Don't worry, I'm not going into a blow-by-blow of the trip; I just wanted to throw out a few vignettes I found amusing.
Karen sent Penny a camera for her birthday, specifically so she'd have something a little nicer to take pictures with than my iPhone. (Which is almost as much a gift to me as to Penny, since it means I'm not turning my beloved phone over to her for the duration.) It's supposedly waterproof -- we're not sure we want to test that just yet, but it means we don't have to automatically freak if it gets splashed by the pool. It even takes videos!
Penny has been exactly as snap-happy as you might expect of someone with a brand new camera (in the most lovely color of turquoise blue, even!) -- she took minutes of footage of random people at the airports, and dozens of pictures of random bits of ground from the airplane, and valiantly attempted to capture every single palm tree, coconut, and flowering bush that lined the highway between the Cancun airport and the resort.
What she has not taken pictures of, to my knowledge: any part of the resort, the ocean, or her grandparents. You know, the stuff we came here to see.
In the shuttle from the airport: "Mom, this is great! I wish Daddy and Alex could be with us!"
"Me, too, sweetie, but Daddy didn't want to come."
She goggles at me. "Daddy didn't want to see this? When we get home, I'm going to spank him!"
My dad, in a perfect alignment of selflessness and selfishness, offered to take Penny down to the beach to look for shells while I unpacked and caught a little rest. They took a gallon-sized ziploc bag along to put their finds in.
I've been beachcombing before, even with Penny, so I was expecting them to return with maybe a couple dozen shell fragments and maybe some colorful rocks. Which they did. But much to my surprise, she also managed to find several dozen completely whole shells, mostly a pretty white, but quite a few of which have gorgeous orange-brown striations. And some really lovely and fascinating pieces of what I can only assume are bits broken off the coral reefs that are just offshore. (No, really, just offshore. If the undertow here wasn't so strong, We could go out snorkeling to look at it, even Penny, who is not the strongest swimmer.) Anyway, they managed to get that gallon bag nearly 1/4 full of shells, many of which are even worth the keeping, and they were out for less than an hour! Maybe when we get home, we'll see if Aunt Sam can help us string (some of) them into a necklace. What better souvenir than a necklace of shells you collected yourself?!
When asked last night what she wanted to do today, Penny insisted that she wanted to take all four of us down to the beach to look for more shells. I've told her there's only room in our luggage for one bag of shells.
But I might have to find a bigger bag somewhere.