We went to Mexico over Spring Break.

We had decided long ago that a little reunion with Dave’s business partners and their families was in order.  These business partners just so happen to be his brother and brother-in-law so we got to travel with some pretty great people.

The kids weren’t too sad about that arrangement:

…and neither were the adults 🙂

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.  
She is a pre-teenager after all.  
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.

After church we walked to get some tacos in a little hole-in-the-wall place on a little side street James had looked up.  We were a little bit of a spectacle in our Sunday clothes and Lucy huffing back behind us with her cane, mad for some reason if anyone tried to talk to her, trying to maneuver over the cobblestone broken up sidewalks with trees growing right out of the middle of them in random spots.  You don’t think about how strange sidewalks are set up until you’re walking with a girl with a cane. Needless to say we provided some good material for the locals to gawk at.
The tacos cheered Lucy right up :).  
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.
We went on a little adventure to tour the archaeological site of TULUM.

We had a really interesting tour guide who told us so much history of that place, pretty fascinating stuff.

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. 

(can you believe the color of that water BTW?)

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.

This one was home for quite a few bats…:

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.
Scuba sisters: 
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? 😉

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  1. Hi Shawni – beautiful photos and descriptions, as always! Just wanted to point out that the word you are looking for is "aisle" not "isle". So when you're talking about a store, or a church or anywhere else, it needs the a on the front. "Isle" means island. A common mistake, but just thought I would mention it.

  2. This blurb from your journalling… "Lucy huffing back behind us with her cane, mad for some reason if anyone tried to talk to her, trying to maneuver over the cobblestone broken up sidewalks…"

    I can't speak for Lucy, but that would really hurt my feelings. Maybe she's "mad" because she is so far behind everyone, (no one would slow down and walk with her, why?) struggling, probably self conscious… The picture of Lucy on the steps with all the other cousins way ahead of her, together, speaks volumes. I don't blame Lucy for being sad/mad. I don't think it's all pre-teen angst.

    1. I totally agree and I so appreciate you looking out for Lucy. She is struggling with lots of things and I love her grit to figure things out (she wants so much to be independent so it's tricky to try to help her maneuver too much) It's difficult to convey a whole scene and thoughts in a blog post through words and pictures alone. (for example, everyone wanted to slow down and walk with her in the one picture of her alone, but her mood wanted everyone far away at that moment, and everyone just rolled with it) That girl had so much love from cousins and aunts and uncles it made me tear up quite a few times. And she felt it, which is why she was just glowing telling Elle all about it and writing in her journal. So grateful for these positive experiences she can have before her vision is completely gone. And so grateful for so many people (you included) who have her back!

  3. Since your other kids have already had the experience of scuba diving why not refrain from it for some years for the benefit of Lucy? Could you imagine the entire family spending the entire day 8 hours in the library? Lucy would love it the rest would have to turn off their grumpy selves as some point. It’s probably what sightseeing and walking and boating for 8 hours feel like for her. She was on an unfamiliar path with a broken sidewalk with a cane for goodness sakes. It’s a foreign country. Nothing sounds or feels the same. You can tell the sidewalk was safe enough but all she knew from the cane was it wasn’t like the surfaces she usually experiences and could actually be dangerous for her. Behavior is communication.

    1. I'd like to point out the obvious. The Pothiers are a family of 7 (8). Of course, Lucy matters, but does that really mean that all the others have to step back all the time? Lucy's wishes are taken into consideration, just look at all the card games that are played. On the other hand, Lucy has to (and maybe willingly does) accept, that sometimes the wishes of the other 6 (7) family members are fulfilled.

      Also, I'd really like to have as much power in my family as Lucy seems to have in hers. 😉 No one ever wants to play cards with me.

  4. Tulum has a special place in my heart. I was able to visit there when I lived in Mexico as an exchange student 24 years ago, and then visited again last year with my sisters and our husbands. It is such a breathtakingly beautiful place. 🙂

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