Walking On Sunshine (After Flying the Not-So Friendly Skies)

Published: June 28th 2018
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"One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child's name and how old he or she is" ~ Erma Bombeck

Hello family & friends! Happy summer to you all!

I love a good quote with a sense of humor. I've brought up Erma Bombeck in my blogs before. An American humorist way ahead of her time. And before I start, it's that time of year again for your annual check up. I am here to perform a memory test. Praying that most of you have forgotten the stuff I've written in the past so I can borrow from it. (Insert winking eye here.)

I love the above quote because being one of 5 kids I was called a different name on a regular basis. Sally, Cindy, Susan, ding dong etc (the latter more from my brothers and vice versa!) I have found myself calling my 3 girls different names too. It's a parent's god given right to not know their kid's name at the drop of a hat!!

Anyhow, good old Erma. I came across a book of hers when I was a little kid in the 70s and I got her humor even then!

Some of Erma's best quotes (some more applicable now that I've had kids...)

*Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.
*No one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed.
*Never have more children than you have car windows.
*Housework. If you do it right will kill you.

And my favorite...(yah, the emotional one...)
*Laughter rises out of tragedy when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage.

Thank you Erma Bombeck for your deep wonderful sense of humor. And there is SO much truth in laughter. It truly is the best medicine (well that is unless you start laughing uncontrollably for no reason then you really do need medicine.) Just sayin'.

Family Lovin'

My spring was off to a gallop with an unexpected visit to Al's parents in the Calgary area to celebrate his Mom's special birthday. They knew Al was going but at the last minute Ava our youngest gal & I decided to go along. Talk about keeping a secret. Why is it when you are trying to surprise someone it's the first thing that usually spills out of your mouth? But we were able to keep it on the down low and pull off the ultimate surprise for his Mom at the airport baggage carousel and it was pretty heartwarming! We surprised Al's Dad too when he pulled up to pick us up outside the airport. He was a pretty cool cat about it all though! (Inside though I'd like to think he was as pleased as punch!) I will say we got some strange looks by travelers as we sneaked in and out behind pillars and walls to pull off the ultimate surprise.

It was wonderful to visit with extended family and if you are reading this, thanks to Ray and Pat, Shannon and Craig (Alex, Kass, Matthew) for all the love. I so enjoyed getting to know Shannon (Al's sister) and her lovely family better. Al & I have been together 21 years (had 3 children together) but due to distance, I haven't had a full opportunity to get to know his family better other than his parents. I can't say enough about all of them, and it's all good! We are really hoping to get them to Mexico for a family trip next year. It was great seeing the rest of the famn damily like Pam, Loreen, June, Edna, & Tom (just to name a few). You all made me feel so included and welcomed. (Who the heck wouldn't want me though? 😊 😊 😊 (Please don't answer this. It is a rhetorical question. I also briefly got to see my brother Barry and his wife Charlene which was just the icing on top of a really special trip.

Then I was off to Vancouver for my niece's wedding reception. Again I immersed myself in family and enjoyed every minute of our time together. And the rumors are true. Vancouver is a beautiful city. Flanked by mountains and surrounded by water, every which way you look is eye candy. And green - foliage, hedges, plants, flowers, and especially the trees. Vancouver is famous for its trees. Native and cultivated trees, many of which are not found anywhere else in Canada.

This is a place where you can ski, kayak and swim all in the same day! Hard to believe! We enjoyed a brief tour of Stanley Park and got to visit Granville Island twice. Being the food lover I am, I enjoyed seeing the public market. I needed a few more sets of eyes to take it all in! Thanks to Barry and Charlene for a wonderful lunch 3 stories up at Sandbar Restaurant overlooking the water with views of the mountains! It was breathtaking. I also thoroughly enjoyed the late nights sitting around the table, sipping a drink while reminiscing, laughing, joking, and shedding a few tears talking about Dad and Bill who we miss greatly. Love to all my family out west that I don't get to see often (Barb, Kaity, Steph and their wonderful partners!) Stephie's reception was so heartfelt and you could see this young couple had eyes for no one else but each other. Now it's time to also get this side of the family to Playa too. Lordy I wonder if Playa would ever be the same??

Two family trips back to back made me feel very melancholy. I think it's in part to losing Dad, experiencing loss and wanting to make the most of family time. Ahhh...sniff sniff. Excuse me while I wipe my eyes...OK I'm back!!! Anyhow, the bottom line is that kind of family time you just can't buy on Amazon or eBay and if you could, it would be worth a lot of coin.


