So I survived New Orleans….barely. 4 days of work later, and we were off to San Diego for my friend Maggie and her fiance, Josh’s wedding. We drove through the night thinking we would dodge the ever dreaded LA traffic. Wrong! Just when we thought we were making good time, we hit a night time construction zone that had closed down all lanes but one going south on the 5 freeway. Just our luck, a 7 hour trip turned into a 9 hour trip. Oh well!
We finally made it to my mom’s house in Poway at 3am and called it a night. Naz had some work to do so I woke up in the morning and went for a run around Lake Poway for old time sake. Actually, I wouldn’t call it much of a run, more like a crawl. Dry 95 degree heat by 9am after 4 hours of sleep is not a good combination. -It felt good to reminisce the good ole’ Cross Country days of my youth though.
That night we got dinner at the Brigantine in Poway with my Mom and then headed down to Leucadia to see our friends Darin and Jen’s new place. We enjoyed some tasty bevs and took a night time walk on the beach. I think Naz and I both had the revelation that we would love to live in San Diego again. Maybe someday!
The next day we met my Dad and his wife Fern at the Bernardo Winery for lunch. We enjoyed some delicious sandwiches and cruised the grounds of the winery. It’s definitely a great place to check out if you find yourself in San Diego’s north county. They’ve got a nice restaurant, good wine, and some interesting little shops. From there we headed up to Temecula for the wedding.
Maggie and Josh got married at the Temecula Creek Inn. It was a really scenic outdoor venue with big oak trees and a large open lawn. The Ceremony was very nice, followed by a great dinner and reception. We spent time with old friends from college and danced the night away.
Shaking off the fog from the wedding festivities the night before, we inhaled some California burritos and headed home. Three days of work and then I found myself sitting at SJC about to head to Cabo San Lucas for my friend Baker’s bachelor party. I could already taste the Mexican beers and street tacos as the plane hit the runway.
I was the first to arrive in Cabo. Thus, I took on the task of doing the beer and snack run to Costco. I picked up my rental car and hit the road. As I drove down the coast of the most southern part of Baja, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the trip to Cabo that Naz and I took back in January. Yep that’s right, two Mexican vacations in one year. I’m a lucky guy. I drove past my first “retorno” sign and hummed the little jingle that we came up with on the previous trip “I’m on a meixcan retorno”…don’t ask, you had to be there. I passed the sign for Chilleno Bay, our favorite beach we visited earlier that year. Before I knew it, I was pulling into the Costco parking lot.
The funny part about going to Costco in Mexico is that it’s not really funny; it’s exactly the same as Costco in America but everything is priced in pesos. I rolled up to the food court, ordered a slice of combo pizza in my broken Spanish, fumble over the pesos I exchanged at the airport and sat down and enjoyed my pizza in the outdoor seating area. Here I am, alone in Mexico, at Costco….Ha!
I proceed into the store and buy ten 24-packs of beer, some tequila, and a few snacks. A nice Mexican man expecting a “propina” helps me load my bounty of beers into the smallest car on planet earth and I’m off to find our Villa that is located in the “Pedregal”. I looked at a few maps of Cabo the night before but really have no idea where to go. All I know is that i have to find the entrance to this gated community in downtown Cabo and the guards should be able to direct me from there.
I drove down the highway and quickly found myself in the middle of Cabo “Centro”. I see the bars “Squid Row” and “Mandala” and have a premonition of the drunken madness that will most likely ensue over the next 3 nights. My vision is quickly washed away as pickup truck full of machine-gun wielding “Federales Municipal” come speeding passed me. Again, I really have no idea where I’m going. I reach what seems to be the end of the town square and I make a left hand turn because for some reason that’s what felt right. The concrete road turns to cobble stone and the tourist shops and bars turn to small dwellings. Just when I think I’m lost forever I see the most glorious sign, “Pedregal”.
The guards welcome me and hand me a terrible map of the huge private neighborhood. Again, my broken Spanish isn’t helping the situation but I get a pretty good idea of where I needed to go. I drove up abnormally steep cobblestone roads passing huge villas most likely owned by Mexican drug lords or famous movie stars and I somehow end up at our home for the weekend.
“Villa Lands End” is quite the sight to be seen. I walk down the front entrance of the compound with my jaw dragging on the floor. The first thing I see is the infinity pool that is practically hanging off the edge of a 150 foot cliff straight down to the beach. In utter amazement, I say to myself “This is going to be crazy”. I’m welcomed by the housekeeper and the cleaning crew. They help me unload our weekend supplies and then I’m straight into the pool with a beer in my hand. In a few hours this peaceful place will transform into a madhouse. 17 other dudes are en route. I’m excited, and scared at the same time.
Waiting for the madness
The rest of the crew arrives and just like me…straight into the pool with beers in hand. And so the madness began. We partied like we were never going to party again. So many funny things happened it would take a month to type them all out. I will let you use your imagination as you scroll through the photos below.
“No yelling on the bus”
“Can I hold your baby? Andrew, give her $20!”
A “friendly” game of Snappa
“This little guy…Dont worry about this little guy…”
“I can do more pushups then you bruh”
Te “kill” ya
We woke up Sunday morning to the sound of beer bottles breaking and patio furniture being thrown about the compound. I thought that maybe somebody had pissed off a local but to my surprise it was just the wind. A storm was a brewin’. I gathered my buddies who were flying out at the same time as me and we got the heck out of dodge. I’m so thankful that we had an early flight because a few of the guys got stuck for an extra day because of the weather. Little did we know that this was just the start of the late summer storms that would devastate the Baja peninsula. Just three weeks later Hurricane Odile completely destroyed Cabo and surrounding cities. Not something to joke about but I can’t help but think that the debauchery that ensued during this trip threw off the balance in Cabo and somehow caused this terrible storm. Either way, we will always remember the time we barely made it out of Cabo alive. Another epic trip was in the books. August was over, and I couldn’t have been more excited for some time at home with my princess Naz!