Plane travel inside Mexico is crazy: $560 to go from Puerto Vallarta to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. I'd planned on dodging the bus because of time, but I guess the bus will become part of my adventure. (While Puerto Vallarta is a sizeable city and a major tourist destination, it's sort of in the middle of nowhere, and at least as I remember the trip, it took an hour to reach the highway. We may have taken the scenic route.) Ultimately it's better this way: I'll see more stuff, and it will make my traveling quite a bit more flexible. So I don't need to decide just yet between Mazatlan, Guanajuato, Zihuatanejo, and Oaxaca (though Oaxaca is really too far by bus when I've only got a week).

Come to think of it, though, since I'll be traveling around Virgen de Guadalupe on December 12th, I should pick a destination and make sure I have a place to stay. I spent one night around the first day of 2002 on the street outside the University of Guanajuato, and I'd rather not repeat the experience, even someplace more tropical.

Also getting revved up for Portland: I got AAA's last Portland map and have been gleefully marking it with the places I want to go. I even have a place to sleep for the first night: so far I don't mind hostels at least for the first few nights, and then the last night or two I'll find an actual nice hotel room.

Boy, is this ever not what my parents' life was like at 30. Or really like a normal American life. Sheesh.