My first trip to Mexico took place at the impressionable age of five. My mother, enticed by the offer of free babysitting at Club Med Ixtapa, threw some bathing suits in a suitcase, loaded me and my brother onto a plane and whisked us off to the tropics.
While mi madre spent the week playing tennis and working on her tan, my brother and I passed our time imprisoned in a cement holding cell they tried (unsuccessfully) to convince us was a ‘daycare center.’ Most tourists were encouraged to dive into the crystal clear ocean to swim with the dolphins. We were forced at pinata-point to shimmy into an ice cold pool to dog-paddle with the algae.
As if that weren’t fun enough, my fellow five-year-old girls and I were coerced into performing a sassy dance routine to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” in front of a large audience of sunburned gringos. Forget that other thing; this was truly Montezuma’s revenge.
My subsequent trips to Mexico have all improved on my first experience. Visits to Huatulco, Mazatlan, Cabo, Ensenada, Mexico City and even Tijuana have witnessed me in better spirits than my first brush with Mexican jail…er, childcare.
So it was that when I landed in Puerto Vallarta on Friday to attend the wedding of a friend of my boyfriend’s I was pretty excited to be back in California‘s sunny southern neighbor.
Our first night in Puerto Vallarta saw us at a rehearsal dinner feast for the bride- and groom-to-be. We spent a great evening meeting new friends, re-connecting with old ones, and eating some mean tacos al pastor (how do I survive in London without good Mexican food?).
On Saturday the festivities continued as we attended the wedding at a gorgeous villa on a hill overlooking the ocean. I knew it was going to be a great celebration when I was handed a large margarita before the ceremony even started.
After a wonderful night of dancing and congratulating the happy newlyweds the bride’s family members were gracious enough to invite us all to a beach-side BBQ at their place in Bucerias the following day. While we lounged in the sand, her family cooked up some amazing steak, salsa, guacamole, and tortillas. I was in heaven.
On Monday morning my boyfriend and I said adios to Puerto Vallarta and boarded our flight home with heavy hearts and even heavier stomachs. We returned to London yesterday morning to be greeted by gray skies, rain, and lots of British food.
Maybe my next stint abroad will be in Mexico…