Before I start, let me show you how Christmas is suppose to be when you are not a Loveless..
Spending time with your loved ones.. mine consist of Mosely Johannes my double dapple miniature weiner puppy, and Gus Gus Diego, mosely's puppy.
Hanging with darLa and will (sorry I keep posting this picture of will all over the internet, I just think it's pretty cute!) As well as Elsie and Colt, who are in the Christmas spirit, as noted by Elsie's sucker in Colt's mouth.
But that is not how we roll..
Every year my family has a tradition where we DRIVE to Mazatlan, Mexico and hang for Christmas and New Years. We literally have the same path every year... We stop in Vegas the first night and sleep in the car.. This is from this year...^
This is last year....^
My point was, same thing every year! So after our Vegas night, we cross over the Hoover Dam, which my mom likes probably more then the whole vacation, she is in her own world. Christiaan and her were in the 5th wheel for the ride, and he said she was in there gasping, mumbling and yelling at tourists to get out of her way so that she could see the hoove, she and the hoove have pet names for each other, that's how deeply they care for one another.
So we drive through Phoenix, which is where we get lost every year because even though we've been going down my whole life on the same roads, we just cannot make it through Phoenix without getting lost and maybe we buy pine nuts.. And the whole time my grandma pointing at every cactus and telling me to look. I love the woman, but I swear there are NOT headphones soundproof enough for this journey!
Then after we cross through the border in Nogales, we drive for about 2 more hours, and spend the night in Magdelena de Kino. Which for some reason is an attraction to my family every year... It is a big dome built over some bones (which could be Father Kino, or maybe some sorry man lost to a plague) so we stop every year and we look at the bones and goo and ga, and then we get out our tables and chairs, and set up a little restraunt of our own, because there are usually between 15 -25 people travelling down in our little caravan. ( Did I mentione that this is our xmas tradition on my dads side, so all his cousins aunts uncles and so on drive down? When we get down there, there are usually between 120-200 people) This is Christiaan and I in front of Kino's grave.. We are just so pleased that we stopped to see old bag of bones again...
After Kino, we drive from about 6 am and around 2pm we get to a small town called Navajoa, and in this small town there is a little chicken place. I hate, no I'd say I loathe this place, maybe I was not meant to be a Loveless, but the place scares/disgusts me.. Its dirty, the food is a little too icky and there are chickens running around you, the ones who you are eating! But each year everybody is so psyched to stop and eat these creatures, I must say this year the outdoor bathrooms were a lot cleaner then usual, and most of the time you have to pay 5 or 6 pesos per square of toilet paper, this year the women handing out the tp was off duty.. so they supplied it for you, free of charge! considerate :)
After Navajoa sometimes we make it to Mazatlan by 10pm and our third day of driving... But more then not we sleep at a truck stop in Culican, right outside of Mazatlan, which is just weird to me. I never understand why we stop driving an hour and a half from our destination... Probably because it's dark, and there are mobsters, and stray cows, donkeys, dogs and other dangerous creatures on the un-lit Mexican roads.
Finally we get to Mazatlan. My family owns a Condo, so we stay in our condo, but the rest of crew stays in their fifth wheels, motorhomes, pop up trailers and yes even tents... My family has done all of the above, even lived in a tent for 3 weeks! Picture that, or don't. But I would say that I prefer the condo, mostly because it has a plumbed toilet, and I can shower more then once a week with warm-ish water. We still have bottled water in the condo though to brush your teeth,drink and cook with. Occasionally you find a cockroach or two in the shower, but you just have to remember it was their home first. NOT, I have actually run out of that shower screaming twice because stupid cacaracas... that may or may not be how you say cockroach in spanish.
The beach is usually what my trip consists of. I would rather go to the beach every day then do anything else. But sadly we also have to shop, and the shopping is fun.... the first 1 2 and 3 years but after the 4 5 6 7 8 9 years then you start to notice something... none of the merchandise has changed, literally! I am pretty sure that I found sunglasses that i liked, then i remember i saw the exact same ones last year and it was cracked, and oddly enough theses ones were too, in the same spot! So this year I thought I would save my money and buy something I really like... which ended up being calling cards. I couldn't text or use my phone, and I was dying to talk to Jared, and calling cards are slightly expensive, but I used about 40 dollars on calling cards out of the 50 I brought down.. and only called Jare Hound 3 times. I literally cried when I called him Christmas eve and my phone started to beep and tell me I was out of time. I sat and plotted the whole trip on how we'd get home the fastest. Even though we were still a week and a half out, I thought about the little details, how we'd drop off my grandparents and unload fastest, and how when I got to my parents in Lehi, I'd run in brush my teeth, grab my keys, change my shirt, toss my luggage in my ghetto ride, and be off..
