We all have kids in college who we missed, but our at-home kids match up in ages pretty perfectly…Grace and Claire each have two cousins in those families who they adore, and Lucy, in that picture above in between Dave and me, was pretty content to be everyone’s partner most of the time…until she wasn’t.
But she was pretty great to cajole everyone into card games each night and I loved listening to her spill out all the glories of the trip to Elle en route back home.
I’m going to just put little pieces of my journal in here to document. Here we go:
Church was all in Spanish, of course. Going to church in foreign places is one of my favorite things to do. My heart was about to burst hearing a trio of cousins behind me trying to sing the hymns in Spanish.
This was that first night all together, but really could have been from any night, because Lucy is pretty crafty at gathering people for card games.
Look up Tulum if you want to know more. It’s pretty fascinating to think of that civilization who chose to live there all those years ago, their religious beliefs, how it is believed that they traded and lived their lives, and how the droughts forced them from place to place.
This part of the trip was pretty tricky for Lucy. Sidewalks and pathways, even pretty even ones, and stairs of various sizes are getting more and more difficult to maneuver.
But that girl was pretty pleased-as-punch that the next two stops included some swimming.
These are out of order because we snorkeled before we visited the Cenotes in real life, but this is how my pictures are ordered so here we go:
These are networks of underground fresh water river/pools formed in limestone caves.
We all loved swimming around in these things, and exploring the caves we found.
One of the cousins found a spot where you could swim under a cave wall in and out of another cave. Of course I did it because I love that adventure but I discovered I’m not the best at holding my breath and I honestly thought for a split second that I might die under those rocks, kicking my legs so hard to get back up to the surface under that wall. I came up so wide-eyed and so grateful to breathe again! Everyone else it seems, has some talent for breath-holding and they all came up with wide-eyes of amazement at that cool little discovery.
SNORKELING was next.
Out in the most gorgeous blue water.
Everyone was a little punchy and we were laughing so hard we could hardly snorkel. But we still managed to see sting rays and lots of turtles and then took a boat ride to see Tulum from the other side.
Back at the hotel we were laughing at this funny scene…the hotel photographer got these girls going doing a little modeling for them 🙂
We did some kind of games every night:
At night the whole sky filled with cotton candy wisps of clouds and we sat and drank in all that beauty, Dave and I first dipping in the ocean and then straight to the hot tub.
The kids were all dying to watch the Bachelor season finale. So us parents watched part with them between all our conversations. Interesting that this is what mesmerizes teenage girls all over the country…and world for that matter. Made for some good talking points.
We were so lucky that our kids got certify for SCUBA DIVING. They did some classes at the hotel, and also went on some dives.
It was so fun to watch those faces go from scared to triumphant.
Meanwhile Lu and I had some good time together back at the hotel.
(Even the other moms were getting certified, and Dave and the other dads and one cousin who were certified already went along to help.)
Love this little friend of mine.
Went into town to get tacos for dinner when everyone got back.
That, below, is some pretty delicious stuff I have to say:
Favorite part of the night was watching all the cousins at a table with huge smiles on their faces when a guy came and just sang his heart out with a microphone filling up the whole taco shop with music so loud we couldn’t talk…
…then walking across to the “Mega” (grocery store) walking the isles everyone so happy loading the cart with all kinds of Mexican snacks:
…and then heading over to the “disco” back at the hotel complete with a fog machine and disco ball, all those cousins dancing their hearts out with big smiles. Back to bake brownies and play the name game at the hacienda.
…oh, and watch funny things on YouTube:)
Rallied the troops up to the pseudo grass tennis courts on top of one of the buildings and got everyone going on CARDIO TENNIS. I stopped time in my mind for a minute or two to bask in watching all those cousins who are really quite good at that game swinging away at those balls, everyone really enjoying that good workout for a very long time.
The adults went out to dinner (since the kids opted for cereal 🙂 and reminisced about all those years they had to travel all over the world selling for the business they had started. I’m so grateful for those three great men and how hard they worked on a shoestring to make that thing successful.
On our last day we took the ferry to COZUMEL to scuba dive.
Dave and I have spent so much time in that place over the years (one post about it back HERE
Loved the hype of sharing it with this group:
And sinking down into that glorious blue:
…with all these people I love so much:
I already shared my journal entry about that back HERE
, but here are some more pictures to go with the story:
Grace was my “scuba buddy” which I loved but she about drove me crazy not sticking with me because she wanted to take pictures with the GoPro.
I had to remind myself that this was “payback” for all those times she waits for me and my pictures. HA!
And I have to admit, I’m pretty glad to have all these puppies!…even if they’re imprinted with the wrong date.
God is an incredible artist.
Love that Lu had a good book to keep her company while we were down there and she was so great cheering everyone on.
Everyone who got certified on this trip:
The run to catch that ferry was pretty epic, everyone flying as fast as they could, towels streaming behind us, Lucy with one shoe on and one shoe off, determined to make it so we’d have more time for card games back at the hotel.
…and although pictures can never do God’s creations justice, this sunset as we skipped along the horizon took my breath away:
So many other funny things happened. Along with some temper tantrums, exploring, hot tub discussions, beautiful moments I’ll treasure forever, and love shared. There is nothing like being with people you love and don’t get to see as often as you’d like.
And if that catching up happens to be in the middle of a grand adventure, even better.
As the sun set on that adventure I couldn’t help but sit on the beach and just send out so much gratitude.
Mostly for these people I get to call my own. Who have inspired me now for so many years.
Even more adventures greeted us as we made the long travel home, through crowds and airport security and customs officers and a couple lost bags.
But that’s what memories are made of, right? 😉