Our trip to Cancun started with a box of Whoppers and Bossypants. I must have snacks and a good book on a two-hour flight (in fact, any mode of transportation absent a bike requires emergency snacks).
We left Mario with Patty and Joe and Maria with Meg for the first two days of our trip and then M&M went to the farm for the weekend. Mario is beside himself at Patty and Joe’s house even more than before because they recently bought a Wii. Mario packed up his Skylanders and couldn’t wait to spend hours showing them off to Grandma and Grandpa (they will be sainted). It was almost as awesome as Christmas morning for him. While Mario was at Grandma’s house, he made a formal declaration to her: “Grandma! My mom doesn’t buy me any clothes that fit.” He did this after he went in the bedroom to get dressed and came out with a pair of high water pants and a long sleeve shirt that could have been short-sleeved on him. In my defense, I bought him clothes this year but I have tended towards the smaller sizes because up until this awakening with Patty, he never wanted pants that went to his ankles and he wanted his shirts skin-tight. So, I’m glad to see he’s turned a corner and that Patty got to be his personal shopper while we were away. He dragged her into Children’s Palace, picked out clothes, and had her and Joe wait outside while he tried them on in the changing rooms “like the girls get to do.” He walked out with an Oxford shirt and a pair of jeans and asked if he looked cooler than Justin Bieber. Patty told him he looked cooler. He was smitten. He found a tie to match his shirts and he was set. Thank you Patty for clothing our rock star.
Maria hung with Meg and dragged her all over the house to see random things – her fish, her clothes, her on-line games. She even got to take Meg to see her classroom and demand Meg to definitively tell her whether it was Jack’s old room or not. They ate pizza with Jen and hit Target for a new pair of hip peace symbol pajamas.
On Friday morning, Maria got the present of her life – a day off of school due to the ice accumulation. Poor Meg had to deal with the school closing (Jon and I lucked out!). Not only did she need to deal with the school closing – she had to deal with a migraine and vomiting. We would have never known had Maria not left me a voice mail that I got when I returned home on Saturday that went something like this: “Mom, please call me as soon as you hear this message. Something is very wrong with Grandma and we need you to come home.” Lovely. Meg ended up feeling better by later in the afternoon and luckily the kids were able to spend a few hours at the neighbors’ house dancing to Gangum Style while she rested. Mario got to eat chocolate for breakfast and Maria got to fill her cereal bowl with Lucky Charms so all was good with them.
Meanwhile, Jon and I ate like 16th century kings and played in the ocean like toddlers. We are one of few folks from Jon’s work that actually go into the ocean, probably because there are always red flags on the beach (meaning you shouldn’t enter) and because you wouldn’t want to hit the waves if you are the tiniest bit intoxicated. The waves were angry this year, and Jon and I were hurting after a half hour in the water. We limped out complaining that our shoulders hurt, our legs were weak, our calves were twitching. It’s not easy getting old and still acting like you’re two. But we continued to jump in every day we were there. We may be immobile for the next two weeks but we did it.
I had a rough Wednesday night and Thursday due to some rockin’ gin and tonics. There was something about the ocean, full moon and 80’s music that made me do it. And it will be another year before I do it again. I just don’t have it in me to recover quickly. I woke up in my dress Thursday morning with Jon laughing at me. I felt like I had swallowed a cat. When I stood up, my legs felt like spaghetti. I was hurting. I tried to make it the gym to ride the bike with the hopes of sweating some of those nasty toxins out of me but as soon as I pedaled, it felt like someone was squeezing my head in a vice. It was no use. I went back to the room and curled up in a ball. Jon returned from breakfast and shook his head.
The rest of the day consisted of a facial and a massage and lots of steam room and sauna action. I refused to leave the steam room until I was dripping in sweat. Those little alcohol toxins were going to be blasted out of my body somehow if not by exercise. I ate two entrees for lunch. We sat with Jon’s colleague, Dave and his wife Jen (the “sporty couple”). They are always a treat with hilarious stories about their kids or their house or some random event that happened to them. They also give us a little glimpse of what M&M may be like in a few years since their kids are a few years older than ours.
By the evening, I was back with the living. We had dinner at a fish house with Jon’s boss and others on Jon’s team. We sat outside and chowed down on crab, lobster and apple pie. One of Jon’s friends, Craig and his wife Julie (the “healthy couple”) sat with us at dinner. Craig gets on Jon for eating McDonald’s for breakfast; he gasps when he hears Jon order his breakfast and tries to urge him to eat oatmeal instead. God love him. There was an ongoing joke at the restaurant that Craig and Jon were “together” since they sat next to one another (I sat across from Jon and Julie and Julie and I decided the boys could have each other). It led to much laughter through the evening in addition to the laughter that came from discussing 80’s tv shows (Love Boat, Dynasty, Eight is Enough, Chips – it was hilarious to hear the names of these shows that we all grew up with in the 70’s and 80’s).
Friday was a much more friendly day to me. I had not drunk at all on Thursday night and my body thanked me. I got out of bed ready to take a run in the heat and hit the gym. Jon and I hit the breakfast bar together, too, which is one of our favorite things to do on these vacations. For a girl who loves chocolate and bread, I was in heaven, Chocolate croissants, french toast with almond slices, nutella, chocolate donuts, chocolate muffins. Maria would have been hitting the bar with me five times over if she was there. We swam in the ocean again Friday and then met up with the president of Jon’s company and a throng of others to have dinner at a Mayan restaurant. We sat with a good group of folks including Jon’s colleague, Joe and his wife Lydia (the “chic couple”). They are precious. Lydia is Sicilian so Joe had some hilarious stories about dinner with her parents. He also told us the story of why he enjoys Porsches and VWs so much. Jon wants to follow in Joe’s footsteps and buy a Porshe. I told him he could if Joe promises to provide maintenance on so it so we avoid throwing thousands of dollars at a car shop when something goes awry.
We were so full after our dinner on Friday night we could barely move. We packed up some of our clothes for our 8 am departure on Saturday but then gave up and laid on the bed like two beached whales. When the morning hit, I did one last run to remember the hot weather (I would much rather run in cold weather) and then hit the breakfast bar with Jon. We got to the airport two hours early as the hotel requires us to do and then found out that our flight was delayed three hours. So we had five hours to kill. We played Gin Rummy and ate Dominos pizza. It was the bomb even though Jon is up 7-4 on me. But I did win our one and only game of Crazy Eights. Yeah, I’m bad.
We arrived home late Saturday night and called the kids. They were so excited to hear from us they couldn’t stop grabbing the phone from one another. That felt good. Meg said that Maria cried for me when the night-time rolled around – sweet baby. Mario got me on the phone to tell me he thought of me when he looked at the sky and he wanted to see me – second sweet baby. I hung up the phone feeling loved. The kids reported their adventures when they returned from the farm – Mario helped Peepaw cut a trail in the woods (he showed me his cuts from the thorns); Maria helped Peepaw clean bird nests and found two blue eggs and Meg taught her the process of sewing (that is a talent we need in this house). Both kids got to go fishing on Saturday when it was a tepid 45 degrees outside. They got some bites but no fish.
When they arrived home on Sunday, I ran out to greet them. I got two of the longest, strongest hugs in a while and sat on my knees enjoying them. Then I got pulled inside to look at Maria’s eggs and to show Mario where the iPad was so he could play on it – he hadn’t been around technology for two whole days! Maria was by his side within minutes helping him try to buy gold coins to use in his Spiderman game. And we are back to normal….