Three loads of laundry are piled up next to me and bright colored toys are strewn all over the first floor. I had to step over a sippy cup and blocks in various shapes just to get to my laptop. I’m not touching any of those things for exactly 45 minutes. Thankfully, the crinkling froth atop my cappuccino almost comforts my OCD side, temporarily blocking out the chaos of my home.
We returned from our Mexico vacation yesterday and it almost felt like we were on some sort of jetlag. All those hours in the car, combined with early flights and Ayo eager to talk to the seagulls and play in the ocean at approximately 5am each morning made us just a little bit tired. Tired, but so happy to have been able to discover another beautiful part of the world: San Carlos, Mexico. Last week, we flew into Tucson, Arizona on the first flight out, where we were met by much of TM’s family and then drove a mind numbing 7ish hours south. Ayo was an absolute trooper. The flight down (#17 for Ayo) was pretty nerve-wracking. It started out just fine but as we were landing, the passenger directly behind Ayo stopped breathing and the lady traveling with him started to scream for help. About 15 meters from the ground, a nurse, followed by a doctor flung from their seats to assist in resuscitating him in the aisle next to us. We yelled to get the attention of the flight attendants, who were oblivious as to what was happening in the back of the cabin. Pressing hard on this gentleman’s chest, with dramatic pumps, she screamed for someone to get her “an AED, dammit!!” as we touched down in the land of the Grand Canyon. We moved further into the row as paramedics boarded the plane and set up their equipment next to TM. Ayo was wide-eyed, thankfully too stunned to cry. The nurse had found the man’s pulse again and weak legged, we filed off the plane – never to see him again. Wow. So, it was with shot nerves that we drove south of the border. About 20 minutes from the border, as distances switched from imperial to metric, we were finally regaining composure.
The long road-trip instantly paid off as we weary minivan passengers pulled into the parking lot to discover a secluded set of white condominiums with a private turquoise swimming pool, surrounded by vibrant bougainvilleas…overlooking a practically deserted beach. It was an absolutely stunning location – right on the beach, which meant that we could even be outside watching the waves as kiddo napped each day.
Highlights of the trip included a local pedicure with the sis-in-law. We found a hole-in-the-wall place that would do our nails one at a time. But when the señorita got to my nails, she turned somber and told me I must deal with these unhealthy nails. I flinched as she attempted to file down my nails. She coated my feet with some liquid before I could ask ‘what is that brown liquid in a medicine bottle?’ (given my Spanish – it probably sounded more like: “which that?”). She casually let me know that she was numbing my feet with anesthetic! Her mother came in and we could understand her saying something like: “lady not want me cut toenails… bad toenails.” So, the lady washed her hands, as about to perform an operation and suited up in a white medical coat. Without asking, she pulled in a black and decker drill and started to file down my nails. I promised them that I would see a foot doctor and that, errr, I was having second thoughts about a pedicure – let’s just stop here? Mrs. Drill-doc assured me that “no pasa nada!” and that she was a medico herself, and finally, if I didn’t do this on a daily basis, I would have to get some toes amputated. In that case, I surrendered and let the cultural adventure unravel. It might not have been the most relaxing pedi, but hey, we were charged no extra for the nail shaving adventure. Another one of my personal highlights was to see how many Mexicans couldn’t help but grab Ayo’s crazy blond hair fuzz or pinch a squishable cheek as they passed by. It was like rubbing a Buddha belly for good luck. Oh, and one 4 hour fishing trip solved most of the meal-planning dilemma. We caught eight x 10 pound (4-5 kg each) fresh fish: mackerel, bonito and yellow tail – and ate those pretty much for the remainder of the trip. Such a treat!
Vacationing with a 14 month old involves a lot of prep and a lot of clean up. It isn’t what I would call restful but Gramps and the uncles took some helpful entertainment shifts, allowing for the odd nap, nail shaving pedicure or run on the beach. Ayo devoured sand and seaweed, enjoyed swimming in his little floating car and most of all, loved all the attention he got. He clearly needs a sibling! Anyway, we’re back home now full of memories and believe it or not, eager to get some rest now that we are back home!
For the mamas, here is was packing list from this 6 day Spring/Summer trip with a 14 month old:
- Travel Fold n Go booster chair by Brica (used)
- Graco pack n play portable crib & sheet (used)
- Ergo carrier (we went without a stroller this time) (used)
- Carseat and borrowed GoGo Kidz wheels to whiz around the airport (used)
- Beach things: IKEA sand toys (bucket, rake, shovel, sieve) (used), 2x swim shirts (used), arm floaties (unused), 2x inflatable rafts (used 1), sunblock 50spf, 1 swim diaper, borrowed water shoes, sun tent/dome, 2x sunhats, Julbo Looping II sunglasses (used all), wetsuit (unused).
- Clothing: 7x shorts (used all), 5x onesies (used all), 4x PJs (used all), 4x trousers (used all), 2 sweaters (used 1), 4 long sleeve shirts (used 2), 4x short sleeve shirts (used all), 1x light sleepsack (used), 40 disposable diapers (used 30ish).
- Toys: 3 books, 3 finger puppet toys, 2 cars, 1 small ball, 1 obnoxious musical toy (gah!) – just enough toys.
- Snacks: Happy puffs, veggie snax, bananas, granola bar, yoghurt and 4 x squeezable snack pouches – just enough snacks.
- Extras: fever medication, bandaids, toothbrush/paste, 2x bottles, 1x sippy cup, 1x spoon, 1x kid plate, 1x bib, 3x glass jars, diaper rash cream, baby powder for sand removal, small trash bags for dirty diapers, travel size baby shampoo-body wash, travel size baby lotion (used all but fever meds and powder).