Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From Ski to Sea

How much stuff do nine people need for a ski trip?
So we packed up last Saturday morning and headed to Solitude for one last half day of skiing before heading home. Having taken the previous day off, I was actually ready to take a few more runs. It was another gorgeous day and since it had dumped the night before, there was a ton of fresh snow (fresh and groomed for Jenine and me; fresh and powdery for the guys) and we had another great morning swishing our way down. I knocked off first so I could change for the trip home and eventually the others all ended up at the trucks, changing clothes and having a last beer in the parking lot before calling the trip "done" and heading to the airport. We got there in time to catch the end of the Patriot's game in an airport bar which made Josh happy. After saying good-bye to Jason who was heading home to So-Cal the rest of us had an uneventful flight back to SeaTac. The snow had melted in Seattle by then and Jeremy, who it turns out lives a few blocks from me, and I made it back to Queen Anne pretty easily, but were pretty tired and a little grimy. It was a fantastic trip and hopefully I'll do it again next year.

Here's a video compilation Chris made of the trip -

That was last Sunday, I spent Monday running some errands, re-packing, having dinner with Cheryl, Margie and Sam, and then left on Tuesday for Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, which is where I am now. Wasn't able to blog from Utah (technical difficulties) and I was too tired on Monday, so today, after arriving last night and mostly sitting by the pool today, I was able to catch up. Back to back trips are not a bad idea. Utah was a trip, an adventure -- it involved getting up every day around 6:30 am., Mexico is a vacation. I have no agenda and no aspirations for sight-seeing, exploring, or doing much of anything - I just want to rest. So far so good.

infinity pool
I got in around 5pm yesterday and had dinner at the bar by the pool. I found, as Cheryl and I have on previous trips to Mexican resorts, that the food was really quite awful - only because I guess they are catering to what the masses think of as Mexican food. Breakfast this morning was pretty good, but I didn't want to spend another $20 for poached eggs and fruit, so today I took the hotel shuttle into town for some provisions. This resort (name deleted... this being the age of people getting in trouble for naming names) is about 15 minutes from the town of PV so it's a bit isolated, but quiet and beautiful. I found a grocery store and stocked up on fruit, yogurt, bread, and cheese, and then came back and got into the pool. The water temp reminded me of when I'm taking a bath at home and the water cools off a bit - luxurious. I hung out in the pool for a while enjoying the view and then sat in a lounge chair typing up the posts about last week's adventure in Utah (pool-side wifi). I didn't want a repeat of last night's truly uninspired shrimp fajitas, so I went back into town and found a taco cart where I got 4 carnitas tacos (two for tonight, two for tomorrow) and some roasted chicken from a road-side chicken roaster.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, my almost complete and total lack of any ability to speak Spanish is pretty pathetic, but in the grocery store and at the food stands, a smile and a "I'm really, really so sorry" look goes a long way. The grocery store was easy but at the taco stand, I started with a smile and a look of deep appreciation for the idea of tacos. I pointed and asked carnitas? and he said si. I managed dos por favor and  then made a motion with my arms of taking them away as he started to put them on a plate "to go?" he said, and I smiled and said si as he wrapped them up. It was then that I realized I should get a few more since I have a mini-fridge in my room. How to say that escaped me but through my extremely expressive hand gestures (oddly, I hate playing charades) he figured out that I needed dos mas? which is what he asked, and I rolled my eyes and repeated him as if, duh, any fool could and should know how to say "dos mas." Similar experience at the chicken stand. I saw a sign that had a small combo plate and repeated the word on the sign to the guy at the counter. He smiled at me and said something which I didn't understand. I smiled, looked embarrassed and shrugged. He pointed to his arm and then to his leg - ah, did I want a wing or a leg. I pointed to my leg and we both laughed.

So dinner tonight in my room, the maid just came in and turned down my bed and left a tequila-filled chocolate on my pillow. The Australian Open is on TV and I have nothing to do tomorrow except kill time at the pool until my massage at 4. This is definitely a vacation.