Tuesday, October 08, 2013


Norah is five years and three months old.  Which means I have only known my "baby friends" for five years and about two months.  Which is bananas because I can't really remember what life was like without them.  M (ie, Ruby and Ella's mom) had a milestone birthday at the end of September and it was decided that an appropriate celebration was in order.  At the Four Seasons.  In Mexico.  It took me about 30 seconds to book plane tickets because, 1) we love M, and 2) The Four Seasons.  In Mexico.  

M has a group of friends that have been really tight for 15+ years. They travel together all of the time and everyone was gracious enough to let BVZ and I in on the action (I had actually met them all last year in Santa Barbara sans BVZ).  The only thing missing was our other partner in crime A (ie, Caleb and Lucas's mom), but she had a prior commitment to a family wedding in Canada.  Not like we needed any other reason to go, but I realized that BVZ and I had not been on a vacation of any sort together since before Norah was born.  Sure we've taken trips on our own, for work, and with the kids, but we were definitely due for at least a long weekend away on our own.

Bubby stepped up and agreed to move in with the kids from Thursday to Sunday.  I am the first one to admit there are a million reasons why moving to Texas was the best decision for our family, but 'Grandma moves in for the weekend while we go to the Four Seasons in Mexico' has to be right there at the top of the list.  

We flew into Puerta Vallerta which involved a 45 minute flight to Houston, a 3 hour layover in Houston, and a 2 hour flight to Mexico.  I think we were at the Houston airport longer than we were actually in the air.  We met one of the couples in our party at the airport and shared a ride with them to the resort, which was about an hour away in Punta Mita. We had the driver swing by a Supermercado on the way there so we could load up on diet coke, beer, and various flavors of meat flavored chips (I think the carbon was the worst).  

The resort itself was out of this world.  It actually reminded me a lot of Maui and was quiet, peaceful, and very tranquil.  I would estimate they were at about 10% capacity the entire time we were there and we definitely felt as though we had the place to ourselves.  I would have liked it even if there were more people around, but I was all about the fact that we didn't feel crowded in the slightest bit.  The services were exactly what you would expect from a five star kind of place--starting with fresh squeezed juice and cool towels spritzed in cucumber water as soon as we arrived.  

This was the view from the foyer where we checked in.

Our room was spacious and lovely.  I was horrified to find bug spray in the closet but I am relieved to say the only non-human creatures we saw were geckos on the walkways and iguanas on the lawns, neither of which bothered me one bit.

We rested and got cleaned up while waiting for everyone else (12 folks in all) to arrive.  We took a late afternoon stroll down by the private beach, which was peaceful and serene.  The water was chilly and pretty rough.  We waded into the water a bit but there was a steep drop off about a foot past where the tide was coming in.  I have no need to swim in the ocean and was perfectly happy standing ankle deep and admiring from afar.

This huge fish was washed up on shore and dead as dead could be.  I took a picture of it to send to Louie.  Bubby reported that he loved it.

The rest of the evening was spent having cocktails with old and new friends and a wonderful dinner at one of the resort restaurants, which included a plate of the best fish tacos I have ever had.  The fun continued after dinner in M's suite, but BVZ and I bowed out early in the hopes of getting a solid night sleep (it's been a very long time since I slept fully medicated and without interruption).  It was glorious.

Friday was M's actual birthday and all of the ladies planned to celebrate with her at a private cabana at the "adult" pool.  Because I am physically incapable of sleeping past 7:00 am, I was up early and decided to get things going at the cabana.  They weren't quite ready so I took a nice walk around the resort.  By myself.  It was awesome to spend 45 minutes walking around by myself, with no one needing me, no one calling me, so one expecting me to make them a cheese sammich.  Awesome.

I checked out the "beds" on the beach.

And the breakfast nook with a view of the sea.

The tasteful decor in the lobby.

And the interesting and beautiful sculptures around the grounds.

I tried by best to find another iguana on my walk but no dice.

The adult pool was perfect.  There was a long infinity pool surrounded by private cabanas.

Technically each cabana was only supposed to hold four people but I had previously arranged for them to accommodate six of us.  Which was perfect because there was no.one.else at the adult pool that day, save for one couple who wandered in hours after us and left hours before.  It was an ideal set up.

Cabana also came with fresh fruit, drinks, and a lovely attendant all of our very own.  Throughout the day they brought around samples of specialty cocktails, little snacks, and popsicles.

This would be my bliss after a nap, reading half my novel in peace, taking a little nap, having my face spritzed by a 22 year old cabana boy, and getting a foot massage.  And this was all before 10:00 am.

