Monday, October 3, 2011

Are those police cars or taxis?

When I got married at the ripe old age of 23, I was not a seasoned traveler. In fact, the farthest I had been from home was Colorado. For my honeymoon, I got to go to Acapulco. How thrilling! A friend worked for Mexicana Airlines and for a wedding surprise, he had the flight crew present us with a cake while we were flying. I thought we were 1st class. How worldly to have the flight crew bring a special cake right in the middle of the trip.

Once in Mexico, we travelled to our hotel in a dilapidated old van. We rode past some pretty shabby looking shanties and I was worried that maybe the van driver was really a Mexican mobster, and maybe he was taking us to some remote area in the jungle to kill us. Luckily, we made it to the hotel without any bloodshed and I breathed a sigh of relief.

After we were settled in our room, we decided to take a walk around to get a feel for the area. While walking down the street my second terror moment happened. There were zillions of VW bugs which had white bodies and blue doors, and they were all honking at us like crazy. I couldn't figure it out! We weren't in the street, we were minding our manners, so why were they honking? I thought they were police cars and I thought they were honking at us because we were doing something wrong! We had been warned to behave because we could get thrown in a Mexican jail and never see the light of day ever again, so I was in terror that we were going to jail on the second day of being married and we'd never get to go home. Luckily, the cars were taxis and they were honking to get our attention to see if we wanted a ride.

While we were wandering around, we stopped in at a convenience store to get some bottled water. That was the other thing we were warned about...don't drink the water. So we got a few bottles and went to the counter to pay. The attendant didn't speak English and we didn't speak Spanish. He was trying to tell us how much to pay but we didn't understand pesos, etc. so we ended up just putting all of our money in our hands and letting the guy pick out how much we owed. I think he was honest, but he could have charged us $45.00 for 4 bottles of water and we wouldn't have known.

One evening we went to a restaurant that was sort of jungle themed. While we were waiting for our table, we stood outside the front entrance. I looked down and noticed a LION...yep, you heard me right...a freakin' LION was lounging by the front door! There was a compact car parked right in front of the restaurant and that LION went to it and started chewing the rubber front bumper. That car was like it's little chew toy. We were allowed to pet that LION and we did so verrrryyyy carefully. Don't you think that their fur looks like it would be soft? Nope. It felt like a scrub brush. Maybe his hair wasn't soft and glossy because all he had to eat were table scraps and rubber bumpers. I'll never forget the night that we went out to eat and got to pet a LION.

Another memorable moment was when we decided to swim in the ocean. My then husband was/is not a strong swimmer. He does good to tread water. We were splashing around in the waves and managed to move a bit from the shore when we discovered that the water was getting fairly deep. My new hubby was having trouble staying above water. Serious trouble. At one point, all I could see were his lips above the surface and he was gasping "just get me to shallower water." He was drowning right before my very eyes! It took everything I had to tow him inland because the waves were crashing over us and the undertow was pulling on us but I did it. By the time we got to the sand, he just crawled to dry land and flopped onto his back, panting. I felt sooo bad! I was the one who talked him into swimming. I didn't notice the undertow signs. I nearly drowned the poor guy. Luckily, he didn't hold it against me. For some reason, he won't swim with me any more. wink wink, nudge nudge.

There were more adventures from that trip but I'll spare you and let your eyes rest for now. But know this...if you go to Acapulco Mexico and you see VWs that are painted sort of like our cop cars are...don't worry. They're taxis. You don't have to be afraid.

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