It is yet again dumping more snow on us here in NYC, I am in the mood for a bit more retro travel. I will retro travel until it stops snowing or until I can afford to travel again, whichever comes first.
Today we are headed to Rocky Point, Mexico. Come on, it will be a blast.
It is 85 degrees when we land in Phoenix. We pick up the rental car and drive immediately to Chino Banditos, a local Food Network hotspot; a blend of savory Mexican cuisine and rich Chinese take-out. I think I will have an order of Orange Chicken tacos and a margarita. What about you? This food is so delicious that I know you are thinking that we could just stay here. Nope. Don’t get too comfortable. This is only the beginning of our journey. We are headed to Rocky Point, Mexico for the main event. A weekend of relaxation, booze, vacation, all leading up to the Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers concert.
Now you’re probably thinking, did she just bring me to Mexico for some concert. Well, you signed up for this trip and this isn’t just some concert.
Imagine if you will, a beautiful drive through the Arizona desert. There is cacti on either side of you, blurring past as we make our way to warm, sunny Mexico. After a few hours of road trip games and car snacks, we suddenly see it. The border. We have arrived, which is made apparent when there is no one present to check our passports upon entering and just like that we are in Mexico. Trust me, it is not that easy to get out.
Our car meanders slowly through the streets filled with venders and the intoxicating scent of food carts mixing with the salty ocean air. Soon we arrive at our home for the next four days. A most luxurious condo with two balconies over-looking the majestic Pacific Ocean. Within minutes we have changed into our swim wear and have rushed down to the beach with our new matching beach towels. Yes we’re that kind of friends. Before you know it we are drinking frozen margaritas at the swim up bar, and breathing in the best possible air. The sun is high in the sky and all is right with the world.
After a few hours indulging in this piece of heaven, it is time to clean up and head into town. Hurry up, I’ll meet you in the car.
So we filled up on delicious faire at The Real Perico Marinero and now we park the car and wander through the vendor filled streets. There are about six blocks worth of streets that resemble a giant flea market and everyone wants to bargain with us. There are marionettes, shot glasses, clothes, fresh produce, fish bottle openers made out of shell and anything else you can imagine. Remember, no price is ever final so brush up on those bargaining skills.
Okay are you done because we have somewhere to be? Great. It is now officially the beginning of the main event. The charity hot dog dinner, A Hot Dog and A Smile at JJ’s Cantina with all proceeds going to support the orphanage, Esperanza Para Los Ninos. P H Naffah, the drummer of RCPM is in my humble opinion, the best drummer in rock and roll. This event is not only for a good cause, but it is the opening event of the weekend. This is where the fans begin their family reunion so go and grab a Tecate, take a shot of Mexican Moonshine Tequila, find a seat and listen to the music under the Mexican moonlight. Tomorrow is a big day so make sure you get plenty of shut eye before tomorrow’s activities commence.
Hey. Hey… wake up. Grab a hair of the dog, brush that hangover away and come on.
We drive about thirty minutes to what looks like the middle of nowhere… Actually it might be the middle of nowhere. Then we rent ATVs for the morning. We are given a brief lesson and then we are on our own. I don’t know what your experience was like so here is mine… I am flying through the Sonoran Desert with the wind in my hair and the sun is beating down on me in a friendly, welcoming kind of way. I can see tumbleweeds rolling past and many varieties of cacti: tall thin ones, short fat ones, stubby bush like ones, and many others. I feel that the desert must go on forever and suddenly it stops and I find myself at the edge of the earth where the Sonoran Desert meets the Pacific Ocean and for a moment everything stops. When we all arrive at this spot we stop and take a picture, or a thousand pictures, but we all know that when we show them to the people back home, they will never experience this moment the way we just did.
The sun tells us that it is now high noon, which means that it is now time to head back to paradise, have lunch on the white sandy beach and take in some S & M (sunshine and margaritas, duh!) before the concert that I just dragged you 3000 miles to see.
This is it. Are you ready? Get excited.
We pick up our tickets at will call for the empty lot next to JJ’s Cantina and go and grab the prime spot, right up front and center so that Roger might grab one of our hands during Wanted. After endless openers and a team effort to keep our spot what with the bathrooms and more drinks, we finally see that trusty, sequined sombrero peer from behind the curtain and finally there they are, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (Roger Clyne, the lead singer, PH Naffah on drums, Nick Scropos on bass and Jim Dalton on lead guitar.)
They play every song in their catalogue. They pass around a giant flask made from an animal horn that is filled to the brim with Roger’s own tequila, Mexican Moonshine. Everyone sings every word to every song and knows every inside joke and trick. The fans link arms and sway during “Green and Dumb”, everyone does the “eye thing” during “Banditos” (“like I was a super model, huh uh” and everyone knows the back-up vocals for “Mexico.” There are five thousand people all speaking the same language: tequila, rock and roll and friendship.
Four hours later with the end of “Una Soda” still ringing in our ears and the adrenaline still pulsing through our veins, we head back and take a very late night stroll on the perfect moonlit beach before hitting the hay so that we can make it to the hangover brunch tomorrow morning.
Aww… did you have too much tequila? Get up, we’ve got a meet and greet to get to and bloody Marys to drink.
We head to the hangover brunch and talk with the other fans, make some new friends, drink some drinks and tell the band one more time how great they are and much their music has done for us. Then when the band has once again retreated we head back to our hotel, take naps on floats in the poll, just close enough to the swim up bar so that we can wake up, order another drink and chug it down before returning to our slumber. We soak up all the sunshine we can before it sinks into the Pacific Ocean for the last time of our journey. Then we put our hoodies on and cheers the moon, still not quite ready to say goodbye. Finally we all fall asleep on the balcony couches, knowing that tomorrow we will once again cross the border between the time of our lives and life.
Well, we got eight inches of snow today and by the weekend they are predicting another foot or two. Man, I wish I were there, in Rocky Point, but hey, we’ll always have Mexico.
Salud! And “if your bottle’s empty, help yourself to mine.”