same delima occurs, this time with an irritated older lady. "Two dollars!? No!" And the maracas disappear again.
I keep thinking, For the love of all things Holy!, just pay the man/woman/overworked five year old the five pickin dollars!!! But no- because now he is a man on a quest and he's sure that someone somewhere will give him his maracas for two bucks. Have I mentioned yet that it is the hottest day of our trip so far? Yep- well over 90 and climbing. My feet, clad in fashionable Victoria's Secret flip flops are literally on fire and I am leaving a trail of turquoise colored flip flop material simmering behind me on the sidewalk. After about 15 minutes all that is left of my once cute sandals is the tiny strap between my toes. There are millions of zig zagging ocean blue footie prints all over Cabo San Lucas that remain to this day. Should you happen to visit the city, you can retrace the steps once taken by the two stupid tourists who made the first circuitous route through the low slung buildings in search of the Best Deal Possible on a pair of cheezy kid maracas. It's a regular pilgrimage now.
But anyway-
We storm into one shop after another, demanding that these people give us our maracas for our two pitiful dollars until FINALLY we come upon a relatively nice woman who offers them to us for three. Ryan struggles against the idea that he might have to compromise and finally agrees that my red, swollen feet are worth a one dollar concession on his part. Maracas in hand, we leave the sweltering flea market and point ourselves toward our hotel and refreshment.
We spent the rest of the day by the pool wishing time would just stop and leave us there, but eventually, the sun went down on our last evening in Cabo and we were forced to face reality, our trip was over. The next day, we had breakfast by the pool with Dave and Eileen, all of us looking completely exhausted, and then made the last 6 mile walk to our rooms to pack.
We met in the lobby at 9am.

The guys- not a great picture, but I was too tired to care

Eileen and I.

Reluctantly, we climb into the grayline shuttle that will take our now lazy, Mexico-lovin' selves back to the airport where we again wait for a plane. Dave does his thing and cracks a couple of jokes with the guy at the front of the ticket line and the guy returns the favor by making sure we're on the flight. This time, I'm not too happy that he's done that.
Our plane takes off and Cabo San Lucas becomes a strip of arid earth beneath us, the sea stretching forever. I watch the coastline out my window for as long as I can see it, which seems like a long time, until we make our descent back into Phoenix. It's lunchtime and we kill the two hour layover at a pub in the airport before making our way back to the gate where we are told we're NOT going to make the flight to Portland. Surprise, Surprise. None of us are talking, Dave, Eileen and Ryan because they're just too tired for words and myself because I am industriously planning a way to get myself back onto a Cabo bound plane.
I am busy hatching a plan involving three toothpicks and the one tampon I have left in my purse, all of which I will stealthfully employ in my mission to reboard Air Mexico, when the flight attendant informs us that they can get two of us on the flight after all. So now the question is: Do we want to split up?
Dave and Eileen encourage Ryan and I to take the flight, but we refuse. I'm not absolutely sure they'll get on the next flight if I'm not there to fuss about it and also- I have not completed plans for my escape and need more time to finish the identical 'Melissa look-alike' that I am constructing out of paperclips, playing cards and random things found in airport trash receptacles. Look-Alike Melissa will go with Dave and Eileen and my unsuspecting husband whilst I make my exit and head south of the border never to make gooey smiley faces in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again!!! Bwah Ha Ha!!! This marvelous plan is disrupted by sanity eventually and we find a more realistic use for the playing cards...

We were able to make the delayed connection and found ourselves landing in Portland a short two hours after departure. It was 11 o'clock pm. Fourteen hours since we left the Tesoro Resort.
We step away from the gate into the long corridor of PDX and begin walking...

