Why on earth did we decide to drive almost 2400 miles to and from Puerto Vallarta this summer? The answer isn't especially flattering.
The short version: Our kids had the passport cards, and my husband, mother and I all had full passports. Because my mom started asking questions the night before we were scheduled to fly out, we figured out that the passport cards were not good for air travel, but only for land or sea travel. This was the night before our flight was scheduled to leave.
Once we had the final answer from the Department of State and US Airways, within a few minutes my husband and mother proposed that we drive. We had already paid for the condo and a couple of excursions. And thus the nature of our vacation shifted from a relaxing three hour flight to ten days in a tropical paradise into a thirteen day odyssey.
Yup. 2407 miles round trip. In the good old van. You can see there is still a sock on the driver's side windshield wiper. The other wiper had fallen off during a late spring thunderstorm in Mesa, and we had to stop in Mazatlan at Grease Monkey and get a replacement blade. Just in case. Turned out we didn't neet it. I did get a new mystery dent on the drivers side sliding door. Other than that, she held together. And so did I, despite a raised level of anxiety caused by reading travel warnings about drug cartel crossfire, driving over terrible roads with no shoulders, and racing the clock to get where we were going by dark (following the advice of every single relative and blog we consulted as we hastily prepared for our journey).
Here is a map of our route, including stopping points there and back. Stay tuned for further installments!