Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.
PUERTO VALLARTA, Jalisco, Mexico - We landed without incident thanks in good part to the pilot (whose photo is published in yesterday's entry) and also the pilot sitting in the other cockpit seat - our friend Alan.
Alan? Alan who?
Well, Alan is captain of a 48-foot Maple Leaf sailboat called Love Song - a sistership to Sabbatical - who the Admiral and I have known since we first bought Sabbatical in 2000. We've followed his adventures around Mexico and when we walked into the cockpit yesterday to get a photo of our lovely British flier, there he was.
Alan and Michael in the cockpit after landing
Alan and his wife Kathy (and now two children) live aboard Love Song in Marina Vallarta but are moving the ship to La Paz, where the cost of docking (and living) is considerably less expensive than downtown Puerto Vallarta. Alan's schedule with US Airways lets him live anywhere that US Airways flys. Almost as nice a job as being a college professor.
Stepping off the plane in Puerto Vallarta was a little like stepping into a very steamy sauna - it was about 88 degrees with about 88 percent humidity. I've imbibed more water in the last 12 hours than I did in the previous week in Sacramento.
Oh, and margaritas? Sure, some imbibing going on with those, too. When we went out for dinner last night with son Dustin, his girlfriend Cami, and our new, soon-to-be neighbors in Tenacatita, Mario and Sharon from Portland, there were margaritas served all around at a downtown PV restaurant called the Fajita Republic.
The margarita crowd at the Fajita Republic
And the Xango? Yes, it made it through the baggage handling unscathed. And equally miraculous is that all three checked suitcases made it through on our flight, only one sans the name tag we had put on in Sacramento. As we were leaving Phoenix, we stopped on the runway and I could see the baggage guys loading several suitcases into the hold right below our seats.
Probably the two bottles of Xango - gifts for son Dustin - was among them.
Today we are about to embark on a 130-mile drive in a vintage VW bug owned by Dustin's amiga Cami. It's been years since I drove a VW bug and just moving it into position to load the luggage proved interesting. (Quick quiz: How do you shift a VW bug into reverse?) The bug is missing its rear license plate - which almost guarantees I'll have some tales to tell about being stopped by the police on our way.
More on how that adventure when we touch down in La Manzanilla.