Rosebuds and kisses make for sweet adventures

Attitude is the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure. ~Unknown.  Many times on the road as a child with my mother, she would pull off to the nearest convenience store and return with scribbled directions, and a box of Rosebuds:  the difference between being lost and “on an adventure!” We have continued sharing such adventures through the years, one comedy of errors particularly memorable: Nuevo Vallarta, 2013.

In a whirlwind of dramas among friends, Mom and I found ourselves banished from our original accommodations with only days to secure a hotel, and a pesky issue of me on a return flight the day before hers, but with a $450 rescheduling fee, we would make do.

To further challenge my blissful vacation, the morning of departure I awoke to the flu gods mocking me.  Armed with Pepto, prayers, and popsicles, I crawled to the car, and barely survived the flight.  Fortunately, a day and a nap made all the difference and things started to improve.  My determination to enjoy my vacation despite dilemmas found me in the hotel lobby carefully sipping a cosmopolitan planning the week.

It was then I met Alberto; our cute, charming Mexican tour rep, with an amazing, sexy smile.  He asked to take me out on my last night, but when I went secure plans, I had missed him.  Disappointed, I made the best of it at the disco with mom, and Tequila.  When we returned late and found a note on the door, my heart sank; it was from Alberto saying he would pick me up at nine.  I felt awful.

The next morning, after solemnly packing, I tried to find my tanned skin prince, without success.  On route to the lobby, the foot broke off my suitcase turning it into an awkward, unstable mess to drag home; the perfect metaphor for my own emotions.  In the cab, I sniffled, and wiped my tears.  “Why are you crying Senorita?” The driver asked.  I sobbed: “Because I don’t want to leave yet.”  “So, stay!”

Upon arrival at the airport, I limped my wounded baggage through the glass doors, across the polished floor, and bid adios to Mexico.  Like a new kindergartner, I put on my brave face and took a breath; and then it was lost once more.  There, running down the escalator, was the amazing, sexy smile that I thought I’d never see again.  He reached the foyer and swept me in a hug, and a Hollywood worthy, kiss of a lifetime!  For that moment, all was well with the world.

Armed with the strength of a proper goodbye, I presented my documents at the check in counter.  I asked once more about changing my flight, determined to bend reality with persistence.  Agents spoke to each other in Spanish, and something seemed wrong. I was almost sure I was about to be wrongly detained in a Mexican prison -which seemed a fitting end to this flawed fiesta- When the clerk finally explained to me: bad weather in Texas; my connection was cancelled. Shock rolled through my body, and I struggled to stop the grin from erupting as the reality hit me.  “So I’m delayed and it’s your fault!”  I was quickly booked on a flight the following day, and presented with travel vouchers and cab fare for the “inconvenience.”

The sun smiled on the road back; palm trees applauded my victory, the broken suitcase carried itself! As we rolled up to the hotel lobby, I barely waited for the taxi to stop before leaping onto the curb.  There, in the archway stood Alberto – shocked and ecstatic to see me!  The whole story, finding my mom and evening plans unfolded in the next ten minutes, through euphoric smiles and happy hugs.  While dozens frowned in Texas, three beamed in Mexico for one, perfectly cancelled flight.

Any or all of these obstacles could have been a trip disaster, but thanks to attitude, they became the blunders we triumphed over for a uniquely memorable vacation; the places we paused to get our Rosebuds.

 

 

*Submitted October 2015- for possible publication to Travellers Tales.

Booooo To Man BUNS!

Man Buns. Not the kind routinely slapped for a “good game.”- I’ll spare you any further “puns about buns” and get right to the point: we need to talk about this “Man-bun” phenomenon.  It’s become a running joke with my friends and I after noticing the amount of these currently taking the world by storm recently… then of course, the included meme that found its way to my facebook shortly after.  IMG_5005

I looked further into this, trying to gain some insight and there is an entire history of man-buns at buzzfeed.com. It seems to have started with Buddha’s “topknot” and developed…George Harrison, Samarai Futeba on Saturday Night Live, Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show where it apparently originated from the planet “transsexual” – There’s an interesting take on your “new do.”  I may take some flack for this… but I’m just going to say it:

I HATE. THE. MAN-BUN.

Frankly- just because you put the word “man” in front of it: does not make it masculine, or cool; a guy wearing a bun to the bar, is about as sexy as ME wearing one; sure, it looks like I’m not trying too hard, but there are a ton of other styles that would be so much more attractive.  Dear Hipsters… You’re not David Beckham.  You’re not trend-setting, and the accompanying shaggy beard just makes you look homeless.

I can imagine the arguments now: “But Courtney, the man-bun has taken Hollywood by storm.” Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Hemsworth, Jake Gellenhaal: they can do whatever they want. If you’ve made that much money, and have been voted in the top ten sexiest men alive ever – wear your hair in braided pigtails if you want to, that doesn’t make it cool and something everyone should do.  And, for the record, I still prefer all of these men sans man-bun!

In summary, unless you’re so beautiful and athletic that no one notices your hair, or, actually a samurai, just say no to the bun. Buns should be reserved for Grandma, little girls at their ballet recital and me trying not to get my hair wet in the pool.

What a Winner!

I was eighteen years old. I had my “new” car- which was about ten years old at the time… An electric blue four door Pontiac Sunbird. (Yes,I just dated myself. It was before the “cool” version Sunfire!) It was a beautiful spring day, and I was driving around, playing the music enjoying the drive. As I came past the hospital on King George road and up the hill, I saw him. He was a middle aged man, wearing a Blues Brothers fedora, oversized aviator sunglasses, a full length trench coat, and jeans and runners that looked like they were on the clearance rack from the Salvation Army Store. As if his appearance wasn’t odd enough, he was definitely, absolutely, without a doubt: power-walking. I stared. I snickered. I actually said aloud to myself, laughing: “Wow. This guy is a friggen winner.”

The words had barely grazed my lips when tragedy struck. No accident, although the shock and terror was comparable as I was dumbfounded by the cruel reality of what appear before me. Like staring at optical illusion artwork when the picture suddenly pops out at you… Only it was dizzying and nauseating. The winner was, not only a power walking, trench coat sporting, Salvation Army shopping Blues Brothers wannabe…Much more than that!!!! He was my father.