- Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:29 pm
The next morning I woke up three hours before my 8:30 AM flight, and after a quick shower my wife dropped me off at the airport.
The terminal was nearly deserted, and I was able to check in and maneuver through security in under fifteen minutes.
In one of the many email exchanges between Hogleg, Ephemeral, and myself, the subject of liquor came up. Specifically, I was informed that most of the stores near our abode in Mexico only carried tequila and beer. I'm not a big fan of tequila, so after walking through the airport metal detector, I put on my shoes and belt and headed straight towards the Duty Free shop.
It was closed, and the sign on the door read that they didn't open until 8:30 AM.
You know that western civilization is in the toilet when you're unable to purchase a bottle of whiskey in an international airport before 8:30 AM.
I wandered around aimlessly for the next thirty minutes until a bar finally opened up and then consoled myself with a few beers.
Once on the plane I pulled out a newspaper while everyone seated around me stared at their smartphones.
As we approached our destination the flight attendants handed out customs and immigration forms for us to fill out.
I pulled a pen out of my pocket and quickly completed the task, after which I was met with a chorus of "Can I borrow your pen?" from several of my fellow passengers.
I was tempted to respond with, "Can't you fill these forms out with your fucking smartphones?" but instead I silently handed the pen to the heavyset woman on my left and never saw it again.
One box on the immigration visa asked for the address of where I'd be staying. I left it blank because Hogleg never gave me the address, even though I'd asked him for it. Or maybe he had. Anyway, the Mexican official who reviewed my form told me a blank space was unacceptable, and that I needed to put something in that box.
I wrote, "Cabo" and handed it back.
He looked at it, shook his head and said, "I need an address."
"I don't know the address."
"Do you know the phone number?"
"Then write down your smartphone number."
"I don't have one."
"You need to write in a telephone number where you can be reached."
I held out my hands, palms up, and shrugged.
"Any number will do."
I borrowed his pen and scratched out Mitch's home phone number, then gave it back to him.
He stamped the form and waived me through.
From there I picked up my bag and then gave my customs form to another official.
He told me to press a button. I did so and a green light appeared, after which he too waived me through.
I was now in the so-called "gauntlet," which was really nothing more than a room filled with a bunch of drivers holding signs with people's names on them.
I strolled straight through them and out to the bar, where I met up with Hogleg and his brother-in-law. Ephemeral came out a few minutes later, and then the four of us made our way through the crowd to the parking lot. Some of the tourists we passed looked at us as though we were an aging, ragtag, second-rate band of mercenaries - the B-Team - and it made me laugh.
Hogleg's brother-in-law had arrived a few days before us to get things ready.
We followed him to the family truck, tossed our bags into the back, and hit the road.
He had a cooler loaded with ice cold beers waiting for us on the back seat, and so we settled in and washed the taste of air travel out of our mouths while he drove us to the family hacienda.
Less than two hours later, we were on the beach, looking for roosters.
Hogleg gave us a brief tutorial on what to look for.
Some of us paid attention.
Some of us did not.
We may or may not have seen fish on this day.
We definitely didn't catch any.
Soon the sun began to drop, which makes spotting fish more difficult, so we popped into a bar for some margaritas.
Apparently they help to improve one's eyesight.
I decided to test this theory on our way back to the hacienda.
"There's a rooster."
"That's a fucking rock."
"How can you tell?"
"It's not moving."
"Maybe it's just a really tired rooster that had a bad day."
"It's a fucking rock."
A hundred yards later...
"There's a bait ball."
"Are you sure?"
"Just drink your fucking beer."
Once we were back at the hacienda, Hogleg and his brother-in-law rinsed the rods and reels and washed out the quad.
Once that was out of the way, we headed out to dinner.
The men's room.
The dining room.
This restaurant has a wall where local and visiting artists are encouraged to share a bit of their talent with the patrons.
Hogleg was happy to oblige.
We started our meal with an order of ceviche... (Photo courtesy of Ephemeral.)
... and followed it up with Imperial shrimp tacos: large shrimp stuffed with cheese, wrapped with bacon, and topped with a slice of avocado.
As we were finishing our meal, Hogleg saw the waitress put a sign on the street that read, "Fresh Lobster."
He called her over and said, "Why didn't you tell me you had lobster?"
"It just arrived señor."
"I could go for some lobster if someone wants to split one."
"I can help you with that," I replied.
The waitress looked at Hogleg and me and said, "Lobster?"
We both nodded our heads and then ordered another round of beers.
I'm not sure if we were expecting a whole lobster or just a tail, but this is what was on the plate the waitress placed in front of Hogleg. (Photo courtesy of Ephemeral.)
Then she put a plate in front of me that looked exactly the same as Hogleg's.
We ate everything: the lobsters, the baked potatoes, the salads... everything. It was that good.
While Hogleg and I stuffed our faces with a second dinner, Ephemeral and Hogleg's brother-in-law sipped their beers and tried to hide their feelings of astonishment and disgust at our gluttony.
After dinner we picked up a few things at the local grocery store and then headed back to the hacienda for a nightcap, which is when I accepted the fact that tequila isn't so bad if there's nothing else to drink.
It was well after midnight before we eventually turned in and called it a day.
(To be continued...)