“It was the worst experience of their entire lives.”
A South Jersey couple’s 10th anniversary vacation to Mexico's Baja Peninsula turned from a six-day trip to paradise to a multi-day nightmare after Hurricane Odile slammed a popular resort.
The storm, which hit Cabo San Lucas late Sunday as a Category 3 hurricane, stranded Pitman, New Jersey’s Frank and Megan Trosky in their resort and away from their twin children.
Frank’s mother Pat Trosky talked to NBC10.com about her kid’s ordeal.
The vacation for Frank, 38, and Megan, 35, began with romantic sunsets -- posting photos to Facebook -- along the west coast of Mexico and appeared to be the perfect trip until disaster approached. Their resort, Capella Pedregal, told guests to stay put when Odile stormed in, according to Pat.
Pat touched base with her son Sunday afternoon.
“I said, ‘what’s going on with the Hurricane?... Are they evacuating you?’ and he said, ‘no.’ He said the entirely hotel is concrete.”
Frank told Pat that the resort only cleared out the ground floor prior to the storm.
Pat talked to her son briefly the day after the storm and she said her son told her that the damage -- from what NBC10 First Alert Weather chief meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz said was the worst hurricane to ever hit Cabo -- appeared much worse than anticipated.
“The room above them, the roof blew off and they wound up with two inches of rain in their room,” said Pat.
The resort suffered extensive damage to the point where they posted a message to their website offering refunds to any guests set to visit in the next month.
But a decision had to made about what to do with guests stranded on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
The Troskys were supposed to fly home on Tuesday. With little cell service, scant food and water and no flights out of town, the Troskys and about 120 others boarded a bus chartered by their resort in hopes of making the 1,000-mile journey north to San Diego, California, said Pat.
Frank, an attorney, and Megan, a Philadelphia hoagie shop owner, wanted to get home to their kids, said Pat.
Megan’s mom and dad have been staying with Nola and Bryce while their parents are out of town.
“The twins don’t know that mommy and daddy are stuck,” said Pat. “They knew that mommy and daddy were supposed to come home on Tuesday and they told the twins that there were problems at the airport and their flight was going to be delayed and that they’d be back probably Friday.
Pat said the kids keep going to school and going about their delay routines but the absence of their parents is hard to ignore.
“Now the twins are asking, ‘where’s mommy and daddy?’ And (Megan’s parents) are telling them they might not be home until Monday. So they are getting upset over the whole thing.”
Their parents’ journey hasn’t been an easy one.
“As they were moving north, people on the bus when they stopped would fall asleep outside on the road because it was so hot without air conditioning when they turned the bus off,” said Pat.
Pat said that she got lucky and got a hold of her son early Friday morning at a bus stop midway up the peninsula.
“They were at a gas station in the middle of nowhere (somewhere near Guerrero Negro)… and they were able to get some sort of cellphone,” said Pat. “He told us that’s where they are and they are going to keep going forward.”
Pat said her son told her that tourists were clamoring the buy any food they could whenever the bus stopped since food and water were scarce.
“They went long periods of time with very little,” said Pat.
Poor road conditions, mudslides and washouts slowed the journey. Pat said her son told her the ideal situation would be to cross the border into San Diego to grab a flight home from there.
“He is not going to do anything else in Mexico, he wants to get on the other side of the border.”
If the Troskys had stayed put it is possible they could have made it out of Cabo since the U.S. State Department evacuated more than 500 Americans from the area Thursday into Friday. But those flights came too late for the Troskys who slowly trekked up the peninsula on that hot, crowded bus.
Pat said that she filed a form with the State Department on Tuesday and has since spoke to everyone from congressmen to Frank’s coworkers at the Gloucester County Office of the Public Defender in hopes of getting her loved ones home.
Pat said that here local representatives have been helpful but that she has received little help from the federal authorities.
“It just seems like the State Department and the (U.S.) Consulate are dropping the ball on this one in not assisting Americans in getting out of a place that has been hit so hard.”
The State Department didn’t respond Friday to NBC10’s request for comment.
NBC10 also reached out to Megan and Frank but hadn’t heard back.
The irony of it all is that the Troskys often visit Mexico but had never visited the West Coast of the country before.
“They try to go away for their anniversary every year,” said Pat. “And up until this year, they always went to Cozumel or one of the beaches on the East Coast of Mexico…I said, ‘why are you going to Cabo?’ and they said, ‘because we’ve never been there.’”
The Troskys aren't alone as there are reports of hundreds of other trapped American tourists in Mexico. If you know anyone trapped in Mexico please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.