lost in paradise...

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that should be absolutely perfect...but you can't wait to just get the hell out of there? 

Recently, we took a trip to Mexico for what should have been an adventure-filled weekend of breathtaking scenery. After much juggling of schedules and the reassurance from hotel staff that there was indeed wifi at our disposal, I finally relaxed into our plans to travel to Cuatro Cuatros in Ensenada, MX for a whirlwind weekend wedding. 

It would be beautiful: meandering through Mexican wine country by day, working on my projects during our down time. Time together under the stars--we'd see actual constellations! No light pollution! And though it was going to be a very long flight and subsequent drive south, it would all be worth it. We'd make new memories in a part of Mexico we'd never explored. 

Imagine my delight when I discovered that my best friend, who lives in Denver, would be in San Diego for the weekend! Sure, we'd be two ships passing, but we'd make it work. Even for an hour. 

 

Cuatro Cuatros. 

Cuatro Cuatros. 

Everything was working out. Except that Mercury is in Retrograde, and I hate traveling during Retrograde. Except that work is actually very busy for me right now (YAY!) and I couldn't afford to take time off. Except I had just accepted, a day prior, an incredible assignment that was due the day I came back to NYC. Except that by the time my best friend touched down in San Diego, I had been up for 22 hours and was nauseous from exhaustion.

"Glamping" at Cuatro Cuatros. 

"Glamping" at Cuatro Cuatros. 

Thankfully, my bestie and her boyfriend have the patients of saints. While I changed our meeting time 3 times because I was struggling to meet deadlines, they rolled with the punches. We met them for an hour in the Gaslamp for coffee and ball-busting laughs. And when I hugged her goodbye after sharing a pee together in the loo (for old time's sake), I felt as though my heart would burst with happiness. An hour in her presence can do that. 

Our tent at Cuatro Cuatros. 

Our tent at Cuatro Cuatros. 

We arrived at Cuatro Cuoatros and we couldn't believe our eyes. Our tent gleamed white in the late afternoon sun. The arid mountains rose up around us, covered in brush, the sky a piercing blue overhead. When we opened the zipper to the tent, we practically squealed. It was absolutely stunning. 

Vineyard at Cuatro Cuatros. 

Vineyard at Cuatro Cuatros. 

V iew from above, Cuatro Cuatros. 

View from above, Cuatro Cuatros. 

And then, as I settled in to do some work so I could enjoy the rest of the weekend, it became obvious that the wifi here was...well, it wasn't. It was non-existent. And I, staring down my deadlines and the massive amount of work I'd agreed to (because we freelancers can't afford to say "no" to last minute assignments!) had a complete and utter meltdown. 

Sunset from above, Cuatro Cuatros. 

Sunset from above, Cuatro Cuatros. 

Truthfully, I blamed myself. I hadn't wanted to come. I knew the timing was horrible. And as it always happens when I don't listen to my gut, I was now in a position that was actually worse than the one I predicted. I was, to put it delicately, utterly and royally fucked. 

Golden Hill neighborhood, San Diego.  

Golden Hill neighborhood, San Diego. 

And so I stayed in the tent and wrote offline. I didn't attend dinner. I went to town, a 35 minute drive, the next day just so I could send and receive some files. I worked more. We went to a vineyard and to the wedding, and the next day, we left. I, stressed out and miserable, and my boyfriend, stressed out an miserable. 

The Spirit Lounge, Ensenada. 

The Spirit Lounge, Ensenada. 

There is no lesson here, other than I should have listened to my gut and stayed home. I was a lost soul the entire weekend: there was no time for romance or sitting under the stars. There was no way for me to take care of what I needed to in order to feel competent and therefore, relaxed. And had it not been for the hour spent in the company of my best friend, there would have been no sense of connection to anything other than my own misery. 

My touchstone. My bestie. My saving grace. 

My touchstone. My bestie. My saving grace. 

Being in paradise is relative, it would seem. For me, spending quality time with someone you love is at the top of the list...followed by a met deadline.