The Last ‘Normal’ Thing We Did

We were coming back from Cayo Coco, Cuba. Our first family trip to our friend’s destination wedding. What a trip! Just a few days back before the world shut down.

It was our kids first time on an airplane to an island resort. They proved to be good travellers. I was glad they weren’t babies anymore so we could travel comfortably. A new phase in our life….finally!!

We got there at midnight just on time to settle in and rest, to do it up for the next day for the wedding.

The Cuban sun, the ocean, the live music, surrounded by the love under the gazebo makes me nostalgic. The wedding was the sweetest and so special. I got really emotional to be with my family friends and seeing everyone bond all week. Best time of our lives.

It was the perfect formula for the best party ever! (Bruises from Heavy Metal clashing with boardwalk posts are not applicable). Fantastic, fantastic time.

Bonding with my kids as they experience a destination wedding with some Cuban resort culture, the calm blue ocean, hamburguesas and papa fritas at the 24-hour snack bar, swimming with dolphins…………………………………………….

Ok, let me tell you the truth.

I didn’t want to do it. I have a phobia of swimming with fish, never mind a dolphin!

But it was a generous gift from the bride and groom……

Everyone else already went days before. So it was just my family of five. Me – who had a phobia, my husband who doesn’t swim, my kids who were a little scared – but it would be so rude not to go!

Hype, hype, hype, hype – all week. We could do this. We have to do this!

Suck it up buttercup!

“Ok family.” said the dolphin trainer, as he motioned for us to come forward so he can explain what to do.

“Pay attention!” He snapped at my 5 year-old who needed the discipline before getting in the water.

I climbed down the ladder first into the water, then my kids followed one by one. I grabbed them all in a line and started swimming. I saw a school of striped fish and tried so hard not to freak out – Eebie Jeebies- the worst kind – as I had my youngest in my arms facing him the wrong way submerging his face a little.

“His face! Wrong way!” My husband yelled out from the dock.

I got side-tracked to see where the dolphins were and saw the trainers dump the bloody bucket of chum.

The Eebie Jeebies scaled up high, running up and down my spine. Good thing the lifejacket held me up.

Show calm for the kids. It’s fine, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. It’s all good. I couldn’t tell the difference between my sweat and the warm Cuban ocean.

The trainer blew the whistle. Here they come, one for each end of our linked arms.

I was always curious to swim with dolphins even though I CANNOT swim with fish. This is really happening!

Enjoy the moment, especially if my kids were doing great! Is what I had to tell myself to see the bigger picture – that no one was crying or freaking out. We were actually having a good time. More curious than scared. This is unbelievable! Another memory engraved in our minds. Thanks to the bride and groom for these long-lasting memories.

The dolphins danced, sang, splashed, and jumped around us. We got to rub their bellies…..

Here comes the kiss…its beak pushing hard against my face. So strong that I had to tread harder to stay in one spot. It was a long kiss. I think this dolphin likes me!

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