Tag Archives: Mexico

A getaway to Mexico

IMG_0884[1]I tend to be an object in motion, so this winter has been trying on me in a myriad of ways. I miss my walks; I miss the sunshine; I miss being outside; and in a grand pregnant lady show of the grass is always greener, I even miss shoveling. So we went to Mexico. To Cancun, specifically, in search of foam parties and night clubs and lime green shots of horrid…no…we didn’t go in search of that at all.

We went in search of down time on the beach, surrounded by the Colorado family.

We went in search of tacos.

We went in search of peace and quiet and a break from the white/gray/brown palate of winter time.

IMG_0880[1]And we found it, all of it. We found early morning beach sunrises, shared by just me and my two favorite boys. We found sunshine and warmth and sand and waves. We found so many giggles – the most joyous giggles of cousins playing from sun up to sun down. We found delicious tacos, mediocre margaritas, and bottomless guacamole. Fresh salsa and green juice. Churros and ice cream. Relaxation. All enjoyed, a giant group of 13, over laughter and chatter with a healthy dose of chaos compliments of the six small folk in the group.

cancun family reunion 072And of course, in true to form fashion, I found myself reflecting on how time flies and life changes and roles shift. How now I’m in the planning group as opposed to the along for the ride kids group. How the kids’ table is full of…kids…rather than grown ups that refuse to move to the adults’ table.  How when you join the adult group, family vacation can be exhausting and involve a lot of work but dear me the smiles on those little faces as the days unfold – they make every ounce of the work worth it. And how even when you’re tired as an adult on family vacation, you’re on vacation and who cares if you’re tired, it’s vacation. And it is full of smiles and laughter and shared time and JOY. So much joy.

cancun family reunion 006So we had a wonderful trip and, as usual, one trip leads to longing for another trip. We know that we’re on hold in terms of planning anything big and grand, but we continue to scheme little getaways that satiate the urge for the time being. I also keep thinking back to the giggles and the joy from one little boy, and goodness me if that’s not enough to make me want to plan more adventures, I don’t know what is.

The number one reason to travel with kids

We arrived in Mexico weary, travel worn, and uncertain of our rusty Spanish. Mongolian words came to the forefront, Heads down, we made our way through the airport, collected our luggage, and ambled out to find our shuttle. We hardly embodied curious travelers eager to learn about our home for the week.

But James?

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He greeted our new world with a smile. Curiosity radiated from him as he eyed the tropical flowers, inhaled the scents, explored his new environment.

It continued throughout the week.

We relaxed, of course, and found our Spanish-speaking feet once again. But James just radiated curiosity, openness, innocence.

Hotel staff offered a kind snuggle, an extra bit of fruit, a bowl of yogurt, genuine warmth. Walking down the street, James earned smiles, good mornings, waves from one stranger after the next. The further we traveled from the comfort of the hotel, the greater the curiosity grew. The joy. The innocence.

It was everywhere. A tiny little soul, innocent to the world, ready to soak it in piece by piece by piece.

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Often we hear expressions of shock when we announce the next adventure. With a baby?! they say. I can’t think of anything worse!

But the world changes when you have a wee lad in tow. It softens. Opens itself to the tiny innocence and – incredibly – to the big folk traveling along with the small boy.

Children make the world approachable. Their curiosity is contagious, and it offers adults the freedom to indulge a curiosity of their own.

So the number one reason to travel with kids?

Pure innocence.

Innocence for the world, about the world, towards the world.

It is, perhaps, the only contagious thing worth catching while traveling.

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Month 10

Double digits.  TEN months. My word. Little dude is creeping on not being so little anymore (or as not so little as a less than one year old can be). This month included a lot of changes: Eating like a champ: apples, strawberries, green smoothies, banana, toast, avocado, chicken, ground beef, yogurt, eggplant (not a hit), chili, mashed potatoes, squash, amongst other delicious treats.  Oh, Oaxacan cheese in Mexico! We’re still doing great nursing with no plans to quit before a year, so that is that in the milk department. Hurrah, milk truck!

Naps: usually 2 with a quick one on the way home from daycare (2.25?) Passport stamps: 2, we went to Mexico this month!

