A Travellerspoint blog

Wehrell-ed Travel, Mexico

Hasta Luego

“It’s time to move on. Time to get goin’. What lies ahead I have no way of knowing.”

Oh Tom Petty, I totally know what lies ahead, you fool. It’s work, bills, a mortgage, stress, errands, cooking, rain, and enough coffee to give a rhino a heart attack.

Vacation is over. It’s our last evening here in Mexico and I sit in the same dumpy motel that we started the trip in, eating the same kind of frozen pizza and mixed frozen vegetables we had on our first stop here. Audrey is finally asleep after nearly two hours of fussing for reasons we couldn’t figure out or seem to soothe. Maybe she knows it’s time to go home as well and she’s protesting in the only way an 8 month old can--refusal of sleep.

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Truthfully I can’t complain. While Des started the first few days with rocky and annoying behavior, he really mellowed out. Audrey started the trip with dream-like cooperation, but has slowly begun to deteriorate into more and more fussy evenings as she becomes overtired from days full of new stimuli and sleep adjustments. We’ve tried to keep things fairly low key on this trip (and have succeeded, really), but at the end of the day she’s not at home in her bed, in her house, with her things. It’s hot, she’s slathered in seven inches of sunscreen all day, and Desmond tries so hard to keep quiet during naps, but at the end of the day he’s three and that’s a feat too large for even the best of ‘em.

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Still, my kids have both been remarkably great on the scale of behavior and adaptability. I mean, Des really has been touch and go at times, but I’d still give him a solid C overall.

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The last few days have been pretty low key after our day trip to Tulum. Lots of beach time, swimming in the ocean, and playing around the area. We’ve gone out to eat (and subsequently packed up our meal), lounged around, and taken many walks. We’ve all been swimming in the ocean, a warm blanket of turquoise goodness, and sat under the stars in the evening as we watched bats feed from the fruit tree adjacent to our deck. We’ve met friendly people who have been very accommodating, and we’ve been swindled for $20 and with purposely poor exchange rates. It’s all about balance.

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At the end of the day (or this day, anyway), it has once again been a worthwhile venture to take my children on a trip to a new country, new experience, new adventure. I never understand why people advise us not to do this, though I can comprehend the whole “why pay for a trip to be stressed out when you can be plenty stressed out at home” bit. Traveling with kids *is* stressful. Usually. Not always, but usually.

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There are moments when I want to give into this mindset. When I search for airfare for all of us to fly. When I deal with finding lodging that will work for two kids with different sleep needs and their accompanying parents who prefer not to sleep on a sofa pullout in the living room, but are willing to negotiate this one. When I just want to sit and drink a cup of tea out on the balcony on a warm evening and take in the beauty around me, but one of the kids decides they don’t want to go to bed. When I bring a crossword book to entertain myself for the duration of the trip, but only manage to complete half of one page the entire trip. When I have to share a bed with a homesick toddler who misses his toys and bedroom and familiarity instead of stretching out in my own bed without someone kicking me in the face trying to sleep in some weird position. When I have to abandon an attempt at restaurant eating because someone is having a meltdown. When I have to find a bathroom asap because my toddler needs to poop, but is still pretty new at the whole “holding it in” deal with potty training. When I think I’m surprising my toddler with an amazing treat of ice cream, but he cries because it’s in a cup that we’re all sharing and he can’t lick it like a cone.

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I could truly go on and on. The stresses DO pile up, and traveling can have it’s really difficult moments.

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Then I watch my baby laugh as her brother splashes at her in a pool. I see my toddler’s face bright with joy as he jumps into his dad’s arms from the pool edge and yells for me to watch his new trick. I take my kids to the beach and see one feel sand for the first time and the other dig around in it with stellar focus and determination, telling me of all the things he’s building with it. I answer ten thousand questions about Maya ruins because the toddler is inquisitive and curious and thought a day trip to Tulum was the best adventure of the trip. I feed my baby guacamole for the first time in a beachfront restaurant with views as memorable as her pure delight in eating it. I sit under the stars as my kids sleep and talk with my husband without the distraction of our everyday life and exhaustion at the end of the day. I go on morning walks with my toddler to explore the area and make up games about all the imaginary things we’re seeing because there really isn’t much to look at in a resort residential neighborhood. I listen to his stories and make believe and smile because he’s just so damn smart. I feel the warmth of the sun, breathe it in, and realize that these moments are greater than the stressful ones beyond any measure of doubt, and I will not succumb to the mindset that they aren’t worth it.

