Trading Places

You can ask me my favorite place in the world and without hesitation I will answer Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The Mayan Riviera. Turquoise waters that deepen to a beautiful shade of sapphire. Sugar white sand. Fresh coconuts and bananas. Amazing seafood. Vibrant embroidered floral dresses and fresh guacamole. 

But I discovered the most shocking thing this fall. My favorite place in the world isn’t my favorite place in the world anymore.
Don’t get me wrong. I still LOVE this destination. If I ever run away, check here for me first. A place where I can go without makeup, my hair in a top knot, flowy clothes and sandals year-round. This is my place. These are my people. Salt in my hair and sand between my toes. I believe I was a beach bum in a previous life. 
“Let’s take a trip,” my husband said earlier this year.  Because I have an amazing husband, he forgoes ski trips (his favorite) and has taken me to the beach not once, twice, or three times. Five times. Five times people. He lives the “happy wife, happy life” motto without hesitation (unless it’s football season, but I digress.) Off we jetted with another couple to Playacar, just south of Playa del Carmen. Four nights of child-free bliss. It was wonderful. Yes, we all missed our children, but not running anyone to and from school and practice, making dinner, working, etc., was a nice break. 
But you know what I kept thinking of the entire time I was lounging on the beach (aka my entire trip unless I was eating – you just discovered my version of heaven in a nutshell, food and relaxation)? All I could think about was “oh my goodness, the girls would love to see the parasailing.” Anytime I found a pretty shell or saw vibrant flowers, bam! The girls would love that. And suddenly, my favorite place in the world wasn’t where I was. It was where my girls and our fur baby are. Cold, dreary, no ocean in sight, Arkansas. Not this tropical paradise. If you had ever told me that before this trip, I would have called you crazy. Insane. How could I choose anywhere other than the beach as my favorite place?
I now know I can’t travel to my favorite place in the world without all of my favorite people. I’ll spare the journey for Chief, our eighty pound chocolate Labrador Retriever, though. He would never handle flying in the luggage compartment, and enjoys air conditioning far too much to like the beach. So next time, I’ll be trading in my all-inclusive adults only resort to welcome a more family friendly, kiddie pool environment. Until we meet again, Playa del Carmen. I pray my girls fall in love with you just like I did a decade ago. 

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