Paradise & Parenting: Semana Santa 2018

So we are almost finished with Easter break 2018 and the crowds are just beginning to thin out. I mentioned in my last week’s column that our family tends to stick close to home during that time, unless we leave town completely.

I explained that the reason for this is because there is a ton of people in town, and that means tons of traffic and crowds everywhere you go. I didn’t mean to complain, but I DID hear from a few people who felt that it is important as expats to enjoy Vallarta no matter what time of year it is, and to enter into the festive spirit of this time of year.

I agree with this in theory, because I love Mexico in general and Vallarta in particular. I love the sun and the waves. I love the friendly, helpful people. I love trying out new foods and experiencing new customs. Most of all, I love spring break in this country, which is two weeks long.

But in actual practice, I like to spend much of my time at home during Semana Santa. One reason for this is that I don’t like trying to place my four foot long towel on a twelve inch square space. I don’t like walking down the Malecon in a shuffle because if I extend my leg farther, I will kick someone accidentally.

Full confession: I happen to be rather claustrophic. My son has inherited this condition from my side of the family. You may have enjoyed watching me trying to keep my son calm when we were trapped in an elevator during a power outage in Guadalajara. Good thing the lights went out so he didn’t have to see my face as I tried not to hyperventilate.

But the other reason that I hang out at my house for a lot of my spring break is because I have a LOT of stuff to do there that I’ve been putting on my “mañana ” list. A few things like:

  • Lots of boring, hateful home improvement items. So now I’ve had time to get out the list and come up with new reasons to do them next spring break.
  • Realizing how often a person has to wash dishes when they prepare three meals a day for four people, one of whom is a thirteen-year-old boy with a hollow leg.
  • Reading books that are of no educational value whatsoever
  • Making pie (for the children. I swear).
  • Trying out a couple of restaurants on off hours (The Jazz Foundation’s new vegan menu is incredible, by the way, and The Green Place is a must-visit).
  • A family sleepover. We are busy people, and Gil and I have opposite schedules most of the time. So we have spent more time as a family during the last two weeks. I demanded a sleepover in the living room where we watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (if you grew up in the eighties, this is required viewing for Family Movie Night once you have teens). My kids weren’t convinced until they realized the movie is basically a kids’ guide on faking an illness.

So we stay near home. And that’s ok.  But maybe you prefer to enjoy Vallarta’s Semana Santa crowds. And that’s also ok.. I begrudge not one person their holiday on the sand, because I have fifty other weeks of the year to enjoy it. I don’t need to grimace-smile while I fight over the last beach chair at Cuates y Cuetes because I can come back in a week and have five to myself. I am so happy for everyone that can come here and have a dream vacation in my favorite town.