(Photo: Sunset from our balcony)
Christmas in Mexico was like a drink of cool water on a sweltering day. Especially in this year of extensive Christmas ruminations and soul searching.
It was almost like it wasn’t Christmas at all, which was fine with me for this year. The hotel had minimal decorations, a nativity, a few discreet Christmas trees and tasteful bows here and there…and NO Christmas music!!
The day after Christmas we went to a Mega hypermarket (the Mexican equivalent of a super Walmart) and there was not one single Christmas decoration to be seen. Astonishing! Did the elves whisk it all away at midnight or (more likely), were all the American-style plastic Santas, talking trees and inflatable snowmen simply never there to begin with? I suspect that Mexico does not engage in the same commercial Christmas orgy that takes place annually here in the US.
What a relief! This Christmas stillness allowed me to gather my thoughts and I feel I might actually be able to face the Holidays at home next year. I thought about all my Christmas/Holidays Unplugged posts and all your helpful and inspiring comments (thank you all so much for helping me!). I can do this. I can make the holidays what I feel they should be. After all, I can’t keep running away, can I? I do want my children to have happy Christmas traditions and memories other than airports and hotels.
As for the non-contemplative side of the trip. It was nice, but for someone like me who is always cold, I thought the weather was a little cool. Even the natives said it was cold. I can’t complain too much since it was high 60′s to low 70′s (Celsius: about 20 to 23 degrees) while here at home it got down to 2 degrees (Celsius: -17) and snowed.
The kids swam like crazy little fish despite the cool temperatures, and I got some reading done. I didn’t blog at all, although I used the lobby computer once for five minutes to moderate comments.
The trip down was fairly smooth, but the trip home was an adventure. First we lost the keys to the rental car. After searching the hotel room, the car, and the luggage for an hour, we eventually found them in an odd little drawer in the room (thank you youngest daughter!).
Upon arriving at the airport, it took half an hour to return the car and the line to check in was REALLY long. It was also slow-moving because they hand-searched every single checked bag since they don’t have x-ray for that there. We also discovered that the airline had moved the flight time earlier by two hours and had not notified us (thank you US Airways!). The security line was down the hall and around the corner, and that was BEFORE you even got to the giant maze of ropes. Fortunately we had factored in time for lunch in this whole process, bye-bye lunch.
I have done a lot of traveling in my life and I am a firm believer in the “everything happens for a reason” school of travel thought. Fortunately my husband is the same way. We thought perhaps we were simply meant to spend another night there. There are certainly worse places in the world to be stuck! Despite entering our zen-like travel state and planning on another night in Mexico, we somehow miraculously made it to the plane. We were the last ones on, but we were on. Upon arrival in Phoenix (only 42 degrees, 6 Celsius!) we were starving, tired and crabby so we wisely decided to spend the night.
The next morning, feeling much better, and after breakfast and a little fun shopping at the Ikea in Tempe, we headed home.
I didn’t take many photos, but here are a few:
A little restaurant:
An impressive field of Tequila Agave (Agave tequilana) used, of course, for making tequila:
My youngest daughter going for a brief Christmas Day walk, or rather “a drag” down the beach with her Dad before I had to carry her back to the hotel (for some reason she didn’t like the sand!):
Art shot – Town square, old mining town of San Sebastian:
Rock slide in front of us that shut down the road (for only half an hour though) on the way home from San Sebastian. Note the boulders in road and the dust cloud!: