Friday, May 25, 2012

10 Reasons I Hate Mexico

Before I get into the bad stuff it'll make me feel better if you know that typically I am positively happy.  I'm the one that points out the good in the bad, the light at the end of the tunnel, the sunshine through the clouds.  After a million mishaps, I'm over it.  You win Mexico.  You win!

CAUTION: there is evidence in here of alcoholic consumption and the chaos that typically ensues.  If you're bothered by the stupidity of drunk people, just scroll to the bottom for a recap. For those of you that like to hear drunken stories because it makes you feel a little bit better about the mistake(s) you made last weekend, READ ON and ENJOY!

What was supposed to be a glorious relaxing trip to a tropical destination, wasn't. I should have known that with all of the stress of booking and packing and annoyances leading up to the trip that it wouldn't get better. 

Day 1.
Let's start with our check in process on Wednesday morning. Our travel agent forgot our confirmation number, and after 45 minutes of tracking it down, we discovered she didn't sit me, Bre, and Trevor together.  She also forgot to add my frequent flyer number, thus eradicating any opportunity to be upgraded to GLORIOUS first class.  Blech!  As Wednesday progresses, my schedule changes and I'm unable to leave work as early as I thought. Lindsay the procrastinator has yet to pack...awesome.  Instead of getting right to my least favorite task of packing, I settled into the comfy couch.  4 hours later Trevor and I were startled awake by Bre arriving...after 10:00 PM.  Awesome!  So, I did what I normally do in these circumstances and THREW EVERYTHING FROM MY CLOSET IN MY SUITCASE! Then of course, I needed another suitcase.  Almost 2 hours later Trevor and I are packed and Bre's soundly asleep in the guest bedroom.
Thursday morning goes well, we make it to the airport an hour and half early only to check in to a 2 1/2 hour flight delay.  Seriously?  You'll never believe the reason for delay.  Fog in San Francisco.  Ha!  That's like saying there's rain in Seattle or sun in Phoenix.  Are you serious!?!?
After only 4 hours of sleep it was a good thing I wore a Target maxi dress that doubles as a nightgown!

Once we got on the plane I nicely coerced a couple of young boys into switching seats so that Bre, Trevor, and I could sit together.  That made me happy.  The first vodka soda did too. What didn't make me happy was the 6 times we flew around San Francisco waiting for clearance.  It would have been more acceptable had the flight attendant been more of what her title is: attendant.  All three of us only got served one drink. Screw you flight attendant! 

We were scheduled for a simple stop to pick up some more Puerta Vallarta vacationers.  Instead, "for security purposes" we were forced out of our seats, off the plane and back into the stupid airport for an hour.  If they'd have told us it would be an hour, we would have taken the edge off with more than one rapidly downed drink at the bar in the other terminal, just to get back in line and wait another 45 minutes. If you haven't noticed, I can be very impatient and I HATE lines!

Finally we're back in the air, and even thought they've switched flight attendants, they still only offer one round of liquid nourishment opportunity.  It only gets worse when we land and there are a thousand locals in the airport trying to get us in a car with them.  When we finally weed our way through the chaos, we're met by already happily drunk Lianne and Calen and Tiffany relaxed and having a good time.  I want to be in the mindset their in. 

We jump on the Apple Vacations tour van and trudge our way through cobblestone roads all the way to Dreams: Puerta Vallarta.  We are delightfully welcomed by the bride and groom and glasses of champagne.  I'm thinking: Finally! Time for a good time! Ahhhh!  This is paradise!

It is just as nice as we walk into our room.  It's spaciously gorgeous and opens it's eyes every morning to the beautiful salty ocean. Our mini bar is also stocked with mini coronas, Orange Fanta, and bottled water! I could really get used to this.  So we quickly unpack and make ourselves at home and change into beach evening attire.  We met down at the lobby bar and proceeded to have a lovely evening full of live Cat Steven's songs played by an adorable woman and her guitar. Our other entertainment was watching Bre chosen from the crowd of ladies by a tall gentleman from Oklahoma as she continually sang "Oklahoma" and flirted back. At some point a peanut tossing contest commenced and by the time we left with foggy brains and smiling faces the bar the floor was littered with delicious mexican peanuts. A nice end to a crappy day.

Day 2.
The boys woke up early and headed on the ultimate excursion: Tequila + Dune Buggy!  I'm so jealous! They got to drive in public streets, taste tequila, go offroading, and rope swing into the water.  They also went to the location that "Predator" was filmed.

