Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thank god for the sushi place with wireless access. I can catch up while my sushi is being made.

January 8th was the Neptunes anniversary and Jorge (the owner) decided to do a trip up to Puerto Vallarta to celebrate. Only Jules, Melissa, Kiel, Treasure, Loren and I decided to go along with Mariano, Jorge and a couple of the office girls. Mariano took all the interns in the scuba limo and after the requisite stop at Kiosko for some New Mix and beer, we all set off for the five hour trip to PV.

The ride through the hills of Mexico was beautiful. There are so many little towns along the way (with accompanying speed bumps -- the "topes" inspired a drinking game). We were playing music in the van and we had a grand old time all the way to PV.

Puerto Vallarta is a much larger city than Manzanillo is and it is much more of a tourist destination. I was so surprised (and a little dismayed) that there were SO MANY WHITE PEOPLE. Everyone spoke English and it was such a departure from our sleepy little town that it was a bit of a culture shock. I wonder how I will react to going back to the States...

Once settled into our hotel, Jorge treated us out to lunch and then we all went to this nice bar on the beach. There are SO many vendors that peddle their wares to the tourists. We got sucked in with all the rest of them and ended up with ponchos (Loren bought me the cutest pink one!) and a blanket. We went back to the hotel and all got ready to go out for a nice night out.

Manzanillo is not really a dress up place so it was a good change to get all prettied up and go out to a good club. We started out at a place called Zoo, where Kiel and Thunder got rejected so much that we started calling them Crash and Burn. Then we went over to Senor Frogs, where Kiel put on a very, very entertaining display of drunken dancing. Loren and I stumbled back to our room at 4 in the morning.

The next day, we went shopping (yay!) and I got a great silver scuba diver pendant and necklace and I bought Loren a silver wave ring, which he loves. It was fun bartering with the salespeople, especially when they asked where we are from and we answered "Manzanillo." We "convinced" them that we were Mexican and they were a little more open with us. We had a lot of fun with them.

We met the boys and Mariano at a beach bar called Burros. I almost peed my pants when we found out that they were at a "donkey" bar. They weren't really but they were at this great beach bar where they were having a two for one happy hour. It was AWESOME! We did get the bad news that we were stuck in Vallarta because the van was having problems. I was bummed that we wouldn't be getting back because my schedule was so tight with Divemaster but it was also another night to have fun in PV.

We went out again to the Zoo and a place called Hilo. The Tequila Girls loved me at Hilo, especially after this stranger bought me four shots of tequila on the floor. The girl just kept feeding me shots and shaking my head all around. Jules and I danced on the bar and we had a really great time.

The van was fixed by Thursday so we got to go home but the ride home was much different than the energy filled ride up...we all slept on the way home.

Last week, I officially declared myself for the February IDC. With that declaration, everything changed. I need 40 more dives to take the Instructor Exam and I am still completing all of my Divemaster requirements. I finished my DM classes on Friday and next week is all graded skills, dives and my stamina test. I will do my written exams on Friday. Neptunes has their own Divemaster exam that we have to take to make sure we are ready for the PADI exam. I hear that it is tougher than the PADI exam AND we have to get an 85% on it, as opposed to the 75% required for the PADI exam. Neptunes expects their divemasters and instructors to be better than the norm. That's great because I like being the best of the best but it is intimidating all at the same time.

We had a crazy night last night, taking our homemade beer bong (aptly named Billy Bongski) to Bora's. I was barmaster last night, couriering the bong around to any table that wanted to use it -- fun that needs no translation. I met some American guys from Minnesota that were happy to talk football with me. They disappeared very suddenly when Loren came out to make sure I was okay. He tells me they weren't interested in talking football. Boys are funny that way...

We all chilled on the beach today, dodging in and out of the waves that SMASH on the beach by the girls house. These things are thick and heavy and they break fiercely on the shore. I time my entries and exits very carefully but the boys just mash their way through. I was sitting on the beach, reading when Loren pointed out the humpbacks that were breaching in the bay. They were a ways off but it was awesome watching them...

Sushi just showed up and then back home to study....


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