So I'll give you 3 guesses and none of them count. Where are we now? Really you guessed Mexico? You should really book yourself onto Jeopardy with that answer. Or perhaps you need to ask the question to the answer to get on that show? Hmm, well you catch my drift. This is the first time in 4 years Al and I have all 3 of our daughters together here. Our oldest due to summer work in the past hasn't been able to join us, but SO happy to say she's here along with her boyfriend who's never been to Mexico before. Plus rather last minute my Mom decided to join us. They are only here a week unfortunately, and leave the same day Al's parents arrive. Oh well, we'll make hay while the sun shines!

I make a point at the beginning of each trip to say HOW lucky I feel to have found my niche with Playa Beach Getaways and working for the fantastic Tonya. To be able to write about travel to an area where I feel the most alive is a gift. To have been given the opportunity to travel here many times a year comped at that, to be able to bring so many family and friends to these deluxe accommodations, to have met so many locals here who I refer to as my familia is a dream come true. I digress...here is the 'unfriendly skies' part now!

SO Yeah, those unfriendly skies...

For those that read these crazy blogs (God bless you) you've been hostage to many a' blog about our flights. (Remember the flight attendant I referred to as Nurse Ratched? (Gives me shivers thinking about her.) Anyhow, we were 7 preparing for this trip. Even though our kids aren't small anymore, we need to still head this thing up, i.e book tickets, organize transportation, packing, weighing suitcases (re-weighing them when someone brings down 40 pounds of toiletries a few hours before our flight...) Getting van packed to said airport, get checked in, hustle through security...then collapse. First up was flying into TO to wait 3.5 hours for our connecting flight to Cancun. It was a zoo yesterday. It was survival of the fittest to even get to the bathroom.

But our flight to Cancun was the challenging part. We got to pre board with Mom, which allowed us time to store our bags and get settled. We were able to take a deep breath and bask in the naive idea that the flight would be fantastic and Playa was within arms reach. Al & I put our heads back, held hands pleased we were on the last leg of our tour. Then that damn bubble got burst. (Keep in mind that since our kids started flying, we taught them all the golden rules about air travel. No kicking seats, no whining, no throwing stuff, no jumping up and down, and no playing electronics at a sound that would deafen dogs.) If they acted up they'd get the hairy eye-ball from Mom and they were welcome to use the EXIT if things weren't to their liking. Insert grin here. So our kids have been ideal travelers. I really wish other people taught their kids the same. Yes teach them the world is their oyster (through hard work you get your pearl. However, the
world is not your OWN playground. Be respectful, be kind, and try to coral your kids on a flight out of respect to those that work hard to pay for their long awaited vacations.) And hey I get it, babies cry, babies whine, and it's a really tough job keeping them calm. Been there, done it...

Mom was across the row from us on the aisle seat. When I finally looked over to see how Mom was doing, the couple she was sitting with were putting on masks, and the husband was putting on a pair of very tight fitting black gloves. (So I'm thinking to myself, what's this about? Is he about to commit a crime or carve up a raw chicken?) I have to say when you see someone all geared up like that you start wondering what do they know that we don't? Does someone on the plane have some communicable disease? Is it Ebola? Are they the ones with it? I guess Mom finally asked what this was all about. Turns out they are really paranoid about getting sick so this is their standard gear for flying. Each to their own.

Mom felt squeezed in her seat, so as the doors closed we told Mom to move behind us because all 3 seats were free. No one had boarded for a long time so it looked safe to move. However, about 5 minutes later, a family of 4 boards, huffs their way down the aisle and of course Mom got moved back to her seat. No worries. Unfortunately those folks were at the wrong gate which meant when they were summoned to hustle to catch their fligt & thus the plane was delayed by at least 20 mins. A mom and her two boys sat behind us, and as sure as God made little green apples the kid in the middle starts kicking my seat as he starts playing video games. It appears whatever seat I sit in is a magnet for shoe kicking. Al felt my pain and reached over and took my hand and says, "It's all good, we're going to Playa". Ok deep breath, close my eyes, relax, pretend this little lad is not driving me crazy. Arghhhhhh. So this went on and on, and I thought to myself, no way Jose. I am not sitting through 4 hours of some kid barely out of grade 5 making my flight a living hell. So I very politely (yes I did 😉 turned to the Mom and said, "Listen I know he's just a kid but your little guy is kicking my seat & I'd really appreciate it if he didn't." So she told him to stop. Well that worked for a short time. Sigh. But then...OMG. One of those kids had the worst gas that you can ever imagine. And we are literally trapped a seat away. Literally it was so bad Ava had her hoodie pulled right over her face hoping to alleviate the pain. Right about then I was ready to ask the lad Mom was sitting with to borrow his mask. Smart man.

The worst part was the 3 adults seated in front of us kept looking back at us like we were the gas culprits. Where are those oxygen masks when someone really needs them? Holy tooting (and I really mean holy tooting if you catch my drift.) My friend Celine posted a funny thing about farting being a good sign that you'll live a long life. Well from the looks of things, that lad will be celebrating his 200th birthday.