While the boys were out, we had every intention of being as drunk as them upon their return.  We did a decent job with the service from our beach chairs.  We also purchased "Ray Bans" and learned what a Mexican Minute is.

When the boys got back it was immediately Pooltime! The best part about "All Inclusive" is that you can eat and drink as much as you want and whenever you want! This is where we spent the rest of the day. How could you not?  There's a swim up bar! (And by day, you'll see shortly, we didn't make it to the night)  It took a while to realize that we didn't need to drink well liquor and we switched to Finlandia Vodka.  We made great friends with the bartenders and had many side discussions about how much  money they really make.  My bet is they take home more than I do.

New Addition:  In my first installment I forgot to notate an additional monstrosity.  Trevor dropped my smart phone in the pool while capturing a photo.  Awesome.  I shouldn't fully blame him, as it was my idea to give a drunk man my camera while standing in a pool that is connected to a free-flowing fully open bar. Bye Bye photos and bye bye $200 to replace it.
I remember chicken fighting.  I won 4 out of 5 fights.  The last girl was really scrappy and probably gave me an infection with her claw marks all over my neck.  Needless to say, she won, and the chicken fighting was over.  I wasn't about to wrastle with her scrappy ass again!  By the time I realized it turned serious, I was already bleeding and laughing just as much.  After this we drank more and I'm sure there is some stuff that happened in between now and our walk up to the hotel room, but I don't recall.  (We were later informed that Trevor threw up on the outside of the pool in the bushes, I went to console him, and turned into an airhumping Cirque De Soleil side show for everyone in the resort's enjoyment.  Many onlookers got a front row seat to a "frogging" lesson. You're welcome PV, you're welcome!)

I don't know how long we were in Bre and Lianne's room, but I do remember the next part very vividly.  I had a corona in my left hand and Trevor was pulling me by my right.  My left hand hit the door as we were walking out of it causing the corona bottle to drop.  As the corona bottle was shattering into a thousand pieces, Trevor was still pulling me into the hallway making my very next step the last hurt free step I'd take in PV.  Lianne recalls the next series of verbal sharing:
"Ooooouucchhhhh! TREVOR!!!!"
"It wasn't my fault!"
"You pulled me..."
"Whoah, that's a lot of blood!"
I remember turning around and seeing the exact same blood print at least a dozen times from room 1918 to 1922.  Then Trevor turned into what he always does in necessary moments: Mr. Responsible.  He bandaged me up and turned a cloth dinner napkin into a tourniquet.  Then we made whoopee and passed out before 7:30 PM.

Day 3.
Reality.  Time to see the damage of my foot.  A good 2 1/2 inches right across the arch of my foot. Definitely going to need stitches.  Pulled out one leftover piece of glass. Still bleeding. Rather deep. Calen the EMT said he can see the tendons and fat...stitches are needed.  I told Trevor I'm fine so we got some liquid bandaid from Bre's supply covered it with more bandaids. I tested walking on my foot.  It hurts, but if I walk on the right edge of my foot it works. Cool.  Let's get some food. I need a bloody mary. We ate a different restaurant that had fresh squeezed juices including beet/carrot/apple/garlic/spinach/etc.  Just what I needed!  Trevor got a Man-Mosa!  Then we met up with our fellow vacationers and recapped stories of the day before. We didn't feel bad when we weren't the only ones that went to bed before the sun.

We hung out at the pool.  Mostly I sat on the lounge chair in the shade because I definitely couldn't get in the water or walk on the beach. Trevor and I each got a teaser 15 minute chair massage.  That was beyond lovely! Day three is May 19th: Blake and Mattea's wedding day at Las Calettas.  Trevor told me to be ready for the wedding at 2:30.  He's so smart...We didn't need to be ready until 3:30 for the private boat ride to Las Calletas, but he knows me and my procrastination far too well.  I got all dressed up and was ready before I needed to be so Trevor and I grabbed a quick bite to eat and a cocktail.  Then we met up with the wedding party and boarded the Bus into town.  Trevor napped.  We got to the ship port and after a forced entry into the shops, we got on the boat. They immediately gave us drinks and we were on our way for the hour ride to the wedding site.  I never get seasick.  I've been fishing in 15 foot ocean swells that did nothing to my stomach.  But for whatever reason, I couldn't handle this boat ride.  So I sat by myself whilst my hubby caught the sunshine rays and water splashes on the front of the boat. As we were slowing, I decided to join him because there were whales or dolphins out in the distance.  Guess what?  I got pooped on.  Awesome!  Stupid bird!

