The Tovsky Tribe

Chocolates, Cocktails, Friends, Babies...A Girl Should Never Have Just ONE!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Mine and Todd's approach to parenting is one that is not common amongst the parents we know. Our friends will describe us, to our faces anyway, as "laid back" in comparison to their self described "neurotic!" I am often told I am patient beyond belief, particularly during the craziness that was otherwise known as twin toddlerhood. Of course, those same people were probably not within the four walls of my home at about 430 pm when all the patience I may or may not have had earlier was suddenly and scarily replaced by worn nerves and frustration.
But, despite having moments where, of course, I lose my cool I do try to maintain a patient (somewhat) and laid-back demeanor when handling my trifecta.
Patience is required when two three year olds believe getting dressed for school should be at a marathoners pace as opposed to a sprinters.  Patience is required for the boy who talks more than he listens, another whose mind is often off, somewhere else, perhaps swinging from "his" webs, and yet another whose love of dumping boxes and containers is reaching its apex.
If I lost my patience too easily than the shenanigans of three little boys would have my undies in a bunch all too often.
But, that aside, our method of parenting, we believe, allows our kids to be who they want to be while learning, through experiences.  Our goal, as most people's, is to raise good boys, and hopefully good men, filled with confidence and not with fear.
It's true, I have let my kids learn that steps can be dangerous by, dare I admit it, falling down one or two.  My intention is not to send my kids off to the ER, in fact I am usually nearby to break the fall, but my belief is that children don't learn by you telling them it is dangerous- those words just peak their curiousity.  And, they won't learn the extent of life's dangers if I am behind their every step, never letting them trip up even once.  I believe that they learn best by doing, by experiencing.  Before you go calling the authorities on us, let me be clear that I do not use this same method of parenting/learning for the rule of no playing in traffic!  But, yes, we give our kids a long leash to learn with and we are, so far, happy with the results.
Our boys have a lot of freedom to explore, to learn by touching, feeling, and doing. We let them go as far as we can before putting our foot down, when necessary. Many may say I do not have it in me, to discipline with any sort of authority. Three years ago I would have said the same thing. But, as it turns out, I do. I do because it is important to me that beneath the laughter, the fun, the chaos, the sometimes wild always energetic boys, is a core of respectable, well-mannered, and kind children. It is more important to me than most things.
Todd and I demand manners, always.  We demand respect.  We punish when necessary and we don't backdown. We do not always get these things, they are afterall, still just babies.   But, we demand it, and we imbed it into their minds, into their beings, and it will be part of the men they become. 
No, we don't punish often, and though we raise our voices we do not yell at them too often.  But, when we do, they know it.  They know they did something wrong and that there will be consequences. 
I hate seeing my boys cry. My heart cries with each of thier tears and if I was not trying to hold up a strong front I would probably be bawling myself. But, sometimes, you must let them cry.
Yes, they test us.  All of the time.  And, though I can be a sucker at moments, mostly for the little things, never, ever do I give in on any of the big things.  Whiners don't get.  Hitters or biters go to their room.  Bad language gets soap.  Aggressive behaviour is unacceptable.  Poor table manners, ultimately, gets your food removed and disrespect lands you with some consequences.  The degree of the crime is directly related to the degree of the punishment.
Kids will be kids, boys will be boys, and they should be.  I admit it, I want them to get into a little bit of trouble, otherwise they would lack the curiousity necessary to grow.  Every child has their moment of bad behaviour that is typical of babyhood, toddlerhood, or a pre-schooler, and I try not to deflate their confidence for these normal acts.  I tell them NO, and move on.  It's the bigger stuff.  The stuff that molds them.  That's what I see as the most important, that's what has triggered the disciplinarian in the non-confrontational me!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In the Closet!