But when I wasn't plotting I was here:
We sent this out as our family christmas card, and said, "Merry Christmas! We tried to make it look cold. Did we do a good job?" I didn't think so either.
A week and a half after we got there, more specifically the second Monday we thought we would try something we haven't done before! Woah.. So we took a tour to a town called Veranos, It was about 45 minutes NorthEast (just kidding, I have absolutely no idea of my directions in SLC, how would I in Mexico?) of Mazatlan. We went through a leather factory, where they were shaving carcases (not to be confused with cacaracas) and soaking them in chemicals to manufacture the skins, there were also puppies here, they were not dead though. They did probably have fleas. After that we went to a tortilla factory, and a empenada makers oven, and a famous singers house where he died.... I obviously did not listen very well on the tour, probably due to the chemicals that were in my brain from the rotting cows. After those lovely sights, we went up a genuine mexican mountain to a zipline. They hooked us up and sent us down, there were like 12 lines, and the highest one was 300 meters, and they kept saying it was mexican engineered, which totally freaked me out, but i lived, and would highly suggest it!!
After Christmas (the zipline was 4 days after Christmas) it all seems downhill. We start preparing ourselves for the 4 day drive home. How do 200 Loveless' do this... Well first we go to church, except Brennon, because he was "sick" , he claims really was, but who really wants to go to church on vacation? I'm just saying I have my suspicions.
So the 4 (minus Brennon) trucked on too church, and I know we all look really good. It turns out it is really hard to look nice with 150% humidity with hair that definitely shows it, and when I am in a cover up disguised as a church dress... After our spiritual uplifting, we always go and see these divers in this same spot in old mazatlan.
Mucho Peligroso, Very Dangerous! And yes of course we also make sure to get some really sanitary delicious chicken before the divers..
This picture is from last year, but we went to this exact same chicken place this year, so I thought it would be okay to slip in a lasts years picture, just so you didn't have to use your imagination.
After a long two more like two and a half weeks in Mexico it is time to go home! This year I was trying to bribe my grandpa and dad to let us leave early because I was so ready to go home from the second I left SLC. So I spent a lot of time trying to manipulate my grandpa and bribe him with all my christmas money to let us leave early! For some reason he thought the $150 I was offering him wasn't a fair deal.. and that was one fifty in american dollars not pesos!
We ended up leaving a little early, well actually we left Thursday morning instead of Thursday night, small victory for me. Thursday it was new years eve. We got all the way to the border in one day! un-freakin-heard of I was so proud of my dad for being such a good driver. We left Mazatlan at 6am, got to the border at 11:59 and at midnight we thought we heard fireworks, but it was stray gun shots, landing around us! Finally after like 45 minutes of sitting there, waiting for the green flag we took off! We drove for 2 more hours and straight to Tucson, Arizona. We woke up at about 8 in the AM and started our second day journey! We made it to Phoenix around 11 and got lost... I kid you not! Then we went all the way to Mesquite, literally we stopped once for about 20 minutes got gas and drove drove drove! We made it to mesquite at 6:30, and I was excited because I naively thought I was going to see Jared at like 10, and I was just beaming! But no, we stopped at a Casino, and ate some $4.99 prime rib (just like last year), for as mad as I was it was pretty good. But the wait was about an hour, and it took us an hour to eat, so we didn't get back on the road until 8:30! So I ended up getting to provo at like 1:42am dropped off my grandparents and the fifth wheel and rushed to Lehi where we unloaded and I jumped in my car to go say hi to my long lost love, when I realized my car had been sitting in the snow for 2 weeks maybe longer like 2 weeks and 2 days... so It was an ice cube, my sweet brothers and dad dug out my car while I scraped the ice of the windows, at about 2:32 am I sent Jared a text that said 5 minutes, and I unsafely drove the 5 mile drive to his house at about 94 mph. AND...