Beaches, babies, and sand in your butt

Today was our first full day in Cancun. After a long day of delays and a rescheduled flight yesterday, it was nice to be able to finally be at the hotel and be out and about at our destination. In the afternoon, we went to Isla Blanca, a beach that’s a bit out of the main hotel zone of Cancun, so that we could experience a slightly more “locals” experience of the beach, as well as fewer people. But when we got there, we realized that the car was not going to make it on the fully sandy roads. So we ended up parking it and walking a bit to reach the actual beach.

While the beach did have a bit of the dreaded sargassum, the invasive seaweed that has been overtaking beaches in Caribbean and especially in Quintana Roo/around the Gulf of Mexico (thanks to human-created climate change – what joy!), the water was extremely clear and warm; it was shallow for quite a long ways out, and there were barely any waves. This made it easy to take Kaia out in the water without any fear, especially given she got so upset while at the beach in Byron Bay after that big wave went over us in December. After some time in the water, we sat together on the sand and built a sand castle. Okay, well, when I say we built a sand castle, what I really mean is… I tried to build one (complete with a moat! A proper castle needs a moat!), and she kept trying to topple it. We did our usual routine. And given I wanted us to be close to the waves for a water source for the moat, what was unknown to me at the time was that… each time a wave washed into our area, it also gradually swept more and more sand into swimsuit, and thus into my butt.

The car rental company warned Chris (given that we are in Cancun) to not get excessive sand in the car, so I got a little paranoid when I realized how much sand got stuck in my suit, plus literally in every possible crevice of Kaia. It was as though every single time I lifted her arm or moved a diaper flap or wiped another tiny roll in her neck that I was uncovering more and more sand. And each time I patted myself off of sand, more and more sand kept falling off me! Chris even tried to snap photos of my trying to take out these massive clumps of sand from my butt!

Anyway, we had to do quite a big clean out of sand not only directly from our bodies, but also from the seats in the car and the floor, which took quite a bit of time. It was in these moments that it suddenly hit me: now I completely understand why parents of young children travel to resorts and stay on the resorts. On resort properties, cleanup like this is easy, there are sprays and showers everywhere for you to easily hose off, and you never have to worry about things like getting too much sand in your rental car and potentially getting fined. This was annoying, but I still think it was worth going to a local beach and having that experience together.

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