camellie in Mexico, part 1

My reason du jour for not blogging - a pointless, self-defeating hangup about keeping things chronological. I haven't even written about going to Mexico with Cameron for my birthday in May. Or about going to Mexico last fall with Timo. So how can I post about things on my mind today?

Also - I have been clinging, pathetically, to this idea that I just need to "get a routine going" in order to get back to regular blogging. That it's just a matter of time management and balance and blah blah blah. And maybe there is something to the time management aspect. Lord knows how much time I waste. But I have to let go of this fantasy of returning to full-force, frequent blogging. It's just not in the cards. I work too much, am too tired before and after work, and have too many other things that I want to do with my time anyway. So, new goal: once a week. I have got to be able to pull off once a week, right? Fridays (which are my Saturday), when Timo's at work anyway, and I'm fresh with the feeling of two full days off in front of me? Maybe??

Let's try.

So I went to Mexico with Cameron. And it was every bit as ridiculous and fun and wonderful as I hoped in my hopiest of hopes--but did not expect, because I'm a cranky and sensitive traveler, and I've really only ever traveled one other time with a friend, and it was disastrous.

But yes, it was so much better than I was thinking it would be. We were both very chill and accommodating and flexible about everything, because we were both just so happy for the time together. Neither one of us were strongly attached to any set plans, which made it easy to pivot when necessary. And really, what else do you need besides a pina colada on the beach in the company of your brain twin?

I'm going to be annoying and back-post my favorite images on Instagram, but here are a few random other bits of the story...

Cameron found a very cheap, very rustic little casita to rent for the month just south of downtown Puerto Vallarta. He had some creative and personal projects he wanted to spend time on, and it was the perfect mix of getaway+isolation in order to buckle down and focus.

But he hadn't yet been there; he went out initially with me (surprising me at LAX, where he flew through, so we could travel together), so we had to find the place ourselves. And that was a bit tricky. Our GPS went out the minute we left the main road, we didn't have the clearest directions from the website he'd booked through, and despite my being from Arizona and his being from Texas, combined we know about five Spanish words between us. Pathetic.

Above is the tiny bodega we attempted to ask directions from in our disastrously broken Spanish. As you can see even the dog was bored by us.

The area we stayed in was teeming with semi-strays. Collarless, a bit aimless, but seemingly well enough fed. The little fawn guy below made friends with us right away, bowing his head low to approach us fearfully but with a hopeful, wagging tail. We named him WigglyButt, because we are both Very Clever and Seriously Creative Writers.

The grounds at the complex (which had multiple casitas, a pool, some kind of meditation / yoga room, and a jacuzzi) were clearly mid-renovation. A girl was working on the mural below when we first arrived, and was done by the time I left a week later.

Pictured above are some chickens who pretended they didn't speak English when we asked them for directions. Rude.

So the truth of the matter is that I'm being a bit generous when I describe the accommodations as "rustic." The word I want is rough. They were rough. Which is not to say I wasn't grateful to be there, or that we didn't have a grand time anyway, once we get our vacation legs. But to be honest poor Cam was actually a bit shellshocked when he first saw his home-away-from-home for the next month. No AC - and it was fucking sweltering. No internet - and he's as internet-reliant as anyone. No phone service - so no texting family or friends.

After the landlord let us in, we pretty much just dumped our things and fled to town. We needed food and we needed liquor, and we needed to get a handle on the situation. We walked the main drag of downtown, sweaty, dehydrated, deflated. I did my best to point out all the pluses (No distractions! A full month to focus on nothing but his goals!), and he expressed deep gratitude for my cheerful approach to framing things positively. This was, in fact, a really nice moment of the trip. He needed me, needed to lean on me, and I was there.

We agreed to hole up in the first bar we saw, to cool off and regroup.


The first bar we saw? Senor Frogs.

Now, dear reader, if you've ever been to a Senor Frogs, right now you're thinking "Say no more." You know. But if you haven't? Picture the unholy love child of TGIFridays and Hooters, if Hooters were itself an unholy love child (of unknown parentage) abandoned on the front steps of a mission in Nogales. Senor Frogs is someone's idea of what middle-American tourists in a tourist town in Mexico are aching for (and maybe they are). Obnoxiously loud music. Bland, boilerplate TexMex dishes. A wait staff intermittently obligated to perform coordinated dance numbers, arms linked, while blowing gym whistles inches from your poor, dehydrated head. Balloon hats. Silly signs that the servers place beside the tables for LOLstagrams, that say things like SINGLE AND LOOKING and KISS ME BEFORE MY BOYFRIEND COMES BACK.

It was, in other words, the very last place we should have gone, considering how exhausted and overheated we were. And because of that, it was of course an absolute fucking riot. We couldn't even hear one another to talk over the whistling. We just looked at eachother wordlessly, tears streaming down our faces from laughter as he politely allowed a young man to crown him with a three-foot balloon hat and place a HUSBAND FOR SALE sign next to his chair.

Bienvenidos a Mexico, motherfuckers.