A few last thoughts about our visit to Puerto Vallarta:
There was a dart contest that Tobin invited me to enter with him and Owen, his oldest son. We’d just finished our lunch and were wondering where the dart board might be as we’d not seen one in the bar area. When Tobin asked, someone just pointed in a vague direction and said, “Over there.” In a few minutes the dart board was hard to miss as the inflatable target filled with air to become a circle that was about twenty feet in diameter. The darts were sand bags with plastic colored tails. There must have been magnets inside. When the bags where thrown against the target they would stick.
The red team, that was Tobin, Owen, and me with red headbands, were in the first round. We quickly lost to the green team, but those bastards were just lucky.
The second round included two men and a woman from Finland. Never had anyone seen such white skin. They eventually won. The reflection of the sun off their skin blinded the opponents. Some of their competitors actually threw their darts straight up into the air so that the spectators had to duck out of the way to avoid being brained by the falling sand bags. One woman’s throw was so weak that her darts never reached the dart board but landed several feet in front.
On another day there was a mechanical bull riding contest. There were probably twenty entrants, but no one was aware that the guy who eventually won had experience. Owen, age eighteen, had been on much more challenging mechanical bulls at the Pendleton Round Up for several years in a row. Owen had developed his style into an art form, and the others had not a chance.
The other contestants were greenhorns.
The other son, Nate, fourteen, while he didn’t win any official contests demonstrated another sort of finesse. When his dad came up with three shots of tequila, one for himself, one for Gladys and one for me, Nate quickly grabbed one and downed it before anyone could say anything.
His eyes didn’t even water. No Gringo. Maybe that is when he decided to get dreadlocks.
Six women, aged somewhere in their fifties, came up from the beach wearing identical tee shirts over their swimming suits. On the shirts were stylized images of thin female torsos wearing bikinis. Turns out that the women from Wisconsin (pronounced WisGONsin) had been coming to Puerto Vallarta every year since the nineties.
That’s real friendship to commit to coming every year.
That is all from Puerto Vallarta.