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There is so much I want to show my children in this world, and piece by piece we’re moving along.

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This trip was exactly the kind we needed. It was low key, our days were easy to navigate and packed with just enough action to entertain, but not too much to stress everyone out (minus our, eh hem, spirited toddler and his mad dash darting away and jumping into a swimming pool). There was a good balance of venturing out and sitting in, just what we needed with kids.

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Will we return to Mexico with the kids for a fourth visit? It’s likely. It’s easy travel, friendly people, and filled with plentiful adventure for any stage in life. I’m happy we chose to take this trip, and I am excited for our next adventure...which will be an easy and modest trip to Alaska in July.

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Cheers!

Posted by JorieW 21:53 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Mexico

A Day of Digging in Tulum

After a good day yesterday in which Desmond behaved well enough again for me to take him to the beach to play and run a few shopping errands (diapers anyone?), we decided that it was time to venture a trip to the Tulum ruins.

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It had been decided that taking a tantrum prone, asshole three year old to a historical sight of cultural significance, in the heat and humidity, was a terrible idea. We wanted to wait and see if he’d mellow out first, which he has, to which it was agreed an attempt should be made to see one of the Yucatan’s most famous sights.

Wonderfully, the kids woke up at their normal 7:30 a.m. times after sleeping well in the night (I’m looking at you, Audrey--she who sleeps through the 12 hour night. I’m keeping you.).

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Everyone got ready and we were off to Tulum. We had visited Tulum Pueblo the previous afternoon while running a trip to the supermarket. Akumal has a few small grocery stores, but the San Francisco supermarket in Tulum had a wider selection and lower prices (pro tip).

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Tulum itself is separated into three different parts. There’s the Pueblo, which is located off the main highway. There are shops, restaurants, and more day to day business dealings than tourism across the highway just outside of the ruins. The Tulum ruins are slightly northeast of the Pueblo and outside the gates to the archeological site are numerous small restaurants, shops, and vendors of various sorts that are clearly aimed at tourists. There are also a few small hotels, motels, and inns on this side of the highway. The third part of Tulum is the hotel zone, which is located on the beaches and coast, just south of the ruins.

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We took this all into consideration when selecting Akumal as our starting point of travel. Looking back on that decision I do wish we’d stayed in Tulum (or Akumal’s main center, or Half Moon Bay) for sheer convenience of having access to all the restaurants without needing to drive. Something to consider for next time. Still, the drive from our condo to the ruins was only about 20 minutes, which isn’t too bad on an open highway with relatively little traffic.

About a mile or so outside of the ruins’ main gate is a parking lot for folks like us who opt to do a self-tour. There’s a pay lot with attendants for a small fee (I think it was $2). From there we chose to take a trencito, or little train, which was really a tractor pulling a few passenger cars. We did this because 1. Des loves that kind of shit, and 2. We didn’t expect Des would hold up well to walking from the parking lot to the main gate and then around the site itself in the heat. It was only 9 a.m., but we were all starting to feel mildly uncomfortable.

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Fortunately the trencito came frequently, Des loved it, and it was worth the $4 total we spent for roundtrip shuttling.

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Once at the gates it’s easy to purchase your tickets either at the counter or at the automatic machines. There’s also a ticket counter right next to the trencito ticket counter, so essentially no shortage of ability to buy tickets conveniently before you actually get to the lines.

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Walking around the ruins in and of itself was interesting and fun. From shaded paths, through a stone tunnel, up some stairs, and boom--you’re standing in an open grassy site with ruins all around. They aren’t large and imposing, but when imagining the city in the height of its glory it’s pretty humbling.

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Tulum is one of the youngest of the Maya ruins, as it was one of the last built and inhabited by the Mayans. It survived almost 70 years after Spanish occupation until disease forced the city to be abandoned. Tulum is one of the few walled Maya cities. It served as an important trade hub for Coba, and it’s location on the Caribbean Sea was quite strategic for trade.

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I learned none of this on our visit. That’s why happens when you visit places with a three year old. Rather than hire a guide or *gasp* read the information posted, I had to go back and read about all of the ruins we saw after we returned to our condo. Retroactively impressed.

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Tulum is actually quite compact and despite our inability to really stand and read anything in passing, we were able to walk the entirety of the site before Desmond grew fussy and we pulled him off to the side to dig with his construction trucks in the dirt. He was my own little archeologist. It was cute.

