Ok. . . So . . . In the last few weeks I broke my arm (or I think I broke my arm). There has been quite a debate about over it and I am learning that elbow fractures are tricky. In this time we also traveled to Mexico and since the “alleged” broken-arm incident I have not blogged. I am back to blogging. And today while I try to finish this post I have Tweeted, Facebooked and even checked out my new LinkedIn Connections (which I rarely do). Honestly, I am nervous to be blogging again. It has only been a few weeks and I have absolutely no idea why I am nervous. I have no reason to be nervous. Everyone who reads CrazyUS.com is always so cool. Weird. Wish me luck.
Here is why it has been hard to type, talk on the phone, unclasp my bra and pull my pants up properly (ask Dave):
Somehow we (I) found our way into $250.00 of FREE Mexican Activity Credits! With these FREE Activity Credits we had options. Sure, maybe they were second rate options, but options we had. We could Dune Buggy, Paraglide (no way), Zipline (too many horror stories about unregulated Ziplines to pick this one), take a driving tour to La Paz, ATV, or we could Swim with Dolphins. (Why oh why couldn’t I keep my dolphin-saving mouth shut? It was me who told Eli about all the mean Dolphin Killer People. Once he heard about the bood and all the dead, unwanted dolphins, he wanted to do anything but swim with dolphins. I single-handedly blew this one. I sit before you now and say, “Yes. We should have swam with the Dolphins.”)
Friday morning was a sad, sad morning. We were checking out of our Heaven-on-Earth Hotel. We had spent nearly a week enjoying the week-long Kids Eat Free deal, snorkeling, hanging at the pool, the beach and looking forward to the chocolates that came with our never-used turn-down service. If you are ever in San Jose Del Cabo, you must stay at the Hilton and you must eat at El Meson. The sea bass and fajitas were amazing! If you do, please say hi to Hector, Luis and all of our favorite waiters. Tell them the Utah Adams Family says, “hola!”
As we stepped away from the safety and dependability of our dreamy hotel we waited for our shuttle. We had planned a few days of excursions and surf beaches before we would fly home. First we were being picked up and shuttled to some remote mountain location (or so I thought), where we would ATV to a little Mexican Ghost town. Lunch was included. The shuttle arrived. It was a brand new and very clean Japanese transporter van. Riding with us was another family of four. They also had two boys and were from Seattle. (Come to find they were really from Moldova, the unhappiest place on Earth). They had driven to Cabo from Seattle and yes, I think that is nuts! As our boys began making new friends, I looked at Dave and said, “this is going to be nice.” As those words left my mouth I noticed our driver arguing Mexican facts with our Moldovian passenger and quickly I felt different. I turned my head to check on the boys and was immediately assaulted with one of the Seattle boys asking me all sorts of obnoxious questions. Our day was already beginning to unravel.
We made a stop to pick up more passengers. We were told we needed to change to another van. The new shuttle was old, broken, hot and smelly. I immediately noticed the Like us on Facebook sign and blurted under my breath, “I would like you if you had let us stay in the other van.” We were on our way, driving north. I could tell Kyle and Eli were less enthused with their new friends and the arguing between the Moldovan guy and the Mexican shuttle driver only increased. I felt sick and told Dave. Eventually we arrived to our beach, not mountain, destination. It had been a long drive. Quickly we were shuttled off of the stinky shuttle. Dave was paying more money to get into the park. $10.00 extra dollars a person entrance fee, what? The Seattle/Moldovan kids were bugging our kind tour guide, Thomas, who was trying to get us all outfitted in goggles, bandanas and helmets. “You should give that kid a yellow bandana. See. See. See. It matches his outfit. You should give it to him,” the Seattle/Moldovan kid repeatedly said while totally not respecting our Mexican Guide’s Space Bubble. I could tell our guide was annoyed as he just as repeatedly asked the boy, “Step away, Amigo, step away! It’s ok. Step away.” Seconds later we were all standing in front of a long line of well used ATVs. It was us, our Seattle/Moldovan Amigos and two families from New Jersey (of Indian descent, I believe). I love the Jersey families!
Our guide stood at the front. Dave, the boys and I stood right beside him and I, who had never ever driven an ATV, listened intently to his very brief instructions, “Amigos. Amigos. Quiet. Please. Quiet. Listen. Amigos. You have to listen! I only say this once. You put your left foot on the clutch. You click it this way. See. Click. Click. Click. To change gears. When you hear the bad noise, change to a higher gear. Amigos. You are not listening. I say this once. Careful. Right hand is for gas. Keep it in second gear. Ready.”
The guide hopped on his ATV. Dave and Eli followed behind him and Kyle and I followed behind Dave. This was our first big mistake. Wait, our first big mistake was using those FREE Activity Credits. Don’t ever use the FREE Activity Credits. Ever! Just as we were ready to drive away, some other Mexican dude stopped us. Then he took our picture (which I bought, by the way because of the insanity). We were off for real. Soon I found I actually needed to be in third gear, not second. I learned this because the guide kept yelling, “Amiga! Amiga! It is too low. Amiga! Change gears. Change gears.” Soon after I changed gears I could see my clutch was broken. Moments later I observed that my ATV was worse then I thought as I watched another company’s shiny, brand new ATVs pass us going the other direction. “I want to go back.”