When we bought our house it came with very overgrown landscape (which we quickly replaced),
all switches; TV's, alarms, lights, etc, wired to the computer (which we quickly deactivated since we are not that technically sound),
Four rooms with as many shades of brown and all of the others white, and three sets of broken sliding closet doors. We knew we had our work cut out for us as we slowly began (and have yet to finish) the renovations room by room by room. Then we had twins, who became wall writing toddlers, then a baby to follow in his brothers footsteps and the renovations got, well, delayed.
But, the closet doors seemed like such an easy fix.
For the last 5 years we utilized closet doors that when opened fell right off the track. Sometimes my toes caught them before they hit the floor. Putting something away in the closet was actually stressful, so jackets stayed on seat backs and doors remained open.
Two things I can't stand.
Last week Todd fixed the doors. A sudden DIY urge overtook his otherwise hire the guy attitude!  I feel as if we live a new life of luxury.  The quiet slide of the doors.  A place to hang coats.  Toes free of jamming.  It is hard to believe we lived  years any other way.  Now, if we can just renovate the kitchen!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Letter to my Son on his 11th Month Birthday!!

Dear Turner,

Eleven months, Happy birthday!  You are an amazing little boy, so sweet, so happy, so unbelievably cute!!  You are pleasant as can be, almost always, despite being dragged around at a schedule that does not appeal to you.  You play wonderfully by yourself, though you love playing with your brothers more than anything else.
You mostly eat table food now and seem to enjoy everything we give you.  Two weeks ago you were unable to feed yourself.  One morning (it was a Monday) you decided you were ready and now you feed yourself most meals.  You love pizza and meatballs.  You've had cream cheese and jelly and enjoyed it.  There hasn't been anything that you seem to refuse, though I know that day will be here soon.
We haven't, though we need to, practiced with the sippy cup much and as your first birthday approaches I realize that if you do not master the cup you can not give up the bottle.
You can sit quietly and patiently and you can also babble up a storm, usually in a loud voice.
You love to laugh, are still very ticklish, and can get into absolute hysterics over any silly thing your brothers do.
Most often you are standing, holding on to anything that will allow.  You are still trying to stand up on your own but have not quite mastered it.  You can, however, stand without holding on for a few seconds.  You love to clap and will clap, then laugh, out of nowhere.  Your claps are usually followed by a "hoooooraaayyy" from mommy!  You love music and will start to dance the minute you hear your first note.  You do a cute little shake with your shoulders and you immediately grin ear to ear.
You can climb the steps, flawlessly and quickly, and do it with delight.  The whole way up you smile and giggle and you are so very proud when you reach the top. At the top, it seems you have learned to stop and wait for help (thankfully) and are even attempting to go down backwards.
One thing that we found you do not like is the parachute.  We do the parachute every week at gym (and once at music) and you do not like it one bit.  This is made clear to us by the shriek and tears that immediate follow the first movement of the spinning parachute.  This is the only time I've seen you cry like this.  But, you do love the rest of the bugs class at the Little Gym, and though you are less of a climber than Ryder was at your age you are certainly very active and love to move around.  In fact, changing your diaper has become quite the challenge in that you are constantly moving and twisting your little body.
Although you seem to be paying attention the the words  we are saying and the way our mouths move when we speak I am not sure that you have mastered too many words yet.  We think we have heard ball more than once and Uncle Jay swears he heard you say fan just yesterday.  Chase, whose verbal skills have always been well beyond his years, is convinced that you have said a number of things, including Spider-man, all of which he has taught you to say!
Without fail if we ask how big Turner is we always get a response of a dimpled smile and two arms thrown up in the air.  Of course we also get this same response to the question "how old are you?" but we are working on the pointed finger.  We still have four weeks to master it.  And, though you laugh at peek-a-boo, you have not yet done it yourself. You love to bang your hands when we chant, "bang, bang, bang, on your drum, drum, drum!
You seem to like books though not necessarily reading them.  Mostly just turning the pages, eating them and putting them on your head.
Your hair continues to come in thick, and light, and curly.  Very curly.  Your eyes are still that stormy blue, or gray, or green, depending on the moment.  People seem to think you are past the point of change, but we will see if we are still heading towards brown.
Mommy and daddy went on a much needed four day getaway this month.  We loved it, though we missed you, and you and your brother's seemed to enjoy your time with your grandparents.  We celebrated Thanksgiving (on mommy and daddy's 6 year anniversary) and it was wonderful to have the family over for a feast.  Daddy, cousin Jamie, and I cooked up a delicious meal and we all had a lot of fun!  Chase, Ryder, Delaney, and Madden had a blast playing together.  It wont be long, turner, before you take part in all of the fun, alongside your cousins, and you will have the thrill of growing up to close cousins, like both your father and I had.  This year for Thanksgiving, we enjoyed the company of Aunt Bonnie. She was thrilled to meet you for the first time and we were thrilled to share stories and laughs with her.  I do believe you charmed her enough that she may start calling you by your given name, and not just your initials.
We helped the Klaus' decorate their Christmas tree and we all had a great time.  Daddy and i, and Aunt Beth and Uncle Dave, loved seeing you guys play with Jackson and we look forward to the growing friendship you will hopefully develop with him.
 We sent out your birthday party invitations and we are excited for the day despite how it came about so quickly.
The months may pass quickly and chaotically but, Turner,  you are the calm of the storm.  You have a demeanor that is soothing, and peaceful, and happy.  you are pleasant and pleasing and it is impossible for me not to smile when I'm with you, holding you, hugging you, loving you. 