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One of Tulum’s draws for tourists is the beautiful beach below the ruins. Some of it is closed to people, as it is a nesting site for sea turtles, but you can still pack a swimsuit and hit the waves. We chose to stay up on the cliffside and avoid going down to the beach because neither Zac nor I wanted to carry Des back up those stairs in the event he had a total meltdown. He was displeased that we’d be skipping the beach, but he got over it when he discovered that there was more than enough dirt to go around for his trucks.

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After about an hour and a half it was clear that the heat was getting to be too much for Des and the crowds were off putting as well for him. He was grouchy, hungry, and tired. We decided to head back to the town and get some ice cream, which was pretty much a stellar source of entertainment for both kids for about thirty minutes. Well worth the sticky hands and sugar overload for a few minutes of happiness. I even let Audrey have a tiny bit, but don’t tell because I’m sure it’s frowned upon to give a baby ice cream before you’ve even given them broccoli.

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After ruins, ice cream, and cooling down we headed back to the condo. Everyone had some quiet time to unwind. It was very much needed, and when Audrey was up from her nap we decided to head back to La Buena Vida for an early dinner. This time we brought Desmond’s swimsuit so he could use the pool.

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Hammocks, fish tacos, fresh coconut juice, guacamole, and swimming pools on the beach. Could it get any better?

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Yes, yes, it could, because there was also a mariachi band and they happened to be delightful and even serenaded Audrey, who absolutely LOVED it.

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We’ve been getting into a groove after being here nearing a week. Of course we go home in another five days, just as we’re getting our legs, but this trip is kind of sort of sometimes at some points feeling like a vacation.

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Posted by JorieW 20:20 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Mexico

Let's Try This Again

Today is a new day. The sun went down last night and this morning it returned, fresh and light. With it came a new toddler. Well, not really. Don’t panic, we didn’t take someone else’s kid. There’s no way anyone would trade us. Trust me, we tried. But this morning we had a happy kid who piggy backed on his good end to the previous day and launched into a good morning.

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He swam in the pool while Audrey napped. I got some time to exercise (first time the entire trip--that’s crazy for me). Zac got to have some good one on one time with Des (the previous days we’d been nearly fighting to the death as to who would have to engage with him). Audrey got a good nap in. Win/win/win/win.

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After nap we decided to venture out to lunch again. I know, risky. However we opted to take Des to THE most Des-friendly restaurant on the planet. La Buena Vida. I’d read about it ahead of time and it lives up to its rave reviews. A beachfront restaurant on the shores of Half Moon Bay, this place had amazing views, cool ocean breezes, good food, hammocks, swings, beach chairs, and hell, even a swimming pool! It’s the kind of place you can literally spend all day at, just sitting, eating, and playing.

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Half Moon Bay’s beach access is only gained through private establishments like La Buena Vida or some of the hotels and condos along the shoreline. There is no public access point like in Akumal. The bay itself has amazing snorkeling (so I’ve been told), but the water is difficult to enter from the beach because of rocky sea life. There was so much washed up coral that I couldn’t take Des out to wade into the water without swim shoes on.

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He didn’t mind though, he played with his trucks in the sand next to our table for most of the meal. Audrey wolfed down half a plate of guacamole, and Zac and I sat back and enjoyed our meals without interruption or rush.

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Afterward I took Des and Audrey down the beach so Des could explore. We found boats on shore that he was pretty interested in and we kicked around some seaweed. It was a good time.

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After lunch we had to get Audrey back for a nap. Des had been doing so well all day that we decided to let him try the beach house pool again. Zac took him one on one since Audrey was sleeping and we figured it’d be easier on him that way. The two were off, with me enthusiastically waving goodbye so I could have a couple hours to do some reading for a training I’ve started for when I begin working again this fall.

Audrey napped well, I read a lot, and the guys came back a couple hours later. No one was in tears, there were smiles all around, and Zac reported that Des had not jumped into the pool in a mad escape from parental supervision.

It was a low key evening after that. Dinner, baths, bed. I’m fading here, myself. Fingers crossed our crazy mad man has finally mellowed out a bit. We’d like to head to Tulum, but want to wait it out to make sure this whole “good behavior” thing isn’t a fluke.