Even though all of the men were tasked with making their own way, by mid-afternoon everyone was enjoying the spoils of the cabana.  There were a lot of mango margaritas, Coronitas, and fish tacos consumed.  Even though A couldn't be there she arranged to have pitchers of margaritas, buckets of beer, and platters of snacks sent to the cabana.

And that's how the trouble started.  It was hot and humid but also very overcast (awesome), so the sun was a little tricky.  It didn't feel nearly as dehydrating as it actually was.  Thankfully, I figured this out right away and did a good job of pacing myself.  You know who didn't do a good job of pacing himself? BVZ.  I believe he single-handily consumed 75% of the beverages served that day. I am attributing what happened next to working too hard the week before, being exhausted, being hot, and getting ahem.  Over-served.  Basically I am trying to make excuses for the fact that he got wasted at 3:00 pm at the adult pool in Mexico.

(He's the bald one.  Wasted.)

Now, being over-served can manifest itself in several different ways.  There's the angry over-served, the mopey over-served, the overly affectionate over-served, and the gregarious over-served.  In his old age BVZ is none of these things.  He's the tired over-served.  Basically, he just falls asleep.  And falls asleep hard.  I was relaxing on a chaise lounge at one point and saw him get out of the pool and stretch out on the lounger next to me and close his eyes.  He mumbled something in response to a question I asked and I figured he was just relaxing.  It wasn't until he leaned over and slurred, "hey babe, can you get me a bucket?" that I knew we were in trouble.  Over the course of the next 30 minutes or so, my only goal in life was to prevent my almost 40 year old spouse from puking on the grounds of a five star resort.  The details are unimportant (save for the fact that BVZ has almost a foot in height and probably 70 lbs on me) but I was ultimately successful in getting him tucked into bed with a bottle of Gatorade and some Advil.  Then I left him to sleep it off and went back to the pool.

Dinner reservations were for 3 or 4 hours after the beginning of BVZ's nap, so I thought for sure he would be up and running by the evening.  No dice.  I felt bad for him but I wasn't missing M's birthday celebration so I left him there.  M had an ocean front suite with a plunge pool on the balcony and a view of the sunset.  It was a scene I could get used to.

Dinner was lovely and wonderful and ended with a giant chocolate cake in celebration of M.  As it turns out, BVZ woke up perfectly refreshed about 45 minutes after I left.  Because the text messaging and wifi was spotty, I did not get his message that he was okay and wanting to join us until much too late.  He ended up watching football in the room and ordering a shrimp burrito from room service. Some people never learn.

The main pool was lit up and glowing on my way back to the room.

Saturday we were up early again for breakfast and a long walk.

See? Perfectly fine after being more over-served than he had been in a looooong time.

Saturday's home base was the main pool, which was just as lovely and had a view of the ocean.  It was an infinity pool, and like the one the day before, was pretty much deserted.  The little touches were very nice--sunscreen and bottled water was offered everywhere and every once in a while a dude came by with an ice cream cart.

The mango margarita was definitely the crowd favorite.

I could not get enough of the fish tacos but made the mistake of putting by far the hottest hot sauce I had ever tasted on one.  My mouth tasted like fire for a good 30 minutes.

Saturday night was the one and only time we ventured outside of the Four Seasons and that was only to go to a neighboring resort (the St. Regis) for dinner.  The general consensus was that the Four Seasons was way better.  I didn't take a single photo because my dress that night didn't have pockets (so I didn't bother to take my phone).  I did enjoy the fact that the restaurant had both a vegan and gluten free menu.  I stuck to the vegan risotto and didn't end up with the meat sweats like the carnivores at the table did (it was pretty hot).

We didn't need to leave on Sunday until about noon, so we hung out and had a leisurely breakfast and relaxed on the "beds" on the beach.

The ride back to the airport, gift store shopping, and flights to Texas couldn't have been easier or more uneventful.  The kids missed us appropriately although they got to watch a ton of tv, eat dessert every night, and made a trip to the holy land (ie, Chuck E Cheese).

It was an ideal get away and a perfect trip.  I only wish M could have a 40th birthday every year.


k-dog studios said...

oh wow, so much to love about this post. What a beautiful place...and to be without kids...and celebrating M's birthday...heaven all around. Boy do I miss day drinking!

aileen said...

I've been waiting for this post! You guys looked so relaxed! Glad to hear it was a great time. Wish I was there.

Sarah Bernfeld said...

Freaking amazing. Great pics.

Bonnie said...

That reminds me of our spring break trip to San Carlos back in 2001. Except classier.