You are my sweet baby boy, and every moment of every day I am so proud to be your mommy.
I love you so, Turner Luke.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Friend-ship sailed

I am on the train to New York City. I am amongst the late commuters who do this daily. The parking attendant, in the distant lot F, laughed at me when I asked why I couldn't park in the garage. "That's all full dear!" He said, chuckling. I forgot it is a Tuesday morning.
I am going to New York, sadly, for a funeral. My friends Aunt died. A close aunt. Her mom's sister! When I think about how that relates in my own families I shiver.
I am doing this trip alone because the friend I normally travel to NY with for such events and the friend I am going to see are no longer friends. And so, it has me thinking a lot about friendship.
I have always taken the role of "friend" seriously. I try to be the best friend I can be, always. But, still, it is always in my own way,the best way I know how. That is what I expect in return. Sometimes, unfortunately, the best someone has to offer is not enough, or is too much, for another person and that is when things can go awry.
Maintaining friendships over years, decades, is hard work. Lives are busy and it can be a total scheduling conflict to see your best friend. Friendships are sometimes lost by a slow and gradual drift, one which leaves no hard feelings but still a friendship becomes no longer. Other times, as in the case with my two friends, something circumstantial happens that one or both parties feels too much pain, or hassle, or betrayal, or all to overcome and the friendship is buried hastily and forever.
I've had severed friendships. I am not proud of this but it has happened. Most lost friendships, in my case, are the usual spread over time and, though sad, I know that if I were to see any of those people right now it would be business as usual, hugs, kisses, and laughs!!
I've also had relationships severed because nothing good comes from the friendship anymore. It is no secret that not all relationships are meant to last forever. And so, you move on. It is sad but what I am finding is it is less sad for the splitting friends than it is for the people they have in common. The splitting friends are making the conscious decision to go separate ways whether on good terms or not, those of us around the departed are left to deal with awkwardness of remaining friends with both, of trying not to choose sides, and with having to now, ride the train to NYC solo to pay funeral respects.
Friendships, relationships, are complicated things. You think they are personal, which they are, but is amazing how every relationship between two people actually has a direct effect on a whole circle of people around it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jewish, not Jealous!

Recently, the boys learned the word jealous.  We were watching Barnyard, a hilarious Nickleodeon show with humor well over the boys' 3 ft head, and Big Foot, a guest star, grew a fondness for Abbey, Otis' girl. In the show they say he is jealous but the mature humor left the boys unsure of what that word meant. So, they asked me. I did the best job I could defining jealousy, and how it could be bad, and used the opportunity to explain that you should always be happy with what you have, blah, blah, blah. They looked at me, as if they got it, then responded with ." I am Jewish, not Jealous!!". Yes you are my dear boys, yes you are!!

