Tag Archives: mexico

Mexican Misadventure


Our Mexican misadventure is over and we’re happy to be home. We had beautiful weather, great food, sandy beaches, and spectacular cenotes to explore but it was hard to relax with all the health problems that plagued our trip.

Been Waiting Forever

Our trip got off to a rough start when Emily, Astrid, and I missed our flight to Cancun because Astrid was in the hospital with breathing problems. Luckily she got better and we were able to fly down to join the grandparents a few days later. We contemplated just staying home but we promised our house to guests from Hamilton, and Mairy and Martha were waiting for us in Mexico. When we did arrive, it was great spending time on the beach and relaxing. Astrid had a blast lounging under palm trees and exploring the suite we were staying in.

Cuban Medical Clinic

Two days into our vacation, Astrid took a misstep in a playground and hurt her right leg. It’s the same one she hurt before and we thought she would be back up and running within a day. But two days later she still wouldn’t put any weight on it, so we sought out a doctor and found one at the Centro Medico Cubano (yes, there’s a Cuban medical clinic in Puerto Morelos, Mexico). It cost us 60 pesos ($4) to see a doctor who took a look at Astrid. She didn’t speak any English, but with our limited Spanish and Google Translate we found out her foot was fine but the problem was her hip. The doctor thought it was inflammation caused by Synovitis and told us to give Astrid ibuprofen for 7 days and ensure she didn’t do any walking.

(We saw a pediatrician in Vancouver who thought Astrid’s hip injury was caused by a skeletal muscle injury of some kind and not Synovitis, but he said the treatment would have been the same. And because she was walking within 2 weeks, it likely wasn’t a bone fracture.)

Hammock Nap

Astrid’s hip slowly got better over the last week of our trip, but we still had to deal with some sleepless nights, trouble with naps, and a frustrated toddler who wanted to explore but had to be carried everywhere. To top it off, Emily picked up traveller’s diarrhea on our 2nd last day, ran a high fever of 41 C for 12 hours until she took ibuprofen, and spent the last 48 hours of our trip in bed. Luckily the pharmacy next door to our hotel had the right medication to fix her up before our flight home.

Needless to say, we were all happy to arrive safely home in Vancouver at midnight of New Year’s Eve. We crashed in our beds at 2 am and all of us had a good sleep, even Astrid in her crib.

Group Photo

The trip wasn’t a complete disaster. Astrid had plenty of new experiences, enjoyed eating Mexican food for 2 weeks, and spent lots of time with Grandma and Grammy. We got to go snorkelling, enjoy the warm weather (and avoid the snow in Vancouver), explore Mayan ruins, and swim in beautiful cenotes.

Cabinet Fun

We spent the first week in a 2-bedroom suite in Puerto Morelos, right next to the beach. We had a kitchen where we could make smoothies every morning and cook dinner when we didn’t feel like going out. There were also a few vegan and vegetarian restaurants in town. We really enjoyed Puerto Morelos and would highly recommend it for visitors to the Cancun area. It wasn’t too busy, the beach was a fine powder, and there is great snorkeling right off the coast. The barrier reef is still in good condition, but you can see some bleaching from climate change and pollution, and there is an unsettling amount of plastic washing up on the beach everyday.


The second week took us to Valladolid where we stayed in a vegan bed and breakfast. The town had a sense of colonial history but also everyday Yucatan life. Our highlights were hanging out in the town square, eating at a food court where the eateries competed for your business, and checking out Casa de los Venados. Our b&b was a lush sanctuary in the heart of the city with six dogs to entertain us so we didn’t mind being held up there a few days while Emily slept.

More Guacamole
Astrid would have been happy eating guacamole, bananas, and beans for every meal.

Coba Climb
We enjoyed exploring the ruins at Ek Balam and Coba. We didn’t make it to Chichen Itza because of Emily’s stomach bug.

Cenote Swim
The cenotes (subterranean pools) were magical. The water was so fresh and clear and a perfect temperature for swimming.

Astrid enjoying the beach sunrise in Puerto Morelos.

Happy Hiker
I was obsessed with getting a photo of Astrid with the Christmas ornament that contains her photo from Christmas last year. This photo will go in a new ornament which will be featured in next year’s photo. It’s so meta.

Cool Dudes
We’re never too sick to be silly.

More pictures.

Astrid: Month 8


February was spent jet-setting around the world and enjoying snow and surf. It was a month full of ups and downs and several highlights and lowlights.

Highlight #1: Astrid used her passport for the first time as we flew to Mexico for her Auntie Kerry’s wedding. The highlights were the beautiful sunset wedding ceremony on the beach (and officially welcoming Megan, Katie, and Tyler to the family), the time spent relaxing by the pool with our relatives, and the awesome weather and lack of snow.

Porter Wedding

Astrid did well with all the changes (new foods, hotter climate, new faces, and 2-hour time change). It took her a few nights to get used to the hotel room and crib, but she slept well for the most part.

Palm Trees in the Pool

Most days were spent rotating between the buffet, the pool, the beach, and then back to the room for a nap. Astrid amazed everyone with her ability to destroy bananas and make a huge mess at mealtimes. She enjoyed floating in the pools and eating sand. We got off the resort once – took a taxi to Sayulita to check out the hippie, surf town. But for the most part we were slaves to Astrid’s nap schedule.

Waiting for Waves

Full Mexico photo album.

Lowlight #1: The biggest lowlight of the month was Astrid’s worsening eczema, especially on her hands. Baby-led weaning has not been kind to her skin, mostly from contact with acidic foods. Her skin got especially bad after we left the warm, humid Mexican air. We’re slowly getting it back under control by limiting the foods she’s eating, putting socks on her hands so she doesn’t bite and scratch them, moisturizing every few hours, and using hydrocortisone cream on the worst patches.
Eczema Hands

Highlight #2: Early in the month Dan visited from San Francisco, and Rhea and Tina also came over. We got a dump of snow that day so we had fun playing in the snow with Astrid.
Ice Thrown

Dan made this amazing snow throne for Astrid to reign over her subjects.