Teeth: still 5, but more on the horizon if all this drool tells us anything

Weight: 18 lbs 9 ounces at the 9 month appointment, so probably up to 19 by now

Height: 2 feet 3 and a half (inches are for babies)

Head: huge. 90th percentile here. Boy has big brains.

New tricks: high fives, waves, clapping! Chomp and Clack is the new favorite toy, and he can walk all by himself using the gators as a motor (or perhaps for stability). He also now consistently pulls himself to stand (he started in month 9, but now it’s all over the place, all the time).  The crib has been lowered!

Movement: trying to crawl. Trying SO hard to crawl. He has the army crawl down, and he can scoot on his bum…and he can strategically roll himself around the room to get where he wants to go…and he crawls a few steps before flopping over.  So soon we should have the real deal…in theory.

Adventure of the month: Mexico!  We joined the Colorado family in Cancun for MLK Day weekend and spent a delightful five days in the warm sunshine, drinking margaritas, eating tacos, and relaxing. It was much needed, passed too quickly, and left us craving more. All in all, it was perfect!  Little dude got to practice his Spanish (so did his mom), so he (she) was happy about that as well.

Cheers to you, little dude – ten months old and so very, very much joy to share with the world.

one final update with photos

we’ve been home for quite a while now, and i’ve been lazy with the pictures. finally here are some photos from mexico to round out our trip…

this first one is in a park in mexico city…

the next one is hannah, andy, chris and me at a bar in acapulco. we’re sitting on swings!

this one is of chris on the beach in acapulco. it’s one of my favorite photos from the entire trip…he’s the picture of relaxation:

here’s part of our thanksgiving dinner. the fish in the background is black tuna…yum! the boy in the foreground is not carmello anthony no matter how much he wishes he was:

this next one is on the beach in zihuatanejo. we both fell in love with that little town.

here’s another one of us in zihuatanejo. we’re drinking our new favorite drink: micheladas. it’s a giant cup full of ice, beer, lime juice and salt, with a salted rim…yum!

then there’s our final swim of the trip. we’re still in zihuatanejo, and we opted to go for one last dip before saying good bye to the coast…

our next stop was in san miguel de allende to visit annie. here’s me and annie on a little overlook of the city…it was such a quaint little place!

the next one is the day we ate the best fish tacos in the whole world. who knows what was in the sauce, but whatever it was, it was DELICIOUS. the tab included 8 fish tacos, 17 beers and one side of coleslaw. not a bad afternoon (we were there a while)…

this final photo is the last picture of our trip. we’re back in mexico city and i made chris take my picture in front of the big heart…i loved it. the next morning we were on a plane home to Denver, three months to the day after we left.

we’ve both got one week of graduate school left before we’re thrown back into the world. by thrown back into the world, i mean i’m going to florida for a week and chris is going to india…our lives continue to be oh so rough!

until our next trip…

Acapulco, friends and Thanksgiving…

it has been a while since our last update, but worry not things have been as enjoyable this week as ever. Hannah and Andy arrived last Saturday night to join us for a week by the beach. We hung out in Acapulco Sunday for the day…plenty of time by the beach, some tacos, and a bit of Sunday football for Chris and Andy. not bad. OH, before i forget, Chris and I went to bingo at the casino by our hotel last Saturday night. it was incredibly fast, there were no letters involved (all numbers), and i incorrectly called out bingo. ha! the place was packed and it was quite funny. we never knew bingo could be exhausting, but it was. anyways, the beach days that followed quickly made up for our bingo overload. it continues to be a rough life we lead.

monday morning we headed to puerto marques where the timeshare is. chris´s mom kindly offered us a week to enjoy, and enjoy we have. i have been happy as can be to have a kitchen to use…we´ve cooked every night and managed to make ourselves a thanksgiving dinner as well. the bay sits right outside our window, and on more than one ocassion we have caught fireworks going on in the town below. there´s a glorious pool, a couple hot tubs, and a beach nearby. needless to say, we have enjoyed a week in the lap of luxury after spending so much time with our bags on our backs.

