Back to the Beach….and Mexico!

The waves sloshed onto the shore, as the sun warmed us. Having walked a couple of miles from camp down the beach, we stopped for a rest on a downed log, luxuriating in the absolute solitude. Not another soul disturbed our peace, other than a few pesky sea gulls, but even they seemed more subdued than normal. Aspen took a break from exploring to come in for pets, as Porter leaned back against me, raising his head to the sun, eyes mere slits, the picture of complete contentment. On this uncharacteristically warm, non-windy day, at the Oregon coast in FEBRUARY, life was good.


The last few weeks have been a strain. In between the normal commute and work nonsense, Jim had been feeling run-down with an on-again, off-again cold, while the major setback of the roof replacement had drained us. Exhausted yet restless, we needed to get on the road and back into nature. In spite of limited time, the ocean was calling us and we needed to answer.

Nature offers instant revival, and even the planning element of a camping trip instantly lifts our spirits. The black dogs, ever ready for an adventure, spend their time racing back and forth from house to camper, eagerly anticipating time away with the family. Aspen needs to verify her kibble is along for the ride, while Porter simply hangs close to ensure he won’t be left behind.



I have been keeping a secret from Jim for some months now, something I simply don’t do. Our lives are an open book, and in spite of the discomfort I was feeling, I somehow managed to not spill the secret myself, at the same time swearing everyone in the know to silence. We have taken many trips with my company, Grand European Travel, and while escorted travel is not often our number one choice, there are certain benefits of having someone else handle the arrangements. Jim just loves having someone carry his bag, while I, the primary planner, am happy to hand the reins over and let it be someone else’s problem! With his 50th birthday fast approaching, I began plotting a surprise getaway last November. With the assistance of my former boss and my co-workers at our sister company, Trafalgar Tours, we were able to get us confirmed on a trip to the Copper Canyon in Mexico, one of the areas of the country that was, as of yet, unexplored by us.

Initially,my intent had been to “surprise” him with a long weekend in Phoenix, the starting point for the tour, and not announce we were actually going to Mexico until our arrival in said city. I had his vacation time approved with his boss, the black dogs were reserved at doggie camp, i.e Critter Nanny, I was secretly squirreling away money from each trip to the market, hiding it in an African basket in plain site in our bedroom. I had convinced him to just go ahead and get our passports renewed, even though we didn’t need them for awhile. I had arranged transport to and from the airport. I was all set. Except for the one nagging question on how on earth to ensure he had enough clothes with him for a 10 day trip including temperatures as diverse as the beaches of San Carlos AND the 8000 ft elevation on the rim of the canyon. For fiesta dinners on the beach, and swim trunks. My boss suggested I ship a box of clothes to the hotel in Phoenix. An excellent idea, except how to explain that no, ALL of those clothes must be misplaced somewhere. I considered packing many items for him in my bag but, of course, do need to bring clothes for myself. Finally, I decided Valentine’s Day weekend at camp I was finally going to break the news.


I had it all planned, including printing off a photo of the view from the balconies of our hotel in the Canyon, and pasting our faces over the chairs in the photo. I compiled a little set of documents with our airline itinerary, the tour documents, etc. It was all ready for presentation at just the right moment when he least expected it.

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…. on the Thursday night prior to the big weekend, an errant remark from me regarding his birthday gift (or rather lack of, citing the cost of the new roof) ended up causing hurt feelings. I simply could not take the guilt of making him feel as though his birthday wasn’t important to me and so ran out to the camper to grab my surprise packet.

Coming back into the house I asked him to mute the television because we had to talk. Still upset, he did so, looking confused. All I can say is his the confusion mounted with each item in the packet. It was SUCH a surprise and SO out of left field, that he truly couldn’t believe exactly what he was seeing. “We’re really going to Mexico?” was the most often offered statement, soon followed by “so everyone at the dinner party last week knew!?” I verified yes, he had the days off, yes, we were really going, yes, we could do the world’s highest and longest zip line while there.


Since the announcement of the surprise trip, I have been sleeping like a baby. No longer hiding the big news, we are now spending our days counting down until we head back to Mexico, our most visited country in the world. The place that lights up our soul. The place we keep going back to over and over again. The place we plan to someday call home. Mexico, watch out, the Delameter’s are coming back!


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15 thoughts on “Back to the Beach….and Mexico!

  1. Wow! What a great surprise. I suck at keeping secrets from Shawn. I’m impressed you held out that long! But sleep is good…

    • Thanks Carmel… I do too.. and easily a thousand times I had to bite my tongue because I started to say something about it as a passing remark. Whew, can breathe easy now 🙂

  2. How exciting! I love surprises but have had to cave sooner than originally anticipated for whatever logistics. You will have such a great time!

    • Can’t wait Emily! I’m always willing to go anywhere, especially in Mexico, but we have dreamed of taking the train out to the Copper Canyon for a long time.

  3. Sounds as if the timing could not have been better to surprise him with the news! How fun and that photo from the balcony looks wonderful!

    • Hi Patti… yep, I think we’re both ready for a bit of time away from the norm and Mexico always fits the bill. Stay tuned for actual photos of US on that amazing balcony.

  4. I LOVE surprises like this but, like Carmel, I am the worst at keeping secrets (even fun ones) from Tony. I’ve managed it a few times, but nothing on the scale of what you planned for Jim!

    ALSO, Yay for Mexico! When are you guys heading down? Tony & I were actually looking at a few towns around the Copper Canyon area and were thinking of basing ourselves in that region for a month or so after we first arrive so perhaps we’ll be in the same place? Wouldn’t that be fantastic!

    • Hi Steph… exciting news that you and Tony are finally heading back on the road…and with dogs in tow! I know that Emma and Ben, from Flightless Kiwi’s LOVED El Fuerte and I’m really looking forward to seeing all the old silver mining manions from Alamos’ glory days. Send me an email as you get closer and let us know where you land.

  5. Wow! that’s so sweet, having someone who plans for your travel and a birthday surprise could be the best thing that happen in someone’s life. Oh and Mexico is one of my bucket list. Enjoy your trip soon and more photos to share here. Buena swerte to you guys! 🙂

    • Thanks Arcie…. we’re very excited to be heading back to our favorite country 🙂

  6. YAAAAAAAY!!! This is so exciting!!! I am sitting on the edge of my seat giving a commentary to Tyrhone and then telling him to shut up while I read the details. I am so, so happy for you guys and I love that you cured Jim’s bad mood with the surprise. I have heard wonderful things about the canyon. After your recent challenges, I think this comes at EXACTLY the right time to give you a much needed break in one of the most awesome countries in the world.

    • lol.. I’m glad you gave commentary to Tyrhone 🙂 Yes, we’re super excited and can’t wait to discover a new region of our favorite country. Too bad you’ll still be in Colorado and can’t come and house sit!!

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