As we pulled up to Las Calletas the world stopped.  This is the most beautiful location for a wedding! We were welcomed by servers in white lining the beach and a scenic walk. They poured us delicious Margaritta's and seated us with Maracas.  So beautiful!  And to top it all off, Trevor was willing to take photos with me!  Thank you babe!

Thank you Blake and Mattea!  Your wedding was gorgeous and you are both beautiful! We had a great time and definitely enjoyed celebrating such a momentous occasion!  That hammock was amazing! The food was also delicious and the tequila poppers were fun!

That night Trevor and I got into the same argument that generally happens when one of us is more intoxicated than the other. That put us to bed after midnight. The good news: We always wake up happy and apologetic. And that brings us to:

Day 4:
We toasted to the morning, shared appologies, had hugs, snuggles, and breakfast. At 10:00 we had a couples full body massage appointment at the spa. We got there early so we could enjoy the Sauna and Steam room.  I LOVE massages!  LOVE.  That's the key to my happy place!  After our relaxation we decided we should have the Resort Doctor look at my foot.  On the door it said: No free consultations.  We walked into a teeny tiny office nothing like you'd find in America.  I still took off my band aids and held my foot up to the elderly Mexican doctor standing in front of his certificate decorated wall.  He was surprised, asked how long ago I did it, and said he thought it was healing well enough.  Then he said stitches wouldn't really work for that spot of my foot and he recommended antibiotics.  He asked if I am drinking.  I said yes. Then he said we have a shot or we have pills.  I'd have to take the pills every 4 hours and avoid sun and alcohol.  Well that's out of the question.  So I opted for the shot.  He looked at my arm and said, "lets do it in the butt." <insert laughter and 'that's what she said' jokes>  So, he had me bend over on a half size bed with hair on the pillow and had me pull up my swim suit.  Trevor made sure everything he used was sterile.  A minute or two later I was able to walk and for the small price of 30 US Dollars I obtained the Peace of Mind that I wasn't going to die from a bacterial infection in Mexico.  That's all I needed!  He also told me not to drink until the evening.  It's a deal!

Showing the girls my shot spot

My foot preparedness for pool entry

Evening came after pool time and Trevor surprised me with a nice bottle of wine in our hotel room.  Wine was exactly what I needed after an alochol free day and to be honest, it's the only alcohol I thoroughly enjoy drinking.  Thank goodness!  We toasted to our 2 year marriage and headed down to the most delicious dinner in Mexico yet. Trevor had bacon wrapped fillet and I had the seafood special of Flounder, Prawns, and scallops.  There was also an eclipse that night.  Gorgeous bright sky!

We kept the wine flowing and were surprised by a visit from Bre and Lianne that came to take us into the rest of the evening's debauchery! We shared a lot of drinks, laughs, and shots.  Trevor convinced the bartender to make the old college: "Hop, Skip, and go Naked" or "Pink Panty Droppers."  They taste like heaven and help you get to your happy place faster than imaginable.  The entire wedding party and all of our new friends joined us in the sports bar as we sang songs, danced, took countless photos, and laughed. The end of the sports bar party ended when the resident creepy man arrived. The same man that gave me the heeby jeebies earlier in the day showed up with an even creepier man at the sportsbar this night.  They said they were there for 23 days.  That's far too long.  That's a perfect name for a Horror flick! Also, one of them had the tattoo of Texas Chainsaw Massacre on his calf.  They weirded everyone out. They were so incredibly weird and creepy that we cautiously took the night to our hotel room where we sang songs, laughed, and ordered copious amounts of room service!  Once the food was gone, everyone retired to their own rooms and we turned off the lights and began another night sleeping to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.

Day 5.
May 21st, 2012. We played at the beach.  My foot kept getting better though still hurts with direct pressure.  I felt confident enough to go in the sand a little bit.  I even got on a trampoline they had.  I was surprised I could still do backflips and back handsprings from my days of being a feerless kid.  And I was so happy to be doing something besides sitting on a chair staring out at fun that I wasn't having that I didn't care.  We lounged for a little bit.  Then with the Toms I'd been living in since the accident, Trevor and I walked up and down the beach.  That made me happy!  Then we took a kayak tour of our little cove.  It was a lot of fun getting a different vantage point of our resort.  We shared a two person canoe and as soon as we paddled past the waves, Trevor's paddle broke in two.  LOL! I was able to use one end but even so, Trevor got to take mine and do all the hard work! On our way in, our kayak started sinking and I got nervous because even though I had an antibacterial shot running through my veins, that ocean water is scary for an open wound!  I almost had a panic attack.  There was a huge hole in our Kayak.  None of this was our fault and even though we safely made it in on a wave but you could tell the Kayak attendee was rather upset!

