…And when they get a little crushed.
Be warned, super long post and lots of pix…It’s the grab a cuppa and settle in type of post today! 🙂
It goes without saying that we had a fantastic holiday…Like praise, Jesus! Gratitudes to the brim (no, for real)..But, guys, I’ll be honest with you and say, amidst all the happy go luckiness of travelling, we got our dreams a little crushed along the way.
You see, the plan was…(isn’t that how most tales start, “the plan was”..?)..Anyway, the plan was that we skip crazy Spring Break and head out to the US just before their summer break starts, where the first few days will be spent getting kiddies jet lag sorted, catching up with family and booking our next two legs of the trip. But what we didn’t bank on (and Im sorry if I sound like Im on repeat here,but…) was Parker being hospitalized right when we were supposed to take off. Meaning the earlieset we could leave was right at the start of summer break…as in the holiday makers are coming out of the woodwork, prices shoot up pretty much to double if not triple and spaces get crowded – all the reasons I wasn’t so keen to go in June.
But there we were jetting off in June in any case. Now, call it me being fast asleep or maybe this was how things needed to play out. But try as I may, I just couldn’t seem to get started on the bookings for our Disney World trip. And when I finally did, it was me watching as the prices sky rocketed. And while Mikey was hemming over whether or not we should just cough up the extra unplanned mountain of cash to make it happen, I was watching the number of seats available dwindle at a ridiculously rapid rate. Mikey was all, “lets sleep on it”, and I was all, “DUDE! There’s no sleeping on this..its either we grab or lose out. Its now or never!”
Now, to give you a little context as to why I may have come across as a little overly dramatic about bagging those heavy priced tickets that were to jet us off to the Happiest Place on Earth. Well, if you recall, right before we left, Morgy spent the entire day reminding what I needed to pack in for her bucket list items . Then spent all night double and triple checking whether I did in fact pack it in. I was up until well past midnight packing everyone’s bags, but sister over there couldn’t help but creep in to ask,
“mama, you packed in my Princess dress for the castle, right?” *peeking into her suitcase as I reassured her*
“mama, you packed in my mouse ears, right?” That was on repeat till eventually she passed out in the early hours.
We had quite a few ticks to check off on our bucket list, but her major bucket list items were:
1. Hug aunty Shona
2. Wear her princess dress to Cinderella’s Castle
3. Watch the fireworks over the castle with her mouse ears
Pretty simple right? And I was all in, making promises and sealing it with the Almighty pinkie.
Now fast forward to me sweating bullets on my sister’s couch as I watched the last few flights get snagged up. I’ll tell you this, it’s a pretty freakin’ awful feeling knowing your fogged up brain was responsible for crushing your little girl’s dreams. One she’s been near Tom Cruising it on the couch for in it’s build, and you been her main cheerleader. And I get it, I really do. I get that there are bigger things in life, and that these are but mere luxuries of life experiences. But when your little girl -who never really asks for much and is just the sweetest and loveliest person, who’s kind, caring, patient and just an all round good human – actually enters a pinkie promise with you….*sigh*… Parents, I don’t think I have to explain it to you how you would go to the ends of the earth to make it happen, right?
But, we slept on it – ‘cause that’s what responsible people do, right? After a quick parent huddle, we then decided to cann our little morantic couple breakaway to Cancun – complete with Whale Shark diving, diving into the cool waters of Il Kil, sunset cruises for two, and the works. All of it- gone. Poof. We decided to cann it all and, instead, plug it into making our little girl’s dreams come true. Only to wake up to exactly zero flights left for the next two and half weeks…
*dramatic pause as I felt the earth cave in on me*
In fact, I’m sure I heard the awful shattering sounds of dreams being crushed.
I immediately went into backup plan mode…But Plan B,C,D all had major holes in them, including a family road trip. SO with the most horrible feelings in the pit of my stomach, I was trying to find ways in which I was going to break the news to my little Morgan-Lee, as I tried to accept that there was nothing more I could try. No more backup plans to conceive.
Trying to deliver that news sucked. No Princess dress, no castle, no fireworks, nothing. So I put it off and slept on it.
Also I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure who would be more disappointed by it – her or me. Because having already been there as a young adult, knowing how amazing everything is there, I couldn’t wait to enjoy it with them and see it through the eyes of our little children. I could only imagine the wonder it would inspire in them. Also, I mean Wizarding World?? Helllloooo?…Harry Potter??Ag, don’t get me started on it. I may just get sad all over again. But it was apparently just not meant to be.
