Our road trips through Mexico were always so much fun and full of adventure. These were the kind of road trips where the things that happened are now almost unbelievable. But I can sit back and reminisce about these trips, and only imagine what I experienced in those days–now in a full length movie. We all have these memories about our families, because adventures with the family are priceless.
Not only were our trips to Mexico fun and adventurous, but they were full of learning. I learned how to self entertain for hours at a time. I didn’t have nifty gadgets like all the kids have these days where they watch movies for hours or play games till their eyes fall out. My imagination grew as I looked out the car window, for countless hours observing and absorbing the landscapes before me. I learned to read facial expressions and body language at first glance. With one look I could tell when someone needed to use the restroom. I was the first one to make everyone in the car aware we needed to pull over to relieve ourselves. I could tell when my dad was about to get mad at the men in the “aduanas” (customs). As soon as I saw my dad’s bushy eyebrows go up and down one at a time and began sniffing like a boxer, I knew I needed to pray to sweet Jesus and all the saints I’d ever heard my Abuela mention. I didn’t even believe in religion at the time, but I knew not to mess with Mexican officials. If I could have knelt to pray in the back of the van, I would have. Luckily, we never did anything illegal, other than drip cold beer on my brother’s burnt back from too much sun exposure.
Another thing I learned was that even if the beach in La Paz, Baja California looked amazing after driving for hours through a road of black and grey volcanic rock on both sides in 120 degree weather didn’t mean it was safe to run through the sand into the beach. OUCH!!! At first I couldn’t feel it from the excitement of finally reaching the water, but seconds into my run, my feet were scalding hot. My brother who is 4 years younger than me ran right behind me. Once I heard him crying, I picked him up and ran back to the car. Our poor feet were hurting.
Our trips took about 3 days. My dad loved to stop everywhere. It’s like he had family or friends in every state and if he didn’t, he would make some. When we finally got to our destination of Purepero, Michoacan, we were so happy to finally be able to stretch for long periods of time and sleep laying down. I loved our 3 day travels but there was ONE THING I really really dreaded. LAS VITAMINAS!!!!!
My Great-Aunt had 3 kids around my age group. Some how the vitamins topic always came up. She would recommend my mom and dad the vitamins she was giving my cousins at the time. She would tell them all the benefits. But my parents were convinced as soon as they heard, “Y les da mucha hambre!”. I was such a picky eater and didn’t have a good appetite according to them. They thought if I took these vitamins my appetite would for sure increase, eat all the veggies in the world and gain weight! Ayyyyyyyy!!!!!! What was wrong with being a thin kid? LOL
There was this one time my mom went straight to “La Farmacia” to buy the vitamins. From a distance I saw her approaching me–vitamins in hand. My heart began to pound so hard, I could see my pulse over my shirt. As she walked into the door, she went straight to the “garrafon”to get a glass of water and then walked towards me. As she walked to me, she was opening up the vitamins box to pull one out. They were HUGE! She gave it to me and said, “Tomatela”. I took the pill, put it in my mouth and quickly chug the water. As quick as I took it down, was as quick as it came back up. I could taste the “disgusting-ness” of the pill. I can’t even begin to describe it–something between rotten Bacalao and old sewage water. Every time I would try to take it down, I would practically through up. When my dad heard all the fuss he came to see me take them. After 30 minutes of crying, gagging and a red face, by some miracle of God, the pill slipped down my throat as I used my fingers to pretty much push it down my esophagus. I wish I could say this was the only occasion this happened, but those pills went home with me to California!
Till this day, I don’t take pills very well. I don’t take any medicine very well. Something has to be pretty extreme for me to even take Tylenol. Call me whatever you want, I ain’t taking that pill! Y Vitaminas? Ay no!!!
***Not advertising these pills or endorsing them. Consult a doctor.