A travelling momma’s Mother’s Day

In true to me form I took my two boys to the “big city” this past weekend for a few days of fun with my best friend. Of course when we scheduled the trip I completely forgot it would be Mother’s Day.

So, my Mother’s Day wasn’t exactly full of blissful breakfast in bed followed by a lazy morning or some family time mixed with some “me” time. It started with an 0630 wake up call from my youngest, we snuggled on the couch after I got up and ran downstairs for coffee because my friend who we were visiting is not a coffee drinker and doesn’t keep any in the house. This meant I was dressed and in public by 0645, ugh.

On my way to get coffee, totally uncaffienated, I actually ran into a Dad pushing a baby in a stroller nearly knocking the poor thing over. While apologizing profusely and trying not to rub my now painful crouch I commented on what a good Dad he was letting this little one’s momma have a sleep in. He responded with “ya, she really needs it too!” Which led me to reminisce about my first Mother’s Day it’s a special one for sure.

Back to my now fifth Mother’s Day, coffee in hand, sandwiched between my two little fellas watching cartoons I was certainly happy even though my tummy was rumbling for some sort of breakfast in bed or not.

I was quickly distracted from the grumbling with preparing for us to leave and getting some food into my growing boys. Once everyone was awake and ready to hit the road we drove to Granville Island, one of my favourite public markets in the world. While my friend had the boys amused for a few minutes, buying them donuts of course, I took the opportunity to check out a new place just outside the market. I found myself face to face with a pistachio chocolate croissant, I figured I deserved a treat. Happy Mother’s day to me 🙂

Now this wasn’t breakfast in bed but it was certainly blissful. I admit I have a weakness for pistachios and chocolate so now I know putting them together in a nice flaky fresh out of the oven so it’s still warm in your hand croissant is a really, really good idea. Of course I would never make these at home, too much work, which means I HAVE to go back. Funnily enough the bakery is called A Bread Affair, which was clearly what was happening in my mouth, tastebuds meet you new lover.

Afterwards we left Granville Island and headed to Kits Beach for a play in the park before heading to the ferry and the rest of our journey home. At this point I realized I hadn’t taken many photos of the trip and I chalk this up to traveling alone with the kids. You almost always have one or two hands to hold, manage luggage, etc so typically the camera is an after thought. I did try however and managed to get an honest photo of my youngest mid temper tantrum, he did not want to go to the park or wear shoes or walk anywhere. He just wanted to roll around on the grass, rubbing his eyes and yelling “NO!”

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On our journey back home both boys fell asleep in the back of the car and I listened to music for the 90 minute drive from the ferry home contemplating my Mother’s day.

It felt good, it felt like me, not perfect, a little crazy, but grateful for the memories we made, the new experiences we shared. Grateful to be a mother and to be able to share this day with every other mother out there including my own.

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Parent Pit Stop

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent looking for parks to play in, making sure all the sand toys were packed and searching for pools that are not too deep for a toddler to play in while traveling with my kids, it’s been many. Sometimes we’re so focus on making sure our kids are having a good experience we put our own needs aside. So lately I’ve become a big advocate for what I’ve termed the “Parent Pit Stop” when traveling with children.

A parent pit stop is anything you, the parent(s) want to do together, keeping in mind the kids will still be with you. Previously we’ve stopped at breweries but on our recent trip to Chile we were driving through wine country and spur of the moment decided to take a detour to a roadside winery. It went a little something like this:

Kids: “we’re hungry”

Me: “we should stop for ice cream”

Husband: “how about that winery back there?”

Me: “Ya sure they probably have food and we can do a tasting.”

Husband: “But I’m driving.”

Me: “that’s OK I’ll take one for the team” batting eyelashes, big smile, coquettish look.

U-turn to the winery.

We ended up at Estampa Winery one whose international export is limited and rarely available in Canada so naturally we walked out with a few treasured bottles. There was no food offerings or ice cream but it was a nice break to get out of the car into the fresh, warm air, use the clean toilets and sip a few glasses of delicious vino in a magnificent architectural setting. The kids got a chance to release some pent-up energy by running down the paths of the vineyard and trying to climb the big bottle in the middle. All in all it was a win-win.

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The parent pit stop doesn’t always have to be a brewery or winery but let’s be honest who doesn’t need a drink when you’re on vacation with you kids!