Things were much worse 4 rows up where our other 3 were sitting. There was a family with a 3 year old that was running amok. They were playing some cartoon so loud without earphones that it was deafening. Their 3 year old was constantly jumping up and down, hitting his hands on the overhead lights, and screaming. He had some wand and was hitting their seats with it. Once she came back to tell us how bad it was, I craned my neck and all I could see what was looked like a kid popping up and down on a pogo stick. I'd see him go up, then go down. Then I heard the yelling once I took out my earphones. All of a sudden that gassy kid behind me with the uncontrollable seat kicking was prince charming 😞

Later as I'm coming back from the bathroom after having an incident in it, (oh yes this story keeps just a rollin' on) I run into our oldest who's clearly upset. She tells me that this situation with this family has escalated. She had politely asked the father to not have the kid scream, and hit their seats, and the father has some schmarmy answer and something to the effect he doesn't control his kid and he can do what he likes including hitting their seats, jumping, yelling etc.. The father then started to rock his seat back and forth just to taunt the kids. So I went with her to speak with the flight attendants about it. When they came to see what was going on, said kid took a break to probably enjoy a protein kale spinach smoothie so he could refuel his acrobatic show. So the attendant sees no issues because for that one moment he's being quiet. Of course the three of them felt so deflated and upset. Our kids don't rock the boat. They can tolerate a lot but this was just a barrage of terrible behavior. These adults decided to make it a game of tormenting our kids. 😞

This situation got worse as our girls overheard the Mom tell the kid to now jump as much as he wants since the 'people behind them were SO rude'. What kind of parent does that?The attendant was called back and gave the couple a stern talking to, and they continued to hold their position they had done nothing wrong. The argument went back & forth and it was head shaking. Of course Lara spoke up and detailed clearly what was happening and they just wanted to be left in peace. (Our other daughter told me afterwards she felt the man could be violent with them. Holy cow?)

So back to me and the &^%$ bathroom. I enter the bathroom, lock the door and as I am about to get rid of some water 😉 the stupid door slowly starts to open. So I'm trying to reach for this while grabbing my pants, and I slide the lock over and it doesn't latch. Now I'm trying to pull up my pants with my left hand while trying to keep the door shut with my right hand so I'm not giving a free show to fellow travelers. I manage to wash my one hand while still holding the door closed. Honestly, by now with all these goings on, my nerves were shot..

So Al goes up to speak with the kids to see how they are doing and of course they are so upset. As Al is talking to them, the father turns on Al & starts picking a fight with him. So I'm watching Al trying to signal him to come sit down for heaven's sake. For those of you who know Al, he's not a guy to ever pick a fight. At that point I am picturing us getting arrested and bye bye Playa. And by this time I look like a bag of crap and my arrest picture would not be flattering.

Al says something back to this guy and finally he turns and comes to sit down. Al's upset now, he's upset for our girls to be subjected to such hateful rude people, and I'm picturing paying off the kid behind me with the bad gas and seat kicking to go hog wild on these putzs (sorry but I wanted to use a stronger word but I'll refrain...)

Finally as we exit the plane, the couple are getting their stroller and make some rude comments to us. It took everything not to take a round out of these people. If you come after my kids, you'd better bring an army. Mama bear does not come close to what I could reign down on you.

The ironic part with all the planes flying in, who do we end up standing with in the immigration line? YEP, parents of the year (who continued to throw dirty looks at us). I was one line over with Mom who was having a private wheelchair escort. So I'm looking at the family standing behind these two winners kind of laughing to myself, 'Yep, another Lampoon's family vacation is about to start'.

Finally, we stepped outside to that warm ocean smell into the welcoming arms of our friend and driver Jaime. Lord Jaysus, take us to our casa...


So yeah, school's out. I love this time of year. Burn the lunch bags and the freakin' Tupperware. I was humming Alice Cooper's "School's Out" recently.

Remember those lyrics?
School's out for summer, School's out forever, School's been blown to pieces...

OK it's not out forever, but we'll take 2 months of a much-needed break.

Whew...got through another school year. Lunches, homework, projects, book reports, endless headaches, worry, etc. Is there any wonder there are all sorts of websites called MOMMY NEEDS VOKDA? (MY sister-in-law Shannon shares funny quotes from that website and I can't help but relate most days.)

But you know, when you see your kids bloom, become critical thinkers, creative, sweet, funny, loving, kind, hard working, ethical, then you realize how all that vodka paid off. HEH HEH. (I don't even drink vodka so insert Mommy Needs WINE here).

So all of you out there, sing School's Out at the top of your lungs. I dare you. Especially if you are at your grocery store or the liquor store! Guaranteed if it's the liquor store you'll have a few join you as they hoist their vodka! (Most of them Moms stocking up for the summer 😊 Hiccup.

