Friday, April 19, 2019

Spring 2019 Trip to Mexico, Part 1.

I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Mexico on the Nayarit Riviera earlier this month. I had a fantastic time.

If you have a chance to go there, take it!

If my cousin Paul and his lovely wife Robyn invite you, run, do not walk to the airport and get on the first plane. They’re great hosts and make a beautiful part of Mexico even more alluring.

Speaking of planes, as anyone who flies commercially knows, getting there is not half the fun. I had to be at the State College airport in time for a 5:30am flight….which meant getting up at 3:45am. Ugh.

However, the guy at the United Airlines counter gave me two thumbs up for wearing a Hawaiian shirt in my passport photo. My view of the photo is that it's ready for its moment on the Post Office wall.

Then there was a guy with the sparkly-est shoes ever on my plane. He said they were inspired by blood diamonds. As they say, travel is very broadening.

While the flight to Chicago was on time, my next flight—from Chicago to Puerto Vallarta—had some issues.

After we boarded, it turned out that there was some sort of mechanical problem. The cigarette lighter in the cockpit—or perhaps it was the co-pilot’s airbag—was on the blink and that meant a procession of technicians to the front of the plane to try to fix it. Apparently unplugging everything, waiting 30 seconds before plugging it in again and restarting it didn’t do the trick, since there was more waiting and head scratching. The folks in the back of the plane, in boarding group 7, got a little restless.

The delay was long enough that we were allowed to get off the plane as long as we took our carry ons with us.

The delay wasn’t entirely a bad thing, since it gave me the opportunity to buy a $10 dry turkey on stale bread with the poorest-excuse-for-a-piece-of-lettuce ever sandwich for lunch instead of going with the $15 something-even-more-dismal on the plane.

Quality time in the airport also gave me time to go to concourse’s bookseller and to buy a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. I’d decided that I was fifty years late in reading it.

The other person in my row—we were separated by an empty middle seat—was a cute guy wearing a Bass Pro Shops hat….in the airplane. Born in a barn, I guessed. The only word he spoke to me on the entire flight was when he said “Thanks” after I offered him my pen to fill out his customs and immigration forms.

Instead of reading To Kill a Mockingbird, he was reading The Bible.

If you're not super keen on flying it's not exactly confidence inspiring when the person sitting next to you is reading The Bible. I suppose I should be thankful that he wasn't reading How to Survive a Plane Crash

I didn't get a good look at his Bible, but I hope it he was using it to hide a guide to the gay nightspots of Puerto Vallarta. P.V. is Mexico's gay hot spot and tourists need to know which clubs have strippers named Jesús who perform miracles involving Jell-O shots nightly. After all, religious experiences come in all shapes and sizes, even if you're wearing a Bass Pro Shops an airplane.

Upon arrival in Puerto Vallarta, I was to wait for my cool cousin Billy and his equally cool gf Alicia at the airport. They were flying in from Seattle a couple of hours after me. Since we’re old, we made a plan to meet and stuck to it without texting each other seventy-five times.

That gave me more time for To Kill a Mockingbird, searching the Internet for those sparkly shoes, and wondering if I had time to go into town for some Jell-O shots before Billy and Alicia's arrival.

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