“Code red,” the text came through in Spanish, a few days before we were due to return to Mexico. The next bit, also in Spanish, freaked me out. My anxiety was rearing up and I was afraid my worst fears were coming true: that one of my dogs died a dramatically tragic death while we were visiting the USA.
“I have two weekdays off in early December,” my husband informed me. After making him
triple quadruple check this with multiple people, we decided to go to Ixtapa. Ixtapa is a beach destination in Mexico that many expats and locals recommended. We decided that four days there would be enough time to get a good taste of the beach and would be worth the 5-6 hour drive.
“Wait, we leave for the US 4 days later,” I said to my husband. “That’s just crazy.”
“Let’s do it,” he said. I am so glad that we did!
“You should see the baby sea turtles while you visit Ixtapa. It was on my bucket list and it was the first thing we did when we got there,” my friend gushed.
After she told me the price, I was deterred. It would cost a few hundred dollars to do the same sea turtle release event in which she and her family participated. My husband and I talked about it and decided that we’d wait another year. That way, our kids would be another year older and hopefully, they would better remember the incredible thing we’d be doing.
I put the baby sea turtles out of my mind for another year.
The wave surged over my head. I inhaled quickly, but I was too late. The crest trampled over me, ignoring my existence. I succumbed to the Pacific Ocean’s wishes. As if I had a choice to disobey.
Even knowing the water was only a few feet deep didn’t stop the thought: I have to get air.
We are going to the beach on Saturday for four days! If that isn’t exciting enough for me, we turn around and leave 4 days later for Ohio. Wheeeee! My suitcases are packed!
My 4 year old daughter and I opened the door to the public restroom at a gas station in the Sierra Gorda mountains (Mexico) and stepped inside. As the door gently closed behind us, I noticed a giant wasp flying near the ceiling at the back of the bathroom. When I say giant, I do not exaggerate. It was easily double the size of the wasps in Ohio. Then, I noticed the nest hanging from the light fixture.
I guided my daughter out the door and we “noped” right on out of there.
Walking through cement platforms in the jungle, you can imagine you are Indiana Jones, in search of the next big artifact. Las Pozas is unique and I don’t believe there is anything else like it in the world.
On a Wednesday in November, I booked a trip for the upcoming three-day holiday weekend to Xilitla (November 20 is a major holiday in Mexico). My Spanish teacher told me she was taking a road trip and we discussed us joining her. However, I realized her plans (which included one night of camping) would not work for us right now*. Then, she told me about Las Pozas (“The Pools”).
She described Las Pozas as a crazy, surreal garden or jardin surrealista. She also mentioned there were waterfall pools where you can go swimming. Everything about this sounded perfect. Especially the waterfall pools. I should’ve checked the drive time (and weather) before committing. I did not. Thankfully!
We almost turned around. There were a few miles that we were on a dirt road on the way to Xilitla. I think it was due to road construction.*
The Sierra Gorda mountains are beautiful. They are also huge. I thought maybe my perception was off because I haven’t driven through mountains in awhile. However, I just read on wiki that “[t]he area is extremely rugged with high steep mountains and deep canyons.” This describes it exactly. Many of the straightaways don’t have guardrails and you are only about 4 feet from death.
However, even that wasn’t the scariest part of the trip.