We Won the Pennant...Again!

This picture, below, is what it looks like when the Phillies win the Pennant for the second year in a row!  The red shirts and hats filling the bar, the high fives and out loud cheers when the 27th out is caught, this is what that looks like.  We refer to this picture, to this moment, whenever we are reminded that, in the end, the Phillies did not repeat.  They lost the World Series, to the New York Yankees, in 6 games.  Oh well, there is always next year.  And, this cool shot of what it looks like to win!!


Ali has a pumpkin carving party every year. Every year for the last 7. This year was the first time I went. Part wanting to see her after so much time had passed, part the desire to take the boys to New York, on the last Sunday in October my mom and I and Chase and Ryder boarded NJTransit and headed up the Northeast Corridor.
What a day! When I told the boys about the adventure we would be taking, sure, the idea of going to the largest city in the world was cool, but the real excitement was in the dual treat of a first train ride and first taxi ride. Two exciting new vehicles for three year old boys.

The boys waited, hand in hand and beyond the yellow line, for a real train to pull in. They were pushed back, literally, by the forced wind of the passing Acela train and their anticipation grew waiting for the next arrival. Wide eyed they stood before trotting onto the train with delight when our commuter train arrived. Unlike any NJTransit car I had ever been on, this one was new, and clean, and double decker. Chase and Ryder both checked it out with curiosity before settling into our area.

Though I had packed books, and toys, and stickers, and more. And though we did read Toy Story, the train ride passed with all of the built in entertainment.

First there was the staring out the window in utter fascination at how quickly the trees were passing by. I too saw the beauty in the way my favorite autumn colors blended as they raced by us. Next, there was the studying of the posted train station map. Using our pointer fingers to trace the route from our starting point (Hamilton) to the destination - Penn Station, NYC, was a geographic lesson for the boys even at the elevated risk of exposure to H1N1.

A brief discussion about Big 10 schools was triggered when, after I said it aloud while pointing to Penn Station, Chase smiled and said "Penn Station? That's where daddy went to school!!"
Proud of his knowing Penn State at all, I chuckled and corrected him, both on the school name and the fact that it was I who went there. And, just to make sure Todd's Mountaineer pride would not be understated, I reminded him that daddy went to WVU. "That's right Mommy, he is a Mountaineer!"
Next, we looked for letters we recognized, both on the EMERGENCY EXIT window and on the sign indicating the next stop. R's, C's, and T's (for obvious reasons) are always spotted and counted, but E's both boys seem to know well too. Luckily, there are several of them in emergency exit!
Next, there was the fascination with the coat hook. When you pressed the bottom of the lever it came out of the wall. How Neat!!! But, when you let go, and put no coat on it, it sprung right back into the wall. MacGyver needed to do this at least ten thousand times, and several times I showed them how it stayed down with the weight of a coat. Nope, not as cool as it springing right back.
All of this and the few potty breaks to the amazingly clean, and large, potty (thank god for the new train) and we rolled into Penn Station.
From there we walked, two adults, three back packs, two high-energy boys, and one, empty double stroller, to Times Square. It was a beautiful day in late October and the New York streets were bustling with the expected crowds and energy. Chase and Ryder had no problem matching the energy level and were excited by everything they saw: the buildings, the sights, the people!

Our walk included a stop for a hand bag for mom, a picture of Chase outside the bank that bears his name (oh the Joy he felt when he saw his name so BIG - Gadol)), a picture of both boys with a large Bubba Gump Shrimp, a quick viewing of the Naked Cowboy whose underwear clad guitar playing was just oh so silly to my boys, and a game of eye spy in which we spied Shrek, Spiderman, a witch (from Wicked) and the M&M characters.
Once at Times Square we let those characters lure us into the colorful, chocolatey world of the M&M store. I think I may have hungered for the chocolate bits more than they did. Inside we let each boy choose their color from the rainbowed wall of choices- Baby blue (Chase) and light pink (Ryder).