The last day and a half has been really enjoyable. I absolutely love Mexico. It’s such an easy flight for us from the states, the country has many beautiful areas and is so diverse. What truly makes me enjoy it the most, however, is the friendly people. I honestly can’t get over the difference in traveling with kids versus traveling without. While there are many inconveniences or difficulties, the biggest perk here is the warm reception for families. People stop me to chat about my children, ask questions, or say hello. When we eat at restaurants they want to ruffle Desmond’s hair or rub Audrey’s head. At home this would feel invasive or awkward because it NEVER HAPPENS. Here? It’s near constant while out. The appreciation for family and the admiration of children is truly special, and it makes our visits here all the more enjoyable. We get actual smiles from strangers. It’s weird. I almost don’t know what to do with it. I’m so used to the Seattle freeze, people avoiding eye contact in passing, and no one opening doors for me as I struggle with pushing a stroller and wearing a baby.

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When Des was being an utter butthole as we picked up our rental car (he literally climbed into the giant plastic bag covering his car seat and refused to get out), the women working came out to help me corral him since Zac was in line waiting to be helped. They were so friendly in trying to help distract him while he was melting down, and looked at some of his menacing behavior and gently said “he’s just trying to have some fun,” when I was clearly frustrated with him. There was no judgment. No “control your child” eye rolls. Just assistance, offers of help, and kindness. This world needs more of that, but I’m happy to be getting even just a short piece of it here.

Posted by JorieW 18:09 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Mexico

One, Two, Three

This is our third trip to Mexico, second with kids, and each visit has been vastly different. The first for obvious reasons. A vacation to Mexico for a couple in their twenties is fueled by swim up bars, sunset booze cruises, and accepting the challenge of “endless” buffet dessert tables. Our second visit was when Desmond had just turned a year old. It was a return trip to Cabo, but we stayed central to the marina on that visit in lieu of an all-inclusive, spent most of our time navigating searches for food between naps, and unwinding on our balcony after Desmond went to bed. This third trip sparked the decision to visit a new part of this beautiful country, so the Yucatan it is.

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We knew we didn’t want to stay in Cancun, but we also knew we didn’t want to spend more than an hour or so in the car to get to our final destination while here. After being relatively on the go in Australia (and all our other trips with Des) we decided we just wanted to fly in, park ourselves somewhere relaxing, and not travel around much. Sure, we can explore the area and venture forth, but with regard to packing up and moving apartments or driving half a day for sightseeing? Nope. Not going to happen.

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We decided to stay in Akumal because it seemed like a nice mix of beach and jungle access without all the flash and booze of Cancun. Playa Del Carmen wasn’t really our vibe either, and Tulum sounded great, but the town itself is inland a few miles and Zac wanted to be closer to the beach. The condo we rented is actually just south of Akumal pueblo by a couple of miles and is located in a big resort complex. I know, I know. Hear me out though, we’re not actually staying in the resort. Our condo is in its own complex with restaurant and pools and even a fitness center (and free yoga, but fuck yoga). There is no hustle of a resort. No traffic of snow birds or annoying couples with kids just running about (ha!). It’s quiet and feels somewhat residential. Yet we have access to all the resort amenities.

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If I’m being honest. I love it.

I know. I know.

What the hell happened? A penthouse condo with private rooftop deck and jacuzzi tub happened. This doesn’t exist in a backpacker’s paradise. This exists in the world of a mom with two kids, a Starbucks travel mug, and enough cellulite to keep her humble.

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Seriously though, our condo is pretty nice. Even Des is impressed with the rooftop baths he’s been “earning” each night with good behavior. Why might he need to earn it, you ask? Because he’s been a serious asshole for like, 80% of this trip.

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On our first day in Akumal he enjoyed the pool and splashed about before we fully settled into the condo. From there we decided to eat lunch at the onsite restaurant. Des was curious and playful at first, wanting to explore. We gave him his space with a few boundaries, all of which he ignored or tested. The meal ended in Zac and I doing the quiet parent whisper yell. What? That doesn’t make sense? You don’t have kids then. It’s the angry whisper you use when you’re right up in their face trying to get your frustration across with some sort of threat quietly enough so no one around you can hear you lose your shit. You wouldn’t want to look like a bad parent when your kid is running around a deck trying to jump over the side of it, would you?

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The next day we decided to try and take the kids to the beach clubhouse where we could use the resort’s beachfront location and capitalize on the shaded chairs and palapas. We figured Des could play in the sand before we used the pools. Sand play? Check. Went well. Ready for the pool? Check, both kids in and having fun. Time to get out? Check, everyone is cooperative and we all get dressed. Sudden meltdown and tantrum out of nowhere? Check, three year old explodes and decides he doesn’t want to leave after he’s fully dressed. Said three year old runs off from parents and jumps into the pool. He fucking jumped into the pool, you guys. I was behind him in a flash, screaming like a lunatic for him to not do it, which did nothing to stop him, as any parent likely knows, because once a strong willed child decides to do something, he fucking does it.

