True to be said, I am no stranger to the beach. Seasoned early on with the Washington coast and wind and chill, appropriate attire included jeans, a hoodie and maybe even a stocking cap. But as time has passed, slowly and with the laziest of snowbirds I gradually migrated south, enjoying warmer and warmer shores.
This trip had been planned for a while. Every Christmas break the staff tries to do something with the kids that have nowhere to go. Most, visit relatives if not their parents, but there are a few who have no one but those at the home. This year there were only three, Pio, Zuriel, and Celina. Jill, Janelle and Ramona and myself made seven.
We headed south on the same road to Huatulco. The driving was a little more tame this time. We weren’t flexing our stomachs as we did with Habacuc about a month earlier. Jill drove and drove, deliberate and true and handle the bulk of the distance.
We were stoked to arrive at the hotel. It was amazing, overlooking the ocean. The rooms were small but we didn’t plan on spending much time there, though the boys will sit in front of any screen indefinitely unless they are pulled away. The hotel also had its own beach club down a short flight of stairs and trail. There was another pool down there, with refreshments, and only a step or two from the beach.
The boys swam and swam. The water was warm. Puerto Escondido is known for its big surf but it was small while we were there. Even so, I rented a longboard and caught a few. I tried to take Pio out but he wasn’t kean on being in the surf. I tried to encourage him to paddle out past the waves to rest, but he wasn’t cooperating, and I couldn’t tow him without his help. It was a fairly short lesson. Pio went in and went back out for a few. When I came in to find Zuri to see if he wanted a crack at it, I couldn’t find him. Eventually Pio came up to Janelle and I saying we needed to check Zuri out of the lifeguard’s hut. We couldn’t get a lot of info out of people but apparently Zuri had drifted out a little far on his boogie board.
Janelle talked to the lifeguard who said to be more careful and that if we wanted to buy him a coke or something that would be fine. They are “volunteers” and that’s their way of saying to give them money for saving our kid. Janelle gave Zuri 40 pesos and said to pay him for your life. When we asked Zuri what happened he said he was on his boogie board and not afraid, and I wonder how much saving he really needed.
That was probably the most excitement of the trip. The rest of the time we spent eating out, deciding whether to swim in the pool or the ocean, building sand castles, and a little shopping. I ate a ton of junk food with the boys. We did go out on a boat ride one morning. These guys hang out on the beach and wait for tourist to come by and you settle on a price and hop in the boat. They took us out and the highlight was when he jumped off the boat to catch a sea turtle that he roped and hoisted up into the boat.
We had a blast and it was over all too fast. We got back and had a day or two before everyone returned. When they did it was nice to have everyone back. The vast majority of the kids were thrilled to return. Some seemed to have had a pretty tough break, but after a few days it was business as usual.