After beaching away, we decided to go into town with our new friends Shelley and Matt as well as Bre, Lianne, Calen, and Tiffany.  I wish we did this sooner because Downtown PV is awesome!  We ate the most delicious street tacos and had 2 x 1 beers.  We walked around and took photos of the scenery.  Here are some of them.

Day 6.
Time to go home, thank goodness!  I can only take so much of the same food, same booze, and same activities.  I was totally over it!  We spent the morning having breakfast, packing, and then hanging out at the pool until our shuttle departed at 2:30 for our 4:40 flight. Wouldn't it be nice if the bad things were over at this point? Yay, I was hoping too!
As soon as we checked in to our flight they told us it wasn't departing until 7:05.  You've gotta be kidding me!  It's 3:00, that's 4 hours.  Guess what the hold up was?  San Fransisco!  Honestly!  Get your fog situation figured out. Bre, Trevor, and I were so over stimulated by Mexican food and Mexican booze that that thought of drinking in the airport was disgusting.  All I wanted was to be home in my own bed.  This delay was changing our anticipated arrival time in Seattle all the way back to midnight.  I had to teach Wednesday morning!  Blech!  No fun!  We lazed around the airport, sat some, ate some, talked some, browsed some.  Here's the best our lackadaisical meandering through the airport I got my LuLu Lemon pants caught in the moving walkway.  At first, Trevor and Bre didn't notice. I was scared out of my mind that I'd either lose my leg or have my pants torn off my body.  In the quick second that seemed like minutes, Bre came to the rescue and pulled me out of it to reveal my shredded to bits pants.  Lovely. Just Lovely. Realizing the disheartening truth I said: "If we were in America I'd be surrounded by aid, and I'd be able to sue or at least get a new pair of pants."  And that was the end of it.  Just my luck. "I wish we were in Hawaii."

I boycotted all future moving walkways in Mexico. 

We made it on the plane but this time no one would switch with Bre so she sat in row 30 while we sat in 16.  After landing in San Francisco 2 hours late, we entered the hell that is Customs. The line was atrocious and just when it felt like you were nearing the front, it broke into more lines. It's seriously like Costco!  It gives me anxiety trying to pick the fastest line with groceries.  Imagine me after a vacation from hell wanting nothing but to be back home in Seattle. Not only did it take a year to make it to the finish line, but we had to retrieve our checked bags, walk them back to check-in, and go through security AGAIN!  I hate Mexico.  And I hate the San Francisco airport.

An hour later we're settled into our seats (no one would switch Bre again) and the door closes and we take off. About time.  My first sigh of relief after unsuccessfully being able to sleep on the flight was stepping into the C concourse in Seattle.  Such a familiar feeling.  I knew everything was smooth sailing from then on.  Our bags were on time, the taxi was waiting and we turned the key to the front door of West Seattle 30 minutes later.  EXHAUSTION! I washed my face and passed out a little after 2:00 AM, happy as a clam to be in my own bed.

If that were all of it, it would still suck, but what sucks worse is Montezuma's revenge whilst teaching a class of 20 adults trying to act chipper on 4 hours of sleep. It took me too long to figure out I couldn't eat or drink anything up without visiting the bathroom 30 minutes later. I barely made it through the day and walked into the house to my husband's worried look as he tells me I look like crap.  Then he hugs me and tells me I'm burning up.  I was freeeeeeezing! I didn't realize that I had the biggest fever and needed rest ASAP! No fun. 

Trevor got me crackers and soda and made me chicken noodle soup and snuggled with me on the couch.  Sleep and fever reducers did me well because Thursday was much better!  I thought I was safe in the US, but Mexico always has another plan as it creeps up on you just when you felt the suffering was over!

