Friday, May 30, 2008

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Above: One of my favorite pictures I took while I was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Paul and I recently went on a trip to Mexico with 16 of our friends! We were there for 6 nights and it truly was one of the best trips I have ever been on. We grew closer with friends, met some new friends from all over the country, and Paul and I bonded even more than I ever thought we could. I'd like to thank Ryan and Will for being two of the best friends I could ever ask for. You two have really become so close to us and I value both of your friendships so much. Scott, Yan, Mark, Joe, Michael, Jase, John, Jay, Cody, Jimmy, Erik - you're all wonderful people and I am glad that I can call all of you friends and I got to know you better on this trip. We should all do it again! Also, it was great to make new friends - Mike and David; it was great meeting you on the trip :-)

Off to Mexico!

Above: This was the sunset the first night we were in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The day started with the alarm going off at 6:30AM. The alarm was playing a song on the radio called, "Time of Your Life" by Green Day. How ironic the radio was playing that song as we awoke to get ready for our trip to Mexico. The song really set the tone for the trip to come. A few lines of the song are:

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right; I hope you have the time of your life.

Those lyrics never really hit me before until now. I really am having the time of my life right now. I love life. This trip was going to be an experience we were going to share with sixteen of our friends and I'm sure it was only going to bond stronger friendships with all. I knew this was going to be a trip I would never forget.

The People

Above: Tons of Mexicans opted not to swim in the ocean and swam in this shallow river by the sea.

Once we landed in Mexico, it was hot like an oven. I am not big of heat but it felt great. We were greeted by dozens of Mexicans that were trying to sell all sorts of stuff - timeshares, jewelry and cab rides. We plowed through them and got into an official taxi. We made our way to the hotel, Playa del Sol; it was RIGHT on the ocean. The service was outstanding! We were greeted with two cocktails and a warm welcome - I was so impressed! The room was probably one the best rooms in the hotel, it was ground level with two bedrooms, two baths and an amazing deck that went right out to the pool. It was a really nice resort-style place. After we were done with the tour of the grounds, Paul and I ran down to the beach and just walked along the shore, it was an amazing beach with stunning views.

Above: This is the patio right outside of our room.

Above: More views from where we stayed.

Above: Me, Scott and Paul were already in the pool after only being in Mexico for a short time. Look at my cheesy model pose! I love it!

Our friend Scott arrived as we made our way back from the beach to the hotel. We were all like little schoolgirls, excited about the vacation. All three of us jumped into the pool and enjoyed a few hours in the pool. The pool and the ocean became the places where most everyone hung out.

Above: A vendor selling hats and baskets on the beach.

There were several merchants everywhere on the beach. They walked around the beach trying to get you to buy a variety of things from sunglasses, wooden carvings and blankets. The merchants on the beach were annoying but it's their culture, they were constantly in your face trying to get you to buy anything and if you made eye contact - forget it - they would stand there and beg you to buy something. One woman was walking around the beach with beautiful scarves just coming up to people saying "HOW MANY!?" This was probably my favorite line from the trip. Her voice was husky and loud and everywhere I went I was mimicking the merchant, my answer to everything was "HOW MANY!" HA!

Above: HOW MANY!?

Above: Paul got over his fear of creatures and held this massive lizard! The Mexican people charged you money to take a picture with their lizard.

Above: An amazing ocean view. I would never get tired of seeing this if I lived in Mexico.

Above: This picture was taken right next to a Mexican's house, a great view, but the house was very run down (it had no roof).

There was this small boy that was selling toys on the beach. He was dragging around toys on the beach sand selling these trinkets, he was maybe a year or two older than Zach. It was sad to see him in the hot sun selling these items. I bought one toy for Zach but I gave the kid extra money hoping he keeps it for himself so he can buy himself something. The poor kid should be enjoying his youth and playing with other kids his age, it was a sad thing to see. The country is very depressed but the people were for the most part in high spirits, or so it seemed.


Above: A boat full of gay boys on their way to a booze cruise!

