Traveling to visit family? Give yourself a break!

Before heading to Chile with the kids I wrote this post: Finding a balance between traveling to visit family and still having a vacation I had made plans prior to our departure from Canada and my husband had sent a written copy of our itinerary weeks before our arrival. With deposits paid we were committed to our own family time together. So 4 days after our arrival we set out for our first Araya family excursion. After a 1.5hr drive turned into a hot, clammy 3hr drive with long waits for single lane traffic due to highway construction we arrived at our destination, Punta de Choros, leaping out of the car to stretch our legs and unleash the kids cooped up energy. Ricardo stepped inside to check us in to our simple little dome by the sea, but quickly stepped back out with a look on his face that snapped me out of my day dream of sipping a cocktail on the deck over looking the clear blue waters below so fast it felt like I have cliff dived from 100ft and just hit the water. “Ummm, what’s up?” Turns out we showed up a day early. Our reservation was for the following night and they were fully booked – WHOOPS! So heads hung low we buckled in our boys back in the car and headed back promising the kids we would stop for dinner along the way. “We’ll have completos” (basic Chilean street food consisting a of a hot dog with loads of mayo and avocado) I announced as cheerily as possible while internally crossing all appendages because I’m pretty sure, but actually not really sure, I may or may not have seen a sign advertising them along the way. We really are in the middle of nowhere out here. So we drive around the tiny little village we are in – no completos. Maybe it wasn’t here, maybe it was at the town before? Begrudgingly my husband drives on to the next town, “we have to go back anyway” I say, and then as we bounce along the dirt road with hungry kids and disappointed parents he turns as says “you know, it’s not really about the mistakes we make in life it’s about how we handle them together and I think we handle them really well.” For a split second I fall just a bit more madly in love with him and then silently to myself – good lord I sure as heck hope there are compleatos in the next town! Turns out Los Choros, a mere 20 minutes up the road, may have been just the right dose of fun for us on this ill fated excursion. We did find compleatos, we found them at a road side stand hot dogs boiled lovingly by Claudia and Maggie who quickly fell in love with our boys wildly dancing around the street. We laughed. We splurged and let the kids have a pop to share enjoying our meal to the sounds of the local kids running around the park next door and Shakira blaring from the speakers of our patronesses tiny stand. After dinner we roamed the two block town, played in the park and said goodbye to our new friends taking just enough time to let the construction end for the day making our trip home much less tiresome. We laughed some more at our mistake and reminisced about past mistakes and epic failures. The next day we did it all again, skipping the compleatos and driving directly to our dome by the sea we dropped our car and hopped on a boat to see dolphins, penguins and sea lions out at Isla Damas. It’s a common destination for tourists to visit in this part of Chile but one in my previous 3 trips had never had the chance to make. It was perfect for our little family of four the kids really enjoyed the nerve wracking bumpy boat ride out through the big swell while I sat white knuckled planning a daring rescue should one of my children bounce over the edge of the boat into the sea. We all got a nice break from the demands of visiting family and loved exploring our little dome’s unique layout. Disappointed only with strong winds picking up in the evening making it less than desirable to enjoy the outside deck over looking the ocean below and too cloudy for any star gazing through our upstairs circle window. We enjoyed a quick breakfast, included with accommodations, before heading back to La Serena the next morning. It was a perfect break in it’s not so perfect kinda way.

Sebastian ordering his first completo
Los Choros family dinner

DSC_0069 DSC_0098 DSC_0166 DSC_0315 DSC_0322 DSC_0329 DSC_0327 DSC_0336 Even more pictures of this trip can be found here in this previous post.


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