Next we took photos with the Yellow M&M and had the boys collective color mood to be determined by the computer as Gold.
When we left the store we hailed the long awaited cab, finally, and Chase and Ryder climbed into the yellow taxi and strapped on their seat belts- without car seats. They were so excited, and sat perfectly still looking out the windows as we drove to NY's Upper East Side!
By this time we were exhausted. At least my mom and I were, the boys still had some energy left. We headed to Ali's and put on their Spidey costume. There, they banged on a piano, helped me carve a pumpkin, ate lots of candy and played with other kids. They were thrilled!! Of all the kids there, Snow White, AKA Anna Tucker, had their attention and it was a constant flirtatious battle for hugs!


By the time we were ready to head home we were near spent. We went back to the train station unsuspecting of the crowds awaiting us. A large group of Giants fans, blue jerseys and hats heading to Giant Stadium aboard our same train, took up more space than there actually was forcing us into a small space, double stroller and all. Unbelievably the boys did great amidst the crowd remaining quiet and still, but I was glad when they piled out and we were able to sit. The boys chatted up the two ladies who sat behind us, who not only, coincidentally, were members of Beth Or and Ohev Shalom, but were, by ride's end, well versed in my boys' life. Names, birthdate, parent's name, baby brother's name, cousins' names, where they went to school, and who their teachers are were just part of the revelations they made.
In the car they were asleep in no time and transferred right down for the night. I could not wait to hit my pillow but really had such a great time!!!


Friday, November 20, 2009


The following was written while we were on vacation at The Tides.

I am not sure I ever was a morning person. Even as a kid I remember staying up late and not wanting to, not being able to, get up in the morning. In college, and even after, any opportunity I had I skipped the morning altogether and began my day in the PM.
Now, I think I prefer the mornings. I am not sure I realized this until right now. Of course, I get up early every morning. But, usually, my kids are my wake up call.
Here I am on vacation with opportunity to sleep late. But I don't. We go to bed early, which is nice and when the pain in my back wakes me despite the time on the clock, I want to rise, and check out the stillness of the early morning.
I am sitting at the beach. The wind is strong and rustling my hair, my shirt, my pants. The palm leaf shadows are swaying in the sand. The only sounds I hear are wind and waves. If that doesn't clear my mind, nothing will.
Early mornings at the beach, something, despite my summers in Margate, I do not get to enjoy very often.
While sitting here, toes in sand, the answer to my daily chaos seems so obvious. If I would jut wake up before my kids. Have my time. Drink some coffee. Do some writing.  Maybe even, dare I say, exercise, the rest of my day would be so much better. I don't even think I would need to do it everyday, just some days, and a week could be improved.
Oh, yes it seems so obvious! But, I know as I smirk, that it will be a cold Wednesday morning not too long from now. The sun will still be hidden, the air will seem frigid. And, five more minutes is all I will need. Another five. Several times. And, the whole old pattern begins again.

For now, for today, I enjoy this quiet morning!

Embracing Nature!

Posted by Picasa

It's been well over a decade since I've written poetry. Back in college I considered myself a bit of a poet. But that girl was lost and unsure. Here, at the Tides, in this idyllic atmosphere you can't help but channel your inner poet. Here is my attempt:

One after another
After another
After another
Each one
My soul a bit more
As if
Even if just for this moment
Time stands still
Tickling my skin
Me with a warm cuddle
I am
Fully by nature's beauty!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The following was written while on vacation at the Tides:

