SIGH, YOU LEETA !
Betty Dances to get on the plane, un cuerpo en la playa, and other mis(cellaneous)-adventures
Betty pauses between dance moves in front of “Casa Graffiti”.
As if the day mostly spent inter-acting with the police wasn’t cause enough for anxiety, that was not our 1st day of troubled concern. Yeah, we had A BIG (& lengthy) WORRISOME MOMENT two days before – when we arrived down there.
It seems that for every vacation-trip we go on, we forget something. Often it is “some-things.” For this recent escapade, “Something #1” was to determine exactly WHERE we were going. I guess everyone involved assumed that DIRECTIONS to the vacation house would be provided sufficiently in advance of the trip. We were in the Dallas airport, the mid-way stop between our two flights to Puerto Vallarta when I realized that we had a website, pictures of the place, a dot on a map, and hoped that would be sufficient.
Never-the-less, I called my daughter and her husband’s cell-phones and left a message. Basically, “we’re here in the states at an airport for a couple hours so please call with directions.” I didn’t know then that my daughter’s cell-phone was not operating out of the country, and my son-in-law’s phone was similarly dis-functional (I think).
We had arranged to get a shuttle from the PV airport to our car-rental office. LaLo, the guy we interacted with, pulled up the web-site, noted (approximately) where the house was located, and printed out a Sayulita map with “X” marking the spot. With the omniscience and secure-back-home-in-the-states hindsight – the “X” was close, but not five-decimal GPS close. The spot LaLo marked on the map was, however, probably within a quarter-mile of the actual location.
Sparing readers a lot of details, just suffice to say that after we got to Sigh-You-Leeta and drove not only the originally-marked road and a couple others, and actually stopping to ask for directions a few times, we sat glumly in the car.
Sitting. My Plan “B” was to try to find inexpensive one-night accommodations and spend the next day walking up and down the beach until we found Rachel and Ben. They would be on the beach at some time or another, right?
Betty’s cell-phone hummed, signaling an in-coming text. I looked to see who and it was her friend in Denver wishing her a happy Ground-Hog day. My first (decidedly immature and grumpy) reaction was to be pissed that Laurel is bothering us with a text in our moment of crisis.
Then … we both thought: “We got a text! From the United States!” We can text “the kids” as their phones are also U.S. phones! We texted both of them – Rachel’s (and mine) didn’t work for texting “down there” either – but Ben’s did. Within minutes he texted back.
And back … finally we had driven to THE BRIDGE (there is only one BRIDGE in S-town) and there he was, standing on it, beer in hand. We haven’t thanked Laurel yet for her serendipitous text.
Betty had bothersome dreams while in Sigh-U-Leeta. She had the nagging feeling that my interaction with the police would somehow result in me being detained down there. My reaction was: they haven’t burst in on our bedroom at 3 a.m. after kicking down the door … yet.
Then she dreamt that we would go to the airport to go home, and … like “Dancing with the Stars”, we would have to perform a dance. And be judged. In her dream the judges decided that we hadn’t performed well enough to get on the plane.
Her dream came true. In a fashion …
But we were allowed to go home. I tried the machine-aided check-in at the PV airport and was able to print out my boarding pass. The machine repeatedly had an error message regarding trying to read her passport and so we went to the check-in counter. The employee there said (something to the effect of) “Oh, you’ve (Betty) been pre-selected for a thorough pre-flight screening.”
Oh, joy. We expected her to be taken out of the line during the normal/routine screening and escorted to “the room” or wherever whatever happens. No, THAT didn’t occur until we were actually boarding the plane. Her name, and about three others, were called during pre-boarding and they and their carry-on bags were searched.
She was instructed to raise her arms,
was patted down and
she felt that she was doing a dance.
And that ain’t all. Yeah, losing our “ready cash” intended to pay for everything down there put a damper on things. But Betty had a couple hundred in her wallet, and I know I’m going to really be excited when the bill comes next month, but we had our credit cards. Almost as if we could poke The Fates (or Destiny, or the Demon of Doom) in the eye with a stick, we still had some fun. Maybe not as much, but some.
She went on a shopping spree one day. Ben and I had to walk obediently behind, each carrying the cloth bags she had initially bought (gifts for everyone in her book club, AND for her Bunko group) – getting increasingly heavier with each stop.
And we bought a shot of tequila for EVERYONE in Cantina Catrina as the Super Bowl wound down, to celebrate the unlikely improbable borderline-magical victory of our team. An empty Catrina, below, with ghost-hostess at the ready …
We might possibly be able to afford “Casa Graffiti” !
And check out this mural, MADE OF BOTTLE CAPS, in nearby “Santo Poco” (actually San Pancho):
Below, top floor, Casa de la Colina, our one day there before we didn’t like that place anymore …
And, the view from the beach into Los Gemelos (“the twins”) in which our ‘home’ for the last week in Sayulita was situated — distant house on the right.
Casa Bollinger — recommended, though pricey.
Oh?! “Cuerpo en la Playa”? I almost forgot to mention that. (You have read my prior post about the day centered around “reporting a crime to the police,” eh?) And at the time, I thought that THAT seemed like the most major crime Sayulita had experienced in a while. If so, that was not long to last …
My next-to-last day there I went for a run paralleling the beach, headed south. I ran without my glasses, so visual acuity was sacrificed in favor of, um, “feeling”? savoring the moment? joggin’ on in blind intuition? Anyway — at the very southern end of the actual playa before it gives way to rock outcrops with the ubiquitous and crowded hotels and resorts on top I swerved left to distance myself from what I thought was a sleeping vagrant at the ocean’s edge. I wasn’t paying close attention, but it certainly seemed like whoever it was … was not in good shape.
I continued through the closed-in resort district, turned left up a hill, through the cemetery, down to Playa de Los Muertos (so-named due to the adjacent parcel), got lost a bit, turned around, headed back. I saw the flashing police vehicle lights up ahead, with the “crime scene, do not cross” tape liberally spread around.
I slowed to a walk and went over to talk to one of the police I had met the week before. I could tell right away that whatever this was, he DID NOT want to talk about it. Omar was nearby. “¿ Que paso?” I asked.
Omar assured me that the prone and still and battered-looking form in the near distance had had too much to drink. “Muy borracho. Demasiado tequila, y cerveza, y …” Yeah, right … I thought. The real answer would not be good for the tourist industry. “Gusto a ver-te” he said, shaking my hand and getting back to business.
All-in-all, not (y)our normal vacation, but