It was October 2002. The Hoz were going on their first trip outside of the USA.
Our Destination: Mexico.
Our Transportation: Cruise Ship.
Our Mission: Have a kick ass time!
We arrived at the airport and after securing the "HO-mobile" in long-term parking; we were off to check in. This was the HOZ first airplane ride since 9/11, so we were not prepared for security screening. Apparently, my boobs had been deemed by Homeland Security as Weapons of Mass Destruction. I was separated from the rest of the HOZ, taken behind a screen and felt up by a scowling Filipino lady you kept saying "I will touch you here mom. Now I touch you here mom." I had my footwear taken and checked for explosives. When my breasts and shoes were deemed safe, I was allowed to join my friends.
We immediately headed to the bar. You see, Roxie is afraid of flying. Normally, a fear of flying wouldn't be funny. But Roxie is in the Air Force Reserves Nurse Corps. She needs a minimum of 3 drinks before boarding a plane. (If there is turbulence or it is a long flight, we must re-dose her mid-flight with at least 2 cocktails every 90 minutes.) No HO shall drink alone, so we all join her. About 3 rounds later, it is time to board.
The flight and the van ride to the ship were typical for us; we were entertaining and a wee bit loud. Embarking on the ship was tedious, but we muddled through. Our first night at sea we found the ship's piano bar and that is where we spent a good portion of our evenings. Cocktails, cigars and 6 seats around a piano...we were happy HOZ.
We had picked a historical tour and wine tasting as our excursion in Ensenada. It was just a few hours long and then we would be let loose to do as we pleased for the rest of the day. What happened on the tour is a hysterical story, but it has to be told in person. It requires the nuances of voice and movement that I cannot convey with written words. So if we ever meet up in person, ask me about it.
Anywho, the six of us got off the bus and headed out to explore the city. We made arrangements that if we split up, we would meet at a bar called "Papas and Beer" at a designated time. We didn't even get 3 blocks down the street when Brittney and Trixie disappeared. So the remaining four HOZ set off to shop, we all bought some silver jewelry. I bought a couple of really cool crucifixes. I am not a zealot, I just like rustic crosses and interesting art featuring BVM, Blessed Virgin Mary. I also found this diorama portraying Elvis in Viva Las Vegas, Dia de los muertos style. It was colorful and fun with all of the little "Calaveras" decorating it. I loved it, but I let the HOZ talk me out of buying it. I will never let that happen again!
With our arms full with wonderful trinkets made by local artist, we headed to the bar to meet up with the two straggling HOZ. The scene at the bar was alarming. Women baring their breasts and drunken frat boys cheering them on. There was also some sort of tribute to the "Bride Stealing of Kazakhstan", where a girl would be grabbed by the staff of the bar, held down, tequila forced down her gullet and then her breasts would be exposed and a "Papas and Beer" sticker would be placed on her bare breasts. Now before some of my friends get their panties all in a bunch, these girls were active and willing participants. How do I know this? When we walked in an eventually got to our table, we told our waiter that we did not want to participate in any of that crap. Our request was honored and we had great service and a fun time.
We found Brittney and Trixie sitting in the back of the patio, with a bucket of Coronas and a plate full of munchies waiting for us. For some reason, Brittney was holding ice to her lip. Sally, the most caring of the HOZ, inquired what had happened. Trixie started to tell the story, but was overcome with laughter and fell off her barstool. After she recovered, she shared this story.
While walking down the streets of Ensenada, Brittney and Trixie were approached by a man wearing a sombrero and a serape, holding an iguana. He introduced the reptile as "Juana" and asked if they wanted a picture with her. Brittney agreed instantly and gave the man 5 bucks. As she was posing with Juana and her keeper, Juana started to crawl towards her. Brittney thought that Juana wanted to be friends, so she moved closer and started to pucker up to give her a kiss. Apparently, Juana was more chaste than Brittney and promptly bit her on the lip.
Immediately, Roxie and I (the two RNs of the HOZ) went to inspect the wound. Knowing that Brittney is desperately afraid of needles, I started teasing her and telling her that she was going to need a shot. A BIG HUGE SHOT. A big shot full of antibiotics that would HURT REAL BAD. Then Roxie started to run off a list of possible diseases carried by iguanas. Brittney started to get pale. Once again, it was Sally to the rescue. She reassured Brittney that alcohol would kill all of the bacteria and she was sure the ship's doctor would be able to give her pills to treat her iguana bite. Brittney liked Sally's plan of care wholeheartedly and ordered some tequila. Several hours and many rounds later, it was time to head back to the ship. We all hopped into a station-wagon taxicab and bid Papas and Beer a loud Adios!
The line to get back on the ship was long and our buzz wore off before we boarded. We quickly took Brittney to the ship's infirmary. The look on the nurse's face when we told her what had happened was priceless. She took Brittney's vital signs and went to fetch Dr. Bricker. As he inspected her wound, he shook his head and said in a thick accent; " I haf been a sheep's doctor for meeny jears. I haf neber hat a laydee who get bit by leezard."
Well of course you haven't, Dr. Bricker...this was the first time the HOZ had gone to sea!