The last two weeks have been amazing. Mindblowing. I can't even think of how to describe how much they have meant to me.
Two days after finals I went to Mexico with my fellow highly achieved branch managers and Jamie. Cody, obviously, did not join us this year.Jamie gave us an early Christmas gift: a book by Geoffrey Gittomer about improving your sales, The Little Red Book of Selling. I briefly started reading it after I got back, but basically the book was ignored on my Mexico trip.
After a long flight to Puerto Vallarta, full of babies and younguns screaming their heads off which I didn't mind in the least, we land and are immediately on our own. Jamie because famous for his disappearing acts on this trip, as he liked to walk very quickly before anyone of us were even off the plane. It's ok though, because Jacob and I had both been there, so we more or less knew where we were going in the airport.
After waiting in a much nicer temperature than we waited in last year, we finally step out of the airport after wading through very aggressive taxi-men. As we are standing next to our taxi driver, another approached us, and, although no one else noticed it, I saw out taxi driver defend us and literally shove him away saying we already had a taxi service. It was interesting.
We headed to our hotel and basically hit the bar immediately. I won the drunkest of the night competition simply by having the lowest tolerance, and ended up sitting in the sports bar with Jamie and Austin talking very dumbly about why professional sports players don't really put any effort into their sport and, therefore, why football isn't a real sport and hockey is. Everyone else went out on the town to look for Cuban cigars that they eventually wanted to smoke.
The next day, Amber, Keely, and I went out on the town ourselves to see the marketplace. I spent far too much money on myself, but got some nice silver pendants out of it. Two of the for about 50 bucks, but one has two sides to it, and they are real silver, so that is a far better deal than you would get here...plus a couple shot glasses I think. Don't really remember.Sadly, I was on the lookout for a present for Haleigh still, since I drew her name for the "Not-so-secret" Santa. No luck on Monday though.
Afterward, we were super tired, so Amber and I took a nap. I think Amber stayed in bed and missed out on the AMAZING fire dancers doing some fantastic fireball juggling. There were two girls who did some crazy things with two fireballs and severe stomach muscles that let them do amazing gymnastics, and the guy who seemed to be in charge basically just walked around throwing his fireball and lighting the girls' fireballs when they needed it...Until the very end that it. He comes out and just totally blows them away and holy shit was I sorry that Amber missed it. And of course, none of us had our camera on us, since Amber was sort of our unofficial photographer, since only she and Keely brought a camera, and Keely ended up losing hers on the very first day.
The days sort of blend together, but I believe we spent a good deal of Monday (at least Amber and I) recovering from the first night. She wasn't feeling too hot due to some sickness and I was just exhausted. We ended up going to bed early. Keely was completely drunk on Monday. They got their Cigars and smoked them out on the bar like gentlemen, and I just tried not to gag. Due to a decent meal, I didn't feel drunk at all, but I enjoyed the company, so I stayed around the bar too. Jamie convinced Keely to try some scotch with her cigar that she shared with him. She apparently had two cups of scotch, but Amber and I went to bed pretty early comparatively. Thomas, like a gentleman, helped carry her up to our room, made sure she puked in a bucket and not in her hair, and made sure Amber would take care of her as she dry heaved for twenty minutes. According to Amber, it was really sweet. I wouldn't know, because I somehow slept through a crying, dry-heaving girl being hauled to bed...Go figure.
Tuesday, Amber and I spent an obscene amount of time in the Ocean making incredibly dirty jokes about the ocean pounding us and how "it's so natural, you just have to let the ocean take you out when it's ready and push your back when it's time"...I don't really know. Maybe we spent too much time our there drinking seawater for our own good, but it was funny as hell at the time. Afterward, we swam in the pool and tried to rid ourselves of the last vestiges of sand that not even a shower could rid us of. We also hit the hot tub for a bit, but it was weird because it was colder than the air outside after about five minutes.