as for thanksgiving, we did a good job. breakfast began with rice, beans, eggs and plantains. follow that with some time by the beach, some football on tv for the boys, and some time in the hot tub for me. for dinner we made tequila lime chicken, some potatoes and veggies, and some fresh black tuna we bought from a fisherman that morning. we spent less than five US dollars on over two pounds of fish…perfect! following dinner, chris whipped up some fresh margaritas which we complimented with homemade churros…yum! next up was a visit to town to join in the festivities taking place there that night. there was a huge town party for what they called the presentation of the child. we´re not sure what exactly it entailed, but the guy from the beer shop had invited us to join, so join we did. we had ourselves a true mexican fiesta for thanksgiving complete with dancing with the locals. it made for a fun night, that´s for sure.

anyways, today is our last day at the timeshare. tomorrow we leave to head north to Zihuatanejo, a beach town that many people know of as the town the guys meet up in at the end of the Shawshank Redemption. it´s supposed to be just beautiful. we´ll be there for at least one night, then we head inland again to meet up with Annie in San Miguel de Allende. we´ll spend our last bit of time there before we head home in a little over a week.

hope all is well at home…sorry about the lack of photos again

Mexico!

well we´ve journeyed back to the northern hemisphere at this point. we arrived in mexico city late sunday night and spent monday through thursday enjoying the city. unfortunately i can´t post photos from this computer, but i´ll do my best with words.

monday morning we spent walking around the neighborhood where we were staying. it was a national holiday, so many things were closed, but we were still able to walk around for a while and enjoy. the city park, el bosque de chapultepec, is the largest green space in latin america, and it was packed with families enjoying a sunny holiday in the city. it was beautiful, with lakes and trees and happy people everywhere. not a bad way to enjoy the morning. in the afternoon we hopped on a bus that took us outside the city to teotihuacan (pre-aztec ruins). here we spent our time hiking up and down pyramids and enjoying some more sunshine. monday night we finally went out for the nice dinner that we had riding on the patriots/broncos game from a while back. we found a nice little place and – lucky for us – tequila was on special 2 for 1. chris ordered a couple glasses and we were both pleasantly surprised to find out that good tequila can be sipped AND that it tastes good! they offer you a shot glass of spicy tomato juice alongside the tequlia, and that serves as the perfect counterpart for the tequila. yum. coupled with a beer and some tacos, the tequila made for a nice treat.

tuesday morning we were up and out early to wander around the historic part of the city. we took our first journey on the metro and were amazed to discover that not only was it efficient, but it was also super clean and incredibly cheap. thanks to lots of subsidies, a single ride costs about 20 cents US. not bad! after winding our way through the historic part of town, we jumped back on the train to head to the national anthropology museum. it was huge and housed an unbelievable amount of stuff. chris managed to spend about 3 hours there, where as i only lasted about 2 before i was beat and had to head home. it was just too big!

wednesday we journeyed back to the historic part to visit the templo mayor of tenotitchitlan (what mexico city used to be when the aztecs were there). when they discovered the templo mayor, it was buried under city buildings. they had to clear an entire block to unearth what was left of the temple. kind of cool, and the museum was quite impressive. wednesday afternoon we took the metro south to visit the university of mexico city campus. it was HUGE. the university has 260,000 students enrolled in it and boasts a staff of 30,000 teachers. they had their own crazy bus system that we rode around for a while before ultimately admitting university exploration defeat and hopping on the metro home.

all in all, mexico city was much more impressive than either chris or i expected. it was polluted for sure…you could see the smog as we left the city yesterday…but it was also very modern and efficient. there´s an astounding number of people living there – we read that nearly 4 million people use the metro each day – but at the same time the city is very well organized and run for a place of such size. it was a wonderful surprise to see that many of the beliefs that i used to hold about mexico city are not necessarily grounded in the city´s reality now. it was a refreshing change in mindset, that´s for sure.

much to my delight, the food here is also amazing. tacos, tacos, tacos. we eat them everywhere. little street vendors, decent restaurants, nicer places…they are so good and they all come with some new delicious salsa. it´s just about all we´ve eaten since we got here. YUM.

anyways, yesterday morning we grabbed a bus to acapulco, and we´ve been relaxing here since. it feels like a vacation from our vacation, which is terribly gluttonous of me to say (it´s true though). hannah and andy arrive tomorrow night around midnight, so we´ll have a couple of other friends to enjoy the beach with for a week. we don´t have much planned aside from days on the beach. i intend to cook some good dinners once we´re in the timeshare, but in the meantime tacos do just fine. we´ve now been traveling for over 10 weeks which means that we´re down to less than 3 remaining. crazy! everything continues to be well though, so we´re happy, relaxed, and – after a day at the beach – sunkissed.

hope all is well at home…we´ll be back in touch soon (hopefully with photos). bye for now!