I have been SO looking forward to this summer trip with our girls. Our girls get to spend time with both sets of grandparents. And play lots of cards right grandma and grandpa! Given it's my birthday the day they arrive, I'm warning Playa they'd better have lots of fireworks just for me! What's that you said? Oh the fireworks are for the US Independence Day? Well we will just have to share!

Stay tuned for further blogs about some really exciting new developments with my work in Mexico and any other shenanigans that we get up to!

It's Thursday morning and sunny skies here around 90C (I know Ottawa is going to be in a real heat wave at home.) Who knew we'd have to come to Mexico to cool down? LOL 😊

We opened our doors to the ocean, and are about to have a coffee on our patio surrounded by palm trees and flowers. It's so quiet with the exception of the landscapers pruning the lovely gardens, and the guy cleaning the pool. Soon it will be beach time, and a margarita by the ocean & visiting all the locals we know here (which means lots of drinks on the house...Hiccup.) I will leave you with a drinking quote.

I only drink on days that start with a T: Today, Tomorrow, Tuesday, Thursday, Thaturday, and Thunday. 😊

Signing off from the sunny white soft sand shores of the glorious Riviera Maya - where memories are made. (PS ignore spelling & grammar. My secretary was gassed on the plane and still recovering. 😊

Sal and her Peeps (OH and for those of you that want more blogs till my next one (wink wink), here's my trip in Jan. Click here.


28th June 2018

Your flights are always such a disaster...
and yet you still fly. I know the destination makes it all worthwhile. I look forward to reading about your summer vacation!
29th June 2018

Walking on Sunshine
Hi Bob, air travel can be downright scary depending on who is next to you. Every time I read the news someone is being arrested on a flight for disorderly behavior. But in the end we got here somewhat in our right minds...and we are enjoying ever second of our blessings! Thanks for the comment!
29th June 2018

Absolutely inviting 2nd home
Hoping that the sun, wind and sea are all to your expectations and more.How I love your2nd home! I see Rory there with you. Ava and Lara Too?...Big hug stranger. Hoping to make time to finally have a Canadian Margarita on me, when you get time this Summer. Happy B-day ahead beutiful. xo
29th June 2018

2nd HOme
We are thoroughly enjoying our 2nd home Zully...wonderful family time we are cherishing...I'll have 2 margs just for you. Hiccup! xoxoxo
30th June 2018

Ah...the serenity
There is a cartoon of a guy with a dark cloud over his head looking glum. But he ain't a blond Canadian gal with attitude who'd like to punch ya and only drinks on T-day. Great blog Sal...great all the bad things on flights like a whirlpool are attracted to your flights...the rest of us can enjoy the in-house entertainment knowing all the bad stuff is heading Sal's way. Ah the serenity...yet I'm too restless to enjoy the feet up Playa way!
30th June 2018

Ah the serenity
Hola Dave! Always love to hear from you. Yeah, I'm not a world traveler per se, but opportunity (my writing) opened a new world for a small town girl. I have learned a new language, a love of a new culture, made new friends, and explored many cultural/historical things. I love the ocean but rarely will you find me on a lounger. My feet take me miles a day, taking photos, seeing how people live outside the tourist areas. The Mayan history is rich, and being such a huge country I'm so honored to see a bit of it that I do. Now, when reading your blogs I get to go on a cyber magical carpet that takes me miles and miles away from home without leaving my chair. Thank you for your amazing blogs my Aussie friend! Sal Gal
30th June 2018
Aww paradise

30th June 2018

you are a talented writer!
hi Sal. I have been a fan of yours since I first started browsing the blog entries for the Playa area. I found your info very interesting and informative and actually put it to use a couple of years later when my husband and I (finally) traveled to Playa on our own adventure. Also got to see Cancun last year. Just read your most recent blog. I wanted to let you know that I think you are a very talented and funny writer. You must be a great story-teller and interesting dinner companion! Also, as a photographer myself - I am also very impressed with your photos. I hope to read more of your travel adventures! Life is so busy - we don't get to explore as much as I'd like to. It's at least fun to live vicariously thru your eyes and your words. Enjoy your time in Playa! Sincerely - Cindy in Pennsylvania.
2nd July 2018

You are a talented writer
OMG Cindy, you are SO sweet! For you to take the time to write to someone you don't know and make their day is pretty nice of you! I so appreciate the comment. More than you know. This little blog of mine brings me so much joy so your words mean a lot to me!!!!
3rd July 2018
Aww paradise

ze view
Well that... is a view.. and the other one, is a pool. Nice, very nice.
3rd July 2018
Aww paradise

Walking on Sunshine
Thank you Sorina. It is a lovely view where sky meets ocean. :)

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