Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nebraska Trip - June 2017

Tory, Aden and I visited my family in Nebraska during the early part of June. It's become somewhat of a tradition for us to visit this time each year while Andi is traveling during his busy photo shoot season. This year, we drove back on a Wednesday and stayed through the following Friday making it a full 10 day trip.

My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary while we were there, and my sister, brother and I hosted a small celebration for them. 40 years! Quite a milestone.

We also visited the Lincoln Children's Zoo one afternoon which is always a fun experience. I love the size of this zoo, and how focused on play it is. Of course, Tory and Aden's favorite part is the red train at the end.

One afternoon, my sister Ashley and I took our kiddos to Lincoln to meet my cousin Jen. We met at Pain Yourself Silly to celebrate Reese's 4th birthday, then got ice cream and played in the urban park. These low-key outings are my favorite! It's so fun to spend time together.

Ashley and I also took Brooke, Neeley, Tory and Aden miniature golfing one afternoon. I remember playing here in high school with friends, so it was a trip being back again! Fortunately, we had the entire course to ourselves so the kids were able to play the holes in the order they chose, and we weren't worried about distracting others.

Tory was took to golfing, actually, and was surprisingly lucky putting the ball. She even scored a hole in one!

Despite the distance, I'm thankful we're able to spend time with my family each summer. The older Tory and Aden grow, the more they appreciate the memories we make with our Nebraska family.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sayulita: Days 4-6

Day 4 might've been my favorite day of our Sayulita, Mexico vacation. We started the day bright and early with breakfast at our rented airbnb home, then headed into town by golf cart to meet a fishing guide we'd hired to take us out on the water that morning.

Fishing is an activity our whole family enjoys doing together. We typically fish in North American lakes and rivers; what an amazing opportunity to experience off-shore fishing in the ocean! Andi hired a local fishing captain named Regis to take our family fishing. I'd highly recommend him as he spoke fluent English which made it easy to communicate.

We started our fishing adventure by boating over to Punta Mita, a nearby resort town. The plan was to catch our bait, then return to waters somewhere between the two cities to fish. Our 20-minute boat ride to Punta Mita was a fast and bumpy one. Andi and I held on tight to Tory and Aden on our laps. Half-way there, Tory motioned her tummy was upset and I worried she'd be sea sick but thankfully she never was.

In Punta Mita, we trolled along near the marina. First mate, Pepe, threw out a large net and immediately pulled in thousands of sardines. In the net, he mistakenly caught a puffer fish to Tory's delight. She couldn't believe we saw a fish she remembered learning about in one of her favorite television shows, Wild Kratts.

After we'd collected enough sardines for bait, we motored out to a spot farther away from shore. The high-rolling waves rocked our boat from side to side, and this is the point where my tummy didn't feel so great. While Andi and Tory threw lines into the water, I sat with Aden on my lap and tried to keep my breakfast down. Ugh.

"The wifey doesn't fish?" Regis asked Andi.

Oh, no, the wife does, I wanted to say ... she's focusing on not throwing up!

Andi did the majority of fishing that morning, and caught a few trigger fish and red snappers. Each time Pepe caught a fish, he'd hand his rod to Tory and let her reel it in. Aden was more interested in scooping up sardines in the bait bucket. He wasn't afraid to hold onto Pepe's leg for stability when he needed it.

A few hours into our fishing adventure, Regis moved the boat to a different location (and calmer water!) and suddenly my stomach started feeling better. We traded another fishing boat some cold beers for squid cut into pieces, and continued to fish a bit longer. By now, it was about 1:00pm and the sun began to beat down on us. We decided to wrap up our fishing adventure and grab lunch in town before we had two hungry kids on our hands. 

For lunch, we stopped at Il Itacate for some of the best tacos in town. Andi ordered shrimp and arrachera tacos with fresh guacamole and salsas to share. The kids weren't as impressed, but Andi and I though the food was delicious.

After lunch, we headed back to our rented house and more specifically, back to the pool, where we spent the rest of the day. 

Chopina, the housekeeper, came by the house later that afternoon to prepare dinner for us. We asked her to grill the fresh red snapper we'd caught earlier that morning, but the grill ran out of propane. Chopina fried the whole fish instead, and when she presented it at the table for dinner I was sure the kids would be turned off to eating fish forever! Parenting is never short of surprises though, and Tory and Aden gobbled up two fish each. They loved it!

Most of our first visit to Sayulita was spent eating at various restaurants and exploring the city's beaches ... so this visit we felt more than comfortable hanging around our beautiful rented home to swim and relax the rest of our vacation.

Things I'll remember from this trip:

Our view from "Sayulita House" -

Whiskers The Cat, who will remain in the kids' hearts forever -

These two: so happy, easy-to-please (with ice cream) and always up for adventure -

The friendliness and charm of Sayulita -

The beaches -

and, the awesome time we spent together as a family -