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4th of July in San Felipe

Just a little comedy...for a few moments of your time

By Miguel Mouchess...A_to_B
Published on LatinoLA: July 8, 2004


4th of July in San Felipe


Well...I've been putting off writing about this past 4th of July weekend....but will now get down to the detail.....in three parts...(for the three days of the weekend)...

see if you can relate....

PART I - Friday, July 2nd

I got invited on a last-minute, need-to-get-out-of town weekend vacation to San Felipe, Baja California (technically Mexico) by my dear friend Ingrid....I was hesitant to take her up on her offer early in the week because of a couple of deadlines I had to take care of...but then I was watching an old 80's movie where they coined the phrase "sometimes you just have to say..what the f***...and take your chances"

Thursday night was the start of this journey....trying to find a friend who would give me a ride to the pick up spot was like trying to find the rich uncle in your family...every one was full of excuses and no offers....

Our trek began at 2 am in the morning...we made one stop to pick up the rest of the family...and the loveable "sandwich making" grandma...it was too early in the morning for laughs...but this was the start of the "def comedy jam of weekends"...Very friendly Latino family...with all the components/players for a comical weekend ahead...

As we made it on to the main road...we were making a few rest stops here and there..trying to get accustomed to each other...there was the grandma (AKA mama elva)...there was Jaime and Ingrid (the love birds)...Ingrid's parents (remind me of my folks)...Ingrid's brother "David" (AKA cool cat)...myself (the guest)....and then there was the second family of four: the kids (Meli and Joanna)...Lety (the mom)...and last but not least.."Tio Moncho"...this man is as close to "George Lopez-style comedy" as you are going to get..

Our first stop was a rest stop off Hwy 10...quick...nothing fancy...except for Tio Moncho checking underneath the hood of his truck...At first we (my friend Jaime and I) didnt think anything of it...so we thought...

The next stop was coming into the Imperial Valley....to eat at good ole "Jack's"....nothing says breakfast of champions like a good #4 with hash browns and juice....It was either this or fulfilling "tTa Lety's" fascination for Denny's...which was overwhelmingly denied...Tio Moncho once again checking under the hood....Soon we were on our way..with no stop in sight...the rest of the trip was spent listening to La Sonora Dinamita and sleeping...and nice air conditioning on our part...the same can't be said over on Tio Moncho's side: they were trekking through the desert with no air conditioning....at one point having him suggest to his family to focus more on the beautiful landscaping and mountain range than thinking about it's 100 degrees....

We arrived at San Felipe at around mid day..with the sun piercing through at a modest 100 degrees...The first stop was to look for a hotel....otherwise we were camping out on the beach....The "rule of thumb" in this situation would be to have just two of the 11 ask for hotel rates..reason for this would be so that the hotel doesnt charge you for "added guest"...this "rule" was done away with at the first hotel we arrived at....typical Latino family on vacation when all 11 staggered into the lobby because "Tenia el airesito frio".....needless to say the hotel was ready to overcharge us....We finally settled in the nice confines of the "Hotel Riviera"....not bad...not bad...had a pool and patio...and all the works...nice...

Once we had the room down...the rest of the weekend was only moments from happening...The next stop was the beachfront strip...but not before seeing Tio Moncho checking underneath his truck's hood again....so we finally asked him what was the deal with his concern...and we were worried about the ride back if his truck failed..

He told us not to worry about his truck....he was just checking to see where, on the motor, he was going to find room to cook the burritos he had made....in case we got hungry on the road...I swear if it wasn't so hot...I wouldve fainted from laughing...I could not believe this...but apparently a friend of Tio Moncho had taught him the muilti-function for the engine of cars.....and he was trying to test the theory....

The next stop...was at the Main Strip/Beachfront....here's a place where the "language of negotiations" is part of the city dialect...everyone and their mothers tries to sell you something...and damn cheap....we landed in a restaurant "Don Chuy's".....for what was promised "the best Campechana" (Seafood Cocktail) in town...After further tempting offers from other establishments we settled here....This place was no joke...they hooked it up...and gave us free beer (a common bargaining chip in San Felipe)....The Capechana was everything it was billed at...all at a low low cost of $8.50....

After the food...and the stroll on the beach...we decided to head back to the room and enjoy the comfort of the $37/night hotel we paid for....the family took to the pool area..and I myself, hit the hay for a good few hours....

As the sun came down....Tio Moncho suggested that we take up the city sights...so he suggested a "quick" drive to a place he last visited 13 years ago...."El Faro"...((The Lighthouse))....We all agreed to his idea...and all loaded up in his little truck...5 inside...and 6 of us on the bed of the truck....

What started out as a nice drive up to find this "FARO", from 13 yrs. ago....turned into a sun-coming-down, don't-want-to-get-stuck-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, whining child trek through the hills of San Felipe....

As i mentioned to the family...it was cute and touristy (if that's even a word) for about 5 minutes of it...then came "the darkness".....and it was coming quick.....after a couple of wrong turns...and a few dirt roads that made it reminiscent of "the Hill Have Eyes"....or "Wrong Turn"....Tio Moncho finally gave in and decided to head back....but not before he terrified his adult co-vacationers...and Ingrid and David tag-teaming terrorizing poor little Joanna into a living nightmare....

When we made it back into town...terror brings hunger...so we hit the first corner Taco stand...and ate up a storm...I myself had to top the 10 taco count....knowing full well I might pay the price later...but enjoyed every bit of it....I had 5 "de asada" and 5 "al pastor"....Tio Moncho telling us that we could've save money if we had taken him up on his offer for his burritos....

Soon after a good eating...we finally headed back to the room....and decided to crash for the evening....and get ready for Day II....which is where I will now cut off and save it for tomorrow....

(((TO be Continued)))~Tomorrow...same bat time, same bat channel....

About Miguel Mouchess...A_to_B:
Currently writing for fun...with the Remaining 8 writing group...
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