Birthday Celebrations, Galore!

Posted:  June 30, 2024
👁 531   5

Welcome Home

Oh, thank you Jack Daniel’s Old Number Seven…

Garrett’s voice floated throughout the bar as he sang his signature song. His wife, Ruth, stared at her soulmate with the biggest doe-eyes, singing along with the rest of us.

Tennessee whiskey got me drinkin’ in heaven…

Lusty on Land

Ruthie, Max, Chris

Alma brought me another cider, my favorite, before scurrying back to grab the other drink orders. 

An’a I know I can’t stay here too long….

Karen grabbed the wigs and funny glasses, passing them out to everyone in the bar for forced participation. It was a Lusty night and there was no getting around it.

‘Cause I can’t go a week without doin’ wrong (Old Number Seven)…

Max ordered a round of shots for the table, none other than Centenario Reposado.

Without doin’ wrong (I’m drinkin’ in heaven), without doin’ wrong (Old Number Seven) wiithout doin’ wrong (I’m drinkin’ in heaven)….

The shots went down smoother than Jack Daniels, and it was time for the next person to take the mic. It was our first night back in La Cruz after our Mazatlan shenanigans, and although it felt a little different with so many of our friends absent, it was still a warm homecoming nonetheless. The town was a little quieter as the first window to cross encouraged so many people to go, including our friend Peter who daringly had decided to cross solo. I was checking his track religiously, and he updated us daily thanks to Starlink. The Eclipse on April 8th also inspired sailors to leave Banderas Bay and sail north into the sea a bit earlier than usual, leaving the usually packed anchorage a lot emptier. We weren’t complaining though, we enjoyed La Cruz in all of her seasons, especially this slow one. It had been a couple months of seemingly non-stop partying, and we were ready to slow down… but that’s easier said than done when your friends own THE bar and a handful of worthy celebrations were coming up. Was La Cruz becoming our Hotel California? Maybe… or maybe it was all along.

Lusty on Land

Happy Birthday Maxson

In 2023, Max introduced us to the Family Party Song Singers, a group that has crafted a birthday song for nearly every name you can think of. Their tunes are not only catchy but memorably sticky, often lingering in your mind long after the birthday candles have been blown out. So, it was only appropriate to start Max’s birthday celebration with his very own version of the birthday song he shared with us the previous year. True to form, the song became the day’s catchy anthem, echoing in our heads from La Cruz all the way to Sayulita, where we celebrated Max’s “Sweet 16” party.

Max may have turned 46, but he parties like a 16 year old – that’s for sure. 

There was our crew as well as the crews of: Eyoni, Ella, Rediviva, Saoirse, Someday Isle and (of course) Lusty ready to celebrate the Sh!t Show ringleader himself. Let me tell you a little something about our friend Max: he is probably the most generous, helpful and fun person you will ever meet. He is motivated, inspired and always looking for ways he can bring his close friends into the “masterplan” to ensure we can all just have fun for the rest of our lives. It is hard to summarize what special people he and his wife Karen are, but after two years of friendship we consider them family and are proud to have them in our corner – which is why we got a physical representation of our found-family tattooed on us for eternity.

After enjoying the day on the beach under the shade of a pop-up cabana, we made our way to the local Tattoo shop that our friend Nixie (SV Ella) has visited for years and got the Lusty logo tattooed on us. We were in Annapolis when Max and Karen first shared with us that they were taking over the bar, and spent the trip thinking of logos. Eventually, we settled on one – the story and meaning behind it are only for those in the know – but it became our inside joke, our battleflag, and a symbol for our friendship. It was my fourth tattoo, proudly placed on my middle finger (seemed fitting for this crowd) and Chris’s very first, which he bravely got on his foot, handling the pain like a champ. He then decided to pull the trigger and get the outline of Huntington Lake on his arm, with a little X where his dads ashes were spread. Max surprised us with one more tattoo as well, getting “RGCMN” on his wrist to commemorate the 5 of us that got the Lusty tattoo (Ruth, Garrett, Chris, Marissa, Nixie) – Karen did as well, but they are married so I guess that’s good enough to not warrant an initial! 

With fresh ink and the whole night ahead of us, we returned to our hotel to freshen up before dinner at a Thai restaurant in town. Afterwards we spent the night bar crawling, hunting for the best dancing vibes when we ran into our friend and La Cruz local DJ, Andres at a Mezcal bar – note to self: you don’t like mezcal no matter how cool or hipster it is. Andres is who led us to the last bar where we stayed up dancing until 3:00 am with the hoards of other party people, mostly of college age. The town’s nightlife is robust despite its small size. Bars and clubs along the main streets pulse with energy, offering everything from reggae nights to electronic music. 

Towards the end of the night, we lost Chris but I was smart enough to look towards the neighboring taco stand – and there was my husband. Double fisting some al pastor tacos and his water bottle, named Patient Zero, without a care in the world. Max and I stood on the steps of the bar and just observed him in his natural habitat for a while before he noticed, waved, and came back. That’s my guy! 

We managed to get a few hours of sleep before the sun forced us out of bed to embrace the new day. Our feet hurt from dancing, we were hungry and in dire need of breakfast so walked to a nearby breakfast place where we found the remainder of the crew, before we all went our separate ways. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: I’m not sure when La Cruz became synonymous for “home” but that’s where we were headed to ring in a whole new celebration. 


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A post shared by SAILING • AVOCET ⛵️ (@svavocet)

Happy Birthday, La Cruz

Last year we were “stuck” in La Cruz fighting our engine after another fuel pump failure, which gave us the opportunity to see the town’s birthday party. To quote myself from a year prior, It was truly serendipitous that our engine rebuild coincided with “La Cruz Days” – 9 days of partying to celebrate the town of La Cruz’s patron Saint. The first night featured a parade with horses, motorcycles, “Realeza,” dancing, beer, candy tossed to the crowds and the most insane display of fireworks I have ever seen”. This year was a little different though: we were there willingly, and not as observers but as participants in the parade representing Lusty on Land! Chris’s mom also happened to fly in on the day of, so we kind of threw her head first into Lusty shenanigans – she handled it like a champ, silly wig on and everything.

After the parade the fun continued with dancing in the town square with Max, Karen, Garrett and Ruth… until Max decided to kick the stage and completely obliterate his toe. He rounded us and retreated back to the bar where he bled out on the floor while Chris managed to pull together his doctor-senses and get the wound cleaned enough to be transported back to Casa de Lusty. Once we ensured Max was going to be okay and that Karen would be able to handle the mess, we returned to Avocet where Mama Neely was sleeping like a baby, completely unaware (but perhaps assuming) of what debauchery had occurred in her absence. From that night on, Max’s zombie-looking-toe took on a personality of its own and we lovingly(?) referred to it simply as: The Toe. It even made the cut in the full page photo in Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine with the article I wrote about Lusty on Land. The Toe has since (thankfully) recovered, but will always be immortalized in print. Happy birthday La Cruz! 

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Sailing On?

We decided to treat Mama Neely to a little adventure during her stay, sailing across the bay to Yelapa, a cute little village tucked into the jungle that can only be accessed by boat, donkey, or atv. We had visited this gem a year prior with our pals from Sitka and I was looking forward to retracing our steps and getting a little vacation from the party scene… but that is when I got an unexpected visit from whom I thought I had left behind in Escondido: depression. Why here? Why now? More on that in the next post. 

Fair winds,

Marissa (and Chris and Cleo)

P.S. If you or someone you know struggles with depression, I highly recommend you seek help through the depression hotline or BetterHelp – the therapy service that I have used for years (and that refuses to sponsor us 😉)



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