When I was a little girl, we had an annual vacation/adventure to Mexico with my family,
my grandparents and my aunt and uncle's families. But it wasn't the glamorous 5-star beach resort you may be picturing...instead, my dad would load up our camper and we'd drive to Mexico.
The drive would take days, but it was part of the fun. We'd listen to our old battery-powered cassette player and sing along to songs, we'd play cards, we'd talk on the CB radios to our cousins; and when it got dull, my brother and I would tease my older sister. We'd pretend that I only spoke Spanish, and my brother was my translator. She would get so mad at us: "I know you can understand me; now stop it!"
I don't even know the name of the Mexican town where we would go, but it was the same spot every year so the adults could catch crab and stingrays. There was just sand and ocean as far as we could see, with a dilapidated shack and a hermit in one direction, and an old cinder-block cantina the other way.
My grandpa spoke fluent Spanish and would teach us phrases to use there like, "Un refresco por favor." We were allowed to buy one soda pop per trip, so it was a big deal to go to the cantina.
I remember driving into a city as part of the trip and the locals would always rush to us to touch our hair. My sisters and I had extremely blonde hair and they said they just wanted to feel it. My mom always had our hair pulled back in braids and fish tails because of the heat and they would gush over it. So this hairstyle always reminds me of those fabulous days in Mexico chasing the tides, building sand castles, catching eels, exploring a washed up fisherman's boat, and a moon that was 30 times larger than the one I see at home.