The first full day we were in Mexico, a "booze cruise" was organized for all of us to go on for the day. The boat trip started at 930am and ended at 5pm and included all you could drink and plenty of food. Dangerous! All of us made our way to the pier close to the resort. There were a total of 45 men and women (mostly men) that were going to be on this all day adventure. I was a bit nervous about being on a boat; the last time I was on a boat was on a trip to Provincetown and I was hurling over the edge of the boat. I was keeping my fingers crossed I wouldn't have to go through that.

Above: Mark, Joe, Mike, Yan and David get the best seats on the boat!

Above: Jay, Cody and Yan getting their groove on during the booze cruise.

Above: Click on the video above to see a glimpse of the booze cruise.

Everyone that piled onto the boat seemed nice, a wide variety of ages, looks and styles. We had the largest group on the boat and we were the first group to get on the boat so we secured a great little nesting area to relax. Once everyone was aboard, the hostess - Diana - laid down the rules, cranked the music, started serving the booze, and told us all to get naked! She was joking... I think. HA!

Above: Paul and Me get ready to head out to sea.

Above: Will and Joe take a ride on the water hammock!

It was a perfect day for a boat ride and everyone was strewn about the boat in their bathing suits and enjoying the ride. We made some friends on the boat. There were two boys from Toronto, Steven and Andrew, who seemed like a lot of fun. A few local boys were also pretty rowdy, Justin and "The Count." I noticed Paul and Ryan were missing from the group and when I looked to go find them they were both hanging over the back of the boat sea sick. The water was pretty choppy and the boat was rocking quite a bit. The pictures and videos pretty much sum up how the adventure went.

Above: Poor baby :-( Ryan thinking about jumping off the boat while he was sea sick.

Above: Ryan and Paul not enjoying the rough seas.

Above: John (with drink) enjoys the water hammock with a guest on the boat.

Above: Toronto boys - Andrew and Steven.

Halfway through the trip we were let off at a remote area where we all walked to a secluded beach. The waves were monstrous and the beach had tons of shells, crabs and coconuts that littered the beach. A large group of us played volleyball and went into the treacherous water. The ocean was wild! I was bombing through the waves but they were so strong that I was taken out several times.

Above: This really cool statue was right on the shore of the beach.

One time. while I was in the ocean. I was knocked over so hard that it pulled me to the bottom of the ocean and the waves dragged me along the sand. I was all cut up on my leg and arm but I was laughing my ass off when it was happening and had a mouth full of sand. It was still fun even though I was slightly injured. After we were done with the beach, everyone that went into the water was covered with sand, it was EVERYWHERE. I had sand in places I never knew existed!

Above: All of us on the remote beach taking a break from the booze cruise.

Above: I always wanted to take a hot sexy picture on the beach, so I did!:-)

Above: This looks like the next season of LOST!

By the end of the trip everyone was pawing to get off the boat. The water got even more unsettled and I started to feel ill myself. We were all invited to a "house party" after the boat trip. Most everyone went but Paul, Ryan, Jase and I decided not to go and we went out to a fun restaurant that had some amazing food. We then headed out to one of the biggest clubs in Mexico called Manyana. The "house party" turned into a religious experience for some - so I heard :-)

The Beach

Above: Jay, Paul, Jase, Cody and Joe having a little beach party.

I was at the beach everyday I was there! The water was so warm although not crystal clear, but I loved the waves and how amazing they were and the feel of the salt on my skin. I could have stayed on the beach all day long - I felt like a sand crab. I was living the life! By this point I was pretty tan and there were no more signs of a pasty gay boy! :-P I have not been this dark in well over 2 years. It was nice to just soak up the sun. I decided to get a "fake" tattoo from one of the merchants. It's a henna tattoo of the sun and I got it on my waistline. I loved it. My friend Will got one on his back. I don't think I'd ever get a real one - sure it looks good now, but what will it look like 30 years from now?!

Above: Cute boys from New York, Boris and Paul.

