Childhood Summer Vacation Blog Swap
Today I am participating in 20SB Blog Swap about Childhood Summer Vacations! I had the pleasure of being paired with Jen over at SkinnedKnees.Net for this event. Check out her guest post below and don’t forget to check out her website. She’s an awesome lady!
Hey everyone! I’m Jen and I’m guest posting over here at SarahAHall.com in honor of 20SomethingBlogger’s Childhood Summer Vacation Blogswap! I regularly blog over at SkinnedKnees.net, a blog about eating disorder recovery, feminism, and body positivity.
My dad was a teacher who taught summer school to high school students every year. I would spend two months of my own summer vacation either sitting in a supply closet with my brother watching The Price is Right or sitting in my dad’s classroom begging him to let me grade homework for allowance money. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it but the big payoff was what came after the summer session ended – two weeks in Rosarito, Mexico.
Rosarito is a small tourist town south of Tijuana, Mexico. When I was growing up, there wasn’t much there except for a supermarket and the big Oasis Hotel with a giant swimming pool with a built-in bar that my brother and I would sneak into from the beach. I remember thinking the town was “selling out” when it got a Papas & Beer bar fifteen years ago but you should see it now. It is completely commercialized for the American tourist. It’s fascinating and sad at the same time. But enough about that!
My dad’s brother owned a small house in a private neighborhood in Rosarito. My aunt’s family owned a house two doors down. Every summer after summer school had ended, my immediate family, my aunt’s family, and a couple of uncles and/or cousins here and there trekked down to the beach houses to spend two weeks of absolute bliss less than 100 feet from the Pacific Ocean. I used to love going to the market with my mom to pick out all of the food we were going to eat down there – there was always some special treat, like a giant box of Otter Pops that my brother and I would devour until our mouths were every shade of the rainbow.
Or calling dibs on the “back room” of my uncle’s beach house, the room that was an add-on from the main house and the room that meant you didn’t have to sleep on the couch in the living room. You knew you were a big kid when you had that back room – it was private and separated and I loved it. I would bring my portable stereo and listen to music just quiet enough to not drown out the sound of the ocean waves right outside. It was heaven.
When I wasn’t listening to music, I was reading – usually any horror novel or collection I could get my hands on. I was obsessed. I would scare my brother (and myself) with tales of La Llorona (or the Mexican version of Bloody Mary) so much that I swore I could hear her wailing on the beach at nights. My brother and I also watched a lot of The Simpsons. At home we had cable TV, but in Mexico, we only had the local San Diego channels and so we watched so many things that we normally ignored.
Mexico held many firsts for me. I got my first major sunburn there that meant giant strips of peeled skin off of my back. I stuck my toe in my first sea anemone and felt it close in around it in the tide pools at Rosarito Beach. I saw my first wild tarantula outside on the patio where my brother and I would hose off our sandy feet when we came back from the beach. These summer vacations were a time of peace and innocence for my often chaotic family. Mexico is where I fell in love with my Mexican roots and my Mexican-American family. I owe so much of who I am to these idyllic moments in my life.
I hope you enjoyed reading about such an integral part of my life. I hope to see you around SkinnedKnees! You can also find me on facebook or twitter.
Thanks for reading!