"Honey, keep walking. What are you stopping for?"
"I don't want to go home. I'm going to get back on the plane.."
"You can't get back on the plane. And even if you did, you'd still be in Portland."
"They might take me back."
"No they wouldn't"
"How do you know? I hate you." This is said with shoulders drooping, devastated resignation.
"You're right. You should get back on the plane. You never know. They might take you back."
Spurred now by his mockery, I retort, "Look, honey, a muffin counter! I think they might still be open!"
He has no response for this jagged riposte and I take the opportunity to turn on my heel and tackle the long corridor. Outside the windows of PDX, the city is dark, obscured by the sheets of rain that are dumping down from low hanging clouds. Selfless Brother Kyle will be waiting for us in the portico outside the main doors. The airport is quiet, abandoned almost, and the bustling atmosphere of Cabo seems very far away.
Ryan catches up to me, slings his arm around my shoulder.
"You know, I think it's a pretty good idea to take advantage of these company benefits on a more regular basis. We should plan another trip maybe. How do you feel about Jamaica??"
I look at him the same way I looked at that airport employee when we first landed in Cabo, skepticism and suspicion creeping around the edges of my expression. "Really?" One eyebrow raised.
"Why not? We can start planning for next year and see what we can do. Think about it and let me know where you want to go."
I smile because I know he means it. Kyle is waiting outside, just like we knew he would be. It's pouring, a cruel reminder from Mother nature that the week of fun has ended. Dave pops into the front seat of the minivan and I wonder if he has to force himself to speak English.
"Well, it looks like you're all tan!" Says Kyle from the front, which opens up the floodgates of story time and we tell him all the things we did that made us tan. I lay my head back against the seat and try not to fall asleep. Ryan is holding my hand and chanting the names of other exotic places that he promises to take me sometime in our lifetime. Just the promise is enough for now.
I make a mental note to buy muffin mix when we get home.
Cabo has been amazing, but it's time to look ahead- other adventures sit poised on the horizon, the golden eyes of sunsets yet unseen. I breathe. I preserve the wonder gained from a thousand experiences in 7 days. And finally, peace. There will be more.

*This has been the last post of Baja Tuesday's. Thanks to all who read and enjoyed the posts! Perhaps there will be Yucatan Wednesdays in our future ;0)*


eek said...

Well, We Senior Kendalls want to thank our DIL for the wonderful memories of our joint trip to Cabo. I found myself many times wipping my eyes and laughing at the antics of the younger Kendalls (and Papa Dave and his NEED to speak (ahem) the local language with anyone who came within earshot. Since I was the consistantly mature influence to the 3 who where enjoying themselves A LOT!!!! I can say it was a trip to remember and I am so glad we were included !!!!! and I am looking forward to the next trip we can tag along on.!!!!! So my suitcase is handy and I'm ready to go........EEK

meliken said...

me, too!!! And you can be sure, any adventure we take will also be grist for my literary mill! Just say the word and we'll book it!

eek said...