If I had to bet, I would say I am definitely the only person in all of Mexico, the whole Country, wearing a hoodie right now. It's not cold, but it's not the blistering sun I remember from my past trips here and since I've been here I am most comfortable with my sweatshirt on. It's probably the jungle surrounding us. Total privacy is granted by the enmasse of palm trees, just enough space for sun rays to peek through.
These are mornings I dream about, early morning calm, birds chirping, my feet soaking in a pool, a cup of coffee to sip, and my mind expressing its thoughts. Todd is sleeping nearby, his every breath an added comfort.
I love my life. I love my boys. I love the chaos that fills our days. I would not trade it, not for anything. But, this moment here is one I cherish.
I have always loved to write for many reasons: the way it makes me feel while I am doing it, and after, when my mind is purged; the creativity involved in making words flow together in a way that makes you want to read them over and over; the final product, hopefully, a well-read collection of thoughts, feelings, ideas, wit, sensitivity, and humor. The masterpiece.
None of them are actual masterpieces, yet they all are, to me!


One of my favorite smells in the world is onion, thinly chopped, and garlic, finely minced, sauteeing in olive oil over low fire.   To me, it is mouth watering!  Coffee and baked goods may also stop me in my step, but that onion and garlic sautee can not be matched. The smell alone can make a moment one to savor.
Todd and I just had an experience that ranks, quite possibly, as the best of my entire life. Our wedding, the birth of our children, and the collective weeks of my European travel also top the list.
In an effort to learn Mayan culture we prepared, cooked, and enjoyed a fantastic lunch.   Known as "Casita Maya" and described as "an ancient outdoor Mayan kitchen built from tree branches and a palapa roof, available for private dining and cooking classes for two to eight guests. Guests learn indigenous methods of cooking meat and seafood, simmering in banana leaves below ground. ".
We share a mutual love for cooking, for culture, and for eating good food, making Casita Maya the experience of a lifetime.
We walked the jungled path and headed to the secluded "readers" corner where we were greeted by Fernando and Jesus and a full explanation in what, and how, we would be participating. Of course, this five minute lecture was accompanied by a wonderfully refreshing watermelon juice and two mouthwatering tostado appetizers topped with a decadent shrimp and a juicy and flavorful chicken.
We then entered a foodies haven.


Waiting for us was the colorful array of fresh vegetables, an assortment of containered ingredients, samurai sharp knives, and a hole of burning charcoal. After a brief description of the meal we would soon enjoy, we were asked to chop the vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, onions, and tomatillos) into circles. Deploying the skills we had learned at the knife skills course we took back in 2000, we sliced the reds, the yellows, the greens, and the purples.   We tasted the fresh, juicy tomato and the sweeter than expected tomatillos.

We laid half of the beautiful mixture into a banana leaf lined clay pot then topped it with salt and peppered filets of red snapper before ladeling a fragrant, opaque, natural red marinade upon it. The other half of the vegetables were then placed on top of the deep red sauce.  More banana leaves were placed on top before the pot was transported into the smoky hole.  We watched, intrigued, as the sticks, leaves, board, and dirt were piled trapping all of the smoke in with the goodness.

While we waited, we made the soup that I wish I could still taste on my tongue. We began by sauteeing the onions and at the sound of the sizzle, that wonderful sizzle, my sense of smell was enjoying the same luxury the rest of my body had been thus far.  Then followed the garlic...ah, perfection. Next the tomatoes, then the lima juice, then the clarified chicken broth. All of this was brought to a slow boil, but the enjoyment of the essence was immediate.

We sat down at a private table just before the herb garden and just beyond the smoky casita and enjoyed the tastiest soup ever had. It was complemented by the Mexican Sauvignon Blanc we sipped between spoonfuls.

We then enjoyed our tasty, healthy, simple yet beautiful red snapper and vegetable concoction accompanied by Mexican rice. It was delicious.   It was healthy. It, in its simplicity, was fine dining. And yet, the experience outweighed the food due to its rarity, its culture, its purity.

