I took a vacation. A true vacation, without the kids. I went here:
That’s Cabo Pulmo, a village about 90 minutes from Cabo San Lucas, featuring the only protected coral reef in Mexico. I didn’t get a photo of all the fish swimming just offshore: polka-dotted fish, rainbow-colored fish, blue-and-yellow striped fish, literally hundreds of fish. I didn’t have an underwater camera, so our snorkeling trips are undocumented and no one can see the way I flopped back into the boat like a fish. I also didn’t have my camera with me the day some wild horses walked down to the beach and then went swimming (!). I also failed to get a photo of the turtle-nests, or the fishermen sleeping in iron bedsteads placed out on the sand, or the great hiking trails, or all the butterflies. I have no documentation of the local characters we met or the amazing food we ate. My photos looks much more prosaic.
You’re just going to have to trust me on this one: Cabo Pulmo is the best village in Baja. Even the roosters crowed nicely. Vacationing without kids meant I got to sleep in every day til past 7 am, then calmly make myself tea while deciding whether to do yoga on the beach or yoga at our bungalow, read my novel in the beach-chair or hammock, spend the day hiking or swimming. It was luxurious. I got to talk to adults all day long, often about subjects other than kids.
And vacationing with other moms is fabulous.
We went to Baja to help my friend celebrate her 40th birthday. Her friend is a pilot, so we got to fly in his small private plane. It was Eddie the Pilot who first started marveling at the weirdness of moms. “Did you all notice that you just unpacked the groceries without even talking about it?” he asked. “I’ve never seen that happen before, just like that! I fly lots of groups, but it’s usually all guys, and the groceries sit in the car til someone gets thirsty…” It wasn’t just that we moms were efficient and sensible. It was also that we were five confident women, giggling uproariously, occasionally discussing lactation, but also exhibiting an independence that he wasn’t expecting.
It turns out that Yo Gabba Gabba dance moves are big hits in the dance clubs of Cabo. It turns out that Dora the Explora Spanish can take me far. It turns out that I really ought to wear a wedding ring the next time I go to Baja — but also that it was flattering to receive so much attention.
Hurricane Paul arrived the day we intended to fly home, so we holed up in a fancy resort at Cabo San Lucas and made the best of it. “Madame, there is a hurricane. We cannot heat the jacuzzi,” the desk clerk told my friend — and we found this hilarious. The whole trip was hilarious, and now the challenge is how to keep that joy with me at home, as I reenter ordinary life.