There’s a warm breeze rustling the palm frowns in the coconut tree beside you. In the tropics this sound is like that of light right beginning to come down. But the sky is the color of azure with no cloud in sight.
You slip into the crystal clear pool and watch in the distance as small waves ebb and flow from the Banderas Bay to the Pacific Ocean beyond. Was that a whale breaching off in the distance or maybe a school of dolphins?
Your viewing is interrupted by the houseman, Jose, who asks if you would like a Margarita or would you prefer a Pina Colada? As you answer Jose, adding “Por Favor,” the question passes your consciousness “Is it really December?”
For so many years you promised yourself this dream Holiday Vacation. You kept saying “Next Year.” Last year the whole family was coming home and you couldn’t deny them a home cooked meal, so… you launched out of bed to turn up the heat before your toes fell off from frost bite.
“Maybe next year”, you said, “after the Holiday you and your spouse will sneak off on that well deserved vacation.” When the Holiday did end and all the family members left, so did your expendable cash. New Year’s had begun and it was time to work on those resolutions. No time for a vacation.
Before you knew it the family was once again gathered round your large dining table. You steeled up your nerve and in your best theatrical voice loud enough to cut the din, you announced “I think next year we should celebrate the Holiday in the Tropics!?
Your oldest child yells “Alright!” Your husband mumbles “Thank goodness, no more cold weather.” Uncle Bob protests, “It’s too dangerous down there.” But then he protests anything that is not a free handout. The youngest in the family asks the question, “What about our family?”
That is the question you remember that echoes in your mind as you take the first cooling sip of your tropical drink while languishing in the cool pool. Jose asks “Can I get you anything else?” That’s when you remember the important question, “Will the van driver pick up the rest of the family at the airport?” The answer is simple and direct “Si, Si!”
Now you must focus on the task at hand… Is that a Vallarta Adventures catamaran sailing off to Yelapa or a the Pirate Ship preparing to blast its canon? You promise to yourself that your family will experience both delights this week.
Late in the evening your family is together, sorry no Uncle Bob, and the Holiday meal is served. Barbecued chicken with peanut sauce. Talavera bowls filled with vegetables and frijoles are passed around the family table. All the food is prepared and cooked by the chef residing in your villa.
The meal is enjoyed after the fabulous sunset with another sweet breeze passing through the open air windows. The biggest decision will be whether to enjoy dessert is the grand living room with its vaulting ceiling or back out on the patio taking in the views of the pool, bay and sea.
Just before you get up and herd the clan elsewhere, you raise your glass and in that same voice that started this adventure you say “Happy Holidays Everyone!”
Tomorrow the group will pile into the van and ride down to the Malecon for a saunter along the shops and restaurants. The streets are tastefully decorated with ornaments of the season. It’s time to buy a souvenir for Uncle Bob. How about a sombrero, made in Mexico, to keep the winter snow off his frowning face?
The last question on your mind is “Why didn’t we do this years ago?” We work so hard and deserve the good things in life. This is the life, tropical style!
Author, Jane Moorhead, lives in Cumberland County, Maine. She grew up believing that Family comes first. Any thought of life’s pleasure must, in Jane’s mind, include the entire family. As a wise wife and parent Mrs. Moorhead long ago learned that the best way to get cooperation is to get everyone else to think it is their idea.
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