Saturday, January 3, 2009
Back From Paradise
Well, we are back. We are unpacked and the boys are playing with their new toys "HO HO" got them for Christmas. "The girl" is running around the house screeching about every toy in the house as if it is the first time she has ever seen them. Coming home is bitter sweet since we had such a wonderful trip. Mexico was amazing and the weather couldn't have been better, but it was the time we got to spend with family and friends that made it truly memorable.
We stayed in a small, rural area about two hours north of Puerta Vallarta. My parents fell in love with the area as soon as they saw it and decided to build their ocean-front dream home. They really have put their heart and soul into creating an amazing place. They also have a wonderful group of friends who live around them that make living there even more special.
Connor and his siblings really were spoiled at Honey and Papa's. They got to go to the beach every day, play in the pool and have hot cocoa while watching the sun set. Where we live in Colorado we don't get a sunset, so it makes it even more amazing to see the beauty of the sky and the sun as it goes "Night Night" into the ocean. My dad, "Papa" made lattes for everyone every night including Connor's hemp milk "latte". My mom, "Honey" even made a special hot cocoa for Connor using a special Mexican chocolate and hemp milk. We always gauged the time based on the location of the sun in the sky since we never wore a watch. This was a bit difficult for Connor a few times because one of Connor's biggest OCD's is his obsession with time.
I was a bit worried about the food aspect of going to another country and not having direct access to familiar food for Connor. I knew we were going to be in a rural area and that finding specialty food would be impossible. I also knew though that my mom had been stocking up on "Connor food" for months in preparation for our trip. Plus, Mexican food is one of the only ethnic food that is fairly easy for Connor to eat. Tacos, beans, rice are pretty much a staple at Mexican food restaurants and all easy for Connor to eat. Terry, my parents housekeeper went above and beyond making food safe for Connor every day. The language barrier was a bit of an issue initially since Terry only speaks Spanish and my Spanish is quite rusty, but she was very caring and eager to learn. She made everything from scratch using local ingredients that were fresh and organic. Connor never seemed to tire of refried beans though. No matter what else was made, Connor would always have a big plate of freshly made beans and corn tortillas.
Christmas in Mexico was an experience. I was able to learn about the local traditions, see beautiful pinatas being made, and hear from Terry about what they will eat for Christmas. In the end, it is always about the food. Ho Ho (Santa) even found us. The boys were a bit worried that he wouldn't find us in Mexico at first. Then they had fun trying to figure out if he would still ride his sleigh in Mexico or ride on one of the many whales that swim right outside of Casa Lagarto.
The kids had so much fun spending time outside all day. If they weren't in the pool, they were at one of the local beaches. We collected sea shells, and they took turns burying each other in the sand. They learned to boogy board and body surf. It was an amazing experience to watch their enjoyment. Connor loves being outside and being active. He has very few difficult behaviors as long as he is busy. Connor even taught himself a little "household Spanish". He gave a few lessons to all of us one evening out of a book my parents had. He told us that he was the teacher and no one was allowed to help or correct his gringo accent. He even talked to Terry whenever he could.
It was nice to spend time with our friends Aran and her family and see her son play with our little girl. Aran gave a few baking lessons and even though I don't enjoy cooking myself, I love watching and of course eating. My grandfather, we named "Papa Grande", was able to make it as well. We all love having him with us and seeing him with my children was wonderful. More life long memories were made and he reminded us of how powerful memories are. We would have all loved to have my grandmother there, but she is always felt. We even saw a hummingbird a few times to remind us that she will always be with us.
I just want to thank my parents for allowing us to share that time with them in their wonderful Mexican paradise. They are very generous people who spare no expense for the ones they love. My mom had been planning the trip for almost a year and it was apparent by the amount of care that went into everything.
My friend Aran said that her resolution for this year is going to be to live in the moment. I couldn't agree more. We only get a small time on this planet and even less time with the people we love. Between work and the stresses of family and obligations, it is the small beautiful moments that make it all worthwhile.
Have a wonderful 2009.