Location Vocation, part tres

From the minute we got engaged, Hunter had fantasies of us marrying in Mexico. After all, we loves us some margaritas and mexican food! (Did someone say melty cheese? Yes, please!) And Mexico is only a 2.5 hour drive from home sweet home. I wasn’t really into the idea, but after the disappointments we had in seeking a venue in the US, our attentions turned south, and we made plans to visit Rosarito Mexico. Rosarito is just 45 minutes south of the border, and known for its nice beaches and for being where all the stars from Hollywood came to drink during prohibition. Random fact: Titanic was filmed here. They even have a museum commemorating this honor.

Jesus blesses the margarita drinkers
Author’s personal collection, 2008

We quickly learned that planning a wedding in Rosarito was going to cost FAR less than an American wedding, which was a real draw. Like, for 10k, we could have a welcome party, fun wedding with dinner and an open bar, AND a morning-after brunch! I was getting hooked on the idea of all our friends and family dancing under the stars to a mariachi band, all while not going broke.

We decided to stay in 2 different resorts to check them out. I did enough research to figure out that our best bets were Las Rocas Resort and Calafia. So, we rolled into Las Rocas and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!

Author’s personal collection, 2008

The amenities were tempting – 2 restaurants, a karaoke bar (I sadly don’t have photographic evidence of my renditions of “Rock Lobster” or Mariah Carey’s “I’ll Be There. Suffice it to say, I killed it!), yoga overlooking the beach in the mornings, a spa, and that crazy infinity-edge pool above. I was already planning our colors and menu. Then, we drove over to Calafia to meet with their wedding planner.

Author’s personal collection, 2008

Calafia was very nice in terms of their wedding spaces, but the rooms were nasty not very cozy and the rest of the hotel was pretty rundown. So, we quickly shuttled back to Las Rocas to drink in what we thought was our new wedding location. And, maybe a margarita or four.

Much to our dismay, shock and unimaginable disappointment, the margaritas were the worst! We couldn’t believe it. Surely, we thought, they must be better in town. So, we headed out to get some melty cheese and more drinks.

Let me be clear in the nicest possible way: Rosarito is not a resort town. Its a very poor, underdeveloped town that gets blown up by american tourists (read: spring breakers) on the weekends and holidays. We were surprised at how sorry the condition of the town was, but we kept a positive outlook, blinded by how lovely Las Rocas was. Long story short, dinner was no bueno. I sent a margarita back because it tasted like anti-freeze. Then, we got in a fight for no reason other than by this time we were under the numbing effects of “ANGRY TEQUILA” – you know what I’m talking about, right? That cheeeeeeeap tequila that doesn’t just get you drunk, it gets you MEAN. And so, we spent the first night of our romantic getaway passed out on the bed after fighting over nothing the whole way back to the hotel.

I think you know where this is headed folks. Although we did manage to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and have a rocking good time the rest of the weekend, it seemed that Rosarito was not the right place for our wedding, tempting though the price tag may be. It took us a few days to push our fantasies aside and face the reality of it, but I’m glad we did. Side note: Since we made that decision, we learned that Rosarito is lately subject to violence against Americans and there are warnings against travel there. Travel tip: pee before you get in line for the border. It took us 3 hours to cross and some serious angst was had while trying to hold it. Oh, the drama :)

It was good to be back on American soil, and went back to the drawing board once more – determined to make all these near-misses into a hit. And, boy, did we ever! Stay tuned for the final chapter of our hunt for the perfect venue!

PS – E and A were kind enough to make me a gorgeous inspiration board for the wedding that wasn’t, which was the beginning of how I ended up here today – so something great did come from that trip, after all!