Where've I been? South of the border, down Mexico way! Rob and I spent five days in Puerto Vallarta, previously known to me only as a stop made by "The Love Boat." (And when is that show coming out on DVD, I ask you?)
Backstory: We lost a friend, Erin, a year ago May. Cancer had taken her eye 10 years ago, and when we visited her at Christmas 2004 in L.A., she was suffering from back pain that was at that point undiagnosed. Of course it was cancer, returning, and five months later, she died. Her husband, Joe, was understandably devastated, and we could do nothing for him. Sometimes just reading his emails was painful -- the hopelessness reached through the screen, and the frustration of not being able to make anything better felt so fresh.
Anyway, the reason we flew to Puerto Vallarta to go to Joe's wedding. After Erin's death, he grew close to a co-worker of hers with a young son, and on Sunday they wed, barefoot on the beach. Some people will no doubt say it is too soon, but it was impossible to think that after meeting Joe's new bride and seeing them together. They are wonderful people, and after what he has already been through, one can only imagine that they won't have a lot of patience for typical newlywed squabbles. They've survived real devastation, and it's a million times bigger than getting into a fender-bender or not returning the videos on time, if you know what I mean.
In addition to the wedding, highlights of the trip included sunning for hours and hours on bamboo canopy beds (made with towels, not sheets) that the hotel provided on the beach, feeling like a photo out of Modern Bride Magazine, and me busting out my Derham Hall high-school Spanish to order us meals at the tasty street-taco stands. ("Que tipos tacos tiene? Tiene bebidas tambien?") A much more satisfying use for a high-school subject than, say, I likely will ever find for algebra.