As I sat on the balcony overlooking the intoxicatingly blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the gentle breeze caressed my face and I felt a little less like a bag of assholes than I did five minutes prior to walking out on that patio.

My best friend and I were on day two of our impromptu “Let’s get the fuck outta here and go to Mexico for a week.” I was 22 at the time and being a Mexico virgin, my bags were packed even before our tickets were bought. We spent about a day researching the best resort before she called her travel agent and booked a week in paradise.

Out of the two of us, I have always been trigger happy. I have always been the one to make a decision with lighting speed and rarely suffered from buyer’s remorse or spend agonizing moments second guessing myself after I start on down a particular path after a fork in the road. My best friend is slow and steady. She weighs the pros and cons and then weighs them again. Maybe it’s due to the fact she is 9 years older than me and she learned just a tad more patience than I possessed. Or maybe the stark differences in our personality were one of the cosmic forces that brought our friendship into formation.

“I don’t care where we go, just make a decision already!” I said through the phone as I sat at my computer thumbing through the links of resorts she had just sent me. I couldn’t comprehend why it was so difficult to make a decision on where to blow a bunch of money.

“Mer, I’m not just going to go anywhere.”

“They all look the same to me. Big blue ocean, beach cabanas and free drinks.”

I could not grasp the detail and fine-tooth combing it entails when one is booking a vacation, let alone an all-inclusive vacation. The closest I had ever been to a fancy holiday was the horrific family vacation to Branson when I was 16, where I read The Hobbit 3 times to escape being around everyone and fought incessantly with my sisters over who was going to win the next round of American Idol. I was more of the grab-my-sleeping bag, a couple of packages of hot dogs and a tent type of girl. Thanks to my dad.

“I’m not going to spend a week in the asshole of Mexico because you’re impatient. Look at the link I just texted you, it’s really nice.”

I sighed heavily and typed the link into my browser and within 3 seconds I was sold. The rooms, the view, the exotic music playing on the website. Yeah, sploosh.

“So this is in the price range, huh? That’s fucking awesome.”

“Ummm not exactly. It’s like 3 times what you said you could spend.”

Womp, womp. “That’s gay.”

“We’ll figure it out, I’ll call the agent in the morning and see if he can recommend anything. Night.”

I woke up around 8 and headed to class. I was still in business school full-time and if we ended up actually going on this vacation and not just talking about it, I’d be going over summer break, which was about a month away. As I was sitting in my Accounting class my phone buzzed. I indiscreetly pretended to get something out of my book bag and looked at my phone. “Pack your bags fucker.”

After class let out, I returned the text message with a phone call. “Are you being serious? Are we really going? The resort we looked at last night?”

“Maaaaaaaaaaaaybe…”

“Holy shit!” But then it hit me. “How am I going to pay for that? I thought you said it was way more expensive than what I could spend.”

“Well, it’s already booked and there’s no refunds so I guess you’ll just have to figure it out in the next month. A client’s calling me, I gotta go.”

She hung up. “Dick!”

I put my phone in my pocket, walked back to class and wondered how in the hell I was going to make this happen. I guarantee if the roles were reversed and I pulled a move like that, she’d vag punch me so hard I’d be feeling it for days.

Regardless, a month later, after forgetting I needed to renew my passport and getting it in the mail 2 days before we were supposed to leave, the alarm was going off at 2 a.m. on June 28, 2007 so I could hop a plane to Mexico, where my life would change forever.

To be continued…

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