Aside from Maya splitting her chin open, vacation wasn’t so bad.

As I hoped would happen, being in El Salvador and speaking Spanish with family and friends, the language came back. Not completely … but it’s like the words that had been collecting dust in my head were unearthed and though they didn’t flow easily off my tongue, I found myself able to converse with pretty much anyone — a little reminder that mama’s still got it!

And we got to the beach twice. The beach is my absolute favorite part of visiting El Salvador. We don’t actually even lay out there – no one really does (the sun is just too hot. But just sitting pool-side with the ocean right there is nothing short of awesome. All my worries go out the window and I feel so refreshed after a visit there — especially since San Salvador (where Luis’s family lives) is a bustling, huge, crazy city … not at all peaceful!

We ate at all my favorite restaurants. I ate tons of champurradas, drank lots of Coca Light (my fave abroad!), and I ate my body weight in fresh sandia (watermelon).

And we spent quality time with family and friends, which was great — including attending my mother-in-law’s 75th birthday bash. Our accommodations were challenging — we stayed with Luis’s mom and her house isn’t really toddler-friendly at all, and the water in San Sal shuts down at noon (you have to use back-up water tanks the rest of the day) so that means you can’t really shower later in the day, something I always seem to erase from my mind until I’m there visiting and then it’s like oh NO, this again?! … but we made it through.

Maya was a total trooper. She napped pretty decently, and handled the various changes of scenery and plane flights like a champ. She ate whatever we ate, and was willing to try everything. Truly, we got very lucky with an agreeable, flexible and relatively easy kid (well, for now — I’m probably jinxing myself). This for sure means we’ll be #2 someday will be the opposite, right?! Everyone says that’s how it works …

Anyway, I took about 600 photos. This picture you see at the top of this post, however, is perhaps my favorite of all the pics. I love the promise of this half-open door. I love how it cracks open into the sea — massive and alluring — but yet isn’t completely open, leaving a little mystery for what’s ahead. Shielded to some extent, but yet not.

In many ways, I liken this door to how I feel about parenting my child. I don’t want to be a helicopter parent afraid to let her fall and make her own mistakes, keeping the door totally closed … but I also am not ready to let her out into that big open ocean just yet, either (and if Luis has his way, not til she’s 40 — or so he says now … just wait til her teen years when she gives him a run for his money ;)) So I like that it’s open just a crack … leaving her room to explore, but not so much room that she won’t/can’t come back.

Unlike most vacations, we weren’t exactly sad to return home — we had had a good time, but it felt like long enough time away. Plus, we all missed Rocco and our routine. We missed our beds and hot showers and our fridge and our space.

But there’s something about vacation … you come back rejuvenated and more ready to face what’s to come. In our case: the trifecta of Maya’s birthday, Hanukkah and Christmas all in a 3-week window!

So in a nutshell, that was our viaje!


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