Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Puerto Vallarta 2008, Part 6: Gym-nauseam

Things are becoming routine, but in a good way. You wake up, have coffee, put on your bathing suit, flip flops, and sunglasses, throw some beach towels in your backpack and hit the beach.

This morning's routine has changed a bit. Larry had offered to find a gym for David to join for the week, so the five of us venture out to find the elusive San Franciscan Resort & Gym.

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Larry and I tried to join this particular gym about 3 years ago. Unfortunately, the place seemed closed for the season, and ringing the bell next to the wrought iron gate did nothing.

What's going to happen now, I wonder, as we trudge up the cobblestone hill on the advice of a cab driver. My flip-flops are now about as comfortable as a pair of paper hospital slippers as I try to avoid slippery rocks and potholes. Larry rings the bell and a voice crackles on the intercom, directing us to take the stairs to the second floor.

Greg and Allan decide that they'll just meet us at the beach, so Larry, David and I head upstairs, where we are greeted by an older man with a southern accent and what looks like a closely cropped head full of permed hair to me.

He gives us a brief tour of the building, which he built in the 70s.

"Right this way," he says, taking us down to the gym, in the basement level. The only other staff member is an old lady sitting in front of a computer nearby. This would likely be his wife.

Upon entering the "gym", I realize that I would not pay to work out here, underground, instead of, say, enjoying every last second of sunshine on my vacation.

Dirty blue commercial carpeting? Check. Harsh, fluorescent lighting? Check. Dated, rusty equipment? Check. Lingering odor? Check. Disturbing flashbacks to your high school locker room? Check check checkity check.

This tiny website photo hides a lot. Trust me.

As I look around at the ancient equipment, I wonder if they have one of these:

Even though I think this place is borderline creepy, David thinks that it just might do and discusses the fees with the owner, who turns out to be 70 years old. On the way back upstairs, Larry asks what the room rates are, since we'll need a room for the last night of our trip.

"I got one room that's about $130 a night..."

As the owner grabs a set of keys, Larry realizes that this place is way overpriced for it's location up a steep, slippery, flip-flop unfriendly hill so far from the beach.

"No, it's okay. I don't want to waste your time." he says.

It's time to go. We go down the stairs and wait to be buzzed out.

So it's like a jewelry store, then.

David says, "Well, that wasn't bad."

"Yeah, but the rooms were a little over-priced," adds Larry.

"But it was nice meeting Jack Lalanne!" I say.