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Europe

Hola, Tenerife!

After Saya testing negative the day before a 7am departure, we hurriedly packed our bags for Tenerife. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and hosts tourists year around on the southern tip of the island. While the kids draped themselves across me for the flight, I meditated on the fact that an all-inclusive resort was less than five hours away.

Upon arrival, Corey and I fell into our routine in Spanish speaking countries. He confidently chats to the bus driver and wait staff while I listen cautiously and supply Corey with vocabulary terms when he’s tripped up in his conversations. Saya learnt that her parents could get through context specific conversations not speaking in English, and started to make her own words up telling us she was speaking in ‘a new language’.

We attempted the central pool though the cloud cover made it a bit too chilly, so the staff offered a randomly small pool on the roof. About the length of a mini-van we were in a large, warm bathtub for our afternoon swim, but because Saya could stand in the pool and we could look out over the ocean, there were no complaints from us.

For some, ‘all inclusive’ means all-day drinking, or all-day tanning, but my definition is ‘all day without cooking’ and everyone can eat what they want. However, the buffet opened just before bedtime so for the first night we went out to get burgers, of all things, and then the kids hit the pillows hard. The evening entertainment was a mini-disco for kids who have a later bedtime, and a couple of drinks in the lobby bar for Corey and me.

The next morning proved to be too chilly for swimming again so we donned our hoodies and went to watch the surfers along the promenade. Sweatshirts and sand take me back to Northern California beaches. I appreciate digging into soft sand, listening to waves, and not being slathered in sunscreen in the hot sun. We visited a black sand beach with surfing waves, as well as little inlet with calmer waters. We went back to these throughout the day, and didn’t look back at the pool.

We found playgrounds, and little places to stop on the volcanic rocks during our family walks. It felt good to have little to do except be together, play together, and nap together. The Saturday and Sunday evening performances were a step up from the previous night’s mini-disco. A Bruno Mars/Megan Trainor act and trio of gentleman singing everything from Funiculi/Funicula to Sweet Caroline become more entertaining as we refilled our glasses, and the stars came out.

The flight home features Sachi and me because Saya and Corey had a really good nap together. And, the girls were troopers the whole way home. Taking a bus, flight, air-train, and finally a taxi would be exhausting for any adult, however, even in these tiresome moments, I think being together kept everyone together, and gave us all a shoulder to rest on.