We took the kids to Riviera Maya last week. It was our first big family vacation. We were so excited for a week of relaxation in the sun. There were a couple of things that we chose not to tell our kids about beforehand, to keep the anxiety and whining to a minimum.
Number One: Saltwater tastes awful and will likely make you want to puke if you swallow too much. It's funny to me that we can swallow gallons of chemically-treated pool water, but gettting a mouthful of natural saltwater is sheer torture. Especially when you end up with it up your nose. Yikes, that burns like H-E-double-hockey sticks.
Number two: They will have chicken nuggets and french fries and all of those foods you love, but they won't taste quite the same. We let the kids discover this one for themselves. And we acted all suprised when they said, "This doesn't taste right." They finally figured out what foods they could live with: bacon, bacon and more bacon. The fries tasted ok, but weren't crisp. The chicken nuggets were fine. The ice cream was a staple of their diets.
But, the worst, most devastating part of the "The food tastes weird here" debacle? The ketchup. It wasn't thick, red, delicious, Heinz Tomato Ketchup. It was catsup, thin and runny and orange-ish. It was a travesty.
Side note: A little research tells me that there is very little difference between ketchup and catsup; and that people in Latin American countries tend to eat catsup. But don't tell my kids that. They are sure there is a major difference and catsup is the equivalent of skunk pee and was invented to torture kids.
When we got to the Cancun airport to head back home, tired and sunburned, but relaxed, we had lunch at that totally American establishment, TGI Fridays. We had big juicy burgers, crisp, seasoned fries and REAL HEINZ TOMATO KETCHUP.
It was heaven.