My Big Sunny Mexican Vacation
Plans! Always have a plan, which of course I do because that’s how I function, knowing a curve ball could be thrown at me at any given moment.
My intentions for this holiday were to relax, read many books and write daily about events of my vacation and quite possibly, just maybe, get some chapters written for my next book – the one I said I wasn’t going to write this year, but even I don’t listen to what I say.
Well, let’s just say that despite my intentions to read 2-3 books a week, I managed to read almost 6 in total. And let me tell you that I thought I’d accomplish more with so much relaxing and leisure time on my hands, but apparently, I didn’t have all that free time – erm, okay, maybe I did, but there was a lot of socializing going on and a lot of sunworshipping. And although it doesn’t take much effort to bask in the sun I can tell you that when it’s boiling hot and I’m sweating in the sun, it doesn’t inspire me to pick up a pen and write as much as I thought it might have. But I did manage to jot down a lot of notes about events around me and, rough outlines for reviews on the books I read, and even started two chapters on my new WIP. But ultimately, the socializing took precedence over taxing my brain.
But, my observational skills were put into full effect instead. Hey, you know, a writer doesn’t just lie on a lounger and do nothing at all in the Mexican sunshine – I was busy people-watching and listening to hot tips from those around me about where’s good to eat and maybe some other conversations within earshot. Those were skills I was born with – listening and learning from other’s experiences. It was like I was lying innocently on my pool lounger with my sunglasses on, minding my own business, but of course I was minding everyone else’s business too.
Okay, now that I’ve pleaded my case on lack of production while away, I’ll backtrack a bit to the beginning of our wonderful trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. . .
Preparing for Flight
After playing the ‘move items around from suitcase to suitcase game’ to make sure my bags weren’t flagged for overweight, the limo arrived to take us to the airport. I managed to get everything into 3 (large) suitcases instead of my usual 4, and in my defense, 1 of those bags was full of food and other items I knew I’d need down there to use in the condo we rented, prepared for not being able to find my favorite gluten-free and dairy-free items available in Mexico. I had to make sure I had soy creamer for my coffee, gluten-free pasta, waffles, fruit and veggie wash, rubber gloves, protein bars, along with other numerous items I needed for my comforts of home. All packed nicely and weighing in at a masterful 49.2, 49.5 and 49.8 pounds – just coming in under the allowable 50 pounds per bag.
Checkin went smoothly as we were happy to go through the priority lines after jumping on the opportunity at a reasonable price to upgrade to first class. I already arranged for a wheelchair to take my husband to the gates and luckily I did because our gate was certainly close to a mile away from checkin. My husband was on a cane for the few weeks before we left, not quite ready for walking any long distances and a major improvement from prior weeks having to use a walker. Happily, halfway through the walk to the gates a golf cart passed by that picked us up and continued on toward the gate where just before the gate another assistant showed up with the wheelchair again to continue the journey to the boarding area.
We were to begin boarding at 12:45 and take off at 1:15pm, but at 12:45 I still didn’t see our plane or any other passengers waiting for our flight. I ran over to the flight screen monitor to check our flight after seeing no plane or no airline staff at the boarding desk. Our flight wasn’t even listed on the screen! I left my husband in the chair when I noticed a couple walking toward our waiting area and asked them if they were on our flight. Turns out, the gate was changed to the complete opposite end of where we were and no announcements were made and no wheelchair assistance! I then ran halfway back through the terminal to the Air Canada priority booth to find out what was going on and found out our flight was delayed almost 4 hours with a gate change. When I returned to get my husband, loaded my computer bag and his carryon on his lap and tried to wheel my own carryon while pushing the wheelchair (a task that wasn’t working out so well), a kind and lost looking older man came up to me asking what happened to our flight. I shared the news of the delay with him and he kindly offered to wheel my carryon over to the new gate so I could push my husband. A magical moment!
The airline offered coupons for a free lunch for the inconvenience and with my Starbuck’s soy latte in hand we eagerly awaited take off time. Our waiting area was congested with 2 flights of people waiting to board in the same area on flights before ours was to arrive. I was lucky to get a seat. A group of seniors were awaiting to fly to Israel for a tour. One of the men in that group approached me, informing me he was from New York and asked me what kind of currency we use in Canada. Maybe I was rude, but I couldn’t help but look at him like he was from outer space. “This is Canada, we use dollars here. Canadian dollars here but I’m sure your American dollars will do fine.”
We finally boarded and the flight went smoothly. We were offered pillows, blankets, hot mixed nuts, drinks and hot hand towels. I took all except no alcohol, but Perrier water, as I didn’t want my feet to swell anymore than anticipated from drinking on the plane. Oh, and yes, I did have my Spresso socks on! The one and only time we encountered turbulence was the moment I went to use the washroom – naturally! Gratefully, the washroom was only steps away from my seat so I got in there quick and locked the door before a steward could send me back to my seat to buckle up.
The dinner was great – Indian butter chicken and basmati rice and vegetables. The movies didn’t interest me so I enjoyed the time reading with the occasional glance at the billowing clouds. It seemed like no time had passed before the sound of the wheels coming down was heard and OLE, we were transported to beautiful Puerto Vallarta.
Welcome to Puerto Vallarta
As soon as the airplane door opened, a wheelchair was awaiting with a volunteer to take us through the airport and customs and on to baggage claim. The lovely man grabbed our bags off the carousel, loaded them onto a cart which he pushed out to the taxi while I pushed my hubby in the wheelchair. It was a mere 7 minute ride to our beach condo from the airport and when we arrived, our host Jesse was waiting for us to take us up to our condo, By that time it was 9:30 pm Mexican time. We were glad we ate dinner on the plane because it was too late to go buy groceries. And once again, I was grateful that I had packed some staples to get us through the morning till we could go shopping. I was happy I’d packed hubby’s oatmeal and my GF waffles and a jar of almond butter along with a few tea bags and my soymilk because that was breakfast until we could sort ourselves out with groceries.
The condo was lovely and overlooked the beach and the Pacific ocean. There were nice stainless steel appliances, a coffee maker, no kettle, barely any pots, 3 each of plates, mugs and forks, with many spoons and knives, and a mere half a roll of toilet paper left for us. That was the beginning of our vacation in Mexico. You will also notice how much better my husband was looking in the opening photo after the beautiful weather helped him flourish, but more about that next time!
Stay tuned for part 2 next week!!!