There were plenty of attractive men on the beach; most everyone was in their tiny bathing suits. There were plenty of sites to see! There was this woman on the beach and she looked really familiar and when I got a closer look I realized that I had solved a mystery, yes, I had actually FOUND Baby Jane Hudson! One of the characters from a favorite movie of mine, "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" was right on the beach next to me! Witness the find below!

Above: LOOK, it's Baby Jane Hudson! I found her!!!

Above: The pool water was cool and refreshing.

Above: London boys Mike and David.

Above: Fun and laughter in the pool.

Food & Drink

Above: The gang is all here. All of us boys enjoyed a great dinner by the river our first night in Mexico.

While we were all in Puerto Vallarta, we visited a roof deck bar quite a bit and enjoyed an incredible sunset and some damn good drinks! We were all happy and giddy to be on vacation and to be with so many friends. Plans were made in advance to go to this unique restaurant that was hidden in the woods and right on a secluded river. We all got primped and ready to go to this restaurant on the river and were all flocking into several different cabs. The cab ride was an adventure down windy cobblestone roads that seemed like they were taking us to the middle of nowhere. I was stating to think that we were going to be served as the dinner! Once we arrived, we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. A huge long table was set for us right next to flowing river. It was really impressive. We all had great food and drink and toasted one of our friends that couldn't make it due to health problems. Kurt, you were missed.

Above: Paul and Mark enjoying what's to come in Mexico!

Above: Three badass bitches, Ryan, Me and Will, enjoying the party on the roofdeck!!

The Mexican food was pretty amazing at most of the restaurants where we ate. My favorite overall were the taco trucks. Ryan, Will, Paul and I headed into the streets of Mexico looking for the infamous taco trucks that we had heard about. These taco trucks were run-down and scattered about the city, but the food was probably the best Mexican food I had ever tasted in my life. It was so amazing. We all scoffed down the delectable tacos every night around 2 or 3 AM and circled around the trucks wanting more just like the several stray dogs and cats we say scavenging for food. It was great!

Above: This is the taco truck that we attacked at 3am!

Above: Me, Ryan and Will enjoying dinner with a great view.

Above: I thought we already saw these bitches!?


Above: Yan, Scott, Cody and Jay chillin out at Manyana.

Manyana was one of the best clubs I had ever been to. It had an open roof with a massive in-ground pool. It was unbelievable. Many of us spent most nights at Manyana until the wee hours of the morning... dancing and some of us even went into the pool. It was a blast. Cody, Yan, Jase and I were in the pool the most; we stripped down to our underwear and/or bathing suits and just jumped into the pool, dancing in the pool, acting silly. It was a riot being in a crowded club in a pool having a blast.

Above: How cool is this! This is the pool that was in the middle of the bar.

Above: Handsome Scott hangin' out.

Above: Me and Andrew (from Toronto) get all hot and sweaty while dancing at the club. My lips are sealed!

Above: Life partners, Will and Ryan!

It was wild to be in a club and just be totally carefree to jump into a pool in your underwear. I loved it. By far the best club I have ever been to... Of course, you won't find many clubs with pools in them that you can actually swim in. I can only imagine the liability in the States if someone got hurt in the pool; in Mexico it's a free for all!

Above: Scott and Michael.

Above: A cool photo I took on my way to one of the clubs.

Above: Yan and Ryan.

Above: Jase is one fierce bitch!

The Mexican gay men in the clubs were seedy, this guy was following us around with a camera and he was photographing our every move, and it really was like the paparazzi. It was driving me nuts. I kept having to hide my face because all he was doing was taking pictures of us - it was quite annoying. A lot of the Mexican men were just watching us and staring, either intrigued by us or disgusted, either one. Paul saw one of the men that was in the clubs the next day and he was trying to sell something to Paul, as Paul walked away from the guy, the guy yelled out, "I saw you at Manyana last night. You didn't see me but I saw youuuu!" Paul stopped and went back to him to talk; amused I am sure by it all. Then the guy proceeded to tell Paul he looked like a cat! He said " You're features, you look like a cat!" HA! I laughed myself silly. So now I am always saying "You look like a cat!"

Above: Looking like a cowboy cat!

