Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

There is nothing like the sound of little bare feet slapping the moist sand of a tropical beach as they charge the surf. Throwing her arms in the air, she chants the words Puerto Vallarta numerous times; the announcement that we have once again arrived!

Another Thanksgiving spent in the warmth of the Mexican sun was so therapeutic. A nice break from the prelude of the holidays and a time to reflect on our many blessings, one of which was the opportunity to spend this week of R&R with Pat's brother's family and his mom. Devi was ecstatic to have two of her young cousins to play with for a whole week along with her Oma, aunt and uncle, whom she named the Big Silly on this trip.

She chased this poor bird up and down the beach.

Chopsticks in the dark!

Beyond daily fresh guacamole, and chilled champagne, better than Verde sauce on scrambled eggs in the morning and desserts every night; even surpassing the unbelievable massage and gorgeous nightly sunsets, was the snorkeling experience I had with my three year old. Her first time!

Tearful over the realization that fins and mouthpieces were not available in her size, we managed to get her goggles on and tackle the internal struggle she was trying so desperately to overcome; whether to stay in the boat or brave the open ocean. In the end, her adventurous spirit came shining through and into the water we went to join our boat full of bobbing counterparts. I convinced her to put her face into the water long enough to see a glimpse of the colorful tropical fish that were lively and abundant. That was all it took. She was hooked and loving this adventure.

With no body fat to speak of, she quickly began to shiver, but our outing yielded several "whoo-hoo, fish!" shouts from her before we turned and swam back to the boat. All the adrenalin and energy burned blooping exhausted my little monkey and with life jacket still in place and her towel wrapped burrito style around her little body, she quickly fell asleep. In fact, she never stirred once from my arms to the captains to make the transfer from catamaran to dingy, then back to me for the short ride to shore and then from my arms to the captain's again as he waded her from thigh deep water to shore and into the comfort of a lounging chair. I wish I possessed the ability to nap like that!

The glorious sun was very generous, but we did encounter one nasty day of rain. Not a mist or refreshing shower - we experienced a true downpour in every sense of the word. In a place not used to this sort of deluge, the gutterless grounds were quickly overcome with water and swamped. We happened to be eating at a Japanese restaurant at the time; the only one on the premises that is not open air. About half way through the meal, Dev announced she had to use the rest room. I took her. While assisting in the stall, the restaurant lost power leaving us in complete blackness in the ladies room. We were both very quiet for a few seconds and then out of the darkness, the tiniest of voices said, "Mommy, why did you turn out the lights ?" When I said we lost power, something she has never experienced before, she very calmly said, "Oh" as if she understood the idea of electricity. That is my roll with the punches kid. We managed to feel our way out of the rest room where emergency generators had kicked in to help light our way past the dripping light fixtures to our table. All three little girls managed with chop sticks pretty well as we finished our meal in candle light which was really quite nice.

Over way to fast, the trip was a huge success. The children were good buddies the whole time becoming water logged with raisined skin to last a lifetime by weeks end. Olivia, the oldest asked if we could live there all the time! I guess that says it all. We all got along so well and enjoyed our time in the sun, only to return to temperatures in the teens at home. That has been an huge adjustment. Our skin, bronzed by the sun's rays, is covered in layers for warmth, with just a tiny bit of it's intensity lingering deep in our soul's. We are all hoping to hold onto it through the winter, until our next trip to paradise!

Once again we say farewell..sniff


Four..and ONE from India said...

Looks like you had a blast.:) We love visiting the beach. Can't wait to go back and we will have Maiya with us. The napping picture is too cute. Have a Merry Christmas and looking forward to your Christmas post. :) Gidg

The Pfeiffer Family said...

Julie, I love how vivid your writing is. I always feel like I am right there with you at whatever event or vacation you are talking about. I bet the sunshine felt SO good this time of year. How fun for you all to spend family time together making memories. Those kind of memories last a lifetime.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

April :-)

SarahinOK said...

What a wonderful vacation! I can't wait to do something like this with our family someday!

Peter and Nancy said...

I just love all the photos -- Devi looks so grown up! What a wonderful time spent with family (and a little sun is a nice change too). :o) Glad you had a chance to get away -- thanks for giving this snowbound Wisconsinite a glimpse of warmth!