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feb 28th 2013
Our broadcasts today included a Spit or Swallow contest and a listener-delivered top ten list. It's always nice when your traveling companions do your job for you (thanks, Dennis)!

I did the local bus back into Zihuatenejo again and did a little shopping and then enjoyed a couple of Sol beers with Scott from Fox World Travel and a couple of International Incident ladies by the harbor. Muy Bueno.
There was a touching renewal of vows by some listeners after the Afternoon Road Show and a nice dinner with a flaming Spanish Coffee desert which was a cool show.

I took a few photos of the stunning sunset which is a daily magnificence here on Mexico's Pacific Coast. Never gets old! I accompanied the SUNSET with a tasty Tequila SUNRISE (because I like to be contrary).

The beach bar here is a welcome part of the experience. It is open until 1:00 a.m. (although I have yet to see it past 11 p.m.). Most resorts close up everything by the ocean after dark sets in. I think that's a shame because there's nothing better than crashing waves and and evening breeze with a good cocktail and better friends.
I haven't been my usual self on this trip in that I have yet to awake with a hangover. I kind of like it but it is a foreign experience!

I heard tell that one of our crew caught a six-foot sailfish today and that the staff at the resort will be preparing it for dinner Friday night. A Wisconsin fish fry on the beach in the winter is a good thing.
I think this one may rank as the best International Incident ever. 
posted by: Rick And Len at 10:06 am Comment On This Post

feb 27th 2013
IXTAPA : DAY FIVE
(Len's daily letter home)

Trips like this eventually reach a certain, I don't know, terminal velocity of sorts. For some, it's the plateau of constant intoxication whereby people aren't sure if you are drunk or always like that. For others it is the fear that there's only a couple of days left and you haven't yet done all that you intended to do. I, however, know that I am having a ball, I have more balls yet to attend, and I have several days to enjoy my balls. Uh...hold on. I should rephrase that. But I have the balls not to.

So day two of the broadcast went well. Tequila shots and screams of "aye aye aye aye aye aye" at 7 a.m. may have had something to do with my assessment of said show, but so far, so good.
I jumped on one of the local buses to Zihuatenejo today (90 pesos, or about 80-cents) so I could ride with the locals and enjoy some local flavor rather than just take a cab like most tourists do. I saw a few others from the 'APL crew in town who did the same.

There was lots of walking the dusty streets in search of a purse (hippie-type handbag) for my daughter back home, which was successful. Some cheap ice cold beers, about an hour of traipsing the non-tourist streets and another transmission-grinding bus adventure back to the resort later and it was time for Elwood and Ross's 3 to 5 p.m. show from the beach.

I tried out some blue pants tonight with a Charlie Sheen-type sport shirt. I think the pantalones azul rocked but the jury is still out. Some clerk at Kohl's is gonna get an earful if people talk smack about 'em. But when else are you going to try something like blue pants except for when you are a million miles from home and no one you know will see you? Except for 200 crazies from Wisconsin who are with you.


posted by: Rick And Len at 8:12 am Comment On This Post

feb 26th 2013
10. Turns out, Fluorescent pink is not the most flattering color for my thong.

9. Ross gets awfully handsy after a couple Cosmos.

8. View of the Pacific ocean is so breathtaking it can present a hazard to those who suffer from asthma or other upper respiratory conditions.

6. Daily alcohol abuse diminishes a person’s ability to correctly count backwards.

5. Trying to keep up with this group, you'll drink so many tropical drinks your liver will sprout a tiny umbrella.

4. Feed 200 Wisconsinites a steady of diet spicy food, beans and beer and this place eventually starts to smell nastier than Satan's taint.

3. Instead of using fresh mint leaves, one of the local bars makes their Mojitos with rum and lightly used dental floss.

2. While the sound of the waves crashing against the shore outside your room when you're trying sleep is relaxing, you also find yourself having to get out of bed more times each night than a 10 peso hooker.

1. The beach is made up entirely of sand brushed out of the ass cracks of previous International Incident guests.
posted by: Rick And Len at 12:15 pm Comment On This Post

feb 26th 2013
Rick and I had a successful first day of broadcasting on the beach. We had an overflow crowd of Rockin' Apple listeners at the show (probably less for us and more for the bloody mary and mimosa bar). More to come Tuesday from 7 to 9 a.m.

I chilled after a late breakfast of huevos and chorizo (if you have to ask you don't know what's good for you) and then enjoyed Ross and Elwood's afternoon show from 3 to 5.

I joined some International Incident friends for a wonderful steak dinner at the resort's Blue Water Grill and then had a couple of Manhattans for an apertif. In other words, a perfect day.

