the latin-america temper-tantrum tour, day 1

We’ve arrived safely in Lima, after about 20 hours of travel that I would not describe as our family’s greatest time together. We had to leave LAX at 1am, which meant that I had to pull sleeping children out of their beds. Never a great way to start a trip. Getting India up was like a wrestling match, with me trying to stand her upright and her scrambling to free herself from my grip and climb back into bed.

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As we were loading into the taxi, Karis started crying and yelling, “I don’t to go to Peru! I just want to go in my bed!” I think she was speaking for all of us in that moment. But we persevered.

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Our first flight spanned the night and most of us slept, and we landed in Costa Rica at 8am , realizing that we had a pretty good chunk of time before our 2pm flight to Peru. We decided to take a taxi into San Jose. The kids were exhausted but I figured that a meltdown was inevitable whether we were stomping around Costa Rica or sitting for hours in an airport. So we opted for the more cultural meltdown . . . one that included a passport stamp.

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The taxi driver recommended we check out Alahjueala Centro, and since we had no clue where to go, we agreed. There was a beautiful cathedral there and we got to interrupt visit while a mass was taking place.

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We stumbled upon a little children’s show outside of a local museum. Perfect timing.

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We visited a museum. Jafta was reluctant about this until he realized there were weapons involved.

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Weapons, and paintings of bloody people. Suddenly Jafta was a museum connoisseur.

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Suitcases + cobblestone streets? Less than ideal.

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We walked through a market selling all manner of foods. This was the point at which the Epic Meltdown commenced. I knew it would happen, I just wasn’t sure who it would be and at what point. One too many animal innards and gutted fish for India’s taste pushed her over the edge. I believe her exact words were, “It stinks here. I hate Costa Rica and I want to go home!” To be fair, it did kind of stink.

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Jafta was pretty excited to try some of the local cuisine. We stopped at a restaurant counter that thought it was hilarious that an American kid was willing to try whatever they had. They started serving him all kinds of food. He tried barely-dead crab, plantains, yucca, ceviche, and some kind of a turtle egg in tomato sauce. There was a bit of language barrier, and we are really hoping that turtle egg was a land turtle, and that Jafta did not commit an international crime by eating an endangered animal’s eggs. Yikes.

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Given their lack of sleep, the kids did pretty well in Costa Rica.  There were a few whiny moments – a couple times of one of them laying down on the ground and refusing to move - but I’m glad we pushed them and got a little taste of a new country.

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After we got back to the airport, we still had about an hour and all six of us laid down and slept like vagrants on the dirty airport floor. Then we took another long flight, and here we are in Lima. We only had minor meltdowns on the plane and, despite my exhaustion and utter annoyance with them, I did not cause any physical harm to my children. I’m going to call it a raving success.

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