Not since college have I been willing to leave the mountains during ski season for a warmer climate consisting of beaches and the ocean. It took my dad turning 60 and the opportunity to go to Cancun as a family vacation to convince us to leave the skis behind for 10 full days in January. (Luckily, we didn’t miss anything at home snow-wise…)
This was Lucy’s first big “overseas” adventure. She’s been to Canada a few times now, so it was not her first international trip, but the first one that she needed to have a passport. I downloaded a learn Spanish app since I’m out of practice, and started working on my Hola’s and Donde Esta el Bano?’s. And then started salivating over the thought of real tacos (although knowing we were going to an all-inclusive time-share property in the Hotel Zone, my expectations were not high on finding great authentic food).
Beach, sand, nap, pool was pretty much our rhythm for the week. Besides a day trip to Isla Mujeres, where we rented a golf cart and toured the small island, we stayed close and just enjoyed relaxing on the beach and playing in the sand and at the pool. It was the first time my Dad and Debbie got to spend some quality time with Lucy since she was born – when we saw them last in August for my sister’s wedding, Lucy had a fever so slept almost the whole weekend. My step-brother Mike was also there, so we had a 5-1 Lucy ratio, which was key for the little ball of energy.
Dave spent every second he could jumping waves in the ocean. It took Lucy a few tries to be comfortable going in, but the waves were pretty strong so we kept her close to shore. Her new ice cream cone sand bucket set was a hit, and she could spend all morning creating sand ice cream cones and castles and then destroying them. We also made some friends in the pool with a few other kids that had fun toys.
While I didn’t really get my taco-stand tacos, the fresh fish more than made up for it. I’m still learning to enjoy fish, but I decided that was going to be the freshest and most “local” thing on the menu, so when in Rome… I ordered fish at dinner almost every night, and really broadened my eating patterns and tried things like ceviche and grouper. The best food surprise was the morning breakfast at the hotel – we had chilaquiles every day! We also learned that real quesadillas use mozzarella cheese.
We got home to sunny weather and no new snow. And wanted to just turn around and go back to the beach. Realizing this mid-winter escape is pretty key to enjoying winter in Whitefish, we’re already starting to plan an Costa Rica adventure for next winter!