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Mazatlan 2010 (Michelle, Shellia, Karine)

4/26/2010 – Monday (Off to Mazatlan!)
The most awesome plane ride ever. Shellia and I were in the very back, and the middle seat was empty. We brought salad (and they didn’t steal my dressing!), PB+J, Nuked potatoes, had a free sandwich and chips (the credit card machine on the plane was broken), Coleslaw, Eggs, and even free liquor!
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From the airport, it was $31 USD to the resort. It was arranged differently than the last time I came, but perhaps because June isn’t really tourist season anymore?
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Torres Mazatlan
Av. Sabalo Cerritos
Esq. Lopez Portillo
Mazatlan, Sinaloa 82110
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When we got to the resort, we wandered a while and got our towels. We grabbed Coronas and went to the beach. The ocean tried to attack Shellia’s flip flops. We had Jameson on the patio. We both completed our goals for the day. Shellia’s were to have a cigarette and beer on the beach, and mine was to unpack. Done and done. We both wanted mussels, so went on a mission to the front office.
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“Do you know where we can find good mussels?” I asked.
The three people at the front desk gave us blank stares…
“You need… a gym?” the girl asked.
“Oh, no, no! I wanted mussels – seafood. Pescados, not muscles!” and I pointed to my flexed bicep, laughing.
“Ah, mariscos!” they said in unison.
We all had a good long laugh at that one.
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They sent us to Capitano’s, along the marina. It ended up not having mussels at all, which was amusing, but the Grilled Seafood Platter sounded great. It was “for two,” so we ordered it and some guacamole and split it. Serious fear when the platter came out. It was gigantic. And just as delicious as it was large. The prawns in Mazatlan are absolutely stunning!
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After dinner, we had an interesting interaction with a gal getting people to sign up to attend a timeshare presentation. I didn’t tell her I already have-ish one. She was NOT going to leave us alone. Pester, pester, pester. So finally, the last time she came back, I said, “fine, but give us three fishing trips and the $50 gift certificate.” And when she asked for a deposit, I said no. Our word was all she was going to get.
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I did NOT want to go to the presentation, but when we got back to the hotel, I read up on the fishing, and it would have been WELL over $150-200 per person to go for the day. So getting 3 out of 4 fishing trips was worth the two hours we had to spend at the presentation. We got free breakfast out of the deal, too. Not too shabby.
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After dinner, we hopped a ride back in a pulmonia (open-air cab), sat in the hot tub, bought beer, and gave up on the beer and passed out upstairs.
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I had crazy zombie dreams that night and my best friend’s best friend got her head chewed off by a zombie. I tried to console her and reached out to pet her hand. And woke up. I had touched something real. And there was Shellia, eyes open, glaring at me. Uh, whoops. I had pet Shellia’s hand. I mumbled “sorry” and fell back asleep, demanding that my body keep to itself. She was displeased. I just thought it was kinda funny, and I was glad she didn’t kick my ass for hand-petting amidst crazy zombie dreams.
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4/27/2010 – Tuesday (Day 2 Mazatlan)

