Last week we got back from a week at Casa Ninamu, which I wrote about last year after meeting the lovely owners Anne Menke and Johann Ackermann and their three delightful, tow-headed boys. Staying there was a different kind of experience. It was less about the beautiful interiors–with built-in stucco sofas; colorful, handcrafted Mexican textiles; and cobalt blue walls that popped against the lush jungle surrounding it–and more about how we spent our time doing almost nothing at all.
There are so many things I love about the town of Sayulita that I never anticipated how much I’d enjoy staying just outside it. Aside from the thundering waves breaking on the beach (loud enough to wake me up on occasion), the insects and birds chirping up a storm, and the creature-rustling of the flora outside, there is absolute silence. It’s a quiet so deep, it makes a swaying palm frond sound louder than an ambulance hurtling down a city street. Most days, we wake up slowly–with a view of the ocean out the wide-open bedroom doors–and drink coffee, make breakfast and read, while our kids draw at the dining room table (also with a view of the ocean). By midmorning, the kids are swimming naked in the saltwater pool, chasing butterflies, hunting for iguanas and planning the day’s sandcastle design and fortification. We indulge in avid shell collecting, rock climbing, sand burying, crab chasing and jungle exploring, including a hike to a nearby town that was rerouted by high tide up a densely-forested Monkey Mountain over the course of six dreadful hours. Later we laugh about it. Much later. My five-year-old invented a game that involves throwing a fallen coconut into the waves and waiting for it to come rushing back onto the shore, prompting a highly competitive chase-and-grab element. And it’s not until day seven that I realize we never made it to those restaurants we wanted to try, or organized a tour of the nearby cliffs and hot springs we heard about. Instead our entire trip was an endless pleasure cycle of lazing about–pool, play, eat, nap, hammock, beach, repeat. The very best kind of travel, an actual vacation.