We have been here for 1 week now – and it has been a joyous combination of vacation, family reunion and settling in. Having our children with us for the start of the adventure makes me feel like this is a place where we can all be happy, where we can gather together from time to time even though most of the time we are far apart. They are part of our journey and contribute their opinions on what dishes we need and which taco stands are best and what color we should paint the pots in the soon-to-be garden.
We have shopped …. a LOT. Boring household items that I have never really had to buy since most of it came from wedding showers many years ago. But we are starting from scratch like newlyweds trying to find the best bargain on a potato peeler. Today we purchased paint and pots to create a little garden in the back – a sanctuary from the crazy noise and activity around us.
Speaking of noise…. It took us a few nights to finally get a proper sleep. Between dogs and roosters and our neighbor who played music louder than any nightclub until the wee hours of Sunday morning, this is a very ‘vibrant’ neighborhood! But that is one of the things we love about Mexico – people here have a joy for life and family that permeates everything they do. And they are not quiet about it. So we embrace it and play our music a bit louder.
We have eaten a lot of Mexican food. Breakfast at Poncho’s of course. But we were also thrilled when we realized there is a Mexican restaurant right behind our house. Well ‘restaurant’ is a bit of an exaggeration – it is a few tables in a backyard under some trees. But truly a delicious meal of mole enchiladas, sopes, tacos, drinks – the 5 of us ate and drank until we were stuffed for $210 pesos – around $17 total.
Signs of Christmas are around us – more tourists than usual, some trees and lights and decorations, lots of fireworks and pinatas. I have spent a lot of time this week stressing about how to either recapture our family Christmas traditions or start new ones. In the end, we’re figuring it out as we go. We’ll have some of our favorite dishes like our hashbrown casserole (with fresh potatoes because they don’t sell frozen hashbrowns here and Mexican crema instead of sour cream) but we’ll substitute Mexican egg burritos for our normal quiche. Luis has made us a giant pot of amazing beans and a nopale (cactus) salad. We’re going out to a restaurant for a turkey dinner – next year I’ll be set up to cook my own. Instead of sledding outside of our house in Lumsden tomorrow, we’ll boogy board at the beach. Traditions are important to keep us connected as a family – but it’s okay to let them breathe and grow and change. That’s what make life an unpredictable adventure.
So Feliz Navidad amigos! I will miss the rest of our family this Christmas. We will be thinking of you all and wish you a blessed day. Don’t forget to celebrate the birth of the one who gives us ultimate peace and joy and freedom.