I probably came pretty close to pulling his arm out of its socket as I reached into the pool and dragged him out. He was unfazed and went right back to tantruming that he didn’t want to go. Quiet parent whisper yell? Yeah, forget that--this mom did the full on, in your face, everybody-look-over-here-because-there’s-a-show yell.

Wet and screaming, we all scurried off to our rental car in an embarrassed exit. Audrey, exhausted and overdue for her nap at this point, started falling asleep while I was wearing her. Meanwhile I’m yelling at Desmond, probably to keep me from hitting him at this point. Zac and I aged about ten years that afternoon. The water may not have killed him, but I wasn’t certain that I wouldn’t.

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That afternoon we gave him lots of quiet time to play. We didn’t do much or make many plans. It’s not a ridiculous conclusion to reach that a good chunk of his assholery is likely from being out of his routine and the stress of traveling. Later in the evening we wanted to give him a chance to make up for the crappy day when we went to buy some groceries. Did I mention that earlier in the morning we had attempted a trip to the store for supplies, but had to leave because Desmond was being absolutely terrible and out of control? Yeah. Take two? We’re brave people.

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We decided to head into Akumal Pueblo, the side of town opposite the beach and across the highway. This is where the locals live, shop, and eat. It’s where I feel comfortable when I’m traveling in a touristy area. It’s the kind of area where I want to take my kids, especially as they get older, so we can sit and eat street tacos and drink cold sodas while chatting with locals.

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Des behaved in the store because we told him he could have a Kinder surprise egg from the store if he did. We bribed him with chocolate, sure, but at this point it really seemed like he needed a win to help build him back up and mitigate some of that negative behavior. It was just feeding off of itself and snowballing, and he needed to earn back some of his self-esteem to lob him back into the world of somewhat decent behavior (hi, therapist mom here, clearly). So chocolate egg it was. He earned it, we celebrated it, and then we crossed the highway into Akumal to join our tourist brethren.

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As popular as Akumal may be for Americans like ourselves, it sure is an adorable little beach town. As you come into town you pass through a large arch way. We parked outside of this so we didn’t have to pay for parking (pro tip, you save like, $2). There’s a pedestrian path through the town, so we loaded up the stroller to contain Des and headed to the beach.

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Akumal Beach is a popular public beach, and as the sunset we saw families bringing their OXXO coolers full of dinner and drinks as they camped out on the sand. Local kids splashed in the water and entire families sat and visited. It was very crowded on a Sunday evening and we sort of parked ourselves between two families so Desmond could dig in the sand.

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I took Audrey on a walk along the road to Half Moon Bay. We had contemplated staying in Half Moon Bay, about a 15 minute walk from Akumal Beach, but opted not to because the beach there is rocky and filled with washed up coral and all kinds of spikey sea creatures, so wading into the water for the kids would be unrealistic. Hence staying further down closer to Akumal Bay. The walk was really lovely though.

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We popped into a small taco stand for dinner before heading home. Des earned his rooftop bath, both kids went to bed, and Zac and I hung out under the stars as we tried to decompress from a day that felt as if it were actually four.

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Third visit to Mexico? It will likely be our most memorable one yet. However coming to the Yucatan has left me certain that we will for sure be back for a fourth time. It’s beautiful here.

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Posted by JorieW 17:09 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Mexico

And away we go

Calling travel anywhere when accompanied by little ones is never a vacation. It doesn’t matter where you are going or what the agenda is. Spa retreat in Taos? What a vacation that would be! Unless you have kids. Then it’s just paying a lot of money to try and take a bath by yourself, only to be interrupted by someone whining, in which case you could have just stayed home and done the exact same thing for free. Food tour of New Orleans? What a vacation that would be! Unless you have kids. Then it’s just paying a lot of money to try and eat delicious food prepared by someone else, only to be interrupted by someone melting down and throwing a fit from boredom because there aren’t hummus and scoops on the menu. In which case you will be stuck in a hotel room eating granola bars and fruit leather because you can never leave the room.

My point? Travel anywhere when accompanied by littles is always a trip. That’s it. Trip. Not vacation. Not getaway. Trip.

Let’s just get that out of the way so there’s no misunderstanding.