Our last day in Peru…

greetings all from our final day in Lima. We depart tomorrow for Mexico City, so this marks the end of the South America portion of the trip. It´s a bit sad that we´re ending so soon, but alas who are we to complain? We´ve had a pretty great run of it so far. Here are some photos from the past couple weeks (it seems it has been a while since I was able to upload any), along with a brief update of our recent days…

the first one is of me in costume for Puno Days (that was the celebration on lake titicaca with the parade that lasted all day):

next up we have one of Chris, me and our donkeys celebrating Obama´s victory. we were in Arequipa at this point:

following Arequipa we headed to Colca Canyon; here´s a shot of me at the top of the canyon (before we began our descent down into it):

next we made our way to Camaná, the town on the coast that had suffered all the tsunami damage. we were greeted by one heck of a sunset:

following Camaná we hit up Huacachina for a little sandboarding and dune buggying. we wound up relaxing there for a couple of days because it was a place well suited for lazy days by the pool. on the first afternoon we went out for a dune buggy ride. it was pretty sweet; the dunes were huge and the driver sure did know how to make that dune buggy go. it was crazy! here´s our crazed looks at the end of the ride, along with one of me on the sandboard (we quickly learned that it was no use to actually try and stand on the board – going on your stomach was much faster and much more fun!):

when we got home from sandboarding, chris thought it would be fun to play with the hostel owner´s pet monkey (tied to a tree outside the hostel). well it was fun until the monkey climbed chris´s leg and ROBBED him! ha! for real. chris even said out loud, “he´s trying to rob me,” to which the monkey responded by reaching into chris´s pocket and stealing his money! here´s a photo of the monkey robbing him, along with one of chris trying to talk the thief into giving him back his riches:

our second day in Huacachina was spent by the pool in the morning and at some wineries in the afternoon. we stopped by three separate places. one was a larger, industrial winery. this was followed by an artisan winery (lots of pisco here – yikes!), and the final one was a more historical, old fashioned kind of place. following the wine, we headed back to the pool for an afternoon of relaxation and to enjoy the wine we bought at the winery. here´s one of chris and his other animal friend from the hostel. the bird is eating a cookie while chris enjoys his wine (this animal did not rob him):

anyways, we arrived back in lima yesterday morning so that we would be able to visit the Peru office of Pathfinder International (Pathfinder is where I worked in Boston before I moved back to Denver). It´s a small office, and I had daily contact with the folks down here while in Boston, so it was quite fun to put faces to names and to hear about some of the new projects. They are quite busy these days, and the work they do is admirable. Needless to say, I was very pleased to enjoy a few hours chatting with everyone…here we all are:

for our last day we have been enjoying some of our peruvian favorites. we started the day off with a humita (similar to a tamale – cornmeal and cheese in a corn husk – yum!) and followed it up with some choclo y queso (choclo is giant corn). next up we had an inca cola (local peruvian cola – it outsells coca cola down here!). we still have to find salchipapas to complete the day, but so far we have done well in satisfying all our favorites. salchipapas are french fries with a hot dog cut up on top and somehow they make it taste amazing down here. here´s one final photo of chris enjoying his choclo this morning:

well, tomorrow we´re off to Mexico City. we´ll be back in touch when we get there! bye for now…

Welcome Welcome

With about twelve hours to go before we leave, I’m learning to blog and Chris is…well, Chris is watching football instead of packing (somehow this seems a fitting way to begin the trip). So welcome, friends, to our big South American/Mexican adventure. We’ll do our best to post some photos and thoughts here for the next few months; hopefully you’ll find our exploits to be as amusing as we surely will.

Enjoy.