15 January 2006

Jo's Sandpiper Visit

AHOY from Mate Johanna who has just returned home in Morro Bay, California, sniffle, sniffle! I don’t know if it’s being on the Sandpiper for 7 days or the tequila shots I drank last night, but I seem to have a back and forth rocking motion while standing on land today. Hm. So, friends and family of Tom and Amy…..let me just say that these kids are the most adventurous people I know. I’m sitting here blown away by the strong partnership that Tom and Amy have created while they follow and take hold of their dreams together. Then there’s the gallant Sandpiper, with her strong sails and sturdy anchor (sorry, I don’t know boat lingo to well) who sits in Paradise resting and fueling up for her next adventure. I love her.
I arrived on January 6, 2006 and just left today, January 12, 2006. I just finished college and am at a fork in the road. Too many decisions to make, but I’m grateful to have such opportunities. Anyways, I needed an adventure, plus I wanted to see these sun-kissed sailors. Never had visited Mexico, nor had I stayed on a boat that long, so both were new experiences for this California earth sign! Each day that I spent in Paradise was filled with fun in the sun, new adventures, and good times with good friends.
My journey started with my arrival in Puerto Vallarta- I didn’t realize how humid it was! Once Amy and I returned from the airport in our crazy cab ride, I immediately got rid of my clogs and wool sweater, and put my white bod in a suit. Amy and Chris took me to the pool and made me go down the alligator slide- the secret is you have to run up the stairs and across the wooden bridge to get to it, no walking! Then we hung out for a bit and waited for 2 for 1 happy hour. Wow, “Welcome to Paradise,” I thought. I was really worried about getting sick from the water, but Amy assured me that PV is the cleanest water in Mexico, and she was right, I didn’t get sick! If anything, it was the exact opposite, but that may be too much info. Anyways, later that night, we met up with Tom, hopped in the dinghy and had a relaxing dinner. Later on, I jumped in my port-side bunk while Chris, my bunkmate, told me stories about his “interesting life.” That Chris, what a story-teller!
The next day we hopped on the bus and met Tom’s mom, Toni, in Old Town Puerto Vallarta for a fun day being American tourists. In fact, we even rode one of those funny tour buses that played LOUD Mexican music while it took us through the city. We were the classic American tourists, but we had a blast. Later on, we dined at this tapas restaurant, which I think Chris already mentioned- it was sooooo good.
The next few days were very relaxing- we painted our nails, got tan, played tequila volleyball, poolside golf, ate a ton at all you can eat brunch, and Amy made us some really good home cooked meals- Amy could sell her shrimp tacos for a living! (We should all get her a mobile cart for x-mas.) Time went by and very soon I was a true member of the Paradise Club. As I walked down the dock, I would say the official salutation to fellow boaters…“Mornin… another day in Paradise!” I could live there; I knew I should’ve hit on the cute boat worker, maybe I could’ve gotten a job cleaning boats or something.
The last night I was there Amy, Tom, and I went to this restaurant in Old-Town called The Red Cabbage. I don’t know why they call it that, probably because I was so intoxicated and in awe of their food. Let me describe this meal to you: We entered the cute, small, Frieda themed restaurant filled with cool pictures. We ordered a Spinach salad. Not your typical spinach salad, let me tell ya. The spinach salad was actually cooked spinach with olive oil, garlic and yummy stuff that you spread upon this buttery bread. YUM. The other dip thing was this roasted red pepper sauce with yummy cheese. YUM. Then….. (drum roll)…..Have you ever had Chicken Mole? I hadn’t, but holy moly, we all ordered this seductive dish made of chocolate, chilies, cinnamon, lots of other stuff and extreme love from whoever was making it. It came with rice as light as a feather, and delicious refried beans. “Holy crap!” Amy said as she took her first bite. Yep, I could eat this sauce for breakfast, lunch, snack time, and dinner. In fact, I will request to have this particular Chicken Mole as my last supper….The meal was complimented with a red wine- WOW. I then proceeded to have some tequila as I thought of ways to stay there. Trust me; I’m still thinking….The people of Mexico are beautiful and great. I am so lucky to have had this opportunity to see this special spot and hang with my compadres Amy, Tom and Chris. Now, that I’m gone Amy and Tom can get back to their routine and focus on their next adventure. Again, they are some of the strongest people I know who aren’t afraid to take risks….they know what it’s all about.
Amy and Tom, thank you for a wonderful visit. You are my pillars of inspiration! I’m ready to rock, as long as I have chicken mole in my dreams…..
Peace, love, and Mole,
Docked in Morro Bay, California still waiting for that cute Mexican boy from the docks to come pick her up.

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