Everyone hit the town on Tuesday though. We wanted to go out to a club on Wednesday, our last night in town, but we didn't know where we wanted to go. Us three girls were used as a lure for all the guys trying to advertise for their bars. Tuesday had a lot of free entry/free drinks for ladies, but we wanted to go out Wednesday, so we whined and simpered and got them to write us free passed with free drinks, even though we didn't even go to their bars the next night, for whatever reason. We walked all along the boardwalk to the very end, saw some awesome sand sculptures of Jesus and lizards that were as tall as any man, and when we hit the end, saw a guy painting amazing pictures with his fingers. Yeah..literally, fingerpainting. I got one for Haleigh for Christmas of an ocean scene that was blue overall, and one for me that is gold. Jacob got his Grandmother an awesome painting that I loved as well for $100, and said it was worth it. We walked back and, although we hit the bar for a while, we all bailed pretty early.
Wednesday, we got up early and went on our group thing, which we decided would be the ATV tour through the jungle with a "waterfall" and a tequila tasting halfway through the trip. It was amazing. The "waterfall", although beautiful, was tiny and cute, and I laughed to myself at how much they hyped it up, but the ATV ride itself was worth it. It was, as I describe it, "like riding a horse with a giant motor", although I find it hilarious that the guide taught all the girls how to drive, and didn't bother to teach the guys. Sexism at its best, eh? :-) We drove through the town, the freeway, a tunnel, and several small villages on the way, which I would have loved to stop in and just soak everything in, but alas, it was not to be. When we got to the top of the hill and saw the waterfall, it was a fantastic scene. I don't think I ever saw water that pure (looking). Amber's glasses apparently broke though, so we got a hilarious picture of her with her one-eyed goggle on the way back. We stopped at one of the villages where they make tequila and learned all about how they make tequila and the aging process and the different levels of quality and how you only want to drink "a hunderdprecent agave!". My favorite joke of the trip was uttered by the guy teaching us. The tequilla most Americans know, Jose Cuervo, they don't call tequilla. They call it "to-kill-you"! Haha..Silly tour guy.
But seriously. He loved his drink. You could see how much he loved talking about it and teaching people about it, and I felt bad that no one else cared what he was saying, because I myself love tequila, and I totally loved learning about its origins and history.
But things picked up when we got the the actual taste testing. He told us about how ladies used to complain that tequila was too strong for them, so they made a flavored tequila. We tried a brand called Arcangel. We tried several actually. Almond flavored, which I guess is good for banana flambe, and cafe, which has obvious uses, and butterscotch and maybe chocolate? Can't remember. Then we tried some more regular types, but much higher quality than what you get in the States, and I loved every minute of it. Then, he brought out another bottle apparently specifically for women. This, legend has it, was the reason there are so many children in Mexico. Not only does this tequila have strong aphrodisiac powers over women (not men though, strangely), it's also a fertility tequila, and man does it taste different. I can't attest at this point whether or not it actually works as advertised, but I can say that I bought some for research purposes and because it is shaped like a freaking fertility goddess! It was called Coochie coochie! How can you not have that?! Every guy we came with bought at least two bottles. If it worked, they said, forty bucks was a totally worthwhile investment...although I am not sure they thought that one out too far. I don't think most of them want their dates more fertile. But still..I bought some, so was can I really say. It is a bit of lore and I wanted it. We also tried, as the very last taste, a very fine tequila that the guide called his companion tequila. He told us to hold it in our mouths, exhale, inhale, and then swallow. Oh man, was it good. I can totally see why it was his favorite.
Afterward, we got on our ATVs, drove back to town, and I slammed into Amber trying to cross the street back to the meeting place. Jamie's ATV stalled in the middle of the street. That is the closest I've ever been to an accident, and the only thing that saved my ass from flying off the front is strong thighs hitting the handle bars and me having ridden a horse in a similar way for several summers, thus confirming my previous impression of riding ATVs.
We cleaned ourselves up, went out on the town for some "real Mexican food", which was apparently tongue tacos, which I didn't eat, and told Amber if she showed me the taste buds one more time I would throw up on her, went to our fancy dinner of Sushi, which I also didn't eat any of because I don't eat sushi, and was totally ready to take three shots of tequila with Jacob and Jared at the bar and then continue drinking other drinks which, when we asked for something made with the real bananas sitting on the counter, we were so drunk we almost jizzed in our pants tasting it, we thought it was such an amazing drink. I started this trip being very intimidated by Jacob, but you just can't be intimidated by a guy that you check out hula dancers and drink amazing banana drinks with.
