When a best friend has a birthday, it’s time to celebrate and the destination is theirs to choose. With summer time opening up a free window and no other obligations holding me back, I was an automatic yes. Hence, “Four Girls, Four Days, Forever In Love With Mexico” was born.
The most common response I got when telling friends of my travel plans was, “You’re going where?” Serious concerns for my safety were expressed(1) and most (especially the parents) had looks of horror when I repeated in somewhat question like form, “Loreto, Mexico?”
The next question was, “Where is it?” My answer I assure you sounded nothing like Wikipedia’s description of Loreto which states that it is, “located on the coast of the Gulf of California, about 350 km (220 mi) north of the state capital, La Paz.” My reply sounded much more akin to, “Ummm, Baja California?” Adding, “On the Sea of Cortez,” with absolute authority in attempts to make myself sound like I actually am not a complete geography failure. (I am.)
Knowing I would have my besties as experienced Loreto, Mexico travel guides, it was without too much hesitation that I packed my BAG (singular–unlike the other girlies) for my so dubbed “scare-cation.”
When my two blonde beauties–our brunette bestie is meeting us at our ultimate destination daring to travel alone from Tijuana to Loreto–(2) pick me up for the airport rolling in the black Mercedes dressed in full resort fashion, I know there will be nothing low profile about our departure from America and arrival into Mexico.
My small rollaway filled with only bikinis and coverups–I am apparently the only one that followed the “what to bring” packing suggestion–barely fits in the car (forget the trunk) with the overflow of luggage already in tow. The birthday girl turns up the radio, “This is a good song,” she says singing to Elton John’s “Piano Man.” “Yeah, if you want to cut yourself and die,” I reply. Three girls, a packed up four door sedan rollin’ down the 101 at 6 AM with enough cash to bail us all out of just-in-case jail laughing with a cake in hand.
A cake? That’s right, we may be leaving the country but not without the chocolate SusieCakes LOAR contributor Catharine Chambers is bringing along for our birthday girl. We walk the prize possession with confidence to security. “I googled it. You can bring a cake through security,” she tells us. The TSA man asks if we plan on fishing in Mexico. “No sir, I don’t fish,” I tell him. “You don’t know what you’re missing,” he replies. “So I hear.” “You gonna eat some of that cake?” he asks. “No sir, I don’t eat.”(3) He moves back in his seat to lean out of his booth and look around it to see my lower half. “I can see that,” he says and the cake sales through the scanning belt with him drooling on the scent of our chocolate scented heels.
Our eyes widen at the thought of shopping Duty Free waiting to depart but the tiny kiosk offers only alcohol. Well, when in Rome… We place a few bottles of Grey Goose and Patron on the counter and hand over a credit card expecting to receive our bag of goodies in return. Instead, our cashier tells us he will meet us at the gate. For a moment we feel like we are getting VIP treatment. “We have to make sure you leave the country,” he says. (Balloon popped.) “Do you know how many people want us to leave the country?” I ask him [insert mad laughter].
Yes, it’s going to be that kind of trip. One-liners to be remembered, tweeted and repeated. Laughter that fills your belly with an insatiable thirst for more happiness in your life on a daily basis and hope that you never lose the feeling of friendship that comforts you when all other securities are stripped away.
Clank, clank, clank go our Duty Free bottles. “Nice try keeping it low profile girls,” says a random man to us as we wait for our bags to come through customs after landing at the beautiful Loreto airport. Funny, sir. It would be even funnier if we aren’t at this exact moment time trying to figure out how to get out of our current “Lucy Ricardo” pickle. Someone–potentially me–left the filled out customs forms on the plane in the seat pocket. Rookie mistake. Now we have to figure out how to get a not so low profile blonde girl into the country sans all the necessary paperwork. Lucky for us–or possibly me–our birthday girl, (let’s just call her MacGyver), navigates the tricky waters with ease.
New paperwork handled minus the hassle of waiting in line again, our next hurdle is the packed luggage contents scan “interrogation.” What follows may or may not have been overheard as our turn approaches:
“Do you have any alcohol?”
“Do you have any alcohol?”
“Do you have any alcohol?”
“Maybe some wine…” [insert pretty smile]
We get the green light to soak up the sun and enjoy the quiet family oriented town of Loreto for a week of birthday celebrations. Highlights include a fabulous dinner at La Mision, shopping in the local market, boating trip with the Sevylor Samoa Standup Paddleboards the birthday girl brought along to a private island where we lunched at La Picazon, getting massages at Villa del Palmer Beach Resort & Spa, and of course finally cutting into that delicious–so I hear–cake. Happy Birthday MacGyver girl, and thanks for the rockstar travel vacation!
Au revoir for now…
LOAR TRAVEL PICS FROM LORETO MEXICO
1 Understandable with a U.S. Travel Warning in place but enrolling in STEP is a great way to stay informed on up to date safety conditions.
2 She travelled alone with ease, and for a fraction of the flight price with this route.
3 I’m tragically allergic to ingredients in SusieCakes and most foods for that matter. I do actually eat, it just sometimes feels like I don’t.
Travel Review by Nicole Hanratty
Posted July 6, 2014