The next morning though, my sister came to share the tragic news of the Orlando shooting with us. She gave a knowing raise of her eyebrow and suggested that this is possibly why Orlando just wasn’t meant for us this time round. Soon after that, it was the inconceivably horrific news of the little boy that was eaten by an alligator at Disney World – where some parts of Magic Kingdom were actually shut down . We, and the whole country were in shock from both these senseless tragedies. The airports were just insane as a knock on effect.
And with that I tried to let it go, reasoning it out that this was why it was not meant to happen..
To her credit though and being the good natured person Morgan-Lee is, she accepted our sob story about no more flights due to a rogue alligator that had gone mad at Disney. (Ssssso we may have spiced up the story a bit for her…ok… Look, I was already failing at parenting with broken promises, alright?! I might as well go down in flames with spiced up stories.) She took it well enough ,If not visibly disappointed, she was mostly concerned and saddened for the people affected and wanted to know how they were doing after the gator attack. (which is so typical of her little golden heart)
So with Disney off the cards, and Mexico still beckoning our name, we made it a full on family exotic beach getaway!
I’ll spare you the gory details of the emotional rollercoaster ride that booking process was for me. Let’s just say the universe was making me work for this holiday.
Add in crazy, proper Griswold-esque kind of luck where we were so early but thanks to faulty boarding pass machines that were toying with your emotions, leading to ridiculously awkward sprints across the crowded airport with backpacks and kiddies swinging from our necks, breathlessly shouting directions for gates to each other, and almost damn near missing our flight to Miami. We must be quite an entertaining sight to behold, I’m sure. Like if you ever need a good giggle, just hang around the airport whenever we travel – Murphy is sure to gate crash our party.
But there we were, by grace and good natured staff, our bums in airline seats, firmly jetting off for some exotic beach chill time.
Driving through Mexico, there are absolutely no doubts that you have arrived, with its gorgeously azure waters, stretching pretty much on either side of the road, along with dense jungle in between. The heat also lives up to it’s reputation- muy caliente indeed!
While the girls started the dance party early. They usually are the ones who open up the dance floor, so this was no surprise to us.
We learnt about the deadly jungle, the “settlements” discreetly tucked away in them, and all about Mayan culture.
What a fascinating culture! They’re absolutely at one with nature. I was left amazed by them and their precision in mathematics, wisdom of their bodies and just so much. Just extraordinarty… Except for the whole human sacrifice thing, of course!
The girls of course weren’t interested in this, they were just focussed on the swimming in the cenote.
Now if you’ve never heard of the word cenote, go do yourself a favour and google that! Then do yourself an even bigger favour, and add “Il Kil” to the search, and be prepared to have your mind blown.
It’s seriously the stuff dreams are made of…
After hours of driving we arrived at Hubiku Cenote in Yucatan (and not Il Kil as planned (apparently when you’re as exhausted as I was, you click in a thick brain haze and select the wrong tour by sheer accident. Although, it actually worked out better as Il Kil is not child friendly at all.)
Hubiku did not disappoint though…
Then as you descend, it becomes very apparent from the steamy blue glow it emits, that some of Heaven may actually exist right here on this earth…
Once you enter, you find it is true.
Don’t let my shoddy photos fool you. ‘Cause trying to get a great shot with kids super eager to dive right in, amidst a busy place, along with a tour time factor ticking away, all proved to be rather tricky.
This one with my “take the picture quickly” smile is real #momlife for ya: See the naughty grin of Morgy who’s actually just ready to dart for the water the second I take my hand off of her – I know this cause I had to lasso her back in at least twice before this shot was taken. And Parker over there, with little fingers ready to pull my bikini brooks down, was all about keeping it real and ready to lose her mind in about t-minus two seconds, ‘cause she needed an “uppy”…Right. Now.
Cenote swim bucket list item: check!
After the warm bath-like waters of the Gulf coast and the swimming pool, the cool fresh water of the cenote was rather invigorating. Also why the girls took so long to let go of me at the beginning.
On the road, as per usual, Morgy made a friend. ( She always make a friend no matter where she goes)…Her friend didn’t speak a word of English, and yet they got on like a house of fire, genuinely enjoying each other and sharing road trip snacks.
Little sister also wanted in on the rock, paper, scissors fun.
