Back in America! Long trip recap, etc…

WOW it is good to be home. AND even back at work. I crave routine and stability. So, want the vacation recap? I’ll try to make it exciting. 😉 Also, links included because I am way too busy/lazy to add my photos.

Wednesday evening, my younger kids went trick or treating and my oldest stayed home with me. We didn’t get too many kids at my place but we do live on a fairly traveled road with no sidewalks. Oh well. Less candy I need to buy every October, I guess.

We woke up by 5 am Thursday to start our journey. We flew out of Orlando so we had a nearly four hour drive first thing. Got to our airport parking, took the shuttle, then got all checked in. The weird thing was this: Ash saw 5 tickets in his email from United but only 4 charges on his credit card. But then he saw some adjusted charges too so we didn’t question it too much. (Also, he had chosen each seat so he knew there were five.) In Orlando, when getting our boarding passes and our passports checked, the lady said she didn’t see Dakota’s ticket either but she saw some info about her. So that’s funky. She overrode it then we went to the terminal. Got a little food then went to board and the woman there stopped us and said she had no ticket. WOW. Basically, we opted to deal with it once in Houston. So our flight was ok; I hate flying so I was nervous. Of course every flight after, I felt a little bit better.

In Houston, we had a four hour layover. We knew Ash’s dad, stepmom, stepsister and her boyfriend would all be there at some point but we found them right away, already there. So we all camped out, ate, drank, and took care of the Dakota issue. Eventually United figured out they messed up and did not end up charging us for her ticket. This is huge, as United is typically a pretty cruddy airline. By the time our flight was getting ready to board, several other couples from the wedding party were there so we got to meet some of my BIL’s friends. (For ease of writing, his name is Elliot and his wife’s name is Mia.) That was kind of nice actually. We didn’t get into Merida until maybe 7 and then it took roughly an hour to go through customs, etc. Luckily we got an Uber because it turns out the airport is federal property and they aren’t technically allowed to go there. We had 3 drivers cancel on us before one took us.

Finally arrived at El Palacito Secreto, our home for the next four days. It was awesome, let me tell you. Better than anticipated, actually. All eight rooms were occupied by wedding guests so the eating area in the courtyard was a gathering spot every day and night. I was exhausted that night but stayed up a bit to talk and meet people. Mia had forewarned us that her family may be irritating and contentious but honestly, I didn’t see any of that!

Friday, we ate the amazing hotel breakfast as people filtered in. There was a lot of sitting around but also, meeting this whole new family that we’re marrying into. Around noonish we walked two doors down to the Tawas’ place, the parents of Mia’s friend who let them use their house as the venue. It’s super nice there and just an amazing house. I don’t typically like the Mexican aesthetic but I really enjoyed that place. Everything was pretty tile and concrete, but with amazing courtyards and flora.

We really needed some basic snacks so Ash, Ell, and I walked a couple blocks to the bank we’d been told had a bilingual ATM and then we Ubered to Walmart. FYI, Uber in Merida is SUPER cheap. Like, a buck a ride. And I tipped the app’s max – 1 dollar – every time.  So Mexican Walmart is very much like America and that was nice for us. I picked up a bathing suit (and magically it fits me! Sizing was all different) and some flip flops for the kids, something I forgot but we needed for the hotel. We also got a bunch of snacks because Dakota and Isaac were not very open to trying other foods, even though for the most part, we got the same stuff. The breakfast chef always made avocado toast but would scramble some huevos if we asked. After Walmart, we got a bit of swimming in before the rehearsal (everyone but me was actually in the wedding: Koda, flowers; boys, ring bearers; Ash, best man.) After that, about 35 of us went to La Chaya Maya for dinner. My turkey tacos were very good but a lot of people were not fond of their orders. I will say, the Yucatan flavors are a lot different than the tex-mex we are used to. It’s just not our flavor palate.  Ash ordered a steak that was good and the rice was edible. Our friend Nick got fajitas, which are not served the same as here (steaming hot) but the chicken was very tasty.

Saturday was wedding day! Another good breakfast then some various things. My kids hung out with Elliot, Nick, and their very old friend Campbell. Ash and I were able to get away for a bit with his dad to a place to see some college football. Hennessy’s was very good! My pork belly tacos were great and everyone was able to get something they could eat: burger, salmon penne, pizza, BLT, and Shepherd’s pie. When we got back and relieved folks of my children, we did a bit more wedding prep, some other people took my boys to eat, then it was time for everyone to get dressed. My people had to be over there by 5 for pics and I was there by 5:45 for a 6 pm ceremony.

The wedding itself was amazing. The ceremony was endearing, thoughtful, and fun. They didn’t tell anyone the plan but they did this very cool thing where they both ate a bacon wrapped fig. Mia hates figs and Elliot doesn’t eat meat so it was a nice symbol of their union. The party was very nice, with lots of food, drink, and dancing, though we are not dancers at all. My oldest boy did dance, my middle wanted to but fell asleep, and Dakota was adopted by everyone so she was out there too. We left around 1 am because it was becoming exhausting but I know things didn’t wind down until much later. By 1, people had already fallen in the pool and when entire liquor bottles were being passed around the dance floor, I knew it was descending into chaos.

The next day, people were pretty wrecked but Ell and Mia had booked 3 shuttles to take us to the Cenotes – well, one of them. It was about a 50 minute drive and then once there, we all got to descend the steep steps to the pool below. Everyone but Dakota swam but you must note: she broke her finger Saturday morning! She managed to slip on the renowned slippery tile of Merida and we had to take her to the ER. I will say that we were lucky though because Mia’s friend is an ER nurse and her husband is a hand surgeon! He went with them to the hospital so that was good. They splinted her up but we are taking her to the outpatient bone place tomorrow. Always something, you know? It was awkward some, because everyone was concerned and these are all people we’d never met so I felt bad but I think it was fine. It was kind of a nice thing, actually, that everyone seemed to care so much. And luckily, it was just her pinky and didn’t interfere with anything too much.

So anyway, swimming in the cenote was really cool. Water was nice and it was a neat experience. After, part of the tour involved going to La Hacienda Ochil. There, we ate a very traditional meal, the kids got neat face paint, got to swim, and we learned about the henequen industry. I didn’t realize the thing was an all-day event but it was definitely worth it. Everyone seemed pretty damn tired though!

That evening, we were burned out so we just got pizza through uber eats and hung out. Most everyone was leaving Monday so we said a variety of goodbyes and what have you. Monday, we planned to do nothing but we were all so burned out and ready to go home that hanging out wasn’t even fun or relaxing. We did go out to lunch at Platos Rotos do Frida, which was great! Well, the beans and guac were good. The mole was a little too much for our palate but the chicken was good. We basically just chilled for the rest of the day because we had to leave very early the next day for our travel back. And yesterday was fine; all flights good and on time. We got back home around 1130 pm and promptly went to sleep! I’m trying to get back to normal now but so much happened while I was gone.

Firstly, the election. I am not going to be an ass about it but let’s just say I am not boo-hooing about the results. Then, there was a shooting at a small yoga studio right in the middle of town. It was senseless and stupid; he was a creeper. The guy had several restraining orders against him from campus dining halls where he went to grab girls’ asses. He was one of those incels apparently and felt the plight of men was mighty. Maybe if he wasn’t psycho, he would have been date-able!  But he killed a med school professor and an English major right here in my department. The fall-out of which I mostly missed and I am not complaining. I am not sure how I’d handle all that. The place is still reeling from it and I am here just trying to catch up on my work but I feel out of the loop.

So that about does IT. I have so much to do at home to get back to normal: laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping. We are out of town again this weekend so when am I going to do any of this??

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