We survived international travel without an international incident.
We didn't even get searched on our return to Canada, and that's saying something where travel with our family is concerned.
We've been home for a week now from a fantastic week-long holiday in Playa Del Carmen. The laundry is all done, the suitcases are put away, and I think the sand is finally out of all of our creases and crannies by now.
This is the first time we've flown with Aaron since he was about 10 months old. This time last year, we were contemplating a winter holiday, but stopped thinking quickly when we realized that the prospect of taking 1 1/2 year old Aaron on an airplane was enough to give us protracted nausea. Last year we opted for a holiday we could drive to, and spent a fantastic, snowy week at Elkhorn Resort.
Either we're a year more delusional, or Aaron has changed considerably, and air travel it was. Our flight left at 6 a.m. from Winnipeg, so we woke the kids at 3:30, popped them in a taxi, and headed to the airport with them in pyjamas. It's a five hour flight to Cancun.
How people fly a second farther than that with small children is beyond me. They are people of greater intestinal fortitude than I!! Though I will say, the flight down went off without a hitch, the kids seemed so entertained by everything that happened that the time passed quickly, despite the fact that neither of them slept a wink. And all seemed right with the world when we arrived at the resort and saw this view:
The early morning flight time meant we still had lots of time to enjoy the pool and the ocean on our first day, before heading for dinner. Aaron quickly established what was to be his nightly dinner routine.
Step 1. Get changed for dinner. Make oneself look as handsome as possible, so as to attract even more attention.
Step 2. Eat 1 to 2 bites of the food offered. Doesn't matter if the watermelon is carved like a marlin or not, you still only eat a bite or two.
Step 3. Crawl in to Mommy's lap, close eyes, and fall asleep.
Six out of seven of the nights, Aaron didn't see the end of dinner. Some nights he barely saw the beginning! It put to rest any concerns I had about how difficult it was going to be to get him to sleep, seeing as we were all sleeping in one giant bed!
The bed really was the only downside of the holiday. After the first night Dave commented to me, "Hmm, that review on TripAdvisor was right, it is like sleeping on a box spring." I was kind of glad I hadn't read that review. We slept with the kids between us on this so-called mattress, and two wigglier sleepers you never have met.
We had the great good fortune of being able to travel at the same time as Dave's sister Adrienne and her family. It was so much fun to have Auntie A, Uncle Mojo, and Amy and Claire to share the holiday (and the frozen drinks!) with.
The kids loved all that time to play with their cousins, and still managed to make new friends. Aaron generally attracted the front desk staff and senior citizens from other parts of Canada. One afternoon, he and Uncle Darrell went to the bar to get drinks and were a long time coming back. When they eventually returned I asked Darrell if the line-up had been really long (as it often was) at the swim-up bar. His response? "No, we've had the drinks forever. We had to stop on the way back to say hello all of Aaron's people."
Our kids preferred to swim in the pool, I guess for the greater sense of control they had with their smaller size there. Meredith swam across the pool time after time, and seemed tireless. It certainly paid off, as her first swimming lesson home she graduated out of her class and is moving on to Dolphins! Aaron loved holding onto the hand rail thoughtfully placed in the pool for toddlers and persons with mobility difficulties and letting his feet float up behind him. As the week progressed, he got braver and braver and would creep ever deeper, constantly asking "Is this deep Mommy?"
Dave has been taking a photography course and put his new knowledge to quick work during the trip, taking photo after amazing photo. I'll make a separate post with more of my favourites of the scenery and sights around us. But here are a few of my favourites of our family:
Now if only there wasn't the matter of that five hour flight home.....