I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane…2013 Edition

… And this time I’ll be back on July 13th!

It has turned into our tradition now to leave for a different resort every year during the week of Diana’s birthday – which also falls on the week of Stampede. Not that we care or anything – the last time we went to the Stampede must have been 5+ years ago. I think it’s just something you get tired of after seeing it year after year as a kid. We’ll leave it to the folks that are out of town lol.

This year, we’re headed to Los Cabos for a full week of sun, sun, and more sun! Hopefully this place lives up to it’s expectations! We are staying at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa – I’ll have a bunch of pics just like last year when we get back!

Like last year, I’ve scheduled a bunch of posts to go up automatically during the evenings on random days so that the blog doesn’t just die. They’re some good throwbacks that I haven’t really posted on here before, so I think it’ll keep you guys entertained until I get a chance to go shooting again.

We leave tomorrow morning! Ciao!

Two pics of the resort:

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2012 Wrap Up – Part VII

Just a few more months to go. We’re in July!
Hot weather, all the nice whips are out, only the good stuff coming your way…

Shot Danny’s STI for illmotion this day. I also wanted to take shots of both our cars – such a sick combo.

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Went out to go shoot more stuff like we did every weekend. I met Ryan Venzon for the first time this summer who used to shoot for Fatlace. He had a rig as well and he tried it out on my car too. Turned out awesome.

Attaching to the hood.

Adjusting and making sure all is good.

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Another one of the highlights to remember for the summer was the trip to Puerto Vallarta with Diana. Such an awesome week – we didn’t want to come back. If I was rich, I’d live there to be honest. The people, the weather, the place – too awesome. We’re already looking for our next trip for next year.

This was the night we got there. Beautiful sunset – chairs onlooking the pools and beach below with an overflow pond surrounding you.

We decided to sit and relax for the night after the plane ride. There weren’t many activities to do anyway.

The next morning – a shot of the beach and pools from our balcony. Awesome view.

I was chillin while Diana was still sleeping. Like always.

A night time shot of the area below. Still beautiful.

Everyday there was a schedule of things to do. Events every hour, drink specials, reminders, drink of the day, which restaurants were open. This was your map for the day.

Sometimes when we didn’t want to do any of the events at night, we’d borrow movies. Thor was one of them since I still hadn’t seen it.

I also replaced the back of my iphone glass because the lens was all scratched. I neglected to pay the $20 replacement fee and this is what happens. I had to ghetto repair it with tape.

This was a cool feature we didn’t figure out until the second or third day. The switches allow or not allow the maids to come in, should you need service.

Right beside the resort was a grocery store that I was dying to check out because I wanted to find some cool snacks that we didn’t have here. We bought bags of things and ended up only paying about $13 USD. So crazy.

Crazy flavoured popcorn that I’ve never seen before.

Bracelets. On the beach, there are beach vendors that sell things like bracelets, dresses, hats, sunglasses and henna tattoos. Diana and I went through this bracelet craze cause it was super “mexican” looking and it looked good with our beach wear hahahaha.

The poolside chairs.

The main pool with the swim up bar.

Our resort from the beach.

My ride or die.

Our last night. Diana packing up all our things. Sad day…

On the plane home.

Finally – the best part is we got the emergency exit seats so we get the super luxurious leg room.

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Another great thing that was accomplish with illmotion was our cheque to the Alberta Children’s Hospital. With the help of everyone at Driven, we were able to raise $1100 to donate to the kids. We went to the hospital the day I got back from Mexico and got a free tour of the hospital then took a pic with the cheque. Good job!

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I did a full and careful detail on the car for the first time all summer. Having white wheels is a b*tch – anyone will tell you that. But when they are clean, they are wicked. I think I waxed and cleaned them every few days.

Before shot. It doesn’t look as bad because I actually forgot to take pics before I hosed it down with water. It got quite a bit out but it’s pretty much stuck on there.

I wiped my fingers across the spoke. Boy, do I miss that nice white haha

More brake dust.

Those exhaust tips. You literally can’t even see any of the blue or purple that should be there. It looks like that Noir muffler by Apex’i haha.

Then my laziness took a turn for the worse and I ended up spending another $8.99 on this lame ass brush. In retrospect – it was a waste of money LOL.

So I sprayed the new stuff on and waited for a few minutes… Didn’t look like it did anything to be honest.

Boom. The white TE37 I once knew when I first got them. The spray itself didn’t really remove anything because it said that I could just spray it off. I ended up just wetting the brush and scrubbing it off. It worked better than soap for sure, but I don’t know if I’d buy it again.

Inside the wheel is still dirty. Again, too lazy to get in there unless I have to…

I also polished up my exhaust tips and the bumper surrounding it because it gets stained to a nasty yellow/brown after a few days of driving from the downpipe. I thought I was going to have to re-burn it again but thankfully it stayed. I’ve missed it too LOL.

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We finally went out and did a shoot of Almond’s G wagon. I had been wanting to shoot it for a while… not everyday you see a sick SUV around here.

Damn nice BBS’s…

We got to the top of the Banker’s Hall parkade and were setting up as we saw this dude. It’s like +25 C and he’s out there washing windows. Scary as hell

JC’s Corolla

Sneaked a few shots of our cars on top since it was a nice view.