Tomorrow I plan to hit Zihuatenejo to do some souvenir shopping for the family. 14-year-old daughters are more discerning than they used to be but I think I can fulfill the "order.
posted by: Rick And Len at 12:05 pm Comment On This Post

feb 25th 2013
So we're here at the Sunset Dorado Pacifico resort, and it's awesome and gorgeous and warm and full of alcohol-fueled fun.

However... It's taken me a while to relax after some pre-travel hell.

First there was the story I've told on the air about needing to get a Mexican Work Visa in order for us to broadcast. Of course the only place one can aquire a Mexican Work Visa is at a Mexican Consulate. And the nearest Mexican Consulate is in Chicago. And it's only open in the morning. It's something we've had to do every year that the International Incident was in Mexico, so I was prepared for it. I double checked all the paperwork from Fox World Travel, I got photos taken for the Visa, I double checked all the paperwork I needed from our company's Business Manager, and I double checked the equipment list documents I needed from our Engineering department. I drove late one night after work through some rough weather to crash at my parents' house in Illinois, fully prepared to drive into the Mexican Consulate in Chicago early the next morning. Until I realized that the ONE thing that I was totally responsible for  - my passport - was still sitting in my apartment in Wisconsin. Dammit.

So after another week I tried again. TRIPLE-checked all paperwork and checked every five minutes to make sure I had my passport with me. Drove to Illinois. Crashed at parents' house. Drove to the Mexican Consulate in Chicago. Bypassed the massive waiting lines directly into the appropriate office... where I was told, "You don't need a Mexican Work Visa. They changed the rules last year." Double dammit.

Oh well. A few hundred extra miles on my car and a chance to see my folks. No big deal.

All ready to go this past Friday. Equipment, luggage, passport, paperwork, all packed and ready. 40 minutes until our bus to Chicago was set to leave, I got off the air with John and checked my voice mail. One message from my bank's fraud protection services. I assumed it was because I had taken a decent sum of cash out of some ATM's to bring on the trip. No such luck. Someone had gotten hold of my debit card info and proceeded to empty my account with online purchases from India, Turkey, Italy, France, and a slew of other International locations. This is not what we mean when we call this trip the Internaitional Incident!

Despite this seeming like the worst possible timing just as I was leaving for a week in Mexico, it actually turned out to be a blessing (not the credit fraud - just the timing). Had I received the call even one hour later, I would have been on the bus to Chicago, unable to race to my bank's branch and fill out the paperwork to start the dispute process. Thankfully I got that handled, got to the bus, and am now sitting beach-side in Ixtapa with money in my accounts back home.

Huge thanks to Liz with Fox World Travel for making sure the bus out of Appleton didn't leave without me, and thanks to the crew of listeners on that bus who immediately poured me a gargantuan White Russian to help calm my nerves. Although they are partly to blame for the massive hangover I had on the flight to Mexico the following morning... but that's a different story.
posted by: Rick And Len at 9:54 am Comment On This Post

feb 25th 2013
DAY THREE : IXTAPA
(Len's daily letter home)

Vacation...I mean this "work trip"...started picking up steam today. Elwood and I and some fine fellas names Mak, Greg, Bill and John hit the Marine Ixtapa Golf Club for some beer and golf. Greg was medalist with an 83. I was 2nd best with 100. Elwood says his score was about the same as his bowling average.
Many of us gathered The General's Sports Bar near the resort to watch Jimmie Johnson win the Daytona 500. A bar full of thirsty cheeseheads made for a very happy day for the general. A couple of people in our group won $100 in their race pool.

Rick and Ross joined a good-sized crew for a sunset dinner cruise while Elwood and I joined some Rockin' Apple listeners for dinner at the seafood restaurant. I had a spinach and goat cheese stuffed Pescado, which is a tasty whitefish. Combined with the lobster bisque, it was sublime. The chow here at the Sunscape Dorado Pacifico is the best I've had at any of the International Incident resorts and I think this is year nine.
The broadcasts start tomorrow (Monday_ 7 to 9 am and 3 to 5 pm). Join us vicariously.


posted by: Rick And Len at 9:01 am Comment On This Post

feb 25th 2013
Love this resort. I ate at the Italian restaurant on the property and it rivaled the best back home (with a few flairs we usually don't get.)

I did my usual half hour walk on the beach without sunscreen to get the tan going, then gooped up and sat by the pool for awhile with beer in hand. I, of course, missed a couple of small spots which show me what the rays of the sun can do this close to the equator. Good beer here, (the resort's house beer is Negro Modelo) and there's pretty good whiskey too. I might dive into some of the more fruity stuff next, maybe a Dirty Monkey. Day three has golf on the agenda. I'm joining Elwood and several of the guys...if they wake up in time for our 8:30 tee time.


posted by: Rick And Len at 8:58 am Comment On This Post