How I Spent my Birthday: The Dog Almost Died, the Car Did Die, But I Had a Great Celebration
It is a wonderful feeling to have so many people send me messages of good will.
I was told to be pampered, be happy, to enjoy the day and to eat cake!
And I did it all.
But the day did not start like that.
We got up early on Saturday with the intention of making the bed, doing the breakfast dishes, delivering Jenny Penny ( our new doggie) to a friend , picking up the Kahlua chocolate cheese cake at Delikat and heading south to Todos Santos.
It all fell apart when Jennifer left her bed, sprawled on the cool tile floor, and then had a seizure.
It was awful. She is a rescue dog, and old, we did not know if she had a stroke, or a heart attack. She was non-responsive, her eyes were blinking wildly, then rolled back in her head and every breath looked like her last. We stroked her and cooed to her, and prepared for the worst. Then she sat up slowly, looked bewildered and stumbled to the door.
We called the vet at home, he told us to bring her in and he would keep her overnight.
We headed to town, the car started to overheat. So we pulled into the CCC grocery store lot. My beloved went to get water for the radiator, and to buy some coolant. But, as he was pouring the water in, it came out the bottom just as quickly. “We cannot drive the car to Todos Santos like thi.s” I said, or wailed, or whined.
“ I know” said my beloved.
“ So let’s rent a car” said I. We can leave Betty Blazer ( the Chevy) here for the weekend. Or we can call Oscar.
Oscar is our general saint on wheels. He built our pool, completed our HoneyMoon Hut, Keeps our 1998 Chevy Blazer roadworthy, and what he cannot invent or repair, well he knows someone that can do the job. We call him “ El Salvador” , The Savior.
I called Oscar , he came with his son Oscar “numero dos” and commenced to work on the car.
I called Dollar Rent a Car in town. We use them to reserve cars for our guests at the HoneyMoon Hut.
I told them my sad tale about it being my birthday, the sick dog, and the dead Chevy.
They said a client had just returned a VW Jetta, it was not cleaned, but they would have it ready full of gas for me. And my rate would be $700 pesos or $59.00 US.
“ Could you send someone to CCC and collect me?”
“Yes of course, Senora Susana.”
And so in a few minutes a smiling young man arrived to take me back to the Dollar office to arrange for the car.
We sped off. The paperwork was ready, in less than 10 minutes I had new wheels.
Meanwhile back at the scene of the Chevy the two Oscars were busy doing CPR on Betty Blazer.
Oscar said, “ It will be Ok, I’ll take the car home, work on it, oh and Jenny is in the car, where do you want me to take her?”
“ We are taking her to Dr. Tomas” I said.
“ Ok, have a happy birthday, if you need us we will be at our ranch in Todos Santos.”
With that we pushed off. Dr. Tomas was ready for us. His lovely wife, also a vet, gave Jenny some shots, and put her in a crate to be observed.
“ But we brought her big-girl bed, and her favorite towel, she cannot be in a wire crate.” I was distraught. She was our new princess, she deserved 5-star hotel treatment.
“ She will be ok, it’s Ok.” Soothed the vet.
“ We are off to Todos Santos for the rest of the weekend.” Said Dr. Tomas. “If you need us, call my cell. Otherwise call me when you get back we should be home by five we’ll meet you here.”
Vet bill $600 pesos about $45.00
Do you spy a trend? Where do we go when we want to get away? Well to Todos Santos of course. We go to see friends; we fail to see the “magic” in this supposed Puebla Magica. Others go for various reasons. But only tourists see it as a magical place.
I guess it is like saying we are going to Carmel for the weekend if you live in San Jose. Except that Carmel has a lot to recommend it.
So all that was left was the cake, and the drive south. “ Nice car” says my beloved. “ Yes “ I agreed.” Let’s buy a Jetta.”
Then, “Uh Oh, I see a cop with red and blue flashing lights.” Rental cars are great targets for unethical cops, they make up violations and try to get the nervous tourist to pay up. This usually happens in Cabo San Lucas not in our area.
So when the cop approached the car, I immediately told him in Spanish that we were not tourists, that we lived in La Paz, and it was my birthday.
He wished me Feliz Cumpleanos, and then admonished the driver ( my beloved) to use directionals and not to speed. Gave us a friendly salute and went back to his truck.
“You are one lucky guy” I said.
“Well I was speeding, and I did see him behind me.”
What can one say to this piece of illogical male commentary? I just sighed, and said ,” Let’s PLEASE get going to La Poza without another mishap, OK?”
And so we arrived.
It is always a wondrous site to see the gorgeous palm-crowded oasis as one enters the outskirts of Todos Santos.
And then there is the bumpy, rutted, winding, awful road to La Poza. And the dust, and travails are worth it, when you crest the hill the gorgeous orange buildings standout against the palms, and the azur Pacific. And this day we felt as if we had found the end of the rainbow.
The day and evening only got better.
We lounged au naturel on the terrace of our sumptuous room. Later I had a long, luscious bath and listened to the pounding waves.
My beloved realized that in the rush to get out the door, he had forgotten his dress shirt.
“Can I just wear this?”
“ No you cannot, this is my 60th birthday dinner!”
“This” was a faded navy polo shirt.
“Call Robert, I said, “ he should have a shirt to fit you.”
And so he did, he actually used the phone and made a request…it must have been my special birthday magic.
I went down to the bar to wait for Melanie and Gunter, I figured Robert would go directly to the room.
I was leafing through art books when Robert popped his head in and said “ Shirt delivery, I’ll go directly to the room.”
He was wearing a black shirt, and carrying a blue and white pin-striped. A few minutes later ( not enough for Robert to have gone to the room and back) my Beloved and Robert arrived , Robert in pin-strip and my Beloved in black.
“ Well “ he said, the black is what I was going to wear.”
They had met on the path in the garden and switched shirts there.
Melanie and Gunter arrived. We went back to the terrace of our room and had a pitcher of margaritas and some nibbles.
Then down to the dining room for a delicious dinner and cake.
We had a wonderful time recalling our adventures over the last ten years in Mexico.
Melanie gave me a lovely pair of silver and turquoise earrings.
Unbeknownst to us, Robert had arranged to pay for our dinner.
So what started as a disaster, ended as a lovely, enchanting way to ring in a new decade.
Jenny turned out to have an amoeba infection and had been in excruciating pain: prognosis fine!
Stay tuned and hear about the turkey that tried to hump me…really.