We are back home in Philly and trying to get back to "normal" life after our month-long adventure in our home in Mexico. It was awesome. It was stressful. It was worth all the challenging stuff.
I tried to divide up the gazillion pictures of our trip into a few different posts - but there are still a ton. This post will focus on our home away from home - Abi's house in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The home that was my Abuela's and that I spent my summers in as a child and that now my mother is slowly and lovingly renovating.
Our journey to Abi's house started with a three-day stand-by adventure that did eventually get us to Mexico. We started with a long day in the Philly airport - that got us nowhere. After a night at home we went back to Philly to try again and finally got a flight to Phoenix (after not making on several flights through Charlotte), but sadly that flight was delayed which resulted in our missing our connection. So we stayed at a motel in Phoenix and tried again the next day. Finally, on day three we were on a plane to Mexico.
Flying standby also means that we are not usually seated together; we just get assigned whichever seats are left. This means middle seats sprinkled throughout the cabin. Luckily, I've found that people are usually willing to switch seats so that I can sit with my kids. Most people are kind and want to help families sit together - the rest don't want to be stuck next to an unattended kid. If there is some hesitation or lack of interest in moving/switching from the people seated next to the kids, I usually say to my child, "If you need to throw up there is a little baggie in the seat back pocket." That always helps people on the fence make up their minds. Of course, once the kids are a little older (Leo is even on the cusp) they will be able to sit on their own no problem and I can just check in on them a few times per flight - but at two and four, I really prefer to have them in arm's reach.
Ahhhhh....Landing in Mexico is such a relief after three days of travel. Now all that's left is a two hour bus ride, taxi to the house and to unpack!
We arrived at Abi's house and settled in. There are so many memories in this house - for all of us and I'm so glad my kids get to spend time here.
We stayed in the main bedroom. This room has a wall of glass doors that overlooks the ravine behind the house. It's like sleeping in a jungle tree house.
The view from our bed.
The view is breathtaking - we never got sick of it. The only downside was that all that light streaming in didn't bode well for sleeping in.
And the night time view:
During the day, the kids mostly played outside, but if they needed a break I would put a movie on for them. The room had three beds pushed together where the kids, Abi, Aunt Fanny, and I all slept together.
It was also a sweet spot for napping.
Aunt niece hand-holding nap.
Even indoors, the sunshine was ever-present.
Of course the house has it's quirks - and with the water heater AND the fridge breaking down during the trip we had our hands full. Leo and Zoe got to enjoy baths with water heated on the stove - of course they didn't seem to mind one bit.
This house means so much to all of us. I know the summers I spent here shaped who I am in many ways. I hope my kids can build their own memories to add to the many stories this house holds.
|Zoe sneaks some peanuts|
One of the things I love most about the homes in Mexico is how they blend the indoors with the outdoors. Abi's garden really is an extension of the home - and is probably where the kids spent the majority of their time.
My mother has curated a great blend of plants (and pots), some of which bear fruit, some of which are simply beautiful.
|Air Plants growing on a tree trunk|
|bird of paradise|
There is a huge tree outside our home - it's branches reach beyond the property limits and the roots erupt from the sidewalk. My grandfather (who died when my mother was only sixteen) brought this tree back with him from one of his frequent trips - it was potted in a coffee can when he decided to plant it in front of our gate.
Thomas, our gardner and friend built the kids a rope swing that they never tired of. They swung on it all day - I even had to make a "no swinging in your pajamas" rule so they wouldn't sneak out before
breakfast or after bath.
In addition to the dragonflies, butterflies, humming birds, lizards, feral cats, and other animals that visit the yard, my mother has two dogs and bunny. The bunny is my favorite. He just hops around, eats all the plants, gets chased by the dogs and waits for people to feed him carrots.
The kids enjoy a snack on the terrace.
There is often laundry hanging in the yard - particularly diapers.
Of course, the main reason for this trip was to spend time with my family. It has been years since all my siblings and my parents have been in Mexico at the same time. I was among the first to arrive and the last to leave as everyone else's plans criss-crossed dates in the month of July, but there were about five days that everyone was staying at the house.
|Out to breakfast|
|All four siblings|
|The whole crew|
|My mom played dress up with Zoe|
|Family portrait out-take|
|My dad and his kids|
We also had a steady stream of visitors. Family and friends came by to hang out, eat, meet/see the kids and say what is perhaps their final hellos and good-byes to my father. It was wonderful to see so many people - and also difficult to witness all the emotion that these visits held.
|My Tia Aurora - one of the many Auroras of our |
family, including Zoe
|My dad with Lucero, my mom's oldest friend|
|Lucero, my mom and my Tia Sylvia|
|Leo playing with his cousin Carmelita while my cousins|
Alejandra and Carmelita (Sr.) chat.
Of course the flip side of all this family togetherness was that one of the most important people in our lives was very far away for an entire month. The kids (and I) missed jb terribly. The silver lining in this sadness was getting to listen to Leo chat on the phone with jb. He could easily fill an hour - or two! - with chatter about this and that. Thank goodness for Skype.
Believe it of not - this only the first installment. Next up...Food!