We woke up and went to our timeshare presentation. It was at Pueblo Bonita, about 5 minutes further north from central Mazatlan than Torres. It was beautiful, but way too richy for us. It had flamingos, “infinity edge” pools, a hotel lobby that was full of lilies (but was also scented with fake lilies and was absolutely cloying), logo-stamped ashtray sand, and disturbingly bright decor in the room. Welcome to fake Mexico. We went through the timeshare tour and ended with the free breakfast, which couldn’t have come a moment too soon. I felt bad for her, having to walk us through all that when we really weren’t interested at all. When she was doing the math with us, she was dodging questions left and right, though, which was pretty amusing. Sorry, lady, ain’t got no money here.
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Though we used 2 hours of our vacation time up, the three free seats on a fishing trip made it all worth it. Next time though, I need to ask for four seats so that we don’t have to pay out for the fourth seat on our boat. Wish I had thought of that, but I didn’t. Next time.
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After the presentation and some confusion about who was coming to bring us back to our hotel, we went to Mega for groceries and bought some necessities… like Tequila. Oh, and food.
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When we came back to the hotel, we sat around and waited for Karine to show up. Once she was settled, swim-suited and sunscreened, we all took a 3-shot tequila sampler and went to the pool for happy hour drinks. We had a Mezcal tequila that tasted like smoke. It was the most expensive, and the worst. We had a long, tall bottle that tasted like Cuervo, and a short bon-bon looking bottle that had a blue “100 Anos” label on it. The tequila was clear, agave, and delicious.
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I started up the frill for making chipotle chicken. It was this crazy burnt-stick charcoal. I had never used anything like it before, and it was annoyingly difficult – especially without lighter fluid. The sparks when you blew on the fire would, instead of shooting a spark at you, shoot a spark at you that then exploded like a firework. I was sure I was going to lose an eye. And I’m terribly glad my shirt had a busy pixellated print. Hopefully it will cover the holes I burned in it. I got firecracker charcoal in my eye.
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I made chipotle chicken and they put together a salad and we ate outside and watched the sunset. After dinner, we went upstairs, drank for a bit, then caught the tail end of karaoke, which, as you can imagine, was pretty amazing. *ahem*
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4/28/2010 – Wednesday (Day 3 Mazatlan)

We woke up fairly early and went to the public market. We go to get steaks, transportation and food for $25 USD each, which included a bangup meal on the beach (breaded, spicy, and garlic prawns, made to order – the garlic prawns were the best). Absolutely amazing!
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Afterward, we went home to go poolside. We each bought a ton of stuff from the guys at the beach (Thank you, Joe!), then went to the Golden Zone for shopping. Oh if only I had an extra $500 to spend on a multi-piece giant painted peacock. It was so damned cool. I want one. Badly. Oh well. Either way, many missions accomplished.
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At home, we grilled up the New York Steaks (3 for $8!) and made salad and potatoes. Evil om noms. So good. The flavor of the steaks was awesome, though they were a lot tougher than the last time we were in Mexico. Oh well. It was still delicious. After the meal, we passed right out.
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4/29/2010 – Thursday (Day 4 Mazatlan)

Oh man. Up at 5am to go fishing. Shellia cut fruit, I did eggs and tortillas for breakfast, and Karine did sandwiches for lunch. We made a pretty kickass team for coordinating everything that early in the morning. Shellia even made it out the door on time. It was incredible. We went to Neto’s Fishing Fleet (way better than the Esqualo Fleet, who we used last year), and off we went! Sunrise as we were pulling out was just beautiful.
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We’ve been on the water since 7am, and it’s now 9am. The lines were dropped an hour ago and we’re still waiting for a bite. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Esqualo fleet chums the water (thus explaining the “buoys” in the middle of nowhere that the boats were circling), and Neto’s doesn’t. I think I’d rather they were chummed.
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I lied, I lied, oh how I lied. I would NOT rather they were chummed. I would just like to have the same boat captain next time as I did this time. We came across a vortex/hurricane of sea birds, so realized there were fish nearby. As we got closer, we saw things jumping out of the water everywhere. The dolphins were feasting. I’ve never seen so many dolphins in my entire life. They were jumping, corkscrewing, flipping. Everywhere. Never seen anything like it – not even on the Discovery Channel. Then the lines started to go.
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Try as we might, we couldn’t get many pictures in. Every time we made a pass through, one line would go, and then two, three, four, five! It was insane! We were all covered in fish blood and scales. A couple hours and several passes later, we had a huge, cadaver-sized cooler over half full and none of our arm muscles were working properly. There were over 15 huge yellowfin tuna in our cooler – much closer to 25. I am utterly amazed!
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Go team awesome: Shellia, Karine, Me, and our wonderful guides, Alex & Hector, from Neto’s Fishing Fleet. Mad Props! Extra super bonus for not swindling us at the end like happened with the Esqualo Fleet.
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As soon as we got back to the hotel with our tuna massacre, Shellia and I rinsed off the fillets and froze them. We kept two out. One, we ate as sashimi (I think I noshed the majority of it). It was so amazing fresh and chilled. The little Japanese girl in me was near becoming a blubbering mess of tears and joy. It was phenomenal. The other fillet we saved for later.
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My world was landsick. Everything was rocking, rocking, rocking. I asked them if they were still rocking as badly as I was and they said no. I nearly fell over a couple times, and turning my head was like someone had made a top out of me and spun me for fun. Just thinking about it makes me a bit ill. I was quite nauseous.
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We did a bit of relaxing, and cooked dinner later. I was fed up with the weird charcoal (really, I wanted someone else to deal with preparing food or the grill or any of the hard parts, I think. I was way sunfried and super nauseous from landsickness), so Karine suggested we sear the tuna. I agreed. I cooked it through a little too much though, and destroyed the veggies. I tried. But that’s what happens when I cook when I’m retarded. I fail. Oh well. At least I win when I cook drunk. It’s always too spicy, but cooked to perfection. We had quite the feast whipped up in a short amount of time. Noshed, and had some tequila.
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After the rocking not stopping for a good long while, I went downstairs to buy some more Dramamine – figured if it helped my not get seasick, maybe it would stop me from being landsick. It helped, definitely. I was slightly concerned about my inner ear.
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4/30/2010 – Friday (Day 5 Mazatlan)