Dessert followed, despite our full bellies and empty bottle of wine, and the beauty made you never want to touch it. Thin pineapple shavings towered into a flower petaled, alternately, with papaya and strawberry.  It was art!
Fernando was fantastic in his descriptions, his stories. Todd and I were educated and satiated and were left to wonder if another experience, ever, could compare to the all senses used experience we just had!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Tides - Riviera Maya - November 2009

This was the picture I left on my camera while we were away so that we could see a picture of our boys.

I miss my sons!  I start off this way so that it is understood that as I gush about this place, the sheer beauty, the absolute exclusion, the pure settings, and the creative haven, that I do, indeed, miss my sons. But, holy cow, if there is a place, a way, a reason to miss your family, this is it. Right here. At the Tides. In Mexico.

I admit I was against Mexico when we first started planning this trip. I had been to Mexico before, and though beautiful, my return has always been welcomed home by the revenge of Montezuma and well, the locals always seemed to rub me the wrong way. But, Todd sold me on the beauty of this place, after Diana (our travel agent from Caribbean Travel Services) sold him. And, it seems, they were right. (And, as it goes, the local staff proved me wrong as well!)

Secluded is the first, and most appropriate word to use in describing this resort.
Although the ride to this paradise may lead you to believe you are being abducted to some remote jungle, it becomes clear upon arrival that ultimate seclusion is often hidden behind the rockiest of paths. Not only did we have to off-road through some twists and some turns enduring pot holes and dump sites, but we made several wrong turns before we found our destination.

One of many "rocky" sights we passed on our way to the resort!

Although the crazy, crazy ride to our resort was enough to bring up last nights dinner, I actually was intrigued to think that beyond these scary roads, or non-roads, lied a resort I expected to be beautiful. And, beautiful, the next word, it is.

Our room

Our outdoor bed where we napped, daily!

Our outdoor shower - unbelievable!

Private, another word to describe it here. Actually, more like ultra-private (only 30 villas- most of which are vacant.). So much so that the pool area and beach feel like our very own. Amazingly, we actually have our very own plunge pool within our private villa, next to our hammock and lounge bed, near our private outdoor shower. Incredible!  Yep, that's another word.


The jungled paths twist and turn and by following them you could end up at the reader's corner, the writer's corner (though not where I am writing this from) or the painters corner, where I intend to paint my first oiled canvas!


Continue more and before you find the infinity pool and the vast blue ocean, you may stumble upon a bamboo and palm leafed spa cabana, or a beautiful waterfall, or a tiki hut with a lounge bed and just enough open space at the top for the sun to peak through, or the temazcal, a mayan steam bath ceremony available by reservation only (for a hefty, additional cost, of course!)


The lobby, simple yet exquisite, greeted us and disposed of our stress out on the dirt path. We were offered a mayan drink of coconut milk infused with lemon grass. The first sip was refreshing but left an aftertaste that reminded both Todd and I of Turner's spit up.   Needless to say we drank no more of that and did not allow that tiny thorn to splinter the beauty we were seeing for the first time.


Gopal resin

On our arrival tour we performed some hollistic ritual at the spa. They asked us to face each other, hold hands, close our eyes, and breathe. We followed the orders as they burned a copal resin and we inhaled it with each breath. I suppose it was relaxing, only the scent was horrible forcing me to tense up my nostrils so that I did not have to smell it. Ok, another small thorn, but still, hardly splintering.


When we were brought to our room we were awed by the comforts before being presented with handmade, hand cut soaps of assorted flavors. The fragrance so delicious we wanted to eat it, bite by bite!!
We have only been here a few short hours and it is already the best vacation ever.  Absolute decompression was instantaneous  as soon as we set foot on Tides property.  Relaxing, quiet, peaceful, beautiful- the ultimate in vacation luxury,  With our three and half remaining days we intend to sleep, a lot.  Todd is excited for the array of tequilas for his tasting. Me, I look forward to the food!

Beach, pool, sleep, quiet...yep, we both look forward to that as well.


Adios, I must siesta now!