The drive down - We usually have 20-25 or so people caravan down at the same time to Mexico and stop at the same places every year. Since half of us are coming from Phoenix and the other half Tucson, we meet at a town called Why before heading down into Mexico. We usually stop at an ice cream shop right on the border before crossing and the taste of that ice cream signals to me the trip has officially begun!
The changes in Sonora - It's been amazing to see the first border town we drive through in Mexico change over the years. They are constantly building and are looking more and more like a "city" instead of a town in a third-world country. Don't get me wrong, they still have mainly dirt roads, plenty of buildings in shambles and are behind about 30 years, but progress is happening.
The first peek at the ocean - On the drive down, you always get the first peek at the ocean at the same spot. I can visualize that scene in my head right now because I have seen it so many times. The desert landscape changes to sand dunes, the dunes seem to roll for miles, and then all of the sudden, a bright blue ocean.
The first breath - I love taking in that sea air after we park the car at the house. The crispness of the air. The humid feeling on the skin. The sounds, the smell; it all brings back so many memories.
The assembly line - After traveling down as a large family for 30+ years, you learn some things. My family has learned to unpack and set up with the best of them. You should see how quickly we can unpack 6-8 cars! People are coming and going in all directions, taking stuff out of the nearest vehicle and then putting it where it needs to go. I'm telling you, we're a machine.
Sand beneath my feet - The first walk on the beach is always nice. We've been going to the same beach house now for about 8 years or so and the beach is literally steps away from the backdoor. Taking that first walk down the beach and dipping my toes into the ocean is always such a treat.
The meals - In Rocky Point, each family is assigned a day in which they take care of preparing and cleaning up each meal. We have many of the same meals each year and I always look forward to them. The dinner nights are usually hamburger/hot dogs, BBQ chicken, Shredded Beef Nachos, Steak and chicken soup. My family is in charge on steak night, so I really have to hone in on my grill skills!
The conversations - I don't get to see my extended family as much as I would like (mostly only on holidays), so it's nice to be able to catch up with everyone while we're down there. We have fives days to get all of the updates on what's going on with everything and there is always a surprise or two each year that I had no clue of regarding someone in the fam.
The bread/tortillas - I love the fresh tortillas and bread that we get each year. I know bakeries are here in AZ as well, but there is just something about the bakeries in MX that get me every time. The smell and the variety is always so awesome to take in. Plus, it always seems so cheap...and yummy.
The joy - Everyone has so much fun on this trip. And now, I especially love to see Mckenna running around with her cousins with a gigantic grin on her face. She loves the ocean, sand, sun and everything else that comes along with this trip.
Writing this blog post has me even more excited than before! We are so blessed to be able to do this each year and the fact that I'm taking my own young family is a dream come true :)