**As an obvious side note I do not condone drinking and driving only one of us does the tasting then we enjoy whatever we buy together at a later time**

I think the Mexican Military are just nice guys with big guns

Only our second night driving into the Baja Peninsula we stopped in a small town famed for lobster crepes of all things. As we ate our crepes, decent but certainly nothing to write home about, we checked a surf guide we had picked up before the trip that boasted decent waves at a nearby beach so we asked around. We were provided with some very vague directions and headed in search of promised surf.

Shortly into our voyage we found ourselves 4x4ing in our 2 wheel drive Westy down some rocky terrain at one point the van started to just slide down the steep slope I braced myself with my two arms out stretched in front of me on the window shield absolutely certain we would tip head over heels. After our treacherous drive we landed ourselves level again on a deserted beach stretching for miles. We couldn’t believe our luck the waves coming in good size sets and not a soul in the water to have to share. We donned our gear and headed for the waves awaiting us.

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Just before putting our fins in the water we noticed a couple of bodies heading in our direction along the beach in the far off distance. Upon approach they introduced themselves and shortly into our conversation we discovered they were in town with the circus. As odd as it sounds it’s true, we met Mexican circus performers that appeared out of nowhere on a deserted section along the northern coast of the Baja Peninsula looking for a ride into town. We tried to side step the question not really wanted to let them know we had just decided to spend the night out here under the stars, just the two of us and all of our belongings, probably not a wise decision but I think they figured it out in the end anyways. After they left all I could think of was 2 Mexican circus performers know we’re planning on staying out here alone overnight, hmmmmm?

We spend the rest of the early evening riding endless waves it was a day our dreams were made of. I had one of the best rides of my life promptly followed up by the worst pummeling ever. It was a memorable day in the water.

Afterwards I was inside the van hanging some items to dry and putting away our dinner dishes when Ricardo, who had been rinsing the gear just outside the van, grab his wallet and some money and violently tossed it at me much to my surprise. He sternly told me to put it all in the safe “fast.” Before I could question what was happening he said “a Hummer full of guys with guns is headed our way.” In my head I kinda laughed at the idea of putting things in our tiny little safe bolted to our closet floor. I laugh when I’m nervous or afraid for my life as it turns out.

I poked my head out the side of the van door just as the camouflaged painted Hummer came to a roaring halt spraying sand all around us, but what really caught my attention was the 7 or 8 young men all holding very big guns with intensely serious faces. I elected to stay in the van. Ricardo already standing outside greeted them warmly, I mean how else would you greet men with guns? They questioned him a bit on who we were, what were our plans, curious as to how we happened to wind up on this beach all alone. This was all happening in spanish so of course my english brain was hatching an elaborate get away plan which hinged on actually figuring out where the car keys were. My plan was hampered with the fact there was nowhere to hide only sand for miles and we were clearly out gunned. In addition, this was my first panicked escape plan situation I hadn’t done any drills beforehand for this type of situation and I was really regretting it at that moment. As my eyes darted around the van in search of the keys my internal thought process broke with the sound of hearty male laughter.

A sigh of relief washed over me, I should have known Ricardo would have them in the palm of his hand within minutes he can charm the pants off a naked person. Cue naive wife whom offers up chocolate biscuits for the men to devour. Nothing like chocolate biscuits to potentially save your life. We learned a lot of young Mexican men do military service to secure a passport which may otherwise be unattainable. Before they departed we actually talked them into letting us take a few photos, we tried, but to no avail, to hold the guns. They wished us well and let us know they would check back on us later in the evening.

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A few cold beers later, which always taste that much better after you think you may be kidnapped or worse, our armed friends returned to and to our surprise set up camp just a few meters from our van. They stayed the night and instituted an armed perimeter with two roaming guards throughout the night. We should have felt comfortable, we should have felt secure, instead we felt cheated, our deserted beach had been invaded and needless to say it just got that much more difficult for a girl to pee, damn beer, without witnesses.

A few weeks later we learned a father and his teenage son from California had been camping in a tent on the same beach a few days prior to our arrival and unfortunately had been robbed and beaten with bats. The closest town, Rosalita, citizen’s had been very angered by this attacked and had requested the military increase patrols in the area. Beating up tourists is bad for the economy you see.

Little girls of Guatemala and how they stole my heart

We recently watched Living on One Dollar a Day on Netflix. It’s college students trying to live on one dollar a day in rural Guatemala and the green lush tropical imagery instantly took me back to our time there.