O.K. Where were we? H-m-m oh yes, DDIL had just morphed back from "Bride of Dracula" to something akin to normal humanity. I'm happy to say that the rest of the flight to Phoenix was filled with the further adventures of Utred the Northumbrian warrior, interupted only by all too infrequent stops by the "stew-staff" for coffee, soda, wine? No thanks, I'll stick with the V8. The REAL fun began just as the plane hit the tarmack. Melissy had her running shoes on and was hollering to the rest of us,(strewn at random throughout the airplane)get ready to MOVE when they open the door! We only have 19 minutes to get to the boarding gate that will take us CABO...!! O-O-O-KAY...FIL stands, wrestles the SK's diminutive luggage down from the overhead rack and steels himself for the gauntlet that lies ahead. the door opens, the cattle bolt, Melissy is dodging and banging, leaping and straight-arming any unfortunate enough to be directly in her path. No NFL running back ever looked so determined. Meanwhile, Ryan is receiving his marching orders, over-the-shoulder..LOOK DOWN That aisle, we want gate #....Eileen, coming down from the fly-me-meds, is sticking close to SAMIA (senior alpha male in attendance)(her hero)who is searching out all of the available "moving sidewalks" It's the only way to even hope to keep DIL in view. Eighteen minutes and 43 seconds after landing, DIL and Spouse stand breathlessly in front of the "suit" at the ticket counter who has only heard the words, "we're on standby for CABO," and has just mouthed his reply....No ROOM, the plane is full the next flight to CABO is tomorrow at 6:something a.m...DIL tenses like a she-lion sizeing up a crippled hartebeast and digs her fingernails into Ryan's shoulder (I think he wears soccer pads under his T-shirt). The suit is clueless. He doesn't know the gravity of HIS situation...he is about to be disassembled in the most gruesome of ways by a 110 lb, blonde beauty that just looks like a normal, twenties something wife and mother...SK pushes to the counter and asks, "what other alternatives are there that might get us to CABO tonight"? Well, he says, Aero Mexico is down at the end of the corridor and I think they sometimes exchange tickets from missed flights for other flights into Mexico! He lives to see another day. We launch for the Aero Mexico counter. No one there...?? why are we surprised? It is Aero Mexico, afterall. We wait and wait and w...well you get the picture, and people begin to congregate around the counter. SK gets in line. Little short, brown, suits come and begin speaking spanish, fluently and rapidly. SK makes eye contact with one of them and hits him with a mixture of English, spanish and Romanian that is designed to impress, and he stops fidgeting with whatever it is they fidget with under those counters and SK asks about the ticket exchange thing. In about two minutes he figures out that the gringo viejo is not only on standby (something akin to leprosy) but he is on a FEDeX "discount" deal. Woops! There will be no flights to Mexico tonite!! Melissy crumbles like soda cracker under the kids' carseat. And we ramble back to civilization...the main lobby where SK looks for a "deal" on a motel, hotel or pup-tent for the night. As luck would have it there is a small booth that displays Ads for hotels that also do shuttles. Free phone calls, no less! The first two or three are zero's, but the last one gave a name and number of a driver of one of the shuttles that might have better info...SK makes the call...the shuttle driver will take us to the posh hotel by the airport, for free and then show us where the REASONABLE hotel is, across the street.!! SK lavishes him with a $5 tip for the info, plus another 5 for the ride, gives the elbow to Ryan to loosen the locks to HIS stash, also, and heads out to the "Hotel California" of Phoenix, Az. No need here to regale you all with another session of the "dancing russian and the farting bed", better left in the hands of DIL. Then, fortified with a trip to the illustrious Waffle House, some bedroom humor, a good nites sleep, and a morning dash back to the airport, on SK's timetable (E.A.R.L.Y.)we take on our next formidable obstacle. The empty lobby in the 4:45 a.m. Phoenix ticket lobbby....Once again devoid of humanity, except for SK and Co. Wait, Wait, and Wait. Melissa, fortunately, has found a Latte' and is slowly coming back to life. Eileen is having so much fun, just watching the "kids" panic. In the course of time, a short, well-tanned, skirt comes to the counter, out of breath and mumbling to herself as she fidgets under the counter (what DO they DO under there? SK,FIL,SAMIR moves to the counter.."como esta Usted, hoy? He ventures..a string of Mexican Spanish issues forth that speaks of traffic, late nite, not enough sleep and if I'm late one more time for work I'm history....and I haven't even had my coffee yet...!!SK's native compassion sets in and he says, "young lady, we are not going to be any trouble at all, but if you would just check our tickets and reservations for the Cabo flight this morning, I will personally get you a Coffee and Danish. Ryan and th intrepid DIL move to the counter, armed with all four ticket and reservation packets, and SK,SAMIR runs upstairs to the food lounge, finds the finest "Seattles' Best" kiosk, makes his "buY" and saunters back to the short, well-tanned amiga at the counter and gives her the goods. She is grateful and in short time she has discovered that our infamous ticket agent, in Portland, has botched the reservations to the point that if we HAD made the connection to CABO the previous afternoon, we would not have been allowed to leave Mexico!! Fortified with Seattles' Best and a whole-grain, chocolate-chip scone, she spends a good 45 minutes straightening out our tickets and reservations, to and from Cabo San Lucas. Not to mention that WE are First-in-line at the ticket counter, where we discover that we are also first-in-line to board, on our space available, FedEx tickets!! Melissy is laughing, smiling at strangers,and happier than I've seen her in two days. She TQOW, is boarding for CABO, CABO, CABO, and even getting seated far from hubby, and sandwiched between a pair of Mental cases that would try the expertize of Mother Theresa herself, doesn't dim her levity. Cabo San Lucas, comes into view. We land and deplane on the HOT concrete ramp, and are herded into the waiting security area. Armed with passports, ID and a pocket full of pesos, we enter......M.E.X.I.C.O.!
More to come.....BFN

klyn said...

If I ever get to Cabo, I am so going to walk in your turquoise footsteps - mainly because I too will want to ensure I get a deal on maracas!!

Umm, have you rethought your wardrobe for the upcoming trip? Wardrobe malfunctions have been a recurring theme, it seems. Or maybe just the descriptions of the two have just been so vivid...

It might be until Yucatan Wednesdays begin before Your FIL gets to the first Cabo day....

So wish I had been part of the family! Although my youngest JUST realized Kyle WASN'T an uncle/ cousin/ other relative last night!
My K family stories must have been told as part of my family lore one too many times.

meliken said...

Klyn- who says your not part of the family???

Anonymous said...

ohhh, i'm so sad it's already over! (except for the semi-coherent ramblings of my dear uncle, whose story-telling talents lie more in the oral tradition, gawd bless 'im - those may take months to be fully posted.)

i can't wait for your next adventure!