Above: Cody celebrates his 28th birthday with his boyfriend Jay.

It was Cody's 28th birthday while we were on the trip and that night we went to a place called Stereo. It was a small hole in the wall that literally was covered with shiny posters and cosmetic things to hide the appearance of the dilapidated building. In this club we ran into a group of boys from Atlanta. They were to be labeled "The Hotlanta Boys" because they were all quite attractive. Some of them were all messed up but we hung out with them for a bit. Also, we ran into some boys we met that were from New York as well. Ironically one of them was named Paul and one of them was named Neil - go figure.

The Last Day

Above: The boys chillin' by the pool at our hotel.

Monday was our last full day in Mexico and we found ourselves at the beach yet again, a bit more low key this time. We branched off from the group and laid a bit low. After soaking in the last rays of sun we would see in Mexico while we were there, we headed to the boardwalk area where the merchants were selling a variety of things.
Later that night, Paul and I went to the roof bar where there was a bizarre drag show. This is the drag show where we ran into the woman that was murdered in the post below that same night! How bizarre! We eventually met up with Will and Ryan and two of the Hotlanta boys Trent and Matt.

Above: Will, Matt, Me, Ryan and Paul getting ready for the Dirty Bitches drag show.

Above: Hotlanta boys Trent and Matt with the "girls."

Above: Me with three wonderful drag queens that performed that night. One of them lost her wig!

We hung out with Hotlanta for the rest of the night and then eventually we all went to their house where they were staying. It was a mansion! I had never seen anything like it in my life. It had five floors, several bedrooms and bathrooms, and an elevator inside! The pool was an amazing infinity pool that looked over the rocky sea. It was breathtaking! We all hung out in the heated pool and hot tub and drank Coronas. The rest of the night starts getting a bit fuzzy from here...

Above: All of us in the Hotlanta pool and hottub, things start to look fuzzy in this picture!

Above: This is the view from one of the balconys looking down on the infinity pool at Hotlanta's place.

The trip was truly amazing. Paul, Will, Ryan and I were the only four to leave on Monday night; everyone else flew out on Tuesday. The trip was relaxing, never felt rushed, I felt very stress-free AND it really did feel like a long vacation. I'll never forget this trip! Enjoy all the fun photos.

Above: A really great photo of Paul and me.

On our plane ride back into the states Paul got pulled out of line at customs and he was asked a few questions. We were all sitting and waiting for Paul while the customs officers looked at Paul and asked him if he ever went by the name Sylvester! Paul replied, "Yes, Sylvester the cat." :-P Meow.


RyanThomas said...

I wouldn't have wanted to share a condo with anyone else! We definitely kept that pool interesting :)

So many memories! Reading through them all gave me a good laugh! What a great round up of everything.

It really was a great way to get away and nothing is more cleansing then sand and ocean water.

Time to prep for the next trip!

Chris said...

Great photo! Lots of cute boys and umm..nice sexy shot on the beach! Growl.

JoeC said...

Great job getting so many good pictures! Reading the blog helped me relive the whole trip including the parts you left out to protect the innocent. I've never traveled with so many people and had such a great time. I second Ryan's motion to start planning the next trip!

Menky said...

Thanks Joe and Ryan! It was a blast, can't wait until our next trip!

Anonymous said...

Holy shit! Those are some great photos. Looks like ya have a great group of friends. I'm jealous!

Frank said...

It looks like you had a blast

Was that the "gayest" vacation you have ever had? How classic was it that Danicing Queen was paying in the background of your video.
Miss ya...when are you comeing "home" to Boston for a vist?


Menky said...

Frank!! I miss you so much!! it was the GAYEST vacation ever - the whole booze cruise is high up on my list as the gayest moment of my life. ABBA pushed it over the top.

I don't think I will be back in Boston until the end of the year...

Hope you're well!:-)

Anonymous said...

Rumor back in the South End is that you were coming in July!


Menky said...

Well, I thought I might be coming back in July for the 4th but those plans fell through!:-( We will be back in Boston probably in the fall or around the holidays.