138. Destination Weddings

Destination Weddings: Some decisions are bulletproof. The week spent on Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands. Three days living with elephants in Laos. Renting a car in Ireland. The time I decided not to get into an Indian taxi that had literally just caught fire in front of my eyes, despite the driver’s enticing cry of, “Come! Cheap!”

Months ago we decided to change our original itinerary, forgoing the worthwhile (though possibly over-hyped?) Trans-Siberian trip for a thriftier, more tropical, happy ending in Mexico and Guatemala. Belize in December sounds nice too. But before that, there would be the sunset wedding of our Portland friends Zach and Elsa, on the Pacific beaches of Troncones, Mexico. Attending this wedding was one of our best decisions. The ceremony was gorgeous, bathed in the soft scarlet yellow of a legendary Pacific sunset, with sweet vows that overwhelmed even the ocean crashing behind. Zach and Elsa radiated obvious, honest love, enough for five weddings. The guest list was a godsend for us, like being immersed in Portland again after a year away, but warmer and on the beach, with fajitas. Amy caught the bouquet and immediately rubbed it in my face. I drank too many open-bar margaritas and trotted out the kind of spastic pseudo-break-dance moves that are beyond my current conditioning and always, always result in a sore groin the next morning. Another textbook case of “Busta Move” induced hysteria.

Troncones was a gem too, a little dirt road, one church town between rocky outcroppings. The surf was a little rough for casual swimming, but our bungalow was perfect and its owner was eye-catching. His brand of good-looks, the kind that transcend all identifiable ethnicity and are simply best described as “International Hunk,” were of little use to me, but were greatly enjoyed by the ladies in attendance. There was even a special outing arranged for the women not staying in his small collection of cabanas, so they could catch a glimpse of him in his natural habitat, a kind of Hot Guy Safari. Afterwards, I observed several of these huntresses speaking to each other in stunned, hushed tones. “It’s just not fair,” they said. “No, it’s not,” I agreed. Yet still, even this man’s unstoppable aura could not eclipse the beauty of the wedding and its extended, week-long celebration. The good friends. The cheap booze. The breezy, loose-fitting fashion options. The swimming pool that would host so many improvised and surprisingly entertaining games. Parting with everyone, as they headed back to Oregon, was depressing and the weather turned appropriately gloomy. We left the next day for the neon buzz and buffet-promise of Acapulco. Two steps ahead of a tropical storm named Kiko and one step ahead of the freshly sown feelings of homesickness these friends left behind. Confirmation that Portland is still “home.” Confirmation that coming here was the right decision.


  1. Anonymous says:

    What a gorgeous picture. All the talk about how much you loved seeing those Oregonians makes me miss you. I’m getting a double dose right now – catching up on the blog while listening to your cd. “Wouldn’t your mama be proud.” “When you get back from wherever, be sure and let me know.” “Almost heaven, West Jamaica…Take me home, Country Roads.” Sloan, you think you might do some of that groin-twisting break dancing at your homecoming party?


  2. Sloan says:

    If the right combination of early 90s house party hip hop and brown liquors are present, that´s a safe bet.

  3. Norm Schoen says:

    Sloan, it would be worth it to me to pony up $ for a nice small batch bourbon just to see you “bust-a-move”. Drive safely!