Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Secret’s safe with me |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Secret’s safe with me

Can a group of three dozen Happy Valley adults pretend to share core family values for four days at an adult-only, all-inclusive holistic resort down on the very southern tip of the Baja Peninsula without worrying about the risks of having one’s cover blown back home upon return?

I ain’t sayin’ nothin’.

Yet there are, let’s say, incidental moments that can be shared without friendships being lost or marriages questioned on return flights home. But rest assured that the names have been changed to protect those who still pretend to have innocence from time to time.

The event was for a longtime local resident who finally turned the big Five-uh-Oh (we’ll call her Fancy “Is that a stripper?” Pole) and her husband’s loving attempt to help her feel better about it all through the use of mass quantities of friends, who in turn proved their friendship (and financial capabilities) by their willingness to part with oodles of cash in her honor.

It worked.

In fact, the husband loves her so much he thrilled the crowd with an impassioned speech on the very first night expressing said love, and less than an hour later (after a few boat drinks) gave the exact same speech to the exact same crowd. No one had the heart to point it out at the time, but trust me, it was priceless.

At this point, I could mention that those same boat drinks had the added effect of confusing his internal GPS to the degree that he actually argued about the sun rising in the west.

But I won’t stoop that low.

I could also tell you about one of the premier mountain sports photographers in the nation and his two-hour soiree into a mud-packed sweat lodge wearing little more than the leaves he was sitting on and the smile on his face.

But I’m not the kind to blow someone else’s horn.

The days and nights were spent at the bar, the beach, the pool, the pool bar and collecting tiny blue tiles from the pool floor to make a necklace for the birthday girl. There are quite a few missing tiles now.

I might have been the only one having a never-ending desire to flash the Cabo sea from my fourth-floor balcony, but I was not alone in noticing the beautiful inlaid rocks on the bedroom floor that were stunning to look upon but hell on heels to step upon.

There were people crawling under tables, people walking on top of tables and people exhaling collective sighs of relief after realizing we weren’t mandated to go into town past our normal bedtimes every friggin’ night (except once, but I swore an oath of silence).

One afternoon, during an unseasonable lightning storm, we commandeered an entire bar (remember, there were 36 of us), playing Scrabble and block rummy, all the while screeching like school kids and applying new meaning to the phrase “ringing the bell.”

I’m telling you, Vail owned the place for a while.

But either way, rest easy my friends, for my lips are sealed, as luckily we have hundreds of photos and hours of video that will still be in full digital HD when we return for her 55th.

They can be made available sooner, of course, but for a price.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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