It’s the children of Guatemala though; that draw you in with dark innocent eyes, ever-present toothless smiles, clad in bright hand-woven clothes, that makes you fall in love with the country. When we visited Guatemala on our road trip south I didn’t have children, now I have two boys, and in hindsight I am glad, because of the happy demeanour of the children we interacted with I didn’t look beyond our small exchanges. I didn’t see the signs of malnutrition or the lack of proper footwear. I didn’t wonder about how their parents were feeding them or clothing them. I just saw their bright inquisitive eyes, heard their shy giggles and bought their handmade wares. I’m not saying we should look past all those things I just mentioned we definitely should not, but I know me and I can get caught up in things I can’t change for the better immediately. So maybe I’m not being completely honest with myself. I did think about those things but the overwhelming poverty was too far reaching for my understanding.  What I did do was small but after watching this documentary, humbling as it was, it made me realize what kind of impact those small things actually may have been.

We encountered a group of girls in one village on the shores of Lago Atitlan selling vibrantly coloured hand-woven bracelets and small wooden trinkets. Initially we waved them off as you are usually surrounded by gangs of children when you step off the boat and I just need space to assess the situation before re-entering the swarm on departure. One curious little girl followed us as we entered the village and watched the mothers laundering their linens on the shore of the lake.

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We slowly and casually walked through the town plaza and into a few shops vaguely aware of our miniature shadow. She was persistent and frankly eventually broke us with her shy giggly smile and hop/skip kinda walk. Eventually we sat down to order ice cream from a street vendor and my husband asked her, in spanish, if she would like to pick out an ice cream for herself. Her reaction was of disbelief, blinking rapidly she look from my husband to the vendor, back and forth, back and forth, seeing both men nodding she hesitantly walked closer to the ice cream vendor’s cart, no smile. She looked up again seeking permission from both men and was greeted with more nods but something inside her refused to believe. So I stepped up and picked out two I thought she might like and presented her the options. Slowly her shaky little hand reached out to lightly grab an ice cream bar whisking it away, big smile.

Now I’m sure this was not the first time she had every had ice cream but she certainly didn’t seem to understand a tourist buying her one she could pick herself. Once we also found our own fancied flavours and paid she seemed to relax and actually enjoyed it but of course she had been spotted and within seconds we had bought ice cream for 3 of her colourful, less timid, little friends as well. We also bought some of their trinkets for our niece back in Canada who was approximately the same age (5 yrs) at the time commenting on the similarities but also the vast differences.

That evening we decided to find a nice restaurant to eat our evening meal. One of their common delicacies is fried plantain which we had been introduced to at the border, but like anything in life some people do things better than others and the plantains we ordered that evening didn’t  remotely compare to our street vendor plantains at the border. Luckily we had a local woman approach our table in the hopes we would buy some weaving. We were feeling a little too over stocked in the hand crafted tourist trinket department so Ricardo let her down gently but I urged him to ask her if she would like a plantain as a parting gesture. Well, with no hesitation she grabbed everything on the plate swiping it into a basket at her waist as she turned swiftly to leave us, a little astonished. We didn’t mind, we would have been choking those plantains back, but she took the garnish and all in such haste it left us dumbfoundedly staring at the now empty plate between us .

When she left we looked at each other and, without the understanding I now have of what exactly a stack of poorly cooked plantains actually meant to her and possibly to her family, we kinda laughed at the absurdity of the situation.

Before we left the Lago Atitlan area we drove up the hillside and pulled off near the top to get a picture from a spectacular viewpoint of the lake which is where we met another little bright-eyed girl. In her too big ratty shirt she perked at the site of our struggling Westfalia climbing the hill and ran to the back of our van the minute we stopped. After we took our requisite photos with her standing close by in silence we turned to get back in our van both curious as to where her trinkets were stashed she blurted, in spanish, her “payment.” We looked at each other and again looked around, no trinkets. Thankfully for us my husband’s first language is spanish and after a brief conversation he informed me “we need to pay her for providing us a rock for our van” with a slight shrug. She had stashed a rock under the back of one of our tires so our van would not roll backwards down the hill. We paid her handsomely for her services.

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I urge you to watch Living on One Dollar a Day if nothing else it may give you an idea of how easily a small encounter can make a big impact or how the actions you think are inconsequential or automatic actually change the day in the life of a person, possibly their entire family, maybe just one day but at least it’s a change for the better even if it’s just momentarily.

My first, and hopefully my last, hurricane

Have you ever been in a hurricane? We hear it all over the media during hurricane season seeing the material devastation, of lives disrupted and emotional pleas for help on the screen. Here’s the story of when I met Hurricane Norbet on the Baja peninsula in the fall of 2008.