We decided to take a trip to the Yucatan with the kids because it’s February and in Seattle that means we’ve hit our tolerance limit for gray skies and crappy weather. There are direct flights from Seattle to Cancun, so we booked ourselves one of them, packed up the kids, left the house two hours before everyone’s normal wake time, and flew six hours to get some sunshine. Lunacy, likely.

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The kids were in good spirits when we woke them up. Des was excited to leave and Audrey had no idea what was going on, but was happy to tag along nonetheless. Surprisingly our morning went smoothly. Everyone was packed up, ready to go, at the airport, through security, and ready to board on time and with no hassle. The flight was delayed an hour because there was a peppering of light snow as we were leaving (or mixed rain, more appropriately), the plane had to be checked over, and finally we were clear. Taxing an hour behind schedule, a baby who hadn’t napped yet and had been up for four hours, a toddler who was getting impatient, and a mom with no coffee. Our crew. Audrey followed it up with a massive blowout, leaking diaper of poop, dripping some on Zac’s shirt, while we were unable to get up to change her due to ascending. We paged a flight attendant who kindly let us get out of our seats to change her, only to find I had forgotten to pack wipes. It had to be something of course. I manage to make due with dry toilet paper that I can’t wet because there’s no water on the plane that’s working. Audrey had another big poop an hour later, and was again at the mercy of dry toilet paper. No one could wash their hands and I was queen of the plane because I’d packed hand sanitizer.

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Overall it was still a successful flight. Audrey, despite being over tired and napping very little on the flight, was a true sweetheart. She stole the affection of people passing by and was laughing and playing while awake. Rocking her in the carrier was uncomfortable in such closed quarters, particularly as our plane didn’t have any small pockets of space for me to stand, so there I was leaning slightly forward as I stood in my own seat space, resting one leg on top of the actual seat ala Captain Morgan style to try and balance myself a bit. Des was whiny and generally annoying, but he’s three and six hours on a plane is a long time, so he gets some grace. He enjoyed watching the scenery out the window, even when it was just passing clouds and ocean. Of course there was plenty of movie watching and toy trucks digging raisins, too.

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Our first stop was a night in Cancun, mostly because we didn’t want to drive any longer than we needed to after a long flight. Our actual stay will be in Akumal, about an hour and a half south. Given the long travel day we opted to stay in a motel closer to the airport for a night.

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We stayed in a neighborhood well outside of Cancun’s touristy hotel zone. As we drove by rundown yet bustling taquerias and mini-marts stocked plenty full of Fanta, I had a sudden longing for the old days of travel. The days of dusty roads frequented by few travelers and the challenging struggle of conversational Spanish with locals who speak limited to no English. The days when buying twenty five cent buckets of ceviche in Nicaragua seemed like a good idea and grabbing a beer mid day was refreshing instead of nap inducing.

As we left our overnight motel the next morning, really more a multiplex with communal courtyard, we passed by a swat team on what we presumed was a raid, machine gun poised atop their pickup, faces fully covered to hide their identity. I wondered which house in our neighborhood was their destination. I breathed in deep, taking in the nostalgia. This is my kind of vacation. In the morning as we packed up the car Des collected fallen flowers in front of the motel’s security gate. The beautiful fuschia petals were shedding in the warm breeze. Contrasted with the tan sandstone it was breathtakingly beautiful, and so sweet to watch him grab as many as he could. Behind this picturesque setting was another security wall, the kind I hold dear, a stone barrier ten feet high with shards of broken glass scattered on top. This is my kind of vacation.

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We packed everyone up and left our questionable quarters to drive south. Along the way we stopped at Starbucks. We passed through Playa del Carmen and the Pueblo of Akumal. I counted numerous highway food stands I wanted to stop at along the way. My tired and protesting children disagreed.

We arrived at our lodging in Akumal. A self catered condo in a giant resort complex. Check in wasn't until 4, but we were able to use the pools and clubhouse facilities while we waited. I walked Audrey along well manicured paths as she napped and Des played in the pool with Zac, and I thought. I thought about those dusty roads and high fences. I thought about those buckets of ceviche and hang drying my underwear because I never packed enough (ummm...totally unrelated to the bucket of ceviche…).

That was my kind of vacation.

I walked to complex grounds and breathed in a new reality. My convenient Starbucks coffee. My suitcase full of enough underwear for everyone, snacks to last days, and the remnants of a careful and thoughtful packing list. There are no dusty roads where I am walking, but there are two happy children and this is my kind of vacation.

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Posted by JorieW 04:38 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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