Sayulita Family Vacation

I’m turning into the person I never thought I’d be, the person that is in Mexico all the time. But these days it’s hard to pass up a three hour flight and good value on the dollar for foreign travel.

My Sweetheart took me to Sayulita in October last year to propose and we had such a great time that we decided to take the boys this spring.

He has been wanting to get closer to the boys and felt like this was the right time to take trip together. We’ve camped plenty of times and they’ve come to Fort Collins but this is different. It’s anxiety producing for me because I’m really invested in everyone having a good time but I’m trying to let go of things that aren’t my in my control.

It is a big deal for me.

We left Boulder at 4am to catch a 7am flight. That part was super easy.

The movie was Inherent Vice, by the way. I watched it when I got home. It was a largely incoherent fever dream but the sex was hot.

We got picked up at the airport by a driver and were in Sayulita in time for a snack and a drink on the beach while the boys boogie boarded.

First stop, Estrella de Mar!

We rented a condo on the North Side of Sayulita, away from the chaos of the main plaza but right on the beach and close to all the things we wanted to do.

The condo was in a small development, two rows of maybe 10 units each side with a drive down the middle. There was a pool between the condos and the beach, with a gate leading to the road. It felt very safe and despite being open air, it was very private for us. We didn’t hear any street sounds although we got to hear the nightly beach parties if we opened a window. It didn’t bother me, we always slept with the windows shut and the AC on. It was perfect for us.

I love the North Side street vibes.

I wanted to get the boys surfing immediately so I set up lessons for them on the first morning.

Casey riding one in.
Micah catching a wave.

Sweetheart and I didn’t surf, his hip was really bothering him so it was out of the question. We tried to just look the part.

We were really there for the tacos, cards and margs anyway. We got lots of games of Spite and Malice in.

We got my favorite papaya, mango, coconut smoothies at The Garden and spiked them with vodka.
It was always heated.

We played cards with the boys but they were largely disgusted at how hard it was to get me to learn a new game.

So for the most part we would set the boys up on boards or some kind of excursion and then steal off to The Garden to hang out and play cards. Sayulita is tiny and they quickly figured out how to get around and find us.

One of the things I love best about travel is trying all the food. The first night we went to a restaurant recommended by a friend but found that – although nice and attempting to be fine dining – we really preferred more casual eating. I proposed we go on food adventures where we tried all the little carts that popped up on corners and were usually packed with locals.

Way more fun.

It was important that I balance family time with private time with My Sweetheart. After dinner we dropped the boys off at the condo, gave them some money and invited them to explore Sayulita together while we went off to have cocktails together.

Le Camion had the most lovely setting, a food truck set up in a little jungle plot next to the ocean, but the food was really bad (American food like frozen chicken nuggets) so we enjoyed the view and cocktails.

The North Side has some really peaceful places to have a drink or a meal. I wanted the boys to have the excitement of the plaza to enjoy, but we wanted quiet places to talk and hang out. This trip was a very different vibe for us because we are used to it being just the two of us, able to do whatever we want, when we want. It’s another thing to have to carve out time to be together.

We liked Chaman for drinks. They had a really nice bar, with a strawberry, Aperol, and sparkling wine cocktail that I enjoyed, and a bartender with the most beautiful bayaláge I’ve ever seen.

The last time we were in Mexico we were on a mission to get jewelry. This time my obsession was dresses.
I found this beauty at a little boutique. I tried it on and decided to sleep on it. It disappeared and I had to go back for a couple days until the clerk was back and could show me where she hid it. It was almost the one that got away.
I found this silk crocheted dress at Fleur de L’Orange, a yarn store with the most beautiful Ragdoll cat inside. I have been looking for a dress like this for ages. I was immediately validated when within minutes of wearing each dress someone ran me down on the street wanting to know where I got them.

After a free day we went on a half-day excursion to the Mariettas Islands, a UNESCO site, to snorkel and visit the secret beach. The snorkeling was so-so, it’s hard to compete with Hawaii, but the secret beach was really special.

It was essentially a sea cave whose top collapsed. We had to swim in and were only allotted 30 minutes by the Mexican Parks Service to take it all in.

Even cooler was the cave inside.

We did a little bird watching as well. The area is home to Magnificent Frigates, Blue Footed Boobies, Pelicans, and more.

Every day was a feast and the boys got to experience abundance in the way My Sweetheart does best.

Mobility was a real issue on this trip for My Sweetheart. He’s such an athletic man that it was hard to see him have such a hard time walking, but an old injury that had been flaring up prior to our trip really came to a head. He could barely walk. Luckily you can go anywhere in a golf cart.

It was absolutely necessary to get pom-poms for our cart.

The boys really enjoyed being able to drive around.

I planned for the four of us to go on a day-long tour with private guide but with My Sweetheart’s hip, it was a no-go for us, but we sent the boys. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t enjoy it but they really seemed to.

Video from a secret beach they went swimming in.

David and I had the day together so we went to Si Señor on the beach. Terrible name, lovely location.

Unfortunately the meal was somewhat monopolized by us trying to check in for our flight the next day. It was harder than it should have been and was an ominous warning of things to come.
Got some ice cream on our way out of the restaurant, David knows how much I love it but will only have it on vacation.

The boys did really well getting along. I could see both of them hold their tongues and de-escalating. Even though they live together in Boulder they live very separate lives; it was a lot of togetherness for them having to share a room but they really made a good effort.

Of course by the end they had both reached the end of their ropes and it boiled over.

This was my worst-case scenario, the breaking down of harmony. It was interesting to see how My Sweetheart handled it … with grace, humor, and pragmatism. He’s definitely a problem solver and I appreciated him being able to step in when I was completely stuck in the middle.

I also had to contend with everyone vying for my attention. There were times when I really felt it. The boys were digging in their heels, wanting my attention, while I was wanting to evenly divide my time between my three loves. It was hard at times but I was met with compassion and understanding.

On our last afternoon My Sweetheart started to get sick. I was in the pool with the boys and we invited him to join us but he said it was too cold.


Believe me, it wasn’t too cold. I really don’t want to dwell on the next 48 hours but they involved a canceled flight (fuck you Frontier), staying another day in Sayulita (which is better than at the airport) retesting for Covid and issues with the lab and paperwork (is it really that hard to spell my name correctly when you have it right in front of you?), My Sweetheart throwing up all day and night, me spending our extra day with the boys while he alternated between vomiting and being passed out in bed, getting on the flight home and being diverted because of weather in Denver (with him throwing up the entire time, 5 bags), landing in Colorado Springs, refueling, and finally making it home 4 hours late.

Yeah, the end wasn’t great but it doesn’t define the experience. The trip itself was really wonderful and while some things didn’t work out the way we wanted them to, I simply loved being with my kids and my man at the same time. We found a rhythm together and they got used to sharing my time and recognizing that I have needs, too. They even explored a bit on their own while we were out at night, which I was really hoping they would do. I want them to be independent and to have travel not just be about me finding stuff for them to do. The beauty of travel is exploration and I think I managed to plan the seed in their heads about the potential travel has for them.

We are finding our way together as a family and that makes me so happy. Thank you, my love, for your generosity, patience, love, good humor, and experience. I love this life we are building and I am so happy there is room for everyone in it.

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