The day before we drove onto an ocean front campsite with only one other family within sight. The campsite itself was a skinny piece of land jutting out into the Sea of Cortez.  We spent the evening floating in the clear tranquil calm waters slightly north of Loreto, Mexico. Our van parked a few meters from the water’s edge we prepared our dinner and read some pages in our books before bunking down for the night. This is what we had dreamed about for our trip. The beach, our van, the two of us together soaking up the last rays of warm sunlight all the whilst blissfully unaware of the world outside our little bubble.

Our ocean front camping
Our ocean front camping

Early in the morning around 5am I heard the family camping near us departing the sound of their engine jarring me awake momentarily as the lap of the waves gently rocked me quickly back to sleep. Not thinking a thing of their sudden early morning departure we started the day with a light breakfast and a long cup of coffee only slightly urged on by a light drizzle. Once packed up and back on the road the drizzle quickly became a down pour as we headed south. We seemed to be alone on the road yet not at all concerned and only noticing once we realized it seemed everyone was heading north. I remained unfazed silently glad Ricardo was driving as the poor excuse for windshield wipers seem incapable of doing their job. Eventually the engineer in Ricardo piped up as the onslaught of rain pounded the ground in front of us beginning to form small rivers across the highway. He began to question “the design of the road and it’s drainage capabilities” a foreign language to me I gazed, uninterested, out my passenger window. Then the wind started slam the side of the van rattling our windows. OK, that woke me up. Sitting starkly upright I stared hard at the GPS to see how far the next town was.

In what seemed like an eternity but was in all likely hood less than half an hour we pulled over at the top of a hill into an area with a long line of roadside stands to find out what was going on. Enter Hurricane Norbert he was up a for a party beyond the likes we were interested in or had to fortitude for but never the less we were going to get acquainted.

We quickly found shelter in a hotel, on relatively high ground, who so generously provided us with the “Hurricane Rate” which could also be called the “Desperate Gringos Rate” and we fleetingly considered bunking down in our1987 Westfalia during a HURRICANE.

Well needless to say we were glad we didn’t when we tucked into warm beds, turned on the t.v., something we had not done in months, to watch the news and get this……Skyped our families. Yup, dishing out the dollars provided us with free WIFI for the duration of our stay. We also took breaks from our temporary cocoon to swim in the pool. So needless to say my hurricane experience was not exactly “as seen on t.v.” And I just want to finish by saying an extra special thank you to the Mexican family that clearly got a hurricane warning phone call from friends or family early in the morning – thanks guys for not giving us the heads up, much appreciated.

One day pre Hurricane Norbert
One day pre Hurricane Norbert

How to get out of bribing corrupt Mexican police 101

Let me start off by saying if you ever plan to drive anywhere yourself in Mexico please commit this post to memory.

Corruption in the Mexican police force runs rampant we all know that so how the heck do you get out of sticky situations without forking over your well earned cold hard cash every. single. time. Here’s what worked for us, more than once!

1. Make sure the person driving is male

2. Make sure you have a permit for your car to be in Mexico

3. Make sure you have a female passenger that can pull off being really pissed off (super easy part) and slightly offensive but yet knows when to shut the f*ck up

4. Make sure your male partner remains calm and reasonable throughout the conversation (knowing fluent Spanish also helps)

5. Throw your dignity out the door and LIE, LIE, LIE!

That’s it! it’s just that easy and it worked every time once we figured it out.

Acapulco brings to mind Mexico circa 1980’s early 1990’s when it was THE destination. Returning travelers peddling tales of daring cliff jumpers and beautiful sandy beach vistas upon their return.

Driving into the town in the late fall of 2008 it was clear from the vacated resort skeletons and deserted streets the party had long ended but it seemed someone had forgotten to clean up. The air was thick with memories of the glory days lined with a layer of regret. Where had all the money gone? Certainly not into infrastructure improvements and updating leaving a sad, crumbling old resort town to slowly turn to dust.

As we meandered along, feeling not quite comfortable, Ricardo mistakenly drove through a flashing yellow light (which actually means stop in Mexico) and straight into the menacing glare of two federales. With just a slight nod of his head there was no question we were going to have to pull over. Shifting nervously in my seat, I knew we had been lucky to get this far without incident, I looked over at what might have been the most scariest looking police officer on the planet. Tall, for a Mexican, thin, wiry, pock marked face with a big scar along his left eyebrow and dark, dark eyes that with one glimpse left you void of all hope. Oh, and he had a gun and his partner had an even bigger one where he stood leaning casually against the hood of their truck a few meters ahead chewing and spitting tarry looking substance onto the dusty roadside.

