Just Had a Flashback to Sayulita…

Erin and Cat

…partly because of a song that just played on my ipod, partly because of some damn roosters that just won’t give it up, and partly because of the effects of my first true dance with the local Filipino rum last night, Tanduay. I see Cat and Erin singing and dancing–well, singing might be an exaggeration–more like screaming with all of their might at the top of their lungs. The dancing was frantic yet fluid. They hugged, swayed, almost stumbled, belted out the chorus, and both laughed hysterically because each knew the words. The song jammed us from Steve’s penthouse once again into the streets of Sayulita but it never left the girls’ minds. With the help of a bit of Sol, and maybe a few glasses of famous fruit smoothie, the chorus soon carried onto Las Gaviotas and the night became ours.

You can have a listen here:

Dog Days Are Over

“Run fast for your mother run fast for your father
Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you
Can’t carry it with you if you want to survive!”

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Sayulita: Beach Living

Shrimp tacos. Guacamole. Fresh fish. Spicy salsa. Ceviche. Surfing. Ocean breezes and majestic sunsets. It’s all here but that’s just the obvious stuff.

The real charm, the true I-get-it-moments lie in not knowing what time it is when you wake, when you eat, when you surf, when you drink, and ultimately, when you rest. It’s the locals who have gigante smiles with silver and gold fillings front and center, trying to hock you a bracelet they spent 20 minutes making for only a buck. The three musicians who ask for pay to play but after your 30th uber-polite “no gracias” of the day, sing you a love song, well, just because that’s what they like to do. It’s learning the local handshake and hunting out good local eats like bodelis de coco.  And aaah, the hamacas and palm trees. The delicious local, fresh food. The warmth, the sand, the sound of the oceans swell lulling you to sleep. It’s here and so are we.

Cheers & Tears

“It was all too easy,” Jason and I commented, sipping our $10 bucket of Sol beer accompanied by lime slices, as the ocean foam lapped at our bare, pale toes. Within the hour, we’d arrived in the laid-back beach town of Sayulita, overwhelmed yet content, missing San Francisco friends yet ecstatic to meet new, care-free travelers.

It all started upon our arrival in Puerto Vallarta, when we denied the first offer from an airport attendant for an $80 arranged taxi to haul us to Sayulita. Afterall, we had left one of our suitcases inadvertently (blame it on the goodbye-party hangover) in Amanda and Liam’s garage, so a cab wasn’t a mandatory form of transportation anymore. We could ride the bus with the locals- and chickens- to Sayulita for 1/53 of that taxi offer! All we had to do was lug everything through a narrow aisle of gawking locals and sit with it piled in our laps for 90 minutes. We’d been through worse.

Proud of our decision to harden up and experience Mexico like true backpackers that we weren’t, (not yet anyway, since we had wedding paraphernalia in tow,) we hauled a roller bag, 2 backpacks, Jason’s wedding suit, and 2 duffles across the overpass, down the ramp, past a taco stand, and right into a man who offered us a cab for $40. Sweating and ready to vacation (& ditch the gaudy rolly suitcase) we sealed the deal and seconds later a 10 year old boy whisked the 66-pound burden from us, flopping it into the trunk. On the road, there is nothing like the option to change your mind in a whim due to a sweat.

So we had arrived and were dining on tamales and guac, paired with the inhale and exhale of warm waves and stray dogs. A group of three young boys bounded down the beach. One gangly guy drew a heart in the sand with the initials M.G. within, then giddily pointed it out to his friend. The light-hearted amigo  promptly erased it with a swoop of his flip flip, looking embarrassed and suffocating a smile. I had to giggle as they chased each other around, even though I didn’t understand what they were saying. “People watching” in other cultures is always better than learning about them from a book. Phones were disconnected and nothing existed besides us, the methodic waves and them. Jason and I clinked our beer bottles together and tears floated into our eyes, realizing for the 100th time that traveling is where we find true contentment. We were back in our groove and overwhelmed with happiness.