Snow Angels

Lowlight #2: Is Victoria the city that never sleeps? According to Astrid it is. We had a good visit with friends, but had to cut our trip short by a day when Astrid became a sleepless, grouchy pants. She refused to sleep in her pack-and-play, so I spent hours bouncing her in the ErgoBaby to get her to nap.
Beacon Hill Walk

At night, she would fall asleep in our arms, but the second we tried putting her down she would start screaming. None of us got much sleep the first night. The second night, we tried co-sleeping with her for the first time. She slept much better, but it was a rough night for Emily and I. We were squeezed into a double bed with Astrid in the middle, afraid to move for fear of waking her. Midway through the night she rotated 90° so that when she flailed about she simultaneously punched me in the face and kicked Emily in the head, but we were happy she was sleeping.

Victoria photo album

Highlight #3: Astrid is starting to move more. She’s mastered rolling and has the arm strength to lift herself into plank position. She isn’t crawling yet, but she can cover a lot of ground by rolling, rotating, and shuffling backwards. We’ve ordered a large play mat to give her a surface to play on – she quickly rolls off the yoga mat and blanket we have for her now.

She’s also tossing and turning in her sleep. Often after a nap, we find her on her stomach or curled up on her side. The first time she napped on her stomach we kept checking on her to make sure she was breathing, but we’re used to it now.
First Time Sleeping on Stomach

She is also very ticklish. I don’t remember her reacting to tickling before.

Astrid now has a Goodreads account, if you’re curious what books we read to her every night. She has quite the library. https://www.goodreads.com/astridnaut

More photos and data.

8 Months

A Week of Perfect Weather and Food

Karmina Palace Bay

A week at an all-inclusive resort isn’t my first choice of holiday destinations (I prefer backpacking and being more adventurous), but when my father asked me to join him on a free trip to Mexico, I had a hard time turning him down. I don’t visit my parents in Winnipeg often enough, so I figured it would be good bonding time. Besides, 1 week of perfect weather, Mexican food, and bottom-less piña coladas is a great way to relax.

We spent 1 week at the Barcello Karmina Palace, an amazing resort along the Pacific Ocean in Manzanillo, Mexico. There was plenty to do on and off the resort, although the majority of the time was spent lying in the sun and eating way too much food. The snorkeling at the resort was excellent – I had some surreal experiences where schools of silver fish and blue angel fish were circling all around me. Next time I go somewhere tropical, I’m going to have to bring an underwater case for my camera.

There was no reason to ever leave the resort, but we ventured off a few times to explore the city around and do a few excursions. The public transit in Manzanillo is amazing. We never had to wait more then 2 minutes for a bus, and the fare is only 60 cents. We spent a lot of time exploring, walking down streets, and shopping in stores and markets. Anything made in Mexico was ridiculously cheap. Anything imported (like electronics) was often more expensive then it would be in Canada. I found Kinects for 3000 pesos (about 75% more then they cost in Canada).

The highlight of our city exploring adventures was eating tacos off the back of a truck. My father was a bit apprehensive about eating street food, but we didn’t have any problems. I was able to order 3 tacos and a huge glass of horchata for $2. It tasted awesome and I didn’t get sick.
Taco Truck Eating Street Tacos

We also went on two organized excursions: zip-lining and ATV touring.
Ready for Takeoff
I really enjoyed the zip-lining. Even though we had 5 different sections (the longest lasting over 30 seconds), it still seemed like it was over too fast. When we were done, I was ready to hike back up the mountain for a second run.

Ready for an ATV adventure
I was worried the ATV ride was going to turn into a bunch of annoying tourists terrorizing the locals on really loud machines, but it was actually a tour through plantations and up a mountain where we had a good view of the region. Riding the ATV up the mountain, avoiding rocks, and crossing streams was challenging and fun. Along the route, our guide would stop and point out different plants and animals. We found a wall with spiders nests, which looked like big hairy clumps. When you disturbed them, thousands of daddy-long-leg spiders ran in every direction. I tried to take a video:

Mexican food is the only food I could eat every day without tiring of the taste. I could eat refried beans, salsa, and guacamole for every meal of every day, and while I was in Mexico I did. I avoided the tourist food – pasta and french fries, and ate Mexican food for every meal. I loved eating fresh pineapple, squeezing limes on everything, and even eating the stinky papaya. The only souvenirs I brought home were dried chili peppers, cinnamon, and vanilla.
My Favourite Mexican Food

In the end, it was a good trip and a good chance to spend more time with my father.

More Photos
Manzanillo Canal Manzanillo Rail Bridge Tortilla Factory Ants vs Grasshopper Butterfly Karmina Palace Mexican Beast Wading In In the Surf Footprints American Invasion Rock Lobster Taco Truck Eating Street Tacos Side-walk Vegetation Roasted Habaneros Una Michelada, Por Favor Pool By Night Karmina at Night Night Pool Resort Entertainment Kyoto Deer Kiss Oh Deer Deer Feeding Ready to Zipline Swinging Bridge Zipline to Infinity Zipline Guides Zipline Break Peekaboo ParrotMexican Pizza Miramar Market Pineapple Truck Beware of Crocodiles Crocodile Bird Watching Bird Lone Runner Stork Miramar Beach at Dawn Footprint Crab Hole Paradise Guanabanas and Bananas Truck Bed Noni Fruit Ready for an ATV adventure Atv Ride Manzanillo Bay Mexican Bottle Gourd Helicopter Pad ATV Ride Cow Crossing Dirty Face