Here we were, ATVing in the middle-of-nowhere Baja California Sur down these sandy/washboardy paths to the Mexican Dune-ish type beach. I only learned about the beach when Thomas, our guide, was explaining that we really would want to keep the bandanas on because of all of the sand. I was not thrilled with the trails. No. I hated the trails! We were at the front of the sandy-washboardy-trail line. Kyle was scared and kept leaning out which kept making me off balance. I screamed. Dave was 2nd in line. I was third. Thomas stopped the group. And when it was time to move, the obnoxious Moldovian Dude sped over to me and said, “Step on it.” We were flying along in I have no idea what gear, we turned a corner, Dave and Eli were still ahead of us with the Crazy Moldovian Dude still behind me telling me to hurry up. When I turned the corner there was this big ass, I mean, BIG ASS hill with a 45 degree or steeper angle. The “fucking” clutch (because that is what I was thinking) was broken and it was in the wrong gear, if it was even in gear. Kyle kept screaming, “Mom. MOM! Put it in a higher gear. A higher gear!” I COULD NOT THINK! I pressed my hand on the gas. We started up the hill. It felt like the ATV was going to stall and the suddenly my ATV reared and went airborne, straight up in the air into a 90 degree angle. I am not kidding. Kyle and I were thrown off. Because I was higher up, I was thrown into the gravel, right onto my bent elbow. Even though I knew I needed to be in a different gear, one of the Jersey ladies kept screaming, “Move away! Move away! Stop! Stop! Turn off the gas! It is leaking gas! Move away! Move away! It is leaking gas!” I was pulling Kyle out of the way in case the ATV fell on top of us. I stopped and stared right at the huge monster. I thought it was going to fall. We are so lucky it did not fall on top of us. The Mexicans ran up and I could tell they were mad until they realized I had not damaged their Piece-of-Shit ATV.
And then I felt the trickle. I asked the Jersey kid (nephew of screaming Jersey lady) if it was bleeding. He nodded his head, “yes.” See, when the Mexican leader (Thomas) ran up to me he said, “You are fine. You are fine. Amiga! You be ok! Amiga! You are fine!” I was not fine. I ran up the hill and asked Dave where the hell he was, I screamed at Kyle. I screamed at Dave. I said fuck several times and then I felt terrible. I apologized to Kyle. We hopped back onto the ATV until the pain was too bad and I had to stop. My guess is the bursa sac or a chipped bone fragment. My elbow looks funky, my arm is swollen and hurts like hell. We made it to the beach. I saw the non English speaking Medic standing there, waiting for us. He offered me drugs. “You want a shot?” He cleaned out my deep gash and then I had to wait. Wait while everyone else ATVed their asses all around the beach. The Moldovian Man’s son came right up and pushed his way in front of Thomas and the medic. The kid looked at me and said, “If you did not press on the brake you would not have had an accident. I could have told you that. You should not have pushed on the brake.” I asked him to go away and a few minutes later he rolled his ATV. Yes. Yes he did. And yes after the Moldovian kid rolled his ATV and Kyle helped rescue him, I asked him how he felt about his advice now.
My arm hurt way too much to drive the ATV back. There would be no Mexican Ghost town. Dave and Eli would ride with the group back and Kyle and I hoped into the Medic’s old, red VW Bug, no seat belt, and a barely-attached passenger seat. We drove the back roads north of Cabo. There was road construction. Everything kept coming out French as I tried to speak Spanish, “Je suis désolé.” I said. “Oh wait. I meant. I am sorry. How do you say sorry in Spanish?” The words had left me, the medic did not answer and looked blankly at the road. I saw the same road sign over and over. I asked the medic. He made a windy motion with his hand. Finally it came to me, “desviación means detour.” I continued and explained to him that I had figured it out. I am not sure he understood a word I said, but we were passing time and I was learning Spanish.
We made it back to Amigos Cabo Moto Rent, so did Eli and Dave. Dave tried to get our money back because our tour was cut short. They let him know that they already ran his credit card and because they had, they could not give him his money back. We hopped on the shuttle with the Moldovian Family and waited. Finally the shuttle driver peered in and said something about us, his “amigos,” and how we had to get off the shuttle because we were early and amigos it is not his fault. He is just the driver. My arm throbbing, I had had it. I stomped passed a kind passenger as some other dudes handed us our boxed lunch. Dave, the boys and I sat down, defeated. The Amigos-Cabo-Moto-Rent guys habla’ed some Espanol and soon we were ushered into Martin-from-Tijuana’s big red pick-up truck. Don’t ask me what was underneath the hay in the back. He was the first Mexican to mention any sort of Mexican Drug War conflict. He did not realize Dave speaks Spanish and as he told us about where he was from, the English words slipped and he filled in with making his hands into guns and saying, “Bang. Bang Bang.” I felt relieved to be away from the Seattle/Modovians. And as we passed the shuttle I did not care that the truck was hot and we were alone. We were back in Cabo turning towards our hotel and then Martin took a quick maneuvered detour onto a dirt road that led us under the highway. I grabbed Dave’s arm and gave him a what-the-hell, freaked out look. Martin pulled up to another even crappier van and asked us to hop in. “could this be it?” I thought. We hopped in and the driver drove us back to our hotel. Thank God!
I spent the rest of the day pissed off until sitting at dinner at the crazy Cabo Marina I said Dave, “I don’t cry because no one is there to catch me. I am mad that you weren’t there to make sure I was ok today. I was alone. I was scared. I did not know what I was doing. That crazy dude kept telling me to hurry and I was alone.” Dave got it. Not only did he get it, he was cool about it, “I should have been behind you. I should have let you go ahead. I am sorry.” We decided our next road to travel is this one, the one where we need to be there for each other, especially now that we have the whole Gift-Giving issue worked out [wink wink].
[to be continued: The Mexican Doctor & The Princess Bride]