By the time everyone else joined us, Jacob, Jared, and I (Neither Jacob or I haven eaten any Sushi), were totally drunk enough to go clubbing. I have NO idea how much money I spend that night. We walked about a mile to the club, long enough to stop for the most amazing tacos filled with god knows what. I handed amber probably twenty bucks, told her to get me some food, and ate what she put in front of me. Jacob, the sweetheart, offered me his food until he was sure I had some of my own to soak up all the shit I put in myself, even though he was probably worse off that I was. I have never been that drunk.
On the way, we get some sparkling water, which tasted like shit, but was way better than I remember it being in Italy, also because of my limited taste buds. Jared poured some on Amber's head, and I remember he being extremely pissed off, so she walked with me telling me how she wouldn't put up with him being a "drunken, belligerent frat boy". He came to apologize, and she totally laid it on him and told him exactly that he was a belligerent drunken frat boy and she wasn't going to accept his apology just because the actual nice people we were with told him to apologize.
Either way, we (the three girls and Thomas) ended up splitting up from the general group and going to this open club with basically no walls. as soon as we hit the floor, I bought everyone two shots of tequila like substance that the waitresses run around selling. We got a great picture of Thomas getting his nipples yanked by the girl and Amber get her tits totally manhandled and me laughing my ass off in the background because I knew what was coming but I forgot to warn them about it. Afterward, I got dragged into the dance floor immediately by some Asian-Canadian girls we knew from our hotel. I danced forever with them with total abandon until Amber and them joined me. Then we were swarmed by a circle of Mexican guys. It was hilarious. They were all trying to dance with us and steal us from each other and we were all trying to dance with Thomas for a good while. We ended up splitting up at one point to dance with them, and I let some kid kiss me for like ten seconds before the song ended and we all headed to the bar for some water. Amber and I headed back to the dance floor for a couple more songs before we were completely done, but we ran into Jamie and Austin who, apparently, had landed at a sports bar before coming to tell us they were heading back to the hotel.
At the end of the night, we found Keely and Thomas hanging out by the bathrooms upstairs sharing a chair so they could actually hear each other, it was so loud. We wandered around trying to find a place we could get some beer because even our bar was closed at that point. I paid like ten bucks for a six pack we didn't even finish, but I was still in a crazy, buy everything mood, so whatever. Ten bucks is nothing to me, really. We went back to hotel and sat on the beach taking pictures and them smoking and listened to the stories of everyone else when they wandered by. Jared and Jacob apparently went to a different bar and Jared, when buying a similar tequila shot that I had, got a couple dabs of hot wax put on his nipples. When he freaked out in a panic and hit the candle, thus causing the wax to spill on the ladies shirt, she took the whole candle and heaved the melted wax at his bare chest to show her opinion on that. Amber felt appeased after that. Jacob apparently maxed out three credit cards trying to get with a girl that he was then dragged away from by the guys when they left. He was bummed, no doubt. :-)
And the next day, after some packing and beach pictures, we headed back for Seattle and the lowest recorded temperatures in Washington State EVER. We were literally sixty degrees hotter than you all at one point, and laughing our asses off. I had to head to Tacoma for a day with my summer clothes and not even a coat for a day because of the snow. Mom brought me sweatpants and a sweatshirt and I bummed around in that for a day. It was quite lovely.
Anyway, more on my break tomorrow. I started this post feeling all emo because of how this vacation has ended, simply because it was so fantastic and now there is reality, but reliving it through typing it up is sort of helping, even if it's only because typing this up means I am not sitting around thinking about how much I miss people in general and one person specifically.
Tomorrow, when the emo comes back, I will write some more, although we have a lot of reality to deal with like cleaning and making sure the bills are paid and books bought and groceries and whatnot. Parts still to come on the typing: Louie/Grandmother, Christmas, Alfred, New Years.
...Ah Life....you can just suck an egg.