Advisory: No picures available at this time. Please check back for photos at a later date; sometime afterJanuary 3rd 2009.
We left Peoria at midnight on Friday night; destination - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Luis had napped a bit during the day and for several hours prior to our departure; so he was well prepared to drive through the night. Since I had been up since 410 am, it was well past my bed time but Luis understood that I was going to need to go to sleep pretty much as soon as we left the driveway; and I did.
We made it to Nogales (the border) by 330 am. I took the kids to the bathroom, and went back to sleep. By 730 we were in Hermosillo and in search of coffee. We stopped at Walmart (yes, Walmart) in Ciudad Obregon - to buy some Bolillo (hard rolls) for the Roast Beef and Turkey that we had packed in our cooler. We ate lunch, and drove on. We were making great time until we reached the fruit & vegetable inspection station, followed by the military checkpoint and concluding with a toll. The traffic was bumper to bumper.
At 430 I took my turn at driving so that Luis could get some rest. I kicked it up to 70MPH, and it felt like we were flying (God only knows what speed Luis had been driving. I really wasn´t paying attention, but let´s just say we don´t call him ¨The Snail¨ for nothing. And I did comment to him that Jackie would be proud of me; (Since she is the fastest friver I have ever driven with.) It felt like I was making some headway until we suddenly found ourselves once again, in stand still traffic. We sat long enough for it to turn from daylight, to dusk, to pitch black darknes. Approximately 1 hour wasted; waiting to pay a $1.80 toll. Oh my goodness - I would have gladly added $2.00 if not more on to the previous or next toll just to avoid this delay; but alas, the choice was not ours, and so we waited.
Now, one of the stipulations of me driving was that I would not have to drive at night. I am NOT the Queen of DRIVING IN THE DARK and I know this FOR CERTAIN; however, it had only been 2 hours into Luis´rest period, and I AM the Queen of FAIRNESS, so I put on my big girl panties and drove on through the darkness (without so much as a Xanax.)
We made it to Cualican at approximately 745 pm and promptly found a Domino´s pizza. I am personally NOT a fan of Domino´s in the states, but there is someting about Mexican Domino´s that hits the spot. Maybe it´s the different salsas that they give you (although in the states I never put salsa on pizza; nor do I particularly like spicy food) but regardless of what it is - it is GOOD!
Both of the previous times that we have driven to Vallarta, we spent the night in Los Mochis; which is about halfway between Peoria and Vallarta. However, in my opinion, there is only one decent hotel in Los Mochis and on our trip down last year, this "decent" hotel forgot to advise us upon check-in that there was not going to be any hot water for an undetermined amount of time. With this said, Luis wanted to by-pass Los Mochis and spend the night in Mazatlan, which is approximately 4 - 4 1/2 hours from there; and 6 hours to Vallarta.
At 845 when we finished at Domino´s Luis said that he thought that he could make it to Mazatlan (approximately 2 hours away) as long as I stayed up and talked to him. Now as much as I like to talk; I´m sure tht you´ll be surprised to know that this was not a promise that I felt I could make. #1 I was tired and #2 For as much as I DON´T sleep at home; the minute that I am in the car for more than an hour long trip, I seem to fall asleep. I mean can´t keep my eyes open, heavy, drooling SLEEP.
I told Luis that I didn´t feel like I could "PROMISE" not to fall asleep but he was still willing to give it a try. I think I said something to the effect of "Oh, I should be able to stay up for a while since we just ate¨ but I don´t think I made it more than 15 minutes before I was asleep. Maybe it was the stress of the night driving that I´d done. Maybe it was the fact that I was content, and happy and safe; or maybe I was just really, really tired. I woke up about half an hour later. I immediately asked Luis if he was OK and he said that he was. And, although I rarely eat candy (though I´d be hard pressed to pass up a piece from a Hershey´s Pot of Gold or anything better) I pulled out the Twix Java that I´d been toting around in my purse for over a week and devoured the whole thing. I thought that I seemed wide awake and I told Luis "after eating this sugar and caffeine, I should be able to stay awake for a while." But no sooner had I licked the caramel (that I don´t even like,) off of my fingers; I was snoozing away. I think I woke up just as we were approaching the Mazatlan exit. Luis said "OK, now I really need you to stay up and help me read the signs," but I swear I think I came down with a sudden case of narcolepsy because I was barely any help at all. I forced myself (after Luis had pleaded with me) to stay awake and we found our way to the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort which I had researched a few weeks before. We went in, got a room, showered and though I wouldn´t have thought it possible -I immediately fell asleep.
Saturday morning we had a lovely breakfast in the hotel restaurant, overlooking the ocean. Luis commented, ¨Now this is a hotel.¨ To which I said ¨This is how I used to travel when I was single,¨and he said ¨You mean before you went broke with me?¨ LOL, We both got a good laugh at that one; and we hit the road.
The drive from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta can only be descibed as exquisite. Winding mountains, canopies made of trees, ocean views, tropical flowers - it is just breathtaking and relaxing beyond compare. Luis kept commenting that the views were like something from a fairy tale, and I would have to agree.
We made it home by 530pm Vallarta time; and I can already say that I would definitely do the drive again. Any takers?
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING