We’ve stayed in lots of hostels, we said. We have always had good experiences in them, we said. But then, we have never stayed in a hostel in Sayulita, Mexico that shares a front area with a bar who plays live music every night. Nor, have we ever stayed in a hostel in Sayulita, Mexico for the three days leading up to New Years. Oh, I had a brief thought before we left that it might be crazy, but had NO idea just how crazy it could be. When we booked, it was literally the only choice available unless we wanted to pay $250-$12,000/night and no, that is not a typo.
When we arrived at the hostel there were so many cars and people that our driver had to circle back around the plaza before he could find a safe place to pull over and let us out with our 13 pieces of luggage (yes, thanks for counting girls). In my defense, 5 of them were suitcases the rest were some form of backpack and I guess my yoga mat could be counted as a piece of luggage (“but why did you bring this mom? You never do yoga” “Well because I’m planning on changing that Mackenzie, now shut up” (ok, I didn’t actually tell her to shut up but thought it)). We walked in the front door and a very nice young man greeted me and then proceeded to show us to our room. Ok, I thought as he pointed out the AC unit and mini fridge. I can deal with this; we each have a bed and a private room. It might be loud but at least…. What? Oh, you’ve made a mistake? This isn’t our room? Ok….
He then led us back toward the front of the building into a room with beds for 7 people and indicated the beds our roommates had already claimed. Our beds would be those along the wall next to the window that looks out onto the street and the place that would become a stage at 10:00pm each night we were to stay.
Oh, and by the way the window doesn’t close all the way and there is one fan in the upper corner of the room that just teases with a soft breeze (if you can even call it that). The fan was really good at drawing smoky air from the back patio area behind our room and blowing it directly onto Jacob’s top bunk bed. I guess the only saving grace was that there was a bar outside where Jacob and I could have a beer while the girls hunkered down with a movie until we were all so tired that the only thing left to do was pass out. That and the fact that when our roommates returned to the room just as the first band started we all bonded with a laugh at the ridiculousness of our situation and I no longer felt like the 41-year-old mom who stuck out like a sore thumb.
I won’t disgust you with descriptions of the bathrooms. Let me just put it this way, there were two bathrooms for a hostel that sleeps 18 people. However, our lovely hosts also allowed 4 tents in the back so lets say there were probably about 35 people by the time New Years Eve rolled around and flushing paper down the toilet is not allowed, instead, one must throw it into the trashcan. Yep, get the picture? Just to make things even better and story-worthy, I came down with a stomach bug on New Years Eve and while the party was rockin’ outside, complete with laser lights flashing in our bedroom (this band was high tech), I was puking in one of those disgusting toilets.
I can’t tell you happy we all were the next day knowing our long-term rental would be ready at one o’clock. The catch? We had to check out of our hostel at 11am and oh no, said the host (with what I imagine was a sarcastic laugh), you can’t stay in the room until 1:00 pm. We have a whole new crew of guests coming in and we must clean (good gracious, it was going to take a lot more than 2 hours to get that place clean. How bout set fire to it and start over). So, Jacob made nice with the bartender who was just opening up outside and helped her pull out all of her tables so that we could sit at one and wait (and I could die and will by body to stay calm, if you know what I mean). Then finally, one o’clock rolled around and we lugged our 13 pieces of luggage across the cobble stone roads to our casita, which was luckily only five minutes away. The last haul was to climb the 65 stairs up to our hilltop villa named Casa Naranja (although everyone in town knows it as Casa Guamúchil for the large tree nearby whose leaves are a favorite food of our resident iguanas). Thankfully it is not 65 stairs straight up; there are some landings here and there to help you catch your breath.
Then, we were home. The party of the New Year holiday a faint noise below us. Instead of club music there are roosters and after the year of travel around the world, like the sound of the train passing by in the distance from my childhood, the morning greeting of roosters has become quite comforting. Our new home is a little oasis. Unexpectedly, our indoor living quarters are organized in a circle like living in a tower. Funny enough, Jacob has always wanted to live in a converted missile silo so this is a fabulous compromise. We get to have a house in the shape of a cylinder except it is above ground with lots of light, air, an outdoor dining room and hammock lounge area as well as a roof top patio complete with palapa.
This morning, I indeed used my yoga mat before walking the girls to their new school. The school grounds have many tropical plants and green trees, an adorable playground and smiling faces everywhere. Both girls were a little nervous but walked into their classrooms without a look back to us for reassurance. Wow, I’m impressed. I cried and cried on my first day of school after moving to a new town and will be forever grateful to my childhood friend, Gina, for noticing me and asking me to be her friend. I hope a Gina finds them today but honestly, they will probably find her first.
….and here begins part two of the Seize the Davi adventure. Thanks for reading our stories, sending us love and get your buns down here so I can show you the charming, Sayulita Pueblo Magico. (I am told the town will clear out and become tranquil again soon but at Easter time it is nuts so don’t come then.)