My time off the grid was longer than anticipated. Am I the last one to post any kind of Christmas update? Yes. I've read the updates from coast to coast. I'm so far behind in the posting, most bloggers have posted their year in review, New Year's shenanegans, or pled for accountability on the goals they've set for 2008. I'm about three weeks behind. (Here's hoping I get those things blogged too.)
It's taken me so long to post on my Christmas vacation due to the sheer volume of photos taken--my hard drive (thanks Santa!) has Christmas photos from seven family member cameras. That's 1500 photos to sort through. It's overwhelming to look at them, let alone take the time and sort, choose, and upload to Blogger. (But really readers, has anyone figured out a faster easier way to post a ton of photos? Clue me in!)
If I were writing this post the day after (like I do with most recaps), I'd waste time giving you the nitty gritty details. Why do I do that? A good chunk of you don't even know me, let alone care who drove in whose car, or whose burrito didn't have onions. Oye. So. This blog will NOT be split into a Portland, Phoenix, Mexico section. I'm going to let you do critical analysis on your own.
And so it begins....
Rachel made a list of her favorite moments from the trip. To her list, I add some of my favorite memories: "Acting natural" in the lounging photos on the beach chairs; having the Mexican cooks come in to feed us every night--I'd about die to have some more of that bacon-wrapped shrimp; the fascination with the babies, watching the hundreds of photos every night on the TV (I've told many of you friends that we do this on vacation, here's the proof!); my continued streak of terrible posing; rehashing some of Pierre's choicer phrases.
I've blogged before about being a double cousin. Eight of us, two sets of parents, but all identical genes. Yeah, it still sounds funny to say it that way. The last time the 8 of our photo was taken was 2.5 years ago, here's the update.
The only reason this picture is so large is to show you how incredible the scenery/landscaping is and how well the shot is set up. My sister Alaina does an amazing job--check out her business blog.
Everyone and their sister did a jumping shot or two--check them out on this Mexican Christmas recap post.
More fun memories: the activities Gram planned so no one would get "bored"--a treasure hunt, felt ornament beading, and a late night (6pm) glow stick rave; running after cars and waving when people are leaving, seeing dolphins with Grandpa and Alaina (I'm not only good at whale watching), and watching all the Grandmas (3!) take care of everyone else.
During the sunlight hours, this is what we do in Mexico. Sometimes we'd go to town, but most of our waking hours were spent in this location drinking Vita (sugar-laden Mexican soda that creates the funkiest/most vivid dreams), and debating whether the longest part of the "day" was in the late afternoon waiting for the cooks to come or at night when it was cold and dark and we had to be inside.
After the babies and the 9-year-old owner of the Wii went to bed, the tennis tournaments began. Most of us are actual players, so it was fun to duke it out in the virtual world when we were mostly equals. Rachel and my Williams/Williams took down Babb/Babb, Nielsen/Nielsen and any other combination of Williams/Williams put together. But really, it was all in good fun--and a good way for the 3rd generation to bond.
There were several "not planned to be funny" activities that were perhaps the highlight of the trip, and they turned out a little different than planned--including the Diet Coke/Mentos rocket launch and fallout, the kids fort to trap the "bad mexicans" ("It almost trapped some good mexicans! so I know it's going to work!" --PR) and the great White Elephant Movie/Music/Book exchange. You can't imagine what kind of multimedia treats there were. The best gift was "The Italian Job"--until Rachel stole it and we discovered it's a NYC knock-off. I had to leave my 1994 Olympic highlight VHS at the house in Mexico because no one wanted to cart it back across the border.
I love vacation. I love my family. The two are always a genius combination. Coming back to reality is always a bummer--especially considering it's -5 in Boston and I was in my bathing suit less than a week ago. Sigh.
It's taken me 2.5 hours to write this blog and I'm ending it before something tragic happens.