Sunday, March 22, 2015

Puerto Vallarta (Day 5) - Coming home

Oh, the last day of vacation!  You wake up in the morning and even though you know your flight isn't until 4pm, you know that basically everything is over -- which of course means that every little decision takes on cosmic importance.  Do I go running, or do I have a leisurely breakfast on the terrace?  Do I go to the beach, or go shopping, or sunbathe on the roof?  Do I pack my toothbrush now or wait until after I've had lunch?

In the end, I let the weather and laziness decide for me:  It was just way too gorgeous to spend the morning walking through shops, and the thought of waiting for the elevator and walking 50 yards to the beach (where I would battle sand and pan-flute musicians) just seemed like too much, so I sunscreened up and installed myself in a lounge chair on the deck.  Justin joined, and we spent the morning alternating between tanning and the pool.

Everyone else still wanted to go shopping, so Justin and I ended up on our own for lunch.  We skipped the taco stands and went to La Palapa, one of the nicer restaurants on the waterfront. 
Fresh salad with peaches and pistachios
Chicken fajitas with grilled peppers, mushrooms and pineapple
Justin got the fish tacos
The food was the best I had in Puerto Vallarta -- but the service was outrageously slow.  We thought we'd have enough time to finish lunch and get back for me to change into airplane clothes (unfortunately not the same thing as vacation clothes, when one's destination is Seattle) and pack up the last few things.  Instead, I ended up snarfing my fajitas, leaving Justin to pay the bill, and then running through the crowds back to the condo to change sweatily into my jeans and rush to the car. 

I got to the airport about 45 minutes later than I'd hoped but still had no trouble getting on the plane.  It's amazing how effortless air travel can be when you're not in the US with all the ridiculous TSA procedures!

Adios, Mexico!
A few hours later, I landed in San Francisco.  Although my flight continued on to Seattle, I still had to deplane, go through immigration and customs, and then recheck my bags, redo security screening (where I was "randomly" selected for an additional patdown by a super-incompetent man who filled me with rage), squeeze past the women who didn't understand why I gave them the stink-eye for standing in the middle of the moving walkway with their 47 bags, and reboard the exact same plane, in the exact same seat.  Fortunately, I did have enough time to grab a bite to eat before the flight, so that made everything a lot better for everyone.

It's amazing how far a bite of pizza and some Diet Coke will go toward
soothing TSA/passenger-induced orneriness!
A few hours later I landed in Seattle.  I walked out into the chilly, rainy night and instantly missed  the sunny beach and my friends (who all stayed through the following Wednesday).  A half-week vacation is certainly better than nothing, but it also whets my appetite for more!  Fortunately I do have a few more trips on the horizon:  First an Easter trip to Idaho, followed by a couple of weekends in Portland and Vancouver, BC.  Then it's off to China! 

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