A quick shot of JC’s Corolla rolling with the fisheye. I think this was the first rolling shot I’ve taken of his car since he put the wheels on. Lookin’ good

Chillin in the backseat getting ready to do rolling shots of the the G wagon…

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July was pretty quiet. By this time, everybody had their parts on and we were just chillin most of the time trying to get the most out of the summer. We were getting ready for Sunday School in August…

The two shirts we got made for Diana and Cindy to man the registration table that day…

This is getting super tedious LOL. Only 5 more months to go! hahaha
***End July/Part VII***

Puerto Vallarta! My First Home

Finally (but not) home! After what we thought would be a long ass week in Puerto Vallarta, it ended up being a short lived vacation at a home away from home. Our expectations before we got there were decent – blah blah balh all inclusive blah blah blah. What else was there to be excited about? It was Diana and I’s first time leaving for a week long vacation at a 5 star resort that we were lucky enough to stumble upon on WestJet’s sun sale for super cheap so we just knew we were getting free food and drinks and that’s where our expectations stopped and then were blown away after the first 5 minutes of arriving at the resort.

Never lifting a finger for our luggage, greeted with champagne glasses at check-in, and what I really loved was how everyone welcomed us “home”. The resort was made of beautiful marble, tile, wood accents and granite – nothing was overlooked. Diana and I agreed that the best thing about the whole trip was that every single soul that worked in this resort was genuinely eager to assist you and get you anything you wanted. I’m sure it was part of their job to say that it was “their pleasure” to help you out, but something that we don’t get back in North America is the actual feeling of genuine kindness from employees, let alone good customer service. It’s almost like these people came here because they loved it so much and not because it was their “job”. Who knows, maybe that’s why they’re hired to do what they do, but it almost makes you feel bad that they can be so kind. The other kicker is that they expect no tip, no gratitude, no special gift or anything from your pockets in return for their hospitality. You feel like they do it because they really want to and I think that’s what made it so hard for us to leave yesterday.

My biggest pet peeve is rudeness and the lack of manners or sense of gratitude towards others. Going to a place like this – it’s easy to forget where you came from and who you actually are. Here – you are a king and you are treated no less than that. Just because you are treated like a king, doesn’t mean you are one or have the right to treat others like garbage. I tweeted this while we were eating Italian one night because a couple that came in complained about everything, were picky about what they got, and just shook their heads the entire time while the server helped them out all with a smile on his face and went out of his way to make sure everything was right.

Diana and I both took $100 USD in $1 bills for tips for the week. We thought it was common courtesy to tip waiters and waitresses – apparently not. Not many people left tips after their meals or when their drinks were brought to them. Sometimes they rarely got a “thanks”. Yet, day after day the staff worked like they were getting paid a million bucks. We made sure to tip every single waiter, every single time. And if we couldn’t find them, we would sit and wait until they came close and handed it to them. The best thing is that they looked so surprised when you handed them a buck or two – like it just made their day. They would say thanks and invite you to come the next day. They remember your order, they make small talk and they are super friendly people. I think the people and the staff were the ones that were hard to leave – not really the place itself.

Now – whether it’s their job and they are trained to do it, that doesn’t matter to me. Because a 5 star restaurant here couldn’t come close to the service back there because technically – whether it’s here or in Mexico, your top staff should be the best of the best and comparable in terms of service. The waiters here – a majority of them anyway, wait on you for a tip. They expect a tip for their service. Period. We’ve had some really good waiters before and we’ve been equally happy giving them a tip. At our resort – all of them, wait on you for you to be more than satisfied. They expect nothing in return. Period.

I guess this was more of a rant than anything because everybody in that city – in the resort and outside of the resort – working their little stores or even McDonalds, has a genuine sense of what it is to be homely. To welcome people with the best of their ability. I think that’s what I miss the most and if I could go back again, I would. And I wouldn’t mind paying double what I did this time because even that couldn’t make up for the hospitality and service we were given. If you guys ever go to Puerto Vallarta – go stay at Now Amber Resort and Spa. Unbelievable people. The resort is just a bonus.

Onto the pics!

This was the night we got there. Beautiful sunset – chairs onlooking the pools and beach below with an overflow pond surrounding you.

We decided to sit and relax for the night after the plane ride. There weren’t many activities to do anyway.

The next morning – a shot of the beach and pools from our balcony. Awesome view.

I was chillin while Diana was still sleeping. Like always.

A night time shot of the area below. Still beautiful.

Everyday there was a schedule of things to do. Events every hour, drink specials, reminders, drink of the day, which restaurants were open. This was your map for the day.

Sometimes when we didn’t want to do any of the events at night, we’d borrow movies. Thor was one of them since I still hadn’t seen it.

I also replaced the back of my iphone glass because the lens was all scratched. I neglected to pay the $20 replacement fee and this is what happens. I had to ghetto repair it with tape.

This was a cool feature we didn’t figure out until the second or third day. The switches allow or not allow the maids to come in, should you need service.

Right beside the resort was a grocery store that I was dying to check out because I wanted to find some cool snacks that we didn’t have here. We bought bags of things and ended up only paying about $13 USD. So crazy.

Crazy flavoured popcorn that I’ve never seen before.

Bracelets. On the beach, there are beach vendors that sell things like bracelets, dresses, hats, sunglasses and henna tattoos. Diana and I went through this bracelet craze cause it was super “mexican” looking and it looked good with our beach wear hahahaha.

The poolside chairs.

The main pool with the swim up bar.

Our resort from the beach.

The rock that holds me down.

Our last night. Diana packing up all our things. Sad day…

On the plane home.

Finally – the best part is we got the emergency exit seats so we get the super luxurious leg room. The downside is no reclinable seats. OH welllllll…

That was the good part of the trip. In between the pictures, we drank and ate. That’s pretty much it. We had 6-7 drinks a day, 4-5 meals a day and we pretty much just got fat. All in all, money well spent and Canada is now my second home.

Adios!