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Learning to Swim in Puerto Morelos

semi-overcast 28 °C

You learn a lot from a two-year-old. You discover that overcoming the frustration of learning a new language (in my case Spanish) requires total immersion and constant practice. The two-year-old knows this. They speak in incomprehensible syllables for months and then one day...out come complete sentences and amusing observations.

We've been together with Alex, Alanna and Leo in Puerto Morelos now for just under a week, and in that time, we have become schooled in Leo's version of English. Our fiercely independent little grandson has to keep reminding us that "my do myself". He watches us all closely and then mimics what he sees, and does not feel he needs any assistance with his new-found skills.

And so it goes with swimming. Armed with a sunhat, sunscreen and a fancy flotation device, Leo has developed an impressive confidence in his swimming abilities.


Of course, he is not really swimming, but he is getting the hang of moving his little arms and legs around, and was hugely proud of being able to tell me, "I don't need you Nanny".

Thank goodness, he doesn't always mean that.


For those of you who are grandparents, you will understand the need to present the following gallery of photos. For everyone else, please bear with me, or just scroll down a bit.

Fun with Grandpa



Leo was quite fascinated with the coconut palms, and kept picking up dirty old coconuts off the ground. Alanna bought all of us fresh coconut drinks and brought them down to the beach, but not before Leo had the chance to watch the coconuts being hacked off the tree and opened with a machete, and then served with a straw. Voila - the freshest coconut water ever. Obviously a big hit.


There is no arguing with the pure joy of a chocolate ice cream cone.


Of course, we are just as delighted to be with Leo's parents. Our days together are pretty simple - beach-focused, Leo-centred and relaxed. Swimming, snorkeling, building sand castles, reading, and snacks.



We've rented apartments within a block of each other, and one block from the beach, which has worked out really well.

We've spent a few Christmases in Mexico in past years and we were always delighted to note that Santa does not need a chimney to visit little children in other parts of the world. In this case, while Frosty is still looking quite buoyant, Santa appears to have faded a bit - he can't quite haul his bag of toys over the balcony.


Back home, we hang Christmas decorations on our shrubs and our coniferous trees. Here in Mexico, they do the same - only on their palm trees.


The main square in Puerto Morelos is all lit up for the holidays, which makes it even more of a draw for locals and visitors at night. This is one of the things we love about visiting a warm climate in the winter. The habit of going out for a stroll after dinner is such a natural one - Mexicans don't have to spend months in the cold and the dark, bundled up inside. Every night that we have been here there has been something featured on the bandstand - music, magic acts - maybe a bit corny, certainly not flashy, but heart-warming and very entertaining.


This Christmas tree ornament has set the scene for hundreds, if not thousands of photo ops. Naturally, we followed suit.


We enjoyed a non-traditional Christmas dinner last night - steaks at an Argentinian restaurant. We thought about our friends and family members who were celebrating back in Canada - our son Danny and his girlfriend Hazel, and all our extended family and Alanna's parents and her extended family. Impossible for so many people to be together, but it is the season to want to be in touch.


So back to Puerto Morelos. We were here two years ago and loved the low-key, not-Cancun feel of it. More Mexican than gringo by a long shot, with nary an all-inclusive in sight. Small, low-rise hotels and apartments, loads of great little restaurants, and far more family-oriented than girls-gone-wild. Here are just a few shots of the town to give you an idea.



Every once in while, you will see a tiny cottage, with bright colours and tin roof, that could be found anywhere in the Caribbean.


And of course, there is the main attraction - the beach. There are so many things going on.

There is El Faro Inclinado - the Leaning Lighthouse that tilted after Hurricane Beulah in 1967, and was impossible to move. There is another lighthouse that warns sailors of the MesoAmerican Reef, but this one remains as a tourist attraction.


The military have always been a presence in Mexico, but after recent shootings in Tulum and Puerto Morelos, they have ramped up their numbers and daily beach patrols are a common sight.


People-watching is the obvious attraction, and this family caught my eye. Very glamorous mum strolled down to the beach in her 5-inch heels and stopped to remove them before stepping down onto the sand. Her two little boys were adorable - a bit shy and both were wearing matching cowboy hats. I just couldn't resist a sneaky shot.


Fishing boats are a PM fixture.


So are snorkeling tours.


Alex and Alanna have had great luck just snorkeling from shore. They go to a spot mid-beach, called Ojo de Agua (eye of water) that on top of having schools of brightly coloured fish, barracuda, and loads of coral, also has a 6-8 foot wide cenote that gushes fresh water into the sea. Stephen and I haven't tried snorkeling there yet, but we'll be sure to fit that in before we leave.

Finally, a couple of shots taken today at the beach. We had a typical early-winter Caribbean day - dramatic clouds, several short tropical downpours, and at least two extravagant rainbows.



We still have one week left in Puerto Morelos. Alex, Alanna and Leo will be heading back home next Saturday and we'll be beginning to explore other parts of the Yucatan. We will keep you posted - what we're doing, how our trip is changing shape and any info we have regarding Omicron here in Mexico and how it is impacting on the return of tourism.

Posted by millerburr 01:07 Archived in Mexico Tagged landscapes beaches people children sky night boats rainbows mexico christmas swimming snorkeling storms

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Hi Ginny and Steven. I wondered it you would be testing the waters, literally as well as figuratively. We were at Harriette and Michael’s place this evening. Happy travels, stay safe, enjoy the heat!

by Di King

It all looks fabulous. Family, fun and sun while I sit with my grand babies at minus 6 and snow waiting for the power to go out!
Merry Christmas

by Nancy Huot

HI Ginny,
Yes, I just received this lovely update so appear to be on the list. I am so jealous....we have a winter wonderland here for Christmas, but it's so cold my my hummingbird sugar water froze in the feeder and I had to bring it in and defrost it. Will be -11 C tonight and the poor wee birdie looks very cold. So glad you are having a happy family time!

by Christine McMahon

Thanks for sending this to us, it looks wonderful and I’m glad you have family with you. PM looks like a nice place, I like the smaller towns rather than touristy places. Keep having fun and be safe. Hugs to you both

by Sharon errington

Hi: So nice you are all doing so well, enjoying the warmth and the beach. Well, I have not been out of the house for over 3 days,
we are snowbound, loads of it here. Irene and Fred checked on us by phone today, they have had snow clearance on their street. Enjoy what we don't have. Here, with the snow, it is spectacular - the scenery.

by Elaine

Looks fantastic! Yes we also haven’t been out of the house for days ! It’s pretty here but I’d rather be where you are !hahah
.I can’t believe how big Leo is ..wow .
Enjoy ..happy new year !!!

by Vikki Vettese

What a beautiful grandson, you must be overjoyed to have your family there. We were at Saras and ended up spending the night because of the snow. We are home now and hunkering down.
Dylan and family in New Jersey, and wondering if they will get home because of the flight cancellations.
Have happy new year.
Hugs, Joy

by Joy

Such lovely pictures of PM and the family! Naturally, we lingered on the ones of Leo, can never get enough of our dynamo! It was nice chatting with you on Christmas Day, however brief!

by Heather Scott

So neat! Thank you, Ed

by Ed McHugh

What a wonderful holiday-thanks for inviting us in. You have shown us a New Mexican scene that really appeals -even though I am not always a Mexico enthusiast.
Good to see you the road again and taking us with you.
Happy travels, happy holidays and Happy New Year!

by linda ogle

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