Those Playa Days

Dear Asher,

Your mom and I are so happy that we decided to stay put for the last month of our trip. Though Playa Del Carmen, Mexico is more similar to Canada than to its neighbor Guatemala, what it lacked in cultural uniqueness, it made up for with beautiful weather and cheap fruit.

Every four days or so, we would catch the $0.30 collectivo into downtown Playa Del Carmen to restock on fresh fruit and vegetables, make a pit stop at the taco truck, then head straight home before the urban rush infected our mellow moods. With oranges, bananas, papayas and grapefruits for $0.20 per pound and pineapples for $1.00 a pop, we fell in love with eating humongous bowls of fruit salad. We also loved our giant bean salads loaded with greens and we had a smoothie with almost every meal. For dinners, we ate meals like Thai peanut pasta, spicy curry soup, and lentil burgers with baked wedges. This has been by far our most nutrient rich travel experience and you loved it as much as we did.

On days when we did not go grocery shopping, your routine looked a little more like this. Wake up, eat oatmeal with fruit salad while singing the Raffi soundtrack, play hide and seek around the apartment, read books, nurse, listen to mom sing you to sleep, nap for two hours, wake up, eat lunch with a fruit smoothie, walk to the beach while throwing the ball down the road, say hola to the parking lot man who was missing his top four front teeth (the ones you currently do have), dig in the sand, splash in the water, put a smile on the faces of everyone lying on the big blue recliners, find steps in the shoreline rock and practice climbing stairs, point to all of the birds and kite surfers, wash all of the sand out of every hiding place, walk home snacking on nuts and seeds, say adios to the toothless parking lot man and stare at him curiously thinking “if we teamed up, we would have a full set”, enjoy an afternoon fruit smoothie, play tag in the pool and turn into a weighed vest for exercising, eat dinner, chase dad around the apartment in your wheelie walker, go for an evening stroll around the community, say hi to all of the neighbors walking their dogs, pick up rocks and sticks, look for the giant spider monkey, point to the moon, return home for a warm shower, nurse, read books and listen to mom sing you to sleep.

Just like when your mom and I spent one month living on a beach in Thailand, we were able to witness the full moon cycle in Playa Del Carmen and watched in amazement as the ocean sloshed about madly on the days surrounding the full moon. How can we not have a deep respect and care for everything when experiencing the interconnectedness of the cosmos?

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Asher, spending time on the beach reminded us of the diversity of human beings. There were the leather ladies whose rawhides were ready for the djembes and looked as though they went straight from the beach to the tanning bed, careful not to find shade along the way. There was the round man who was bald on top but had long hair in the back and wore speedo sized flimsy white shorts that hung like a hospital gown and made everyone nervous for a wardrobe malfunction on red flag days. There were the traditional Mayan wedding officiants and the weekend Mexican locals snacking on their picnics under large umbrellas. Even the kite surfers were diverse. Some were old school hang-timers while others were free-riders focused on upwind edge precision. There were people covered in tattoos, sunscreen, crumbs and sand. There were the young single thirty somethings with a drink in both hands, in no rush to settle down; the families building elaborate sand castles; and the content older retired couples watching everyone thinking, been there, done that. Asher my unique spec of sand, diversity is crucial to life and life is dependent on water and the sun, so where you find a beach, you will find diversity and almost always feel alive.

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4 thoughts on “Those Playa Days

  1. Hey Guys. We are all excited for your return home so we can now hold our wee man in our arms. Jim and Alyssa I know it must be sad that your trip is coming to an end but this trip will never be forgotten. Asher might not remember it but he will be able to look back on this journey and read the blog with all, the pictures and see what wonderful parents he has. I know that all parents wonder if they will be good parents and give their child everything they need to succeed in life and I just want to say that you two can stop wondering because you have given Asher so much. You two are doing a great job with Asher and he will appreciate it for years to come. See you all real soon.

    Love Team Slee

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    1. Back at you Team Slee. The Beatles were correct when they said “All You Need Is Love” and the best way to show love is through time. Mikey and Tessa know they are well loved because of all the time you dedicate to them. Looking forward to seeing your big “wee ones” as well, and for Asher to spend more time with his cousins.

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  2. Hoping you show me how to make those bean salads.. looks delicious. Looking forward to seeing you, enjoy the final month of your journey! Love you Asher!

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  3. Dear Asher,
    I am so happy for all the adventures you have been on and that you have a written account with pictures(I love pictures). You will miss all the sun and water and soon you will experience snow and chilly temperatures. But then there will be spring and all the new life! You were born in the spring and what specialness you have brought to our world! Enjoy your trip home to many arms that can’t wait to hug you!

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