Sunday, August 16, 2015

If You Like Piña Coladas...

Please understand—I understand.

Sitting through a vacation slideshow can kind of suck.

Who doesn't remember those Saturday evenings at your Great Aunt Pedreen's house, bored out of your gourd and anxious to get home in time for Mary Tyler Moore, or at the very latest The Bob Newhart Show. You've already spent four hours trying not to stare at Great Uncle Odgar's unrepaired hernia flap and you're ready to purge their chipped-beef-smelling Davenport from your teenage memory bank.

Your aunt feverishly clears the dessert dishes, boosting your spirits with her apparent desire for an accelerated end to the evening's festivities. You arise, hopeful that but one final obstacle lies ahead: the inevitable bosomy grind and slushy smooch from Pedreen's frustrated spinster sister, Latreena.

But alas, even before the kitchen sponge's snail trail can evaporate into the musty air, Uncle Od enters the room and lowers the slide projector onto the dining room table—gingerly, lest his hernia distend his tender abdomen another belt hole. At the sight you lower yourself back into your chair, pissed and discouraged that you'll be lucky to get home for the last half of Carol Burnett.

I'll try to keep things brief since that memory is apparently a bit tarter than I had thought.

My family and I are back from two weeks in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Here's where the place is in the big picture:

And here's it is up close:

Located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo is situated atop the Los Amnesias Aquifer, Earth's only known natural Tequila spring.

I don't expect you to feel sorry for us, but as KISS famously said in two chords or less, it was hotter than Hell. Seriously, I'm typing this post so obnoxiously sunbaked, I look like a blackened pot roast with glistening teeth and slowly-diminishing intestinal distress.

Our fifteen-day excursion to Los Cabos was divided into two segments: the first week with friends and the second with family. Here's the initial group:

Left to right, that's me, my wife Terri, Becky, Isabella, Pete, Lauryn, Zoe and her friend David.

We've known Becky and Pete since the days of Bartles, James and Glass Tiger. As soon as the four of us were convinced that Y2K wouldn't cause locust infestations and permanent Windows-based computing:

Izzy and Lauryn came along.

The first week we stayed at a place called Villa del Palmar. If you're familiar with these timeshare facilities, you understand that upon check-in, you're assaulted by the sales department. Okay, maybe "assault" is a little tough. Let's go with "violation."

We've lodged a few times at these types of places, but never agreed to attend one of their "seminars." This time, however, lured by the ambrosia of two hundred dollars in free adult beverages, a complimentary breakfast and fifteen percent off everything merely to sit through a ninety-minute tour and sales pitch, we capitulated. After all, how bad could it be?

Bad. How can I describe this? First of all, I was super hot from the get-go, just embarrassingly sweaty. My body irrigated itself with increasing gusto as the tour droned on, ultimately settling on a sultry hundred and three Fahrenheit. We toured all sizes of units from one-bedrooms to penthouse suites overlooking the Sea of Cortez.

Finally, like a Slurpee after hot yoga, our family was ushered into an air-conditioned room, packed with people sitting at tables and drinking alcohol in all imaginable forms. We settled into our own table with our own sales woman, a spritely imp half my age who used the word "awesome" like she owned freaking stock in it. Sporadically, the hollow "bolp" of a popping cork would fill the air, announcing another condominium purchase and two tickets to paradise for a lucky, albeit debt-saddled, couple.

Two-and-a-half hours and several offers later, our blond tormentor brushed back her bob, straightened her specs and looked at us.

"Okay, I understand you don't want to pay $52,000 for a unit here. That's awesome. Just tell me what you want."

My wife is a straight shooter. I am not, and that's one of the reasons I love and admire her so much. "What we want is for your presentation to be done," she said, looking Sally Jessie Raphael, Jr. dead in the eye. "The only reason we did it is to get the stuff and we told you that from the beginning. You told us this would be ninety minutes. It's now two and a half hours."

Silence engulfed the air around our table. Finally Barbie's little sister took a deep, uncertain breath."Okay," she said. "Awesome."

Phase Two was family week and here we are. At the edge of the infinity pool are my brother-in-law Andy, my sister Ann, niece Holly, Lauryn, Zoe, Terri and me. We spent week two at Hacienda Encantada, a few more miles down the coast from Cabo.

We quickly became acquainted with Pam, the woman in the floppy hat. Prior to knowing Pam's name, we called her Hurricane Sandy, since she told us within minutes of meeting her that she'd been though Cabo's Hurricane Odile last September. She was enjoying a free stay after enduring the Baja Peninsula's most destructive tropical cyclone in recorded history.

Here's how it looked coming in:

Not sure I've ever seen a storm with actual teeth before. Holy shit.

Okay, let's not wrap things up on a bad note, because Cabo San Lucas is a fantastic place. I've never known lamb to resurface so quickly after a major natural disaster, but like a beacon in the darkness...

On another note, Zoe was so thrilled that these guys knew the whole Neil Diamond catalog.

And I finally found the time to show the amazing fit of my new Speedo. 

Trust me, okay? 

Great to be back!


  1. Oh Tim, you do make me laugh! You might be able to hire Terri out as the "just say no wife". Go Terri! By the way, you all look lovely, svelte and sober!

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