Monday, February 23, 2015

Sayulita: Day 4

Day 4 in Sayulita, and vacation mode has truly set in. The "haven't looked at a clock for days" mode; the "no idea what's happening in the world" change of pace. Andi heard it was -14 at the lake cabin yesterday and that concept doesn't even seem possible to us when we're here enjoying 80 degree temperatures and sunshine every day.

The five of us woke up feeling rested and ready for a beautiful day in paradise. Aden finally adjusted to his surroundings and slept through the night in his pack-n-play tucked away in the master bathroom. His own personal "en suite" we call it. Our new arrangement work perfectly because he's still close to me if he needs something, but has his own sleeping space and we have ours.

Andi had a bit of work to do Friday morning, so Janie and I fed the kids pastries and fruit for breakfast in our condo. I like going to breakfast on vacation, but it's equally nice to wake up slow in the comforts of our own "home" with coffee and a simple meal. Speaking of pastries, they're actually quite good here. There are fresh bakery items and bread for sale everywhere, which I didn't expect to find in a small town and had yet to see when traveling elsewhere in Mexico. If you know me, you know I'm not complaining one bit. I could eat my body's weight in croissants!

Later that morning, we set out for Sayulita's farmer's market which takes place every Friday. The market is another gem full of small-town charm. There were 30-40 vendors selling fruits, vegetables, breads, jellies, homemade dog treats and other handmade items. And, there weren't only Mexican items; the market was a melting pot of goods and wares from all types of people who call Sayulita home. I bought a hand-carved wooden salsa bowl for the cabin, and Andi had a spring roll made with beef and cabbage. We also picked up some fresh strawberries and raspberries.

One vendor we spoke to at the market is a volunteer at a children's school located in another small town not far from here. We also spoke to a barrel rider promoting a rodeo taking place next week. Since we'll have left for home by the time of the event, she invited us to the fairgrounds later this week to watch their practice sessions. I continue to be amazed by the kindness of people in Sayulita.

After the market, Janie offered to stay back in the condo with Aden so he could take a nap while Andi, Tory and I adventured around town in the golf cart. It may seem like Janie's spent a lot of this vacation sitting in the condo with sleeping children while Andi and I gallivant around town, but she assures us she's perfectly content in doing so. Janie has a lovely balcony directly attached to her room, so she's spent quite a few hours reading and basking in the sunshine.

As has quickly become our daily ritual, Andi and I promised Tory a frozen treat as soon as we entered the center of town. We parked the golf cart on a side street and met two ladies walking along with frozen homemade popsicles. Andi asked where to get them, and they pointed us to Wakiki just down the road. On our walk there, we saw an iguana lounging on a branch in a tree above us.

There were easily 50 different varieties of ice cream and sorbet popsicles at Wakiki. Tory's eyes were the size of saucers as she carefully selected a flavor. Ultimately, she picked strawberry, Andi had salted caramel and I went with a mango sorbet infused with chili powder based on a recommendation from the ladies we spoke to on the street. 

Tory, Andi and I leisurely strolled through several shops on Sayulita's boardwalk in search of new sunglasses for Andi and new pair of flip flops for me. The mid-day sun is intense, especially in the center of town away from the water, so we decided to head back to the condo to cool down. There, the five of us -- Andi, Janie, Tory, Aden and I -- headed to the pool.

Baby's first surf lesson ...

A bit later, the kids were ready for afternoon naps so Janie offered to stay back with them while Andi and I scooted away for an hour of time together. We walked down to the beach and enjoyed the sounds of the surf. The pool's great for the kids, but the beach is where Andi and I love to be.

Later back at the condo, Pancho and Beatrice (our hired cooks for the week) arrived to serve us dinner. They prepared paella filled with shrimp, clams, oysters, crab, pork, chicken, Spanish sausage, peppers, vegetables and rice. I’m not the biggest seafood fan, but the complex flavors of this dish were delicious, and it offered something for everyone. Janie and Andi especially loved the seafood, and the kids and I loved the creamy rice. Beatrice shared her secret for making rice, and it's so easy: she boils water, soaks the rice for 10-15 minutes (no heat), drains it, and then finishes the rice in a frying pan for 1-2 minutes. It's the creamiest rice I've ever tasted, and there's no butter or oil. She often adds vegetables (corn, green beans, peppers, peas, etc).    

Hiring cooks for dinners in the condo has been fabulous. It's fun to dine out in restaurants once in a while, but it's also a lot of work with kids and never very peaceful. Here in the comforts of our condo, we're able to feed Tory and Aden as they're hungry with a high chair, bibs and sippy cups at the ready. Then, the kids are able to get down and play while we finish our meal at a enjoyable pace. It's been perfect.

The five of us finished our fourth night in Sayulita with an evening golf cart ride through town. Andi stopped for fresh-made churros sold by a street vendor, but I was still too full from dinner to try one. They smelled delicious though. Another wonderful day in paradise. So thankful to be here. 

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