And then it was onto one of the seven wonders of the world, Chichen Itza…no surprise then that Morgy called it “chicken pizza”.
There was an interesting tour, and learnt more about the Mayans…
But what do you do when you’re not really interested in the tour guide?
You add your own archilogical sand drawings to the site, of course…
And go run around the biggest football field ever, taking part in the voice traveling experiments…for as long as you could stand being away from the shade.
Dude. Caliente does not describe the heat of well enough. Standing…on the sun itself, is perhaps more accurate. Now, whilst I’m pretty ok with heat, and the girls did fine too, as long as I poured water over their heads, Mike is the one who was less than ok with it all.
So the girls let him cool off under the tree while we went to go explore a little more. Naptime was calling both of them, but both were still adamant to cruise along with mama to the temple itself. And I loved that they were as keen as myself.
Thereafter it was ice-creams all round followed by lunch, and watching random salsa dance sessions break out in our group, before hitting the road again.
Along the way we were taught how to drink tequila – along with Spanish salutes that I probably will never be able to remember ever again – due to my poor Spanish or the tequila effect, who knows, but was a lot of fun!
Eventually along the way, the girls passed out. It had been a 12 hour expedition, and we were running two hours behind…so with a total of 14 hours, we were all pretty much tuckered out. As we carried their small yet suprisingly heavy bodies back along the palm-lined walkway to our hotel, tired as we were, I was so extremely grateful.
You see, what you didn’t know was that earlier, right before the cenote, I lost my cool with them in the dressing room. The whining, the nagging, the perhaps unnecessary weight of self-imposed guilt from disappointing my girl, all just go to me. Along with the irritation with myself for being so tired that I booked the wrong damn tour, all just seemed to culminate right at that moment. I did the whole under my breath crap out on them…but then almost instantaneously buried my face in my hands and quietly started to cry about it. I cried for hissing at these two little girls of mine who were really just kids being kids, all while I was supposed to be making it up to them for Disney. Right now, they were supposed to be at the “happiest place on earth” but instead were being hissed at by their mom. I mean, how much did I not suck at that moment?!
But just as I was about to go into a proper sob about it, I felt two pairs of warm, little arms wrap themselves around my neck, whispering in their little girly voices that its ok,momma. Of course, I felt like an even bigger douche for getting upset with them, but now also ready to go out there, pull my mommy pants on and give them a good time.
So, with their sweet little mouths gaping in sleep and little limbs dangling as we carried our two exhausted little girlies–little girlies who swam with the fishies in a beautiful ancient sacred cave, ran across ancient Mayan ruins, left their own stick-in-sand artwork at the sight of one of the seven wonders of the world, and pondered through the various pieces of local artwork – I felt truly grateful about having these two new little members on our adventure team. We always said that we wouldn’t stop our little adventures once the kids came. Sure, it’s not as easy as before, and yes there’s lots more to consider and to plan for, but they bring a new flavour to things. And it’s so incredible to watch how their little minds take it all in. And it’s going to be even more incredible to watch how all these little life experiences will slowly mould their future character and unfold in the way they will view the world. I cannot wait for more of this.
The next morning, after having a proper sleep in post the epic tour of the day before, we slowly rose from our beds and I started plotting what awesome little tours we could book for the girls. Perhaps that swim with the ocean turtles tour I once spotted a few months ago. Mike took his daily morning walk to the local Star Bucks (‘Cause the local Mexican coffee tastes like pure ass. I’m not even kidding. I wouldn’t pay $7 to $9 a pop a few times a day if I wasn’t.) In the meantime, the girls were having a grand ol’ time on the bed. So I joined in.
What started off as jumping on the bed, soon turned into bed jumping Olympics, complete with scoring and landing poses, with a tickle fest or two for good measure. We were laughing so hard and since I needed to catch my breath, I decided to grab my camera instead.
Cute faces? Well, yes…but that’s not all.
I saw pure unadulterated happiness. And then it hit me…something I already knew, but had perhaps just forgotten about…
The happiest place on earth wasn’t at the end of some exorbitantly priced flight, or amidst the crowds lit up by fireworks. But right here…with each other as a family…no matter where on earth we were. I could find that happiness so easily if I was to only but open my eyes.
With that, we canned all plans for tours and declared it walk about and pool and beach bum day for the foreseeable future.
And it was glorious…
More on Houston City, Texas soon…