If you're a drinker, then chances are you have your very own "The tequila story." Everyone I know does. Justin got drunk on tequila at a company Christmas party and ended up breaking his thumb. He doesn't know how. My mom told us that dad got drunk on tequila over a vacation and sat in the bathtub laughing manically to himself and telling her he was in the mafia. My story does not involve breaking bones or sitting in bathtubs. It involves puke. Lots and lots of puke.
We went on our first cruise as a family four months before I turned 21. Now I wasn't a big drinker but I had definitely done some drinking in my time, and I was super disappointed that I couldn't legally get schwasted around my parents, sisters, and grandma in a tropical location. The boat we were on had 18 bars and a dance club that was 18 stories up with a 360 degree view.
I begged my dad to slip me drinks the whole week, and he did comply here and there with a daiquiri or margarita. But I wanted more. I begged him to have a 'father/daughter' drunkfest with me. We were on vacation! Finally, on the last night on the boat, he gave in. There was the pesky problem of me not being 21 though, and we weren't sure that I could get served even with his consent. So what do we do?
I go up to Grandma's room and get her ship I.D. You see, back in 2005, Princess Cruise lines did not include a picture I.D. on their ship cards, or a date of birth. They simply branded the card "A" for adult in the bottom right hand side of the card and you were set to drown yourself in booze if you wanted to. With that, I became Alice.
The first two bars we checked out I stuck with the easy stuff - two 16oz daiquiris. At the third bar I got a beer. At the fourth bar I got another beer. I was pretty good at this point. It's then that dad says:
"You want to put some hair on your chest?"
"We'd like two shots of tequila please."
Not just any tequila, either. He ordered 1800. And when the guy set them down in front of us they were double shots, in those extra large shot glasses. Let it be known I had never had tequila before. I was nervous. Dad ordered more beer as a chaser and down the hatch went the tequila. I laughed afterward - what the hell was he talking about?
"That shit was smooth!"
"Oh yeah? Want to do another?"
I remember being back inside at one point at yet another bar and walking through the dining room to get to the bathroom and how everything literally looked like this:
In all, I had two 16oz mixed drinks, five beers, and eight double shots of tequila. If you do the math, that's approximately sixteen ounces of tequila.
As all good things do, the night had to come to an end. He dropped me off in the room I shared with my sister Rachel and I crawled in to bed. In my clothes.
Here's the thing. Since it was our last night on board we had to pack all of our bags up earlier that evening and set them outside to be stored with only the outfit we were going to wear off the ship left behind. I was wearing the only outfit I had to disembark in.
The next thing I remember was sitting straight up in bed, staring at the wall, and then opening my mouth.
Contents of said bag:
My digital camera
Rachel's digital camera
My four month old video camera
A $50 cookbook that was signed by our waiters (one of which was named Bruno and totally got his flirt on with me), the cooks, and the Maître De.
Rachel's bathing suit that she had apparently forgotten to pack
The fun didn't end there. I had to crawl on my hands and knees to get to the bathroom and the toilet.
I made it as far as the threshold before I projectile vomited all over the floor.
I was able to get into the bathroom and get my face over the toilet before the third wave hit. I swear to GOD it was all Mexican food in my puke. There were tomatoes, chiles, peppers, and frijoles in the mix even though I had not eaten anything Mexican all week. SOMEHOW, somehow, in my intoxicated state, I got a towel off the rack and did my very best to clean the puke up off the floor before crawling back to my bed and passing out again. I did not remember to clean the bag up.
The next morning the phone rang quite a few times before my parents came down to see why were weren't up. I heard the door open, and I distinctly remember my dad's voice.
It isn't possible for me to accurately describe how horrific our 8 x 8' room smelled. Imagine yak's stomach acid mixed with rotten tomatoes and decaying dead bodies. That would probably get you close. I could barely function, and I was still drunk. My brand new Puma bag and the toothbrushes unfortunately had to go in the trash. So much for trying to freshen up that tossed tequila-cookie breath! I don't recall what I did to clean the cameras and video camera but they did make it home (and I later spent an hour in the garage with a q-tip cleaning vomit out of their crevices).
Hey, remember when I said that I slept in the only outfit I had to wear the next day? Oh yeah. Guess what I smelled like? Remember this picture?
It was at least 10 times worse than that. As we filed off the ship we had to show our passports at a counter. I knew that I smelled like a goat's stomach after a full day of eating rotten garbage so I quickly just flipped my I.D. onto the counter and took a big (what I hoped would not be noticeable) step away. Guy looks up at me.
"WHAT, ARE YOU JUST GONNA LEAVE WITHOUT YOUR PASSPORT???"
WTF DUDE? Is this really a yelling offense?? I'm trying to spare you from your own trip to puke city after you smell me. I take a big step back to the counter, mumble something unintelligible, grab my I.D. and scuttle away like an abused little drunkard.
We had to go into a gigantic warehouse and wait while dudes brought out everyone's luggage. Then we waited in large groups to be herded to the next location. When I found my bag I immediately hauled it as far away as I could and sat on it with my head ripping apart. People still came near. I'd see noses wrinkling, people looking around in dismay for the source of that ripe stench.
Finally we moved out into the parking lot where it was a shark infested water frenzy to hail a taxi cab. When a big van pulled up I jumped in and immediately went straight to the back seat. I had pulled a hoodie out of my bag, hoping that it would at least help cover up the smell until I could change. The driver of the van sniffing loudly and looking all around him and then in the rear-view confirmed that it did not.
We had driven to Florida in my dad's RV. The feeling of riding in one, if you never have, can be compared IMO to the feeling of being on a boat. It is never a good idea to try to attain sea legs when you are hung over as all mighty hell in a hand basket. So I sat at the table with a wastebasket between my legs, intermittently dry heaving and retching for the next 19 hours it took us to get home - sitting across from my GRANDMA. Who just rode along like she had no idea her granddaughter had spent all night getting blackout drink with her I.D. and was now barfing up more Mexican she had never eaten.
If that doesn't scream Leave It to Beaver Family Vacation I don't know what does.
It's been six years since then and the smell of tequila alone is enough to turn my face green. My first and last tequila story; thank God it's good enough to tell the kids whenever I get around to wanting to have some.