We knew we wanted to get in a trip to the beach this summer since we would be at home with no other travel plans, we just didn't know when. Nate's schedule involves lots of nights and weekends and we never know until Monday what his Saturday will hold. But he came home one day and announced that he had a weekend with no game so we scurried quickly to make plans.

I was nervous about the beach with aftershocks still being a relatively frequent thing but Nate, who had been to some of the most devastated areas wasn't worried so I put off my fears. It was definitely unnerving, then, walking into our building (we've been there before) and seeing cement-filled cracks lining all of the walls. I tried to make my peace with it and slept surprisingly well, except for one morning when I shot out of bed at 6am thinking I'd felt a quake. I am truly grateful for this time we had together to relax and be together and so grateful that it fell when it did. Not four days after our return the coast was hit with two more large quakes (5.8 and 6.2 I think). There wasn't too much damage but I can't imagine what a wreck I would have been.

Days were spent lazily moving between the beach, the ocean, the pool and simple meals. Our first morning we went to the fish market in Atacames and picked out our fresh dorado and shrimp. I love how unsqueamish our kids are. They love watching the fish get gutted and have no trouble then eating it for dinner.

Boogie boards were the absolute highlight of the trip for both kids. They are rocking them! They have no idea how hard they work every day at the beach. As they get older they spend less time in the sand and more and more time in the waves. It's pretty fun to watch and really peaceful for me because I often have my kindle under the tent while Nate plays with them in the waves. It's fun to see how proud they are when they catch a good one! 

The other highlight was that both kids got the total hang of swimming! Eden took off first, finally figuring out how to put the whole breathing, swimming, breathing thing together. Once she started she couldn't be stopped and she spent hours roaming the pool, head under, getting more bold. The three-pair of goggles we bought a year ago have probably been our best "toy" purchase to date! Once Canaan saw his sister being praised for her new swimming skills he was determined to keep up. And it didn't take him long. He probably would have been able to swim much sooner but as is always true to Canaan, until HE decides he can do it nothing is going to make it happen.

I also introduced the kids to drip castles and they spent a good afternoon with Nate making a great land for Prince Caspian from Narnia (Canaan is currently reading this series with Nate). Eden was really good at the drip technique and I imagine many drip castles in her future. An afternoon in the whirlpool spent playing "ballet mermaids" with Eden. Watching Canaan learn to dive for his plastic squid in the pool and then including older kids in the game. Peaceful naptimes where Nate and I read or napped or watched a show.

Agua de coco with two straws for the kids to slurp up, morning ceviche for Nate, hot pan de yuca from the man on the bike who quickly learned that if our kids noticed him they would scream wildly to get my attention to buy them 3 ... or 6 ... or 9 depending on the day! A magnum after the kids went to bed. 

 

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