29th March was Elisa’s 7th birthday. We can’t believe how old she is! Anyway, this post is about her day and some tips about planning a a birthday while travelling. As usual we argued before travelling about our packing plans and whether we should bring presents with us or not. In the end we didn’t and hoped for the best!
We knew we would be in Puerto Aventuras for the big day, so planned a surprise of an encounter with a dolphin. With very many along the Riviera Maya coast, we chose the one that seemed to have the best ethical and sustainability credentials and can recommend it.
Then along our journey, we managed to get smaller presents we knew she did want, a proper school bag, headphones, a new hairclip from Edward, a stapler from Alexander, swimming goggles, new swim suit and some summer clothes. TOP TIP: When looking for wrapping paper, go to a local Mexican papeleria. We didn’t buy enough and ended up wrapping the last few parcels in white paper which we drew ribbons on with felt tip pens!
The morning started, as it does on Swedish birthdays, with the whole family walking into the bedroom, singing and placing presents and balloons on the bed. The aim is to get up early to surprise them but it’s the one day of the year where our children are happy to stay in bed pretending to sleep. It’s a lovely tradition we do in our family with children and adults. Try it…
Then a lazy morning turned into a frantic panic when we realised the dolphin swim was at 1 and not 4 and Alexander was fast asleep in his cot for his morning nap. Scrambling around, we eventually made it in time. Elisa did the dolphin encounter with Andrea (mummy) and even got to wear a birthday hat. The experience was amazing, the dolphins, jumped, splashed, kissed and even sang along to Happy Birthday for Elisa. Julian watched from the side with Alexander screaming and Edward pretending to be a pirate (the usual!).
We promised pannkakstårta (pancake pie for all you non-Swedes) after much pleading and found pancake mix at the local supermarket. With whipped cream from a can, banana coins, cajeta quemado (Mexican dulce de leche made from goat’s milk) and salty peanuts. The topping was incredible, but the pancakes were so thick (and tasted horrible…) that everyone felt totally stuffed after half a slice!
In the evening the kids watched their new favourite film The Wizard of Oz (not so new from 1939!!). And the day finished with a night-time swim with Julian in the pool. Very exciting and fun swimming in the dark but the water was freezing though so not a long swim, just a great way to cool down after a fantastic day!