OK, so I didn’t actually use any of the tricks above with this guy he scared the bejeezus out of us and frankly Ricardo had just technically broken the law in their land so we ended up handing over as little cash as possible the whole incident costing us $65 which was actually all the cash we had on hand. However pissed we were at having to bribe the guy we were silently thankful to just be alive.

The next morning; however, armed with very little sleep and a desperate desire to get the hell out of Acapulco we found ourselves being pulled over again just before leaving the city. I didn’t know it before this incident but it turns out I have a voice that occasionally pops into my head that vaguely sounds like a pissed off J Lo with snapping fingers waving about and it was yelling at me “OH, HELL NO!”

Two young fresh faced transit cops politely request Ricardo to exit the vehicle and take him to the back of the van to “chat.” But me (and my alter ego aka angry, snappy J Lo) are not about to sit this one out and I jump out of the car with a verbal onslaught of slightly aggressive lies/threats (use words like consulate, ambassador, corruption, whatever you think might work) littered with offensive, do not use in front of your grandmother, kinda words all entirely in English.

Looking utterly bewildered they calmly ask Ricardo to ask me to remain in the van – “No!” I say as Ricardo simultaneously throws up his hands. At this point I actually start to calm down because I realize they feel sorry for Ricardo, mano y mano, they can not understand why his wife will not listen to him so they kindly ask Ricardo to request I apologize to them, which I do, tersely, in English. They exchange a few words in Spanish, shake hands and pat him on the back as he walks back to the driver’s seat.

Knowingly triumphant we both hop effortlessly back up into our seats. We look at each other all smiles and Ricardo burst into laughter while pulling away from the curb telling me they told him to “take his wife and get the hell out of Acapulco!”

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Why getting lost is sometimes the very best idea!

Recently my BFF and I went on an overnight trip to Woodinville, Washington a sort of Napa Valley of Washington State Wineries near picturesque lakeside Kirkland. Neither of us had ever heard about the area before so after taking several pit stops to shop along the way we found ourselves desperately trying to navigate ourselves to Woodinville Wine Country on a dark and rainy night along very narrow country-like roads. After having already turned ourselves around a few times, I could feel her increasing tension as she continued to drive in circles, I mustered up the determination to confidently say “turn left I’m sure it’s this way.”

Honestly, I think we had already tried each and every other way so it was a bit of process of elimination. We again found ourselves on a broodingly dark narrow road winding into an industrial looking area, my confidence quickly waning.
Finally, on the verge of calling our expedition a disaster, we came upon a place well lit with a bon fire in what looked like a centre courtyard of some sort. Quickly taking stock of the number of cars, quite a few, we decided to pull over and take a closer look. Fingers and toes crossed we could at the very least roast a hot dog over the fire!

We had to park at the furthest reach of the parking lot, possibly a good sign, and as we walked swiftly toward the lights all tucked into our jackets, rain softly beating down on us we stumbled on tired feet toward Woodinville Whiskey Co.

I don’t even drink whiskey but on a cold, dark and rainy night, whiskey sounded just about right.

Just meters from the road the distillery, a long building beautifully lit at night, attaches to a pub called Hollywood Tavern and here’s where getting lost became quite alright.

Sitting in the cozy, warm tavern with the glow of the bon fire just outside streaming in through the rain strewn windows I treated myself to a whiskey milkshake; the “Stumbling Cow” is Woodinville Whiskey infused soft serve vanilla ice cream with apple pie glaze generously drizzled on top – hello taste bud heaven!

If you haven’t tried one it’s worth a stop or detour I’ve certainly found a new love.

Now we can almost laugh about it

I find this time of year there is always a lot a reflecting going on and so I’m opting to share a story from NYE 2008 with you all.

2008 the year we sold our house, bought a 1987 Westfalia van and began a 4 month trek from Canada to Chile. It was amazing. We felt like we had the wind at our backs gently pushing us along with good fortune. Until we took to the mountains of Peru. December 29, 6 years ago today, we started ascending the mountain side to reach Cusco, celebrate NYE and visit Machu Pichu. Picture perfect plan. We drove up, up, up and spent the night of the 29th in a field on the side of the road at an elevation of nearly 5,000 meters. We should have slept soundly in the fresh cool mountain air but I didn’t even get a wink.