To Recap:
1. Missing rewards points/separate seating
2. Flight delayed into Puerto Vallarta because of fog in San Francisco
2. The attendant only served us one alcoholic beverage each
3. Hard-Core cut foot
4. Sea Sick (I NEVER get seasick)
5. Mexican doctor Antibiotic shot in my butt
6. Return flight delayed 3 hours! Stupid San Francisco
7. LuLu Lemon Pants destroyed in the moving walkway
8. Customs took over an hour
9. Didn't get to sleep until 2:00 AM with an alarm at 6:00 AM
10. Montezuma's Revenge
11. Phone ruined in the pool... :(

You're beautiful, but I HATE YOU MEXICO!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SPF Tinted Moisturizer 911!

I am totally ready for a change with my skincare.  I have been using teenager zit face wash for as long as I can remember and it's not working the way I'd like it. I'm sick of pimples and I can't decide if it's time to switch to a more mature face care process. 
Currently I use Nutrogena Salicilyc Acid face wash morning and night.  Then I put a light moisturizer on (sometimes over Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid cream).  After, I do a light layer of Bare Minerals with some blush and whatever I'm feeling on my eyes. 

I want something easier and more effective.

I am headed to Mexico on Thursday.  I get this wonderful sample box in delivered monthly that includes all different kinds of samples.  It's called Birchbox and for $10/month you can customize your preferences and your box is always valued over $10! You also accumulate points that go towards purchasing full size products.  Click here to sign up for your own birchbox and then tell your friends and get points!

Anyway, I really want a tinted SPF moisturizer to make the make-up process better, especially for Summer.  This month in my birchbox I had a sample of Dr. Jart and I fell in love with it but there was only enough for a week. 

It's $32 for a full size online, but I won't have it in time for Mexico...

Bre says: "The Laura Mercier rocks my world but it's expensive.  I wear it every day instead of face make-up. Totally worth it and it lasts for months. Bobbie Brown makes a pretty good one too." When I asked her about getting just a tinted moisturizer she said: "Honestly, I think you should allow for $200 at Nordstrom.  When you change a routine it's an investment.  When pepole half try things they don't get the right results and assume it's the product rather than the fact that certain things are made to go together and to work together.  I would go to Nordstrom instead of Sephora so the rep can match you and go over the differences.  I hate the girls at Sephora, it's great for refills, but not for a fresh start.  If you're looking to switch to Laura for good, you would need the illuminating primer, tinted moisturizer, and the translucent powder.  Individually all these producs work, but together you will have coverage that lasts all day and is the most natural.  Sometimes I skip one and I can tell the difference.  This would run you about $150 and leave you $50 to spend toward face wash/concealer."
I am asking for your advice:
1. I get something from Target for something like Aveno for less than $15
2. I get Dr. Jart from birchbox for $32
3. I go to Sephora and get Benefit or Philosophy
4. I go all out at Nordstrom with Bre's reccomendation of a full skin care line by Laura Mercier for $150.

Lianne says: "I have heard such great things about Laura.  Or Philosophy's Hope in a Bottle.  I personally love all things by Benefit. My favorite is Dr. Feel Good that has a Vitamin C base that helps get rid of shine.  Unfortunately it doesn't have SPF. As for your breakouts: Neutrogena fash wash with salicylic acid and grapefruit saved my life!  I use it every single day and also got my sister some and her face has cleared up also.  You don't need to spend a ton of money on it, but make sure it has salicylic acid specifically.  Also, it [can be] an investment, but worth every cent.  Higher quality makeup and skincare lasts longer and does feel and look different.  MAC lasts 10x's longer than anything you can get at Target, so the value is much better and costs less in the long run."

What would I do without my ladies? 

What do you think? 
What is your favorite daily face regime?


Monday, May 14, 2012

May Flowers

May Flowers
This year has been a testament to Seattle's full gorgeous potential.  May has been A-MAY-ZING!  Last week on my morning jog I HAD to slow down and take a quick break to capture the loveliness blooming in West Seattle. 

Here’s my results I captured on my phone: all from my Droid Incredible II. 

Thanks to the enticing 80 degree Seattle day, I enjoyed my afternoon break outside today. I captured the following pictures around 3:00.

Today is marks the first time in four years that it has hit 80 degrees or above in Seattle before July. 

I played around with the camera settings on my phone’s camera.  If you haven’t explored all that your phone has to offer, practice on flowers!  They are amazing test subjects.  There are features like: Posterize, negative, Vignette, Vintage, Grey Scale, Sepia, and Solarize.

Cheers to a glorious Seattle Summer!

Pink Filter

High Contrast Black & White

Black and White

Focus Feature

Midtone Adjusted

Negative, then B&W




Posterize Function



And now it’s time for:
Final thoughts Flower Photos by:
Nicole Wegner!