Friday was shopping day. We went shopping in the Golden Zone, discovered Carlos and Lucias, stopped for drinks at Munchkin’s, a random cowboy joint on the corner, but didn’t have ribs because I was waiting to either really be hungry (not just craving ribs) or for better ones.
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Breakfast was at the Pueblo Bonito restaurant, which was a pretty delicious buffet. I was impressed. And it was free, which was the bestest. We walked on the beach from there, went out on the pier, walked up to the main road, walked and shopped, and we got stuff to pack the fish up in that day too.
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We ended up having dinner at the hotel, which ended up being “BBQ Night,” so I ended up getting… you guessed it… ribs! I had ribs, Karine had fried fish, and Shellia had chicken.  The chicken was mediocre, the fish was gross, the ribs were fair. All of them were overpriced. Oh well. We laughed  A LOT at dinner at random things, such as me when I get frustrated and my sound effects, among other things. We ended up going to bed pretty early because we had to be up early to pack and we were exhausted from having walked around all day.
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We also bought more jewelry from Joe.
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Karine ended up not being able to sleep because her stomach was pissed off. She ended up puking violently twice that night. Sad pandas!
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5/1/2010 – Saturday (Day 6 Mazatlan)

It was weird packing up a day early. Kinda nice, though, minus the fish/freezer issue.
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I woke up bright and early with the sunrise in our window. It was 7am. I went to wake up Karine, and she wasn’t having any of it. Displeased. I didn’t know she’d been up all night yakking. So sad!
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Shellia made eggs and I steamed tortillas, and we tried to eat what was left of our food. I bought ice and packed up the fish. The remaining food, we ended up giving away to a couple other Northwesterners that were sitting around the pool. We would have left earlier, but I had some pottery I had to pick up from the craft stand. It was much easier, by the way, to paint something without lines on it. Much more my style, too.
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After checkout at 11, we took a cab to the new hotel, Costa de Oro. It was a huge step down in quality from the last place, but was still pretty neat. After getting quickly settled, we went back to Carlos and Lucia’s for lunch. Karine’s stomach had decided it might be able to stomach a little food, which was good. Karine had steak tacos, Shellia had fajitas, and I had Cuban-style prawns and black beans and rice. It was delicious, but a bit too salty. We had plantains, too, which were amazing. And, of course, mojitos. Best mojitos I’d ever had. Apparently the secret to them was using key limes, fresh mint, using a mortar and pestle and grinding it with natural sugar, using fresh spring water, and white rum. I must try to duplicate them – they were pretty phenomenal. Shellia and I got into it a bit today at the restaurant, maybe it was the heat, but it was stuff that needed to be said anyway, so I’m glad we chatted.
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The weather was iffy – windy, occasional clouds.
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Our journey led us to Old Mazatlan. We explored the area by the cathedral, that square where we saw that wedding party, the random bull fighting bar I had been to last time, the pictures of the beautiful buildings, and the crazy random hippie store we walked by and turned out to be awesome with the pond in the back. We finally found a bakery and coffee shop for Karine, but her stomach wasn’t having any of it. Sad!
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We ventured back to the market to deal with that craziness, trying to find allergy medicine for Shellia’s increasingly large and warm bites, as well as my million bites (Shellia got a few that got HUGE. I got dozens that were all obnoxious, but didn’t swell like hers), then trying to find a bathroom, then walking back out to the main stretch, catching a bus, finally buying Karine’s goddamn 3 spoon spoon at a higher price than she had gotten the day before, and venturing back to the hotel.  Haggling backfires sometimes, if it’s something you really want. lol.
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Karine’s tummy finally felt better – hooray!
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Afterward, at the hotel, we went and sat by the beach to watch the sunset. Lots of people on the beach (all Mexican) with the 11(?) piece band playing music. People were dancing, drinking beer, swimming in the ocean, getting their hair braided… it was much more culturally Mexican than the resort at Torres. Now if only I could find a place like Torres but with the culture of Mexico… hmmm…. We had drinks and watched the sunset. Shellia had “sangria,” but it was really red wine and sprite (awful!), Karine had a Pina Colada that instantly hurt her stomach, and I had a vodka cran, which was boring but delicious. We got asked to dance but Karine was too embarrassed, and I was wary of taking my sneakers in the sand, and even more wary of walking without support (no shoes on). I wanted to so bad… but my ankles were really not having any of it.
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We went back up to the room and got ready to go out.  Went to Gus Gus for dinner, a super rad place with fire dancers, little adorable kids running around selling stuff, lame cover band playing american songs, some random old white guy next to us that was wholly inappropriate and flat out gross, a crazy porn star with GIANT boobs, and a super drunk guy that was very tall and very drunk and was trying to pour a bottled water over his mother’s (?) head. And eventually succeeded. I had “I love Octopus,” which was (as most things in Mexico, I have found) delicious, but too salty, and Shellia and Karine had quesadillas with processed cheese? Ick. Karine bought an anklet from super cute kid.
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Afterward, we left and hiked to Joe’s Oyster Bar. Karine was whining about going there, I had super painful walking issues, and Shellia had mutant mosquito bites. Saving grace? They played “I’m on a boat,” which was hilarious.
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5/2/2010 – Sunday (Mazatlan… Checking out and heading home)
Spent the day flying. Did some light shopping and poolside sunning before Karine left, then we had to go shortly thereafter. Lots of flying. Sadly, the return trip was not as cool as the trip there, but it was still a good flight. No problems, except that LAX still makes my head hurt. At least they didn’t mess with our fish! Both customs let them through just fine. They just took our ice. No biggie. 🙂
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My hunny is the bestest hunny. I really wanted a sashimi dinner when I got off the plane. I really did not, however, want to handle fish. I was exhausted. Jesse braved the pouring rain and went to Pazzos to pick me up an Augusta pizza. I was overjoyed. Good lord how I had missed pizza. Eating Italian in Mexico felt a bit like a sin, so I didn’t. As much as I will miss Mazatlan, I am glad to be home.
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One Comment

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  1. Iris Pearlman / Dec 10 2010 6:36 am

    Cool travel journal! It’s nice to hear fun stuff about Mazatlan. My husband and I were just there and it’s good to hear other experiences from Mexico. Thanks!

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