Friday, July 06, 2007


The family vacation to Cancun is history.

And can I just say, I didn't realize how bad a reputation I have for blithely ditching my children and going places alone until my own father emailed me from Kenya and said, "Who are you leaving the kids with?" Although my maternal qualities may be underdeveloped, this was one occasion where the entire family was present. For eight days. In adjoining hotel rooms. Meals, swimming, shopping, buses, bathrooms, airplanes . . . there we were, all six of us.

No wonder I'm so tired.

Traveling: My biggest worry was my youngest. Yes, he's almost six. No, he doesn't always act like it. And nothing makes me stress more than having a child melt down in public. As he's also prone to motion sickness (he's thrown up twice in the car in the last two months--thank you, Angie, for the bucket you gave me for my birthday), I was alert for any sign of trouble on the flight down. But he was a star. I tell you, give that kid a puzzle book or maze book, a pen, and he'll keep himself occupied for hours. Literally. Bless you, Highlights for Children :)

Hotel: We stayed at the Hilton Spa and Golf Resort on the south end of Cancun's hotel zone. The golfing might as well have been on another planet (honestly, who wants to golf in the full sun with 95% humidity?) but my husband and I did take advantage of a massage at the spa. Yes, we have a rough life. No, I do not apologize for it. The Hilton was beautiful, fabulous staff, great free breakfast every morning (there are perks to my husband's travel, one of which is that hotel chains throw themselves at him because he spends so much company money over the course of a year), and a the nicest pool I've ever seen. And I have seen some--Hawaii, Aruba, Dubai, Oman. The Cancun Hilton beats them all. It gradually descends to the beach in a series of rectangular shallow pools that cascade over blue tile steps (lots of fun to clamber up and down) until it gets to the half-circle shaped infinity pool. There's also a self-contained and very large children's pool that doesn't get deeper than two feet. Perfect for putting the two youngest in and not worrying. There's also a pool bar (which we took more advantage of than you would expect from a family that doesn't drink alcohol) and dozens of thatch-roofed cabanas with comfy lounge chairs underneath. The kicker of it all--the place never seemed to fill up. Certainly not the pool area, which was much quieter than our neighborhood pool ever is.

Food: My 8-year-old daughter's biggest fear about going to Mexico was that she would have to eat Mexican food. Hers are not adventurous taste buds. But in addition to the aforementioned breakfast (which included fresh fruit and a chocolate fountain--does breakfast get better?) we had wonderful meals, even outside the fairly enclosed element of the hotel. My favorite was the buffet near Chichen Itza. Everything from seafood paella to grilled tilapia. (And lots of fresh bread and spaghetti for the younger kids.) We also ate at places like Planet Hollywood and the Rainforest Cafe. Cancun is, after all, a big tourist town. But my favorite meal was at the beachfront Hilton restaurant called Mitachi. While the kids ate room service pizza (and the youngest broke a plate in the room which his 14-year-old brother had to clean up), my husband and I enjoyed Coconut shrimp Barbados style and warm rolls and New York filet and Chilean sea bass. With personal chocolate souffles to finish us off. Good thing the kids were with us so we couldn't eat like that every night.

Enough for today. Did I mention I still have mono? Had the blood test right before the trip and not only do I still have the active virus, I have it at the same level I had it in December. So apparently I haven't been lazy enough. I'm working to perfect that.

But one last tidbit for this entry: Our youngest boy learned a new favorite word in Mexico. He likes how it makes people laugh when he says it with just the right intonation and impish grin. We've trained him to use it as an answer.

Question: How was Mexico, youngest child?
Youngest child: Tequila!

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