Good morning from Tulum. This is my last day here and it’s been such a nice trip. I will tell you all about it a little bit later in an upcoming travel post or two, but it was really just the thing. I’d been feeling a little down, and in a bit of a creative rut. Getting out of town… and being able to spend a few days in the sunshine was pretty perfect. I sat in the sun and wrote, drank fresh juice every morning, wandered around the little town, and ate some really delicious dinners every night. It was my third time visiting Tulum (and my second time staying at the Papaya Playa Project), and I can’t say enough great things about it here. On another note, yesterday was the first day of Spring… happy Spring, friends! 🙂
A little bit of sad news that I wanted to share… my grandmother passed away on Friday. She had been very sick since the New Year, so I had known that it was coming. She was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever known. Her basement could have rivaled Martha Stewart’s studio with all things crafty. She was always immaculately put together (I will always envision her in head to toe beige + camel, buttery cashmere, perfectly ironed trousers, and elegant gold jewelry). And even as she got older, she never lost her sense for adventure.
She traveled all over the world and loved to travel alone too. Years and years ago she took off for Greece by herself (for an entire month, I think?), which inspired me to do the same thing six years ago when I was in between jobs. I like to think that we are a lot alike.
Over the past few months I was able to visit her a lot. I’d bring face masks and beauty products (I brought her a waterless skincare routine that she could do from bed and even smuggled mascara + tinted lip balm into her rehab facility when we thought she was getting better…) I have so many good memories with her before she went. Sitting and talking, laughing, spending time with her with my aunts and my cousins.
Some of my funniest memories of her are of her filling her wine glass (a big goblet) nearly all the way to the top, explaining that she was “just having one,” and that her doctor had told her that she should have one every night. When my relationships would end, it was never my fault… they were all clearly “mentally ill.” She had the greatest sense of humor, always told things exactly as she saw them, and wasn’t afraid to do things her own way. She was a true force of nature.
I feel so lucky that I was able to spend so much time with her before she passed. I will say one thing. Hug your loved ones extra close and treasure every minute you have with them because you really just don’t know. Ninety years is a long life, but my great grandmother lived to be 103 years old, and I had always just assumed my grandmother would live just as long as her. She was so vibrant. My aunt and uncle described her as “an experience and a living event,” impossible to describe with words. And that’s just how she was. So dynamic, so witty, so creative and clever… an element all her own. It’s really hard to believe she’s gone. We get sucked into our busy lives and assume that the people we love will always be there. But they won’t. Over the past couple years I was always “too busy.” I didn’t visit enough, I didn’t call enough. Luckily it wasn’t too late and I got to spend so much time with her over the past few months.
My mom called me with the news just as I was checking into my hotel in Tulum. I will be honest, there were a lot of tears, and crying into the glass of wine I ordered at lunch. It is funny because I planned this trip as I wanted to have some alone time… but suddenly being alone felt horrible. Of course it got a little easier as the trip progressed, and I know one thing… my grandmother would definitely have approved of my little solo getaway. I like to think that she was right with me, enjoying the sunshine herself.
photography by Lydia Hudgens.