Earlier in the day as the sun was setting we were just cresting a hill and I decided to get out and take a picture of our van with the soft pink sky and slowly jogged about 30ft to take the picture unknowingly trotting back to jump into the passenger’s seat. Except by the time I got to the door I couldn’t catch my breath, my skull immediately felt too small for my brain at the high altitude the small jaunt cost me a day of migraine headache, my first ever. I was down for the count.

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We had to keep going, we had a hostel reservation for Cusco and didn’t exactly know how to get there we rolled into a larger size town where we solicited a few different routes from various Peruvians and opted for the “shorter” one through the mountains rather than the boring mindless highway driving with the promise of just a couple of hours to our destination. Yup did we ever get fooled a few hours journey turned into almost2 days. It may just have been the longest 2 days of our lives during the trip. In the end we spent the night of December 30, again in a field, in the smallest of villages on the side of the mountain and just before falling asleep we whispered to each other our wishes for NYE. “I just want to be happy and have fun” I said.

We awoke December 31 to sounds of low chatter coming from villagers surrounding our van. A group of 5-6 locals had come to check us out when the sun rose. Ricardo stepped out the greet them and garnered an invitation from a local mother of 5.

We gladly accepted as we were slightly unprepared with the little amount of food we had stashed. Inside her stone hut with mud floor and thatched roof we humbly sat on small stools while guinea pigs were herded by the children to their pen nearby. We graciously accepted a warm breakfast of rice milk porridge and boiled potatoes breathing a secret sigh of relief they didn’t feel it necessary to slaughter a guinea pig on our behalf. Thankfully Ricardo’s first language is spanish and the family was able to easily converse with us, the mother explaining her husband worked away from home, her youngest difficulties with Down Syndrome and her dreams for her children in the future. Afterwards she showed us their cow and demonstrated milking it for fresh milk. We scrounged the van for presents to present to each of the children and the mother feeling it was a woefully inadequate gesture given the hospitality they had just shown us.

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Hopping into the van and waving goodbye with our full, warm tummies NYE was turning out to be a truly unforgettable experience.

Except the van wouldn’t start. Ok, no problem we’ve been here before, frankly several times by this point in the trip, we can handle it. Looking around however it seemed the village was in fact just a few huts and even fewer vehicles but word quickly spread of our predicament and soon we had an offer of a “tow truck.” Nervously I sat in the passenger’s seat as Ricardo negotiated with a driver to tow our van, in neutral, behind his truck with a 3ft piece of rope down the side of the mountain. When he hoped back in the van to review the plan with me the look in his eyes that said “I love you. I’m not sure we’ll make it out alive but it’s the best I can do.” Deep breath.

When we finally reach the bottom of the mountain it was late afternoon but our plan of reaching Cusco to ring in the new year seemed just in reach. Up and running again our heart rates returning to normal we continued our journey by highway onto Cusco. Just after 11pm we reach our final destination picking up a hitch hiker along to way to guide us to our hostel location. Triumphant and exhausted we checked into our hostel room Ricardo leaving me with the bags and the promise of quick return after finding somewhere to park the van overnight.

Not a moment later a knock on the door turns my life momentarily upside down. Expecting my husband I’m confronted with hostel staff grabbing my bags and pushing me out the door. Minutes later Ricardo returns sensing something’s wrong by the look on my confused and utterly astonished face, I think I simply shrugged. We had been unceremoniously evicted as another couple had shown up to also claim the hostel’s last room. Apparently possession is not 9/10ths of the law in Peru.

Just before midnight we are standing in the dark outside in the rain in an unfamiliar city with no shelter for the night and all around us is young travelers joyously milling about outside cafes and restaurants enjoying their libations only arm’s length away. I broke. Tears streamed down my face as Ricardo frantically went from hotel to hotel desperately trying to save the night.

We ended up in a dingy, sleeping on top of the covers kinda place with street vendor hot dogs in hand, me sobbing, him consoling, finally just curling up together giving in to the emotional roller coaster of the day and finally letting the exhaustion sweep over us.

Thankfully in the light of a sunny new day, some sound sleep and a decent cup of coffee the horror of NYE 2008 faded quickly into our history and thus began 2009.

So friends in the words of Glennon Melton “A good day is a good day. A bad day is a good story. At the end of the day it’s all good.” Something we have certainly learned along the way.

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