Thursday, August 19, 2010

Its nice to be home

Our flight from LA to New Zealand was the best we've ever had - the kids passed out for 7 hours. That still left 5 to fill in, but we were happy. Landing in NZ was emotional as always. Amazing to see my family again, and for Clover to meet two of her aunties for the first time. We are now in Nelson, bit chilly after Mexico but gorgeous as ever.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

City of Angels

It was 37 degrees in Baja when we left this afternoon and a chilly 28 in Los Angeles when we landed - J had to put on a t-shirt. This evening it has dropped to a wintry 16 degrees so time for woolly jumpers. As I write I am looking up the runway of LAX from our immensely cool hotel room balcony, the kids are asleep next door and we have a chance to reflect on our month’s beach retreat.

It was totally perfect – all we expected and wanted. We emptied our heads and allowed life to ooze through us, as one of our new friends puts it – JUST BEING. The first time I have found the space to do that for 15 years or so and how refreshing it was. It took me 10 days to even start chilling out, and those days were tricky.. my mind was just not ready to do nothing and had moments of blind panic. If viewers wish to try this at home the symptoms are drumming fingers, inability to sit still, hot flushes when you can’t get online, continuous burning desire to go somewhere and do something. After about 10 days you realise that you can’t be arsed to go anywhere and the days start to slip by with increasing pace whilst beginning to relish life.

The girls, not having lived on an adrenaline rush for the last 15 years dropped into life on a remote beach in Baja within 24 hours. They acclimatised to the heat and Mathilda started picking up words of Spanish with no encouragement from us.

Apart from the primary achievement of actually chilling out which was our main goal, we also had some other wins which are huge to us [as we have done nothing for 4 weeks] although may seem rather small to others, these were:

Mathilda is (mostly) potty trained
Clover learned to crawl
J is a tanned bombshell babe
Nick relaxed
Mathilda speaks Spanish
Clover jumped in the pool unaided [possibly by mistake]
Mathilda swam unaided with armbands [before Baja she was petrified]
J and Nick saw huge amounts of marine life
We met some great people and made new friends

So now it’s back to reality in LA. Phone downstairs and have them bring up a perfect Angus steak and a bottle of Pinot Noir, and afterwards a phonecall from the kitchen to make sure we were happy and whether we needed anything else. America sucks.

Last road trip

the main street of our local hood (very bagdhad cafe)

the road to town - Los Barrilles

I'm happy to say our car came back good as new the night before we were to leave, after a local panelbeater did some work on it, costing much less than the car hire company would have charged. It required a lot of trust in various strangers, there is always a chain of people involved, someones cousins brother, and mexicans are not renowned for getting things done on time (and timing was obviously critical). But it ended well, particularly when we delivered it back to Thrifty today and they didnt notice anything amiss. So we had our last road trip through the beautiful deserty roads, to San Jose airport to begin our next journey. I love these roads, they became so familiar, and despite the car being a lemon, it was always a joy to travel inside an air conditioned box.

Final luncheon at the taco stand

This is the taco stand at the top of our road. They are the finest tacos in Baja and the lady is our friend. She speaks not a word of English so we had to eat our way through the menu over the month to find out the real specialities. This shot is the last time we visited when the car was being repaired so we walked, the heat getting there nearly floored us [especially at Mathildas pace] but the lunch was worth it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Adios mi amigas

Today was the last day the gorgeous Beatriz and her daughter Sofia looked after the girls. We were so lucky to have them, such a lovely family, they totally saved our holiday. Mathilda adored Sofia who played lego with her all day.

Today Beatriz's older daughter Luli came too, and brought her 1yr old son to play.

Deedee love

Clover is identical to Mathilda in her love for her deedee - in her case a rabbit from the same family as Mathilda's duck. After a tiring swim, its deedees all round.

Highlight of the Day

When an afternoon is dragging on a bit, we pass time with a walk to the shop for an icecream. In the heat it feels like a proper trek through the desert (its about 200m away), then we sit on the shop seat while Mathilda's icecream melts much faster than she can eat it.

Mathilda goes payaking

Finally Nick gets his dream - to take his child out on the waves. Not quite a surfboard yet, but a peaceful evening kayak. Clover and I watched from the house, it was a heartwarming sight. Mathilda came back saying 'i go in payak mummy!', she loved it