Let’s Get Married

The Rings

Brett said we couldn’t get married until we had rings.

Hummmm…..that took some time. We’re not really into normal stuff, so it’s not like we would just walk into a jewelry store and pick out a diamond. No. We are more into riding a bus in a foreign country where we don’t speak the language and hoping they were honest about the rings not being from China; because; we were not in China.

The guy at the front desk at our all-inclusive resort just north of Puerto Vallarta said the bus ride was easy. First, he tried to sell us a timeshare and then gave us instructions for the hour bus ride to downtown Puerto Vallarta. We waited at the bus stop in front of the resort and gave the driver the exact change. There were a lot of stops which was why the trip took an hour. Finally, the driver pulled into the entrance to the bus garage, opened the door, and told us this was the end. We looked back and there were no other people on the bus, so we got off and walked downhill assuming that would be the direction of the beach. We walked the ‘malecon’ where there were men outside of every business trying to sell us everything from timeshares to burritos to tequila. Not really into shopping we quickly found a store that had matching silver rings. Brett did his negotiating magic (he’s not a negotiator but he’d read you should, when in Mexico; negotiate) and we came out with the rings. Task done. Next, we found an awesome place for lunch that was completely vegan. As we got up to leave, the owner told us she was bringing dessert out of the oven, so we stayed a little longer.

The bus ride back to the resort was not so easy. We stood at a bus stop that someone eventually told us was not a bus stop anymore to go over two blocks (this was in Spanish with lots of hand signals). We got on a bus headed in the right direction but didn’t know how much to pay and the bus driver didn’t have change and we didn’t understand each other anyway. And clearly, all the other tourists were in a taxi or an Uber as we were the only white people on the bus. I started to get off the bus and a man dressed in a big robe took my 100 peso bill and broke it into change, but I still didn’t know how much to pay. Another woman picked out the money from my hand to put into the slot. Then the guy with the robe started preaching to the people on the bus and then broke into song. He walked the aisle singing and people put money in his hat so I did the same with the leftover change he had given me. Eventually, the bus driver looked at me and Brett at one of the stops and pointed to the door. We got off. Now we’re on the highway at another bus stop and don’t know what bus to take next. The buses fly by and you have to flag it down if it’s the right bus. Someone else flagged one down, I got on and asked “Nuevo Vallarta?” and he said no. And it just kept happening. I started walking down the highway. Brett followed, it was hot. Our fingers were swelling around our new rings. There were multiple lanes of traffic rushing by as we crossed the highway and there we saw a taxi, sitting and waiting for customers. He dropped us off right in front of the resort.

The Marriage License

We went to the courthouse in Hamilton and asked the person at the window for a marriage license. She pointed us to two chairs and said it would take about 30 minutes. First she took our IDs and typed up our information. She apologized for the questions up front and then went on to ask us all the important questions you need to ask for a marriage license. .

“Are you related?”

We replied with weird faces; “no”.

“Are you intoxicated?”

We laughed. “No”.

“We’ll start with you” she said looking at Brett. “What’s your father’s name?”


“What’s his middle name?”

“Max” She looks up from her computer. “Let’s back up; father’s first name?”

“Carl…..but he goes by Max”

“Where was your father born?”

Um…..Minnesota, no….North Dakota…..wait….where is Rapid City…..I should call my brother”

“Counting this marriage how many times have you been married”


First name of your first wife?”

“Oh jeez! I don’t know…..give me a minute…..I’m pretty sure it starts with a J”. She looks up from her computer and I have the feeling she wants to go back to question number 2 and ask if we’re intoxicated.

“It will come to me; let’s keep going…I’ll call my brother…….Joni!…..I knew it started with a ‘J’; I told you I’d get it”.

“What was her last name”

“Oh my gosh, I didn’t know this was going to be so hard, I’m calling my brother.”

Brett dials his brother and looks at me; “I think it was Mitchell”

I shake my head and say; “YOU were married to Joni Mitchell?”

The woman looks at us again and says; “this might take more than 30 minutes.”

“What year did you get divorced?”

“Oh……let’s see….in the 80’s, yep I’m sure it was in the 80’s;”

Eventually with the help of Brett’s brother and some computer research from the county employees about Brett’s first marriage we were able to get our marriage license and go have lunch.

The Ceremony

We had six people to coordinate. Our long time friends; 1. Jennifer; who happens to be a Justice of the Peace; 2. Don; Husband of Justice of the Peace who doubled as the photographer; 3. Deborah;Witness number one who doubled as the best woman; 4. Mark; Witness number two who doubled as the best man.

The wedding party was super excited about this ceremony. They were hugging and smiling and singing wedding songs.

The Lunar New Year; January 22, 2023, 5:00 pm; there is snow and ice on the ground, it’s about 20 degrees and the sun is going down. There is no way that this couple was going to get married inside. We were going to get married on the neighbors property with Little Tin Cup Peak in the background. To be clear; the neighbors property is just property, no house, no people just land and land with a view. Perfect.

We repeated the parts we were told to repeat and pronounced husband and wife. Whoop! Whoop! Let’s go have dinner and watch some NFL playoff games.

Two books to recommend with one theme. “Breathe” by James Nestor and “Breath In Breath Out” by Stuart Sandeman. Both of these books are about the seemingly effortless task of breathing, yet how breathing is the very thing that we should work on for our health and wellness. “Breathe” is more scientific and “Breath In Breath Out” more practical. I’m currently reading “Breath In Breath Out” for the second time and taking notes. Just reading the books makes you breath more deeply and slowly and through your nose. I highly recommend both of these books and marriage. More great adventures and book recommendations can be found at Wild About Books.

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